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H1B VISA to Green Card Process

Getting a VISA to the US is nearly everyone’s dream at one point to become a part of the nation of freedom and independence. Though there are different categories of getting a permanent residency at the US, usually work permits in the US are graded as H1B. In case you want to change your job while still being on a H-1B visa, there is a provision for that as well.  Those who own H1B VISA are able to live and work in the US for 6 years, after which they may either go back to their native country or re-apply for VISA as a permanent resident.

Following are the steps that need to be taken in order to turn H1B VISA into a Green card. Bear in mind that only a sponsor employer can help you change your work permit from H1B to a permanent residency, so before you take any step, ensure your employer is willing to assist you.

Step 1: Labor Certification by PERM

The first step is Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) which is a necessity in obtaining a work based Green Card (categories include EB2 and EB3). When Department of Labor or DOL approves the PERM request, the next step involves filing a green card petition which is done by the sponsoring employer.

Following are a part of the PERM Labor Verification:

Prevailing Wage Determination:

The PWD requires providing details of the employee regarding his job description, requirements and location. The DOL then issues a PWD which the employer will have to use as the base salary requirement in the PERM phase and after.

Recruitment Process:

In this phase, the employer has to go through a recruitment phase where they publish an advertisement, usually of the same job, to see whether an already existing American worker is able to do the same job or not. The process involves posting the job in two Sunday newspaper job section, one posting in the State’s workforce agency and any three other advertisements.

ETA Form 9089:

Once the PWD and the recruitment phases are completed, the employer will have to file an ETA Form 9089 to DOL, which is Application for Employment. This can be done either through the mail or electronically.

Step 2: Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

When the ETA Form 9089 gets approved, the sponsoring employer must file the Form I-140. Here is the “Ability to Pay” requirement for PERM and I-140 petitions. This sets the ground for the fact that the employee is eligible for an immigrant visa and the employer has enough resources to pay wages which are inscribed in the PERM stage. This form can be filed simultaneously to the I-485 Form which is for Adjustment of Status (known as concurrent filing).

Step 3: Adjustment of Status

This is the final stage for applying for permanent residency. Also known as the Adjustment of Status, it is done by filing the I-485 Form. Once the form gets approved, the employee will initially get a stamp on his passport and will later be handed the physical green card. If the employee wishes, he or she can also file for the EAD or the Employment Authorization Document and the Advance Parole.

Congratulations you have successfully gone from an H1B VISA to a Green card!

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