Ask Sophie: How lengthy earlier than I can journey whereas ready for my inexperienced card?

Right here’s one other version from “Ask Sophie”, the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at know-how firms.

“Your questions are important to the unfold of data that empowers individuals all over the world to push past limits and chase their goals,” says Sophie Acorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether or not you’re in individuals administration, a founder, or searching for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d like to reply your questions in my subsequent column.”

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Pricey Sophia,

I got here to the USA from Tunisia to pursue my grasp’s diploma and Ph.D. I not too long ago acquired my Ph.D. accomplished and I work for a biotech firm on OPT.

I’ve been making an attempt to get publications and main awards to qualify for the EB-1A inexperienced card and I’ve to journey internationally for enterprise frequently.

If I join, will I be caught within the US? If that’s the case, for a way lengthy?

— Tenacious from Tunisia

Pricey Tenacious,

Thanks for contacting us! First, let me offer you an summary of the inexperienced card course of after which recommend an alternative choice to the EB-1A inexperienced card that can probably offer you a sooner, much less dangerous path ahead.

Reasonably than ready so as to add one thing to your checklist of accomplishments to qualify for an EB-1A inexperienced card for extraordinary means, take into account making use of now for the EB-2 NAV inexperienced card. Hearken to my chat with my colleague Nadia Zaidi on the EB-2 NAW and what it takes to current a robust case.

Two-step course of

Making use of for both an EB-1A extraordinary means inexperienced card — or an EB-2 NIW (Nationwide Curiosity Waiver) inexperienced card for that matter — is often a two-step course of that includes submitting with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) for people sustaining a sound non-immigrant standing (similar to F-1 OPT or H-1B) in the USA:

  • Kind I-140 is the inexperienced card petition during which you and your immigration lawyer advocate why you qualify for the kind of inexperienced card you might be making use of for.
  • Kind I-485 can be known as the appliance for registration for an indefinite interval or change of standing.

Typically, in case your “precedence date” is present, you’ll be able to submit these two steps concurrently – extra on that beneath. At any time when we file the I-485, we often add Kind as nicely I-765the employment allow utility kind (EAD) and kind i-131the utility for a journey doc that lets you re-enter the US after a visit overseas with “Advance Parole”.

Picture Credit: Joanna Bunjak / Sophie Acorn (Opens in a brand new window)

In case you don’t obtain Advance Parole, with many forms of non-immigrant statuses, you would unintentionally go away your I-485 when touring internationally and even be denied return except you could have a particular legitimate standing, similar to H-1B or L-1 – additionally , extra beneath. When accepted for I-765 and I-131, you often obtain a “combo card” that lets you work and journey whilst you wait to your bodily inexperienced card to be issued after your I-140 is accepted.

Processing time

You may file your EB-1A I-140 with premium processing, which implies you’ll obtain a choice or request for proof from USCIS inside 15 days. With out premium processing, USCIS takes almost 2 years to course of EB-1A I-140s, based on a latest USCIS Case Processing Occasions web page. (USCIS additionally not too long ago expanded premium processing to EB-2 NIW I-140s, however the premium processing time is longer than 45 days. With out premium processing, USCIS can take so long as 8 months to course of EB-2 NIW I-140s.)