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How does one obtain a green card after receiving a job offer?

Job opportunities in Florida might be available to those who are not citizens of the United States, but appropriate residency status may be necessary to facilitate an acceptance of a position. Both job applicants and employers may wonder about the process for securing a green card in connection with the prospective employment opportunity. The approach may depend on the candidate's location in or out of the country.

An individual who is living outside of the country will need to go through consular processing with a Form I-140 petition to seek permission for employment immigration. This is called a Petition for Alien Worker and is typically submitted by an employer on behalf of a prospective employee. An individual who is already legally living in the United States will also need Form I-140 to be approved. With this approval, it will also be necessary to file Form I-485. This application is used to register or adjust one's permanent status.

Form I-485 requires some supporting documentation to be submitted simultaneously. This includes an Arrival Departure Record on Form I-94. Additionally, a copy of the formal approval notice for residency must be submitted and a copy of the job offer must also be provided. If an individual seeking employment immigration or a relative owns part of the company for which they will be working, an Affidavit of Support must also be provided on Form I-864. Additional supporting evidence may be requested as appropriate.

In seeking a green card in order to obtain employment, an individual may find it helpful to discuss the requirements with an immigration lawyer who can explain the various steps in the process and help in assembling the supporting documentation. A company that plans to hire foreign workers for employment in the U.S. may want to seek ongoing legal support from a lawyer who is experienced in these matters.

Source: US CIS, "Green Card Through a Job", December 30, 2014

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