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Attyrlj, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 19
Experience:  Over a dozen years of combined service to courts, government agencies, businesses, & individuals
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I-360 approved. Filed I-485 and received acknowledgement

Customer Question

I have my I-360 approved. I have filed my I-485 and have received acknowledgement on July 3. Does the church I work for which filed my approved petition for I-360 any input as regards ***** *****? What I mean is can I leave them for another church at this time since the I-360 has been approved and I have received acknowledgment of the I-485 that I filed. Also how soon can I get the Green Card?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Attyrlj replied 9 years ago.

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.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
From your answer, I can take the new Pastoral job from another church and this will not jeopardise my Green Card petition?
My second question is: Will the INS come to my church for any form of site inspection/investigation for the approval of my I-485?
What do I expect next from INS at this time?
Expert:  Attyrlj replied 9 years ago.

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.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I am not clear as to where the immigration service will visit. The church I pastor is in another city from the headquarters of my church employer. Before the approval of my I-360, the immigration service visited my employer (petitioner) at the headquarter and then secretely attended one church service in my church. This time I have filed for I-485, what will they be looking for? Will they come to my church directly or my I-360 petitioner? Will they be looking into my attendance, accounts and other books or just attend our services? Please respond to enamble me accept and pay.
Expert:  Attyrlj replied 9 years ago.

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.

Attyrlj and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you