With an H1B visa, you’re eligible to work in the U.S. for up to six years—after that, you’ll have to return to your country of citizenship for a minimum of one year before you can re-apply for H1B status. But what if you need to stay longer? Luckily, there is another option: H1B visa green card, also known as “permanent residency.”
Just like with the H1B visa, your application for a green card will have to be supported by your sponsoring employer on your behalf. If your employer elects to sponsor you, you’ll be eligible for an EB2 or EB3 employment-based green card. In order to go from H1B to green card, you’ll need to follow these steps:
1. PERM Labor Certification
First, you’ll need to file a labor certification application with PERM (Program Electronic Review Management). Your employer cannot petition for your green card until after your labor certification application is approved by the Department of Labor (DOL). In order to complete this step, you’ll need:
- Prevailing Wage Determination
You will need to request a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the DOL. After you provide the DOL specific details regarding your job responsibilities, requirements, and location, they will determine the minimum salary your employer must offer you for your position.
Before your employer can hire you for your position permanently, they must first conduct a recruitment process to make sure that there are no U.S. workers who are qualified for the position. In order to fulfill this step, your employer must complete the following requirements: release a minimum of three job advertisements, and additional two Sunday newspaper job listings, and a job posting with their state’s workforce agency.
- ETA Form 9089
Once the DOL has provided a prevailing wage and the requirements for the recruitment process have been satisfied, your employer must file an Application for Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089) with the DOL.
2. File an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140)
Once the ETA Form 9089 is approved, your employer must file Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker). This form verifies that you are eligible for an employment-based immigrant visa and that your employer is capable of paying you the prevailing wage that was determined by the DOL.
3. Adjustment of Status
The final step of the H1B visa to green card process is to apply for permanent residency through the Adjustment of Status process. In order to do this, you must first file form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status)—alternatively, you could file this form at the same time as Form I-480. After USCIS approves your forms, you will receive your green card. You will also receive a stamp on your passport that signifies your changed status of H1B to green card holder.
Applying for a green card can be difficult process as there are many potential road bumps along the way. For more information on the H1B green card process, contact the experts at Katz Law Office, Ltd. today for a free consultation.
None of the advice contained in these materials serves as a substitute for individualized legal representation by a licensed attorney with experience in the practice area.