Immigration law in the United States provides people with many ways that they can become lawful and permanent residents of the country. Those who have a TN visa in Los Angeles, those with an H-1B visa in Los Angeles, and those with an L1 visa in the Los Angeles area could all speak with an attorney to see about potentially moving to a green card. With some of these categories of visas, the path forward may be easier than others. The visa holders will want to speak with an expert on H-1B and visa law in Los Angeles to find out what they will need to do.
New Changes Could Help Some Indian Visa Holders
One of those ways is through employment-based preference immigrant categories. In the past, it was possible for Indians who were trying to get a green card to obtain one faster when they were under the EB-2 preference category rather than the EB-3. However, things are changing. It’s important to have an understanding of the various EB categories to see how they can affect getting a green card.
The EB-1 category is considered first preference. These are priority workers. They might be people who have some type of extraordinary ability in education, the arts, sciences, athletics, or business. They could be outstanding researchers or professors, or even executives or multinational managers.
The second preference is the EB-2 category. This would include workers who have advanced degrees, or who have some type of exceptional capability. The EB-3 category is the third preference, and this applies to skilled workers, professionals, and other workers. Typically, because EB-2 is a higher-tier preference category, it was faster for these workers to get their green cards when they applied.
In the October 2020 Visa Bulletin, it was revealed that the USCIS would be using the dates for filing for I-485 filings. This allowed Indian applicants in the EB-2 category to downgrade to the EB-3 category if they had a priority date between May 15, 2011, and January 1, 2015. This means that thousands of Indians could qualify for the downgrade.
One of the questions that many will have for their specialist for immigration and H-1B visa law in Los Angeles is why they should consider a downgrade. The EB-2 category should be a faster path for a green card. However, the EB-2 category has been moving more slowly than it has in the past. The EB-3 category does not have the demand that was expected, and this means that the Department of State has chosen to use the visa numbers available to help advance those in the EB-3 category.
Those who choose to downgrade would be able to file for their I-485 Adjustment of Status. This means that it becomes possible for them to get independent work and travel permits for themselves and their family. Additionally, they would be able to shift their I-485 green card process to a new employer after six months. This affords them more flexibility. It has the potential to speed up the green card process, as well. However, this will mostly help those who are located in an area where it is possible to get faster I-485 interviews. Those who are considering this option should talk with an H-1B visa lawyer in Los Angeles to see whether it might be a good idea for them to consider a downgrade. In some cases, the attorney might believe it is better to keep the EB-2 status instead, as the length of time for getting a green card can depend on various and changing factors.
How to Move the Case from EB-2 to EB-3
Fortunately, moving from the EB-2 to EB-3 category is relatively simple, as long as the applicants have a specialist for a green card and H-1B visa law in Los Angeles helping them through the process.
Those with employers who have an approved I-140 form that has a priority date that matches the current EB-3 priority dates, mentioned above, can downgrade the case to EB-3. If the applicant has the same employer and the same job or position with the company, they can use the same EB-2 PERM and then file a new I-140 in the EB-3 category.
Those who change to a different employer, including those who have an amended I-140 after a company went through a merger or was acquired, will need to have a new PERM filed with the current employer, along with a new EB-3 I-140. They will also need to file an I-485 with the I-140 and have a Supplement J.
The applicant will then have an open work permit thanks to the I-485 EAD, as mentioned. This means that it is possible to stay in the United States if their main job lays them off because they can go to work for another company. Additionally, if they have an H4 dependent spouse, he or she will be able to work with the I-485 EAD, as well.
It is possible to upgrade again if needed, and many consider the downgrade with the EAD to be something of an insurance option in case a job is lost. When downgrading, it is possible to keep both the EB-2 and the EB-3 I-140, which can provide more options. For example, if the EB-2 queue for green cards starts to open up again and it proves to be faster, they can simply upgrade. There are no real downsides.
The process of downgrading may not be difficult, but it can be confusing for many people. Most people do not deal with immigration law regularly, so knowing which forms to fill out and when to file them can be a problem. These issues are eliminated when working with an H1-B visa lawyer in Los Angeles who knows and understands the process, along with the changes that were made recently.
The attorney can let the applicants know whether it will be the right move for them to downgrade and take advantage of those changes and can help them through each step of the process.