Most nonimmigrant visas are not dual intent, which means they do not permit a foreign national under temporary immigration status to apply for a green card. One of the exceptions is the H-1B Specialty Occupations Visa, which permits one to apply for a green card.
In this article, you will find out how to apply for a US green card under H-1B nonimmigrant status.
Can H1B Visa be Converted to Green Card? – Step-by-Step
Finding a US Employer to Sponsor the Application
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has several categories of employment-based visas to which a foreign national under H-1B can transition to attain permanent residence.
Nonetheless, most of the US employment-based green card categories require sponsorship by a US employer, which can be either the applicant’s current H-1B employer or a different company/entity.
Applicants must pay close attention, as there are specific requirements to be met by an employer to qualify for employment-based visa sponsorship. Plus, not all H-1B positions meet USCIS adjustment requirements to transition from a nonimmigrant visa to a green card.
Then, the eligible employer must file to obtain a PERM Labor Certification, which permits a US employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States while ensuring that no US worker is available for the job.
Usually, the most common visa options to which professionals under H-1B status transition include the EB-1 visa (Extraordinary ability professionals, outstanding professors, and multinational executives), the EB-2 visa (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities), and the EB-3 visa (skilled workers, professionals, and eligible unskilled workers).
Filing Form I-140
After obtaining approval for PERM, the employer must file Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) on the applicant’s behalf. When applying, the employer must demonstrate that he/she has sufficient financial condition to pay the salary for the proposed job position.
Once the paperwork is complete, the employer must submit the document package containing Form I-140, the approved PERM labor certification, and the required filing fee. If the petition is approved, the employer would receive an Approval Notice issued by USCIS.
Upon receipt of the USCIS notice, it is time to move forward towards the next stage of the application process.
It is crucial to note that receiving approval to an I-140 petition does not automatically grant the applicant permanent resident status. Form I-140 will not adjust one’s status from nonimmigrant to immigrant, as there are additional steps to take until the process is concluded.
Filing Form I-485 to Adjust Immigration Status
Once the USCIS receives an applicant’s petition, the date of receipt becomes his/her priority date. Accordingly, the applicant must wait until the priority date becomes current before filing Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
When the day arrives and the applicant has a current priority date, it is possible to apply to adjust status with USCIS by submitting Form I-485. If USCIS decides to approve the petition, the applicant will receive his/her green card and finally attain permanent residence in the United States.
Can My H1B Visa be Converted to a US Green Card? – Immediately Consult with an Expert Immigration Attorney
Consult with an expert immigration attorney to determine whether you meet the requirements to transition to an employment-based green card.
Waste no time – call Attorney Romy B. Jurado today at (305) 921-0976 or email Romy@juradolawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.