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If you’re interested in immigrating to the U.S., you’ll need to carefully follow the rules and procedures for legal immigration. One of the avenues that may be available to you is employment-based immigration. With some eligible employment opportunities, you may get a visa that allows you to stay and work in the country, and could even set you on the path to citizenship, if you want it.
Employment-based immigration is an option for U.S. citizenship. Foreign workers who meet one the applicable categories of employment may obtain a worker visa that allows them, their children, and their spouse, to come to the U.S. and eventually gain citizenship. The bases for employment visas include, but are not limited to:
There are a few ways to start the worker visa process. You’ll usually need to fill out a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129). In some cases, your new employer will need to get a labor certification or sponsor your visa. There will be filing and application fees associated with your applications, which usually amount to a few hundred or few thousand U.S. dollars. If you already have a job waiting for you in the U.S., your employer may help cover some of these costs for you.You’ll need to provide certain documents when applying for your visa. Usually this includes passports, medical records, vaccination records, financial information, birth certificates, and marriage certificates, among others. You will also need to participate in an interview at your present country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Your honesty will be imperative during the interview and documentation processes. Fraud or misrepresentation could get your applications denied.
If you’d like to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S., you’ll need to fill out an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) to get a green card. If you already have a job offer, that offer must still be good at the time of your filing. If you are arriving before getting a job, you’ll need to file as a self-petitioner and agree to work in the field that you listed on the forms for your worker visa. Your employment paperwork must be approved in order for you to get your green card. Once you have it, you’ll follow the procedures for naturalization with a green card. These procedures include requirements like:
You’ll have additional forms to fill out, and possibly more interviews. Your family may also be eligible for citizenship through your work and will have paperwork to fill out. So if you have necessary skills that can land you a job, you may have a path to living and working in the U.S. that could lead to permanent residency and citizenship.
When it comes to immigration and whether you can live and work where you want, every detail matters. When the slightest paperwork error or missed deadline can mean years of delays, it is essential to do things right the first time. An experienced immigration lawyer can address your particular needs with employment based immigration, and put you in the best position for a positive outcome. Take the first step now and contact a local immigration attorney to discuss your rights and specific situation.