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How do I maintain status after submitting my I-485 for EB-5?

My I-526 was submitted in December 2018 through a regional center and the decision is still pending. I have filed concurrent I-485 based on a pending I-526 and got the receipt this month. Currently, I am on h1b status. Do I have to maintain status since my I-485 has reached USCIS and I got the receipt? On the H1b status I am not allowed to work outside of my sponsored employer, however I want to do some freelancing once I get my i485 based EAD. So, if I work outside my h1b sponsored employer, I will violate the status. Is it really necessary to keep the h1b status till I get my conditional green card?

Answers

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    Dennis Tristani

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, you can remain in the U.S. lawfully based on your pending I-485. However, I would recommend maintaining H-1B status until you receive your work and travel permit. I would also recommend that you formally notify your employer when you make the decision to resign and begin your own business so your H-1B petition can be formally withdrawn.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your EB-5 case is approvable, then you can let the underlying status go. The advantage of having underlying status is that if the green card is denied, you are not placed into removal proceedings. However, now that your I-485 has been receipted, you do not need to stay with your H-1B employer. However, while section 245(k) allows up to 6 months of unauthorized employment in certain circumstances, we advise foreign nationals to hold off employment until you get your work card. USCIS is much more efficient with these and they are being processed in only a few months now.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Not required but advisable.