Green Card for Employment-Based Immigrants

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If you want to sponsor a foreign national to become a permanent resident based on a permanent job offer, you and the foreign national need to go through a multi-step process. Process begins when the employer obtains an approved Application for Permanent Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). After the labor certification has been approved, the employer continues the process by filing Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, on behalf of the foreign national with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Eligibility for Adjustment of Status

If you are currently in the United States, in order to be eligible for a Green Card as an EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 immigrant, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
  • You were inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the United States;
  • You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
  • You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa;
  • An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file your Form I-485 and at the time USCIS makes a final decision on your application. (For information on visa availability, see Visa Availability and Priority DatesAdjustment of Status Filing Charts, and the Department of State website to view the Visa Bulletin);
  • The job offered to you in the Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker still exists with the employer that filed the Form I-140 on your behalf, and you plan to accept the job once USCIS approves your Form I-485. If you filed Form I-140 as a self-petitioner, you must plan to work in the same or similar occupational field as specified in your Form I-140;
    • Note: Even if you have a new job or employer, section 204(j) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)allows the approved Form I-140 to remain valid for adjustment of status purposes if:
      • You submit evidence that the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job in the original Form I-140.
      • The Form I-485 you filed based on the Form I-140 remains unadjudicated for 180 days or more; and
  • None of the applicable bars to adjustment of status apply to you;
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief; and
  • You merit the favorable exercise of USCIS’ discretion.

Inspected and Admitted or Inspected and Paroled


Eligibility to Receive an Immigrant Visa

You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa, if you are the beneficiary of:

  • An approved Form I-140 filed on your behalf;
  •  A pending Form I-140 (that is ultimately approved); or
  •  A Form I-485 filed together with the Form I-140 (and the Form I-140 is ultimately approved).
How to Apply

If you are currently in the United States, an immigrant visa is immediately available to you as an EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 immigrant, and you meet certain other requirements, you may file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to apply for a Green Card without leaving the country. This is called “adjustment of status.” If a visa is immediately available, you may file your Form I-485:

For information on visa availability, see Visa Availability and Priority DatesAdjustment of Status Filing Charts, and the Department of State website to view the Visa Bulletin.

What to Submit (Principal Applicant)

If you are the named beneficiary of a Form I-140, you are called the principal applicant. As the principal applicant, you should submit the following documentation and evidence to apply for a Green Card as an employment-based immigrant who is already in the United States:

Note: If you are a self-petitioner, submit a signed statement confirming you intend to work in the occupational field specified in the Form I-140;

Note: “Relative” means a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is your husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter, or a U.S. citizen who is your brother or sister;


Filing fee:

  • I-140 Filing Fee – $700
  • I-485 Filing Fee – This fee varies depending on how old you are and whether or not a biometrics service charge is applied. For a full table detailing the costs for the I-485;
  • Premium Processing Fee – $1,225

Where To File?

The filing address depends on whether you are filing Form I-140 by itself or with another form. Check the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-140 for instructions on where to mail your form.

Employment Authorization and Advance Parole Documents

Generally, when you have a pending Form I-485, you may apply for employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

You may also apply for an advance parole document by filing a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. An advance parole document authorizes you to appear at a port-of entry to seek parole into the United States after temporary travel abroad. If you need to leave the United State temporarily while your Form I-485 is pending, please see the Instructions for Application for Travel Document for more information. 

Important that, if you have a pending Form I-485 and you leave the United States without an advance parole document, you will have abandoned your application.


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