16 Mar H-1B Change of Employer Petition Approved for 3 Years based upon Approved I-140 Petition filed by Previous Employer
Our client is a pharmacist who was maintaining lawful H-1B employment and also had an I-485 adjustment of status application pending more than 6 months based upon an approved I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The I-140 Petition was approved following certification of a labor certification application on behalf of our client. Our client had neglected to maintain a valid employment authorization document. Our client came to us wanting to change her employer to a different pharmacy with the goal of starting work for the new employer as soon as possible, being able to maintain her green card application, and being able to travel to her home country for her brother’s wedding next month. In order to meet our clients goals we filed an H-1B change of employer petition and utilized premium processing so that our client would have the approval notice in time to travel using the approval notice of the new H-1B Petition and the visa from her prior employer’s H-1B Petition which is still valid. Following the H-1B approval we prepared an AC-21 change of employer letter for our client to maintain her green card processing in that her new position is the “same or similar” to her prior position. We also applied for a new employment authorization document and advance parole travel document so our client could have these documents in an emergent situation. Strategically, whenever possible one should maintain underlying H-1B nonimmigrant status even though one may have a pending I-485 adjustment of status application. This provides a safety net in case something happens with the pending I-485 application.