Question: I am a Canadian citizen who has been working in the USA under TN visa status as a Registered Dietician. My employer is not in the position to pay the legal fees associated with the green card process, nor pursue the PERM process. Given my situation, what are my options for realistically pursuing a Green Card?
Reply: Without an employer willing to sponsor you for a green card, it can be very difficult to obtain a green card based on employment. Self-petitioning for an employment-based green card is available only in limited scenarios.
Even if your employer was willing to sponsor (i.e. petition) you for a green card, it is likely that a PERM application would be required. Some employment-based (EB) green card categories are exempt from the PERM process. For example, PERM applications are not required for EB-1 applications, EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) applications, or for EB-3 - Schedule A applications (nurses / physical therapists).
Given the heightened requirements for these categories, it may be difficult to contend that a dietician would qualify for one of the PERM exempt EB categories.