US Immigration Questions

  1. Monday, 11...
    Question: I'm an Indian citizen on an H1B Visa. I'm an engineer. My Green Card is being processed and my I-140 . Being an EB-2 category I"m assuming that it is going to take anywhere between 5-8 years before I get my green card. The Situation: I'm planning on taking a work break for about 6 months to 1 year and do a few things that I've wanted to do but have been pushing indefinitely (like volunteering with a non-profit, spending time with my family, exploring options to start my own startup etc). I'm assuming there are 2 scenarios here - 1. My company gives me a sabbatical leave - I can leave the country for a year and come back and rejoin them. 2. My company refuses a sabbatical and I have to quit - In this scenario, I'm not sure what I should do in order to be able to come back after my break and still be able to work for any company? I would really appreciate your insights on this situation and would be glad to accept any pointers from you to research this further.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Impact of taking a long break while on H-1B

    Video Transcript

    First of all, a leave that long would not maintain your H-1 status. Maybe a few weeks is ok. You can over the six years file for another H-1 without any quota issue and come right back to the US on that H-1 after getting a visa stamp. So I don't see any problem getting back on to H-1. If you want to remain in the USA you have a problem. But if you want to go outside the USA no issue. Worse case scenario, they can revoke your H-1, you can just reapply. More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  2. Monday, 4...
    Question: In case of H1 transfer denied what other options one can have ? [provide that has 140 approved since many years]<br> 1. Can new H1 transfer with new employer can be initiated ? 2. Can one can apply for B1 [Visitor Visa] and remain in USA for valid period ?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: What can be done if an H-1B is denied while in the USA?

    Video Transcript

    You can always file another H-1. You can file for an H-1 renewal, you can file for an H-1 transfer, you can file for an H-1B amendment even if the H-1B is denied. While in the USA depends upon whether or not you have status. If you are maintaining status you can file for an extension and another amendment because one denial does not foreclose another application under the same category. 

    But if you are not in status chances are you will have to go outside the USA for visa stamping before you can start working with a new approval, but a new application can always be filed. More...


    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  3. Monday, 4...
    Question: 1. My H1B is valid until 23-Aug'18. I am planning to submit visa extension request on Mar'18. let's assume if USCIS reject my extension request in Apr'18, then, in that case, can I stay till 23-Aug'18 as per initial approval or rejection will supersede and I have to level immediately (within 60 days of time from denial date)<br> 2. Does H-1B extension denial invalidate an existing H-1B?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Does H-1B extension denial invalidate an existing H-1B?

    Video Transcript

    1.Yes. The previously approved extension does not go away. The only way that can go away is if the government separately issues a notice of intent to revoke, gives you notice and a chance to respond and then denies.

    2. It does not. More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  4. Tuesday, 28...
    Question: 1. I recently filed I-140 under EB1 as I am on L1A, my spouse is on L2-EAD, can I open a company on my spouse name?<br> 2. When I file my I-485 do I have to provide any documents (W2, Tax Returns) related to my spouse company?<br> 3. As USCIS has announced In person interview from 10/01/2017, what kind of questions can I anticipate if I open a new company?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Can we open a company while on EAD? What kind of questions/documents will be needed in the I-485 AOS interview?

    Video Transcript

    1. You cannot open a company in your spouse's name. It would be illegal if you do business through your spouse. But if your spouse wants to do business he or she can. So there is a shade of distinction between what you said. Can I do business through my spouse and the answer is "no" and can my spouse do business the answer is "yes".

    2. Yes, you will need to provide copies of all your documents and it is not necessary that she gets a W2 if she's getting a distribution instead of a salary that's fine.

    3. First of all, I don't think if the company is not yours and is your wife's and you have nothing to do with it, then you have no questions about it, your wife will have to answer questions about what kind of company etc... More...

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  5. Monday, 27...
    Question: Recently USCIS announced that when a I-485 application is filed the Candidate has to go through the interview process. Is this applicable to the COMPELLING CIRCUMSTANCES EAD as well?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Is interview required for compelling circumstances EAD?

    Video Transcript

    No. Not so far. The government has not indicated that they will be requiring an interview before issuing a Compelling Circumstances EAD. That's only confined to the I-485 applications. More

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  6. Wednesday,...
    Question: What is the latest development for Employment-Based Immigrants?
    Answer:

    In employment based the last step in the green card process is something called Adjustment of Status (AOS). If you are already in the United States in legal status it is done through the form I-485. Earlier employment-based applicants were hardly interviewed by the USCIS. You file the forms and you get your green card approval and maybe you might get an inquiry or two from the government and ultimately anybody going to the USCIS personally would get the green card approved.

    But from this month onwards government has started interviewing all employment based immigrants. So when the adjustment of status starts the employee and his family is expected to appear for the interview. This has made things uncertain. First of all, it has added another few months to the timing process because the file has to be transferred to the local office of the USCIS where the person is located then they have their own backlogs hence few months are added to the overall processing. Some people are concerned as to what does all this mean and the reports so far are that the adjustment of status interview is not really that complicated. It basically goes over the form I-485 and makes sure all information there is correct.

    But the worst-case scenario - there are three components to anybody's stay in the United States and I have divided them into your past, your present and your future. These are the three areas of inquiry that government can look at. In worse case scenarios they can look up at your past history of your maintaining statuses. The most important one is, have you been out of status for 180 days or more between when you filed the I-485 and your last travel to the USA. The government can look at the entire history to see if you have any status issues. The present is where you are working and what you do. Your future, they want to make sure that the job is still available and that you intend to take that job.

    if you have any concerns regarding I-485, adjustment of status you should bring them up with your lawyers and make sure they are properly addressed.  

    RELATED FAQ : 

    Questions Asked in Consular or Adjustment of Status Interview for Employment-Based Applicants

     

     

  7. Thursday, 9...
    Question: I am on H-1B and my spouse is on H-4 EAD. She got her EAD last year. She would like to do online business where she will sell items online on eCommerce website like ebay, amazon, etsy. These items will be shipped from India. I would like to know if she can do such online business where the items are going to be shipped from India.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Doing business on H-4 EAD

    Video Transcript

    Of course on H-4 EAD, she can do anything she likes, she can do online business, sell items on ebay amazon no problem at all. These items shipped from India is perfectly fine.

    More...

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  8. Thursday, 9...
    Question: 1. I have joined a company based on H1b transfer receipt and have got RFE of LCA wage level 1. If, by any chance, the petition gets denied then can the same employer file for new h1b transfer with LCA wage level 2, right after the denial? <br> 2. Is it advisable to find another employer and start a new h1b transfer processing while the current one is still under RFE received/response status?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Denial of H-1B on Level 1 wage issue

    Video Transcript

    1. Now if somebody's H-1 gets denied for level 1 job the same employer can file for level 2. But there should be a good reason or explanation if the government asks questions like: why are we going to level 2, why did we not go with level 2 the first time around.

    2. Yes, you can, but of course, if you have a quota H-1 then you have a bigger problem, but if it is a quota exempt H-1 or you are not subject to the quota then, of course, you can do a transfer to any employer at the same time if you wish. More 

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  9. Thursday, 9...
    Question: I am staying here in the US from last 4 years 10 months and have I-140 approved (Received approval Jun '17). To fulfill personal commitments, I am going back to India in Dec '17 for some time however my H1B extension is still in progress (Filed in Aug '17). I am not sure whether the result will be out before my travel. My question is -<br> 1. If I change the employer in India, is there any way I can come back? What all options I will have?<br> 2. Can my new employer eligible to transfer my H1B from India in case current extension gets approved or RFE or Denial?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Effect of moving abroad while still on H-1B visa

    Video Transcript

    1. Yes, I think you can keep that H-1B alive as long as that job is there.

    2. Yes, as long as you have an H-1B approved in the last six years you can always transfer over to another employer and if your I-140 is approved for 180 days or more which in your case would be from June to December. So next year onwards you are entitled to have H-1 extensions through any employer as long as your I-140 remains unrevoked for 180 days. I don't see a problem you can have a transfer from India itself. More...

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  10. Tuesday, 7...
    Question: I got a speeding ticket ( It is not related to DUI and no arrest, just a ticket) recently. I didn’t contest the ticket and plead guilty by paying fine of 170$, I have receipt of payment. Do I have to wait for another 5 years from the date I got a ticket (Good moral character period of 5 yrs as per USCIS) to apply for US citizenship to show good moral character?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Effect of a speeding ticket on green card or naturalization/citizenship

    Video Transcript

    If you have a traffic violation which is not a crime such as speeding, but not reckless driving, speeding but not driving while intoxicated these traffic offenses are no issue for a green card. But if you get too many of them like if you get ten speeding tickets in a couple of years that can become an issue for your naturalization because the government says you are irresponsible as it is a question of your good moral character which is a requirement for naturalization. Hence, generally speaking, a single ticket is no problem. More...

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  11. Tuesday, 7...
    Question: I am now in the last stage of Green card and attending interview in Consulate in India for Employment based green card interview.<br> I have the recent offer letter from my employer. I saw from your 2012 blog you have mentioned that the employment based consular interview is difficult from foreign country consulate with some example. Has it improved anything better recently. What type of questions can I expect. Also I have recently relocated to another city in India because of which I have resigned my current job and at the same time waiting for this green card. I have not worked with the prospective employer till now but have the offer with recent date. So did not try for any job. I am an experienced person of 15 yrs exp and just out of job for the past 5 months. Will that hurt anything? Do I need to have one on one consultation with attorney better to be safe?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: What type of questions can be asked in consular or adjustment of status interview for employment based applicants

    Video Transcript

    There are three things they are going to be looking at - your past, present and your future in my view. They want to make sure you have nothing in your past that stops adjustment of status.  Government is looking for immigration violation or anything else that could disqualify you from adjustment of status. You're present they would like to know where your working, what is your job, what job are you currently doing, do you know the details of your job things like that and the future is what is your intention about the green card, do you intend to join the employer whether if it is a present employer do you want to continue working with them, these are questions they could ask. More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  12. Thursday, 2...
    Question: In the USCIS Visa bulletin along with the Dates of Filing chart for Employment-based Category the following there is a link to visa bulletin info <br> Purpose of this link:<br> This page will tell if the Dates of Filing for Employment-based chart is valid or not. If it refers back to visa availability dates chart for Employment-based Category then Dates for Filing of Employment-based Category is no longer valid for the current month of publication of USCIS Visa bulletin.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: How to read the visa bulletin?

    Video Transcript:

    Visa Bulletin is a statistical projection based upon rules of statistics as well the law. There are laws as to how many visas you can allocate each trimester or quarter. There are many things to be considered in a visa bulletin. Hence visa bulletin is merely a projection. It is not accurate. Normally you will use the dates for filing visa application chart, but USCIS will indicate on that page that sometimes you can use application final action dates. 

    The way it works is let's say your date is current in December. Visa bulletin gets published 15 days into the month, so by November 10  to 15 you have got your dates for the next month. Remember your adjustment of status applications should not get there before December 1st. You have all of the month of November to file your application. Dates remain current for the whole month.

    Regarding your question normally you will file according to the visa bulletin dates unless the USCIS website shows that the final action dates are different and those are the dates you can use.

     
    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.
  13. Tuesday, 31...
    Question: Right now I'm in USA on B1 visa. I came last week 1st Oct 2017. Got the stamp for 6 months (i94 expires on Mar 31, 2018). This is the 3rd time I'm traveling to the US on B1. Below are the previous trip details.<br> Aug 02 2014 To Sep 28 2014, May 03 2015 To Jun 15 2015,3) Oct 1 2017 To till date (Nov 11 2017). Now my company wants to file L-1B petition for me. The employer is ready to file an application for L-1B in the USA if it is legitimate.<br> 1) Now I'm already in the US, so Is there a process to get my L-1B without going back to my country (India)? Is B-1 to L-1B is a complex process? Is there any complication(s) if I put my petition in USA?<br> 2) What will be the time frame to get L-1B?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video for this FAQ: Changing status from tourist or business visa (B1 or B2) within the United States

    Video Transcript

    1. You should go to your home country or a third country. You can go to Canada or Mexico. B-1 and B-2 are not complex if you qualify. L-1B's are very difficult to get. Specialized knowledge employee is very difficult to get but if you qualify not a problem. 

    2. Regarding time frame you can always apply through premium processing and within a few weeks, you should get your adjudication done.  More 

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  14. Friday, 27...
    Question: I was on H-4 visa from Feb 2014 till Dec 2015. I was on H-1 visa from Dec 2015 to April 2017. In April my H-1B transfer got denied. Hence I applied for change of status from here (April 15 2017) and now my H-4 application is under process. In Dec 2016 (while I was on H-1B visa), I had applied for GC in EB2 category with my employer. My employer told me that my labor has been approved.<br> 1: Is there a website where we can check the status of labor if it has been approved?<br> 2: When can I file for I-140? Is it true that it has to be filed within 180 days of labor approval?<br> 3: Can my GC application continue whilst being on H-4 visa? <br> 4. Does the GC process, at any stage, require the applicant to be on H-1 visa?<br> 5: I am planning to start Canada PR procedure. Will my GC application interfere with Canada PR at any point?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video of this FAQ: Applying for green card while holding H-4 status; applying for green card and permanent

    residence for another country simultaneously

    Video Transcript:

    1. You have to go through your lawyer or your employer. You won't have access to it, but definitely, there is a website.

    2. Within 180 days of the labor approval.

    3. Yes of course. 

    4. It does not. 

    5. I don't see any problem with it, I know that at the border the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sees that you have got two permanent residence applications going on sometimes they can raise a stink about it but in my opinion that's completely unjustified. More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  15. Wednesday,...
    Question: My H1B (6 years) was from 10/1/2004 - 9/30/2010 from 5 different companies. Company A - PD(EB3) - Jun 19, 2007, I-140 applied on July 9, 2007, I-485 filed July 17, 2007 - got laid off Oct 31, 2008. - I-140 approved on Dec 29, 2008. Moved to Canada in July 2012 and became Canadian Citizen in Apr 2017. I have been keeping Advance Parole active by visiting the USA every year. Now I want to add my family in Canada(wife(Indian Citizen with USA visitors visa) and kid(Canadian Citizen)). Do you recommend AOS for myself and Consular Processing for my family?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Pros and cons of adjustment of status and consular processing for green card

    Video Transcript:

    You have got your I-485 filed and that's a good thing and you kept it alive by keeping your advance parole alive, but you need a job offer and you need to file Supplement J. So if you want to take advantage of AC21 you have to move over to a new employer get a new job offer and use Supplement J to indicate to the USCIS that you are going through another employer. You have two choices. You can split the green card. You going through adjustment of status, you enter the USA with your Advance Parole and you file form I-824 for your family to go through green card processing through consular processing in Canada. So you can either bring them all in on an H-1/H-4 type visa or you can do your adjustment of status and let them do their consular processing.You should not convert yourself to consular processing that could probably end in the loss of a green card. You are taking advantage of AC21 which as far as I know is available only in adjustment of status. It is not available in consular processing. Hence adjustment of status for you and consular processing for your family makes sense. More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  16. Monday, 23...
    Question: I had been travelling to the US on a tourist visa for all my life, in 2008 I had to travel out of the country and when I returned to the US, in the Minneapolis checkpoint they found a pay stub from my work which I obviously shouldn't have had since I didn't have a work permit, they took away my tourist visa and made me sign what looked like a "voluntary departure" or "refusal of entry" I really can't remember exactly the term that I signed and was returned to MX the next day. <br> My questions are:<br> 1. Is there a website where I can see if I was penalized? <br> 2. Will I be able to solicit another tourist visa? <br> 3. If the answer to the above question is yes, given the political climate, do you think it is a good idea to go through the whole process again or would it just be a waste of money?<br> 4. My father has become a US citizen, I'm unmarried, can he request citizenship for me or residency? approximately how long is the process?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Immigration consequences of a denial of entry at the airport

    Video Transcript:

    1. You can file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and or USCIS and see what information they have on you and within a few months they should be able to give you a copy of your document everything that they have on you and this doesn't cost you anything.

    2. Do remember tourist visa is not a guarantee. The consular officer could refuse you a tourist visa for many reasons, so even if the fact that you worked without authorization on a previous time is long gone the prior bad history could be used to deny you another tourist visa.

    3. As long as you don't lie about anything, by all means, you can try.

    4. You have to go through green card and it takes many, many years. So if you go to the visa bulletin there is a category for unmarried children of US citizens and it takes several years. More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  17. Friday, 20...
    Question: My question is about the latest news regarding H4-EAD. I understand that DHS has asked for abeyance until 30 Dec, 2017. USCIS and DHS is evaluating the H4- EAD rule in accordance with the Presidential "Buy American, Hire American" policy. DHS will refocus its review of the H4 rule to ensure that it meets the newly announced priorities and to decide whether to undertake a new rule making concerning the H4 rule and comply with the Presidents Order. <br> Please find this note requesting you to explain in layman terms what this could mean for the H4-EAD holders.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Status of H-4 EAD litigation/suit

    Video Transcript:

    Right now, according to the government, this lawsuit pertains to regulations that may not be relevant because the government may decide to overrule these regulations with some new regulations.

    What would the new regulations state we don't know yet as the possibilities are several. The government could end up modifying the rule, narrowing it or could end up totally rescinding that rule and of course if you have to rescind a regulation I don't know of doing it other than going through the rulemaking process again.

    So that would probably take a few months and my guess would be in order to keep the exit from the regulations if there is indeed an exit orderly the government will probably provide some months grace period for closure on the H-4 EAD's. So right now that's what we know. More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  18. Thursday,...
    Question: What are the requirements to get a visa and green card as an international entrepreneur? Is the start-up visa effective?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Current immigration/visa options for entrepreneurs

    Video Transcript

    A few options for Entrepreneurial Visas:

    You could come in on E visa, H visa, O visa or TN visa and eventually get a green card based upon various other options including EB-1A if you are extraordinary qualified individual or EB-5 if you are making the required amount of investment and creating the jobs necessary under the rule. 

    You can also come in through L-1A if you have a foreign company you have worked outside for that company for at least one year as an executive or managerial employee, you can start a company or buy a company in the United States and transfer yourself or your key managerial employees or employee to the USA. L-1 is the fastest way of getting a green card because L-1 is potentially processed within a few weeks because you can file premium processing and once you are in the USA you can file a EB-1 based green card which will get you seen through the process normally within a year, sometimes as little as three to five months. More ...


    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  19. Wednesday,...
    Question: Having plans to travel to India in last week of Sept 17 and with my visa stamp on passport expiring on 1st Sept 2017, need to go for visa interview & when I am filling my DS-160, came across the question : Have you ever been unlawfully present, overstayed the amount of time granted by an immigration official or otherwise violated the terms of a U.S. visa? Considering the above situation, could you please help with what to answer Yes/No. If Yes, what comments to be written in the EXPLAIN BOX .
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Status and unlawful presence questions in the form DS-160

    Video Transcript

    This is a very generic statement. Do not depend on this as the last word on the subject. Generally speaking, the following two or three rules should be kept in mind. First of all, if you are ever in doubt you are better off saying yes, I was out of status and yes, I was unlawfully present and let the consulate deal with that issue. If you are not in fact not out of status and you are not unlawfully present there is no issue, but if you were out of status or lawfully present and you don't reveal that it can be construed to be fraud or misrepresentation which then becomes a permanent bar from entering the United States. It is a very painful situation. If you tell the truth, no issue.  More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  20. Tuesday, 19...
    Question: Example Scenario: H1-B EB3. Candidate is in US for 10 years and extending his H1-B using approved I-140.<br> If a Candidate’s Priority Date is Current can the Candidate file I-485 after 4 years of the Priority Date being Current? Is it allowed without problems? Is there any specific limitation on the timing of filing (like I-485 should be filed within a specific time period after the priority date becoming current)
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: Are there any time limits on how late an I-485 can be filed after the priority dates become current?

    Video Transcript:

    There is no law that requires you to file the I-485 right away, but there could be some issues about H-1 extensions. You will certainly not be able to get three year H-1 visa extensions. Of course, you can work on EAD. More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

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