Next series of articles is about Green Card. Today’s article is about Green Card Steps for  Employment based EB2 and EB3 category.

  • Green Card Steps for EB2 and EB3 (this article)
  • Steps : From F1 to Green Card
  • Green Card Processing Time

There are two three main ways to get to obtain Green Card in USA ( lawful permanent resident status)

  1. Family based
  2. Employment based

This article will focus on the employment based green card process. Let’s say an employee is working in H1B Visa. Employee then would have go through the following process to get Green card. Green Card process is driven by Employer.

There are three stages for Green Card for EB2 and EB3.

  1. PERM/Labor Certification Stage
  2. I-140 Immigrant Petition Stage
  3. I-485 Adjustment of Status Stage

 Green Card steps

Stag1 : PERM Labor Certification

PERM/Labor Certification stage is the first step in the green card process.

PERM stands for Program for Electronic Review Management.


During this step Employer have to prove that there are no qualified American Citizens for this positions and  foreign workers not taking jobs away from U.S. citizens.

Here is an interview of Typical PERM Process.

  • HR Manager inform Immigration Attorney about filing Green Card for specific employee.
  • Initial Meeting : Manager, employee, HR and Immigration Attorney
  • Job Description : Drafted, revised and finalized
  • Prevailing Wage determination request submitted to U.S. DOL (Department of Labor)
  • Recruitment phase
  • If no qualified US workers identified, file application with DOL. Date when the application is filed with DOL is your Priority Date.
  • DOL processes and approves PERM Labor Certification

Stage 2: I-140 Immigration Application

Next step in the Green Card process is I-140 Immigration Application. After Labor Certification Application has been certified by DOL I-140 application can be filed.

Why I-140?

  • verify employee meets job requirements specified on the PERM/Labor Certification Application
  • Verify the sponsoring employer can pay the offered wages to the employee.

After I-140 is approved, H-1B employee will be able to extend the H1B for 3 years period beyond initial 6 years.

Stage 3: I-485

Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status, the actual green card application which will be filed after I-140 application is approved by USCIS and Green card visa number is available based on the employee’s country of birth, employment-based classification, and visa priority date.

You could be born in India and have Australian Citizenship. But, Visa number availability is based on country of birth.

Priority date is the date that the PERM/Labor Certification Application was filed with the DOL.

Long wait times are due to unavailability of Visa numbers.  There is certain number of Green card applications are made available per year per category per country.

Every month Department of State publishes the Visa Bulletin,  with available visa numbers based on priority dates.

For example, If your Priority Date is May 2008 under EB2 category (India) as per September 2013 Visa Bulletin, you become eligible to file I-1485 application in the month of September 2103.

While filing I-485 application, you could file for EAD and Travel Permit (Advanced Parole).

If the priority date moves back from  in next months, then visa numbers will not be available. You would have to wait till visa numbers available to get Green Card.

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