How lengthy am I required to remain at my present job after I get my inexperienced card? – TechCrunch


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

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

TechCrunch+ members obtain entry to weekly “Expensive Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Expensive Sophie,

I’m a software program engineer presently on an H-1B. My employer sponsored me for an EB-2 inexperienced card, and my utility has been accredited, however I’m nonetheless ready for a call on my utility to register for everlasting residence.

I need to depart my employer and do one thing utterly completely different. Can I switch my inexperienced card to a different employer in a unique discipline and place, or ought to I stick it out in my present place till I obtain my inexperienced card?

If I ought to stick it out, how lengthy ought to I stick with my present employer after I obtain my inexperienced card?

— Craving Change

Expensive Craving,

As my dad (additionally an immigration lawyer) would all the time say, right here is a kind of traditional lawyer solutions: “It relies upon.”

It’s so thrilling when an organization is keen to sponsor you for a inexperienced card, however issues can change quick, particularly within the Valley. The previous two years have been a time of self-reflection and reassessment. Thanks for reaching out, and right here’s an outline of among the common choices.

Can I switch my inexperienced card?

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 brand new window)

The American Competitiveness within the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21) makes it attainable for some professionals to switch their employment-sponsored inexperienced card course of from one unique employer to a different with out giving up their “spot in line.”

It has numerous circumstances, akin to:

  • The I-485 (Software to Register Everlasting Standing or Modify Standing), the ultimate step after submitting the I-140 inexperienced card utility, should have been pending with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Companies (USCIS) for a minimum of 180 days since submitting;
  • The brand new job is within the “identical or comparable” discipline because the job for which the unique inexperienced card utility was filed (this entails a sophisticated authorized evaluation based mostly on a wide range of components).