Starting EB-2 labor certification process while still completing graduate education?

Asked about 1 year ago - Cambridge, MA

I'm currently pursuing a Master's degree in hopes of qualifying for an EB-2 green card and looking to complete the process as expeditiously as possible.

My understanding is that one is only required to show evidence of a graduate degree when filling the I-140. Could I get a head start and have a labor certificate in pocket by the time I graduate in May?

A previous employer (in dire need of software developers) would love to hire me back, even for a short stint. They would file for labor certification and I would work for them after graduation and until I-140/I-485 paperwork goes through. Is this advisable? How long would I typically need to work for the company?

Additional information

Also, I forgot that because I'm Canadian I have access to the TN visa (provided I maintain non-immigrant intent) and can thus trivially work in the US.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Carl Michael Shusterman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can not start the process until you get your M.S. Also, this is not supposed to be a temporary job.

    Please click the link at the very bottom for additional information.

    Carl Shusterman, Esq.
    Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
    Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
    Schedule a Legal Consultation - Telephonic, Skype or In-Person
    600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
    Los Angeles, CA 90017
    (213) 394-4554 x0
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    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration... more
  2. Randall Drew

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Perhaps you could work for the employer as part of the practical training element of the student visa (CPT/OPT)? You didn't say you were on a student visa -- but I am hoping/assuming that is the case. You might speak with the DSO/International Student Adviser at your school about that. You might be eligible for an extended OPT if it is a STEM qualifying job -- which might carry you through the PERM application process. You should certainly discuss it with an immigration attorney to see what your options might be.

    Drew Law Office, PLLC - Bedford, NH (603) 644-3739: Using this service does not create an attorney/client... more
  3. J Charles Ferrari

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . No, you must meet all the requirements for the position BEFORE the process can be started.

    Your employer needs to retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise them, and handle the case. Your employer can find one through

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more

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