Alan Lee, Esq. Q&As published on the World Journal Weekly on July 14, 2024:1. Your EB-2 is nontransferable to a petition by your wife 2. Porting your Employment 3. For overseas immigrant case receipt, you can attempt to ask for assistance by emailing 4. You should stay with the employer for a period of time after obtaining permanent residence 

1. Your EB-2 is nontransferable to a petition by your wife

A reader asks:
I am the most common PERM EB-2, and I am waiting for the priority date to become current. My spouse is currently studying for a Ph.D. and hopes to apply for EB-1 in the future. However, since EB-1 also must wait for priority date now, we are considering whether to file NIW to get the priority date first, as the NIW priority date can also be used for EB-1 later so the EB-1won’t have to wait too long. I want to confirm that if my EB-2 has been current, it will be of no use to my spouse? My spouse still must take advantage of her own NIW? Does our situation mean that our applications are completely independent from each other? If one of us is fast, we can get married before submitting the I-485 together. Whether there is no need to get married in advance in order to prepare the I-485 a few years later?

Mr. Alan Lee Esq. answers,
The rule of thumb is that follow to join privileges or being able to join cases ends at the time that the principal applicant is approved for permanent residence. That being said, USCIS and/or American consulate posts are prone to be more suspicious of cases in which the marriage comes about when the permanent residence benefit is close. As to your specific thoughts, you are correct that your EB-2 is nontransferable to a petition by your wife.  Your wife filing and having an approved NIW petition would give her a priority date that could be transferred to a later EB-1 petition.  If you are doing one case and your intended spouse is doing another, those cases are independent of each other and the dependent can join at the I-485 or consular processing stage. If you choose to marry late, please be aware that the circumstances of your marrying may be looked at harder than if you married earlier.

2. Porting your Employment

A reader asks:
I am in the central part of the country and have encountered layoffs. My current situation is that H-1B expires on July 30. RD is 173 days as of July 30th. It’s a bit hopeless to find a job in the next few days to renew the H-1B. I-485 has been submitted, but it has not been completed for 180 days. Some people say that as long as I am not scheduled for a green card interview during this period, I shall be safe. Is that so? Can I transfer into an F-1 and wait for green card? Or do I need to change jobs? or hope that my green card will be approved on July 30? Asked Emma, ​​said my case was in NBC for more information. PD is September 2019 and it is already current. If I find a job, do I need to submit H-1B and I-485J at the same time?

Mr. Alan Lee Esq. answers,
Generally, an employer sponsoring an applicant for I-140 and I-485 should have the intent to offer permanent employment at the time that the employer signs off on the I-140 and the I-485 J “Supplement J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability under INA section 24 (J)”. If your I-485 pends for 180 days and you have a new employer in the same or similar occupation willing to continue your sponsorship and signs off on a new Supplement J, you can submit it to USCIS to attempt to port your employment to the new employer. In the meantime, you may consider applying for an EAD on form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization so that you can be available for employment with an employer other than your current one. Also you gave a certain date that your H-1B expires. Have you taken the 60 day grace period to find new employment into account? If you have a new employer willing to do so, it can also alternatively petition for a new H-1B on your behalf, preferably within the 60 day grace period.

3. For overseas immigrant case receipt, you can attempt to ask for assistance by emailing

A reader asks:
I recently applied for NIW. Because I applied from overseas, my $700 payment had been deducted, but I have not received a receipt number yet. I asked Emma today and she didn’t find my application information, and it has been more than a week since the fee was deducted. How long does it take to get the receipt number from Emma?

Mr. Alan Lee Esq. answers,
The good news is that your case has been accepted by USCIS since you somehow know that the $700 filing fee has been deducted. Receipts from USCIS for persons filing from overseas can cause headaches. We have seen receipts for overseas clients being returned to USCIS for non-delivery. A mailing address in the US may help as is having a legal representative in the US since USCIS would send a copy of any notices including receipts to the legal representative. Emma is not a tool focused on giving receipt information back to individuals. Receipts from USCIS to US addresses are generally received between 2-3 weeks from the time of sending out the petition or application to USCIS unless the case is filed online or through premium processing, in which case receipts come much sooner. You may attempt to ask for assistance by emailing lockboxsupport@uscis.dhs.gov. Hope that you receive your receipt soon!

4. You should stay with the employer for a period of time after obtaining permanent residence 

A reader asks:
I applied for EB-3 and wanted to get a green card. The reason why I wanted to get a green card was that I studied at the university in the United States and worked in the United States for five years after graduation. For nearly ten years, I felt that there were many ways out after getting a green card. I returned to China last year, and before that my green card was already current. Now I have the opportunity to transfer back to my old employer in the United States. I can submit I-485 and get a green card in one year. However, I plan to live in China long tern in the future, and I feel that the cost of returning to China after getting the green card is a bit high. In addition, I am a female, 29 years old this year. During the year after I returned to China, I didn’t find a partner in China. If I return to the United States for a year and delay another year, I will be 30 years old when I return to China. It will feel more difficult to find a partner or work in the workplace.

If the original boss supports the transfer back to the United States, he can apply for the L-1 visa and continue to use the previous I-140. If I am not with the current company, there will be no need for L-1 but H-1B, and no need to use the original I-140. I have about one year and five months left on my H-1B. I will need one year and 5 months to complete my PERM & I-140, then submit I-485.  Is there enough time?

Mr. Alan Lee Esq. answers,
I will assume that your calculation of about one year and five months left on your H-1B is accurate. If so, your timing plan is probably not viable in completing the PERM process through another employer. Currently it is taking approximately two years taking into account only the time required to obtain an ETA 9141 prevailing wage determination and the processing time of the ETA 9089 PERM application (19 months) which does not account for the further time required to set up the case and conduct recruitment along with preparing the I-140 petition. Your option to obtain permanent residence through a transfer back to your old employer and continuing the green card application appears more viable. Under either situation, you will have to stay with the employer for a period of time after obtaining permanent residence as US law requires an applicant through labor certification to show a commitment to work with the sponsoring employer. So you will have to think about timing and commitment in making your choice whether to come back to the US to pursue permanent residence or staying in China, your professed preferred long-term residence and marital location.

Alan Lee, Esq. Q&As published on the World Journal Weekly on July 7, 2024:Overseas immigration visa? Adjustment of status? Which is better?

Overseas immigration visa? Adjustment of status? Which is better?

A reader asks:
When I submitted my I-140, I chose IV at the suggestion of my lawyer, which means I will have an interview in Guangzhou. But I have actually been in the United States and I don’t plan to return to China in the future. So, can I change it to submitting I-485 in China? If so, when should I submit it? The problem now is that I recently had an I140 with a very late PD (PD is not C) passed, but I found that when I checked the case status, it showed that the case was sent to the State Department. I am confused, does this mean that I will have to go back to China and go to Guangzhou to apply for an immigrant visa in the future?

Mr. Alan Lee Esq. answers:
The initial question should be why your lawyer advised you to choose immigrant visa processing rather than adjustment of status. If the lawyer’s advice is sound, then it may be detrimental to you to try adjustment of status. You should probably have another discussion with your attorney before making a decision to switch to adjustment of status. Procedurally, it does not matter much that the I-140 petition is now with the State Department. If it makes sense for you to adjust status, you can file form I-485, and USCIS will generally recall the approved petition from the National Visa Center. You or your lawyer can also attach a statement on the I-485 application that your approved I-140 petition is now with the National Visa Center and asking it to request NVC to return the petition.