Upon receiving an approved labor certification, our office prepares a visa petition to be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The purpose of the visa petition is to prove to the Immigration Service that:
1. The position has been certified by the Department of Labor,
2. The employee meets all of the requirements listed on the labor certification, and
3. The sponsoring company has sufficient resources to pay the employee's salary. Also, this step will establish whether the employee is a second preference (normally a person with at least a Master’s level education) or third preference (a person with less than a Master’s level education) immigrant. In some cases, the preference for which the employee qualifies may determine how long it will take to immigrate to the United States. In some cases, it takes a person with a third preference approval longer to immigrate than a person with a second preference
During the visa petition phase, it will be necessary to submit documentation from the employer demonstrating its ability to pay the employee's salary. This will usually be in the form of a federal tax return, or for larger companies, a letter or annual report. In addition, it is at this step in the process that we will be submitting documentation regarding proof of the employee's education and experience. Therefore, at that time, we will need diplomas, transcripts, and letters from previous employers, as required. Normally, we request those items early in the labor certification process.
Assuming that the labor certification has been approved and that we have the necessary documentation, there should be no problems at this stage. On occasion, we may disagree with the Immigration Service as to whether a person should be classified as second preference or third preference immigrant. However, if that issue arises, we will provide a complete briefing of any possible ramifications.
By the time we file the visa petition, we must decide whether the employee will be applying for permanent residence here in the United States or at an American Consulate abroad. Normally, the application for permanent residence will be processed here in the United States. There are, however, reasons that may dictate processing through an American Consulate in the employee ’s home country such as the need for frequent travel abroad, local USCIS time delays, ineligibility for processing in the United States, etc.