Having the Right Job for Permanent Residency
"Occupation-based" green card
opportunities are those available only to people who work in a
particular occupation. The policy reason for each of these
categories is different from one another, but the fundamental point
to remember about them is that they do not
require a "labor certification." Two of these categories require a
permanent job offer, but one (doctors) does not.
- Certain multinational
executives or managers can obtain their green cards by
showing that they served for a minimum period in another
country in an executive or managerial position with the
parent, subsidiary, or affiliated company of a U.S. company
and that they have a permanent job offer from the U.S.
company to work here in an executive or managerial position.
Of course, there are lots of other requirements that you have
to meet to be able to use this category, but this path does
not require a labor certification.
- Nurses and
Physical Therapists represent a
worldwide shortage, so they can obtain a green card by
showing that they have a permanent job offer to work as
a nurse in the United States, they speak English sufficiently
well, and they meet other criteria. They can work at a
anywhere in the United States. They do not
have to work in any kind of "shortage" location.
Doctors, unlike nurses, can obtain their green cards by
agreeing to work for at least 5 years in a
federally designated "shortage" area. A permanent job is
not required. Technically, this process is called a
"national interest waiver," but it is different from
the other "national interest waiver" provision discussed above
-- in fact the history of doctors and the national interest
waiver provisions (old and new) is an interesting one.
- Special note for
doctors: Doctors are not limited to only
national interest waivers. They can also obtain their
green card through a labor certification. In fact,
immigration issues for doctors and their families are
generally quite complex, particularly for those who obtain
the graduate medical education in the United States.
To sustain economic growth for the United
States, U.S. employers are allowed to hire workers from other
countries when it is not possible to find qualified and willing U.S.
workers for the position.
There are primarily two categories of
shortage-based immigration: 1)
labor certification; and 2) "Schedule
A." Labor certification is a
process through which a U.S. employer proves that it cannot find a
minimally qualified U.S. worker for a specific position in a
specific location. "Schedule A" is a list of occupations for
which the U.S. Department of Labor has determined there is an
insufficient number of U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified
and available. Inclusion on Schedule A also establishes that the
employment of foreign workers in such occupations will not adversely
affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly
employed. Currently, the only occupations explicitly listed on
Schedule A are physical therapists and professional nurses.
The approval of a "labor certification"
or "Schedule A" application allows the U.S. employer apply to the U.S.
Citizenship & Immigration Services for a green card for the foreign
worker. More details are included in the following links: