Complete Guide To Switching From A H1B To Green Card

H1B To Green Card

Written by Kimberly Linhares

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August 29, 2022

One of the most common types of work visas in the US is the H1B. The H1B visa, which is granted for a maximum of 6 years, certifies that the holder has completed education and training requirements and has a position that is in high demand. Many H1B visa holders wish to continue working in the US after their six-year period has ended. To start the process of changing from an H1B to green card and permanent residency in the US, continue reading to learn everything you need to know.

Holders Of H1B Visas Can Apply For A Green Card Easily

The H1B visa is a dual-intent visa, which permits those who possess it to apply for a green card in order to get permanent residency. You should begin the process of applying for your H1B to green card as soon as possible if you intend to remain in the US. Once your H1B visa has expired, applying for a green card might be challenging.

Steps In The H1B To Green Card Process

The H1B to green card conversion process is simple, but you should start as soon as you can. The three key processes in the green card application procedure are listed here, along with instructions for each one.

Step 1: PERM Labor Certification Request 

Your employer must submit an application for a Permanent Labor (PERM) certification as the initial stage. Your company must determine the prevailing rate for your position and set your compensation at that level in order for you to receive a PERM certification. They will also need to go through a hiring process to demonstrate that there are no US citizens who are qualified for the position. And finally, an ETA 9809 form needs to be completed. 

There are three essential requirements for the hiring process: two Sunday newspaper job postings, a posting with the state workforce agency and three extra advertisements.

Step 2: Submit The I-140 Form 

You should submit form I-140, or an Immigration Petition, as soon as your PERM certification has been approved. A priority date is assigned to your petition as soon as USCIS receives it. The process will not move forward for you unless your priority date is up to date.

Step 3: Submit The I-485 Form 

You can then proceed to the following stage of the procedure once your priority date has passed. The next step is to submit Form I-485 to USCIS for a status adjustment. This is the last action. You will get a stamp on your passport indicating your change of status from an H1B to green card holder once I-485 is granted. Your physical green card will arrive in the mail a little while later.

Consequences Of Delaying The H1B To Green Card Process

Some people put off their green card application process until their H1B visa has expired or is about to expire. This is incorrect. The I-485 form, which requests to “change your status” from being an H1B visa holder to a permanent resident, is the problem. However, if your H1B has already run out of time, you aren’t truly changing your status because you no longer have that status. Because of this, USCIS will often reject your application. There are several steps in the H1B to green card procedure that must be followed precisely and in the right order. Start your application as soon as you can for the best results.

H1B To Green Card Timeline

The port of entry official you spoke with during the inspection should have given you an I-94 when you arrived in the US. By checking the date on this card, you can determine when your status expires. The date will also be shown on your USCIS approval documentation if you converted your status to H1B after arriving in the US. You can also request an electronic copy of your I-94 by visiting the Customs and Border Protection database.

The processing times ultimately vary greatly. If there is no PERM audit, a Mexican EB-2 applicant’s employer might be able to get from H1B to green card status in as little as 10 months. However, an Indian EB-3 candidate will probably have to wait more than ten years for their green card to be processed. Be careful to speak with your immigration attorney to acquire a better understanding of the waiting timeframes that will apply to your specific circumstance.

Recovery Of H1B Status Following Expiration 

There are various ways available for people whose H1B visas have expired to recover their H1B status. If you meet the requirements, USCIS may permit you to extend your status in accordance with section 214.1(c)(4) of regulation 8 C.F.R. 

PS: If there’s anything more you’d like us to know about. Add it to the comments section!

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