Navigating the Path to a Green Card Through Employment in 2023

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes up to 140,000 immigrant visas—or green cards—available every year for noncitizens (and their spouses and children) who want to immigrate based on their job skills. If you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience and are otherwise eligible, you can live permanently in the United States.

You can explore becoming a permanent resident through an employer if you fall under certain categories. If your employer completes a labor certification, they may be able to sponsor you by filing out Form I-140. There are also options for a green card through investment.

The employment-based green card process is a multi-step process that lets you live and work permanently in the U.S. as a foreign national. Although the green card process can be complicated and lengthy, it’s essential to becoming a permanent resident in the U.S. Hiring an experienced immigration attorney can help you in the process.

First Preference EB-1 Green Card

The EB-1 green card is an employment-based first preference immigration category for individuals of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, or multinational managers and executives. To qualify, you must meet certain criteria specific to your respective subcategory.

  • If you have extraordinary ability, you must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim in fields such as science, arts, education, business, or athletics, primarily through major awards or significant evidence of their achievements.
  • If you’re an outstanding professor or researcher, you must have international recognition in your academic field, with at least three years of teaching or research experience.
  • If you’re a multinational manager or executive, you must have been employed in a managerial or executive capacity outside the U.S. for at least one year in the preceding three years by a firm or corporation related to the U.S. employer.

Second Preference EB-2 Green Card

The EB-2 green card is an employment-based second preference immigration category for professionals holding advanced degrees or individuals with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. You must fit into one of these qualifications and generally need a specific job offer and labor certification, though some exceptions apply.

  • If you’re a professional with an advanced degree, you must possess a U.S. master’s degree or higher (or a foreign equivalent) or a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent) followed by at least five years of progressive experience in their profession.
  • If you have exceptional ability, you must show a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in their field. In some cases, if your work benefits the U.S. significantly, you can seek a National Interest Waiver (NIW) in order to bypass the labor certification and job offer requirements.

Third Preference EB-3 Green Card

The EB-3 green card is an employment-based third-preference immigration category designed for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers. You must fall into one of these subcategories and typically require a specific job offer and an approved labor certification unless certain exceptions apply.

  • If you’re a skilled worker, you must have a minimum of two years of training or work experience in their field.
  • If you’re a professional, you should possess a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent) relevant to your profession, with the job in question not accepting experience in place of the educational requirement.
  • “Other workers” refers to individuals who perform unskilled labor that requires less than two years of training or experience.

For all of these categories, the prospective U.S. employer must demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position.

Steps Towards Obtaining Your Employment-Based Green Card

Here are some of the steps of the employment-based green card process in detail.

  1. Job Offer: You secure a full-time, permanent job offer from a U.S. employer.
  2. Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD): Your employer files a request with the Department of Labor (DOL) to determine the standard wage for the job.
  3. Labor Certification (PERM): Your employer makes efforts to recruit U.S. workers who may be available for the role. If none are found, your employer files a PERM Labor Certification with the DOL.
  4. Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker: After PERM approval, your employer submits Form I-140 to USCIS to demonstrate their ability to pay the offered wage and request visa classification.
  5. Priority Date Wait: You monitor the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin. Your priority date (typically the PERM filing date) must become current before you move forward.

If you’re filing for an Adjustment of Status (AOS) OR if you’re seeking consular processing:

  • If you’re within the U.S., you File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, once your priority date is current.
  • If you’re outside the U.S., you’ll wait for notification from the National Visa Center (NVC) to start consular processing and then attend a visa interview at a U.S. embassy/consulate.
  1. Medical Examination: You must attend a medical examination with a USCIS-approved physician.
  2. Biometrics Appointment: If you’re applying through AOS, you must attend an appointment to have your fingerprints and photos taken.
  3. Interview: If the USCIS requires an interview with you, you must attend the scheduled interview at the local USCIS office or U.S. embassy/consulate.
  4. Decision: You’ll receive the USCIS decision on your green card by mail. If you’re approved, you’ll receive an approval notice and, shortly thereafter, your green card.
  5. Pay USCIS Immigrant Fee: Before you receive your green card, you must pay the USCIS immigrant fee online.
  6. Green Card Receipt: After you are approved, and you pay your fee, you’ll receive your physical green card in the mail.

How an Immigration Attorney Can Help

It’s advisable for you to hire an immigration attorney during your green card process because U.S. immigration laws can be complex and multifaceted nature of U.S. immigration laws. Your attorney can help you navigate the system and ensure that all your documents are accurately prepared and submitted—which can help minimize the risk of delays or denials. Your attorney can also give you strategic advice that’s specific to your case and represent you in interactions with USCIS or DOL.

Contact an Immigration Attorney

Do you have questions about how to obtain your employment-based green card? Then contact US Immigration Law Counsel through our website or by calling 1-800-666-4996. We deal with the government so you don’t have to. We look forward to helping you at this time.


Schedule Your Consultation Now


All fields are required. Florida Immigration Law Counsel is a law firm. However, the use of the internet or this form for communication with us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. We will discuss your options with you.

More Posts

More Posts

Attorney Saman Movassaghi, Esq.

Caring and compassionate, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is a Florida immigration attorney dedicated to producing the results her clients need. She has over 17 years of experience helping both corporate and individual clients with an emphasis in employment/investment cases and family adjustment cases.

As the Managing Attorney at Florida Immigration Law Counsel, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez and her team are capable of representing and helping individuals looking to attain a Family VisaWork Visa, and Citizenship/Naturalization. Her experience successfully representing clients in front of the Department of Justice for cases involving Deportation/Removal Proceedings will lead to success in your case.

Her experience and expertise in immigration litigation has led to multiple Avvo awards and other accolades, including the Clients’ Choice for 2017 Immigration Attorney. Her clients also consistently post positive reviews on her Facebook page. Her experience has also allowed her to teach a new generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University, and she also regularly gives speeches on immigration matters.

Counselor Gonzalez is also experienced in helping corporate clients through the process of filing for Employment Visas, Labor Certifications, and Business and Investment Visas with the Department of Labor. She takes on the entire case from start to finish, simplifying the process for her clients and allowing them to focus on their business.

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Farsi – Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is dedicated to making her clients feel comfortable and assured in making her their go-to immigration attorney in Florida. Her goal is to ensure that those who want to live the American dream have a professional fighting for them and making the process as painless as possible.

Saman’s passion for immigration law stems from her personal life as the daughter of immigrants. Her parents were recipients of the student F1 visa in 1971. Her father came into this country with the goal to improve his life and the life of his children. He earned a PhD in Civil Engineering and Business, instilling in his daughter a strong work ethic that she carries to this day. Saman saw firsthand what it means to be an immigrant and achieve the American Dream.

Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez can personally understand the struggle of immigrants and the children of immigrants navigating through the bureaucratic process of immigration law. Because of this, she dedicates herself fully and provides her personal attention to every case. She prides herself on developing a strong relationship with each and every client, and she is not afraid of pushing the envelope and looking for answers where other attorneys have failed.

Saman Movassaghi makes it her goal to provide you with only the best representation for immigration matters because she believes it’s time for you to live the American dream!