Now 3-year wait for employer-sponsored green-card processing

A fee of $2,500 can reduce the waiting period by 7 months

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This year, the processing time for employer-sponsored green cards has again increased. Now, it will take at least three years to process. However, the process can be speeded up against payment of $2,500, though it will still take two years and five months.

A green card allows legal permanent residence in the US to immigrant workers. However, the process of obtaining it is becoming tougher and more time consuming with every passing year. About six years ago, it took about 16 months less time.

What took less than two years earlier, and could be achieved in a year and a half against payment of $2,500, will now take over three years. Payment of $2,500 will only reduce the time taken by seven months!

Not only does it take a lot of waiting, sometimes years, for a green card cap slot, but the process of complying with various rules before filing for green card also takes months.

The process is initiated by the employers in case of employer?sponsored immigrants, but requires active participation of the employee at every step — starting with prefiling, which requires a lot of documentation, to the application.

After putting together all the relevant documents as proof of eligibility for a green card, including experience details as well as employer’s payment ability, the job requirements and associated skills are evaluated by the Department of Labour so that a prevailing wage determination can be issued. The employers are also required to submit proof of having issued several newspaper ads to prove that they tried to hire local US workers, and actually interviewed locals who fulfilled the basic demands of the jobs. The employers are then required to seek labour certification from the Department of Labour, to certify that no US workers met the minimal qualification criteria or responded to the ads. The Department of Homeland Security then verifies the workers before declaring them fit for sponsorship and also verifies the employers’ affordability. The green card application can finally be made after a thorough background check and medical check.

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