Due to the long wait times faced by many foreign nationals seeking legal permanent residency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revised its procedure for determining visa availability. Beginning in October, USCIS will start accepting Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) from foreign nationals with an approved I-140 (Immigrant Petition) application to apply for their green card sooner than previously allowed.
What You Need to Know
- This mainly affects nationals of India and China
- Although your foreign national employee can apply for a green card in advance, they may not actually be able to receive their green card for several years
- Once your foreign national files Form I-485, he or she can submit an employment authorization card (EAD) application
- An EAD cardholder does not need sponsorship for their work visa
Note: The Visa Bulletin will feature two charts for each green card category:
- “The Application Final Action Date:” when the visas may finally be issued and
- “Dates for Filing Applications:” denotes the earliest date Form I-485 can be filed.
- If you’re sponsoring a foreign national for a work visa, consult your attorney about whether you’re able to file Form I-485. If you’d like to open a new green card application with Envoy, contact one of our immigration representatives.
- Learn more about the green card application process and revised Visa Bulletin in The HR Guide to Green Cards.