Many foreign nationals presently residing in the United States select Employment-Based Adjustment of Status if they have found a job where their employer is ready to sponsor their green card petition.
There are now 140,000 employment-based (EB) preference visas available each year, although the number of visas available to applicants from each nation is limited. A formal employment offer letter from the business, recent pictures of the candidate, and a form with basic biographic data are normally requested for this application. An employer in the United States can file a petition on behalf of a current or prospective employee in more than one employment-based immigrant visa category.
Employment-Based Green Card Categories
There are different categories of green cards based on employment. Each employment-based preference category has its own requirements. The most popular ones are:
1#Eb-1 Green card for Priority Workers
The EB-1 category, also known as the first priority employment-based immigrant visa, is for foreign professionals who have excelled in their disciplines.
This is the most coveted employment-based green card application since it has stringent standards that are difficult to meet. Resultantly, only a small percentage of applicants are eligible. However, depending on your place of origin, the EB-1 may have the quickest processing period of all the employment-based green cards in the United States, provided you fulfill these qualifications. It does not need PERM Labor processing, and it can be self-sponsored without a U.S.-based employer.
2#EB-2 Green Card for Foreign Nationals with Advanced Degrees
Applicants with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in science, business, or the arts are eligible for the EB-2, second priority employment-based green card. It also contains a National Interest Waiver option, which allows qualifying applicants to avoid the PERM Labor Certification criteria if they can demonstrate that doing so is in the national interest.
Whether you file for the ordinary EB-2 or the National Interest Waiver, the EB-2 processing period will differ (NIW). If you qualify for the NIW, bear in mind that you won’t be eligible for premium processing, which means you’ll have to wait longer.
3#EB-3 Green Card
In comparison to the two categories above, the EB-3 green card covers a wider spectrum of candidates, including skilled workers and unskilled ones, and has fewer severe standards. To be considered a skilled worker, you must have at least two years of work experience or training in the position you are seeking for.
To work as a professional, you must have a bachelor’s degree from the United States or an equivalent international degree in the area. Other employees are generally unskilled workers who can show that they can conduct unskilled labor that is neither seasonal nor transient.
What is Form-I-485?
A person in the United States uses Form-I-485 to apply for permanent residence in the United States. The formal green card application is Form I-485, often known as the “Adjustment of Status Application.” Certain immigrants in the United States, including special immigrants such as asylees, can apply for an adjustment of status to alter their immigration status to that of a green card holder.
You must be in the United States and file Form I-485 to change your status. You can file Form I-130 and Form I-485 at the same time if you are in the United States. This is referred to as “concurrent filing” by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Green card applicants who are not in the United States can use the “consular procedure” to file Form I-485 from their native country.
Eligibility requirements for Form-I-485 (Adjustment of status)
A green card applicant (a relative or husband or wife) can file an I-485 based on one of seven primary categories (as indicated on the form): family-based, employment-based, asylum or refugee, human trafficking victim or other crime victims, special immigrant, special program, and extra alternatives. For clarity, the I-485 separates these seven categories into 27 sub-categories.
Only a foreign national physically present in the United States are eligible to file an I-485 to apply for a green card based on their marriage. The spouse must have a valid visa to enter the United States. In addition, the spouse’s immigration visa must be “immediately accessible.”
Making the most from Employment-Based Adjustment of Status
If you’ve reached the employment-based adjustment of status phase, there are several advantages. This is the final step before you receive your green card to gain a lawful permanent resident status. Unlike other forms of immigration that need an interview, such as family-based immigration, once your adjustment of status application is granted, you’re typically good to go.
1#Simultaneous Advance Parole Applications
An employment-based adjustment of status has the advantage of allowing you to apply for advance parole document at the same time. After visiting abroad, advanced parole allows you to return to the United States without needing an immigrant or non-immigrant visa. It also prevents your AOS application from being marked as abandoned. Since the intermediate waiting period for some employment-based green card timeframes can be many years, this is a huge benefit.
2#Application for an Employment authorization document
The possibility of applying for an EAD is another advantage of an employment-based adjustment of status. This document permits you to work lawfully in the United States for a limited time (typically a year).
If your I-485 petition is endorsed by an employer, such as certain EB-1 green cards, EB-2, or EB-3 green cards, you have six months after the adjustment of status is submitted to change employment. The only exception exists if your EB-2 is submitted under a National Interest Waiver (NIW).
Timeline for Adjustment of Status Process
Form I-485 processing timeframes vary based on your adjustment category and which USCIS field office is handling your application. USCIS approval can take anything from six months to over four years at some field offices.
If you have applied for Form-I-485 to adjust your status, you must first get your I-140 approved.
#Timeline for Form-I-485 to Green Card
Depending on your condition, the time it takes from completing Form I-485 to receiving a green card might range from a few months to a few years.
Your eligibility to change your status is one of the criteria that affect this procedure. If you’re applying through a family-based process, your relationship with the US citizen who petitioned on your behalf will have an impact on how long it takes.
The USCIS Service Center to which you applied will also affect the I-485 to green card schedule. For an approximation, look up the processing timeframes for the USCIS Service Center where you applied.
#Form I-485: Adjustment of Status Cost
An I-485 application costs $1,225 to file with the government. In rare cases, the price for an I-485 may be reduced or even eliminated altogether.
Although premium processing is not applicable for Form I-485, the USCIS Contact Center may be able to assist you with accelerated processing. Your 13-digit receipt number should be kept in hand to make sure that your request is forwarded to the relevant office.
Alternatives to Adjusting Status
If you are unable to get a non-immigrant visa to enter the United States before altering your status, consular processing is another alternative for obtaining an employment-based green card.
This implies that instead of transitioning from non-immigrant to immigrant status, you may get your green card right away by visiting a US Consulate or Embassy and meeting with a consular officer one-on-one. This technique replaces the I-485 with a DS-260 online immigrant visa application that must be completed and brought to the appointment.
Keep in mind that non-immigrant visa holders still have the option of going via consular procedures. However, before electing to employ consular processing, consult with an immigration attorney because there are several drawbacks that may affect your case.
Why Choose Herman Legal Group?
Working with a lawyer might assist you in correctly handling the relevant paperwork and other duties. Similarly, if you are presently seeking an employment-based adjustment of status and are encountering difficulties, our law firm, Herman Legal Group, can assist you.
Herman Legal Group is a US-based immigration law firm dedicated to making all aspects of the immigration process as straightforward as feasible for you. Herman Legal Group attorneys have 26 years of experience in dealing with immigration processes.