If you have read the previous several blog entries, then you know we have been talking about the PERM-GC process, and how it is used to obtain a green card through an employer. So far, we have covered just the first stage of the PERM-GC green card application process, which can take up to 1.75 years. In this entry, we will cover the remaining 2 stages, which generally take about 1.5 years total. After the application outlined in the previous entries has been accepted by the Department of Labor, then the next step that needs to be performed is that your employer must file an I-140 with the Department of Homeland Securities, which must take place within 6 months after the date the labor certification was approved. Along with the I-140, the following documents must be filed:
Proof that the employee meets all of the listed requirements for the job, and met them at the time they were first hired by the company,
Proof that the company will be able to pay the standard wage for the job listed,
The originally filed labor certification
In the current market, it takes roughly 12 to 18 months for the I-140 to be approved. As this date fluctuates based on demand, there is no way to tell for sure when the results will be back. If you wish to speed up the process, they do offer what is called premium processing. It applies to most (but not all) I-140 cases, has an additional filing fee of $1000, and guarantees that you will receive a response to your I-140 filing within 2 weeks, or you get your money back. If your case is still determined to be “current” when you file for your I-140, you can also choose to file for your green card interview, as well as your work and travel authorizations. If you are not determined to be current, then you will have to wait for the I-140 response. The third and final stage of the PERM-GC process is the green card interview. When you file for your interview (assuming your case is current), you can choose to have it either on United States soil, or in your home country. For the most part, it is faster and cheaper to have the interview in your home country, but it is not always possible to do so. For example, you may be required to do multiple visa extensions prior to the interview, you may need a police certification for any country that you lived in for at least 1 year since you were 16, and you will have to remain employed the entire time you are waiting for your interview. This can make things often more of a hassle than anything. There is quite a bit of good news on the green card interview front, however. A lot of the time, immigration is choosing to simply waive the green card interview. This may not always be the case, and as so many other things, fluctuates regularly, so be aware. Hopefully this information and these tips have helped you become more confident in your PERM-GC application. If you ever have any questions about the immigration process, do not hesitate to contact an experienced immigration attorney, to obtain personal legal advice.