I am writing this article with a big “if Trump” so that you read it by knowing what “If” means in the current context.
Many people have asked me these questions in the past couple of days and hence it became important to answer “Are you ready if all Green card dates get current immediately“?
Check if you have all the documents required to file an i485 application for a green card.
This article will discuss:
Has the GC dates been made Current in Past?
We finally found when all the dates were made current for employment-based categories with the help of one of our guest Dheeraj Gupta on the FB group.
JULY 2007 was the month that this magic happened if you want to believe your eyes!
Isn’t this mesmerizing? Can’t you stare at it for hours and days and live your life if it happens today?
People say that George Bush pushed these dates but Lexology had reported that USCIS wanted to use available 60,000 GC numbers instead of losing them at the start of the next fiscal year.
These dates were immediately made ‘unavailable‘ next month in the August 2007 visa bulletin.
This means that the window of filing i485 was open only for 1 month.
Whosoever got on to the train within this extremely small window would have got the i485 EAD & advance parole.
So, the theory that dates get current before elections do not hold good as I checked the USCIS visa bulletin dates pattern from July to October 2008 (just before elections):
I do not know if this sudden increase in the EB2 Chinese and Indian dates can be attributed to any president executive action or not.
But these things are visible in this graph:
- USCIS moved the dates 2.3 years ahead for both Indian and Chinese EB2.
- This allowed many more people to file their i485 in August and September based on July and August visa bulletins respectively.
- The dates remained ahead for the whole 2 months.
- The dates were retrogressed in Oct 2008 as it normally happens every year.
Do you expect the same kind of behavior in the 2020 elections?
Now, coming to the question, are you (as an Indian or Chinese national) ready if this “too good to be true” dream comes true?
I hope you have kept all your immigration documents protected and easily accessible.
Can Trump make All dates Current by EO order?
As far as making the dates current in the ‘date of filing‘ chart is concerned, the executive order can be issued to achieve this target.
Attorney Leon Fresco also said that EO has powers to make dates current but it will happen or not is another matter.
There is no confirmed news about any such GC dates getting current. The message being sent on your WhatsApp or Facebook group has no backing at this time.
We only know of Trump’s speech that talks about a merit-based plan.
This merit-based plan is what may be shared around Aug 10. It may not have anything related to visa bulletin dates as it is pure speculation at this time.
Try this US Merit based points calculator based on RAISE Act:
Open App in new Window
- Assuming that he makes all EB queues current, it can potentially save USCIS and give them enough funds immediately to keep running their operations.
- There are over a million people waiting in employment-based queues and if they all are allowed to file i485 and i765 (EAD), USCIS can expect a good amount of money influx within a month.
Can USCIS Issue Green Card or only EAD?
USCIS can issue a green card only if your PD date is current in the ‘Final action‘ date chart.
Here we are talking about the ‘Date of filing‘ chart which can only get approval for:
- i485 EAD and
- Advance parole
There are pros and cons of getting the i485 EAD and AP but most people still maintain their H1B status to avoid issues if i485 is ultimately denied.
This also has certain benefits like:
- Stay and work in the US even without a work visa like L1 or H1B.
- Travel and return to the US using Advance parole. Usually, a single card is issued by USCIS which has both EAD + AP.
- Avoid Visa Stamping issues while traveling – You will not need to get an H1B visa stamp or file extensions until the i485 is pending. Travel and return using AP and then, if you want, file H1B to change back to H1B status within the USA.
- H1B status loss – You have to leave your H-1B status to use i485 EAD by changing your I-9. If your I-485 is denied later, you will be out-of-status immediately and will need to leave the U.S. To avoid this situation, most attorneys (like Hooyou law firm, AllLaw) recommend not using the EAD.
- i485 Pending Status /Parolee – If you use EAD, your status is legal as you are allowed to stay in the US as long as i485 is pending. Your status is shown as ‘parolee’ on i94 if you use AP to re-enter the US.
FAQ – i140, PERM to file GC application
You will need a new PERM and i140 to file i485 with your current H1B or L employer if dates get current immediately.
The other option is to go back to the old employer and request him to file your i485 with their approved i140.
They will need to prove that the job still exists in their company.
PERM labor certification does not have any premium processing and the normal process takes about 8-9 months if everything goes fine.
You may miss the bus if the dates do get current and close quickly after elections.
There is no information available at this time. So, use your best judgment.
Some people say dates were made current in 2008 but I could not find any concrete information about it.
The green card dates getting current is a sensitive matter with skilled working nonimmigrants in the US.
So, the rumors or news about dates will be made current spreads like fire in every presidential election.
Unless you actually see it happening, you can never believe it.
You can file an immigrant petition using DS 260 form once your date gets current in the ‘Final Action Chart’ with the US embassy.
In the current scenario, if Trump does go ahead with making dates current, he might just do it using the ‘Date of filing’ chart only as per our opinion.
In that case, you will not be able to file your i485 from outside the USA.
If this really happens, you might miss the bus due to the current travel ban.
You can file the i485 AOS using the approved i140 by going back to work at the old work location.
If you want to file i485 for a new work location, then you would need a new i140 which can be filed in the premium or concurrently with i485 application if the dates are current for you.
That’s a million-dollar question and only the government and USCIS know the answer.
Note that there is no concrete information available and everything is based on speculation and assumptions.
It is possible that nothing happens at all.
Canada by getting another job in USA (i140 approved) when this gets current?
You can file an immigrant visa application using for DS260 with US embassy if your date gets current in ‘final action’ date chart.
You will need to use your approved i140 and a current letter of employment from your US Employer to prove that the job still exists for you.
The same holds true for people in India, China or any other country.