Answered on Jul 31st, 2011 at 7:38 AM
Your employer can start the green card process at any time. It is generally not linked to the nature of your current immigration status. You will generally not be able to benefit from the ongoing process if you leave the employer with no intention of returning once the green card can be issued to you. You will only be able to retain the benefit of an approved labor certification if you are so far in the process that your adjustment application has been pending for at least 180 days and you will be working in a position that is sufficiently similar to the one underlying the labor certification. It will likely take a number of years until you reach that part of the application process unless your position requires a Master degree or you have at least 5 years of progressive experience in addition to your Bachelor degree. In this case it will be around a year.