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Can employer stop GC

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I opted to use a legal firm that my employer provides to file my marriage based green card. The attorneys are part of our company and employer covered all the legal and uscis fees. My question is - if i transfer jobs before gc is issued can my employer stop the process or file something with USCIS?

Anyone with similar experience please post here. I know for employment based gc you have to wait until you receive the GC and even beyond that to be safe but family based is a different process.

Thanks in advance!

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What type of visa are you adjusting from?


Completed: K1/K2 (271 days) - AOS/EAD/AP (134 days) - ROC (279 days)

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Why would you do that when they do a favor for you?


N400

12/06/2014: Package filed

12/31/2014: Fingerprinted

02/06/2015: In-Line for Interview

04/15/2015: Passed Interview

05/05/2015: Oath letter was sent

05/22/2015: Oath Ceremony

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Why would you do that when they do a favor for you?

Thanks for your reply! I would not call it a favor though - this is standard for all their employees based on performance. They also messed up the documentation for my employement based gc so bad that this was the only viable option left. In any case I do not intend to leave them by no means but I would like to know my options in case an opportunity arises in the coming months.

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Thanks for your reply! I would not call it a favor though - this is standard for all their employees based on performance. They also messed up the documentation for my employement based gc so bad that this was the only viable option left. In any case I do not intend to leave them by no means but I would like to know my options in case an opportunity arises in the coming months.

I don't think its automatic, but my co-worker (on H1 visa) got laid off few years into the processing,

and once he found the new job, for whatever reason, they had to start the entire processing

all over again using the appointed immigration attorney from the new company.


10-04-2013 We met online
11-21-2013 We met in person in Shanghai for 2 weeks

12-13-2013 I-129F packet sent via express

12-19-2013 USCIS NOA #1 (text and email) received

12-24-2013 USCIS assigns Alien Registration Number
12-31-2013 USCIS NOA #1 hard copy received
06-02-2014 USCIS web site shows NOA #2 approval
06-06-2014 USCIS web site shows case sent to NVC

06-xx-2014 Fiancee acquired birth, marriage, and police certificates from local police station (wrong)

06-16-2014 NVC creates case with GUZ### number

06-19-2014 NVC sends case sent to Guangzhou, China
06-24-2014 Received packet 3 express mail from embassy
06-25-2014 Completed DS-160 and paid K1 visa fee

06-26-2014 Mailed packet 3 response back to Embassy

06-26-2014 Requested police certificate from Russian embassy

07-08-2014 Received packet 4 email from Embassy

07-17-2014 Picked up Russian police certificate

07-25-2014 Fiancee medical exam (received MMR & Varicella, but they missed required TD shot)

07-31-2014 Picked up medical exam reports

08-01-2014 Request (correct) birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service (GongZhengChu)

08-06-2014 Picked up birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service

08-14-2014 Passed Interview Guangzhou embassy

09-01-2014 Received passport, visa, & sealed envelope

09-13-2014 POE

09-17-2014 Went to CBP office to get (US entry) I-94 updated correctly

09-18-2014 Applied for Social Security Card
09-19-2014 Applied for Marriage License (via online)
09-25-2014 Received Social Security Card
09-30-2014 Picked up Marriage License
10-09-2014 Marriage by Justice of Peace
10-09-2014 Got Certified Marriage Certificate Copies
10-17-2014 Received a letter from SS office that they need the marriage license
10-09-2014 Applied to change the social security card name
10-24-2014 Went back to SS office to provide the marriage certificate documents again!!!
12-09-2014 Submitted AOS, EAD, and AP
12-16-2014 Received 16 emails and 16 text NOA messages
01-05-2015 Received Biometrics appointment letter for (01-12-2015)
01-12-2015 Had Biometrics (fingerprint & picture) - Required Marriage Certificate!!!
02-17-2015 EAD and AP is approved
02-23-2015 Received AP is approval letter
02-25-2015 Received EAD/AP combo card (expires 02/16/2016)
02-27-2015 Applied for SS card name change (they took her SS card)
02-27-2015 Driver's learner permit test was denied since the SS card was given to SS office for name change
03-17-2015 Received SS card with married name
03-17-2015 Started to change all her accounts to married name
03-23-2015 Received potential interview waiver letter
03-27-2015 DMV rejects learner's permit due to "legal status=pending" and vision test failure
04-05-2015 Vision test for learner's permit
04-06-2015 DPS sent us letter that DHS cleared my wife's status to acquire driver's license.
04-10-2015 Passed Driver Learner's Permit
04-22-2015 Received Driver Learner's Permit ID card (expires 02/16/2016)
08-27-2015 Green Card approved
08-31-2015 Received Green Card "Welcome Notice Was Mailed" letter
09-05-2015 Received Green card
10-26-2015 Passed Driver's License Road Test (on 3rd attempt)
11-03-2015 Received Driver's License (expires 02/16/2022)
11-06-2015 Applied to remove conditional work remark on SS card
11-23-2015 Received updated Social Security Card.
- - - - - - - - - - Pending Future Processing - - - - - - - - - -
05-27-2017 File 10 Year Green Card
08-27-2017 2 Year Green Card Expires
05-27-2018 File USC

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I don't think its automatic, but my co-worker (on H1 visa) got laid off few years into the processing,

and once he found the new job, for whatever reason, they had to start the entire processing

all over again using the appointed immigration attorney from the new company.

Your co-worker was applying for employment or family based GC? I dont think the processing for family based GC normally takes more than 1 year.

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Your co-worker was applying for employment or family based GC? I dont think the processing for family based GC normally takes more than 1 year.

Yeah...that's true... he was a foreign student who got the job using H1 visa


10-04-2013 We met online
11-21-2013 We met in person in Shanghai for 2 weeks

12-13-2013 I-129F packet sent via express

12-19-2013 USCIS NOA #1 (text and email) received

12-24-2013 USCIS assigns Alien Registration Number
12-31-2013 USCIS NOA #1 hard copy received
06-02-2014 USCIS web site shows NOA #2 approval
06-06-2014 USCIS web site shows case sent to NVC

06-xx-2014 Fiancee acquired birth, marriage, and police certificates from local police station (wrong)

06-16-2014 NVC creates case with GUZ### number

06-19-2014 NVC sends case sent to Guangzhou, China
06-24-2014 Received packet 3 express mail from embassy
06-25-2014 Completed DS-160 and paid K1 visa fee

06-26-2014 Mailed packet 3 response back to Embassy

06-26-2014 Requested police certificate from Russian embassy

07-08-2014 Received packet 4 email from Embassy

07-17-2014 Picked up Russian police certificate

07-25-2014 Fiancee medical exam (received MMR & Varicella, but they missed required TD shot)

07-31-2014 Picked up medical exam reports

08-01-2014 Request (correct) birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service (GongZhengChu)

08-06-2014 Picked up birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service

08-14-2014 Passed Interview Guangzhou embassy

09-01-2014 Received passport, visa, & sealed envelope

09-13-2014 POE

09-17-2014 Went to CBP office to get (US entry) I-94 updated correctly

09-18-2014 Applied for Social Security Card
09-19-2014 Applied for Marriage License (via online)
09-25-2014 Received Social Security Card
09-30-2014 Picked up Marriage License
10-09-2014 Marriage by Justice of Peace
10-09-2014 Got Certified Marriage Certificate Copies
10-17-2014 Received a letter from SS office that they need the marriage license
10-09-2014 Applied to change the social security card name
10-24-2014 Went back to SS office to provide the marriage certificate documents again!!!
12-09-2014 Submitted AOS, EAD, and AP
12-16-2014 Received 16 emails and 16 text NOA messages
01-05-2015 Received Biometrics appointment letter for (01-12-2015)
01-12-2015 Had Biometrics (fingerprint & picture) - Required Marriage Certificate!!!
02-17-2015 EAD and AP is approved
02-23-2015 Received AP is approval letter
02-25-2015 Received EAD/AP combo card (expires 02/16/2016)
02-27-2015 Applied for SS card name change (they took her SS card)
02-27-2015 Driver's learner permit test was denied since the SS card was given to SS office for name change
03-17-2015 Received SS card with married name
03-17-2015 Started to change all her accounts to married name
03-23-2015 Received potential interview waiver letter
03-27-2015 DMV rejects learner's permit due to "legal status=pending" and vision test failure
04-05-2015 Vision test for learner's permit
04-06-2015 DPS sent us letter that DHS cleared my wife's status to acquire driver's license.
04-10-2015 Passed Driver Learner's Permit
04-22-2015 Received Driver Learner's Permit ID card (expires 02/16/2016)
08-27-2015 Green Card approved
08-31-2015 Received Green Card "Welcome Notice Was Mailed" letter
09-05-2015 Received Green card
10-26-2015 Passed Driver's License Road Test (on 3rd attempt)
11-03-2015 Received Driver's License (expires 02/16/2022)
11-06-2015 Applied to remove conditional work remark on SS card
11-23-2015 Received updated Social Security Card.
- - - - - - - - - - Pending Future Processing - - - - - - - - - -
05-27-2017 File 10 Year Green Card
08-27-2017 2 Year Green Card Expires
05-27-2018 File USC

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The other concern I forgot to mention is that my husband has gone back to school to complete his MBA so I am the only one working right now. The attorneys indicated that I will be sponsoring myself on I864 through my current employment (well above poverty guidelines). If I do switch jobs I guess I would need to submit new proof of income from the new job as well?

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What's important to know is who 'owns' the attorney-client relationship? Not necessarily who pays the legal bills.

If the relationship is between the employer and the attorney, then you'd better find another attorney as you have no real say in what transpires and this will go south in a hurry should you no longer remain employed by that employer.

If the relationship is between you and the attorney, then the attorney cannot stop the process unless 1) you direct them to, and/or 2) payment of legal fees becomes a problem. I would expect that the company would stop reimbursing legal fees once you were no longer employed - so you should be prepared for that.

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Ok - that sheds some light then! Given that the relationship is between my employer and the attorney, you are implying that my employer could direct the attorney to stop the GC process even though it is family based???

I am not sure what legal fees you are referring to as everything is already submitted and the attorneys are not managing the case any more. Both me and the attorneys get a copy from USCIS for each notification (i.e., receipts, fingerprinting, RFEs etc) and if there is any further action required such as RFE response I would provide the necessary documentation myself.

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Ok - that sheds some light then! Given that the relationship is between my employer and the attorney, you are implying that my employer could direct the attorney to stop the GC process even though it is family based???

I am not sure what legal fees you are referring to as everything is already submitted and the attorneys are not managing the case any more. Both me and the attorneys get a copy from USCIS for each notification (i.e., receipts, fingerprinting, RFEs etc) and if there is any further action required such as RFE response I would provide the necessary documentation myself.

Okay, I re-read your OP again ... it seems the attorneys are actually employed by your company, perhaps within your companies legal department?

Check to see who actually filed the immigration paperwork. Some corporate legal departments subcontract this kind of specialized work to outside law firms. It may be handled by a third party.

It also sounds like the GC paperwork has been filed and you are just waiting for an interview/processing of the GC. The GC petition was family-based and filed under your name. No attorney can terminate the process now without your explicit consent. If you leave under bad terms, they may want you to reimburse the expenses associated with the GC application, so you should consider this. But, no, they cannot 'throw you under the bus' and terminate the family-based GC process.

You should also direct USCIS that there is no longer an attorney of record and that all future correspondence should go directly to you and you alone.

Edited by novedsac

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Thank you for your response novedsac! Everything you stated above is correct - the lawyers are actually employed by our company. I am not as worried about reimbursing the fees as long as there is a prospect for a better career. It is good to know though that the application cannot be terminated at this point without my consent.

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I cannot imagine a scenario in which they could call USCIS over this. They are not sponsoring you. They are simply providing funding for legal fees. It's akin to me lending you money to get a green card and then you annoy me and I call USCIS and say hey I lent this guy money he won't pay me back can you deny his GC? Or if your employer pays your legal defense fees in a criminal trial and then when you leave they call the judge and say this guy's guilty after all. It doesn't make sense.

Almost certainly on the contrary you made a contractual agreement with your employer at some point and they reserve the right to get this money back from you. Case in point when I moved I had relocation paid for by the employer. If I left prior to the two year mark I had to pay back, pro-rated, the amount that they had given me.

you are implying that my employer could direct the attorney to stop the GC process even though it is family based???
Your employer can call the attorney and say "stop working on this case immediately". But the attorney cannot then pull what he's already sent to USCIS on your behalf.
I am not sure what legal fees you are referring to as everything is already submitted and the attorneys are not managing the case any more. Both me and the attorneys get a copy from USCIS for each notification (i.e., receipts, fingerprinting, RFEs etc) and if there is any further action required such as RFE response I would provide the necessary documentation myself.
AFAIK the only recourse your employer has now then is to recoup any legal or filing fees, and only then if your have a contract with them asserting such.

Good luck!

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