International organization employees in G-4 status are afforded unique avenues for obtaining permanent resident status. These special immigrant visas apply to the employee (principal G-4) and their spouses and their children. They also can obtain visas for family members not otherwise eligible for G-4 visas and for domestic staff (G-5).
With the recent employment changes at the World Bank – where long-term, open contracts are more difficult to obtain – certain G-4 employees and their families will be unable to avail themselves of the special “360” green card status provisions. Instead, they must find alternative avenues for permanent residence or longer-term nonimmigrant visa status if they seek to remain in the United States.
Our lawyers counsel dozens of international organization employees on the viable options available to them, whether “extraordinary ability” or “national interest” green cards, professional or investor visas, or status based on their spouse’s employment.
Our particular specialty is consulting G-4 clients who are subject to the two-year home residency requirement because of their holding J-1 status at some point in time.
Yes. There are special rules that govern this scenario. A G-4 immediate family member dependent can continue in G-4 status even if the principal becomes a green card holder but are not eligible for work authorization. If, however, the principal becomes a U.S. citizen, the immediate family members cannot continue in G-4 status even if they permitted to do so when the principal became a permanent resident.
No. The purpose of the grace period is to settle one’s affairs and depart the country. The visa is no longer valid once employment with the international organization terminates.
Probably not. Time spent outside of the United States to attend school is subtracted from the required physical presence/residence time periods.
As of January 1, 2019, domestic partners have to be married to obtain G-4 status.
Yes. The two-year home residence requirement is not waived on the basis of US citizen children or even marriage to a US citizen, nor on the passage of time. Waivers of that requirement are available but can be very difficult to obtain.
No. The two-year home residency requirement must be fulfilled in the country of your permanent residence or nationality at the time of issuance of the J visa.
Yes. The I-566 form must be endorsed during the 30-day grace period. (For a brief period of time, USCIS was applying rules that govern other nonimmigrant visa holders to G-4s that would have made change of status technically impossible.)
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