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Immigration Issues/I-765/I-131 approved. Time estimate for I-485


Hello Ajay,

Our priority date is March 2010. We got our current date in march 2012 visa bulletin and applied for GC on March 1st 2012.We received our Travel Document (I131) and Employment Authorization approval (I-765) yesterday.Now, I have 3 questions regarding this:

1. How long would it take to get our I-485 approved? Our attorney was saying that USCIS people are changing the current dates to August 2007. Is that true? if yes, what would be our time of estimation to get I-485 approved then?

2. I came to US 1.75 yrs back on H-4 visa. I changed my status to F-1 visa 6 months back. I did not go to India in the mean time since I was afraid of visa stamping issues (which may put me into trouble if my visa gets rejected). Since I received my I-131 approved, will I be able to go to India and come back without any visa stamping hassles.

3. Since I received my Employment authorization, do I still need to apply for CPT or OPT to do job? if no, I heard that students on CPT/OPT are eligible to pay less tax amount, will that apply to me?

Dear Swathi:
1) It is true that the visa numbers may retrogress to 2007 and I-485 (if not approved by then under that category) would be kept under process until the visa number becomes current.  
2) Once you have advance parole and EAD, you are good to travel without any hassle (no visa stamping is required when you have AP on I-485 pending unless.)
3) You do not need to apply for CPT or OPT to do a job; your EAD under I-485 category is good enough to work.  You may wish to continue renewing CPT/OPT and the benefit of taxes but then you may have complications travelling w/out visa stamping.  

Best wishes,  

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