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Corporate Immigration:Permanent Visas:Green Card Processing Options:Stages in the Permanent Residence Process

Priority Worker

Certain employment-based permanent residence cases are exempt from having to obtain Labor Certification from the DOL which can be a costly and time consuming process. Examples of those exempt include: multi-national managers (individuals currently in the U.S. in L-1A intracompany transfer classification), those with outstanding or extraordinary abilities, and those who qualify for a National Interest Waiver.

Stage 1: Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

Priority Workers begin the permanent residence process by filing an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (I-140) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS). In this stage, CIS confirms that the position qualifies as exempt from Labor Certification and determines the potential employee's eligibility for the position.

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Stage 2: Adjustment of Status (Concurrent Filing) or Consular Processing

Subsequent approval of the I-140 will entitle the foreign national to proceed with the final step in the permanent residence process by either filing an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (I-485) or by attending a final immigrant visa interview overseas. Interestingly, priority workers in the EB-1 preference category are currently permitted to concurrently file the I-140 and I-485, assuming their priority date is current. Although the final adjustment application will not be adjudicated until the I-140 is approved, both can be put "in line" to be processed at the same time. Upon approval of the I-485 application or consular processing, the foreign national will receive his or her permanent resident card/green card.

Click here to learn more about the option of adjusting status or consular processing.

Permanent Residence FAQs

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