Immigration Issues/J1 to Greencard
I am Teacher from the UK on the Visiting International Faculty (VIF) Program.
I am about to enter my 5th and final year of the program.
They sponsor me for a J1 VISA (which expires on June 30th 2013).
I recently married a US Citizen, hooray, and am contemplating applying for a Greencard.
VIF has told me that if I DO apply, my J1 VISA will be terminated and I will lose my job. Is this correct?
Can I still work while applying for the Greencard? Do I need to apply for the I-765 form to do so? (And the I-131 to travel [if I needed to...])
How long does the process take? For I-765/131 and the entire Greencard process?
Am I right in understanding that the J1 will not be dropped UNTIL I am approved for the Greencard (which usually takes 6-9 months)? During that time the J1 will still be valid until it expires on June 30th 2013?
Lastly, do I need to complete 2 of the G-325A Biographic Sheet forms - one for me and one for my wife?
Thanks in advance for the help.
Dear Graeme O'Gorman:
Firstly, Congratulations and best wishes to the newly weds!!
As for your concerns -
1) Please note that your visa validity would be valid until you get you GC or cancel/withdraw it upon receipt of EAD.
2) To get EAD you would need to apply for I-765 and to travel you would need an advance parole by applying on form I-131 (there is no fee for these forms when applying with I-485).
3) The process might take about 6 - 8 months (depending upon area of jurisdiction.) However, you might receive your EAD and advance parole within 90 days (after completion of biometrics/fingerprints).
4) Yes, you need to complete separate G-325A forms (one for self and other for the petitioner.)
I would, though, advise you to seek professional help in applying for your GC. You may contact us via postal mail or email if you so desire and we will be more than happy to assist you.
AJ SINGH LAW