Employment-based priority dates are advancing quickly with the June and July 2021 visa bulletin. We expect that to continue in the coming months, though no one can predict precisely how quickly priority dates will advance. Be ready to file as soon as your date is current. Here are five tips to consider:
- Gather the documents you will need and keep them organized! We cannot provide a detailed list of documents for filing the green card application here, but this would include things like your birth certificate, marriage certificate, previous immigration approval notices, copies of passports, I-94 cards, tax returns, etc. You will need these documents for each person in your family who will apply. Keeping the documents in a safe digital storage space will allow you to quickly transfer them to your immigration team when the time comes.
- Be careful about the medical exam. The medical exam (I-693) is valid for up to 60 days if you obtain it before you file the I-485. Therefore, you may want to wait to schedule the exam once you know for sure when you can file.
- Make sure you are looking at the correct visa bulletin table. Remember there are two tables on each visa bulletin in the employment-based category. One is final action dates, the other is dates for filing. USCIS will tell us each month where they will accept I-485s based on the final action date table, or the dates for filing table. Don't file early and be disappointed!
- Make sure you have a valid PERM labor certification. Let's say you have a PERM labor certification and I-140 petition approved for Employer A, who you worked for 10 years ago. Now you work for Employer C. If/when your priority date is current, you cannot file the I-140 petition based on the PERM labor certification you had with Employer A (unless you and Employer A intend for you to return to work for them in the future - make sure you get legal advice in this situation). You don't want a current priority date but no valid PERM labor certification!
- Talk to your qualified immigration attorney now to talk strategy. It may or may not make sense to file an EB-3 I-140 petition now, for example, if you already have an approved EB-2 I-140 petition.
As with so many things in life, preparation and patience are key!
If you need help navigating the immigration process with confidence, please contact us today to get the process underway! We are immigration lawyers in Richmond, VA but we serve clients throughout the US and around the world. You can call us at 804-396-3412 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!