Under L1b and looking to leave my employer

Hi - I am right now under a L1b VISA coming from Europe and looking for options to continue working in the US but to leave my current employer.
My current employer is willing to sponsor my GC but this process will take almost 2 years, and I'm looking for a fastest option.

I was thinking of contacting a lawyer, but not sure where to find one "yet" but first I think it might be best to know which options I have with associated timeline.

Do you have any recommendation on how to tackle this? or any alternative that would free me as fast as possible of my current employer?

Thank you so much.


There's no quick way to do it, unless you go to an employer that is exempt from the H-1B caps, or you qualify for O-1 status.
If I were you, I would just stick around and apply for a green card, and wait until the I-485 has been pending for 180 days. Then you can switch to another employer fairly easily.
Besides, it's not even that easy to get a job right now given the economic situation, especially for a visa holder.
2 years from starting PWD and PERM to Green Card in Hand is reasonable. Difficult to go faster. It could be longer. (unless you fall under per country cap issue, ie. born in India or China, then it can be really longer). PERM approval requires surveying the market to determine if US citizens are willing to the posted job. Depending on the job or role this could be difficult. If your skills are in high demand, it should be easier.
Be aware some employers may try to drag out the GC process. They know that once you have GC in hand you can switch to a competitor if the total compensation is better.
As mentioned above once your I-485 has been pending for more than 180 days you can switch to another employer.
Thanks both wagecuck3 and Amberleaf for your responses.

I've read that to get the I-485 it can take between 8 and 14 months. I guess this include everything, but I'm wondering if I start the GC process now, how long will it take until this 180 days kick in?
Hopefully as I'm from Europe, it won't indeed take as long as for India or China.

Again, thanks a lot, appreciate the help.

Last I heard, PWD takes about 5 months, then PERM takes another 4 months. By the time that's done, EB3 will probably be current for ROW (not India or China) so you'll be able to do I-140/I-485 concurrent filing. Let's say it takes a month to prepare the forms. Then 180 days is about 6 months. So I estimate 16 months before you can use I-485 portability. It could be longer if your PERM gets audited (which happens randomly), if your lawyers are slow, if you encounter any difficulties with getting the evidence you need to file your PERM, or if processing times get longer in the future, which no one can predict.
Thanks again wagecuck3 for the detailed response, it's really helpful information.
From what I hear, it looks like the fatest and easiest approach would be the H-1B.
Thanks again wagecuck3 for the detailed response, it's really helpful information.
From what I hear, it looks like the fatest and easiest approach would be the H-1B.
I don't think that's necessarily the case. The earliest you would be able to acquire H-1B status is Oct 2021, unless you go to a cap-exempt employer, which mostly means a university, non-profit research organization, or government research organization. And that would be only if you won the lottery - otherwise you would have to enter the lottery again the following year.

Thus, the green card route would likely be fastest unless you go to a cap-exempt employer.