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I need your opinions.... Do any of you think I might have a problem at my interview?

Let me tell you my story. I became a LPR about 7 years ago from a work visa. I had several H1b's before and after several years, I finally became a resident.

After a while, after being a resident, we finished a big project on the company I was working, and after that, the owner asked me if I wanted to keep working with him in another one of his companies, or if I wanted to became an independent contractor, and I decided to start working as an independent consultant, and he (my sponsor) became my first "client".

Now, I am still self employed (still working on the same field, but as an independent consultant) and I have several clients (and yes, my original sponsor is still one of my clients).

Fast forward 7 years later, I just filled my N-400, and on the work questions I entered "self employed" for the last 5 years (because that is what I was and I still am).

Now the question, do anyone think I might have a problem with that?

Thank you!

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Not a problem at all, they don;t care if you are self employed or have an employer.,


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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Allow me to disagree very slightly with my fellow responders. It's true that for naturalization purposes it doesn't really matter who you work for, if you're self-employed, or if you're unemployed.

However, just as is the case with people got their green card through marriage and are now applying under the five-year rule on their own, your interview were maybe interested in double checking that you did not get your green card fraudulently. In this case, your sponsoring employer may come up during the interview.

In most cases, and employment-based green card requires a labor certification from the Department of Labor. This states that you should be given a green card because no other American or permanent resident could be found to do the job. If you switch jobs shortly after getting a green card, it makes it look like you intend to do a job that could easily be done by an American or permanent resident, but you use the first job just to get the labor certification. This is considered immigration fraud.

There's no firm guideline as to how long you have to stay with an employer after getting your green card, but most lawyers will tell you that if you stay with an employer for six months to a year after getting your green card, then you shouldn't have any problem. Again this is rather anecdotal, but if you stay with an employer for fewer than six months after getting your green card, and the burden of proof may be placed on you to demonstrate that you did not take the first job simply to get a green card. If you stay with your sponsoring employer for more than six months, and the burden of proof generally shifts to USCIS to prove that you did something wrong.

Of course this also depends on your employer If your sponsoring employer has A record of questionable sponsorship Let's say for example your employer sponsored 50 people for green cards over the last few years and at the point of naturalization only five of those 50 were still working for that employer, this would raise a red flag.

Note that the above only applies if he filed a regular EB2 application or any EB3 application. If you filed a National Interest Waiver EB2 application or an EB1 application, then you would have been free to switch jobs the day after you got your green card (or even before you received the actual green card). I'm not sure what the rules are for the O-type applications; sorry.

So back to your question (that was all background information) if you stayed with your sponsoring employer for a reasonable amount of time after you got your green card you should be fine. If your appointment changed shortly after getting your green card, and you should be prepared to explain (and to possibly demonstrate) that you did not intend to switch jobs at the time you got your green card.


For a review of each step of my N-400 naturalization process, from application to oath ceremony, please click here.

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Sorry for all the typos in that last message! I was using my phone and I think the small keyboard and the autocorrect got in the way. For some reason, most of the "then"s changed to "and"s!

Edited by JimmyHou

For a review of each step of my N-400 naturalization process, from application to oath ceremony, please click here.

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Allow me to disagree very slightly with my fellow responders. It's true that for naturalization purposes it doesn't really matter who you work for, if you're self-employed, or if you're unemployed.

However, just as is the case with people got their green card through marriage and are now applying under the five-year rule on their own, your interview were maybe interested in double checking that you did not get your green card fraudulently. In this case, your sponsoring employer may come up during the interview..........

Thank you for your response.

Now, as you said, my employment-based green card required a labor certification from the Department of Labor, but the company I worked for did not sponsor any other person but myself

Now the certification took several years to complete, and during that time I was employed at the company, but after I got LPR status, (not immediately, but some months later) I started working independent and having his company as my main (but not only) client.

In practical terms, I did not go to work for another company, I just started billing the company instead of being on the payroll (that might look as a money saving strategy on the part of my employer, because they didn't have to pay me vacation, insurance, etc, and also they didn't have to pay me on the periods when there was little activity, but I don't know if they had any obligation to keep me on the payroll after the green card)

Now, back to the n-400 application, it only asks about the last 5 years (and I had my green card almost 7 years ago), so during that time I was self employed all the time. I don't know what kind of proof should I get, and I don't know if I should be giving information of what happened before the last 5 years....

Also, how can I prove anything? I don't have any W2's, for the last 5 years, I only have 1099s from several companies (and of course my tax transcripts)....

Thank you!

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Thank you for your response.

Now, as you said, my employment-based green card required a labor certification from the Department of Labor, but the company I worked for did not sponsor any other person but myself

Now the certification took several years to complete, and during that time I was employed at the company, but after I got LPR status, (not immediately, but some months later) I started working independent and having his company as my main (but not only) client.

In practical terms, I did not go to work for another company, I just started billing the company instead of being on the payroll (that might look as a money saving strategy on the part of my employer, because they didn't have to pay me vacation, insurance, etc, and also they didn't have to pay me on the periods when there was little activity, but I don't know if they had any obligation to keep me on the payroll after the green card)

Now, back to the n-400 application, it only asks about the last 5 years (and I had my green card almost 7 years ago), so during that time I was self employed all the time. I don't know what kind of proof should I get, and I don't know if I should be giving information of what happened before the last 5 years....

Also, how can I prove anything? I don't have any W2's, for the last 5 years, I only have 1099s from several companies (and of course my tax transcripts)....

Thank you!

The question asks for your employment history for the last 5 years, so don't list where you worked 7 years ago. If your interviewer wants to ask about your sponsoring employer, that's up to him/her. He/she will let you know what proof you need to provide if there's a reason to delve more deeply into your case. The odds are that this won't come up at your interview, so there's no point in trying to prepare for it when you don't know what might be asked for. Just go to your interview and if they need more information, they'll give you a Request for Evidence.


For a review of each step of my N-400 naturalization process, from application to oath ceremony, please click here.

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Now, related to the same issue. Does it matter to USCIS if you work as an employee with a W-2 or as a contractor with a 1099 if you are still working for the same company after being a LPR? What I mean is, in theory, at least for the first couple of years, I was still working for the same company, the only difference was that instead of getting a W2, I got a 1099 every year (and I had to pay taxes myself).

That is true also today, but now he is not my only client, so I have several 1099s from different companies (including the sponsoring company)

Does it make sense?

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Well, just to update the original post, Yesterday I had my interview and had no problems whatsoever!, :joy:

The interviewer first asked me what kind of work does the company that sponsored me do (when he was looking at my old passports and saw one of the H1 visas), and I told him Telecommunication. Then when reviewing the N400, he asked me:... "So, you are self employed", I said yes, and that's it.. no more questions about it.

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Thanks for the update, and congrats!


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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