Are there visas or green cards that I can get on my own? • TechCrunch

Here is another version “Dear Sophie,” an advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.

“Your questions are critical to spreading the knowledge that allows people around the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” said Silicon Valley immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn. Whether you’re in People Ops, a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in the next column.

TechCrunch+ members receive weekly access to the “Dear Sophie” columns; Use ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription at 50% off.

Dear Sophie,

I am so worried and stressed about all the dismissals! I’m fine for now, but it made me realize that I have to take control of my own destiny. Are there visas or green cards I can apply for on my own without relying on my employer?

– Silicone tension

Dear worry

I commend you for taking the first step in determining your own immigration destiny and gaining peace of mind.

Let me address your question about green cards first, because recent changes affect the timing of the two green cards that individuals can apply for on their own: the EB-1A extraordinary ability green card and the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver). Individuals can apply for an EB-1A or EB-2 NIW without an employer sponsor or even a job offer.

Last week, the U.S. State Department released its Visa Bulletin for December 2022, which shows which green card applications are available in each category based on the number of green cards and the top-ranking individuals in certain countries. Immigration to America from countries like India and China.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues a monthly report detailing whether adjustment of status applications are accepted – the final stage of the green card process with an interview – based on the State Department’s deadline for action or filing dates. . The USCIS December Report, released last week, states that USCIS accepts I-485 status applications based on submission dates.

Immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn with the TechCrunch logo in the background.

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

File for EB-1 now!

If you are eligible to apply for an EB-1A green card, you must file ASAP – and submit your I-140 green card application and your I-485 adjustment of status application at the same time. The reason for the urgency is that the EB-1 green card category is expected to change in December to all individuals, regardless of place of birth, for individuals born in India or China.

Due to high demand for EB-1 green cards and a decrease in the number of green cards available this fiscal year compared to the previous year, the State Department announced that it will impose a cut-off deadline for individuals born in India and China. If that applies to you, talk to your immigration attorney now about moving forward.

There are 140,000 employment-based green cards in each fiscal year and unused green cards from the previous fiscal year’s family-based green cards. In this fiscal year (2023), USCIS estimates that 281,507 green cards will be available, compared to 197,000 in the previous fiscal year (2022). I have long supported the annual increase in employment-based green cards and the elimination of domestic employment-based green cards, both of which require action from Congress.

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