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You can file i485 yourself but the employer sponsorship is still needed for an employment-based Green card.
There are a couple of thoughts going around as many people have multiple i140 approvals in their hands and their employer is not agreeing to file i-485 if the priority date is current in the ‘filing-date’ chart.
The main thing to understand here is that you can file i-485 without an employer but the USCIS cannot approve it without a valid and current offer of employment from a US employer.
This holds true for all employment-based green card queues like EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3.
File i485 if I Have Both EB2 and EB3 i-140 Approvals?
Here is one situation:
- My EB-3 i140 is approved with employer A. i140 has not been revoked.
- My EB-2 i140 has been approved by employer B.
- My EB2 Priority date is current in the EB-3 Date of filing chart.
- Employer A is not ready to file i-485 since I am not working for them.
Can I file i-485 myself to take advantage of the EB-3 final action chart?
i-485 is a personal application and many employers do charge you to file it too. In that sense, you can file i-485 yourself with your own personal attorney.
But you will still need a valid offer of employment from a US employer and preferably a 485J supplement to avoid any denials. Most attorneys will not advise you to file it without the current job offer and 485J as the chances of denial are very high.
Supplement J form is provided by an employer which tells USCIS that a valid job position still exists in the same or similar profession for which the initial PERM was approved.
You will need to carry the job offer letter with you to the i-485 employment-based Green card interview.
File EB2 to EB3 Downgrade Myself?
Filing an EB2 to EB3 downgrade means filing EB3 i140 and i140 can only be filed by a US employer.
Hence, you cannot yourself downgrade your application.
You can opt to hire your private attorney to file the downgrade if your employer agrees to help them with all the documents required to file an i-140 application.
You can also upgrade your EB2 to EB3 i140 to premium if you think your ‘Final Action’ date might get current soon.
You can file i485 but you will need a valid employment letter and 485J supplement from a US employer who is ready to offer you a job in the same or similar field.
If you cannot get the new job offer, the chances are high that your i485 will be denied.
The same and similar field of work means that about 50% of job responsibilities should be the same.
If you are currently working as a software engineer, you can become a software engineering manager, and this is acceptable.
But, if you decide to become a people manager, then your job responsibilities have changed and you will not be counted as working in the same or similar field as per AC21 law.
You can change your job anytime after getting the green card but most attorneys recommend staying at least 180 days to avoid any issues at the time of Naturalization (citizenship).
There is no hard and fast rule here though and there is no proof that your citizenship may be delayed or canceled if you change jobs before 180 days. It is just a guide and you can use it based on your situation.
You can work in any profession after getting a green card. You can take promotions within the same company in any area of work.
The conditions of same or similar employment are only applicable until you get the employment-based green card. Once you have been greened, you can even drive an Uber/Lyft (not allowed on H1B) or serve in a restaurant for that matter.