There are two ways in which a foreign national can bypass the requirement of a job or job offer and PERM Labor Certification and apply for US permanent residence. They are the priority worker EB1A category for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability and the exceptional worker EB2 NIW – National Interest Waiver category. Although these are employment based immigrant categories, neither require actual employment or even a job offer prior to the filing of the application or the approval.
The requirements of each category are quite stringent and a casual observer may believe that a Nobel prize is required to get an EB1 petition approved, this is not the case. Likewise, the NIW requirements can be overcome with a strong legal argument.
The benefits of the EB1 and NIW are enormous: Speed, Cost, and Freedom.
- A normal labor certification process can take years. The labor certification must be approved before the the employer can even file a sponsorship petition with the USCIS. EB1/NIW petitions can be concluded in one year.
- Labor certification requires costly advertising fees and the employer is burdened with the monetary and time expense. Employers may pass these costs on to the employee through lower wages.
- While these petitions are pending the employee is tied to the employer until the process is completed. During this time, the employer wields an enormous amount of power over the employee which places the employee in a very weak position.
If in the United States, an applicant may submit both an EB1 and an NIW petition simultaneously. At the same time, the foreign national may apply for permanent residence for him or herself and his or her spouse and children. When permanent residence application is filed the applicant and the spouse may also apply for an EAD to work and advance parole to travel while the petition is pending. The work permit allows the holder to work for any United States employer and the travel document allows to travel internationally without abandoning their petitions.
We will be happy to review your case and let you know if you are qualified for either EB1 or NIW or if you have other options. You may contact us by e-mail or by phone at 312-751-9960.
While our office are located Chicago, IL, the vast majority of our clients are located in other states. Immigration law is federal law so we are licensed to file immigration petitions on behalf of clients worldwide.