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I am a US citizen or permanent resident. I would like to sponsor my nanny to permanently work for me in the US. What is the process I should take?

A nanny reading a book

The B1 domestic worker visa is a great solution for non-immigrant visa holders or US citizens regularly stationed abroad to temporarily bring in a foreign national domestic worker (nanny) to work for them in the U.S.  However, this option is not available to US citizens who regularly live in the U.S., or to U.S. permanent residents (green card holders).  In such a case where the US citizen or US permanent resident employer wishes to bring in a foreign domestic worker on a permanent, long-term basis, what is the solution?

Although it can take several years, it could be worth exploring the option to sponsor the nanny for a green card (permanent residence) in the EB3 category. The individual employer would go through the same procedures any other employer would go through, which is to determine the “prevailing wage,” go through a recruitment process to show that there are no qualified U.S. workers available in your area for the position with the required level of experience, and obtain the labor certification from the Department of Labor. Once the labor certification is obtained, the employer will file the I-140, Petition for Immigrant Worker on behalf of the nanny, and once approved the nanny would be able to apply for a green card.

Do I need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) to sponsor the domestic worker?

To participate in the PERM labor certification process to sponsor a foreign national for a position in the United States, individual employers must have a federal employer identification number (FEIN). Private households can obtain an FEIN. See here for more details on obtaining an FEIN.

What is a Prevailing Wage? How do I find out what is the Prevailing Wage?

The “prevailing wage” refers to the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in the same position petitioned for, in the area of intended employment. The employer’s commitment to pay the prevailing wage is an important factor in the labor certification, which evaluates whether employing the foreign worker at the specified terms and conditions would adversely affect the US local labor market.

All employers are required to request a prevailing wage determination (PWD) through the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) of the Department of Labor prior to filing an application for labor certification. Once the prevailing wage is set, the employer must offer to pay the foreign worker at that wage.

What does the recruitment process look like?

Within a 6-month period prior to filing the Labor Certification application, the employer must undergo a series of recruitment steps, including posting certain notices, placing a “job order” with the State Workforce Agency (SWA), and placing advertisements in at least 2 print publications. The employer must respond in good faith to all job applications received. The recruitment process is heavily scrutinized, so care must be taken to comply with all the requirements.

What are the steps to obtain a green card?

Once the Labor Certification is obtained, the employer can then file the I-140, Petition for Immigrant Worker for the employee. The I-140 can be premium processed, which means the employer can get a decision within 15 days. If and when the I-140 is approved, the next question is whether an immigrant visa is currently available for that category. Depending on the employee’s country of birth, the waiting time for the visa category to become “current” may differ greatly.

Only when the “priority dates” are current, then the employee can apply for an immigrant visa at their home country’s consulate or apply to adjust status from within the United States if they are already in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa.

Additional requirements

The nanny must provide evidence of prior full-time work experience as a nanny for over one year with an employer other than the petitioning employer.

In sum, U.S. citizens and permanent residents have the option to permanently sponsor a domestic worker (nanny) to come to the U.S. and work for them on a green card. Although the process involves many complex steps and could take many years to complete, the long-term benefits could make it a worthwhile pathway to pursue.

Related posts:

PERM: What is PERM? | Scott Legal, P.C. (

Prevailing wage determination: What is a PERM Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD)? | Scott Legal, P.C. (

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