Right here’s one other version of “Expensive Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at expertise firms.

“Your questions are very important to the unfold of information that enables individuals all around the world to rise above borders and pursue their goals,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration legal professional. “Whether or not you’re in individuals ops, a founder or searching for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d like to reply your questions in my subsequent column.”

TechCrunch+ members obtain entry to weekly “Expensive Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Expensive Sophie,

I’m so anxious and burdened about all of the layoffs! I’m secure for now, but it surely has made me understand I must take management of my very own future. Are there any visas or inexperienced playing cards that I can apply for alone with out counting on my employer?

— Silicon Careworn

Expensive Careworn,

I applaud you for taking step one towards figuring out your personal immigration future — and gaining peace of thoughts.

Let me take your query about inexperienced playing cards first, since current developments affect the timing for the 2 inexperienced playing cards that people can apply for on their very own: the EB-1A extraordinary means inexperienced card and the EB-2 NIW (Nationwide Curiosity Waiver). People can apply for both the EB-1A or the EB-2 NIW with out an employer sponsor or perhaps a job provide.

Final week, the U.S. Division of State launched its Visa Bulletin for December 2022, which reveals which inexperienced card functions can transfer ahead primarily based on the variety of inexperienced playing cards accessible in every class, and the quantity accessible to people born in sure nations with excessive ranges of immigration to the U.S., similar to India and China.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) releases a month-to-month report that clarifies whether or not it can settle for adjustment of standing functions — the ultimate step within the inexperienced card course of, together with an interview — primarily based on the State Division’s Closing Motion dates or the Dates for Submitting. The USCIS December report, launched final week, states USCIS will settle for I-485 adjustment of standing functions primarily based on the Dates for Submitting.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a brand new window)

File for EB-1 NOW!

If you’re eligible to use for an EB-1A inexperienced card, it is best to file ASAP — and file your I-140 inexperienced card software and your I-485 adjustment of standing concurrently. The explanation for the urgency is that regardless that the EB-1 inexperienced card class stays present in December for all people no matter the place they have been born, that’s anticipated to alter for people born in India or China.

On account of excessive demand for EB-1 inexperienced playing cards and the lower in inexperienced card numbers accessible this fiscal yr in comparison with the earlier one, the State Division is projecting that it’ll impose closing dates for people born in India and China. If that applies to you, communicate to your immigration legal professional now about transferring ahead shortly.

Every fiscal yr, 140,000 employment-based inexperienced playing cards can be found, plus any unused inexperienced playing cards from the family-based classes from the earlier fiscal yr. This fiscal yr (FY 2023), USCIS estimates there shall be 197,000 inexperienced playing cards accessible in comparison with final fiscal yr (FY 2022), when there have been 281,507 inexperienced playing cards. I’ve lengthy advocated for rising the cap on the variety of employment-based inexperienced playing cards accessible annually and eliminating the per-country cap on employment-based inexperienced playing cards, each of which require motion from Congress.

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