Even a Hired Gardener Can Obtain a U.S. Green Card

By | January 13, 2016

A U.S. employer offering sponsorship to an immigrant worker stands a slim chance of successfully completing each required step. However, if the gardener has accumulated unlawful presence or overstayed his time by so many days, it can raise a major red flag and may guarantee an instant denial and an executive order of deportation.

What does an Unlawful Presence Status have on a U.S. Green Card

Immigrants who are unlawfully living in the U.S. and have over 180 days or more are deemed inadmissible by an immigration judge. Foreigners applying for a green card will need to attend an interview at a U.S. Consulate in their home country and once outside of the U.S. will be denied reentry and barred for 3 to 10 years depending on overstayed time.

Though living as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. is a serious offense, there are a few special cases in which the individual may still qualify for asylum (for fear of persecution in his own home country) or Temporary Protected Status (if his country of birth is suffering from a natural catastrophe or is in political chaos). For these particular exceptions, please consult with a skilled immigration attorney to decide whether you can offer sponsorship to an undocumented immigrant.

Important Steps to Helping your Gardener Obtain his U.S. Green Card

If your Gardener is on a temporary visa, he/she might be eligible for permanent resident status. The U.S. employer can start the process on behalf of the foreign national, this may take several years to complete as this category is not a top priority. It may work in your gardner’s favor if he/she is willing to return to his/her home country for a period of time before reentering the U.S. in order to successfully complete the green card process.

A U.S employer must:

  • Complete Labor Certification Process also known as (PERM).
  • Place Job Advertisements for the gardener post available on 2 Sundays.
  • Interview any interested parties who reply.
  • Choose the applicant and verify with the Department of Labor that no other U.S. applicants were interested, available and willing to perform the job.
  • Once the U.S. Department of Labor validates the Labor of Certification the U.S. employer can move forward and file a Form I-140 visa petition on behalf of the immigrant worker with USCIS.
  • U.S. employer must note that by this time a year or two will have been invested and even after USCIS has approved the I-140 visa petition the immigrant gardener will need to wait a few more years  to become the beneficiary of a U.S. green card.

Why does a U.S. Green Card take so long?

Thousands of applicants throughout the years have asked, “Why does a green card process take so long?” According to Congress, the number has been limited as to how many foreigners may receive U.S. green cards and has allotted how many will receive green cards by preference categories. A gardener falls under third-preference of the employment based visa category (EB-3). The EB-3 type visa is then divided into 3 subcategories and gardeners are placed on the unskilled worker classification as this specific job may not require more than 2 years of training or work experience.

The EB-3 type U.S. visa category is known to be seriously backlogged along with other common categories as they have so many applicants on a yearly basis. To help locate green cards U.S. immigration officials place a Priority Date on each case. Immigrant workers who find themselves in a backlogged situation must wait longer times. A Priority Date is the date the employer first filed the PERM application with the Department of Labor.

To help immigration officials, the Department of State publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin for every U.S. visa type for both Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visas.

About Author:

Timothy A. Gambacorta at The Gambacorta Law Office help his clients with their immigration needs with offices in Arizona, Illinois and Hawaii. Mr. Gambacorta represents those from foreign countries who want to enter the U.S. or who are fighting to stay. Whether a client has a visa issue or you’re combating nationality laws, Mr. Gambacorta has striven to provide superior legal services in nearly all areas of U.S. Immigration law.

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