Sponsoring an Immigrant Worker

Work permit with a stamp that says "approved"

Sponsoring an immigrant worker is a complicated and lengthy process. There are several forms you need to fill out and deadlines you have to meet. One small error can result in an application being denied. To ensure a smooth process, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable immigration attorney.

Who Can You Sponsor?

If you have a job opening at your company, and you can’t find anyone suitable, you have the option of finding a foreign national and sponsoring this person for a work visa or green card. A work visa allows a person to legally work in the United States for your company. However, a green card allows a foreign national to obtain permanent residency in the United States with the ability to become an American citizen sometime in the future.

The prospective employee generally has unique talents or innate gifts that are in short supply in the US. This group includes musicians, artists, writers and other creative types. Prospective employees with specialized training or an advanced degree such as a doctorate or master’s degree are also in demand. These highly educated professionals, such as doctors, researchers, scientists, and professors, are all eligible for sponsorship.

What Sponsorship Means

Sponsoring an immigrant worker means making a long-term commitment to helping that prospective employee get a work visa or green card. There are several steps to each path, and each step can take several months or even years. However, the US government offers several paths for an immigrant worker to get a temporary visa. This allows them to move to the United States while continuing to complete the sponsoring process.

By sponsoring a foreign national, you are promising that once the application is approved, you will hire that person to work at your company for fair wages commensurate with his or her skills, education and work history. A sponsorship also means that you vouch for the prospective hire. This means that the person is of good character and has the ability to be an asset to your company.

As part of the sponsoring process, as the employer, you must also certify to the US Department of Labor (DOL) that you advertised the job opening in several places and that no qualified US worker was available to fill the position.

How to Sponsor an Immigrant Worker

Once you have found a foreign national who is perfect for a position in your company, you need to get this potential employee a work visa or green card. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handles and approves (or denies) all applications for work visas and green cards.

There are several forms that an employer must fill out. After completing the forms, you submit them to the appropriate agency, either the DOL or the USCIS, depending on the form. The three main applications you will have to fill out are below.

  • Application for Permanent Labor Certification
  • Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140)
  • Green Card Application (Form 1-485)

The employer sponsoring the immigrant worker must pay for all fees. The fees vary. For example, to file the 1-140 costs $700. Payments are made to the US Department of Homeland Security.  The filing fee for the 1-485 Is $1225 for people over the age of 14.

Contact an Immigration Attorney If You Are Considering Hiring an Immigrant Worker

If you want to sponsor an immigrant worker, it’s important that you hire an immigration attorney to prevent problems and delays. Immigration laws are complex and they keep changing. The Gambacorta Law Office understands immigration laws and has the experience to help you get the results you want. For a consultation, please call 847-443-9303 to set up an appointment.