There are four distinct groups of individuals who may be impacted by the retrogression of the EB-3 Unskilled (Other Workers) category.
· Group 1: People who have LC approvals but I-485s have not been filed.
o Filing I-485s before the retrogression takes place will allow the applicant to be eligible for the green-card based Employment Authorization Document and Advance Parole (EAD/AP) - making the applicant eligible to work using an approved EAD. Until the priority date becomes current again, the I-485 Green Card application will remain pending.
· Group 2: People who have pending I-485 applications, and LCs were filed AFTER the cut-off.
o You are impacted by the retrogression. You will still receive your EAD/AP and you can work using the EAD. However, the filed I-485 will remain pending and a green card will not be issued until your priority date is current again.
· Group 3: People who have pending I-485 applications, and LC was filed BEFORE the priority date.
o You are not impacted by the retrogression. You will get your EAD/AP and you can work using the EAD. Because your priority date is still current, your I-485 will continue to be processed.
· Group 4: People who do not have LC approvals (i.e., LC is being prepared or LC is pending).
o If the EB-3 Other Workers category is still retrogressed by the time of LC approval, our outside counsel will file the I-140 immigrant petition first. The I-485 application can be filed later, when your priority date becomes current.
What should you do in the meantime?
In the meantime, it is important to make sure you maintain legal status while in the USA. You should also be in touch with your attorney to make sure that you have what you need to file when the priority date becomes current again. In short, be patient, maintain a legal status, and be ready.
What happens after my priority date is current again?
Once your priority date is current again, you will be able to move forward with your process by filing the applications for work authorization, travel authorization, and a green card.