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.
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Today we answer three questions about the EB-1A category with special skills and multinational managers, EB-2 with NIW and PERM, and EB-3 for professionals.
I was so close! I prioritized my EB-2 application for permanent residency only nine days from the date listed in the September 2022 visa bulletin, but now the date in the October 2022 visa bulletin is over two years back!
I’m a software engineer and wanted to get my green card before changing jobs, but now I’m reconsidering my path. The only thing that holds me back is that I’ve heard that workers face penalties if they leave their employer before they get their green card.
What advice do you have?
– Beaten by Bulletin
I understand how frustrating it can be to wait this long and get close only to get another delay. But don’t be upset! The amendment — an earlier cutoff date — will appear in the visa bulletin for October 2022 to reflect that there are no EB-2 immigrant visas for this fiscal year, which expires on September 30. On October 1, the annual green card will start again!
In early September, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its annual EB-1 and EB-2 green card applications. Although the current Visa Bulletin lists the EB-1 green card as current for all countries and is accepting applications to register permanent residents (also called adjustment of status) in this category, those cases remain pending until the beginning of the new fiscal year. On October 1.
USCIS Estimated The number of applications needed to meet the annual cap to use all available green cards, which is a Very good thing. Last fiscal year (2021), more than 200,000 green cards were available but never issued due to embassy and consulate closures and case delays during the pandemic.
Given the background in the EB-2 category, especially for individuals born in India and China, I suggest you consult with an immigration attorney to evaluate whether you are a candidate for an EB-1A extraordinary visa.
Regarding the penalty you mentioned, USCIS does not impose penalties on employers and employees if a green card candidate changes jobs before receiving a green card. However, your employer may be able to reimburse you for some green card expenses based on a prearranged contract before the green card process begins. If you find yourself in this situation, an immigration attorney can help you decide the best way forward.