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New Guidelines for Employment-Based Preference Visas

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2022 | immigration |

Are you currently living and working in California with a pending green card application? United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently introduced new recommendations for those seeking to transfer an application from one employment-based classification to another.

The Changing Guidelines From United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

The changes started in October of 2020 when several hundred thousand United States employees became immediately eligible to use EB-3 status to complete an application for a green card. A green card application under the EB-3 status, an employment-based classification that applies to employees that have either a bachelor’s degree or higher, is potentially transferable to an application under EB-2. The EB-2 is a separate classification reserved for employees who either hold a degree higher than a bachelor’s or have a bachelor’s degree with at least five years of relevant experience in their field of work.

UCSIS is now encouraging all employees who currently have a Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) pending under an EB-2 classification to switch a green card application under EB-3. However, the process of making this switch has been the subject of a fair amount of confusion over the past 18 months.

In the department’s new policy guidelines, they have clarified that all such “interfiling” requests need to include Supplement J of Form I-485. Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, has a filing fee of between $750 and $1,225 for non-refugees. In addition to including Form I-485 Supplement J, a direct interfiling request must be submitted in writing.

Green Card Applications Can Be Complex

In situations where an employee has changed employers while a green card application is pending, the new employer is restricted from filing Form I-485 J to assist in the classification transfer. Such situations are one of many that may take an experienced professional to help navigate.