Dear Sophie! Questions about Green Cards and EB-2 Priority Dates

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Here is another edition “Dear Sophie”, an advice column answering immigration questions about working in tech companies.

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“Your questions are vital to spreading the knowledge that enables people around the world to rise above boundaries and achieve their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you work in HR, are a founder, or are looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I am happy to answer your questions in my next column.”

TechCrunch+ members get access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase an annual or two-year subscription with a 50% discount.

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Dear Sophie,

I have been on H-1B since 2011. I have an approved EB-2 I-140 with April 2015 priority date. I am Indian by origin, so I know that I will be waiting a long time for a green card.

As an experienced cybersecurity professional, I think I can apply for EB-2 NIW. Will there be benefit in applying for EB-2 NIW now?

— Idealist from India

Dear Idealist,

Thank you for reaching out and for your patience with the US immigration system!

The green card line for the EB-2 green card category for individuals born in India has advanced significantly over the past few months. In addition, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stated that it will likely use all available employment-based green cards in fiscal year 2022, which ends September 30, 2022. This could mean further promotion to the EB-2 category!

Last Visa Bulletin indicates that persons born in India may apply for an immigrant visa for an EB-2 green card at a US consulate overseas if their priority date is on or before January 1, 2015. For green cards filed domestically, USCIS announced that for employment applications, Form I-485s can be filed based on the same priority date listed in the Visa Bulletin’s “Final Effective Date Chart”, so it is the same: January 1, 2015. You are so close!

However, since you already have an EB-2 NIW priority date, provided Form I-140 has been approved or the offer is still valid (probably your current employer)you will not receive any benefits by applying for an EB-2 NIW at this time.

Composite image of immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn with the TechCrunch logo in the background.

Image credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

That’s why:

  • You are still approaching the front of the green card queue;
  • EB-2 and EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) green cards belong to the same second preference category, as well as have the same cutoff date

Credit: /

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