Most entries below contain actual legal discussions of events directly related to Filipinos in or immigrating to the United States.
Remember- These writings are provided for general information only and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. Each person's needs and requirements are different and require a personal evaluation to determine the proper legal course of action.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

EB-2/EB-3: “How Long Must I Work for this Company?”

I recently saw this issue raised on an attorney email list.  The question is asked frequently and anyone who gets permanent residence based on an employer petition should understand this concept. 

There is no exact number of days/months/years that an Employment-based immigrant must work for the petitioning employer.  The answer is a combination of your initial intent and any circumstances that have changed since becoming a permanent resident.

On the day you become a Permanent Resident, you and your employer are agreeing to establish a "permanent" employment relationship.

It must be your intent on that day to remain with the petitioning company for the foreseeable future.


You must not already be planning to quit in the near future.  If you do not have this “permanent” intent to continue working on the day you are granted residence,  USCIS may say you were not living up to your agreement that allowed you to become a permanent resident.  Past employment with this same company does not count.  You may have worked for them for many years as an H-1B or L-1, but it is your intent when granted residence that matters. 

Of course, you should also always keep in mind that your employer has expended considerable time and effort towards your desire to become a Permanent Resident, and they are relying on your promise to work for them in the future.  If USCIS later finds that this was not your intent, your Permanent Resident status can be removed. 

However, “permanent” does not mean forever.  Should an event occur after you become a Permanent Resident that would commonly cause a worker to change employers, such as a substantially better job offer, spouse relocation or unbearable working conditions, you can leave your position.  But if you do leave your job within the first two years, I strongly recommend you document the reasons that led to your departure and collect any evidence that may be available showing that the event causing you to terminate employment occurred after you received Permanent Residence.  This evidence will be very useful should you later need to defend against an immigration fraud allegation many year after you left employment.

These cases usually after an employer complains to USCIS about an employee quitting, or when a USCIS officer questions the short employment history with the petitioning employer when applying for U.S. Citizenship.

Although somewhat uncommon, USCIS will take action if they believe they can prove fraud was committed.  If discovered within five years of the grant of Permanent Residence, USCIS may directly remove residence through Rescission proceedings.  If more than five years has elapsed, the government is required to place the worker in Removal (deportation) proceedings.

It is much better to understand this requirement at the beginning of your Permanent Residence than to be one of the unlucky ones who learn these rules in removal proceedings!

View Qualifications of Attorney James W. Austin

Go To Austin & Ferguson, LLC Home Page