AWV arranges for  qualified international workers who wish to live and work in the fast-paced and opportunity-filled U.S. No matter how long you have been in the workforce, or your level of education or training, AWV is able to arrange a  company for you and a legal path to working and living in the U.S. See the worker profiles below to learn how AWV can help people of all different backgrounds realize the American Dream.

Name: Zhang Wei
Nationality: China
Job: Business Manager
Work Visa: EB3
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Zhang Wei is a junior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying business administration. He reaches out to AWV to develop a custom immigration plan that will allow him to remain in the U.S. after graduation, and work at a business, while waiting for his green card. AWV puts him in contact with a business located in nearby Bloomington, Illinois, that wishes to hire him and sponsor his permanent residency. Zhang starts an internship with the company while still in school, and then takes advantage of OPT after graduating with his degree.  At the same time, AWV and the immigration attorneys have filed his employment-based residency application with the U.S. government. After he receives his green card, Zhang is able to transition smoothly from working on OPT to permanent residency and full-time work in the U.S. Close bio
Name: Nisha Chaudhary
Nationality: India
Job: Network Administrator
Work Visa: EB2
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Nisha is about to complete her master’s degree in information technology in her home country of India. She has excelled in school and completed internships at local businesses during school to learn advanced technical skills. She reaches out to AWV to pursue her dream of working as a network administrator in the U.S. She would also like to be able to work in the U.S. during the employment-based residency process. AWV introduces her to a tech manager in Oregon who is impressed with her advanced knowledge and experience. They are willing to petition her for an H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa, prior to also sponsoring her permanent residency. AWV and our immigration attorney successfully navigate Nisha and the U.S. company through her H-1B process. Nisha is able to relocate to the U.S. and begin working for her new company in Oregon while AWV processes her employment-based residency. Close bio
Name: Alexandru Lupei
Nationality: Romania
Job: General Laborer
Work Visa: EW3
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Alexandru seeks to work and live in the U.S., and bring along his wife and two children. He does not have a post-secondary education, but is skilled in manual labor and enjoys learning new trades. He is motivated to work in any industry in which he can successfully be sponsored by a U.S. company. AWV connects Alexandru with the owner of a packaging company in Georgia. The owner is willing to wait for Alexandru to get his green card before he begins working at the company. AWV guides Alexandru through the employment-based residency procedures while he continues to work and live in Romania. After about 1.5 years, he and his family obtain their immigrant visas and move to the U.S. to begin their new life in Georgia. Close bio
What are the types of visas that AWV can help workers attain?

AWV has expertise in employment based, immigrant, and nonimmigrant visas, including legal work authorization. AWV is able to assist workers in obtaining visas and to continue helping them after they arrive in the U.S. Below are the most commonly used work visas. (Click for More Info)


EW-3 Visa for Unskilled Workers

The EW-3 Visa is a subcategory of the EB-3, representing “other workers”. It is also called the “unskilled labor” visa. The types of jobs that EW-3 holders can perform do not require prior experience or training. Unskilled positions include but are not limited to: poultry and meat processing, cleaning and janitorial work, warehousing, packaging, kitchen and restaurant help, landscaping, nursing aides, and assembly. You can apply for an EW-3 Visa whether you are currently in the U.S. (in legal status) or abroad. Below are examples of how a U.S. company can hire an EW-3 Visa category worker.

EB-3 Visa for Skilled Workers

The EB-3 Visa is for workers trained in different types of skilled labor. Candidates for EB-3 Visas should have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field of their employment.   Workers will also quality for the EB-3 Visa if they have at least  2 years of experience in the field in which they will make application to work in the U.S. Skilled or professional worker positions include but are not limited to: accounting, legal, business management, economics, engineering, and teaching.  Skilled positions without a degree include: hospitality, restaurant work, building maintenance,  chefs, automobile repair, carpentry, electrical, mechanical work, and other skilled trades. AWV can apply for a worker’s EB-3 Visa if he or she is currently in the U.S. (as long as the worker is in legal status) or if the worker overseas.  Below are examples of how a U.S. company can hire a EB-3 category worker.

EB-2 Visa for Highly Skilled Workers

The EB-2 Visa is for applicants holding advanced degrees and have experience in a specific field, such as the sciences, art, or business. AWV can apply for a worker’s EB-2 Visa if he or she is currently in the U.S. (as long as the worker has legal status) or if the worker is overseas.  Below are examples of how a U.S. company can hire an EB-2 category worker.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

These options apply to foreign students who are currently studying in the U.S. at a college or university on a student F-1 Visa. As a privilege of their visa status, many foreign students have the option to train at local U.S. companies as a component of their degree curriculum, or to apply their education at work directly after graduation. The student’s allowable length of time for those options will depend on his or her curriculum or on the type of degree being pursued. Both OPT and CPT allow the U.S. company to employ these students while they are currently in the U.S.  While they are employed at the U.S. company, they can apply for a permanent residency visa.  Below are examples of how a U.S. company can hire a student on OPT or CPT.

J-1 Intern or Trainee Visas for Foreign Nationals

The J-1 Nonimmigrant Visa, which is approved by the U.S. Department of State, is an established cultural exchange program that allows foreign nationals the opportunity to intern or train at a U.S. company for up to 18 months. Exchange visitors have educational and work experience outside of the U.S., which they will apply in a structured internship or traineeship at the U.S. company. Exchange visitors receive training  at the U.S. company and gain hands-on work experience in their occupational field.

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What are the major steps in the employment-based residency process, and how long does each step take?

The employment-based residency visa process timeline is different for each applicant and depends on a variety of factors. Those factors include the industry in which the applicant will work, and the applicant’s skill level and country of origin. Consider those factors as you read through the following typical steps and time periods. Also consider that during some of these waiting periods, depending on your custom immigration plan, you may be able to work at the U.S. company prior to receiving your permanent residence while AWV processes your permanent visa application.

Step 1: Interview Phase

After you have provided AWV with your resume and AWV has conducted your consultation and initial interview, you will sign the AWV recruitment and immigration agreement. AWV will then arrange interviews for  you with U.S. employers that are interested in hiring you and are willing to sponsor international workers with your skills and education. This can take from a few weeks to several months, and will depend on the availability of sponsors for your chosen industry. AWV will assist you in writing your resume and will coach you in the process of interviewing with American companies.

Step 2: Pre-Filing Recruitment Campaign

After you have successfully interviewed and obtained a written offer of employment from a U.S. employer, AWV will assist the employer in completing a “Pre-filing Recruitment Campaign” to comply with U.S. Department of Labor requirements. The company must advertise the open position in its local newspaper to determine whether the position can be filled with a U.S. worker instead of a foreign national. The campaign will last about 2 months.

Step 3: Department of Labor Application

If after the Pre-Filing Recruitment Campaign  the worker has applied to the position with the necessary requirements, then  the worker’s permanent residency application will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor. At the time of filing, the worker’s application will be given a “priority date” which controls the waiting period for the his or her visa number at the last stage of the application processing. The result of this stage, which takes approximately 6 months, is the issuance of the Labor Certifications.

Step 4: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigrant Petition

After the worker has received the Labor Certification and priority date, AWV and the attorneys will file the worker’s Immigration Petition with USCIS. USCIS takes approximately 7 to 8 months to examine and approve Immigrant Petitions.

Step 5: National Visa Center (NVC) and U.S. Consulate General

After the worker’s priority date becomes current, the National Visa Center (NVC) will initiate the consular processing, and AWV and the attorneys will collect supporting documentation and submit an Application for Immigrant Visa to the NVC. The NVC will examine the application and supporting documentation, and then forward this information to the U.S. Consulate in the worker’s country of origin. At that time, AWV will be notified of the worker’s appointment to attend the immigrant visa interview, and will assist the worker in preparation for the interview. On the scheduled interview date, the worker will attend the visa interview at the U.S. Consulate. Upon completion of the visa interview, the U.S. Consulate will make the final decision regarding the worker’s immigrant visa approval. If approved, the worker and his or her  family will receive back their country’s passports with the visas stamped inside. This process with the National Visa Center and the U.S. Consulate General takes approximately 6 months after the priority date becomes current.   As previously noted, the length of time for the priority date to become current is primarily controlled by the type of visa and the country of origin.   China, the Philippines, India, and Mexico may take longer because of the number of applications originating in, and the allocations of visas that are provided to, those countries.

Step 6: Approval for Permanent Residence

After the worker’s immigrant visa is stamped in the passport, the worker will be able to move with his or her family to the U.S. to start working at the sponsoring company! The worker’s Permanent Residence Card (“green card”) will be delivered to AWV or to the worker’s U.S. residence in approximately 2 months. As a Permanent Resident, the worker and his or her family  are entitled to all of the benefits of legal permanent residence in the U.S.

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Can I apply for an employment-based visa without a sponsoring company?

No. Employment based visas require a job offer from a U.S. employer. The visa categories EB-2,EB-3, and EW-3 cover the majority of occupations in the U.S., and are the categories which AWV primarily utilizes for international workers. AWV works  with numerous U.S. employers in different industries, and will introduce the worker to   sponsoring employers and assist him or her to obtain  a job offer in order to qualify for the employment-based visa process.

There are, however, some special employment-based visas which do not require a prior job offer. Those include: the EB-1 for internationally acclaimed scholars and multinational executives, the EB-4 for special immigrants such as the widow of a U.S. citizen, and the EB-5 for foreign investors. There are specific selection and eligibility criteria for those visas which will not apply to most foreign applicants. If the worker falls into one of those special categories we will assist him or her.

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Can AWV help find me an employer in the U.S?

Yes. AWV has an inventory of U.S. employers who are looking to sponsor unskilled and skilled workers from foreign countries. AWV works with employers across every industry, from general labor to business, who are looking for workers of all skill and educational levels.

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I already have an employer willing to sponsor me; can AWV help with the process?

Yes. If you already have an eligible employer willing to sponsor you, AWV can immediately initiate the employment-based visa process for your immigration to the U.S. AWV will assist a licensed immigration attorney for you and your sponsoring employer to file the application  and to represent you and the company throughout the immigration process.

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How long does it take?

The employment-based residency visa process timeline is different for each applicant and depends on a variety of factors, including his or her industry, skill level, and country of origin. Consider those factors as you read through the following typical steps and time periods. Also consider that during some of these waiting periods, depending on your custom immigration plan, you may be able to work at the U.S. company prior to receiving your permanent residence while AWV processes your permanent visa application.   While you work for that company on allowable practical training, we will work on the employment-based permanent residency process for you to be able to continue working with the company. From start to finish, the average time needed to achieve permanent residency is from 1.5 to 2 years.

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How much does it cost?

Costs for participation in AWV placement and immigration services will vary depending on your specific needs and your individual visa process. Individual services such as work authorization require only a small, one-time payment, while multi-step processes such as obtaining permanent residency are divided into affordable payments, collected by AWV at the time of government approval and filing milestones which occur throughout the permanent residence process. The sponsoring company is responsible to retain immigration attorney and pay for the filing of the Labor Certification. Please contact AWV for  formal processing and legal fee pricing and AWV’s refund policy.

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Am I guaranteed a green card?

The approval decision for permanent residency is made by the U.S. government; therefore, AWV cannot guarantee the final outcome of your immigration application. However, AWV has over 15 years of experience and has processed hundreds of permanent residency applications for clients from around the world with a near-perfect rate of success. AWV guarantees that its staff and the legal counsel will work diligently to avoid any problems which may hinder your opportunity to work and live in the U.S. If for any reason your petition to work in the U.S. is interrupted, canceled, or rejected at any point in the process, we may have an applicable refund policy.

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How much will I be paid?

Your exact wage will be determined by your sponsor employer in the U.S., in combination with the U.S. Department of Labor’s prevailing wage for the job position. You will be paid a wage comparable to that paid to an American citizen for that position. Your salary will depend on your industry, education, and employment experience.

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How long do I have to work for the U.S. employer?

Employment at the sponsoring company after you begin working will be “at-will.”

A U.S. company sponsors your green card because it needs workers, and you will be expected to work full-time at their company. You agree to work for a minimum of 1 year of full-time employment at the U.S. company after a green card is obtained, in order to ensure the integrity of your immigrant status. Otherwise, questions may be raised by the U.S. government about whether that worker had a bona fide intention to work with the contracted U.S. employer.

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Can I work for the employer before getting my green card?

If you are an overseas foreign national applying for permanent residency, in most cases you will need to wait until you have approval of your application. However, there are nonimmigrant visas and other work authorization arrangements whereby you may be able to work for the sponsoring employer in the U.S. prior to obtaining your green card. AWV specializes in creating customized pathways for foreign nationals, particularly students currently in the U.S. on F-1 Visas, to be able to work at a U.S. company while concurrently applying for permanent residency.

It is important to note, however, that employment-based visas require that the employer continues with your job offer until the U.S. government approves your green card application. Therefore, should the U.S. employer choose to terminate your employment while on a temporary visa or work authorization arrangement, your overall residency application will be denied.  The termination by a U.S. employer is not expected, but might result because the company no longer has a need for workers or because of management changes.   AWV will make every effort to arrange for another employer to sponsor you.  Depending upon the stage in which your original employer terminated your job offer, you might be able to continue the process with a new employer without loss of time in your application.

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I am currently in the U.S. and have legal status. Can I remain in the U.S. while I wait for my green card?

Whether you can remain in the U.S. on your current visa while you wait for your green card will depend on your current visa and legal status. Many U.S. visa statuses will remain valid after you have applied for your green card, allowing you to remain until that original visa expires. However, most nonimmigrant visas will not be renewed after you have applied for your green card, so timing is important. AWV can consult with you to create a viable immigration plan which may enable you to stay in the U.S. while you wait for your green card, for at least a portion of the processing time. Please note that if you are in the U.S. and do not have legal status, AWV cannot assist you in remaining in the U.S. during the permanent residency process, and you will have to return to your overseas country in order to go forward with the Visa application.

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Can I apply for a visitor or nonimmigrant visa after I apply for EB-3?

Most foreign nationals will be unable to apply for a different visitor or nonimmigrant visa after applying for employment-based residency, with few exceptions. Please consult with AWV  to determine whether this might be an option for you.

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What qualifications do I need to apply?

AWV places foreign workers for job positions in all industries, with all levels of education and work experience. The sponsoring U.S. employer determines what experience is necessary for the position.   Most unskilled positions will not require any prior work experience. Skilled positions require at least two years of training.   A professional position requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field of study. Every position’s requirements are different, so you will need to consult with AWV to determine your eligibility for the position. For all positions, regardless of skill and educational requirements, you will need to comply with the U.S. employer’s standard hiring procedures and requirements, such as a medical and criminal background check. Also, many employers  require  a certain level of English proficiency, depending on the job.

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I have never studied in the U.S. Am I eligible?

Yes. You are eligible to apply for a U.S. employment-based visa whether you have studied in the U.S. or  in a foreign country, or have no formal education. Degrees completed, or in progress, at a foreign institution will be accepted for eligibility for a U.S. position that requires educational experience, as long as an authorized evaluating third party has certified that the foreign education is equivalent to a U.S. degree program. If the U.S.  position requires no educational component, then it does not matter when or where you have obtained your education.

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I am currently in the U.S. working for a company on an H-1B Visa. May I have a different company sponsor me?

Yes.   The employment-based visa depends on a job offer by the sponsoring employer and not necessarily on your current employment with the company.
  However, after you receive your green card, you must leave your current employer and begin working for your sponsoring employer.

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What if the U.S. sponsoring company closes down in the middle of my employment-based residency application process?

The U.S. sponsoring company has the right to cancel their job offer; however, it is unlikely, unless they no longer need workers, the management changes, or the company has problems. Although this would be a setback, you would have the option to try again, and AWV would attempt to find a suitable replacement sponsor employer for you. Your government Form I-40 submitted as part of your original application (if it was approved) would be able to support a successive immigration application for you. Your original “priority date” from the I-140 petition would be maintained, and therefore provide you a significant benefit in processing time for a green card application with a new employer.

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