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Employer Information

E-Verify Employment Eligibility

How To Verify Employment Eligibility (Form I-9 and E-Verify)

As an employer, you may need to hire foreign labor when a U.S. citizen is not available. As a starting point you will need to consider whether you wish to petition for permanent residence (a green card) for your prospective employee to work here permanently or whether you wish to petition for someone to come temporarily to the United States to fill an employment need.

Permanent Workers

Foreign workers may obtain permanent residence (a green card) if they are able to establish that they have unique skills, or are being offered a job in the United States that will not displace a U.S. worker or have an adverse effect on wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. This determination is made by the Department of Labor and is demonstrated by obtaining a “labor certification.”

Permanent worker visas are broken into five preference categories. For a description of the preference categories, see the “Permanent Workers” link to the left.

Department of Labor: Labor Certification

A U.S. employer who is “sponsoring” or petitioning for a permanent worker may be required to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) verifying that there are an insufficient number of available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position, and that the employment will not have an adverse effect on the wages and working conditions of similarly situated U.S. workers. For more information, see the “Permanent Labor Certification” link to the right.

Permanent Residence (a Green Card) Through a Job Offer

Many people become permanent residents through a job or offer of employment. Some categories require a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor to show that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available in the geographic area where the immigrant is to be employed and that no America workers are displaced by foreign workers.

In other cases, highly skilled workers, those with extraordinary ability in certain professions, and investors/entrepreneurs are given priority to immigrate through several immigrant categories. In all cases, the process involves several steps. Main ways to immigrate based on a job offer or employment are:

Green Card Through a Job Offer

You may be eligible to become a permanent resident based on an offer of permanent employment in the United States. Most categories require an employer to get a labor certification and then file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, for you.

Green Card Through Investment

Green cards may be available to investors/entrepreneurs who are making an investment in an enterprise that creates new U.S. jobs.

Green Card Through Self Petition

Some immigrant categories allow you to file for yourself (“self-petition”). This option is available for either “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability” or certain individuals granted a National Interest Waiver.

Green Card Through Special Categories of Jobs

There are a number of specialized jobs that may allow you to get a green card based on a past or current job. All of these require a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, For information on how you can obtain a Green Card Through a Job Offer feel free to Contact one our Immigration Attorneys Calls, letters and electronic mail are welcome.

Temporary Workers

There are several temporary (nonimmigrant) categories which allow a foreign national to work in the United States. For a list of these nonimmigrant categories of temporary workers, as well as information on the petitioning process, see the “Temporary Workers” link to the left.

Department of Labor: Labor Condition Application

Some nonimmigrant categories require that a U.S. employer obtain a certification of labor condition application from the Department of Labor. That application requires the employer to state (“attest”) that it will comply with the following requirements:

  • The employer must pay a wage that is no less than the wage paid to similarly qualified workers or, if greater, the prevailing wage for the position in the geographic area.
  • The employer must provide working conditions that will not adversely affect other similarly employed workers.
  • The employer must attest that there is no strike or lockout at the place of business of the prospective temporary worker.
  • The employer must give notice to the bargaining representative or post a notice at the place of business that a labor condition application has been filed with the DOL.

How To Verify Employment Eligibility (Form I-9 and E-Verify)

All U.S. employers must verify the employment eligibility and identity of all employees hired to work in the United States after November 6, 1986 by completing an Employment Eligibility Verification form (Forms I-9) for all employees, including U.S. citizens. Employers who hire or continue to employ individuals knowing that they are not authorized to be employed in the United States may face civil and criminal penalties.