How to Sponsor Yourself for an Employment-Based Green Card


The title of this article is not a clickbait! There are indeed LEGAL ways to sponsor yourself for a USA employment-based green card.

As you might suspect, this doesn’t come cheap in terms of cost and requirements. But with proper guidance, you can achieve anything. 

The legal way to sponsor yourself for an employment-based green card is by getting an appropriate EB visa.

This type of visa is a little different from the others, and that’s why we have prepared this article to explain things better. 

By reading this article to the end, you’ll get a good grasp of how to sponsor yourself for an employment-based green card. 

If you are ready, let’s dive in!

Categories of Employment-Based Visa That Allow Self-Sponsorship

Source: Lawsb

There are up to seven different types of employment-based visas, but only three can be self-sponsored.

Let’s take a quick look at these three self-sponsored employment-based visas.

EB-1A VisaPeople who have exceptional talents in areas like science, art, teaching, business, or sports.To qualify, you must show notable recognition and fame on a national or global level.Doesn’t require a job offer or employer support to apply. You can file the petition independently.
EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW)Those whose work brings advantages to the US and serves the country’s interests can apply. Showing that your work has significant value and significance both intrinsically and nationally is essential. You can apply independently if you satisfy the National Interest Waiver (NIW) conditions.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor ProgramForeign investors who put a large sum into a new business that creates jobs for U.S. workers.Invest $1.8 million, or less, in specific locations ($900,000) – into starting a new American business and generating 10 or more permanent jobs for qualified US employees.The EB-5 program enables investors to establish their businesses and essentially sponsor themselves for a green card via their investments.

7 Steps to Apply for a Self-Sponsored Employment-Based Green Card

Below is a concise step-by-step guide on how you can apply for any of the self-sponsored visas.

  1. Gather Your Paperwork: Round up all the documents you need to meet the specific requirements of your chosen green card category. This might include proof of investment if you’re going for the EB-5 route.
  1. File the Correct Petition: If you’re aiming for EB-1A or EB-2 (NIW), get your hands on Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, and submit it with all the necessary backup. For EB-5, it’s Form I-526 and the required investment documents.
  1. Pay the Necessary Fees: Ensure you pay the filing fees that come with your chosen petition.
  1. Wait for the USCIS Processing: USCIS will dive into your petition, possibly asking for more proof. Be patient as they do their thing.
  1. Adjust Your I-485 Status or Do Consular Processing: If you’re already in the U.S., file Form I-485 to adjust your status. If you’re outside, buckle up for consular processing, especially for an EB-5 visa.
  1. Complete Your Biometrics And/ Or Interview: Follow USCIS instructions for your biometrics appointment and, if needed, an interview.
  1. Get Your Green Card: Once your application gets the nod, that shiny green card will be yours, making you a permanent resident.

Pro tip:

Keep an eye on immigration laws; they like to shake things up. Stay updated with USCIS, or even better, contact us at Sproutly Careers for personalized advice and guidance on consulting with an expert immigration attorney. 

Remember, self-sponsoring for a green card is no cakewalk, but with grit and proper paperwork, you can make it happen.

And speaking of overcoming challenges, let’s quickly look at how you can handle common issues that people face with self-sponsored green cards. 

5 Common Challenges of Self-Sponsored Visas and How To Overcome Them

Source: citizenpath

Embarking on the road to self-sponsored employment-based green cards can be quite a ride, complete with its fair share of twists and turns. Only those who understand the hurdles on this path can achieve a successful application. 

The table below highlights the typical challenges and strategies you can use to tackle them head-on:

ChallengeSuggested Solution
Insufficient EvidenceDifficulty in demonstrating eligibility due to robust evidence requirement. Team up with immigration attorneys or experts like Sproutly Careers for guidance in collecting and presenting convincing evidence. 
Ensure your documentation is not just thorough but also well-organized.
Requests for Evidence (RFEs)USCIS might throw a curveball with RFEs, seeking more info and potentially extending the processing time.Address all concerns raised by USCIS and react promptly and thoroughly to any RFEs. 
You would easily craft a robust response when you have an expert immigration attorney.
Lengthy and Tiring Processing TimesSome green card categories, especially for specific nationalities, may have extended processing times.Stay in the loop about processing times for your category and country. 
Plan accordingly, and exercise patience during the processing phase.
Maintaining Legal StatusJuggling valid non-immigrant status while awaiting your green card can be tricky, especially if your visa is on the brink of expiration.Seek counsel from an immigration attorney to explore options like extensions or changes of status. 
However, avoid overstaying your visa, as it can lead to dire consequences.
Immigration Law ComplexityImmigration laws are complex and ever-changing in many countries. 
This often makes it challenging to stay on top of updates.
Reach out to us at Sproutly Careers for guidance, clarification, and the latest info.
We will also help you get seasoned immigration attorneys specializing in employment-based immigration.

With all that said, you might want to ask: Are there no alternatives to self-sponsored employment-based visas?

Well, there are quite a few, and we’ve highlighted them below.

Top 5 Best Alternatives To Self-Sponsored Employment-Based USA Visas

When pursuing employment-based green cards, you would open up diverse pathways by considering options beyond self-sponsorship.

Here are some good alternative immigration routes to ponder:

  1. Employer-Sponsored Green Cards: Find U.S. employers willing to back your green card bid if you take a job with them. Many employment-based categories demand this employer sponsorship.
  1. Family-Sponsored Green Cards: If you’ve got close kin who are U.S. citizens or green card holders, they might be able to sponsor you for a family-based green card. However, your fate hinges on their status and relationship to you.
  1. Visa Lottery: Find out about the annual Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery. It could be your shot, offering a limited number of green cards through a random selection process.
  1. Non-immigrant Visas: If your primary goal is temporary work in the U.S., explore non-immigrant visas like H-1B, L-1, O-1, or E-2. These options grant work authorization and, in some cases, pave the way for permanent residency.
  1. Special Programs: Look into programs aligning with your qualifications and aspirations. The Conrad 30 Program caters to foreign physicians, while the U.S. Refugee Program is tailored for refugees and asylees. Your journey may find its unique fit in these specialized initiatives.

Final Thoughts on Self-Sponsored USA Green Cards

The process of sponsoring yourself for an employment-based green card is clearly not an easy one, but it is usually worth it in the end. 

By understanding the intricate steps involved, from determining eligibility to filing the necessary forms and meeting deadlines, you empower yourself on the path to securing permanent residency in the United States. 

Remember to stay informed about the latest immigration policies, seek professional guidance if needed, and persist in your efforts.

You can also shorten the entire process by opting for our 1-on-1 coaching and direct guidance to secure a self-sponsored visa successfully. Click here to contact us now!

As you embark on this endeavor, may your dedication and determination open doors to new opportunities and a brighter future. Best of luck on your pursuit of an employment-based green card!

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