How to Sponsor Family for Employment-Based Green Cards
There are various paths to becoming a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) in the United States. From securing work visas to petitioning for marriage-based green cards, there are numerous benefits to obtaining a green card or lawful permanent resident (LPR) card in the U.S., such as the ability to:
- Enter and exit the U.S. freely
- Live and work permanently in the U.S.
- Apply for government benefits or welfare
- Apply for business and commercial licenses
- Apply for federal student loans and attend U.S. universities
- The opportunity to sponsor family members for U.S. immigration
- Apply for U.S. citizenship after 5 years as a green card holder (or 3 years for green card holders married to a U.S. citizen)
In addition to sponsoring family members for family-based green cards, U.S. employers can also file petitions to sponsor blood relatives for employment-based green cards. While this can be an effective way for immigrants to reunite with family in the U.S., this process can be tricky to complete successfully.
Keep reading to learn about the eligibility requirements for sponsorship and what steps immigrants can take to sponsor family members for lawful employment-based U.S. residence.
Challenges of Sponsoring Family for Employment-Based Green Cards
A primary obstacle to sponsoring family members for employment-based green cards is the need to support the legitimacy of your petition with sufficient evidence. In other words, employers must demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor that they aren’t abusing or taking advantage of the legal system by sponsoring family members for employment-based green cards rather than family-based green cards, as the latter is generally more time-consuming and restrictive.
This is largely because employment-based green cards have fewer limitations and can be obtained faster than family-based green cards, prompting U.S. officials to take precautions to ensure that sponsors aren’t simply trying to evade overcrowded application processes and restrictions.
Which Family Members Are Eligible for Employment-Based Sponsorship?
As mentioned above, sponsoring family members for employment-based immigration is typically less restrictive than sponsoring a relative for a family-based green card. This is partly because employment-based sponsorship extends to a broader range of family members and includes any familial relationship through blood, marriage, or adoption, such as:
- Cousins of any degree
- Partners in same-sex marriages
PERM Labor Certification Process
After filing a petition to sponsor a family member’s employment-based immigration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will review the application to determine if it was made in good faith, or without fraudulent intentions. For the application to be accepted, all of the following criteria must be met:
- The job is legitimate;
- The family member meets the job qualifications; and
- There are no qualified U.S. candidates available for the position.
Tips for Sponsoring Family for Employment-Based Immigration
While it’s possible to sponsor a family member’s employment-based immigration, the process can be tricky. It’s crucial to discuss your case with a qualified immigration lawyer before filing your petition so they can guide your steps accordingly and provide sound counsel tailored to your unique circumstances.
Generally, petitioning employers can benefit from keeping these best practices in mind:
- Recruit a third party to help with applicant screening – In many cases, recruiting assistance from a third party during the hiring process can strengthen the evidence for your application, as it can help demonstrate to DOL that 1) candidates for hire were evaluated objectively; and 2) there were no qualified candidates available for the position in question.
- Provide sufficient documentation – It’s imperative that the sponsoring employer include strong supporting documentation with their application to show that the family member they intend to sponsor is qualified, genuine, and appropriate for the open position. Examples include proof of lawful admission to the U.S.; letters from employers detailing salaries, benefits, or job duties; diplomas, certificates, or transcripts verifying relevant qualifications; and any other relevant evidence to fortify the petition.
Red Flags to Avoid During Employment-Based Sponsorship
It can be helpful for aspiring sponsors to recognize and understand the “red flags” that may signal fraudulent activity to the U.S. Department of Labor. Common mistakes that can invoke suspicion include:
- Sponsoring a family member who founded the company
- Sponsoring a family member who owns all or part of the company
- Sponsoring a family member who already manages or contributes to company operations in any way
- Sponsoring a family member who plays any essential role in the company
- Sponsoring a family member with unique qualifications tailored to the exact position
Going the Distance to Make Your American Dream a Reality
At Maghzi Law Firm, we understand how confusing and frustrating navigating U.S. immigration processes can be. From filling out required forms to backlogged processing to expensive filing fees, there’s a lot for families to worry about when seeking lawful residence in the United States. That’s why our compassionate immigration law firm is here to help.
With our successful track record representing South Carolina families in a range of immigration matters, our resourceful immigration lawyers have the extensive experience, in-depth knowledge, and drive to guide your steps with care and wisdom. When it comes to safeguarding your hard-earned freedom in the U.S., don’t settle for less than strong representation from our dedicated immigration attorney.
Complex immigration laws shouldn’t prevent you from obtaining the American freedom you deserve. Call (843) 800-2750 to schedule a free consultation.