CYRUS: Hello Everybody! This is Cyrus Mehta. Welcome to this week's edition of immigration matters. Do tune in for important immigration news and updates on this fortnightly segment and those of you who have questions, are welcome to call.........
Today, we will take a look at how one can get a green card through labor certification, and joining me today is my colleague Eve Guillergan.
Eve, could you introduce the labor certification program to our viewers.
EVE: Hello everyone. Labor certification is commonly used by employers to get green cards for aliens. Essentially, the Labor department will issue labor certification to an employer who can establish that there are no US workers qualified for the job. This is usually done by placing an ad in a newspaper, interviewing prospective candidates, and if no one meets the requirements of the job, the department "might" grant labor certification.
CYRUS: Why did you say "might" grant labor certification?
EVE: Well, even if there were no qualified applicants, the department could still question the way the job was drafted. They might say that it has been tailored to meet the alien's qualifications or it was too restrictive by imposing an unnecessary foreign language requirement and so on...
CYRUS: What happens next, assuming the department issues labor certification?
EVE: The employer then applies to the INS to classify the alien under either the employment based second or third preferences, depending on whether the alien employee is a holder of an advanced degree or bachelor degree or is a skilled worker. Once the INS classifies the alien, he could apply for the green card.
CYRUS: Viewers, please take note that the job must require a degree, or at a minimum, must require two year's experience. If the job requires less than two years of experience and no degree, then it will slip into the "other worker" category and the employee would have to wait for about 10 or more years.
Eve, could you cite examples of "skilled" and "unskilled" jobs?
EVE: Let's compare the job of a Chef in an Indian restaurant and a working couple that desperately needs a baby sitter. A Chef is considered to be inherently skilled and the department will accept the employer's need for hiring a Chef with two year's prior experience. But the position of a baby sitter is inherently unskilled, and even if the baby sitter in question has two years experience, the department will never allow the employer to advertise the job with two years experience. So today, it takes more than 10 years for an unskilled baby sitter to get the green card, but in most other cases it will take about two years.
Cyrus, could you speak about the prospects of computer professionals.
CYRUS: The position of a computer professional is definitely skilled... in fact professional because the employer may require a Bachelors or Master's degree in Computer Science as appropriate. But if the employer imposes, as a job requirement, knowledge of several esoteric computer languages and hardware systems, the employer must justify that these requirements are essential to the performance of the job. The same applies with a foreign language requirement. The employer must show it is an absolute business necessity for the alien to speak a foreign language.
We seem to be running out of time now. Eve, thank you so much for joining me; please take note that we will be seeing more of Eve in future programs. If you have any questions on labor certifications or other legal matters, please call the Law Offices of Cyrus Mehta at (212) 686-1581. The number once again is (212) 686-1581. Have a wonderful weekend and see you again in two weeks.