Many intending immigrants are often eager to know whether they can qualify for permanent resident status due to their employment in a specialized job category. While there are a number of specialized job categories that can lead to legal permanent resident status, the categories are narrowly tailored. Those who wish to qualify for a Green Card through their employment must be able to satisfy both timing requirements and individualized requirements or characteristics the intending immigrant must be able to meet.
Each of the specialized occupational categories has its own defined requirements. While an experienced immigration attorney cannot assess whether an individual can satisfy these requirements without first performing a thorough investigation and analysis, we can discuss the generalized requirements for a number of these specialized job categories.
Physician National Interest Waiver Can Confer Green Card Status
Through the EB-2 employment-based visa, professionals holding advanced degrees along with those individuals holding exceptional ability are permitted to obtain U.S. citizenship. While in most cases employment-based immigration requires a job offer and satisfaction of the labor certification process, there are some scenarios where this requirement can be avoided. However, if the intending physician-immigrant can demonstrate that the granting of the EB-2 petition is in the national interest of the United States, the petition may be granted via a national interest waiver.
To qualify for a national interest waiver (NIW) the physician must generally agree:
- To work full-time in a primary care facility. Acceptable types of primary care facilities include family medicine, general practitioner, obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN), pediatrician, or other specialty physician.
- You must agree to work for a defined period of time. For most physician NIW cases, at least five years of service is required.
- The physician must serve in one of the following areas: Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Mental Health Professional Area (MHPSA)(for psychiatrists only), a Medically Underserved Area (MUA), a Veterans Affairs facility, or Physician Scarcity Area (PSA)(for specialists only).
- You must obtain an attestation from a federal or state agency stating that you are qualified as a physician and working in the public interest.
Physicians interested in applying for a national interest waiver to receive their green cad must complete Form I-485 and submit ample supporting evidence and documentation.
Long-term International Organization Employees Can Also Often Qualify for Permanent Resident Status
U.S. immigration law also contains provisions that can allow long-term employees of recognized international organizations to apply for a green card. Green card status can also be conferred on the family members of the worker of the recognized international organization. Examples of recognized international organizations are NATO and International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT). The following classes of current and former workers may be eligible to aplly for legal permanent resident status:
- Retired officer or employee – If the former employee has maintained his or her nonimmigrant status while being present in the United States for at least half of the past seven years, there is a history of at least 15 years of residence in the U.S. prior to retirement, and a petition is filed within six months of retirement then the former worker is likely to qualify for a green card.
- The surviving spouse of a deceased officer or employee – The spouse of the former employee must have maintained his or her nonimmigrant status while being present in the United States for at least half of the past seven years and there must be a history of at least 15 years of residence in the U.S. prior to retirement. Petition must be filed within six months of the spouse’s death.
- An unmarried son or daughter of a current of former officer or employee — The child of the current or former employee must have maintained his or her nonimmigrant status while being present in the United States for at least half of the past seven years. A history of at least 7 years of residence in the U.S. between the ages of 5 and 21 must also be present. Petition must be filed by the child’s 25th birthday.
For all of these intending immigrants, the individual must also maintain their status as admissible to the United States. A number of other specialized job categories providing a pathway to a green card exist. These include individuals who have worked as Afghan and Iraqi translators, broadcasters, Panama Canal employees, and religious workers.
Rely on Our Employment-based Immigration Experience
The experienced Tampa immigration attorneys of Colombo & Hurd are dedicate to providing strategic solutions to immigration concerns and problems. To schedule a confidential immigration consultation contact our firm by calling 800-659-7142 or contact us online.