eb1 eb2 eb3 green steps
Green Card

US Green Card Process Steps and Stages for EB1, EB2 and EB3

In this article (and video), you can learn about the Green Card Process and various steps involved for EB1, EB2, and EB3 category. You may be applying for Green Card via Employment-Based (EB) from H1B or L1 or another visa status, but for the most part, the EB2 and EB3 steps remain the same. Here’s a quick top-level view about three stages of Employment-Based Green Card process for the USA.

EB2 and EB3 Green Card Steps

There are three stages for Green Card for EB2 and EB3.

  1. Step 1: PERM/Labor Certification Stage (EB1  and EB2 NIW doesn’t require this Stage)
  2. Step 2: I-140 Immigrant Petition Stage
  3. Step 3: I-485 Adjustment of Status Stage

Note: Employment-Based Green Card process is driven by the Employer and cannot be self-sponsored. But, there is an instance where it can be self-sponsored. Details are listed below.

Let’s take a step back and start with an overview of ways to get U.S. Green Card and then dive into stages of EB1, EB2, and EB3 based Green Card. There are two main path’s to obtain the Green Card in the USA (lawful permanent resident status).

There are two main path’s to get Green Card in the USA (lawful permanent resident status)

  1. Family-based Green Card Categories
  2. Employment-Based Green Card – EB1, EB2, and EB3.

Note: There are other ways, like Green Card Lottery, EB4, and EB5, etc. But that’s not in the scope of this. I’m going to focus on Employment-Based Green Card Process (EB1, EB2 and EB3 Steps) and Various stages involved.

If you are working on H1B Visa, L1B Visa or another non-immigrant work visa, you most likely to through the following steps for your Employer Sponsored Green Card.



Stage 1: PERM Labor Certification

  • PERM/Labor Certification stage is the first step in the green card process for EB2 and EB3.
  • PERM stands for Program for Electronic Review Management.

During this PERM Labor Certification step,  Employer has to prove that there are no qualified American Citizens or Permanent Residents for these positions and foreign workers not taking jobs away from U.S. citizens.

What Happens During the PERM Labor Certification Stage?

Here is an overview of what happens in the workplace before the green card process begins.

  • HR Manager or your Manager notifies the company’s Immigration Attorney about filing Green Card.
  • Initial Meeting: Manager, Employee, HR and Immigration Attorney
  • Job Description: Drafted, revised, and finalized.
  • Prevailing Wage determination request submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL) by Immigration Attorney
  • Followed by Recruitment Phase – Handled by your employer’s HR
  • If no qualified US workers identified, Attorney would file a PERM Labor Condition application with DOL.
  • The Date, when the PERM application is filed with DOL, is your Priority Date (PD).
  • DOL processes and approves PERM Labor Certification.

PERM Labor Certification Timeline:

  • Initial Conversation to Job Description Finalization: 1 to 3 Months (It can take longer in larger firms)
  • Prevailing Wage Determination: About 2 to 5 months
  • Recruitment and Filing: 3 to 6 months
  • PERM Labor Approval: 2 to 8 months. (as of Oct 2015, PERM approval time is seven months)

If PERM Labor is filed 365 before the H-1B visa Expiry date and still pending, H1B Visa can be extended in 1-year increments.

Processing Times for PWR and PERM Applications

Processing Time for Prevailing Wage and PERM Labor application approval for Green Card varies. You can find them for both PWR and PERM Labor Application here –  current processing times here (New FLAG System). The following screenshots show where to look for the Processing Times.

Perm Labor processing time flag system

Next, let’s dive deeper into finding the Processing Times for Wage Determination and PERM Labor Application Processing.

PWR Processing Times (As of August 2020)

pwr wage processing time flag

How to read the above PWR table?

  • As of March 2017, its taking Department of Labor them 100 days to issue the Prevailing Wage Determination for the position that would be posted and recruited.
  • Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

Compare to September 2019

green card perm pwr processing time sep 2019

Now you can see how the processing time changes for Prevailing Wage determination

  • Chart 1 – Aug 2020 – 87 Days
  • Chart 2 – Sep 2019 – 111 Days

PERM Labor Application Processing Times

Data as of June 30, 2020 (published in Aug 2020)

perm processing time august 2020

Data as of March 31, 2017

perm labor application processing times

Data as of Aug 31, 2019

Perm Labor processing time Sep 2019

How to read the above PERM Processing Tabel?

  • As of March/31/2017, DOL is processing applications submitted in Jan 2017.
  • That’s four months to process PERM for Cler Cut Cases – Analyst Review.
  • If there’s Audit, then it’s taking nine months to Process PERM Applications

But, Jan 2017 has 31 days. Wouldn’t it be better if they gave an average day it takes to process?

perm labor application processing days
As of March 2017


PERM Labor procesisng time days Aug 2019
As of August 2019

As crazy as it sounds, the PERM Processing time is 78 Days even in September 2019.

  • 78 days for No reviews
  • 234 days on average for Audit cases.

After the PERM Labor application is approved, you have cleared the Stage 1 of the Green Card Process.

Next, we deal with the Department of Home Security (USCIS) for Stage 2 – I140

Green Card Guide (Video)

  • Are you applying for Green Card for the First Time?
  • Do you want to know when to apply and when to ask your Employer?
  • Did your employer was non-commital about your GC?

Then get The Ultimate Green Card Guide for H1B Visa and F1 Visa Applicants

This article explains only the steps, but not the potential problems or mistakes you should avoid.

The majority of applicants begin to learn the process only when their EMployer plans to apply for Green Card. That’s a mistake!

This $20 guide can mean several thousands of savings or potentially reduced wait times by decades for you.

Stage 2: I-140 Immigration Application

The next step in the Green Card process is I-140 Immigration Application. After Labor Certification Application has been certified by DOL I-140 application can be filed.

Why I-140?

  • Verify employee meets job requirements specified on the PERM/Labor Certification Application
  • Verify the sponsoring employer can pay the offered wages to the employee.

After I-140 is approved, H-1B employees will be able to extend the H1B for 3 years period beyond the initial 6 years.


  • There’s a special category for EB2, called EB2 NIW.
  • NIW stands for National Interest Waiver. 
  • Stage 1 – PERM Labor is not required for EB2 NIW
  • EB2 NIW would be filed as Self-Petitioned.

Processing Time for I140 Applications

I-140 application can be made via Regular or Premium Processing. As far as I  know, the majority of applicants opt for Premium Processing.

Approved I-140 gives the benefit for the spouse of H1B Visa applicants to apply for H4 EAD.

To find the Regular Processing Time to go to USCIS Processing Time Page.

Then select the Service Center – Nebraska, Texas or Vermont Service centers.

uscis processing times i140

Next look for I-140 applications ( following is for Nebraska Service Center)

i140 processign times nebraska service center
As of March 2017


i140-Processing Times Sep 2019 Nebraska service center
As of Sep 2019

March 2017 – 8 Months

September 2019: 5 to 7 Months

But, I would recommend getting I-40 via Premium Processing instead of waiting for eight months.

Note: There ‘s no Premium Processing for EB2 NIW cases. 

After I-140 is approved, the waiting game begins. For applicants from India, China the wait times span multiple years

  1. US Green Card Waiting Time Based on Pending Applications

As of Jan 2017, I-140 Cannot Be Revoked

I-140 EAD Rule went into effect on Jan 17, 2017. Ad per the rule, employers can’t revoke approved I-140 after 6 months of Approvals in most cases. Read the summary of EAD I140 Rule for more details. Why is that important? An employee can switch jobs after I-140 is approved without losing their Priority Date in the process of transferring to a new position.

How is that good news?

Green Card applicants with approved I-140 with Employer A can switch to a new employer without losing their Priority Date in the process of transferring to a new job.

Their spouse, if they are on H4 EAD, they can continue to work, as Approved I-140 is required for H4 EAD to be active.

Stage 3: I-485 Adjustment of Status

Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status, the actual green card application which will be filed after USCIS approves I-140 request.

A green card visa number is available based on

  • Applicants country of birth
  • Employment-based classification
  • The priority date of the Applicant

The priority date is the date that the PERM/Labor Certification Application was filed with the DOL (EB2 and EB3).

For EB1, date I-140 is filed with USCIS is the Priority Date.

Long wait times are due to the unavailability of Green Card Visa numbers.

There is a certain number of Green card applications made available per year per category per country.

Every month Department of State publishes the Visa Bulletin,  with available visa numbers based on priority dates. Visa Bulletin now includes Final Action Dates and Filing Dates.

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Green Card

You will see the Visa Bulletin for three months below.

August 2020 EB Final Action Dates

Visa Bulletin For August 2020

October 2019 Visa Bulletin – Final Action Dates

Visa Bulletin For October 2019

For Comparison, as of  May 2017 Visa Bulletin, USCIS is processing I-485 application for Indian Nationals who have PD on 22 June 2008.

visa bulletin employment based final action dates

During President Obama Administration, Filing Dates chart was introduced that would allow applicants to file I-1485 much earlier than Final Action Dates. Here’s current (May 2017) Filing dates for I-485.

Let’s compare the Filing Dates for October 2019 to May 2017.

Filing Chart Visa Bulletin For October 2019

i485 filing dates may 2017 visa bulletin

Current Filing Dates

While filing the I-485 application, you could file for EAD and Travel Permit (Advanced Parole).

Note: The Dates in the Visa Bulletin can Move backward (called Retrogression). For example, EB2 India in October 2016 Visa Bulletin was in May 2005, and after 7 months, dates moved from 2005 to 2008.

Green Card Processing Time

  • People wait for 4 to 6 years in this stage in EB2 (for India)
  • One of my co-workers got EB3 India Green Card in Oct 2015 after waiting for 13 years

If the priority date moves back from after you file for I-485, then visa numbers will not be available.

You would have to wait till visa numbers available to get Green Card. That’s when folks apply for EAD.

What about EB1 Category?

For the EB1 green card process, there are just two stages.

  1. Stage 1: I-140 Immigrant Petition
  2. State 2: I-485 Adjustment of Status

As you can see, there is no PERM Labor Certification step and dates are Current (C) in the Visa Bulletin for EB1. Plus, there is another option called National Interest Waiver (NIW) category for EB2, where PERM Labor is not required (which we discussed before).

EB5 Visa- Priority Dayes for India

While EB5 doesn’t have PERM and I-140 stages, I-485 is common for all Employment-based green card process to file an adjustment of status.

You may have noticed the Priority Date for India, China, and Vietnam in EB5 (Oct 2019).

eb5 visa final action dates Visa Bulletin For October 2019

For India, that translates to 5 to 9 years of a wait! If you apply for Green Card by Investing $500,000 in Sep 2019, your Green card could take like nine years.

But, the good news is that Filing Chart for August 2020 Visa Bulletin.

eb5 visa bulletin Visa Bulletin For August 2020


If you are in the USA on H1B Visa and have applied for EB5 Visa, in October 2019, you can apply for I-485 (since USCIS is accepting Filing Chart Dates).

Along with I-485, one could also submit the EAD/AP application.

Questions and Answers about Green Card Process

1. Is it possible to do Green Card without H1B Visa?

Yes, an employer can apply for Green Card without H1B or L visa, but most likely they would not do that if you are from a country where the backlogs are enormous.

2. I’m on STEM OPT and did not get selected in H1B Visa Lottery, can my employer apply for Green Card. I’m from China.

The employer can start your Green Process while on F1 Visa. But, once your STEM OPT time runs out, you will need work authorization to continue to work in the USA. You can have this discussion with your employer about this.

3. I heard about Green Card via EB5 Investment option is faster. Is that true?

Yes, if you (or your parents) can invest $500,000 or $1,000,000, then you can get Conditional Green Card in less 10 than years (if applied in 2019). But, applicants already living and working in the USA could get EAD/AP much earlier than that.

Get the Ultimate Green Card Guide

  • Are you applying for Green Card for the First Time?
  • Do you want to know when to apply and when to ask your Employer?
  • Did your employer was non-commital about your GC?

Then get The Ultimate Green Card Guide for H1B Visa and F1 Visa Holers

This article explains only the steps, but not the potential problems or mistakes you should avoid are described with examples.

The majority of applicants begin to learn the process only when their employer plans to apply for Green Card. That’s a mistake!

This $20 guide can mean several thousands of savings or potentially reduced wait times by decades for you above all, there’s no one who will give advice based on potential problems and situations you will run into.

  • Marriage
  • Job Loss
  • Job Changes
  • Porting Category
  • EB5 vs EB2, EB3
  • Games employer will play with your GC process & how to be ready and tack them!

Green Card Article Series

  1. How Long Does it Take to Get Green Card in the USA for Eb1, EB2, and EB3
  2. Green Card Steps for  EB2 and EB3 Explained (This article)
  3. Green Card Visa Numbers availability for E1, EB2, and EB3
  4. US Green Card Waiting Time Based on Pending Applications
  5. Immigration Path: Steps for an F1 Visa to Become U.S. Citizenship
  6. How EB Green Card Spill Over between EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4 5and EB5 works

Similar Posts


  1. In the Visa Bulletin pictures that you have, what does 1st, 2nd, 3rd represent?
    Eb1, Eb2, EB3?

    And for where it says 08 Feb 18 for India, does that mean that is the current priority date?

  2. Hi Raghuram! This is a great article. If I file my Eb2-NIW and if both stages I140 and 485 are not approved yet, can I still switch from H1b cap-exempt to non-cap-exempt without going through the lottery?

  3. Firstly Thank you for providing so much of information. Why is the Wage Level determination stuck at March 2020 (as of 6/30/2020)? Does it mean DOL has stopped determining wage level due to CoVid after June 2020? My wage level application was submitted to DOL on 5/4/2020. Its 103 days since I submitted and I haven’t heard back from DOL though the processing time is 87 days. Can you provide me with some information if DOL is still doing wage level determination. Also, I am born in India. Do you think if I need to do EB-2 or does it not matter to do EB-2 or EB-3?

    1. They did not update it after that πŸ™‚
      I think EB2 and EB will move at same pace. If there’s spilover from Family Immigration, then EB2 will see movements first.

      1. When you say they haven’t updated it since then, does it mean they haven’t processed any application since 6/30/2020? Or does it mean they are working on wage level determination but the site is not yet updated?

  4. Hi,

    This blog is really helpful.

    I’ve maxed out on my L1B visa and when I was about to move back my company tried L1A and it didn’t go through. Mean while my company filed H1B when I was in USA, with which I’m left with 1 year validity. Now I’ve requested my company to file GC under EB1-C on loving to USA, but they are worried about not getting approval in time and may lose time to file GC through EB2/EB3 category in worst case. What’s the usual time taken for I-140 under EB1-C category? Is it advisable to bank on EB1-C in my scenario?

    Please suggest.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Hi Raghuram,
    This provides detailed explanation is very helpful. Thanks.

    My EBI GC was filed and the priority date is 13-MAY-2109. I’m on L1A visa which expires completes 7 years in Feb 2020. I haven’t received my approved 1-140 yet.

    Will I have to move out of the country after 7 years of L1A, getting GC by Feb 2021 looks doubtful. If my 1-485 is filed before Feb 2021, can I stay back ?


    1. That’s beyond my knowledge and that’s something you should ask your employer and your attorney πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Raghuram,
    Very nice information you have given.
    In my case, I came from India on L1B visa and when my 5 years were about to complete my company filed for COS L1A visa which recently got approved. But I have got it for period until April 2021. So when can I apply for EB1 GC? Because I think I need to be in managerial position for about a yr. Is this period counted from when I got approval email or the date L1A petition was approved, like my L1A petition is from Apr-2019 to Apr-2021 but I have received the approval petition from USCIS in Sep-2019. So will Apr-2019 to Sep-2019 be also counted as my managerial position?

    1. You should ask these questions to your employer’s attorney or HR.
      – Would they do EB1C?
      – When will they start the process?
      – Does your position qualify for EB1C?

  7. Hi
    I’m currently in the mid of my OPT at the employer who sponsors me directly for GC.
    I just received a notice from DOL that my application has been certified, so the next step is I-140.
    1) can I file I-140 and I-485 at the same time (I’m originally from Europe)?
    2) when exactly my employer has to pay me prevailing wage considering I’m doing my OPT with him and at the same position as on the petition
    3) for EB 32 if anyone has a complete list of documents that need to be submitted?

    Thank you!

    1. 1. Check the Visa Bulletin, if PD is current, you can file concurrently.
      2. Once GC is approved.
      3. Your employer’s attorney will give the docs list.

  8. Hi Raghu, I am on day 1 CPT. I am doing my second masters. I applied H1B but had no luck. So, can i apply for Green card?

      1. Hi Raghu,

        Very informative article.
        I, however, have question on EAD processing of H4 visa holders.
        My spouse has the H1 Visa and has I 140 approved. I have H4 visa and currently in Canada. My H1 Visa is already maxed out.
        1. Now can my employer still file for GC for my case when I am outside USA?
        2. Can I file EAD/I 765 when I am in Canada? If not what is the minimum period which I need to stay in USA?
        3. As my current employer is Canadian, and I am in Canada payroll, will I be able to work from home while in USA? Will it be legal?
        4. If my spouse change employer while my EAD is being in process? Will it affect my EAD request?

        1. 1. Yes.
          2. Nope. You can file H4 EAD only when you have H4 status. So, you would have to be physically present in the US
          3. As long as I-140 is valid, the EAD process shouldn’t have an impact.

  9. Hi
    Currently i am on L2 EAD which will expire on Jan 2020.
    I wanted to apply for green card through my employer.
    I am born in Dubai,UAE so in which category they need to apply for me.
    Also heard that for Dubai born it will take only 2 years to get green card.Please confirm whether its true.
    Also whether my company can continue with green card processing even if my L2 EAD expires and i move to H4EAD.

      1. Hi
        Thanks for the reply.
        Please advice whether my company can continue with green card processing even though i will go into H4 on Jan 2020 since my spouse visa changed from L1B to H1B and it will take effective once we exit out of the country and get it stamped in December 2019.
        But i will be able to work legally till my visa changes into H4 right.

  10. Considering the current waiting time for Eb2/3 green cards, is moving Canada a better option if I am a permanent resident ??

    1. I have 2 interviews of people who moved to Canada. They are not complaining and personal friends in Canada. If you are going to move, you have to move with full heart.

  11. Hey Raghu! Great content on Youtube and the post here!

    I came to the USA on F1 visa to study masters in science and working on STEM OPT now. The company is ready to file for my H1b soon. My F1 visa expires in 2021.

    A couple questions:
    1. Since, you have an in-depth knowledge of all visas- What do you think is the best option currently for Indians or particularly my case that will get my GC sooner than H1b route ?
    2. Do you think anytime soon they (USCIS or US government) will clear the long due backlog?
    3. I read somewhere that Attorneys can prove exceptional knowledge or the requirements for EB1 if you have a Masters degree. Is it true and how?


    1. Please use the https://forums.happyschools.com/ for postng questions specific to you in future.

      1. EB5, EB1, E2, O1
      2. I don’t see that happening with the current political climate.
      3. EB2 NIW is there, but that will not help. Requirements for EB1 is difficult to meet with Masters Degree.

      1. Question 2: Its happening in the next 2 years either for all or for people who completed their masters in USA. Sixth Sense. :-p

  12. Hi Raghu, Your post is very useful. I have a question:

    I am currently working on H1b Non Profit Visa. If my company sponsors green card for me, can I move to H1b For Profit company after my I-140 is approved? If not, is the only way that I can switch to For Profit Company is after I get the green card ? (complete all the three stages) or is there any option to make this move earlier in the process without going through the H1b Lottery process?

    Thanks for your time.

  13. Dear MR Raghu,

    I find your article quite helpful and triggered to discuss my case with you, I can on L1A visa in March 2017 along with my wife and 2 kids(12 & 10 both US citizens by birth), I was expecting my company to help file GC for me under EB1 category but due to recent change in company’s internal immigration policy they are not encouraging GC process or I should say are not willing to initiate the process, will appreciate if you could guide me if i have nay other option to get the GC?

  14. Hi Raghuram,

    Your article is very helpful. I notice that you have the i-485 adjustment of status petition listed as the third stage of obtaining and EB3 green card. This of course applies to people who have applied for EB3 green cards while already in the U.S. on some visa for which adjustment of status is allowed. What about applicants who are applying abroad? Since they don’t actually have any status to adjust, what is the 3rd stage for them?

  15. I’m a citizen of Saudi Arabia my PERM allocations was filed last month and my Priority date is June 12. ROUGHLY when should I expect to get GC if everything goes well?

  16. Nice article, just one question though. Can my PD be retained if I leave my current employer just a few days after my I-140 is approved and not wait for 6 months?

  17. Hey Buddy – Great article and I see you have been patiently helping lot of people here that’s really good!

    My question – I came on L1B (non managerial) and later converted to L1A (managerial position) – for my employer to file in EB1 is it necessary that I need to be in managerial position when I entered the country? And how long does it take to complete Stage 1 and 2 as I heard you get GC faster when you file in L1A category is that true?

    Also if you can tell if someone applies for GC in L1B category (Assuming EB2 /Eb3) once the I-140 is approved can he/she stay and work in country till the decision is made on I-485? Irrespective his/her 5 years are completed?

    1. Regarding L1B vs L1B – You have to talk to an attorney. L1B can’t be extended like H1B if I-140 is approved.

  18. Hi Raghuram, first of all I found your website the best one on explaining the process so clearly and in details. thanks for doing this.
    My question is , if my EB3 priority date is current , does it mean that there is Visa available to allocate me a GC this year itself

    1. Your attorney can file I-485 and if the date doesn’t retrogress, you should get GC shortly.

  19. I filed my I140 & I485 concurrently in EB1 by my employer in May 2017.

    My I140 was approved couple of weeks back (April Third week) and my 485 has been transferred to a Benefits center before 2 weeks – for my interview being scheduled-

    I now have a transfer within my company for the same Role,Same Nature of work , Same Designation and I have to move to a new state next week from my current state.I have went to the USCIS site and in my 485 petition number updated the address

    Is there anything else I/My Employer need to do ?

  20. Hi Raghu,

    I am currently in the 3rd year of my H1B visa and my new prospective employer is saying that they will do my H1 transfer and Green card process initiation together. Is it possible? Or can one initiate GC process only after the H1 transfer is complete?

  21. My opt expires in Feb 2018. My employer have agreed to file Green card without filing for H1B. What are the chances I can continue working? If not, can I change status to H4? What stage will I be able to start working?

  22. Can I485/EAD/AP be filed when waiting for result of I140 EB1? Can I stay in the US until the result of that hasn’t come in yet, even if my 6 years gets completed before that?

  23. Hi I had applied for EB3 visa.my I 140 approved on June 20 ,2006. I am a nurse and according to visa bulletin my priority date has reached…At the moment my agency in India has closed ?what shall I do to get the visa now?

    1. Dear Resmi..

      May be your Indian company stop the business, don’t worry you can find a new staffing agency they can file under your name and recover your priority date.. your USA dream will fulfill.

      good luck…

  24. Will my current green card be in process, if I go back to India and leave my current employer who filed my green card and do not file new green card again (planning to start a new business in India)

  25. I’ve got Employment Authorization Card. My I 140 was received by USIS on December 27, 2016. So far I haven’t received I 140 approval. Could I send a request for I 140 approval?
    Thank you very much

  26. Can i change job location with the same employer immediately after i140 approval? Would it require PERM and i140 filing again? If yes then what’s the best stage when i can change job location with the same employer?

  27. Can you please clarify:
    1. L1 (executive/manager) visa is expiring in 2019. I-129S expires in 2019 (same as visa), however, employment date was indicated as of Oct 2017 by employer. Does L1 visa need to be renewed due to the fact that I-129S employment date is expiring in Oct 2017? Does employee need to apply for a new L1 visa or will it be just extension of I-129S filed by employer?

    2. Employer is submitting I-140 on June 1, 2017 via Premium Processing. Can I-485 be submitted by employee or must this form be also submitted by employer?

    3. Assuming I-140 won’t be approved for 90 days (still pending/in process), can EAD be applied for after 90 days? Can EAD be applied for based only on submitted I-140?

    Thanks in advance!

  28. thanks for the summary.
    can you be more specific about who is an EB and so on.
    if i have a PhD i am what? do i have to go thru the Perm? can I apply on my won?

  29. “How is that a good news?

    Green Card applicants with approved I-140 with Employer A can switch to a new employer without losing their Priority Date in the process of transferring to a new job.”

    How is it different from earlier situation. Earlier, after i140 is approved. if you switch company, The new Employer B has to file Perm and i140 (but PD can be adjusted to the date of processing of Employer A).

    Even now I believe if you change employer you still have to go along with Perm and i140 processing as well.

  30. Hi Raghu,

    Thanks for writing this article and updating it with recent data.

    So based on the current priority dates, does that mean that folks who although filed in EB-2 with a PERM filing date in last 2-3 months, may have to wait >10-15 years to get green card?

  31. I need your help to find eb3 jobs and visa support. I’m from Bangladesh, please let me know if you can help me in this regards

  32. Raghu,

    Can you check on your comment, IF you are on F1 and you can start your green card but as of i know you could only process PERM, if you apply for 140 your F1 Visa will be cancelled. I am not 100 % sure on this but I do ready lot of immigration new .. remember reading some where.

  33. Hello Raghu,

    I understand “Final Action Date” is at Jun 08 because of the huge backlog. But why does the “Filing Date” does not seem to move at all?

    Also in one of your earlier comment, you have mentioned, “EB2 – PD 2013 – At the current PD movement, you are thinking 4 to 5 more years of wait”. Even though it is 3 months old comment, do you still think it is realistic?


    1. I’m thinking its even lot longer than 2 to 3 years for Eb2 in 2013. Well, Obama administration implemented Filing Dates and the very first month, it was pulled back. Even with April 2009, they would have enough I-485 petitions to estimate the demand. PD for EB2 had come to 2010 once. Without spill over, EB2 India almost same as EB3 India!!

  34. What’s the difference between the H1B and EB3? Which one has more advantage, if I just graduated from graduation school and got a job at the hospital.

  35. I have my PD Aug 2008. Based on the dates for filing of employement based visa category, my attorney has applied for my I485, I131, I765 and G325. I just finished my biometrics too. What is the next step and how many months or years I have to wait? what are the next steps

  36. Hello Raghu,

    I am on L1A and my wife on H1B. She has initiated her EB3 GC process and received I-140.
    Next step for her is to extent her H1 and apply for I-485.
    – Should she add me while filling 485 while I have a chance of initiating my own GC (prb under EB1)? Pros and Cons?
    – Can she visit India after filling 485?
    – When exactly she (her employer) will file for 485, after her extension (she is completing 6 yrs soon)?

  37. Hi Raghu – I’m on EB2 (PD = Aug2013) and my I-140 got approved. When can I expect my PD to become current (approx. timeline) considering EB2?

    Also, I had my I-140 approved twice, once with employer-A and currently with employer-B (with same PD). IF I switch my job now back to employer-A, will they have to re-do all steps till i-140?

    Please suggest. Thank you!

    1. EB2 – PD 2013 – At the current PD movement, you are thinking 4 to 5 more years of wait. Oct 2016 Pending 485 data were published today. About 19,000 applications are pending before April 2010. About 1200 average month. About 8 to 10k EB2 is issued per year. So, do that math for a rough estimate.

  38. My son was born in the Philippines when I was doing MBA in Manila as a student. We are Not the citizen of Philippines. After the completion of the study we all came back to our country Nepal. Now my son is working under H1B visa and the employer is starting his GC process under EB 3. Can my son change his chargebility to Nepal from the Philippines? In the worst scenareo can he continue working till he gets GC? Thanks

  39. Hi Raghu,

    Useful article!!!

    My 6 years of H1B visa expiries by Sep, 2017. I was been 5 month out off US of 6 year Visa period . Can I easily claim those months back ?

    As you have listed that “PERM labor application is filed 365 days before H-1B expiry date. Then you can get H1B extension in 1 year increments” Is this true, will it take my 5 months to account? If my consultant would apply GC in Jan,2017.

    And My employer will be starting my GC process in EB2 category by March 2017. Is there any chance to get my I-140 within Feb, 2018 (if I claimed those 5 months)?

    Your Advise will be highly appreciated…Thanks in advance

  40. I find this forum most current and helpful.

    My I-140 approved recently in EB2. I am planning to switch employer.

    a. Is there any period of time, I need to at least need to continue with same employer before switching so that that employer can not revoke the I-140. I heard it’s 180 day but not sure on this or not found from any official link.
    b. Any expected date of new law to implement for I-140 transfer without perm process?

  41. Dear Sir,

    I am from Bangladesh. Recently many companies have been working as agents for providing EB 3 visa for US in Bangladesh and they are committing that it takes 1 year to get green card after stepping in US and working for an employer for 1 year. Actually how many days does it take to get the green card in EB 3?

  42. Hi Raghu ,

    Need your quick suggestion

    Can i retain my PD if employer revokes I 140 ? I have changed from Employer A to Employer B

    1. This question should be posted to an Attorney.

      As far I know, the law allows retention of priority date even after I-140 is revoked by the employer. But, I have *read* that USCIS sometimes doesn’t follow the same and they may not port the date. So, you should talk to your new employer’s attorney.

    2. I am asad from bangladesh.some company saying that they deal with EB3 program.they told that we can get green card with 5 family members and it may take 2 years to get green card and fly with it to usa.I am confused with time and authenticity.please help me.


  43. Hi Raghu
    My company is helping me with the green card process for USA. My I-140 was approved few months ago. I cannot proceed with I-485 application as the time when my EB2 priority date (Sept 2014) becomes current is many years away.

    I had also applied for Canadian PR and it has already been approved. So if I move to Canada now, I can live & work there as a permanent resident.

    In the future, can I come back to USA when my EB2 priority date becomes current ? and continue my green card process ?
    As far as I understand, my new USA employer would have to start the green card process again under EB2 but my old priority date(Sept 2014) can be used so I don’t have to wait to file I-485.

    Are there any issues with this ?

    Thank you.

  44. My company is helping me with the green card process for USA. My I-140 was approved few months ago. I cannot proceed with I-485 application as the time when my EB2 priority date (Sept 2014) becomes current is many years away.

    I had also applied for Canadian PR and it has already been approved. So if I move to Canada now, I can live & work there as a permanent resident.

    In the future, can I come back to USA when my EB2 priority date becomes current ? and continue my green card process ?
    As far as I understand, my new USA employer would have to start the green card process again under EB2 but my old priority date(Sept 2014) can be used so I don’t have to wait to file I-485.

    Are there any issues with this ?

    Thank you.

  45. Hi, Raghu! I like the way you presented the GC process. It’s so easy for me to understand. My question is …. if I can forcast that my priority date is about to come out (maybe next month), what preparations should I make? Do me and my family have to do medical again? If yes, which types esp if its 2 to 3 years ago already? All my 6 friends were able to get their gc but mine (and another friend’s) reverted back. Is the INS giving me a letter what to do?

    Thank you again for being helpful.

  46. Hi Raghu,

    I am a citizen of Jamaica. I am just curious about the timeline a little. I’ve already applied for my green card through EB3 (received date May 25th) with priority date August 4th, 2015. I’ve already received EAD/AP, and I did my biometrics about a month ago. Do you have an idea when I might hear back regarding the green card?

    What is strange is that the receipt number still isn’t available on the USCIS’ website to track.


  47. Hello,

    Thank you for your information. I am currently on OPT STEM and my employer want to apply for Green card. I asked attorney of company to show me all the document before submitting them to DOL, but he said it’s illegal to show me anything. But I want to show my docs to another attorney to make sure everything is perfect.

    Is it really illegal? Please let me know.

  48. Hi Raghuram,

    Will my wife able continue work on a H4 EAD even if I moved from my current company who sponsored for my I140? My new company would sponsor (transfer) my i140, but will take some time.


  49. Hi Raghu,

    I have 5 years 4 months of experience right now and my employer is going to initiate my GC. I have joined my present employer like 10 months ago, which means that by the time I joined my current employer I don’t have 5 years of experience. Now the question is will be eligible for EB2 category?

  50. Hi Raghuram! That is really helpful post. Thank you. Quick question, my I-140 has been approved today which means my EB-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability application has been approved. (I had an O-1 Visa previously which allows me to live and work in the U.S. from Mar 2015) Base on your experience, how long it might take me to get my I-485 Application approved? And how long it will take me to receive my green card? I was born in Shanghai China in 1982 and has a Australian Citizenship.

    Thank you so much!

    1. I believe your EB1 for china is Current. So, you are looking at couple of months time after filing I485, if it wasn’t filed concurrently.

  51. Hi Raghu,

    In what GC filing stage we do premium process ? We are in PERM application stage.


    1. Hi Raghu.

      I have a 4 years B. Tech degree from Jamia Millia University from N. Delhi and a distance MBA from Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences at Allahabad which is a deemed university. I also have over 10 years of global IT work experience. Will I be eligible under EB2 category through my above educational credentials ?

      Thanks for your response.

  52. i came to us in l1b visa on 11/29/2008 and continued till 02/28/2010.then i went back to india and stayed there for more than a year. Again came back in same L1b visa on 06/08/2011 and my employer converted my visa to H1B from 10/01/2011 while i was in Us(which was cap exempt).And i am currently holding the same visa until today.Can you help me in calculating max out dates? is it calculated from 2008(L1B+H1b) or from jun 2011?

    Please advise as my employer is ready to do my GC i want to confirm if i have visa till jun2017(6 years starting from jun2011) or not?

    As i came back second time in same l1b visa in 2011 which was issued in 2008 and l1b to h1b conversion happend in US was cap exempt will my 6 year starts from 2008?

  53. Hello Raghuram,

    What is the right time for my employer to file PERM by this year? They were saying to file the PERM by April/May sometime. Is this right time or want to do before that? Please provide your suggestion.


  54. Hi , Would like to know that, Employer just applied for PERM. While that is in process or even after I receive PERM. If I change the employer , will they consider this PERM? Or Will they start new GC Process?

  55. Hi Raghuram,

    My friend is a French citizen with a PhD. Due to the demand and capped H1B quota, he is stuck in a low paying job where the required qualification is Bachelor’s. Also, this is a Not for Profit organization. Hence he is here without any H1B cap issues. My question is, is it true that the employer will not/impossible to proceed with applying for a GC,
    1) because the minimum requirement for the job is a Master’s and during the GC process, the employer has to show proof that they did not receive ANY applications at all? OR
    2) the employer did not receive any SUITABLE applicant that’s a good fit for the particular job?

    Apparently, he was told that once the process is started, it is almost impossible to show that NO applications were received (regardless of the applicant being a good fit or not for the job). Can you please clear which criteria (1 or 2) among the ones I have mentioned is really taken into consideration?


  56. Hi Raghuram,
    I appreciate your efforts in providing valuable information regarding visa and green card processing.
    I am Indian immigrant currently on H1B. Now my firm has applied for my GC.
    I would like to know how much it usually costs for GC application. My firm is asking me to pay $5k (50% of the total cost) for GC application. I have read that I am not legally allowed to pay for this process although there are some costs for which I am eligible to pay.
    Thank you.

    1. Companies for GC would ask you to sign a contract. They can’t ask you to pay for Labor processing, but I-140 and I-485 – Yes.

  57. hi, i got my A140 and want to transfer my green card (but still it is on process) so, can i transfer at this point my green card from my company to another company?

  58. Hi! My employer filed for EB2, consular processing. My documents are now with NVC. The IV fee has been paid and the DS-260 has been filled up. I have two questions:
    A) I have a gap of 6 years in between my first and second employment and a gap of 3 years between the second and third employment. Will this be discussed during the interview?
    B) Do I need to be currently employed during the interview?
    Thank you.

    1. Yeng – I don’t have expertise to answer questions about consular processing. You should ask your employer’s attorney.

  59. Does filing GC under EB2-NIW make the process faster for indian nationals? Or is it pretty much the same as EB2?

  60. Hi
    I am on L1A . my wife on L2. Just applied EAD for my wife few days back and case is in “received “state. Can I apply H1 for my wife in parallel this year thru any consultant?

    1. Sidhu – I don’t know for sure. But, you should be able to apply and read about “last action date” to learn more.

  61. Hi Raghu,

    I have a question regarding my GC Process. My Employer is about to start my GC process. For EB2, I know Bachelor’s + 5 years of experience is required. From my Previous Employer, I have 4 Years 11 Months and 3 weeks of Experience. With my current Employer, I have completed one year but I know that Experience with current Employer cannot be counted while applying for GC. Could you please let me know If I am eligible for EB2 or USCIS is strict about 5 years and won’t consider just 1 week ?

    Thanks in Advance !!!

    1. 1. You should get reference letter from previous employer ( for years and skill level)
      2. If job description says B.S. + 5 years, then USICs would expect to see you have 5 years of experience.

  62. Hi Raghuram,
    Is there any specific date and month in a year for filing perm labour for Green card in EB2 category,as my employer is saying they can only file after march,

    1. Hi Raghuram,
      Please let when can i file my perm labour, is there any specific month where i need to file my in a year or we can file any month in a year

  63. Hello Raghuram,

    I work as a consultant and on H1B, my client is ready to hire me but they are saying they will file my GC in EB3 but my employer is ready to file in EB2. I have masters degree and 3 years experience with the same employer and client. What do you recommend?


    1. You have weight several items and pros and cons of each factors. It’s hard for me to say one vs other without more info. Do you want to schedule 30 minutes call to discuss this? Link is listed under Courses to schedule the call. We can go over all the factors and fix the best path for you.

  64. Hello Raghuram,

    I’m working in US on L1B and my spouse is on L2-EAD , both of us are planning to file H1 this year via Consultant. Touchwood if we are picked in the lottery both of us will move our status from L to H1 Visa. We both are Indians.

    Question , my employer is starting the GC process next month via EB2. Once PERM is in progress can my current employer move my status from L1B to H1 starting Oct 1st 2016? Does that hamper the GC process?


    1. Here’s the link to schedule the consulting session.

      *https://premium.happyschools.com/course/consulting/ *

  65. Hi
    I am from Hong Kong and born in Hong Kong. How long do I need to wait in stage 3, if i apply for eb3 green card


  66. Hello Raghu:

    I am on L1B Visa (max out 5 years next 02/2017), our employer is planning to file PERM for me next June and hope we get PERM approved early Jan 2017. At that time, we have to leave US.
    What steps will do after that?
    Do we file I-140 and wait for document to go back to US to work?
    How long do we wait for getting visa to go back to US?

    We were born in Viet Nam.

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  67. Hi Raghuram,

    I am indian and currently on h1b. I have cleared my labor certificate for eb2 category and my company will be starting my i-140 in premium process. considering premium process I am expecting to receive my result in 3 weeks max. When can I apply for i-485? is it Ok if i take i-140 copy and change my employer?

    1. I-1485 for India for EB2 can’t be applied now. PD is not current. You are looking at 4 to 6 years before applying for I-485.

  68. My I-140 is approved… As per the article I can file I-485 along with EAD and advance payroll

    EAD- Allows me to work with different company ?? What is the benefit of EAD??
    Advance Payroll -Allows to re-enter without a H1B visa stamping

  69. Hi,
    My husband holds h1b visa and am on h4. He is an indian and I am a malaysian. Our green card application is on process and stage 1 is about to be completed. I heard somewhere that after filing of I 140 both our applicationsite will be processed at our birth countries and hence I will get my green card earlier as I am a malaysian. Is this true?

  70. What will be my max-out date?
    Initially, I came to US on L1-B visa and stayed close to 2Y 4 M. My extension got denied I went back to India and got a fresh H1B . I traveled back to US on H1B Visa. Here I mentioned all the dates. Kindly let me know what will be by Max-out date.

    Date of entry Date of exit US Stay Visa Type

    9-MAY-2010 19-FEB-2012 2 Y and 4 M L1B
    17-Mar-2012 30-SEP-2012 6 M L1B

    27-OCT-2013 8-JAN-2016 2 Y and 2 M H1B
    6-FEB-2016 NA H1B

    Will my stay in L1B count in my max-out calculation?

  71. Hi sir,
    my husband is in H1B visa now.. The employer is planning to start his Green card processing in march 2016. How much time it will take to get H4 EAD..
    Thank you

  72. Hi Raghuram,
    This forum is very helpful and I want to thank you for sharing information.
    I’d really appreciate if you could give me advice on my current situation.

    I am H1B holder and my current visa will expire on Sept 30th 2016. I am planning to get married in India in August 2016. Do you think me or my spouse might encounter visa issues if I visit India in August? I fear I might be stuck in India or my spouse might get her H4 denied until I get my H1B extension approval. My employer has applied for my Green Card but I guess it is at an early stage (A notice of filing was posted by my employer).

  73. Hi Raghu.

    This is Krishna. My PERM is filed in Feb 2016. Can you please let me know the approximate timeline for the PERM approval?

    PERM, I 140 and H4 EAD timelines as of now.


    1. PERM – 6 Months approval time (DOL site)
      Then I-140 ( Premium ) ( USCIS Site)
      H4 EAD – 90 Days (USCIs Site)

      This info is available online.

  74. Hello sir…my husband is on H1b visa since 2012…i want to know is he eligible for green card by EB2 category…actually his qulification is 3 year degree in computer application and one year PGDCA degree(from reputed university)…..3 year MCA degree (but by correspondence)….7 year experience in reputed IT company plz let me knw is he eligible for gc by Eb2 category???

    1. Green Card category is not based only on employee’s qualifications for EB2. Job should also require 5 Years + Bachelors or Masters + 2 Years (typically).

  75. Hi Raghu,

    You have mentioned, “If PERM Labor is filed 365 before H1B Expiry date, then H1B can be extended in 1-year increments”

    With Perm Labor, you mean prevailing wage request to DOL or actual Perm Application?

      1. Hi Rahu, I would like to ask you that AMIE in Computer science and Engg + 5 years of IT experience is eligible to file H1 Visa for current year 2016 or not ?

  76. Hi Raghuram,
    Thanks for the details!

    Current Situation:
    1. My husband came to US in May 2012 on L1B catergory
    2. In 2015, the visa was converted to L1A from L1B. The visa is valid till June 2017
    3. I’m working on L2 EAD
    4. My husband’s company is planning to file for visa in EB2 category and simultaneously will also file for I- 1485 (EAD). i.e. They will do parallel processing for I- 140 and I -485

    1. Can parellel processing be done in EB2 catergory( filing I-140 and I-485 simultaneously), if you belong to L1A?
    2. How long does it take get the EAD, if GC is file in EB2 category and you have L1A visa? Does this require PERM LABOUR Certification or that process is skipped as you have L1A?
    3. Can we stay in US if we get EAD but GC is still under processing and the visa expires?
    4. Will the dependent of L1 A, also get EAD and can continuously work till the GC decision comes?

    I’ll greatly appreciate if you can provide some insights on this. Looking forward to your response.

  77. Hi Raghu,

    I am on H1B, have 13 years of education and 18 years of IT experience.

    1. What is the minimum qualification required for GC in EB3?

    1. Bachelors degree with speciality knowledge or relevant experience. You would have to talk to an attorney to find the exact details.

  78. Hi, I got my EAD and my I-140 approved on 16-Dec-2015. My application is in EB1 category and my I-140 was filed on 27th May 2015.

    May i know what is general time frame to get my Green card approved. My I-485 was filed in july-2015.

  79. I have a valid H1B visa and i am not in the USA now. Heard that some consultancy can start GC processing for me when im not in USA and Once EAD approval is done, myself and my spose can move to US and start working there. Can I trust this consultancy?

    In general, can a consultacy start GC processing for a person who is not working in US?

  80. I am currently on H1B
    οƒ˜ My first approved H1B has March 2011 as the start date.
    οƒ˜ My current H1B is valid until October 2017
    οƒ˜ My Company is starting Green Card processing next week (Probably around Jan 11 2016) as March 2016 is the end of my 5th year on H1B
    o What are the fair chances of getting 140 approved before October 2017?
    o I am still safe beyond October 2017 for H1B extension?
    o Will I get I-140 approval by then provided to queries?
    o As per recent bill, when can I apply for EAD?

    1. Current Timeline for PERM to I-140:

      PERM – 3 to 4Months to file application.
      Approval – 6 months I-140 – 1 month.

  81. I have used 3 years on L1B Visa and my employer is ready to file GC. I was working on a managerial position abroad and currently promoted to managerial position in US. I wanted my to be filed in EB1 category but attorney is saying that based on the previous L1B petition case I was not a manager abroad hence not applicable for EB1 category. I looked at my previous petition and found that in Exhibit P the salary stubs were clearly showing my designation as manager and I can also provide employer’s letter that indicated that i was a managerial abroad.. Do you think I have a chance to go in a EB1 category based on these Exhibit P and my employer letter proofs?

    Please advise.

  82. Hi
    I am a PhD grad with Post doc training. I am an Indian born Canadian citizen. I want to know what category I come in for GC filing? If I come under EB1,, how long the process would take to get the GC in hand. Is it advisable to personally apply or through an attorney?

  83. Hi,
    Myself Brandon I’m in F1 Visa right now about to apply for H1B next year can I apply For Green card at the same time..? I’ve Master’s Degree. If I can’t apply Green Card at the same time When would be the good time Time for Green Card to apply and how much time will it take to get a green card.?


  84. Hi Raghu,

    Just wanted to clarify whether the EB2 criteria of Bachelor’s degree + 5 yrs exp., specifies the 5 yr experience has to be outside US or it can be overall (outside + within US)?


  85. hello sir ,

    i m on h4 as my spouse is working on h1b . my husband came in usa 2013 dec he has h1b extension till dec 2018. i want to know. would i get EAD or not as he has extension of 5 years till dec 2018.

  86. Hi,
    Appreciate your suggestion on following situation.

    GC application by the current employer in EB1 category,
    EAD and AP has been received with validity till 10/2016.
    Waiting for GC, (no clue about the interview).
    Layoff due to business process has started from Employer, with out mention of any specific candidate or department.
    What are the chances to exit the country and steps necessary to prevent?

      1. Hey Raghu,

        I pursued my masters in August, 2015, and currently in OPT. As I’m planning to file Green Card, I have few questions regarding process.

        1. Is this is the right time to file green card? As I hard that filing green card while we are in H1 B status will be better choice.

        2. Though I pursued my Maters recently, do I need to show my work experience which is very less? Is related work experience necessary?

        3. What kind of circumstances I may face If I apply now?


      2. Hello Raghu,

        I pursued my masters on August, 2015 and I have plan to file Green card. As a part I have few questions in my mind.

        1. Though I completed my masters recently, Is it necessary to Include any related experience for application?
        2. Is this is the right time to apply GC or do I need to wait till I transfer to H1B status? I hard that it’s better choice to apply GC while we are in H1b.

        I appreciate for suggestions


        1. Apply as early as possible. You can’t apply, your employer have to apply.
          Are they ready to file the application?

          1. I didn’t ask them till now, but I think they can apply.

            How many years of experience is necessary to apply GC? As I told you I don’t have many years.


  87. Hello,

    Can you please tell me what do you mean by Receipt of Green Card?
    After what stage of Green Card, the receipt is issued?


      1. I need to give an undertaking to my employer to serve for a period of two years from the date of receipt of Green Card. Incase of breach, the
        i need to reimburse employer all the expenses incurred for processing Green Cards.

        What employer means about (date of receipt of Green Card) in this above statement?
        I am trying to understand what is date of receipt of Green Card.
        please guide.

        1. Day you get your Green Card in Hand, which will be like say 5 to 8 years from now for EB2. Then you would work 2 more years with them (or pay) for the expesnes.

  88. I have a question, will a double masters help in moving the process from EB2 to EB1? I have a masters in computer science & pursuing an MBA degree & my firm is filing my g.c. in EB2 category, is there anyway I can move it to EB1 during later time as I next year will have an MBA degree & will be promoted to a manager?

  89. Hi,
    I have a question , I’m done with my masters and right now i’m in OPT. I got a job opportunity in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico(Territory of USA), My question is that Is it Legal to work in Puerto Rico on OPT.
    Will it have any effect in the Future (OPT Extension and H1B)?

  90. Hie ,
    I am currently working for an employer A as an lead technical engineer suppose i start my green card processing with the my present employer and get my labor approved . As i am also pursuing my part time mba , and expecting to graduate in 2017 that being said i am planing to move to a managment role with employer B in a completely different industry so do i have to file labor agian ?? What would be my priority date then ??? … What would be a good advice for my green card processing ??

  91. sir my name is magesh, I’m from Chennai, well I have a question 4u and I have 2 ask about 4 my elder brother, he is currently working in the s/w industry a company called saksoft , right now he is in USA at California, he has went to America in 2012 February, he had got married and he took his spouse with him to usa, so had an idea about to get the GREEN CARD in usa, for my question is it possible from him to get a citizenship in usa & how long will he have to receive a GREEN CARD HOLDER (for the last 3 years he is in usa)

      1. Hi there, do you have any idea about wait time for Brazilians on the EB3 category? I mean, what is the wait time after filing I-485? I know Brazil doesnt have backlog for approvals so, do you have any idea of the average wait time to have a green-card in hand?


  92. Hi,
    I just git an H1B approval last week, and my employer is welling to continue for GC. I have a master degree, but somebody told me I need to know if my jib need a master or just a bachelor, then you chose the rout for process it. How can I know if my job need a Master or Bachelor, I am working as a teacher, since there is not many people can teach my language her in the US.


    1. About 4 to 6 months for company to apply for PERM. 7 Months for approval of PERM. I-140 can be done via Premium.

          1. Thanks much for your prompt response. Last and final question.
            You were mentioned “7 Months for approval of PERM. I-140 can be done via Premium”, what is the timeline for non-premium process…

  93. Hi, just wanted to check – do you need to pay some kind of a tax (or any kind of payment) before you recieve the green card? I heard it’s about 1500 USD, is that true?

  94. Hi this is so clear and helpful!

    I have read through the comments but didn’t find the question I am wondering.

    I hope you could help me here.

    I’m still in Stage 1 for GC process and potentially get I140 approval next Spring. I’m also thinking about going back to school to get another master. Will I continue to use my PD if I get another job with the same employer or not after I graduate from a two-year master program? Basically I’m wondering if I take a 2 year break for school (Status will change from H1B to F1) and still use this current PD in the future.

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    1. No it doesn’t change. Here’ the latest as of today. Analyst REview (clear cut cases without audits)

      Processing QueuePriority DatesMonthYearAnalyst ReviewNovember 2014Audit ReviewDecember 2013

  95. Hi Raghu,

    If the processing is in Eb3 category and need to leave country for couple of years after i140 approval and might not be able to come back for long time in that case will i still be receiving the green card ?


  96. Hi. Quick question: I’m currently holding an H1B and my employer has filed the I-140 petition for me in Sep of 2014. We’re still waiting for the approval. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten advanced parole and an EAD card issued (valid until Feb 2016). I have a desire to switch companies asap. Does it make sense for me to wait until the I-140 petition is approved or even the GC altogether before entertaining the possibility of switching employers? I don’t want to put myself at a disadvantage or delay the process if I just have to conjure a little more patience with my current employment. Thanks!

  97. I am working in USA since 2005 in TN visa. My previous employer started my GC process and Labor got approved in May 2013. What i heard was that my priority date is December 12, 2012. Before applying I-140, i switched my job to a different employer and my current employer started my GC again and in the process of applying Labor certification.

    Here is my question: Once my current employer labor is approved and when they do I-140 and going forward, can i use my previous employer priority date (December 12, 2012) or it is going to be deepened on my new labor certification?

    1. My question is: I am currently working as TN visa in USA. Can my employer apply for GC directly or Should I have to go through H1B processing? Thanks

        1. Hello Raghuram ,
          I am in the same tn visa & would like to know if one can apply from TN,
          Please let me know if u get more information on this question,
          Thanks in advance.

  98. I have a 3 years bachelors degree in computer science from India, and i have around 8 years of work experience, my employer will be initiating to process my green card soon, i wanted to know if I would be eligible for EB-2 category.

    1. EB or EB3 is determined by your employer, attorney and above all the job requirement.

      What experience YOU HAVE DOESN’T matter.

      You can even have a PhD, but if job requires only Bachelors degree with 2 years experience, then its gonna be in EB3.

  99. my employer said that the Green card is filed and they are waiting for the Labor approval. Is there a way to track when they filed the process and in what state it is.. I just need some peace of mind and not that i dont trust anyone.I Please can someone help me with this information..

  100. While on H1B, is there any room for grace period (unemployed period) while switching jobs from A uncapped H1 to B uncapped H1 position?
    I mean, should there be absolutely no time of not being on either payroll for may be a week or two (assuming that employer B has filed for H1 before resigning with employer A)?


  101. Hi
    Currently I am on L2 EAD and my employer had filed H1B which got approved recently. Can my employer file GC now or I have to wait till Oct to be on H1b status?

    1. Green Card process can be started anytime. You don’t have to be employee to start the process. But, most employer’s will not do that.

  102. Hi Raghuram,

    I arrived to US on a H1B visa on July 2011 and have had two extensions and now my visa end date is July 2017…I want to move to another company but they have this policy for not applying GC until I finish 1 year with them….By the time It becomes 1 year,I will have just 12 months left in my 6 year cap….

    Will the USCIS entertain my GC application at that time????

    1. try not to get into that situation. It’s painful process. See if you can have your current employer start GC.

  103. Hi Raghuram,

    I am seeking your or forum members kind help regarding a question I have for GC.

    I have maxed out and completed 6 years of my H1B visa in Oct-2012.
    Due to some personal reasons I stayed back in India and never returned to US post Oct-2012.
    Now my employer is willing to do my GC processing.

    So my question is once PERM is done and I-140 is obtained would I be able to extend my earlier expired H1B Visa directly by 3 years?

    Is it mandatory to apply for new H1B visa and go thru lottery process all over again irrespective of my PERM and I-140 Status?

    Basically I am looking forward to go back to USA avoiding the H1B lottery scenario.
    Also can you please confirm if EB2 or EB3 would not make much difference in timelines as far as obtaining PERM and I-140 is concerned?

    Thanks a ton for your help.


  104. HI,

    Can I have complete information ,documentation and documents list for filing GREEN CARD(GC).

  105. HI,

    Can i have complete information,documentation and documentation list for filing GREEN CARD (GC).

  106. Hi Raghu,

    I have a question. My OPT extension will get expired on next May end and my H1 dint got picked yet this year.
    Can i apply for GC? As my employer is ready to apply for my GC.
    If i can apply for GC how can i continue to work after next May?

    Thank You.

    1. You would need H1B or otehr work visa to work after OPT expires even if Green Card is in process, unless you can get GC within next May.

  107. Hi Raghu,
    AFter the PERM and I-140 approval, what happens if my employer is forced to let go of me due to financial situation . But with the same employer if I get hired by another supervisor, is that fine or does that void my GC application (I-140 approval)?
    Also how does unemployment for a brief period 2-3 months) work after I-140 approval?
    My questions are related to EB2 and an university set up, that why I said same employer but different supervisor.
    Anything will help.

    1. Here my take – if you don’t have a job then you are out of status. Do you have severance package? When is the same employer gonna hire you back?

      You need to consult an attorney.

      1. No, I do not have a severance package. The same employer may hire me hopefully before the current position ends (end of Sep) or as soon as that ends.
        Also, what happens if I started my GC application with this employer and have to leave the employer before the approval comes through? Thanks!!

  108. I will do 5 years of living in USA, all of those years with work visa, TN, H1B and now in my second H1B. Is it possible to start the process by myself due to the time I have been here?. My company does not show to many intentions to do it. If needed they will certify I have been working for them. I am just looking for option to start a GC process.


  109. Hi Raghu,

    I am on H1 B visa (started in October 2012 with previous company; current company 6 months) and I have completed my MS in US. I am single and going to get married in July 2015.

    I and have requested my company to file my Green Card. I spoke to my HR and indicated that my would be wife can take advantage of H1B dependent work which kicks in from May 26, 2015. She asked me to provide a justification that why they should process sooner and they can take it from there.

    I request your help to provide a strong justification (dependent job, low fee for further education, difficult to survive on one persons pay etc.) and advantage of filing my green card sooner. You are the expert and your help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    1. Hello Raghu,

      I am currently working on H1B (2013-16 and then extension) with MS from USA university. I have finished 2 years at my current position. I am discussing to Apply for a green card with my manager. He is ready and fully supporting me on this. My HR department is reluctant on few issues. They are saying employee must be transferred to a “significantly different ” position. And they will not apply for EB-2 category because my current position do not “require ” Masters degree. I am trying to explain them to apply for EB-2 as I am having masters+ 2 years of experience. Can you please explain these 2 issues?

      I am sure most of the people must be facing same situation as most of the positions in engineering in USA require bachelor’s degree( + some experience). Masters degree is ” preferred” here not “required”.

      Any suggestions in this situation will be highly appreciated.


          1. Let me give a short reply here. It doesn’t matter what degree you have.
            does the jbo require MS + 2 years or BS + 5 years. If not companies will do EB3.

            You can have 15 years experience with MS. But, if the job is say entry level S/Wm then you don’t qualify for EB2. Got it?

          2. Yes I do understand the requirement of the Job is necessary. Does not matter with my qualification. But what if I will be promoted/moved to more technical position in the same group which requires Masters or Bachelor’s + 5 years of Experience? in that case I may be able to qualify for EB2?

            Thanks for your response. The worst part is I wont be able to talk with my company lawyer until my HR agrees on this issue.


          3. Chances of same company porting you Eb3 to eb2 is less. Ask if they will port if your get promoted in future.

  110. Hi Raghu ,
    My company has filed GC in EB3 .I want know how long will it take PERM to come .Also Is there any difference of PERM and I140 processing in case of EB3 as compared to EB2.
    Please give me clear idea on this .

  111. Hi Raghu,
    My Employer is filling my case under EB2 however my legal stay will expire in Aug 2016 and I am on L1A and I think I can’t get any extension. My question is how my GC process will continue and how I will be able to obtain my GC?

    1. Sid – I’m not sure about L1A regulations and extensions. Why EB2 when you are on L1A?

  112. I worked on h1B from 2007 oct to 2009 oct .( 2 years out of 3 years). Then I returned to India.
    Now my H1B got approved in Masters quota from 2013 OCt. But still
    now I have not joined the employer. I will join in 2015 june.
    Means I am getting 16 months to work before VISA expires on 2016 sept.
    So out of 6 year clock, I have 16 months of now + 1 year of earlier visit . means 2 year 4 months. Do you think , this time is sufficient to get a green card or process started in EB2 or EB3? employer is interested in GC. So how soon I should start the GC process after joining? My son is going with me to takeup his schooling for next 7 years in US. I want to plan without a break in his studies for 7 years due to VISA out of status issues. Pl. advice how to plan the dates for GC filing and accordingly I can tell employer now itself to plan my
    GC processing? pl. advice..

  113. This article is very informative. I have a question about my I40. My I40 got approved from my previous employer but I am working for different company now. So how do I know that previous employer has not provoked my I40? My new employer will start for my GC process after 1 year that will be end of 2015. Kindly explain me how is it going to happen.

      1. HI Raghu,

        Thanks for starting this blog & helping out people. I have one query, currently my wife is woking in US on H1B Visa, third year, I am on H4 visa. As per resent news for H4 work permit only H1B visa holders whose I140 is approved their spouse on H4 visa get chance to apply for work permit. Incase if my wife request her employer to file for GC, how long it will take for me to get a chance to apply for work permit ? Also is this a feasible option ? Pls share ur insight on H4 work authorisation.

        1. If your H-1B wife have i-140 approved then you can apply for EAD starting May 26 2015 and pay 380USD and it would take 6-9mos for the processing to get approved EAD.

  114. Hi Raghu,

    I have a question reg GC filing. I am travelling to US by 15th Feb. I will join my work by 20th Feb. Is there any restriction by USCIS that my employer can file GC only after 2 pay stubs alone? Also, is there any Window (timeperiod) that USCIS accepts the file for EB2 processing? I have 9 yrs of IT work Exp with 2 yrs of techo-managerial exp in India. Can the employer take the chance of filing Eb1 for me? If they file and it USCIS rejects my case to be filed under EB1, what will be the consequences?

    Please suggest.

  115. Hi Raghu, It is a very good article….I have one question about my case. I have worked in India for 3 years as PM and same company filed my H1B last year. They got my PERM approval last month. I checked with company attorney and he is saying i can qualify under EB1. So my question is can i be directly filed under EB1 or I have to do PERM all over again. And if lets say they file my I-140 under EB1 next month then how much time it will take to get GC

  116. Hi Raghu,

    Very informative article!!

    A couple points that need your kind attention:

    1. I am currently on H1B, my visa maxout is 2018 but it expires May 2015.
    2. My company is filing my EB1 and they just sent over my EB1 papers to CIS today.

    As you can see, May 2015 is just 5 months from today, what should I do, wait till GC approves or apply for H1B extension in the meanwhile?

    Would my H1B extension application create conflicts with my GC application processing?

    Any further thoughts would be highly appreciated.

  117. Very helpful info! There’s a info of a U.S chicken meat factory hiring worker as GC EB-3 visa. One immigration agency asking $35-$40.000 (full service) to help filling all form and negotiation with the factory during 2-3 years process. How much possible this is a scam? Is it a reasonable due if it’s not? I’m from Vietnam. Thank you

  118. Hi Raghu,
    I have my PD Sep 20,2012 , i am hesitating to change the employer until i get my EAD.once i get my EAD and change the employer do i still need to go through PERM process or it is not needed?

  119. I am working on a TN visa; an agency has placed me to work on behalf of their clients. The agency said that they can get me a greencard while I am on a TN Visa. I looked on the US gov website and it states on the contrary. Is there a way?

  120. Thanks Raghuram for the article. My PD for EB2 (NIW) is june 2012 with I-140 approved. My H1B is till Oct. 2016. Can I change my job? How it may effect my EB2. Also, can I change my employer who is willing to file and change from EB2 to EB1. Please advice.

    1. If they do EB1 then go for it. but, you need to be sure you qualify for EB1. There’s difference between employer saying we will do EB1 and you have those qualification.

      If not, I wouldn’t change from EB2. To much risks.

  121. Excellent article. Just a couple of basic queries, as I’m totally new to this GC process:

    1. Is there any minimum ‘mandatory’ time-period to work in the US before applying for employment-based GC? Or can the employer start the GC process as soon as employee starts work in the US (say, in H-1B)

    2. Fees for GC: Who is supposed to pay the total GC fees – employer or the employee (I’m not sure how much it is, btw)?

    1. 1. Is there any minimum ‘mandatory’ time-period to work in the US before applying for employment-based GC? Or can the employer start the GC process as soon as employee starts work in the US (say, in H-1B)

      Nope. Employer can start when they want to.

      2. Fees for GC: Who is supposed to pay the total GC fees – employer or the employee (I’m not sure how much it is, btw)?

      Some fees should be paid by the employer ( like Labor, recruitment, etc). Typically companies will sign a contract with you. Asking you to replay the fees associated with GC process if you quite the job within 1 or 2 years of getting GC. Cost varies from $5000 to $10,000.

          1. Hi Raghu. Quick question. If in case your 6 year H1B Visa is going to be expired in few months from now on and you have already filed for EB2 category of green card. would you be allowed to work in US once your H1B Expired since your green card application is under review?

          2. 2 Possible Options to continue to work. For both options you need to get H-1B extended.

            You can extend H-1B under following scenario’s

            1. PERM labor application is filed 365 days before H-1B expiry date. Then you can get H1B extension in 1 year increments.

            2. I-140 is approved. Then you can get 3 years H-1B.

          3. Yes, sure – such infographics will give the complete picture.

            A quick question in this regard is after your second stage approval (i.e., after I-140 approval) – does it really matter if you aren’t employed in H1-B for a couple of months, and then get back to US again for the same/another employment?!

            Thanks once again, Raghu.

          4. If you go to another employer, you have to start the process all over ( PERM and I-140). If old company doesn’t revoke your I-140 then you can use the same PD.

            I think taking a break for couple of months as an employee shouldn’t be any problem.

          5. Cool!! Thanks a million for taking time in answering my queries.
            One last query: If my I-140 is already approved (i.e., if I’m already thru’ the second stage), then my PD will be retained when I change jobs – and in such a case revoking of I-140 by the ex-employer doesn’t matter, as I’ve already passed stage 2. Is this correct?

  122. I m self employed Businessman in line various activities including Construction. Can u tell me if there is any law in USA if i make certail amt. of investment in USD, can i get GC?

  123. Great Work Raghuram. I have a question. I am an Indian citizen born in Qatar and currently on OPT status. Will it be a safe bet to apply for GC now or is it better to go through H1B and then start the GC process, as my employer is fine with whatever I decide. And ya PD for Qatar is current.

  124. just finished my masters in science education in a US university. i am currently on OPT but my employer wants to sponsor my green card. can i get a green card direct or do i have to go through the process of H1B?

  125. great article! I have a question. My company will sponsor EB2 for me. However, my work permit (I have an opt with f1 visa) will be expired on August 28. Is it possible for me to continue working?

  126. Thanks for the article Raghuram. I heard that the above mentioned whole process can take 6-10 years. Is marrying a girl (with different country of birth) makes it faster for EB2 applicant (with Indian born)? For example, if the girl born in country with lower wait time.

  127. Great article Raghuram. I need a clarification. I got my I-140 and my visa got extended by 3 years and it expires by may 2015. What would be the next step i can do?

  128. Great article. You mentioned time taken for stage 1 and 2 in response to katiroll’s comment. What about time taken for stage 3 once your priority date becomes current, OR you are from a country which has already priority date current.

    1. Depends. PD can become current, then it takes about 2 to 3 months ( Finger Printing, Submitting Medical documents, etc), But, if dates retrogress then you have to wait. But, you can apply for EAD.

    1. Stage 1 – About 6 to 8 months to file application. About 4 to 5 months for Approval.
      Stage 2 – Premium is 3 weeks, and regular is like 4 months.

      Job can be changed at any stage, but if you want to retain the Priority Date then wait till Stage 2 approval.

  129. Really nice article. Clarified many of my queries πŸ™‚ . One small suggestion would be to include in the article is that the time taken for EB2 and EB3 , till the I-140 process, is same (Which I got clarified from the comments section BTW) . Because after I-140 with EB3 is approved , we are free to change jobs and can move to EB2 when we file new I-140 with new employer mainting the earlier priority date. Of course, please correct me if I am wrong or if there could be any loopholes in it πŸ™‚

      1. Hi, I have h1b for 3 and half year. Company applying eb3. What is estimated time that I can gc? Thank you!

  130. My Employeer filed my case in EB3. Will there any processing time delay at PERM and !-140 compared to EB2? Other question i had is whether we can change from EB3 to EB2 during any time during PERM/I-i140 if we are eligible?

  131. Hi, I have a question, my employer filed my GC in EB3 and currently I am in L1B. I will max out of 5 years July 2015. In that case, what I have to do? WIll it be possible to get the extension again? WHat would after in July 2015?

    1. Suman – I can speak about H-1B. If your 6 year limit is hit and green card is filed, you can extend by 1 or 3 years depending on PERM or I-140 approval status.

      As far I know L1B can’t be extended beyond 5 years. Convert to L1A or get H1B. What is your employer saying?

  132. Wow! very good explaination! But surprised me why no comments under this article. Probably most of the people are stuck in H1B lottery and that is why they are more into the other articles of happyschoolsblog.

      1. Hi, My 6 years H1B is going to be complete in 2 months. My Employer wants to initiate my GC process now..Is it OK if we raise GC now bec’z I have only 2 months left for my H1B..

        And I was in H4 for 6 months in my 6 years. So is it possible to exteand my H1B for those 6 months which are under H4 Status.

        Would be help me on 2 of my querries to proceed for my status

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *