How to Sponsor an Immigrant Worker for a Green Card

How to Sponsor an Immigrant Worker for a Green Card


If you have a valuable employee that you’d like to keep around indefinitely then you can sponsor them for a green card by going through a specific application process. You can only do this for EB visa holders or dual-intent temporary work visa holders like the H1-B, the L-1, and the O-1 work visas.

Here’s what you need to do, assuming your employee meets all other eligibility requirements for a green card.

Step 1: Apply for a Labor Certification Application (LCA)

You must apply for an LCA before any immigrant worker starts work.

This is an application that you send to the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Once it is approved it will be valid for up to 3 years for dual intent visas and up to two years for EB visas.

When you apply you’ll need to show the following:

  • You provide American workers the same or better wages and benefits that are being provided to immigrants. 
  • You provide American workers the prevailing wages and benefits for similar jobs in your geographic area.
  • Hiring immigrant workers will not adversely affect the working conditions of similarly employed workers.
  • There are no strikes, lockouts, or work stoppages at your workplace.
  • You’ve provided American workers notice that you’re applying to hire American workers.

You must file this form 6 months prior to any immigrant employer beginning to work at your company.

You might also need an ETA Form 9089, an Application for Permanent Employment Certification, to have your employee classified as a member of a profession holding an advanced degree or has exceptional ability, is a professional, is a skilled worker, or is an unskilled worker.

Step 2: File a Form I-140

The I-140 is the “Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker” petition. Your company is essentially going to be acting as that valuable immigrant’s sponsor.

You will need to submit your LCA with the I-140. You’ll also provide other documentation and evidence. For example, EB employees will require evidence that they have exceptional ability.

You’ll also need to provide an employment verification letter, pay stubs from the priority date to date, copy of the educational qualifications, credential evaluations, a copy of the immigrant’s passports and in some cases other forms, approval notices, and cards. You might also need a financial audit report.

It’s usually a good idea to prepare the entire application packet with the help of an immigration lawyer. 

Step 3: Keep the Employee Employed

Once you file the Form I-140, the employee will receive a “priority date.” This is essentially your employee’s place on the waiting list. Your employee will need to track this date. Eventually it will become “current,” which gives them the right to finish applying for an adjustment of status.

Work With a Local Immigration Attorney

Your local immigration attorney can help give your employee their best chance at successfully navigating the process and attaining lawful permanent residence status. This can save a great deal of time and money and insure that your investment into your employee won’t be wasted.

Contact our office today to get started.

See also:

Is a Work Visa a Path to a Green Card?

I-140 Petitions

How to Hire an H-1B Worker

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