The November visa bulletin was recently published, and it *finally* shows that the EB-2 “worldwide” category will be current in November! What does this mean for you? Basically, it means that if you were born in a country other than China or India, you can file the National Interest Waiver petition (fast-track green card application) together with your application for the green card. This means that your application will be processed sooner, you will get a work permit sooner, and you may end up receiving permanent residence sooner.
There are two parts to the “fast-track” green card application processes: 1) The I-140 petition, which includes the National Interest Waiver petition, support letter, letters of recommendation, and other evidence, and 2) The I-485 application for permanent residence (also called the green card application, or adjustment of status application). Anyone who qualifies can file the I-140 petition and National Interest Waiver petition at any time. However, since July 2012, the EB-2 category has been “retrogressed” for every country. This meant that you could file the National Interest Waiver petition, but not the application for the green card. You had to wait until your priority date was current to be able to file the green card application package. Now all countries except China and India are “current” for the EB-2 category (the category into which the National Interest Waiver petition falls). This means you can file both parts of the package at the same time, allowing you to receive your work permit sooner, and even possibly receive permanent residence sooner!
Not filing for the National Interest Waiver petition? You can also file for permanent residence (the I-485) in November if:
- You have already submitted the NIW I-140 petition and have not yet filed the I-485 (if you and/or your spouse were born in a country other than China or India)
- You have an approved labor certification and are filing or have filed your EB-2 I-140 petition, and were born in a country other than China or India.
- You have an approved labor certification and are filing or have filed your EB-2 I-140 petition, and:
- Were born in India and have a priority date of Sept 1, 2004 or earlier, or
- Were born in China and have a priority date of Sept 1, 2007 or earlier.
If you need assistance with your employment-based or family-based green card filing, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, this information is for general educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You must consult an experienced immigration attorney before taking or not taking any action based on this information.