Overview Of The Timeline
If you are a U.S. employer who is interested in hiring foreign employees and plan to sponsor them for U.S. permanent residency, then you must have thought about the process and how long it would take. It is not news that you will need to undergo several immigration processes on behalf of your employees before he or she is eligible to obtain a green card. Each process that is necessary can take several months or even years to complete. In this blog, you will learn about the detailed timeline regarding sponsoring employees for a green card. You will learn about the several necessary steps, along with the longevity, and potential ways to expedite some of the processes.
It is not a short period when it comes to obtaining a green card for a foreign employee–it actually can take up to a couple of years for it all to be done. However, it is important to note that in a lot of cases, the foreign employee does not have to wait for the green card in order to start working. Luckily, there is a temporary work visa, which foreign employees may use while they wait to obtain their actual green card.
The process to obtain a green card for your foreign employee typically involves three steps, which includes the following:
Successfully fulfilling a completion of the permanent labor certification on behalf of your foreign employe. This is also referred to as the PERM process and it can take anywhere from six months to several years to complete.
Getting approval of the I-140 visa petition on behalf of your foreign employee. This typically takes about four months to complete; however, there is a way that you can expedite this process that can reduce it to 15 business days.
Obtaining your foreign employee’s green card through approval of the I-485 application (if he or she is already working in the U.S. while using a temporary visa).
If the foreign employee is not in the U.S. working on a temporary visa, then he or she would have to apply through the U.S. consulate using different applications. This can take about six months and there is not an expediting process available for this.
How Long Will the PERM Process Most Likely Take?
Most times, foreign employees must go through the PERM labor certification process prior to obtaining a green card, but it is important to note that not all foreign employees must go through this process. The PERM process requires U.S. employers to place several job advertisements for the prospective foreign employee’s position and must verify to the Department of Labor (DOL) that there is no willing or qualified U.S. workers available for the job. This process in of itself is quite lengthy.
Below you will find an outline of the PERM steps, along with the general timelines.
The employer must define the responsibilities and requirements of the foreign employee’s position. It sounds like a simple, self-explanatory process; however, it can take weeks for this process to actually finalize. This plays a huge role in the immigration process, therefore, it is advised that an employer consults with an employment attorney Los Angeles.
After finalizing the first step, the employer must submit the foreign employee’s prevailing wage request to the DOL, which is to be submitted online. This provides the DOL with information on the job position, such as the responsibilities, requirements, and workplace location(s).
Next, the DOL will give the employer a prevailing wage determination, also known as PWD for the job position. The employer must pay the foreign employee nothing less than the prevailing wage. This process can take the DOL anywhere from five to seven weeks to provide the wage; however, this time frame can also vary.
There is a possibility that the DOL may want to redetermine the wage and/or the job responsibilities and requirements if the employer and DOL do not agree. This can cause a great delay if this does happen.
Once this process is all said and done, the employer can begin recruitment for the position, which involved several job advertisements and interviews with other potential candidates. This particular process requires several details, so it is important that the employer seeks an employment immigration lawyer to avoid any delays, inaccurate information, and so on.
Once the DOL approves the PERM, assuming that the DOL doesn’t reject anything, the employer can move on to the next step, which is the I-140 application.
How Long Will the I-140 Application Process Take?
This is the next necessary step that must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS). This application must include the following:
The original PERM application, which must be signed by the employer and the foreign employee.
Evidence of the employer’s ability to pay the foreign employee’s salary.
Documents confirming that the foreign employee is eligible and qualified for the position, such as educational credentials.
This process can take three to seven months; however, there is an expediting process available at an extra fee that can minimize the time to 15 business days. Speak to an immigration lawyer Los Angeles, as he or she will be more familiar with the expediting process.
How Long Will the I-485 (Green Card Application) Process Take?
Once the I-140 process is complete, the employee can file the I-485 application with the USCIS. This is the only application that the employee will have to file on his or her own in this particular case. This process can take up to about nine months.
It is imperative that the employer and employee speak to an employment immigration attorney to make sure that everything is done correctly to avoid any delays or revoked applications.
Speak to an Employment Immigration Attorney Los Angeles
At Alami Law, we have an abundance of experience in helping people with immigration processes of all kinds. Feel free to reach out to us to speak to a qualified and knowledgeable employment immigration lawyer.