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Overcoming Uncertainty: Concurrent Filing as a Lifeline for H-1B Visa Holders Facing Layoffs

According to recent news from Forbes, American employers laid off over 84,000 people in February 2024, marking a 9% increase compared to the same period in 2023, making it the highest number of layoffs in a month since February 2009. Companies in various sectors such as manufacturing, technology, finance, and finance were involved in the layoffs, with prominent American companies like Tesla, Amazon, Google, and IBM among them.


The technology sector has become a major area for layoffs, with many of these companies often sponsoring work visas for a large number of foreign high-tech talents. According to data from the H-1B Employer Database on the Immigration Bureau’s official website, technology companies accounted for over 50% of the top ten employers in terms of approved H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2024. Amazon alone had 4,398 employees approved for H-1B work visas.


Once laid off, employees holding H-1B visas must find a new employer within 60 days or switch to another visa category, or else they must leave the United States. The Washington Post reported with the headline “High-skilled visa holders at risk of deportation amid tech layoffs.”



To escape such uncertainty and adversity, and to have better opportunities for work and life in the United States, people holding work visas are starting to seek alternative solutions. Under the new EB-5 policy, the “concurrent” approach has emerged as a promising opportunity.


What is “concurrent filing”?

“Concurrent filing” refers to the simultaneous submission of both an immigrant petition and an I-485 green card application by applicants within the United States, or the submission of an I-485 green card application during the immigration petition processing. Most employment-based immigrant category applicants and accompanying family members can “double file” when there is no backlog.


What benefits can be enjoyed after concurrent filing?

After concurrent filing, individuals can immediately obtain eligibility to stay legally in the United States. This means that applicants holding H-1B work visas who initiate an EB-5 project can be legally present in the United States within the fastest timeframe of 2-3 months, without needing to rely on any other visas.


Additionally, through concurrent filing, applicants can simultaneously apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP) for freely seeking employment and traveling in and out of the United States. The card that combines the functions of the EAD and AP is also known as a combo card.


Once the combo card is obtained, applicants can not only freely seek employment in the United States but also travel in and out of the country, which is almost equivalent to the functionality of a green card, earning it the nickname “mini green card.” Currently, the overall processing time for Globevisa clients is around 2-4 months, with a 100% approval rate. As long as the client submits the I-485 application within the United States, they can legally obtain the EAD and AP.


What are the advantages of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) compared to an H-1B visa?

  • Applying for an EAD does not require a job offer from an employer, nor does it involve a lottery; as long as the applicant meets the criteria, they can apply.

  • With an EAD, individuals are not tied to a specific employer and have the freedom to choose their job and employer.

  • Holding an EAD allows individuals to quit their job or not work without affecting the validity of the EAD.


Amidst company layoffs and employer closures, the uncertainties faced by foreign employees working in the United States are causing widespread concern. Under the new EB-5 policy, the “concurrent filing” approach offers a means for applicants to swiftly secure legal residence in the U.S. Furthermore, applicants can simultaneously apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP) to enjoy green card benefits in advance, providing a stable work and living environment for themselves and their families.

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