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Dinsmore | Immigration
Dinsmore immigration attorneys leverage more than 130 years of cumulative experience to craft strategies and solutions to meet unique immigration needs. We anticipate the areas where the U.S. government may challenge a case, reverse engineer the case to lower the risk of denial, and increase the odds of approval. 

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Permanent Residence Via Immigrant Petition - NO Labor Certification


Not all applications for permanent resident status require a labor certification. Some immigrant visa or permanent resident categories are specifically exempt from the labor certification (labor market test) requirement. Among those that are exempt are the following:

  • Priority Workers including: (a) persons of "extraordinary ability" in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics who have national or international acclaim; (b) outstanding professors and researchers; and (c) certain multinational executives and managers.
  • Persons with Advanced Degrees and Persons of "Exceptional Ability" in the sciences, arts, or business who will substantially benefit the Unites States and whose immigration is in the "national interest".
  • Occupations designated by the U.S. Labor Department as being shortage occupations, that is, occupations in which U.S. workers are in short supply. The only occupations designated for labor department "Schedule A" blanket labor certification are physical therapists and registered nurses.

The entire application process involves two stages. The length of time necessary to complete both stages is difficult to determine precisely; assuming no backlogs or waiting lists in the relevant immigrant visa category, six months to one year is the norm. However, this estimate can be influenced by changing governmental processing times and delays and by the presence or absence of a waiting list in the visa category in which the applicant will apply for his or her permanent visa.

First Stage: Visa Petition

Depending on the basis for eligibility, either the foreign national or the prospective U.S. employer must initiate the process by filling an immigrant (or preference) visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition is the foreign national or the employer's request that the USCIS find the foreign national qualified for the visa classification requested.

Second Stage: Application for Permanent Residence

The foreign national may apply for adjustment of status at a USCIS office in the United States or for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad. An adjustment of status application may be filed concurrently with an immigrant visa petition (first and second stages may be combined into a single filing) if there is no existing queue or waiting list. Alternatively, the foreign national may opt for "consular processing" - which results in an interview with the U.S. consulate in the person's home country.


Keep in mind that the permanent resident application process does not necessarily authorize the employer to employ the foreign national - nor does it generally permit the foreign national to remain in the United States - while some parts of this process are either under construction or underway. Permission to remain in the U.S. and to work occur after the immigrant petition (first stage) and the adjustment of status application (second stage) have been filed with USCIS. Of course, there are temporary visa categories that might permit the foreign national to work while the foreign national is sponsored for, or applies for, U.S. permanent resident status.


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