Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

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Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:23 am

(Anon bc this is a sensitive issue for me as a foreigner and I'm asking around a lot.)

Does anyone know how hard or how easy it is to get sponsorship for permanent residency from a biglaw employer?
Do international students get hired only with working visas? Do they ever get green cards through their employers?

Any insight or advice on this would be much appreciated.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:14 am

If you're doing IP, most BigLaw (even MidLaw/boutique) will sponsor for you simply because demand is so high. I've had double digit interviews with firms, and all of them said (mentioned themselves without me even asking) they'll sponsor me if they hire me. The most likely route is H1B to EB2.

I cannot speak to other area of law, but in order to sponser for employment greencard, employer needs to prove that there is an shortage of employee in the market, so that may be a problem for lawyers practicing more mainstream area of laws because the employment market is so saturated. Also to keep in mind, H1B is only renewable once with total of up to six years. You will have to leave the country for at least a year before you can reapply for H1B.

Edited for more details.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:15 am

Short answer: I don't know.

Long answer that may provide insight:

Disclaimer: I already have a Green Card through my dad's work. Not a US citizen though.

I'm not in the same situation as you, but I am pretty observant about how workplaces treat visa status. When I got my SA job at a V100, I was did not have to disclose my Green Card status until I was given an offer, accepted the offer, and was filling out my W2 form. I am not sure if this is just ignorance on the part of the firm (to not ask if I am eligible to work in the US), but I wonder what they would've done if they realized AFTER they offered me and I accepted that I am not technically eligible to work without their sponsorship. Thinking back to contracts, once there is a mutuality of obligation you can't back out. But was me being able to work without a visa an implied condition of the agreement? .. hm... probably.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:19 am

I've done a lot of immigration work, and I think it is a long shot. Not because as a rule BigLaw does not do it, but because it is going to be hard to show that the market can absorb another new attorney. EB-2s still need to go through PERM/market testing. As mentioned below, IP background is very helpful because it creates an extra qualification not met by the vast majority of entry-level folks.

An anon talked about doing H1B-EB-2. You can also look into OPT-H1B in case the employer needs a "test" period.

Side note for an anon below, does BigLaw not do I-9s? Lol if they aren't and get an audit.

Your school should have an advisor dedicated to helping out foreign LLMs or JDs. Have you checked with them yet?

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:If you're doing IP, most BigLaw (even MidLaw/boutique) will sponsor for you simply because demand is so high. I've had double digit interviews with firms, and all of them said (mentioned themselves without me even asking) they'll sponsor me if they hire me. The most likely route is H1B to EB2.

I cannot speak to other area of law, but in order to sponser for employment greencard, employer needs to prove that there is an shortage of employee in the market, so that may be a problem for lawyers practicing more mainstream area of laws because the employment market is so saturated. Also to keep in mind, H1B is only renewable once with total of up to six years. You will have to leave the country for at least a year before you can reapply for H1B.

Edited for more details.


I would ditto. One of my SA friends this summer was a foreigner looking to do patent litigation.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:Short answer: I don't know.

Long answer that may provide insight:

Disclaimer: I already have a Green Card through my dad's work. Not a US citizen though.

I'm not in the same situation as you, but I am pretty observant about how workplaces treat visa status. When I got my SA job at a V100, I was did not have to disclose my Green Card status until I was given an offer, accepted the offer, and was filling out my W2 form. I am not sure if this is just ignorance on the part of the firm (to not ask if I am eligible to work in the US), but I wonder what they would've done if they realized AFTER they offered me and I accepted that I am not technically eligible to work without their sponsorship. Thinking back to contracts, once there is a mutuality of obligation you can't back out. But was me being able to work without a visa an implied condition of the agreement? .. hm... probably.

OP: Maybe they thought they would just process you a visa after the problem surfaced?

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've done a lot of immigration work, and I think it is a long shot. Not because as a rule BigLaw does not do it, but because it is going to be hard to show that the market can absorb another new attorney. EB-2s still need to go through PERM/market testing. As mentioned below, IP background is very helpful because it creates an extra qualification not met by the vast majority of entry-level folks.

An anon talked about doing H1B-EB-2. You can also look into OPT-H1B in case the employer needs a "test" period.

Side note for an anon below, does BigLaw not do I-9s? Lol if they aren't and get an audit.

Your school should have an advisor dedicated to helping out foreign LLMs or JDs. Have you checked with them yet?

OP: How does it work exactly? Are you saying that it's not easy to get permanent status even if my employer sponsors me? Or would it be too much paper work for my employers to invest in me in the first place?

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP: How does it work exactly? Are you saying that it's not easy to get permanent status even if my employer sponsors me? Or would it be too much paper work for my employers to invest in me in the first place?


It's not as easy as employer wants to sponser you and done. In order to get an employment greencard, the application is subjected to PERM/market test. The easiest way to explain it is can the employer find equality qualified domestic worker at the same wage (wage must be competitive, they can't just offer you minimum wage) as they are offering you? If the answer is easily yes, then the application will have a hard time passing the test.

It used to be employers are required to advertise the job with qualifications for 30 days+ and cannot fill the vacancy to pass the test, I don't know if posting in newspapers is still required, but the employer must prove that they cannot find anyone to fill the job but you essentially.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP: How does it work exactly? Are you saying that it's not easy to get permanent status even if my employer sponsors me? Or would it be too much paper work for my employers to invest in me in the first place?


It's not as easy as employer wants to sponser you and done. In order to get an employment greencard, the application is subjected to PERM/market test. The easiest way to explain it is can the employer find equality qualified domestic worker at the same wage (wage must be competitive, they can't just offer you minimum wage) as they are offering you? If the answer is easily yes, then the application will have a hard time passing the test.

It used to be employers are required to advertise the job with qualifications for 30 days+ and cannot fill the vacancy to pass the test, I don't know if posting in newspapers is still required, but the employer must prove that they cannot find anyone to fill the job but you essentially.


My understanding is that EB-2 is next to impossible for a lawyer. Many places will sponsor H-1B, but that's only for 6 years. Options after that: leave/transfer overseas, EB-1 (if partner/done something plausibly extraordinary)/national interest waiver (unlikely), EB-5 (at BigLaw, you may have enough to afford this), family-based (i.e., marriage to citizen).

If the legal immigration parts of the Senate Bill go through, there would also be an additional "merit-based" points system, which lawyers might do quite well on. Additionally, for IP people, the STEM provisions might allow avoidance of the labor cert process.

Also, some law firms have explicit visa policies. E.g., http://www.sullcrom.com/files/upload/visa_policies.pdf.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My understanding is that EB-2 is next to impossible for a lawyer. Many places will sponsor H-1B, but that's only for 6 years. Options after that: leave/transfer overseas, EB-1 (if partner/done something plausibly extraordinary)/national interest waiver (unlikely), EB-5 (at BigLaw, you may have enough to afford this), family-based (i.e., marriage to citizen).

If the legal immigration parts of the Senate Bill go through, there would also be an additional "merit-based" points system, which lawyers might do quite well on. Additionally, for IP people, the STEM provisions might allow avoidance of the labor cert process.

Also, some law firms have explicit visa policies. E.g., http://www.sullcrom.com/files/upload/visa_policies.pdf.


Problem with immigration reform is just that, people care more about illegal immigrants than they care about legal immigrants. Everyday the news talks about those Dreamers how they can't live a normal life. The fact of the matter is for people that came here legally (and mind you obtaining a visa is not only costly but also burdensome), paid taxes but not eligible for any federal aid or in-state tuition, educated, success driven, people, are denied a path to citizenship. For those that do not know this, but international students cannot even work legally at McDonald part-time even if they want to. But no, we need to give illegals path to citizenship while no one care about legals. The society has an irrational fear of educated workers, but we like our tomato pickers. Ok, thats my rant of the day.

But back to the main topic, I think the anon is spot on, it is nearly impossible to obtain a green card via employment as a lawyer with the exception of perhaps IP lawyers (and it is still by no mean easy for them). To the OP, the best thing you can do is to make yourself as marketable as you possibly can. If you graduate top of your class from a top school, employers will find a way to hire you. But with the legal employment market the way it is, it is infinitely harder to find a job as an international.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:09 pm

I have my 2L OCI this summer and I'm not sure if/when I should be mentioning to firms that I am international and will eventually need sponsorship. Should this be done at the callback stage? After I get an offer? After I get a full-time offer at the end of next summer (if I get one)?

Also, I have a full year of OPT left, so I won't need actual sponsorship until after that year runs out right?

Edit: not OP

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have my 2L OCI this summer and I'm not sure if/when I should be mentioning to firms that I am international and will eventually need sponsorship. Should this be done at the callback stage? After I get an offer? After I get a full-time offer at the end of next summer (if I get one)?

Also, I have a full year of OPT left, so I won't need actual sponsorship until after that year runs out right?

Edit: not OP


The advice I've heard is not to mention it until you have an offer, unless you're asked directly. They'll probably guess based on accent and/or resume contents; if not, it can only hurt you to tell them.

If you are asked, I suspect a good tactic is to explain that, while you would require visa sponsorship, you have researched the system and your understanding is that you automatically have the right to work for a year plus cap-gap, and then are very likely* to be able to get visas for 6 years after that, and after that there are various ways to stay longer term and you will probably be able to find one.**

* If you can be bothered to check what % of advanced degree students got H-1Bs, feel free to substitute exact numbers. IIRC, last year it was in the region of 90% (20k advanced degree allocation + remainder went into lottery for 65k regular allocation); the year before, the advanced degree allocation was not filled so it was 100%.

** Highly illegal alternative: sham marriage between now and OCI.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:58 pm

Wanted to chime in as well--my situation is a little different.

I'm a Canadian so I have the NAFTA option--which is renewable forever, 3 years at a time ("lawyer" is one of the covered categories). My understanding is that this is free for the firms, but that I should push for an HB-1 nevertheless?

I also have heard that after 6 years, you can turn yor HB-1 into a green card through some kind of apply for change of status junk. Can anyone speak to this? Older international friends (HYS, V10 firms) have told me that for non-Canadians, the process is: 6 years on HB-1, move to an overseas office for a couple of years, and if you make partner, they'll somehow magick a green card for you.

Appreciate any insight from people who are actually knowledgeable. Saying "it's infinitely harder to get a job offer" is pretty ignorant and unhelpful, and wrong.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wanted to chime in as well--my situation is a little different.

I'm a Canadian so I have the NAFTA option--which is renewable forever, 3 years at a time ("lawyer" is one of the covered categories). My understanding is that this is free for the firms, but that I should push for an HB-1 nevertheless?

I also have heard that after 6 years, you can turn yor HB-1 into a green card through some kind of apply for change of status junk. Can anyone speak to this? Older international friends (HYS, V10 firms) have told me that for non-Canadians, the process is: 6 years on HB-1, move to an overseas office for a couple of years, and if you make partner, they'll somehow magick a green card for you.

Appreciate any insight from people who are actually knowledgeable. Saying "it's infinitely harder to get a job offer" is pretty ignorant and unhelpful, and wrong.


I wish this is true, but unfortunately it is harder for internationals to get a job compares to domestic students, and that is just a fact because of the PERM/Market Test (LinkRemoved) they have in place for employment-based visa. Unless one would be happy leaving the job after 6 years once H1B expires.

First, labor certification requires:
1. There are insufficient available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered at the prevailing wage
2. Hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers
As we know, a lawyer position would likely fail (1) due to the highly saturated employment market.

Let me break this down for you, there are 5 types of employment-based immigration visa: EB1 to EB5

EB1-Priority Workers
Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics - A lawyer would not qualify
Outstanding professors and researchers - Again, a lawyer working at a firm does not qualify
Multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer - This is probably what you were talking about once you make partner, so it can be a possibility.

EB2-Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession - This is the most probable way to obtain a green card through employment, and preferable over EB3 because EB3's wait time is currently 4 years+
Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. - Lawyer does not qualify

EB3-Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)
Skilled workers are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal. - Self explanatory
Professionals are members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree. - Lawyer would qualify yes
Unskilled workers (Other workers) are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal. - Self explanatory

Again, the problem with EB3 is the wait time is 4 years+. i.e. if your employer do not apply EB3 for you within the first years of being on H1B, you will probably not make the deadline.

EB4-Certain Special Immigrants
Not applicable to lawyers

EB5-Immigrant Investors
Invest at the minimum of 1 million dollar or 500k at designated areas in companies that meet certain requirements (create 10+ jobs, etc)

Hope this helps.
See Employment-Based Immigration Visa
See Visa Bulletin
See Labor Certification (LinkRemoved)

Edited for details
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:29 pm

also an international JD student here, I specifically had a case where a large national law firm was about to offer me a position but turned me down (a call from recruiter after a great CB inquiring about my citizenship) after learning that I need visa sponsorship.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Texacana » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:49 pm

As a Canadian, getting TN status is a fairly simple process. Inquire with your firm, they should provide you with the paperwork regarding your position (salary, responsibilities, etc.). Then take that, your passport, a couple of dollars and your credentials (diplomas, transcripts, bar info) to the border. I got in and out in under an hour.

TN status is not "dual intent" though, which means that technically you are declaring your intention NOT to reside in the US permanently (even though it's renewable indefinitely). That just means it may get a little tricky to apply for a green card on TN and then leave the US and try to come back - that is what my immigration attorney advised, I didn't ever try.

While I was working on my TN, I asked my firm to apply for the H-1B on my behalf, which they did. The H-1B is a "dual intent" visa so you CAN apply for a green card while holding it. I recently asked my firm to apply for a green card on my behalf and they have begun the process (see PERM/market test described below). Note that this will be MUCH easier once you have a number of years of experience. The number of US citizens who are able and willing of filling a first year position at a law firm is substantially greater than the number of mid-level/senior attorneys specializing in a particular practice.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:11 am

Texacana wrote:As a Canadian, getting TN status is a fairly simple process. Inquire with your firm, they should provide you with the paperwork regarding your position (salary, responsibilities, etc.). Then take that, your passport, a couple of dollars and your credentials (diplomas, transcripts, bar info) to the border. I got in and out in under an hour.

TN status is not "dual intent" though, which means that technically you are declaring your intention NOT to reside in the US permanently (even though it's renewable indefinitely). That just means it may get a little tricky to apply for a green card on TN and then leave the US and try to come back - that is what my immigration attorney advised, I didn't ever try.

While I was working on my TN, I asked my firm to apply for the H-1B on my behalf, which they did. The H-1B is a "dual intent" visa so you CAN apply for a green card while holding it. I recently asked my firm to apply for a green card on my behalf and they have begun the process (see PERM/market test described below). Note that this will be MUCH easier once you have a number of years of experience. The number of US citizens who are able and willing of filling a first year position at a law firm is substantially greater than the number of mid-level/senior attorneys specializing in a particular practice.


This is REALLY helpful!! Thank you!

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:also an international JD student here, I specifically had a case where a large national law firm was about to offer me a position but turned me down (a call from recruiter after a great CB inquiring about my citizenship) after learning that I need visa sponsorship.


Pretty sure that's illegal. Also, "about to offer me a position" is kind of tenuous if you self-assess.

What country are you from?

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby anonymous2012 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:also an international JD student here, I specifically had a case where a large national law firm was about to offer me a position but turned me down (a call from recruiter after a great CB inquiring about my citizenship) after learning that I need visa sponsorship.


Pretty sure that's illegal. Also, "about to offer me a position" is kind of tenuous if you self-assess.

What country are you from?


It's legal to inquire about whether you need sponsorship to work in the US. I mean, whether or not you are a US citizen or otherwise hold credentials to work in the US is very different than an employer asking whether you're Iraqi or Iranian.

I assume work status or US citizenship is what the above poster meant.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wanted to chime in as well--my situation is a little different.

I'm a Canadian so I have the NAFTA option--which is renewable forever, 3 years at a time ("lawyer" is one of the covered categories). My understanding is that this is free for the firms, but that I should push for an HB-1 nevertheless?

I also have heard that after 6 years, you can turn yor HB-1 into a green card through some kind of apply for change of status junk. Can anyone speak to this? Older international friends (HYS, V10 firms) have told me that for non-Canadians, the process is: 6 years on HB-1, move to an overseas office for a couple of years, and if you make partner, they'll somehow magick a green card for you.

Appreciate any insight from people who are actually knowledgeable. Saying "it's infinitely harder to get a job offer" is pretty ignorant and unhelpful, and wrong.


I wish this is true, but unfortunately it is harder for internationals to get a job compares to domestic students, and that is just a fact because of the PERM/Market Test (LinkRemoved) they have in place for employment-based visa. Unless one would be happy leaving the job after 6 years once H1B expires.

First, labor certification requires:
1. There are insufficient available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered at the prevailing wage
2. Hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers
As we know, a lawyer position would likely fail (1) due to the highly saturated employment market.

Let me break this down for you, there are 5 types of employment-based immigration visa: EB1 to EB5

EB1-Priority Workers
Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics - A lawyer would not qualify
Outstanding professors and researchers - Again, a lawyer working at a firm does not qualify
Multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer - This is probably what you were talking about once you make partner, so it can be a possibility.

EB2-Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession - This is the most probable way to obtain a green card through employment, and preferable over EB3 because EB3's wait time is currently 4 years+
Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. - Lawyer does not qualify

EB3-Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)
Skilled workers are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal. - Self explanatory
Professionals are members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree. - Lawyer would qualify yes
Unskilled workers (Other workers) are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal. - Self explanatory

Again, the problem with EB3 is the wait time is 4 years+. i.e. if your employer do not apply EB3 for you within the first years of being on H1B, you will probably not make the deadline.

EB4-Certain Special Immigrants
Not applicable to lawyers

EB5-Immigrant Investors
Invest at the minimum of 1 million dollar or 500k at designated areas in companies that meet certain requirements (create 10+ jobs, etc)

Hope this helps.
See Employment-Based Immigration Visa
See Visa Bulletin
See Labor Certification (LinkRemoved)

Edited for details


Pretty sure law goes in the extraordinary ability in business category for EB-1 rather than multinational executives, no?

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:Pretty sure law goes in the extraordinary ability in business category for EB-1 rather than multinational executives, no?


"Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in their fields of expertise."

So unless you're a lawyer turned Warren Buffett, it is unlikely to fit under extraordinary ability.

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Pretty sure law goes in the extraordinary ability in business category for EB-1 rather than multinational executives, no?


"Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in their fields of expertise."

So unless you're a lawyer turned Warren Buffett, it is unlikely to fit under extraordinary ability.


The relevant regs:

(3) Initial evidence. A petition for an alien of extraordinary ability must be accompanied by evidence that the alien has sustained national or international acclaim and that his or her achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise. Such evidence shall include evidence of a one-time achievement (that is, a major, internationally recognized award), or at least three of the following:


(i) Documentation of the alien's receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;


(ii) Documentation of the alien's membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;


(iii) Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien's work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;


(iv) Evidence of the alien's participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;


(v) Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;


(vi) Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;


(vii) Evidence of the display of the alien's work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;


(viii) Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;


(ix) Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or


(x) Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.


(4) If the above standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary's occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence to establish the beneficiary's eligibility.


I think partners in a law firm would probably be able to satisfy at least three of those.

(Of course, all this discussion is distracting us from the main point, which is that (i) firms are sometimes unwilling to hire internationals, and (ii) speed-dating is probably a more effective technique to get a green card than the employment-based system)

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Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Of course, all this discussion is distracting us from the main point, which is that (i) firms are sometimes unwilling to hire internationals, and (ii) speed-dating is probably a more effective technique to get a green card than the employment-based system


This is so true

canon1845
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:34 am

Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby canon1845 » Fri May 08, 2015 4:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wanted to chime in as well--my situation is a little different.

I'm a Canadian so I have the NAFTA option--which is renewable forever, 3 years at a time ("lawyer" is one of the covered categories). My understanding is that this is free for the firms, but that I should push for an HB-1 nevertheless?

I also have heard that after 6 years, you can turn yor HB-1 into a green card through some kind of apply for change of status junk. Can anyone speak to this? Older international friends (HYS, V10 firms) have told me that for non-Canadians, the process is: 6 years on HB-1, move to an overseas office for a couple of years, and if you make partner, they'll somehow magick a green card for you.

Appreciate any insight from people who are actually knowledgeable. Saying "it's infinitely harder to get a job offer" is pretty ignorant and unhelpful, and wrong.


I wish this is true, but unfortunately it is harder for internationals to get a job compares to domestic students, and that is just a fact because of the PERM/Market Test (LinkRemoved) they have in place for employment-based visa. Unless one would be happy leaving the job after 6 years once H1B expires.

First, labor certification requires:
1. There are insufficient available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered at the prevailing wage
2. Hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers
As we know, a lawyer position would likely fail (1) due to the highly saturated employment market.

Let me break this down for you, there are 5 types of employment-based immigration visa: EB1 to EB5

EB1-Priority Workers
Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics - A lawyer would not qualify
Outstanding professors and researchers - Again, a lawyer working at a firm does not qualify
Multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer - This is probably what you were talking about once you make partner, so it can be a possibility.

EB2-Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession - This is the most probable way to obtain a green card through employment, and preferable over EB3 because EB3's wait time is currently 4 years+
Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. - Lawyer does not qualify

EB3-Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)
Skilled workers are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal. - Self explanatory
Professionals are members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree. - Lawyer would qualify yes
Unskilled workers (Other workers) are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal. - Self explanatory

Again, the problem with EB3 is the wait time is [b]4 years+. i.e. if your employer do not apply EB3 for you within the first years of being on H1B, you will probably not make the deadline.[/b]

EB4-Certain Special Immigrants
Not applicable to lawyers

EB5-Immigrant Investors
Invest at the minimum of 1 million dollar or 500k at designated areas in companies that meet certain requirements (create 10+ jobs, etc)

Hope this helps.
See Employment-Based Immigration Visa
See Visa Bulletin
See Labor Certification (LinkRemoved)

Edited for details


Hate to revive a 2 year old thread but I have to correct the anon on one thing. The bolded part is incorrect as you can apply for the I-140 petition after the PERM test which would allow you to extend your H-1B visa for a further 3 years (6 years + 3 years). These 3 years will still be inadequate for Indian and Chinese born applicants but for everyone else (including Mexicans and Filipinos) it would give them more than enough time to get their I-485 (adjustment of status) and green card issued.

These sort of threads providing anecdotal immigration advises for us international students/applicants are highly valuable and often too far in between. Hence I felt the need to correct such old thread.

While on that note, can anyone who is currently working on H-1B who is looking to or is currently going through this process, share their stories and how they are going about obtaining the green card?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273382
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Can I get sponsorship for a green card through Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:58 am

..Bump. Foreigner who just accepted offer at a V5 in NYC, afraid of what's to come immigration-path wise..




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