What Happens After a Job Loss Before Obtaining My Employment-Based U.S. Green Card

Employers in the United States are not required by law to keep a foreign worker employed, even if the worker is waiting on a U.S green card application. However, it is always good to seek another employer-sponsor.

Several foreigners working in the U.S. on a temporary basis or other nonimmigrant visas are able to obtain a green card based on the employment’s sponsorship. Procedurally, this means that a U.S. employer, after some required preliminary and unsuccessful efforts to recruit U.S. workers for the same job (known as the labor certification or PERM), submits an I-140, Petition for Immigrant Worker to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Once USCIS grants approval for an I-140 and the foreigner’s priority date has become current (meaning that a visa number has become available despite annual limits and sometimes long waits), the foreign national can apply for the actual green card. This is done by submitting an I-485 to USCIS.

Unfortunately, there are times when foreigners lose their job while their green card application process is still pending with USCIS. U.S. employers are not obligated by law to keep a foreign laborer, even if the employee is waiting for a green card application. Presently, there is nothing to stop an employer from terminating a foreign worker’s job.

I Lost My Job And I Am Wondering If I Can Still Get My U.S. Green Card

Although it is nerve wracking to lose a job while your U.S. green card is still in process, there is still hope. For some, it might still be possible to get a U.S. residence. The bad news is that the foreign national will likely need to start the entire employer sponsorship process over again with a new employer. Starting the process again demands not only looking for another U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor you, but waiting for the new employer to complete the whole labor certification process (PERM) and then the employer submits a new I-140 for you. This means that there will be a lot of wait time which could delay the application process.

Maintaining Your Lawful Immigration Status After A Job Loss

Another significant concern for foreigners is keeping a lawful immigration status after having lost a job. Check with an immigration law professional to ensure that you are not out of status. If you already filed an I-485 application you still are in an authorized status regardless of losing your job. It is after a decision has been made by USCIS that will determine whether you can remain in the US legally. But if you are uncertain, get legal advice from your nearest attorney.

Let An Immigration Lawyer Help You

If you lose your job and you have to start the process all over again ask an immigration attorney to help you this way he or she can navigate you through the entire process. Gambacorta Law Office is available to you as soon as you give a call at 847-443-9303.