Employment immigration is the practice of a country hiring workers of exceptional skill from outside of its borders to come and do work in that country. The United States engages in this practice to compensate for the lack of available American workers with a specific skill set.
In order for an immigrant worker to come to the United States, an employer must file a petition. First, an employer must confirm that the potential employee is able to accept work within this country. There are two types of employment immigration processes, one for temporary workers and the other for permanent workers. Temporary workers come to the U.S. short term for things like agricultural seasons, entertainment and participating in exchange programs. Permanent workers most often have to have a job offer in place in the United States and have that employer act as their sponsor. Only a certain number of visas are allowed per year for immigrant workers and their families.
There are several different types of petitions for an employer to choose from based on criteria. For immigrant workers there are first, second and third preference employment based petitions. First preferences are those of extraordinary ability, second preference hold advanced degrees and third preferences are skilled workers. Other petitions are made for widow[er]s and immigrant entrepreneurs.
If a candidate expresses great talent in a field such as the arts or business, and has the right combination of skills and education, that person may not need a sponsor and may be able to live in the United States permanently. These individuals may apply for a green card without a sponsor, but this instance is very rare. These individuals are considered to be the absolute best in their field. To gain this status, it’s required that the employee continues to exercise that talent by doing work in a way that benefits the United States.
Prior to submitting a petition for an immigrant worker, the United States Department of Labor has to ensure that there are no able United States workers to fill the position. This measure is taken so that the foreign laborer does not displace or disqualify a U.S. worker for the same job. It is commonly known that immigrant workers are willing to accept cheaper wages, so this also helps to make sure employers aren’t just hiring foreign help in order to pay a lower rate for work.
Specific situations are determined on a case-by-case basis. In order to be sure of your immigration status, you have to get a consultation from an immigration attorney.