Here’s another version “Dear Sophie,” advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working in technology companies.
“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people around the world to rise above boundaries and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you are in people ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to” answer your questions In my next column.”
Meczyki.Net+ members get access to a weekly “Dear Sophie” column; Use promo code ALCORN to buy a one or two year membership at 50% off.
I am currently a software engineer at H-1B. My employer has sponsored me for an EB-2 green card, and my application has been approved, but I am still awaiting a decision on my application to register for permanent residency.
I want to leave my employer and do something completely different. Can I transfer my green card to another employer in another region and position, or should I keep it in its current state until I receive my green card?
If I must continue, how long should I stay with my current employer after I get my green card?
– craving change
As my dad (also an immigration lawyer) will always say, here’s one of those classic lawyers: “It depends.”
It is very exciting when a company is ready to sponsor you for a green card, but things can change rapidly, especially in the Valley. The last two years have been a time of self-reflection and re-evaluation. Thanks for getting in touch, and here’s an overview of some common options.
Can I transfer my green card?
American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21) makes it possible for some professionals to transfer their employment-sponsored green card process from one original employer to another without leaving their “spot in line.”
It has various conditions, such as:
- I-485 (Application for filing permanent status or adjusting status), the last step after filing I-140 Green card application must be pending with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for at least 180 days since filing;
- The new job is in the “same or similar” area as the job for which the original green card application was filed (this involves a complex legal analysis based on a variety of factors).