HILG Immigration Articles

Employment-Based Green Card In 3 Stages

Heller Immigration Law
  • The following article details the three steps in which employment-based Green Cards are processed.

    STAGE 1: Labor Certification (Department of Labor)


    • Employee, with manager’s assistance, forwards to HILG information necessary to begin the case.


    • Employee’s information and documents are reviewed and organized.
    • Attorney performs legal analysis and develops case strategy.
    • First draft of job notice is sent to employee and manager for approval.
    • HILG exchanges drafts and consults with the employee and Human Resources Department, and manager until the Human Resources and Manager approves a final job notice.


    Once the job notice is approved,

    • Obtain job/wage classification from SWA (State Workforce Agency) (4-8 weeks).
    • Obtain evaluation of academic degree (if necessary).
    • Once prevailing wage is received, initiate internal company posting and obtain confirmation (3 weeks).
    • Employer conducts recruitment (30 days must expire after the required requirement before the application can be filed)
    • Employer provides recruitment results to HILG
    • HILG assembles recruitment documentation package to be maintained according to PERM.
    • Help employee draft and obtain reference letters.
    • Prepare final form for employee and company.
    • Prepare company’s recruitment letter.· Final check of all documents and letters.
    • Labor certification application form is filed with DOL.

    DOL (Department of Labor)

    • DOL reviews and adjudicates the labor certification
    • If approved, DOL returns the application to be signed by the employer and the employee

    STAGE 2: Company I-140 Petition (CIS)


    Once the labor certification is approved, HILG will:

    • Prepare forms for company.
    • Assist in preparing the company’s employment letter.
    • Obtain final forms and letter signed by company.
    • Final check of all documents, forms, and letters.
    • I-140 application is filed with CIS.


    • CIS examines position requirements, determines if applicant meets all requirements, and assigns applicant a preference category.
    • I-140 application is adjudicated by CIS.

    STAGE 3: Employee I-485 Adjustment of Status Application (CIS)


    • If not eligible to file with the I-140, HILG tracks priority dates of cases subject to quota.


    Once an employee has a current priority date, HILG will:

    • Provide final advice to employee to gather required documents and medical exam.
    • Prepare final forms for employee and company.
    • Get final forms signed by employee.
    • Assemble package with all documentation.
    • Final check of all documents, forms, and letters.
    • File I-485 and requests for advance parole and employment authorization documents.

    Advance Parole (AP – travel permission)

    • AP (advance parole) approved and received.
    • Employee and dependents can now travel outside the US

    Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

    • EADs approved and received for employee and dependents.
    • Employee’s dependents are now authorized to work in the United States

    I-485 approved

    • Employee and dependents are now permanent residents.

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