Many American families hire foreign nannies or Au Pair’s to temporarily help care of their children. After spending months with the nanny, the family might start to wonder if they can continue to hire her permanently. Below we address the most common way families have gone about sponsoring their Au Pair or Nanny for a Green Card.
Sponsoring a Nanny for Permanent U.S. Residence
In order for a nanny to live and work in the U.S. permanently, the family must sponsor her for a green card. This option won’t work for every family, as It involves completing a lengthy and complex process known as the labor certification or PERM and then filing the adjustment of status (green card) under the EB-3 category. If your nanny is already working for you, she must maintain legal immigration status while the process is pending.
The PERM process requires employers to demonstrate to the Department of Labor (DOL) that they were not able to find a qualified or interested U.S. worker to perform the job their nanny does. The family will have to place job advertisements in a local newspaper of large circulation and with the State Work Force Agency. Once the recruitment period is complete, the family will interview applicants whose resumes indicate that they meet the basic qualifications, and ultimately show that no U.S. applicants were available, qualified, interested, and willing to do the job.
The next step is to file a PERM application (ETA Form 9089) with the DOL. This process can take 4 months to a year. It will depend on whether the case gets chosen for a random DOL PERM Audit. Once the DOL certifies the PERM, the family files an I-140 petition with USCIS.
Nanny’s Application for U.S. Permanent Residence
If your nanny is already in the U.S. legally, she can apply for a green card in the U.S. If she is coming from overseas, she would apply for an “immigrant visa” to come to the U.S. and her green card will arrive in the mail shortly after she enters the country.
If your nanny is in the U.S. unlawfully (after an illegal entry or overstaying a visa), it will be very difficult for her to obtain a green card based on her job with you. This is because a nanny would need to leave the U.S. and go to a U.S. consulate in her home country to receive an immigrant visa. A nanny who has been in the U.S. illegally for 180 days but less than one year will, upon leaving, trigger a three-year bar to reentry. If the nanny’s illegal stay in the U.S. was for one year or longer when she leaves (or gets deported) she will trigger a ten-year bar to reentry.
What should you do now?
If you are ready to have your nanny work for you on a long-term and permanent basis, you should contact our office to schedule a consultation with our team so that we can evaluate your case and your nanny’s immigration history. Our team is experienced in employment-based cases and we have successfully processed many cases for household employers.