TO: Prospective Employer
RE: Labor Certification and Permanent Residency

With long-term employment and residency in the USA planned, a Labor Certification process to attain Permanent Residency is practical. These are the steps to obtain a Labor Certification and approved Immigrant Petition--steps to becoming a lawfully admitted Permanent Resident with a green card.

The three steps are: 1) Labor Certification to prove to the Department of Labor's satisfaction that the prospective Employer cannot find qualified US workers to fill that position; 2) an Immigrant Petition as an Employment-Based Immigrant; 3) application for Immigrant Visa through the U.S. Embassy (or application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident within the USA, if eligible at that time). The result is Permanent Residency or green card status in the USA. The application originates with a job offer by a U.S. employer to the foreign national. The employer can be an individual U.S. Citizen or a U.S. educational institution (nonprofit or for-profit) or a corporation incorporated in the USA. The job can be pre-existing or newly-created. The job can be one you are performing now or a different job.

The U.S. employer (person or entity) is responsible to:

1. offer a full-time, permanent (no definite completion date) position;
2. not be owned or controlled by the foreign beneficiary/family;
3. offer typical salary for that position in the geographic area;
4. offer typical working conditions;
5. describe job and minimum skills and educational requirements to perform the job satisfactorily;
6. advertise the position, post the job opening at the job site, and list the position with the Department of Labor for a recruitment period of at least 30 days;
7. prove that no U.S. workers applied who were qualified, willing, able and available for the position;
8. IF the position is unionized, then employer must give notice of the filing of the Labor Certification application to the bargaining representative.

We are available to assist the employer and employee throughout the Labor Certification process. Overall, the employer must offer the job and evaluate applicants. We can handle almost everything else.

From the employer we need a job description of the specific duties and responsibilities and the minimum education or training or experience needed to perform the job. Then we can prepare the application and most paperwork for employer's and employee's review and signature. We supply the posting notice, and we place the ads. A detailed job description is needed. The position must be advertised, and you will only want to hear from qualified, capable applicants, if any. The employer can only require skills needed for the position which the beneficiary possessed when first hired for the position [if previously employed by this employer].

Applicants not hired must be rejected for business-related reasons. We can supply sample rejection letters, as appropriate, once the employer decides to reject the applicant/s.

Next an immigrant petition is filed to classify the position and the person's qualifications for visa issuance. A copy of Employer's tax return is filed with this petition to prove that Employer has the financial capability to pay the salary offered. An exception exists for companies employing more than 100 workers.

Effective August 2002, the beneficiary of the Labor Certification [and spouse and under-21-year-old, unmarried children] can seek Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident at the same time the immigrant petition is filed. An Employment Authorization Document can be issued to each qualifying family member. Or in many cases, the person and family can choose to process for an immigrant visa more quickly through a U.S. Consular Section outside the USA in six to seven months after the immigrant petition is approved.

Note that a student can pursue Labor Certification without having to wait for the degree to be completed.

Processing times vary greatly around the USA, but in the southeastern USA the process often requires 36 months due to backlogs in the Department of Labor. The U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services/USCIS processing can take another 18 to 24 months. If the person completes the immigration process through a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consular Section abroad, then another six to seven months are required. We are ready to prepare, file and follow through on the Labor Certification and Permanent Residence/green card whenever you wish. We can prepare ALL filings for signature, and we are available to help the employee and the employer throughout the process. We need a detailed description of the job offered to prepare the filings.

Let us know when you are ready to proceed.

Beryl B. Farris

* Congress enacted a revision to the U.S. Immigration Law, effective October 1, 1994, which allows some people to file a 'penalty' filing fee [$1,000 after Dec.28, 1996] in lieu of appearing at a U.S. Embassy/ U.S. Consular Section interview abroad.

WARNING: Beginning April 1, 1997 people present in the USA in >unlawful status= who remain as long as 181 days will incur a 3-year bar to immigration or nonimmigrant return to the USA. If such >unlawful status= persons accumulate 12 months in the USA, then a 10-year bar applies. RARE exceptions apply to this new bar to immigration. There is a separate standard is used for Teaching Faculty positions at colleges and universities if the college or university can document their prior recruitment efforts to fill that position within the prior 12-18 month term. Thus a teaching faculty position at a college or university is the best job offer possible and the quickest processing time. We can assist you with this procedure anywhere in the USA. Immigration law is a federal law and does not require local counsel for processing.

Let us know when you are ready to begin.