EB2 Green Card FAQs

Physician filing green card

Authored on: Thu, 11/19/2015 - 07:19

Question

1. I am a Canadian physician on an H-1B (never been on J-1) which expires June 30th, 2017. I am currently doing a 2 year fellowship. I'm contemplating pursuing the physician NIW process vs EB-2 through potential employer.
For EB-2, my understanding is that I need to be eligible for a full-time physician position on the day the employer submits the ad. Since I won't complete my general residency until June 30th, 2016, my potential employer cannot begin recruitment until July 1, 2016, correct?<br>
2. In your experience, is 1 year enough time to complete the EB-2 process?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/H_VV9kV_lOg?t=1852

FAQ Transcript:

Answer 1. In this context we are talking about a PERM and not the NIW. Also remember NIW is under EB-2. Most physicians fall under the EB-2 category.  Here is how a PERM can be drafted. It depends on your employers, your lawyers and you and there is no requirement that you be fully licensed. Only that you are eligible for a license, or you are at a certain level of profession shall we say maturity or advancement so it could be possible to file for a PERM depending upon what the employers requirements are and  what the state rules for licensing are to file upon even before what you believe is your eligibility. Also remember rules for giving full license to residents differ from state to state. They are not the same in every state. So you have to look at the states in which you are going to start the PERM application.

Note: Your eligibility for licensing does not have to be from when the date of recruitment begins. It has to be established the date the PERM is filed and typically recruitment can last a few months. Before that your eligibility must be perfect upon the date PERM is filed and not when the recruitment begins. 

Answer 2.  It may or may not be, very difficult to say.


Regarding Form G-884 (Returns of original documents)

Authored on: Tue, 07/21/2015 - 10:22

Question

I got I-140 approved and also got EAD with EB2 category in April 2012. I need to change my employer but my employer did not give me my green card paper like I-140 approval copy, labor code etc. I have only receipt copy of I-140 and I-485. I heard about USCIS form G-884 (Returns of original documents) which use to get all green card documents from USCIS. I have following questions to ask you. Based on G-884, can I get my all green card
documents from USCIS without knowing my employer?

Answer

Form G-884 is used to request return of documents YOU had sent to USCIS (e.g., your college degrees and diplomas). Use FOIA for the purpose you are considering.

Green card through a future job

Authored on: Mon, 06/29/2015 - 09:03

Question

I am currently on EB-3. I have a company (say Company A) which is willing to file for my GC in EB-2 under 'Future Employment'. Do I or the 'company A' need to be aware of something on this front?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://youtu.be/PreNUXXW9KU

FAQ Transcript:

There are only two things.

1. “I” the employee has the good faith intention in taking that job. You may never have to join that job but you should have the good faith intention to take up that job when the green card comes through. You may never have to do it but you should have the intention.

2. The employer must have the same good faith intention of hiring you sometime in the future. What is that time within a commercially reasonable period after you get your green card or any time before that?

 Let’s say you get your green card approval today the future employer should hire you within 3,4 5 months. That is the commercial reasonable period. 

So applying for a green card through a future job - can it be done and the answer is "yes" it is allowed. The employer should have ability to pay wages and that is an important thing. Other than that all that is needed is good faith intention on part of the employer and employee to give and take the job.

How soon can I change employers after getting green card?

Authored on: Tue, 04/28/2015 - 00:03

Question

I got my green card base on EB-2 category. I got mail from USCIS mentioning they change my status in to Permanent resident. As well as I got my Green Card in mail this year March. But I filed my I-485 last year July.I want to change my employer. (New Employer offering similar salary as well as similar position ). Is there any legal issue. Do I have to worry about this junction ?

Answer

Video URL

 

 

How to get a copy of I-140 approval

Authored on: Thu, 03/19/2015 - 08:33

Question

My I-140 was currently approved but the company is keeping the Original copy of I-140 approval with them, also they are not giving me the copy of original. The GC is filed in EB-3 and I have US masters degree and technically qualify for EB-2 category. I was waiting to get my I-140 approved and H-1 filed so I can start looking for change of job who can file in EB-2 with same PD.<br>
How important it will be for me to have the original copy of I-140 or how are the other ways which I can obtain this from the USCIS directly?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baprYGs8IzQ&t=1376 

FAQ Transcript

First of all you really don’t need a copy of the I-140 approval. We have been able to get H-1 extensions as well as priority date transfers based upon just your name, social security number, date of birth , name of the old employer, but you should file a Freedom of Information Act request. If you go to the USCIS list of forms you will be able to see FOIA Freedom of Information Act. Strictly speaking it is a Privacy Act Request but they are the same form. The form is G-639. That will give you a copy of your documentation. Often time’s government gives you a copy of all your paperwork including your I-140 approvals. So doesn’t hurt to try that way. So we don’t really need it. You should be ok. But it is a good idea to have copies of everything that the government has and can share with you. So when you file the FOIA/Privacy Act Request form it’s free to file and there is no charge on it. In a few months (4-5 months) you will get copies of the documents and it could very well include I-140 approval as well.

Green card through two employers and future employer

Authored on: Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:32

Question

I am in a very difficult/complex situation, the situation is as below:<br>
Have been on H-1 for 3 + 3 + 3 + 1 years (last 4 years extended based on approved I140). Have approved I-140 with priority date of June 2010 in EB-2 category. H-1 extension was denied last year hence had to leave employer A, now I am on H-4 and will be soon filing H-1 with employer B. I have following questions on which I am requesting your opinion. <br><br>

Q1. When my priority date becomes current and if I am still with employer B, can employer A still file my I-485 and that way I can then get the EAD and join him on EAD? :<br>
Q2. Further, do I have to be working with employer A on an active H-1 visa to be eligible to file EAD when my priority date becomes current? :<br>
Q3. If question 1 approach works, can I then continue to work with employer B and employer A can process my green card in parallel. :<br>
Q4. What are the risks in working for employer B when my I140 is with employer A. Note that employer A is willing to preserve my I-140 and process green card eventually without me working for him, because he is unable to find me any projects? :<br>
Q5. I do plan to file for a new GC with employer B but worry is the priority date is likely to become current before I complete GC process with B. :<br>
Q6. Do I need to be with employer A for my wife to apply H-4 EAD based on my I-140 with A (note that currently I am with employer B).

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baprYGs8IzQ&t=893 

 

FAQ Transcript

Answer to Q1. In other words you have the intention to join both of them but you haven’t chosen yet and I think that’s quite OK as long as that intention remains and the employer’s intention remains to hire you at the present date or future date you can file a green card or even an I- 485 that’s perfectly permissible. Actually you don’t have to join them on EAD you can join them after the green card is approved as long as you have the intention to join them the green card can go forward. 

Answer to Q2. No you do not. 

Answer to Q 3. The answer is yes 

Answer to Q 4. The problem is USCIS can always question this arrangement from a common sense perspective. This type of situation has not been questioned very frequently. In my entire twenty plus years of practice of immigration law I have had only one instance out of Chicago where this issue was raised and questioned. We get a kick back from USCIS saying well you know if he wants to work permanently for this employer why is he working for the other one why did he leave and we had a very good answer. In fact being paranoid we had prepared for that and made sure we knew what the reason was and it was genuine. This company was specialized in JD Edwards ERP and JD Edwards had lost a lot of market share so the individual in question the green card employee was a senior technical person and he went to get experience in other types of ERP. He looked at SAP and he was doing work in oracle finances and applications. He was learning all these technologies and the idea was he would be able to bring it back to the employer and they would be able to expand their ERP offerings and we were able to get that green card approved without any problem. So even though he was working for another employer the prior employer got his green card approved and once the green card was approved he joined. By the way under AC21 once the I-485 has been pending 180 days you can file an AC21 without joining the prior employer. The intent to join has to remain active in your own mind till 180 days or I-485 pendency has passed.

Answer to Q 5. I think that’s OK. 

Answer to Q 6. No because the government has made it clear we just want one active I-140 we don’t care which employer it has been approved with.

Procedure for Porting a Priority Date from One I-140 to Another

Authored on: Thu, 02/05/2015 - 10:10

Question

I have two approved I-140`s in EB-2 from two different companies with same A# on them. One with 2009 PD and other with 2011 PD. I am working for the company with 2011 PD . 2009 case was approved after the 2011 case so we could not port the date at the time of filing for 2011 case I-140. Now my question is do I need to file for amendment to port the 2009 date? Or am I eligible for filing I-485 without the I-140 amendment? Both I-140's are alive and employer did not withdraw any of them.

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXq6DaDK7AA#t=657

FAQ Transcript

PD (priority date) date transfer is supposed to be automatic. We don’t have to do anything about it and it is my understanding what USCIS does is they do periodic sweeps in fact several times a month. They do a sweep like queries of their database and whoever is entitled to whichever priority date at the earliest they automatically assign that to you. So if you have one I- 140 approved earlier another I-140 going on or approved they will automatically assign you the earliest priority date to which you are entitled. That may or may not reflect in your approval though. So just because it does not reflect in your approval it doesn’t mean that you are not going to get the earlier priority date. You can confirm it by opening a service request. You can confirm by asking them your priority date.

Hence the answer is you are eligible for filing I-485 automatically when the 2009 date becomes current. All you have to do is attach a copy of the earlier approval notice with it along with the current approval and you should be fine.

Changing from EB-3 to EB-2 Category

Authored on: Thu, 02/05/2015 - 10:05

Question

I have my I-140 approved under EB-3 category, even though I have Masters Degree from accredited US University. Can I change it to EB-2 now?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXq6DaDK7AA#t=472

FAQ Transcript 

The idea is once an I-140 is approved under any category EB-1/EB-2/EB-3 the priority date becomes the property of the employee. Whether the employee goes to work for a different employer or a different job completely or like a different job where you go from being a IT professional to a civil engineer you would still carry your priority date. This is not AC21.  AC21 requires same or similar job but that also requires I-140 approval, I- 485 pending for 180 days. This is not that case. The priority date transfer from EB-2 to EB-3 requires only the I-140 is approved. 

Hence the answer to the question is YES. If you get a job with the same employer or with a new employer that requires a masters degree or bachelors plus five year experience type of qualifications and your priority date will remain the same. The difference between AC21 and priority date carry over date is this: In AC21 you do not have to re file the green card. You can take the whole green card and take it over to a same or similar job if you’re I-140 is approved and I- 485 is pending 180 days. But in the priority date transfer you carry forward nothing. You only carry the priority date and it can be ported from EB-2 to EB-3/EB-1 to EB-2/EB2 to EB-1 it doesn’t matter. There is no requirement that the job that you are filing for is same or similar. That is the difference between AC21 and priority date transfer.

Changing Jobs During Green Card

Authored on: Thu, 01/15/2015 - 15:59

Question

I am still in the process of getting a green card. During this process I want to change my job from a present one to another one that is more challenging than the present one. Would this in any way affect getting the green card or is it advisable not to shift jobs now?

Answer

 

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84359240&v=uaBshBiaCUg&x-yt-ts=1421782837&feature=player_detailpage#t=719


FAQ Transcript

In this scenario we have employment based people who are good workers, very skilled people and they have a lot of trouble changing jobs or advancing in their careers because technically while the green card is going on even if you take up a promotion you could end up losing your current green card and have to start all over again - at least part of the process. So this is not a good thing. 

Keeping in view with the current law what Obama had said on November 21st about his plan and finally what this bill (Immigration Innovation Act) says. 

First of all under the current law if you change your employers before your I-140 approval is obtained you will lose everything. You have to start all over again. That means if you are a EB-1 based candidate your I-140 must be approved. If you are an EB-2 or EB-3 based upon the labor certification your perm application must be approved and then you’re I-140 must be approved. Remember I-140 can be filed by premium processing. So you got to get your I-140 approved very quickly. Generally speaking if you move before I-140 is approved you get nothing. If you move after I-140 is approved but before I- 485 is filed you keep your priority date and you keep the right to extend H-1 beyond six years as long as the I-140 is not revoked. This is an important concept to remember. You keep your priority date - that means when you go to the next employer you will have to start the green card all over again but your priority date will be the date the first case was filed which again is a very big advantage. The priority date is capped but here is an additional provision. if your priority dates are current and you have filed I-485 with the old employer, after 180 days of the I-485 pendency and the I-140 approval you can take any job anywhere with any employer and be able to carry the same green card forward without having to redo any work. so before I-140 you get nothing, after I-140 and before I-485 you get your priority date and the right to extend your H-1 beyond 6 years and after I-140 approval plus I-485 filing 180 days thereafter you get the right to keep your green card even if you take a slight promotion with another employer or move to an entirely different employer as long as the jobs are same or similar. 

President Obama said normally applicant can only file the last step - the I-485 if the priority date is current. He said he would change that by allowing the applicant to file I-485 along with the I-140 no matter where the priority dates are. This is a big advantage. That means technically just roughly speaking once you start your green card process through PERM in a year and half you could be free to join any employer – proximately or two years at the most as long as you  maintain the job category you are in. President Obama also said he is going to make it clear that advancement in career is considered to be same or similar job so that your green card will not be disturbed. And that idea has been very welcomed. Combine that with the Immigration Innovation Act you could be getting your green card much earlier than 3, 4, 5....10 years that you are waiting for right now. So all these things combined are very good signs for people in a situation such as the query above. If you have not yet got your I-140 approved and you are far from that stage it’s ok as long as you don’t have H-1 problems. If you are about to get the I-140 approved then get it approved. If you have H-1 issues beyond six years make sure the second H-1 is approved before you change employers. Once the H-1 is approved for 3 more years even if the old employer revokes the I-140 they cannot take your right to the H-1 you already got. You can start another green card and protect yourself.

Concurrent AOS filing for EB-2 Physical Therapist

Authored on: Mon, 11/24/2014 - 00:59

Question

Is this true ? - "If the ‘Schedule A’ application falls into the “EB-2” or Employment Based Second Preference category (the employer requires a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy or a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy + 5 years of experience), then the Adjustment of Status application can be submitted simultaneously with the Form I-140".

Answer

Concurrent filing is possible ONLY if your priority date for EB-2 is current, and not backlogged.