What If Trump makes Green Card Dates get Current (Are you ready?)

Are you ready If Trump makes EB green card queues current? Is your PERM pending, current employer i140 okay to file i485? Can you work on EAD by leaving H1B?

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta    Updated  24 Jul, 20


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.

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!

July 2007 visa bulletin all dates were current for employment green card
July 2007 visa bulletin all dates were current for employment green card

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.

Aug 2007 visa bulletin - all dates unavailable
Aug 2007 visa bulletin – all dates unavailable

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):

Did visa bulletin dates were made current before 2008 elections?
Did visa bulletin dates were made current before 2008 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.

What if green card dates get current - are you ready to file i485?
What if green card dates get current – are you ready to file i485?

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.

Benefits

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.

Problems

  • 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

Will i need a new PERM and i140 after H1B transfer to file Green card?

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.

Do I have enough time to file new PERM and i140 if dates get current now?

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.

Have dates been made current anytime in the past?

Some people say dates were made current in 2008 but I could not find any concrete information about it.

Are these rumors or have any truth involved?

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.

Can I file my Green card from Outside USA if i am stuck due to travel ban?

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.

I have approved I-140 but new PERM for job location change is pending – will I be eligible to file for adjustment of status?

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.

Can all EB -1, 2 and 3 queues dates be made current?

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.

Can I file my Green card from Outside USA if I am working remotely from
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.




Author

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta           

Recent discussion on forum

  1. anonymous51
    anonymous51

    In 2008, I don’t think there was a big backlog like today. USCIS can make the priority date current if there is a small backlog.

    But as of now, there is already a disastrous backlog. If USCIS made all priority date current, 1000s of people will file I-485 and EAD immediately.

    The processing time for EAD and I-485 will be in years, may be in decades.


  2. anonymous
    anonymous

    Ya but how does that make a difference to them. People will still be in same bucket but USCIS will get lot of funds right away. So I can totally see them doing it.


  3. anonymous51
    anonymous51

    You are correct.

    It doesn’t make any difference for USCIS.

    We can legally stay in USA if we can file I-485. But we will still need an active H-1B to do the job as EAD might take years to come.


  4. anonymous100
    anonymous100

    I do understand it’s always good to hear or expect things to happen the way we wanted, this is just like expectations on winning a lottery, It’s not gonna happen, work with your local governor or senators to fix the GC backlog. That’s the best we can do during these times.


  5. anonymous
    anonymous

    I second this. It’ll be AMAZING if this happens. But like Anil wrote - don’t get your hopes up.
    The problem is that people don’t read the fine print :slight_smile:


  6. anonymous49
    anonymous49

    Anyone who applied at that time got the green card? It will be a great blessing for all Indians stuck in backlog.


  7. anonymous
    anonymous

    Dates were made current in July 2007 because what was called the July fiasco when USCIS and DOS did not cooperate together and hence the DOS made the VB current for everyone as USCIS was not sharing the PI of I-140 with DOS.

    USCIS went to court but later decided based one what is called flower bouquets to accept that VB because people had done their medicals.

    I do not expect such a thing to happen anymore after the I-140 EAD was denied by the courts and lawyers thought they could pull a stunt as the one in 2007.


  8. anonymous57
    anonymous57

    Great analysis!

    So if USCIS/trump use date of filing chart to make all queues current, won’t we have to wait for the date of action chart to be current to get the actual gc in hand?

    Also how many unused GC numbers are available right now?

    There is a form that let’s one file using consular process (for those affected by the travel ban and are stuck in India. Does anyone remember this number?


  9. anonymous
    anonymous

    hypothetically if it gets current, we still have to get all the checks etc done, just getting the documentation should take a month.


  10. anonymous
    anonymous

    What advantage would they get if they make it current and with the elections coming and tag as ‘Make America great again’ will it help him if he gives green cards to immigrants :face_with_monocle::thinking:


  11. anonymous
    anonymous

    This was right before recession…golden time to get EAD…Back then filing (buying) labor meant for other person was legal (so their Priority date)…

    I know many people that have done that…they immediately filed for concurrent filing (both I 140 and I485)


  12. krish21
    krish21

    Does this work even for F-1 visa students with certified PERM and pending/approved I-140? If dates get current, can these people file I-140 and I-485 together and be eligible to get Green-card or I-485 EAD with AP or are these people left out due to their F-1 status ?


  13. Anil.Gupta
    Anil.Gupta

    F1 status runs separately than i140 and i485 status. You should be able to file i485 if dates get current for you.


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