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I filed an I-130 "Petition for Alien Relative" for my wife. It's processing.

  • If we file an I-485 "Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status" WITHOUT filing I-765 "Application for Employment Authorization" it's my understanding that she will go seamlessly from being able to work under the terms of the H-1B, to being able to work under the terms of a Permanent Resident (Green Card)

  • It seems that if we file the I-765 she will be able to work under different terms then H-1B provides? I'm just trying understand the value in the I-765.

    • It seems the value it provides is being able to work divorced of employer sponsorship? Is this the only benefit to an H-1B holder? Is it totally immaterial for people working under an H-1B that do not wish to look for employment elsewhere?
    • Aside from the I-765 application, does this create more paperwork for the employer or me with regard to taxation or anything else? Are there any other detriments when you already have employment under an H-1B?

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First, note that neither applying for an EAD, nor receiving an EAD, will by itself affect her H1b status. It's working outside of H1b (using the EAD or other means) that violates her H1b status. So if she applies for an EAD, gets the EAD, but doesn't use it to work, it would be the same as if she never applied for the EAD, as far as her H1b and work are concerned. But she will have the option to immediately work using the EAD if something unexpected happens with her current H1b job (at which point if she only started applying for an EAD then, it would take months to get).

Both EAD and Advance Parole are free for I-485 applicants. And both of them have no effect if you don't use them. So there is never a downside to getting them. Even if your wife doesn't plan to work outside H1b or travel abroad with 99% probability, it is still worth it to apply for them just in case that unexpected 1% happens.

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If we file an I-485 "Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status" WITHOUT filing I-765 "Application for Employment Authorization" it's my understanding that she will go seamlessly from being able to work under the terms of the H1-B, to being able to work under the terms of a Permanent Resident (Green Card)

No. She will be able to work under the terms of a Permanent Resident once I-485 is approved. At that time neither H1B nor EAD would matter.

It seems that if we file the I-765 she will be able to work under different terms then H1-B provides? I'm just trying understand the value in the I-765.

It seems the value it provides is being able to work divorced of employer sponsorship? Is this the only benefit to an H1-B holder? Is it totally immaterial for people working under an H1-B that do not wish to look for employment elsewhere?

Yes, but sometimes you may need to look for employment elsewhere even if you don't wish that. Things happen.

In addition, working on H1b requires tracking the validity of the status, timely renewal, and visa stamping for travel. All these would require employer cooperation and employer resources. The employer would appreciate her not doing it if she doesn't need to (and with EAD she doesn't need to). So at no cost to her, she can save the employer some effort and money which could then go to another H1b candidate who actually needs it.

Aside from the I-765 application, does this create more paperwork for the employer or me with regard to taxation or anything else?

Another form attached to the package.

In addition, advance parole may be useful when traveling, in case your H1b sticker expired. You can then be admitted back based on the I-485 pending, instead of dealing with getting a new sticker which takes time, money and effort.

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    "filing separately later will cost additional fees." It's still free if filed separately later. I-485 Special Instructions: "If you submit Form I-485 and pay the required fee, you do not have to pay an additional fee to also file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and/or Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, for advance parole. [...] If you choose not to file Form I-765 and/or Form I-131 with your Form I-485, then you must submit a copy of your I-797C, Notice of Action, (also known as your receipt) as evidence that you filed Form I-485."
    – user102008
    Aug 18, 2022 at 17:01
  • @user102008 thanks, I wasn't aware of that, looks like things changed
    – littleadv
    Aug 18, 2022 at 17:18
  • Also just to be explicit, the I-765 is expected to process quicker than the I-485, right? Aug 22, 2022 at 4:53
  • @EvanCarroll of course, otherwise what would be the point.
    – littleadv
    Sep 18, 2022 at 19:29

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