“Transferring H-1Bs and Green Cards: Insights from Sophie”

Can we transfer green cards too? Sophie is passionate about transcending borders, expanding opportunity, and connecting the world by practicing compassionate, visionary, and expert immigration law. Our I-140 EB-2 green card petitions have been approved, but we’re waiting for our priority dates to become current for our green cards. Your startup will have to file a new I-140 to sponsor you for an employment-based green card or you will have to self-petition for an EB-1A extraordinary ability green card or EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) green card. I recommend consulting an immigration attorney about transferring your H-1B and green card options that meet your plans and goals.

Sophie Alcorn, attorney, author and founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley, California, is an award-winning Certified Specialist Attorney in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Sophie is passionate about transcending borders, expanding opportunity, and connecting the world by practicing compassionate, visionary, and expert immigration law. Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Sophie Alcorn, an accomplished attorney, writer and founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley, California, is known for her excellence as a Certified Specialist Attorney in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. With a deep passion for breaking down barriers, creating opportunities, and bringing people together, Sophie drives change through her compassionate, forward-thinking and adept approach to immigration law. Join Sophie on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay connected.

TechCrunch+ members can enjoy exclusive weekly “Ask Sophie” features by using promo code ALCORN and subscribing for one or two-year membership at an incredible 50% discount.

Ask Sophie

Dear Sophie,

My colleague and I are employed by a prominent tech firm. We believe in an idea we have for our own start-up and want to pursue it. But as we are both on H-1B visas, we are concerned about the process for transferring those visas to the new start-up. Can we also transfer our green cards to the start-up?

— Emerging Entrepreneur

Dear Emerging,

Congratulations on your decision to establish your own company! I am here to equip you with the necessary information and solutions.

As a first step, I recommend exploring my insightful discussion with Miles Randle where he shares his venture studio experience in assisting entrepreneurs navigate through the complexities of immigration procedures. We address how the visa and green card processes significantly influence the time it takes for entrepreneurs to achieve their startup milestones, and highlight the qualities that contribute to the success of any pioneer.

The concise reply to your second question is a discouraging no. Unfortunately, your I-140 for an EB-2 advanced degree or exceptional ability green card cannot be transferred to your start-up. This signifies that your start-up must launch a new I-140, endorsing you for an employment-based green card. Alternatively, you can choose to self-petition for an EB-1A extraordinary ability green card or EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) green card. Nevertheless, you are permitted to transfer your priority date. Furthermore, if you have taken the I-485 step, you may also have a few portability alternatives available.

My recommendation would be to consult an immigration attorney to explore different ways of transferring your H-1B and green card that align with your future plans and aspirations. Reaching out to an immigration attorney can aid you in determining the best course of action, along with contingency strategies, to help you and your colleague achieve your dreams. Let’s delve into the details!

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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