Here is another edit from “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.
“Your questions are vital to the dissemination of knowledge that empowers people around the world to rise beyond borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people operations, founding, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next column.
Metaverse Marketing+ members have access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one or two year subscription at 50% off.
Today, we bring you answers to three green card questions in the EB-1A category for Extraordinary Ability and Multinational Managers, EB-2 NIW and with PERM, as well as EB-3 for Professionals.
I was so close! My priority date for my EB-2 application to register permanent residence was only nine days from the date on the September 2022 Visa Bulletin, but now the date on the October Visa Bulletin 2022 goes back more than two years!
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 holding me back is that I’ve heard that employees will be fined if they leave their employer before getting the green card.
What do you recommend?
— Crushed by the Bulletin
I understand how frustrating it is to wait so long and get so close only to be faced with another delay. But do not worry ! The regression – the earlier deadline – in the October 2022 Visa Bulletin says there are no more EB-2 immigrant visas left for this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. On October 1, the annual green card caps are reset!
In early September, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that the annual allocation of EB-1 and EB-2 green cards had been used. Although the current Visa Bulletin lists the EB-1 Green Card as current for all countries and is therefore accepting applications for permanent resident registration (also known as adjustment of status) under this category, these cases will remain pending until at the start of the new fiscal year. October 1.
USCIS overrated the number of applications required to reach the annual cap for the use of all available green cards, which is a very good thing. In the previous fiscal year (fiscal year 2021), over 200,000 green cards were available but never issued due to embassy and consulate closures and backlogs during the pandemic.
Given the backlog, especially in the EB-2 category for people born in India and China, I suggest you consult an immigration attorney to assess whether you would be a candidate for the EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Visa.
Regarding the fine you mentioned: USCIS does not impose a penalty on employers or employees if a green card applicant changes jobs before receiving a green card. However, your employer may require you to reimburse certain green card fees, usually based on a pre-arranged contract before you begin the green card process. An immigration attorney can help you determine the best course of action if you are faced with this situation.