Employment-Based Permanent Visas
There are several ways to obtain a permanent visa, and the costs vary. There can be two or three steps: labor certificate, visa petition, and adjustment.
b. The corporate transferee. This is for a manager or an executive of a foreign corporation who has been employed for more than one year abroad and fills a managerial or executive position in an affiliated company in the U.S. This is not available to the specialized knowledge transferee.
c. National Interest Waiver. This is for a person who is doing work that is in the national interest.
d. Investor. This is for someone who invests $1 million in a new business and hires ten U.S. workers; an investment of only $500,000 with five U.S. workers is possible in high unemployment areas.
e. Labor Certification: The traditional route for permanent employment authorization. This involves proving that there is a shortage of qualified U.S. workers and that therefore the company needs to hire a foreign worker.
For a person who has an international or national reputation, has won prizes or awards or has made an impact in research, has published, has been cited by other scholars or served as a judge of the work of others, this is the best route to a permanent visa. No labor certificate is required. Time frame: nine to twelve months.
The corporate transferee:
This is for a manager or an executive of a foreign corporation who has been employed for more than one year abroad and fills a managerial or executive position in an affiliated company in the U.S. If you have a good business in another country, with a number of employees, and you can open a subsidiary in the U.S., also with a number of employees, this may be a possibility.
National Interest Waiver:
This is for an individual who is doing work that is in the national interest, i.e., creating jobs, doing public good. In this category, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services requires heavy documentation of public interest involved, and the employee must hold a graduate degree or be a person of "exceptional merit and ability." Time frame: nine to twelve months.
This is for someone who invests $1,000,000 dollars (US) in a new business and hires at least ten full-time American workers; or in a low-employment area, invests $500,000 and hires at least five American workers.
This involves proving that there is a shortage of qualified U.S. workers and that therefore the company needs to hire a foreign worker. For the person who does not fit the other categories, this is the procedure to be undertaken. The first step involves applying to the U.S. Department of Labor for labor certification. This is a lengthy process. Where the company has trained the alien, it must establish that the alien now fills a different job and/or that it is not feasible to train a U.S. worker.
Pathways to Permanent Residence