Alternatives to Labor Certification Process
Other Immigration Categories Through Employment
Whether your company recently reduced its workforce or the general job market is simply not strong enough to support an application for Labor Certification (PERM), there are other employment-based permanent residency option that do not require proving there is a shortage of qualified and willing US workers.
Additionally, these categories often lead to permanent residency in much less time, and should be considered even if Labor Certification is a viable option.
EB1A - Extraordinary Ability Aliens
Candidates must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. USCIS defines extraordinary ability as "a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor."
For this category, one may qualify by demonstrating a one time achievement, such as winning the Nobel Prize or Academy Award. More commonly, candidates demonstrate extraordinary ability by showing a career of acclaimed work in the field of endeavor (e.g., multiple publications, approved patents, being invited to judge the work of others, being written about, earning high remuneration, membership in associations that require outstanding achievement, etc.). This category does not require a job offer and therefore, can be self-petitioned.
EB1B - Outstanding Researcher/Professor
Candidates must be able to demonstrate international recognition as outstanding in his or her field of research or teaching (e.g., received major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement, belonging to associations that require outstanding achievement, having been written about by others, served as a judge of the work of others in the field, contributed original work to the field, held leading or critical role(s) for distinguished organizations, and/or authored scholarly articles or publications).
In addition, candidates must possess at least three years of experience in research or teaching and the employer must employ at least three full time research employees. This category requires a job offer and therefore, candidates cannot self-petition under this category.
EB1C - Multinational Managers or Executives
This category applies to candidates who have worked at least one year within the last three years outside the US with a company that shares common ownership with the US employer, in a managerial or executive capacity and will be employed in the US in a managerial or executive capacity.
This category requires documentation showing relationship between the US and foreign office as a branch, parent, affiliate or subsidiary. The roles of managers can be those who have direct reports who are professional-level employees (i.e., possess a bachelor’s degree) or those who manage functions.
National Interest Waiver Immigrants
Candidates must prove his/her immigration will be in the US’ national interest. USCIS has recognized the following as being in the US national interest:
- Improving the US economy;
- Improving wages and working conditions of US workers;
- Improving education and training programs for US children and under-qualified workers;
- Improving health care;
- Providing more affordable housing;
- Improving the environment; and
- Involving a request from an interested U.S. government agency.
This category falls under the second preference employment based immigrant visa category and does not require a labor certification process. Candidate may self-petition under this category.
If you or one of your employees may potentially qualify for one these immigration categories, please contact our office for a detailed analysis.