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Healthcare Workers

There are many immigration options available for healthcare workers to enter the United States. You will find specific information for Physical Therapists and Registered Nurses on our website. Please click on the link below to learn more about the immigration process for these healthcare occupations. For more detailed information about your specific situation, please contact us.


 

Nurses

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Immigration for Foreign-Born Registered Nurses Wishing to Enter the United States

For Registered Nurses wishing to enter the United States , obtaining a green card through employment is the most common route. There are several things that must be done before you can enter the U.S. to work as a Registered Nurse. You must have a U.S. employer willing to sponsor you, a diploma from a nursing school in your home country, a nursing license in your home country, and at least one of the following:

  • A full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the state of intended employment, or
  • A certification issued by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or 
  • Evidence that you have passed the NCLEX-RN licensing examination

Most states require you to pass the CGFNS exam before you can take the NCLEX-RN, so if you are not already licensed in a state, you should take the CGFNS exam. The following states require foreign nurses to pass the CGFNS examination before taking the NCLEX-RN:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

You also need to begin the Visa Screen process as soon as possible (this is in addition to the CGFNS exam). The process is lengthy and you must obtain your certificate from the International Commission on Healthcare Professionals before your Visa Interview.

Here is a list of the documents we will need from the Registered Nurse to process the case:

  1. Copies of academic degrees and transcripts
  2. Copy of nursing license from home country
  3. CGFNS Certificate
  4. Resume of Nursing Candidate

We will also need the following from the employer:

  1. Information on the health care facility
  2. Information about the job being offered
  3. A job posting notice to be placed at the employer's premises
  4. Paperwork to be signed by a company official
  5. Copies of federal tax returns (or a statement from the company's financial officer for larger employers)

By the time of your Visa Interview, you will also need to have the following:

  1. Visa Screen Certificate
  2. Police Certificates from your Home Country
  3. Police Certificates from every other country where you have lived for a period of 6 months or longer after the age of 16
  4. Birth Certificate
  5. Marriage Certificate
  6. Letter of employment
  7. Medical Clearance
  8. Pictures

The process begins when the U.S. employer files the I-140 petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once this petition is approved (approximately 90-120 days after filing), the approved visa petition is then forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth , New Hampshire.

The NVC forwards a packet to the nurse containing forms to be completed by the applicant and family members and a list of documents, which must be presented at the Visa Interview. The applicant should gather the Visa Screen Certificate, Police Clearances, Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, and any other items requested in the packet and send them to U.S. Consulate or NVC, as instructed.

The applicant attends the scheduled interview with all of the requested documents. If the application is approved, the Consulate issues an Immigrant visa stamp that is valid for 6 months, and gives the applicant a sealed envelope. You must enter the U.S before the Immigrant visa expires in order to complete the final processing.

When you arrive at the U.S. port of entry, you will be referred to secondary inspection. You will present the sealed envelope to the immigration officer and be fingerprinted. You will then be issued an I-551 form and obtain a visa stamp that is valid for one year. At that point, you are a Lawful Permanent Resident; the visa stamp is a temporary green card that can be used for work or travel. You can then obtain a social security number and apply for the state licensing examination. Within 4 to 6 months after entry into the U.S. , you will receive your actual green card.

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Immigration for Foreign-Born Registered Nurses Already in the United States

If you are already in the United States , you may be eligible to obtain your green card through employment. You must have a U.S. employer willing to sponsor you, a diploma from a nursing school in your home country, a nursing license in your home country, and at least one of the following:

  • A full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the state of intended employment, or
  • A certification issued by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or 
  • Evidence that you have passed the NCLEX-RN licensing examination

Most states require you to pass the CGFNS exam before you can take the NCLEX-RN, so if you are not already licensed in a state, you should take the CGFNS exam. The following states require foreign nurses to pass the CGFNS examination before taking the NCLEX-RN:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

You also need to begin the Visa Screen process as soon as possible (this is in addition to the CGFNS exam). The process is lengthy and you must obtain your certificate from the International Commission on Healthcare Professionals before your Adjustment of Status application can be adjudicated.

Registered Nurses are eligible for what is called Schedule A Labor Certification. This basically means that you don't have to file a labor certification at all (note, the labor certification is also known as PERM). Therefore, you can start at what normally would be the second step of the green card process, the I-140 petition.

Here is a list of the documents we will need from the Registered Nurse to process the case:

  1. Copies of academic degrees and transcripts
  2. Copy of nursing license from home country
  3. CGFNS Certificate, NCLEX results, or State license
  4. Resume of Nursing Candidate
  5. Copy of passport
  6. Copy of birth certificate (with English translation if necessary)
  7. Copy of marriage certificate (with English translation if necessary)
  8. Letter from your bank stating the account balances
  9. Medical examination
  10. Passport photos

We will also need the following from the employer:

  1. Information on the health care facility
  2. Information about the job being offered
  3. A job posting notice to be placed at the employer's premises
  4. Paperwork to be signed by a company official
  5. Copies of federal tax returns (or a statement from the company's financial officer for larger employers)

If Employment-based visa numbers are available at the time we file your case, we will include an application for Employment Authorization. This can be obtained in as little as two months depending on where your application is being processed. This will allow you to begin working as a Registered Nurse, assuming that you have obtained your state nursing license by this time.

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Physical Therapist

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Immigration for Foreign-Born Physical Therapists Wishing to Enter the United States

For Physical Therapists wishing to enter the United States , obtaining a green card through employment is the most common route. There are several things that must be done before you can enter the U.S. to work as a Physical Therapist. Most states require that you obtain an evaluation from a specific credentialing agency to determine whether the degree you received is substantially equivalent to an entry-level degree in physical therapy in the U.S. Each state has its own requirements so be sure to check with the state licensing board to determine where you can obtain your evaluation. You will also want to take the English language proficiency exam early in the process because you will need these scores in order to obtain your health care worker certificate.

At the same time, you should begin the process of obtaining your health care worker certificate because this is a lengthy process. You have two options for obtaining your certificate: FCCPT or CGFNS. You should contact these organizations to obtain more information about the requirements for the certificate. The health care worker certificate verifies compliance with an educational credentials review, English language proficiency requirements and verification of ability to practice in the country of education.

After you have started the process for your health care worker certificate and have obtained your evaluation specific to the state you are to be licensed in, you should request an application from the Board of Physical Therapy Examiner for your state. The Board will provide you with instructions about what documents you need to include with your application. Once your application to take the licensing exam is approved, you should request a letter from the Board stating that you are qualified to take that state's written licensing examination for Physical Therapists. This letter will be required in order to file the first part of your immigration application. Some states will allow you to designate a representative, such as your immigration attorney or your U.S. employer, who can receive the letter on your behalf.

Once you have the "visa letter" from the state licensing board, you can start the immigration process.

Here is a list of the documents we will need from the Physical Therapist to process the case:

  • Copies of academic degrees and transcripts
  • Copy of Physical Therapist license from home country
  • Visa Letter
  • Resume of Physical Therapist Candidate

We will also need the following from the employer:

  1. Information on the health care facility
  2. Information about the job being offered
  3. A job posting notice to be placed at the employer's premises
  4. Paperwork to be signed by a company official
  5. Copies of federal tax returns (or a statement from the company's financial officer for larger employers)

By the time of your Visa Interview, you will also need to have the following:

  1. Health Care Worker Certificate (from FCCPT or CGFNS)
  2. Police Certificates from your Home Country
  3. Police Certificates from every other country where you have lived for a period of 6 months or longer after the age of 16
  4. Birth Certificate
  5. Marriage Certificate
  6. Letter of employment
  7. Medical Clearance
  8. Pictures

The process begins when the U.S. employer files the I-140 petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once this petition is approved (approximately 90-120 days after filing), the approved visa petition is then forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth , New Hampshire . The NVC forwards a packet to the physical therapist containing forms to be completed by the applicant and family members and a list of documents, which must be presented at the Visa Interview.

The applicant should gather the Health Care Worker Certificate, Police Clearances, Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, and any other items requested in the packet and send them to U.S. Consulate or the NVC, as instructed. The applicant attends the scheduled interview with all of the requested documents. If the application is approved, the Consulate issues an Immigrant visa stamp that is valid for 6 months, and gives the applicant a sealed envelope.

You must enter the U.S before the Immigrant visa expires in order to complete the final processing. When you arrive at the U.S. port of entry, you will be referred to secondary inspection. You will present the sealed envelope to the immigration officer and be fingerprinted. You will then be issued an I-551 form and obtain a visa stamp that is valid for one year. At that point, you are a Lawful Permanent Resident; the visa stamp is a temporary green card that can be used for work or travel.

You can then obtain a social security number and complete the application procedure to apply for the state licensing examination. Most states require that you notify the board in writing of your current residential address in the U.S. The board will then mail you the rest of the materials needed to complete your application. Within 4 to 6 months after entry into the U.S. , you will receive your actual green card.

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Immigration for Foreign-Born Physical Therapists Already in the United States

If you are already in the United States , you may be eligible to obtain your green card through employment. There are several things that must be done before you can obtain your green card. You must have a U.S. employer willing to sponsor you. Most states require that you obtain an evaluation from a specific credentialing agency to determine whether the degree you received is substantially equivalent to an entry-level degree in physical therapy in the U.S. Each state has its own requirements so be sure to check with the state licensing board to determine where you can obtain your evaluation. You will also want to take the English language proficiency exam early in the process because you will need these scores in order to obtain your health care worker certificate.

At the same time, you should begin the process of obtaining your health care worker certificate because this is a lengthy process. You have two options for obtaining your certificate: FCCPT or CGFNS. You should contact these organizations to obtain more information about the requirements for the certificate. The health care worker certificate verifies compliance with an educational credentials review, English language proficiency requirements and verification of ability to practice in the country of education.

After you have started the process for your health care worker certificate and have obtained your evaluation specific to the state you are to be licensed in, you should request an application from the Board of Physical Therapy Examiner for your state (unless you are already licensed). The Board will provide you with instructions about what documents you need to include with your application. Once your application to take the licensing exam is approved, you should request a letter from the Board stating that you are qualified to take that state's written licensing examination for Physical Therapists. This letter will be required in order to file your immigration application. Some states will allow you to designate a representative, such as your immigration attorney or your U.S. employer, who can receive the letter on your behalf. You will then need to complete the steps necessary to obtain your license while we move forward with your immigration paperwork.

Once you have the "visa letter" from the state licensing board (not necessary if you are already licensed in the state of intended employment), you can start the immigration process. Physical Therapists are eligible for what is called Schedule A Labor Certification. This basically means that you don't have to file a labor certification at all (note, the labor certification is also known as PERM ). Therefore, you can start at what normally would be the second step of the green card process, the I-140 petition.

Here is a list of the documents we will need from the Physical Therapist to process the case:

  1. Copies of academic degrees and transcripts
  2. Copy of license from home country
  3. Visa Letter or license from state of intended employment
  4. Resume of Physical Therapist Candidate

We will also need the following from the employer:

  1. Information on the health care facility
  2. Information about the job being offered
  3. A job posting notice to be placed at the employer's premises
  4. Paperwork to be signed by a company official
  5. Copies of federal tax returns (or a statement from the company's financial officer for larger employers)

If Employment-based visa numbers are available at the time we file your case, we will include an application for Employment Authorization. This can be obtained in as little as two months depending on where your application is being processed. This will allow you to begin working as a Physical Therapist, assuming that you have obtained your state license by this time.

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Multiple Entry Visas

Third country nationals who are visiting, living, working, or studying in the U.S. and plan to apply for a new non-immigrant visa in one of the Canadian (Halifax, Montréal, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver) or Mexican border posts (Matamoros, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana) must have an appointment in advance.

EXCLUSION OF AUTOMATIC REVALIDATION OF A NONIMMIGRANT VISA

Effective April 1, 2002, aliens who have applied for and been refused visa issuance while outside the U.S. are prohibited from returning to the United States, even if they are in possession of a valid I-94 form. 

The previous regulation allowed individuals whose visas had expired but whose I-94 forms remained valid to re-nter the U.S. without obtaining a new visa. 

The exclusion from automatic revalidation will apply to aliens who attempt to re-enter the United States on or after April 1, 2002, regardless of whether their application for a visa was filed prior to that date.

Please Note: if you are currently residing in the United States out-of-status, you may not apply for a visa at a Canadian or Mexican border post. You must apply for the visa in your country of nationality.

Visitors to Canada:

Most visitors to Canada will need an appointment to apply for a visa at the U.S. Consular sections in Canada. An appointment does not guarantee issuance of a visa.
In general, visitors who wish to travel to the U.S. should apply at the U.S. Embassy in their home country before departure, where they are better able to demonstrate their ties to a foreign residence as required under U.S. immigration law.

Visa Appointment Scheduling
You can book your appointment in Canada online at: Visa Appointment Reservation System

To book an appointment in Mexico, visit: http://www.visa-usa.com.mx/

IF YOU ARE APPLYING FOR MUTIPLE ENTRY H-1B VISA YOU NEED TO HAVE THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Original I-797 approval notice;
  2. Attorney certified copy of the I-129 petition as presented to the USCIS
  3. A letter from your employer; 
  4. Documentation of your legal status in United States, this documentation can include:
    A. Recent pay stubs.
    B. Income Tax returns.
    C. I-20's, grade sheets, degree certificates etc.
  5. An application Form DS-156, completed and signed. Blank forms are available without charge at all U.S. consular offices; 
  6. A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States;
  7. Two photographs 1 and 1/2 inches square (37x37 mm) for each applicant, showing full face, without head covering, against a light background.

 

B-1 Visas

TIPS FOR U.S. VISAS: VISITORS - BUSINESS AND PLEASURE

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The "visitor" visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for leasure or medical treatment (B-2).

Persons planning to travel to the U.S. for a different purpose such as students, temporary workers, crewmen, journalists, etc., must apply for a different visa in the appropriate category. Travelers from certain eligible countries may be able to visit the U.S. without a visa on the Visa Waiver Pilot Program

QUALIFYING FOR A VISA

Applicants for visitor visas must show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The presumption in the law is that every visa applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:

1. The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
2. That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period; and
3. That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.

APPLYING FOR A VISITOR VISA

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Each applicant for a visitor visa must submit:

1. An application Form DS-160, completed and signed. Blank forms are available without charge at all U.S. consular offices;
2. A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States;
3. Two photographs 1 and 1/2 inches square (37x37 mm) for each applicant, showing full face, without head covering, against a light background.

OPTIONAL DOCUMENTATION

Applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as visitors under U.S. law. Evidence which shows the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the United States, and arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip may be provided. It is impossible to specify the exact form the evidence should take since applicants' circumstances vary greatly.

Persons traveling to the U.S. on business can present a letter from the U.S. business firm indicating the purpose of the trip, the bearer's intended length of stay and the firm's intent to defray travel costs. Persons traveling to the U.S. for pleasure may use letters from relatives or friends in the U.S. whom the applicant plans to visit or confirmation of participation in a planned tour. Persons traveling to the U.S. for medical treatment should have a statement from a doctor or institution concerning proposed medical treatment.

Depending on individual circumstances, applicants may provide other evidence substantiating the trip's purpose and specifying the nature of binding obligations, such as family ties or employment, which would compel their return abroad.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States. If the consular officer should find it necessary to deny the issuance of a visitor visa, the applicant may apply again if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not obliged to re-examine such cases.

U.S. PORT OF ENTRY

Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has authority to deny admission. Also, the period for which the bearer of a visitor visa is authorized to remain in the United States is determined by the USCIS, not the consular officer. At the port of entry, an USCIS official must authorize the traveler's admission to the U.S. At that time the USCIS Form I-94, Record of Arrival-Departure, which notes the length of stay permitted, is validated. Those visitors who wish to stay beyond the time indicated on their Form I-94 must apply to Extend their stay. The decision to grant or deny a request for extension of stay is made solely by the USCIS.

VISA WAIVER PILOT PROGRAM

Travelers coming to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. without a visa. Currently, 25 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Visitors entering on the Visa Waiver Pilot Program cannot work or study while in the U.S. and cannot stay longer than 90 days or adjust their status to another category.

E-Visas

Treaty or Trade Investors: The E Visa

The E Visa allows for a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce to come to the United States to carry on trade-including services or technology-principally between the United States and the treaty country, or to develop and direct the operations of a business in which the national has invested, or will invest a large sum of capital.

A list of countries with which the United States has an eligible treaty can be found at the following link:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/reciprocity/list_of_treaty_countries.htm

NOTE: India does not maintain an eligible treaty for purposes of obtaining an E Visa. If you are from India, please see our sections on L-1visas and H-1B visas for additional immigration options.

Treaty Trader Requirements (E-1)

  • The applicant must be a national of a treaty country. (See list at the link above).
  • The trading firm must have the nationality of the treaty country;
  • The international trade must be "substantial;" i.e., there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade;
  • The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm.
  • Most E-1 cases will originate at the alien's consular post abroad and do not require prior petition approval from the USCIS, unless the alien is seeking a change of status or extension of stay.

Treaty Investor Requirements (E-2)

  • The investor must be a national of a treaty country. (See list at the link above).
  • The investment must be substantial (at least 50% ownership).
  • The investment must generate significantly more income than just enough to provide a living for the investor and family;
  • The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk.
  • The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise or he/she must be employed in as supervisory, executive, or highly specialized capacity.

The maximum period of validity for the E-1 visa will depend upon the country of the alien's nationality, and is shown in the above-referenced list online. An E-2 nonimmigrant (including dependents) may be admitted for an initial period of no more than two years at a time. The spouse and dependent children of an E-1 visa recipient are entitled to the same classification of the principle alien and are permitted to engage in incidental activities, such as tourism or attending school. Spouses of E-1holders are eligible for an open market employment authorization document (EAD) which allows them to work for any employer.

PERM Labor lawyers houston

The process for obtaining permanent residence based on employment is normally comprised of three phases: labor certification, visa petition, and the application for permanent residence. This section of our website explains the first phase. Click on Green Card to the left in order to obtain detailed information about the other two phases of the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident.

Labor Certification:

The Department of Labor (DOL) has amended its regulations governing the filing and processing of labor certification applications for the permanent employment of aliens in the United States to implement a new system for filing and processing such applications. The Permanent Labor Certification Program, called PERM, went into effect March 28, 2005. The goal under PERM is to streamline and expedite the processing of labor certifications. Under PERM, the completion of the labor certification is expected to take 60 days or less. Please note however that some cases will undergo auditing and be subject to increased scrutiny. For this reason, our firm is here to assist employers in maintaining accurate records and ensure all the necessary steps have been properly completed. We have become very experienced in the PERM process. Our numerous approvals are evidence of our skill and our success in completing this process accurately and efficiently. We work to identify any potential problems up front. Common problems/issues include those related to the prevailing wage, experience gained on the job, education level required, and any special requirements as to the position. We will work with both employers and employees to resolve any problems at an early stage in the process.

A labor certification is a certification made by the United States Department of Labor that a shortage of qualified U.S. workers exists to fill the position held by the sponsored alien employee, and that the company will pay the employee the prevailing wage. The labor certification is valid only as long as terms remain unchanged; that is, the alien continues to work for the same employer. Based on the information we obtain from you, our office will draft the documentation necessary for this process. 

The first step involved in the process of sponsoring an employee for legal permanent residence is to obtain labor certification from the Department of Labor. This involves identifying and evaluating the sufficiency of the sponsoring company’s recent recruitment efforts including published advertisements, Internet ads, college recruitment, job fair participation, and employee referral bonuses, just to name a few. Should sufficient recruitment efforts exist, the case will be filed under the new PERM regulations with a significantly faster processing time. If the employer's recent recruitment efforts are insufficient to comply with the regulations, we can guide the employer's future recruitment efforts in order to allow the employer to sponsor the employee. 

The sponsoring company will need to undertake several forms of recruitment during the six months prior to filing an application for labor certification. For a professional position, there are four mandatory requirements. 

The company’s recruitment efforts must include:

1. Two Sunday advertisements placed in a major local newspaper;

2. Posting notice of the job opportunity on the company premises for 10 consecutive business days ; 

3. Placing a job order with the State Workforce Commission for 30 days; and

4. Obtaining a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Commission.

In addition, the sponsoring company must undertake at least three of the following: 

5. Participating in a job fair;

6. Posting the position on the employer’s website;

7. Use of a job search website other than the employer’s;

8. On-campus recruiting; 

9. Recruitment through trade or professional organizations;

10. Use of private employment firms; 

11. Use of an employee referral program with incentives; 

12. Posting notice of the job opening at a campus placement office if the job requires a degree but no experience; 

13. Advertisement in local and ethnic newspapers; or

14. Radio and television

The sponsoring employer should be able to demonstrate that qualified U.S. applicants are in short supply. The employer must demonstrate shortage on a case-by-case basis. Based upon the recruitment efforts of the sponsoring company, our office will draft a letter generally in collaboration with the employer’s Human Resources department and will specify:

15. The number of job openings; 

16. The number of résumés received; 

17. The number of openings remaining; 

18. Brief grounds for rejection of unqualified workers; and

19. That old résumés will be kept until the case is concluded.

Once all of these steps are accomplished, we will then electronically file the labor certification application. The expected processing time for electronically filed applications under PERM is 45 to 60 days. Under the previous system, the processing time was anywhere from one to three years. The application may be subject to an audit, which can increase the expected processing time.

Please note that applying for a labor certification does not bind the employer legally. The employer remains free to dismiss the employee or to take other personnel action as it would with regard to any other employee. Also, the employer may withdraw the labor certification application at any time. 

On the other hand, the application does not bind the employee to the employer either. However, it is important, before expending great amounts of time and effort that the employee is sure that there is relative job stability and that the employee will be remaining with the employer at least until the whole process has been completed.

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