Pricey Sophie: Are there any visas or inexperienced playing cards I can get alone?

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

“Your questions are important to the unfold of information that enables folks all around the world to rise above borders and pursue their desires,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration legal professional. “Whether or not you’re in folks ops, a founder or in search of a job in Silicon Valley, I’d like to answer your questions in my subsequent column.”

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Pricey Sophie,

I’m so nervous and pressured about all of the layoffs! I’m protected for now, however it has made me understand I have to take management of my very own future. Are there any visas or inexperienced playing cards that I can apply for alone with out counting on my employer?

— Silicon Burdened

Pricey Burdened,

I applaud you for taking step one towards figuring out your individual immigration future — and gaining peace of thoughts.

Let me take your query about inexperienced playing cards first, since current developments impression the timing for the 2 inexperienced playing cards that people can apply for on their very own: the EB-1A extraordinary means inexperienced card and the EB-2 NIW (Nationwide Curiosity Waiver). People can apply for both the EB-1A or the EB-2 NIW with out an employer sponsor or perhaps a job supply.

Final week, the U.S. Division of State launched its Visa Bulletin for December 2022, which exhibits which inexperienced card functions can transfer ahead based mostly on the variety of inexperienced playing cards accessible in every class, and the quantity accessible to people born in sure international locations with excessive ranges of immigration to the U.S., akin to India and China.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Companies (USCIS) releases a month-to-month report that clarifies whether or not it would settle for adjustment of standing functions — the ultimate step within the inexperienced card course of, together with an interview — based mostly on the State Division’s Last Motion dates or the Dates for Submitting. The USCIS December report, launched final week, states USCIS will settle for I-485 adjustment of standing functions based mostly on the Dates for Submitting.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

File for EB-1 NOW!

If you’re eligible to use for an EB-1A inexperienced card, it’s best to file ASAP — and file your I-140 inexperienced card utility and your I-485 adjustment of standing concurrently. The rationale for the urgency is that regardless that the EB-1 inexperienced card class stays present in December for all people no matter the place they had been born, that’s anticipated to vary for people born in India or China.

On account of excessive demand for EB-1 inexperienced playing cards and the lower in inexperienced card numbers accessible this fiscal yr in comparison with the earlier one, the State Division is projecting that it’s going to impose deadlines for people born in India and China. If that applies to you, converse to your immigration legal professional now about transferring ahead rapidly.

Every fiscal yr, 140,000 employment-based inexperienced playing cards can be found, plus any unused inexperienced playing cards from the family-based classes from the earlier fiscal yr. This fiscal yr (FY 2023), USCIS estimates there can be 197,000 inexperienced playing cards accessible in comparison with final fiscal yr (FY 2022), when there have been 281,507 inexperienced playing cards. I’ve lengthy advocated for growing the cap on the variety of employment-based inexperienced playing cards accessible every year and eliminating the per-country cap on employment-based inexperienced playing cards, each of which require motion from Congress.

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