Finding an Employer to File a Green Card Visa Petition for You When You Have Less than Two Years Left to Graduate or are in a Masters Degree Program as an International Student

This article will help you to plan and strategize to maximize your options for getting a Green Card employer sponsorship before you graduate or after you graduate. Your chances of getting the Green Card sponsorship are higher if you begin planning in your first or second year of college. If you only have one to two years until you graduate, or are in a Master’s Program, then you must be extremely qualified or develop a strategy for getting the Green Card, after getting a temporary work visa such as an H-1B, O Visa, or L Visa. 

Green Card through Employment

As an international student, you don’t want to find yourself in the position where it is almost time to graduate and you have not found an employer to file a Green Card Visa petition for you.  

An EB-2 or EB-3 visa petition process can take about two years to process, after you have found an employer to agree to petition for you. It requires substantial employer involvement, to go through a lengthy recruitment and advertising process called PERM, for the employer to cover a significant part of the costs, provide substantial documents, and the employer must have the ability to pay you the wage the department of labor determines to be the appropriate wage for the position. The whole point of the EB-2 or EB-2 visa is that the employer is telling the government that they could not find a qualified employee for a job posting and that is why they want to sponsor you and the government should give you a Green Card. Therefore, this is a visa that not too many companies are willing to sponsor an F-1 student for right away because it involves a lot of costs, time waiting before the visa is approved and the student can start working, and commitment on the employer’s part, unless the F-1 student is very qualified.

Plan and Strategize

  • If you are a college student in your third or fourth year, or on a Master’s Degree program, and you cannot find a employer to sponsor you for a Green Card Visa:
    • Find an employer that will sponsor you for a temporary work visa such as a H1-B, O Visa, or L Visa. Why? An employer will be much more likely and willing to file a temporary work visa petition than a Green Card based petition. A temporary work visa requires less commitment and investment from the Employer. It allows the Employer to see how you work, contribute to their company, and make a more informed decision about whether they would like to keep you on. This increases your chances for obtaining Green Card sponsorship from the same employer or another employer due to the experience you will gain and the connections you will make while on the temporary work visa.
    • The job positions for an EB-2 and EB-3 require a showing of certain skills, knowledge, and technical qualifications. Spend 2-3 years to become highly qualified, through courses, certifications, and other licenses; and acquire senior level experience or unique skills, knowledge, and technical qualifications before approaching an employer to sponsor you for a Green Card visa. 
    • Remember, for an EB-2 and EB-3 Visa, an employer has to demonstrate that they cannot find a U.S. worker available for that position, so you need to stand out with qualifications that not many people in the U.S. have, including degrees in demanding industries, language abilities, and leadership or management experience.
    • Anticipate renewing your temporary work visa while you seek sponsorship for the EB-1 or EB-2 Visa, or waiting for it to be processed.

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