Thursday, June 16, 2011

File Your Green Card on Day One

If you are new to the Green Card (GC) Process, I recommend you read the Green Card section on the path2usa Website before you read any further.Most of us usually fall under the Green Card through a Job Category. I envy the exceptions like my wife who got it through family.

No matter what type of US visa you have it will expire at some point in time. So if you have plans to stay here for long you should get your GC processed right away. Even if you are not planning to live here for long GC process will not hurt but will only help you. I have seen several colleagues who were in that confident state of mind initially - I don’t need a Green Card .And then to confusion - Should I get my GC going, My Employer is not processing my GC should I switch.Eventually to frustration as their visa expiry date approaches.

For me personally there is no better thing than going back to India .Learn, Earn, Return has been my philosophy. Even then I have got my green card processing started, as soon as I joined my second employer.The pay was decent and they had good clientele .And even better they  filed my GC on day one and took care of the cost which usually is around 10 Grand .Green Card process could be lengthy and you should
make sure you can stay with the employer until you get to the final  stage of GC .So it is important you choose the right employer.

While getting the GC itself could take time, there are several advantages in just getting the process started. Once you get past the second stage of GC processing I-140 approved you will be able to
extend your visa until you move on to stage three to receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).Getting the Labor and I-140 Approved normally takes less than an year. When you get to the third and final stage (Adjustment of Status) of the GC process you can apply for you EAD .To file the Adjustment of Status you have to wait for theDates to be current. More on this in another article.EAD will not only give you visa independence but also freedom from your employer. You can work for any company you want using AC21 (A form/letter to theUSCIS).Or even better you can work for your own company. No more Visa Extension, Transfer, Stamping hassles .There are several employers who only hire citizens, green card holders and people with EADs .Inaddition to that your dependent (spouse) will also get an EAD and is authorized to work.

The  immigration process could be a mess at times and they keep pulling the visa strings tight as and when required due to the job market fluctuations. So the sooner you get out of the VISA headache
the better. If your current employer is not processing your green card, switch to another company which can start the process right away. Bear the costs if you have to. Nothing is worth the peace of  mind. Even when you are 100% sure that you will be going back before your visa expires I recommend and request you to get your green card filed on Day One of your employment!

Read the following articles for further details: