Immigration Law Questions? Ask an Immigration Lawyer.
No. For the I-360 you were the beneficiary and the employer-church was the applicant or petitoner. However, for the I-485 you're the applicant/petitioner.
Processing times vary; however, expect to wait at least 13 months.
If you require assistance we would be willing to discuss your case further.
I trust that this information is helpful.
You incur a risk anytime you make a significant change (e.g., changing employers midstream) that affects your lawful status. The most important thing for you to remember is this: If you get a green card, you are getting a green card only because your services are essential to a U.S. employer. Put another way, the U.S. government is issuing a green card not for your benefit, but to help a U.S. company or Institution (here a church).
Moreover, as a condition of your employment (i.e., approved I-360) your current church-employer had to provide numerous assurances. For example, that it was a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S., exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and (probably) that it would ensure that you do not become a public charge.
Thus, if you change employers, you're inviting the Government to challenge the sincerity of your original I-360 application. Moreover, the new church will have to provide all of the same assurances.
THEREFORE, I suggest that you not change employers until after you receive your green card.
As to your 2nd question, as part of the I-485 process, please be aware that the Immigration Service will visit your church-employer.
As to your 3rd question, I will need more information about your case to give you an idea of what to expect next.
You have to understand the history of the R-1 program, which is fraught with fraud. That is, people using the program as a means to circumvent the immigration laws. As such, you can expect the Service to take whatever steps it deems necessary and appropriate to ensure that you are working for bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S., exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. This will include a visit to the church where you work. Moreover, for purposes of ensuring that the parent organization is also a bona fide U.S. nonprofit religious organization, the Service may make another visit to or direct interrogatories at the parent church. Finally, unless something untoward raises suspicion as to your organization's tax exempt status, it is unlikely that the Service will turn its attention to your organization's attendance, accounts, or other records.
I trust that this information answers your question.
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