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Should I transfer to I-485 EAD when I hold a valid H-1B visa?

Currently I am on H-1B visa, which is valid until April 2020. My I-526 was approved two weeks ago and I am preparing to file an I-485. I am from India. Is it worth it to convert my current working status to EAD or should I continue working under H-1B until the I-485 is approved?

Answers

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    There is no harm in having both. They really provide you a hedged position as follows: The EAD will allow you to work anywhere you wish without any restriction until your I-485 is approved. Once it is approved, you don't need the H-1B anymore. On the other hand, maintaining the H-1B has its own unique advantages as well. First and foremost, it is attached to a job that is paying you a steady income, always a good thing. Second, in the unlikely event that your I-485 is denied you would have a visa to fall back on. You don't have to leave the country.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Considering that a visa is available for Indian nationals, I-485 is a more beneficial pursuit. You can apply for EAD, which can conveniently replace your current H-1B.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Best practice is to keep your underlying H-1B until your I-485 is adjudicated, unless you cannot maintain your H-1B for some reason. In that case, you can work on I-485-based EAD while it is pending and renew until the I-485 is adjudicated.

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    Mitch Wexler

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    With India EB-5 to hit its annual quota mid-2019, a better question is whether or not you should adjust your status at all compared with consular processing. The latter will likely be faster, but there might be added risk, depending on your facts and circumstances. You should discuss this option with experienced counsel.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would file for the EAD, no extra charge, but then work on the H-1B. If you need the EAD to change jobs or to moonlight, then you will have it.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    We recommend that you keep the H-1B status until your I-485 is approved unless H-1B cannot be maintained for some reason.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is worthwhile also to have an EAD, besides maintaining H-1B status. This will avoid any danger of unauthorized employment.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is a very individualized question and you should obtain proper advice from an attorney who can understand the details of your situation. EAD would give you job mobility. Do you have upcoming international travel? Engage an attorney.

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    Sarah A Schroeder

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally it's advisable to keep both for as long as possible. The EAD is a very valuable open-market work permit that can be used throughout the pendency of your I-485 application to allow you to work in the U.S. while facing long I-485 processing times. The H-1B is a good safeguard to maintain in the event anything goes awry with your I-485 application because it provides you a means of remaining and working in the U.S. in the event your I-485 were denied. Additionally, USCIS recently changed its policy regarding placing individuals in removal proceedings. The general rule is that, when an I-485 is denied, USCIS will generally initiate removal proceedings if the denial of the I-485 leaves the applicant without any lawful status in the U.S. By maintaining your H-1B status, you are not left without lawful status in the U.S. in the event your I-485 is denied. Of course, issues can arise such as a loss of H-1B employment or running our of H-1B time before the I-485 is adjudicated that can make maintaining underlying H-1B status not possible. That said, where possible/available, it is generally recommended that individuals continue to maintain their H-1B status as a precaution.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The advantage of working on an H-1B is that if your adjustment is denied for any reason, you remain in status and will not be put into removal proceedings. For this reason, my view is the H-1B is the best option. On the other hand, the EAD allows you to work anywhere.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    That's a really complicated answer! It will depend on your plans to work and travel, and possible retrogression of visa availability for Indian investors. I'd want to have a call or meeting with you to discuss all of the options, of which there really are many!

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There's nothing lost by filing for EAD and advance parole since there is no additional cost to filing (all included in the I-485 filing fee), and also having an EAD frees you from being tied to the H-1B petitioning employer and you can work for anyone (or be self employed, etc.) after it is issued. All win-win.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may wish to convert your H-1B to your EAD. In any event, you would want to obtain an EAD as well as an advance parole. Traveling on an advance parole means you do not have to renew your H-1B visa at the consulate abroad should it expire while you are waiting for your adjustment application to be approved. Entering on your advance parole also saves your H-1B time in the unlikely event that your application of adjustment of status is denied so that you would have more remaining H-1B time.

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