A green card permits immigrants to achieve permanent residency in the United States via family or job sponsorship.

The process of international migration is arduous enough, let alone the fact that the green card application procedure differs by path and processing durations vary depending on your scenario. employment-based green cards are generally widely used by foreign workers to gain permanent residency.

To assist you, we’ve created this guide that covers all of the words and actions you’ll need to know to apply for a green card successfully!

PERM Processing

Employers must go through the PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) labor certification process to hire a foreign worker. It is the first stage in the process of obtaining a green card for a foreign national.

The processing time for a PERM Labor Certificate has fluctuated greatly over time and continues to do so now, depending on various circumstances, including how it is presented. If certain requirements are satisfied, the PERM processing period in 2021 might take roughly six months after filing for it.

Most employment-based green card applications for foreign professionals are handled by two distinct US government agencies: the Labor Department (DOL) and the United States Citizenship Department and Immigration Services (USCIS). An authorized DOL Labor Certification is required before an employer may apply for a green card on behalf of a foreign citizen with the USCIS.

PERM Labor Certification Steps

We must first go through an overview of the PERM process to gain a good picture of how long you should expect the PERM processing time to take. The fundamental stages are as follows:

  • The tasks and minimal prerequisites for the employment must be defined by your company. This should provide a thorough explanation of the experience, education, and abilities necessary to accomplish the job.
  • The employer then files for the amount of the prevailing wage he can offer based on the employment location and economic climate.
  • Your company will next have to go through a lengthy hiring procedure. This entails placing many adverts on various sites and conducting interviews with applicants from the United States.
  • Lastly, your employer must fill out the ETA-9089 form.

PERM Processing Time

To have a quick estimate of the processing time for permanent labor certification through the PERM process, we need to take into account the time taken by each step:

1#Prevailing Wage

The amount of time taken by DOL to determine the prevailing wage depends upon the requests; it depends on how many there are and which location they are for. It has taken almost two months for the prevailing wage determination to arrive and only a few weeks at other times. It is critical to plan ahead of time.


This step usually takes an average of around 30-60 days.

3#Application Form 9089

Once 9089 is filed, the DOL can take up to several months to give PERM approval. Audit reviews can also further delay the processing time.

The entire PERM application process takes up an average of six-twelve months. The DOL may choose to audit an application in order to examine it more thoroughly. If this is the case, the overall processing time will likely increase dramatically.

Generally, an audit is issued six months after PERM is filed. You have 30days to respond. After submitting the response, it may take up to nine months for a final decision.

Premium processing service

A possible way to expedite the processing time is to opt for a premium processing service. Premium processing can be bought from immigration officials for an extra $1,225 and will cut the PERM labor certification processing time in half to two weeks.

Employment-based green card

Employment-based green card

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The United States admits around 700,000 immigrants into the US each year. A total of 140,000 people are offered the option to settle in the United States under an employment-based visa.

For employment-based visas that confer permanent residency, there are five degrees of preference, each based on an individual’s education, job experience, and level of skill in a particular profession.

“EB” is abbreviated for “employment-based,” and each number after “EB” indicates the category each person prefers:

EB-1 is the primary choice.

EB-2 is the second option.

EB-3 is the third most popular option.

EB-4 and EB-5 visas are also available, although they do not fall under the same preferential scheme as the first three EB visas. The most popular visas are the EB-2 and EB-3 visas.

EB -2 Visa

EB-2 has a second preference and is valid for a foreign worker having an advanced degree or skill. The further subcategories of foreign workers that are applicable for EB-2 visas include:

1#Advanced Higher Degrees

In order to be eligible for the EB-2 advanced degree subcategory, a foreign worker must have a master’s or doctorate degree from the United States or a foreign equivalent of equal value. Furthermore, the employer must demonstrate that a master’s degree is required for the job being offered or filled.

With a bachelor’s degree from the United States or a foreign equivalent and progressive experience worth five years following graduation, a foreign worker can qualify for this classification.

2#Exceptional ability

Those who are qualified as having extraordinary skills or expertise in the sciences, arts, or business and who can assist the United States economically, culturally, or educationally are also eligible for the EB-2 visa.

An individual must be able to present a minimum of three of the following requirements to be considered exceptional:

  • Official academic records demonstrate extraordinary aptitude in a certain field.
  • An authorized license to practice the skill.
  • Membership in a professional organization
  • Documentation that demonstrates an experience period of ten years in a particular profession.
  • Proof of a high-paying job that exhibits extraordinary abilities
  • Other equivalent proof of professional accomplishment and skill is also acceptable, such as achievement recognitions from other professionals in the same business or subject.

3#National Interest Waiver

The subdivision between the EB-2 and the EB-3 that does not need a labor certification or a job offer is the EB-2’s subcategory of National Interest Waiver.

This section discusses foreign workers who are welcomed to the United States in the national interest.

Without the assistance of a sponsoring company, those looking for a national interest waiver can self-petition. Individuals with extraordinary potential who are unable to locate an employer but think their employment would considerably benefit the country are considered NIW candidates.

EB-3 Visas

EB-3 is the third preference visa category applicable for those who are skilled in some specific profession. Requirements for this visa are less strict as compared to those of EB-2 visas. The subcategories for EB-3 are:

1#Skilled Workers

Individuals who have completed at least two years tenure of full-time training or job experience in a given sector are classified as EB-3. The work experience should not be of temporary or seasonal nature. At the time of their admission to the country, the applicant must also have a permanent, full-time employment offer on the table.

The petitioner’s employer must get labor certification by demonstrating that there are no US workers available to do the job in question. This entails posting the vacancy on several bulletin boards and waiting a certain time period before the organization can hire someone from another country.


The EB-3 is designed for working professionals in industries where a bachelor’s degree is a frequent requirement for employment. The candidate must be able to show they have a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent, as well as meet any other labor certification criteria.

3#Other workers

Unskilled employees, or other laborers, fall into the final subcategory of EB-3. Individuals who can demonstrate the ability to work full-time in unskilled labor can be admitted to the United States. This needs fewer than two years of experience, although labor certification is still required.

The application process for EB-2 and EB-3

The PERM labor certification process is required in both EB2 and EB3. After the labor certification application has been approved by the US Department of Labor, (Form I-140) must be filed. After that, the foreign worker who wants to apply for EB2 or EB3 visa files for an immigrant visa or a change of status.

#EB-2 and EB-3 Processing time

For both EB-2 and EB-3, PERM labor certification is required, whose processing time takes about six-twelve months. The processing time for form-I-140 takes about six-nine months. This time period can be shortened up to a mere period of 15 days through premium processing.

#Priority Date for Each Case

A priority date is a specific date number assigned to each foreign worker. Priority dates are allotted with respect to the position of the application in the queue to be reviewed. The Visa bulletin releases a chart of such priority dates every month.

These dates differ for different countries depending upon the number of immigrants hired from these areas. Once the priority workers reach their date, they can file further for legal permanent residence.

#Porting from EB-3 to EB-2

Applicants want to move their EB3 visa petition to the EB2 category since the EB2 has a shorter waiting period for priority dates.

EB3 to EB2 porting necessitates a job offer from either the same or a different sponsoring company. The new job may be more difficult, and it may demand an advanced degree or five years of progressive work experience with a bachelor’s degree.

Your company will have to file another PERM labor certification. Your employer will need to file a fresh I-140 petition when this is completed.


For permanent residency, any of the two employment-based green cards can be opted for. The complexity of the immigration law can make this entire process a tedious one; however, professional guidance through a skilled attorney proves to be beneficial.

The attorney-client relationship makes it easier to understand the puzzle pieces of the visa processing and saves one a great deal of time and money.

Why choose Herman Legal Group?

To negotiate the choppy waters of immigration law in the United States, you’ll need the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney. Consult the Herman Legal Group, an U.S. based immigration law practise with more than 25 0years of expertise in representing people, families, and businesses in all facets of immigration law.

A consultation can aid in the discovery of a winning plan. Call 1-216-696-6170 to schedule an appointment with one of Herman Legal Group’s experienced immigration lawyers, or book online.

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