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Employment-Based Immigration in California: Key Considerations With an Immigration Lawyer

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Employment-Based Immigration in California: Key Considerations With an Immigration Lawyer

Many global citizens immigrate to California due to the richness of the market and the diverse economic opportunities that are available. However, it can be difficult to work through the available employment-based immigration avenues. Therefore, it is critical to have the insight of an experienced California immigration lawyer who can walk you through any of the different processes, as there are several key considerations to keep in mind for employment-based immigration.

Key Employment-Based Considerations in California

There are multiple factors that must be taken into account when pursuing legal status through employment in California, including the following:

  • Whether there is a need for employer sponsorship
  • Whether the employer must complete the PERM process
  • Whether the green card category requires certain experience levels or skill sets
  • The changing rules and regulations surrounding immigration

While all these factors are important to consider when embarking on your employment-based immigration journey, it’s also important to understand the different types of employment-based green cards and their requirements, as that can most efficiently help you find the one that fits your needs.

Understanding Employment-Based Green Cards

If you are looking into getting an employment-based green card, or if you are currently going through the application process, then you may likely be feeling overwhelmed and confused. There are many kinds of employment-based green cards, and the application process for all of them is different, based on their requirements and timelines.

EB-1 Employment-Based Green Card

An EB-1 green card is for priority workers, and the following individuals may be eligible for receiving such a residence permit:

  • Executives and managers who work for multinational corporations
  • Researchers and professors who are leaders in their field of work
  • Individuals who possess extraordinary capability in athletics, education, the arts and sciences, and business

To obtain an EB-1 green card, you do not need to have received an offer from a company or organization that is willing to sponsor you. The advantage of such an employment-based green card is that you can self-petition for it.

EB-2 Employment-Based Green Card

An EB-2 employment-based green card, however, requires the sponsorship of a U.S.-based organization or company. The following individuals may be eligible for receiving an EB-2 green card:

  • Professionals or academics who obtain a position that requires a master’s degree
  • Professionals or academics who obtain a position that requires a bachelor’s degree and 5 years of relevant experience
  • Individuals who obtain positions of national interest
  • Individuals who obtain positions in the arts, sciences, or business that require outstanding abilities

Individuals who qualify for an EB-2 green card are generally known as professionals who have exceptional abilities or advanced degrees. Physicians who have a special waiver can also apply to work in rural or underserved areas in the United States under an EB-2 green card.

EB-3 Employment-Based Green Card

An EB-3 visa is for certain skilled, unskilled, and professional workers who require an employer sponsorship. To apply for this type of work-related green card, the company must go through a labor certificate PERM process. Eligible workers include those who have at least 2 years of relevant experience, those who have less than 2 years of relevant experience, and those who hold a bachelor’s degree.

EB-4 Employment-Based Green Card

Special workers, such as professionals in religion or media, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan nationals who served the U.S. government, may be eligible for an EB-4 visa. Additional special workers who may qualify include certain kinds of employees or retirees, along with their close relatives.

EB-5 Employment-Based Green Card

The EB-5 green card is suitable for investors who have plans to invest at least one million dollars into the country or $500,000 into underserved or underdeveloped areas. The money must be invested into creating a U.S.-based business that will create at least 10 new employees.


Q: Do I Need an Employment-Based Immigration Lawyer in California?

A: If you are an individual, family, or business facing immigration-related issues in California, then it is advisable to work with an immigration lawyer. They can analyze the details of your case and determine which avenue is most optimal for you to achieve your immigration goals. They can also help you avoid any minor mistakes or disqualifications that could delay or jeopardize your entire application.

Q: Do I Need a Green Card for Employment in California?

A: If you are a foreign national hoping to work in California, then you will first need to obtain a work-related visa to enter the country. The visa will be allotted for a certain period of time. Based on your eligible criteria, you may be able to apply for a green card to obtain lawful permanent resident status.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Get an Employment-Based Green Card?

A: If your employer files a Form I-140, which is a petition to modify your legal status with the USCIS, then the processing can take anywhere from 5 to 8 months. However, if there are any issues with your application, or there is a request for additional evidence, then your processing may take anywhere from 3 to 6 months longer.

Q: Do I Need a Sponsor for an Employment-Based Green Card in the United States?

A: Not every type of employment-based green card in the United States requires a sponsorship. For example, the EB-1 application requires you to show that you have particular skills that make you outstanding in your field of work, and it can be applied for through self-petitioning. If you are unsure whether your application requires sponsorship or not, and how to obtain it, then it is advised to work with an experienced immigration lawyer.

Get the California Employment-Based Immigration Support That You Need

At US Law Center, our immigration law firm understands the complexity and uncertainty that can come with immigrating to the United States for employment reasons, whether you are alone or with your family. Businesses looking to hire foreign talent can also face legal challenges. The immigration law team at our California-based firm is here to support hardworking individuals who are pursuing the American dream. Get in touch with an immigration attorney from our team today to get started.

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