Even if an applicant meets all of the eligibility requirements for a visa category, they will not be able to secure a green card until one becomes available. Because demand can outstrip supply in some categories, applicants will often face substantial wait times for their priority date to become “current.” Applicants from countries with high application volumes, including China and India, can experience even larger waits, as only a certain number of visas can be issued to individual countries each year.
EB-1 and EB-2 visa applicants often do not have to wait at all before visas become available (unless they are applying from a high-volume country). EB-3 visa applicants may need to endure waits of several months or more.
Our Washington D.C. employment green card attorney can assist you in navigating the complex and sometimes confusing preference category system. We can evaluate your qualifications and determine under which categories you are eligible. From there, we can strategize on how best to minimize your wait time and secure your visa as efficiently as possible.
Other Employment-Based Visas
Other nonimmigrant visas can enable foreign workers to live and work in the United States on a temporary or conditional basis. Some of these nonimmigrant visas allow recipients to apply for green cards once they are in the United States.
We can assist you with the following nonimmigrant worker visas:
- H-1B Visas for Specialty Occupations. U.S. employers can use this visa to hire foreign workers to fill “specialty occupations” that require some manner of technical or theoretical expertise. The visa is commonly used in the computer software, engineering, architecture, and science industries. H-1B visas are capped, and most prospective applicants are subject to a visa lottery. Once approved, the visa is valid for 3 years and can be extended for up to 6 years. Recipients can apply for green cards once in the United States.
- E-2 Treaty Investor Visas. Foreign nationals that are citizens of a treaty nation can secure this visa by investing at least $100,000 in a U.S.-based commercial enterprise. The venture must offer goods or services and represent some level of risk. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they intend to enter the country to support their investment. Though E-2 visa recipients cannot pursue lawful permanent residency, they can effectively stay in the U.S. indefinitely. The E-2 visa is valid for 2 years once issued, but it can be renewed an unlimited number of times so long as the beneficiary continues to work to support their commercial endeavor.
- L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visas. Managers, executives, and employees with specialized knowledge can benefit from the L-1 visa, which allows them to live and work in the United States in order to support a U.S. branch, office, or operation that engages in commercial foreign trade. Executives and managers can extend their visas for up to 7 years, while employees with specialized knowledge can stay for up to 5 years. L-1 visas are “dual-intent visas,” allowing beneficiaries to pursue green cards while working in the United States.
Adjustment of Status Versus Consular Processing
Once USCIS approves your petition to work in the United States and a visa becomes available, you will need to formally change your immigration status through consular processing or an adjustment of status. Whether you are currently in the United States will determine which process you must complete.
If you are already in the United States, you will need to submit additional paperwork to USCIS in order to adjust your status. USCIS generally takes several months to process these requests.
If you are outside the United States, you will need to schedular a consular processing appointment with your home country’s U.S. embassy or consular office. Because appointments can often be secured within weeks versus months, consular processing can sometimes be faster than requesting an adjustment of status. However, you will need to participate in an in-person interview that is intended to confirm your eligibility for the visa you applied for.
Our Washington D.C. employment green card attorney at Law Group International can assist you with consular processing and adjustments of status. We can help you navigate the U.S. employment immigration system and work to make what can be a difficult and protracted process as painless and efficient as possible. We have assisted thousands of clients and are committed to giving you the legal support that you need and deserve.