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Published May 29,2019 By Katia Zolotovsky

This is a super helpful resource, thank you. My question: I am a postdoc at MIT on J-1, in a process of application for NIW, retained a lawyer and collecting docs. My husband used to be J-2 with a work permit, but transferred to H1B and was laid off yesterday. We are trying to figure out what to do next – should he go back to J-2 and reapply for a work permit (this way he may qualify for unemployment benefits)? If he does go back to J-2 within the next couple of week, what will happens once we file I-140 and I-485? (the plan is to file concurrently) Will he be able to work in the first 4.5 months?

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Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
4 years ago

If he goes back to J2 and obtains EAD, then he can work for the time both his J2 and EAD are valid. This will not be affected by filing I-485 (please keep in mind that he will have to apply for J1 before filing I-485 in this case). Regarding the unemployment benefits, please consult with your lawyer, since this could become an obstacle in the process of obtaining the green card (most probably not, since he is not the primary applicant, but, since I am not familiar with the current instructions the USCIS officers for these matters, it is recommended to ask a professional).

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