From US Work Permits to US Permanent Residence
Can you go from a US Work Permit to US Permanent Residence?
We get many inquiries about whether it is possible to transfer from a US Work Permit to a US Green Card or US Permanent Residence. In some cases, a US Work Visa to Green Card transfer is indeed possible. This all depends on the nature of the US Work Visa in question.
How to transfer from a US Work Permit to US Permanent Residence
For instance, if you are working in the US on an H-1B Visa or L1 Visa, you may be eligble to apply for a US Permanent Residence though what is known as the Adjustment of Status (AOS) Process. The AOS process is complicated as it involves the completion of many immigration application forms and the collection of supporting documents. Also your US employer has to be willing to Petition for you for the Green Card.
Not all US Work Permits can act as a “spring board” to US Permanent Residence. TN Visas and E2 Visas for example do not allow for a direct transfer to Green cards through the AOS process. In many cases, individuals wishing to apply for US Permanent Residence who are on TN Visas or E2 Visas, consider applying for H1B Visas so they can “adjust their status” for US Permanent Residence.
It is therefore important to consider what your long terms plans are for the US when considering what type of US Work Permit you want to apply for. If you have questions about transferring from a US Work Permit to US Permanent Residence, contact a licensed immigration lawyer.
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About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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