How can I adjust my H1B status to green card status? 7 Answers as of June 15, 2011

I have a valid H1B visa for 3 years and am currently working under this visa in the USA. I am married to a US citizen and we are wondering whether to apply to adjust my status to a green card, however until July next year we have been married less than 2 years. Can I work under my H1B visa while applying for the green card or will I need to stop working for a while until the work permit comes through? Is there any problem with staying/working on my H1B until July next year when we have been married 2 years and then applying for change of status? Also theoretically if my H1B visa was to end through loss of job for example if we filed the green card paperwork would I be able to stay in the US or would I need to leave and apply from my home country.? Thank you.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Calderón Seguin PLC
Calderón Seguin PLC | Ofelia L. Calderon
You can work on your H1B while waiting for your greencard as long as you remain compliant with the terms of the H1B. The H1B visa is one of the only visas that you can have dual intent on. If you lose your H1B while the application for the greencard is pending, you can stay because you are still in an authorized stay. Obviously, you can't work unless you have also applied for and received the work authorization card that comes with applying for your greencard.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/15/2011
Law Office of Christine Troy
Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
As a general matter, it sounds like you are in valid status on an H-1B visa. You can apply for a green card now via your marriage to your wife. If married under two years when the case is determined, you will get only a two year green card that you can then extend later. It sounds like you are trying to wait until then to file, in order to get the ten year card. That is an option. Once you file for a green card in the US, you are given status under that. You are able to work on your H-1B as long as it is still valid and you don't violate any of the terms for that visa. At the same time, you apply for a work card that arrives 90 days after your green card is pending. You can then work on that as well.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
You either should start over by letting your spouse to sponsor you immigration status as spouse, or you have to persuade your employer to obtain an immigration visa for you. H1B is non-immigration visa, which means it does not lead you to green card automatically. You may need a lawyer because the paperwork of the latter is never simple and it requires labor certificate. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/14/2011
Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
You can apply to adjust your status through your US citizen wife and work either as an H1B or under an employment authorization while the petition is pending. I recommend consulting with and retaining an attorney to help you with the process. While it may appear simple, one mistake can delay the petition for a long time or result in denial. I offer free phone consultations.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/14/2011
Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
You can continue working under the H-1B while applying for the green card. You will have to apply for conditional residency, having been married less than two years, but you are not prohibited from making the application, and you do not need to return to your country. If your first 3 years end while your GC is pending, you may file for an extension of an additional 3 years. If your position ends, you would normally have to return, although you may petition for another H-1B with a different employer. But since you would have a valid GC petition on file while still on your old H-1B (if you start now), you would be able to remain in the country while it is pending, and not have to return back to your present country. You will need the help of an immigration attorney, who will move with you through the complexities of this process. Please feel free to call or e-mail, to set up an in-person, or telephonic consultation. I hope to be able to serve you and your spouse.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella | Caro Kinsella, Esq.
    If you are married to a U.S. citizen you dont have to wait for 2 years to file your adjustment petition. Contact my office for a free consultation so I can go over the process with you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Yes, as long as you're still with the original employer for which your H1B visa was approved, you should be able to continue with your employment under that visa until next July when you can apply to adjust your status to lawful permanent residency through your wife's petition in your behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
Click to View More Answers: