B Visa

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com.

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com.

Enter USA while Green Card is Pending on B-1, B-2/H-1 Visa

Detailed question:

I am US citizen and planning to sponsor green card for my sibling. My sibling has already visited US in B-1/B-2 visa few times and holds that visa for another few years. I know that this kind of application takes 10+ years to approve. From this context in mind, I have few questions -<br> 1) Can my sibling enter United States on the same B-1/B-2 visa after I apply immigration application?<br> 2) Can my sibling apply for renewal or new B-1/B-2/H-1 visa while application is being processed?

Answer:

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baprYGs8IzQ&t=782

FAQ Transcription

There really is no statute law that specifically prohibits such an entry. Well maybe there is something that says you must have nonimmigrant intent but the question is can they do it. Theoretically  yes they can enter on a b visa while the green card is pending especially when something is pending for 13-14 years they maybe allowed an entry but they can be disallowed an entry at any point of time. So there is no guarantee that the B-1/B-2 option either the renewal of the visa or entry at the airport will be permitted on a indefinite basis. You could be stopped any time.  However H visa, L visa, E visa and O visa are some of the visas that are not subject to the problem of green card pendency. These visas can be utilized. Also remember a green card can be filed through several different categories at the same time. So if your sibling qualifies for other categories they can apply under all the categories available for them. So H-1 visa is no problem b but B-1/B-2 no guarantee.

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No Requirement of Possessing Fund for Visitor's Visa

Detailed question:

I am an Indian studying in New Zealand. I have finished my first semester. During my 3 month semester break, from New Zealand I would like to apply for a B-2 visa(visit for pleasure) to the US to attend my best friends wedding as I am her bridesmaid. My query about the funds that I need to show <br> 1. How much do I have to show <br> 2. How old should the funds be

Answer:

For visitors visa, there is no requirement of possessing funds. The consulates can require, if they so choose, that you demonstrate your ability to support yourself during the visit, but there is no hard and fast rule on this. Your most likely hurdle will be the need to prove that you will come back and not stay in the US illegally. 

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Effect of Tourist Visa Denial on Student Visa

Detailed question:

Last year my tourist visa was denied because the officer thought I may not come back. Now I am going for student visa. What effect will the tourist denial have on my student visa application?

Answer:

When the tourist visa denial is based upon a possible intent to immigrate (also known as INA Section 214(b) denial), it CAN be a problem for student visa.

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Visa for Medical Treatment

Detailed question:

What kind of visa can I get for medical treatment. I have an appointment with a Surgeon in Anderson. Can the visa be extended without leaving America?

Answer:

Typically, medical treatment in the USA is undertaken on a B-1 ("Business" visa. Strange, huh?). But do not get confused. Consulates often mark visas as B-1/B-2 or even B-2 (visitors/tourist) for medical treatment. Once here, you can ask for extensions of stay if the circumstances so require. I remember extending the stay of a child and his parents for two years (in 6-monthly chunks), where the baby was being treated for ongoing medical problems.

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Visa Status (Void when out of status)

Detailed question:

How do I know if my visa is voided or not? I applied for a change of status while in the USA and got a denial, so I left the country 11 days after, with my I-94 already expired. Some people say my visa is voided, but where can I check this?

Answer:

That is covered by section 222(g) of INA. See this link: http://www.uscis.gov.edgesuite-staging.net/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-...

"(g) 2/ (1) In the case of an alien who has been admitted on the basis of a nonimmigrant visa and remained in the United States beyond the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General, such visa shall be void beginning after the conclusion of such period of stay."

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Grace Period - Using Tourist Visa After Quitting A Job

Detailed question:

I am here on an H-1B and I am looking at quitting my job very soon to leave the country. I am aware there is no grace period for quitting on an H-1B and I don't have a choice but to work till the last day. I do however have a tourist visa that is valid until 2016. Can I quit my job earlier and still stay a week on the account of the tourist visa to pack up and leave; or would the tourist visa have to be activated only be re-entering?

Answer:

It has to be "activated." Note that under the circumstances reentry and hence "reactivation" is likely to be difficult.

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B Visa Extensions

Detailed question:

Q1.I lost my mother recently and we brought our father soon after that. I have an older brother and both of us stay here in USA. He has a medical condition - semi-paralytic. My father has a B-2 multiple entry visa; arrived here on 27th Jan 2013, I-94 expired on July 26th and visa extension applied on June 14th. How long can he stay here in US until the decision is made? Will his multiple Visa get rejected if his extension is denied? Q2. What is recommended, he leaves immediately or waits until his extension decision comes?

Answer:

A1. Normally I don’t recommend applying for extensions of tourist or business visa unless you have a very good reason for it. What happens is technically of course you can stay here while the decision is pending, but no later than the duration you have asked for in the extension application. Let’s say you asked for extension till September. You can stay here till the decision is made, but no later than September. But what happens is when you go for multiple entry visa stamping consulates do not like people getting extensions. Their concern is that a tourist visa is supposed to be for brief visits. Why are you going there and staying for a year, year and a half on tourist visa?

Also what happens is if you have stayed here too long and then when you want to come back again at the airport (even if you have a visa or visa is not an issue) you can have a problem because CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) may not take too kindly to people who return back very quickly. They don’t want to see a situation where a person is living in USA and visiting their home country.

A2. If you don’t want to apply for his Green Card and he wants to leave to go to India I am not sure what is good but if he leaves early it might be easy to come back and also get further visas. This is a difficult decision to make.

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Bangkok’s Local Policy on Issuing B Visas

Detailed question:

1. Describe Bangkok’s local policy on issuing B visas. 2. How does HCMC <b>(Ho Chi Minh City)</b> typically handle B visa adjudications for pregnant mothers who wish to give birth in the U.S.? 3. How does HCMC <b>(Ho Chi Minh City)</b> typically handle B visa adjudication for dependent parents? 4. How does HCMC <b>(Ho Chi Minh City)</b> typically handle B visa adjudication for domestic employees? 5. How does HCMC <b>(Ho Chi Minh City)</b> typically handle B visa adjudication for cohabitating partners of NIV (nonimmigrant visa applicant) or USC (U.S. citizen)?

Answer:

1. Bangkok does not have any “policy” on evaluating B-1/B2 visa applications other than the approaches outlined in 9 FAM.  Each case is treated individually and is decided based on the personal interview.

2. One case may require a particular piece of information and the other case may not require the same information.  However, in some cases, presenting certain information may help the applicant explain their B-1/B-2 qualifications.  For example, pregnant mothers traveling to give birth may wish to demonstrate their ability to pay their medical expenses.

3. Dependent parents may wish to demonstrate family and financial ties to Vietnam.  As noted in 9 FAM, each case is treated on an individual basis.

4. Domestic employees must demonstrate the duration of employment and contractual agreement with the employer.

5. Partners of U.S. citizens must demonstrate the length of the relationship with the U.S. citizen and strong personal ties with long term plans to maintain residency in Vietnam.  HCMC does not have any specific requirements for documents beyond the basic documentary requirement for an NIV application; however, as mentioned in 9 FAM, consular officers may request additional information.

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Grounds for Rejection for B and F Visa

Detailed question:

I have done my masters in USA and stayed there for 4 years and came back to India. My visa got over on Jan 2013, and I plan to pursue my MBA in USA and went for the visa interview twice it got rejected, and now my friends and family are suggesting me to apply for B-2 visa. What should I do?

Answer:

The grounds for rejection for B and F visa are usually the "immigrant intent." If indeed that is the reason for your visa rejection, I do not see any difference between B and F applications.

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Exploring Other Options During H-1 Transition

Detailed question:

As my husband's H-1 expires, we are moving back to India around August/September. I am exploring options to quit my job (also on H1) in the last 2-3 months, but since this is a short period, I'm looking for the most convenient and economical transition. Can you please advise: - Convert to H4: What is the expense incurred and how much in advance would I have to apply for this? - I have a tourist visa that is valid till 2016- can I take advantage of this? - Is there a grace period after leaving a job here (giving up your H1) that I can take advantage of if I time it properly?

Answer:

You will need to figure out the filing fees for Form I-539 (used for H-4). You can convert to tourist visa (status) if you leave USA and reenter using the tourist visa. To let you back in or not would be at the discretion of the CBP officer who interviews you. There is no grace period under these circumstances.

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Supervisory CBP Officer initiated to have the cancellation reviewed

Detailed question:

For a CBP port of entry, what is the procedure available to seek supervisory review of an officer’s refusal to admit a visitor due to the period of time he or she was previously present in the U.S.?

Answer:

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) indicates that, in instances in which an officer refuses to admit a visitor due to the period of time he/she was previously present in the U.S., the applicant can ask to speak to the Supervisory CBP Officer who is assigned to the area in which the inspection took place. Such refusal would definitely result in a visa cancellation taking place, in which case an inquiry with the Special Cases Office could be initiated in order to have the cancellation reviewed.

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Nonimmigrant waiver

Detailed question:

I recently abandoned the US for Canada. I had been living in the US illegally for 15 years (since the age of 11). I got an opportunity to conduct biological research at the University of Alberta, AB, and Canada. I'm fully funded to live in Canada by the institution. Anyway, I would like to return to the US in 2013 for my 10 year high school reunion. I would like to know how likely I would be to get a tourist visa given my recent history. I have no intentions of staying in the US, just visiting. Am I automatically banned?

Answer:

Look into a 212(d)(3) waiver, which should allow you an entry. Ask CBP at the border how much time they need to process the waiver (usually a few weeks).

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Visitor visa rejected

Detailed question:

I am having a problem getting my visitor visa. My fiancé is a US citizen and my sister is on H-1B visa she is there since 3 years with her family... my parents got their (B1-B2) visitor visa. But when ever I apply for B1-B2 I get rejected. My question is, when they ask me why you want to go to the USA my answer was to visit my sister and her family. Now can I answer like this? My fiancé is a US citizen and I want to meet her and get married.

Answer:

You must tell the truth. The better visa for you is K-1, if you want to get married in USA. Your chances of getting a B visa do not appear to be very good.

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Visit visa and marriage

Detailed question:

Will I get 15 days visa for US as tourist visa and in this time marry a friend who is U.S citizen and also born over there in USA, so could I be able to apply for visa extension and then apply for PR in USA?

Answer:

Spouses of US citizens are eligible for green card without any waiting. But I have always advised people to not use a tourist visa to enter USA with an intention to get married. I suspect USCIS can, if they choose to, raise an implication of fraudulent entry.

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Multiple entries for UK Citizens

Detailed question:

I am a US citizen - my partner is a citizen of the UK (we are not married). He is a consultant in the international development field so travels frequently, but often visits me in the US when he is not working. He has been to the US for visits of 2-3 weeks duration about 6 times in the last year. The past few times, immigration has hassled him about the number of visits he is making. We are concerned that one of these times he may be refused entry - is this likely?

Answer:

He can be denied entry. UK citizens have the same options to work in USA as the rest of the world; typically H-1, L-1, E-1 and E-2 visas.

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Re-entry with B-1 Visa

Detailed question:

I am a UK resident and currently have a B1 visa with 7 years to run. When I enter the US via LAX they always stamp my passport and issue the I-94 card for 12 months. We always leave before the date given. Question - do we have to go back to the UK (our country of origin) or could we go to Canada for a week and then re-enter the US?

Answer:

You can go to a third country, but your entry back into USA can be declined if CBP believes you are spending more time in USA than you should. Typically, B visas are for brief visits (may be six months or less in a 12-24 month period).

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Stopping at USA

Detailed question:

I am working in a Federal Gov't Agency, and in the near future leaving for Frankfurt, Germany, for a conference, and with a plan in mind to fly to USA via Germany after my conference is completed. My question, here, is that whether I can use my US visa, which is valid up to Apr 06/2012, whereas the passport has already expired by last May 23/2011, and due to be replaced by a new one.

Answer:

You will need an unexpired passport to enter USA. People in your situation carry both the new and the old passports.

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Visa for family to visit brother

Detailed question:

I have a brother here in US who is diagnosed with cancer. I would like my mom and brother who live in India to come and visit him. What type of visa should they apply for in India and how long will it take? On which visa can they come as soon as possible.

Answer:

Tourist visa seems to be appropriate. Times vary by consulate and are usually very short -- often visa is issued the same day an application is made. You can also get an appointment for emergent reasons.

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Visitors visa and green card

Detailed question:

My mother wants to travel to US on her existing visit visa. We recently filed for her GC petition as well. We are wondering if she is allowed to travel on that same visit visa. Her visit visa is also expiring soon, would that be a problem coming into USA?

Answer:

She will be at the mercy of CBP at the airport. They can decline entry.

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I am a US citizen and spouse on B-2 visa

Detailed question:

I am US citizen and my wife is here on B-2 visa, her I-94 just expired, applied for extension, denied. Can I file I-130 and 485 for her now and can she wait here for her GC legally without leaving the country?

Answer:

You can file I-130 and I-485, but she must not travel outside USA until she gets her green card.

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Pharmacist visa for FPGEE

Detailed question:

I have plans of taking the FOREIGN PHARMACY EQUIVALENCY EXAM (FPGEE), I am from the Philippines what kind of visa should I apply for?

Answer:

You will apply for B visa (B-1/B-2).

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Visit visa for my parents

Detailed question:

Can I invite my parents while I am on a business visit. I have I-94 valid till June 2011. My dad is a defence employee.

Answer:

Your parents can apply for a tourist visa on their own. There is no law that they must be invited.

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B-2 visa

Detailed question:

I'm a non-married Iranian citizen who’s my first-degree family members are US citizens, currently residing in USA. During last several years I've been rejected every time I requested for a US visa (both F and J). Now, I am qualified to become a Canadian PR through the skilled-worker program. The visa is issued and I will be soon landing in Canada. I was wondering if my chances for getting a B-2 visa to visit my family will be any better once I'm a registered Canadian resident. Is it wise to ask for a visa once I get my PR card?

Answer:

I think if you wait till you have a steady job and roots in Canada, and then apply to visit USA, you should have a better chance.

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B-2 to B-1

Detailed question:

I am an IT professional who has come to the US for medical treatment on a B2. I am getting better. Since I like to constantly upgrade my skills, I found some training programs that I could attend as they are more frequent in the US than in Canada. Can I attend them on a B2? I mean I have a B1/B2 visa, but the officer marked it as B2 on the stamp on my passport at the POE. Second - I also have got an offer for a one day lecture to some technology professionals for which I might get paid. How would the folks know I worked for a day if while exiting the country there is no checking?

Answer:

I believe you can take training on B-2 as long as your main purpose of stay in USA is is still medical treatment. Getting paid may be a bad idea.

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Parents B-2 Visa

Detailed question:

My company has agreed to bring me and my wife to USA on L2 visa and then later get a H1 B visa. I want to make sure my parents have a B2 visa before I leave India. I have thought of two possible approaches: a) Get a B2 visa for my parents but telling US consulate that I am traveling on business to USA and want my parent to visit the country. I used the same method for my wife 2 years back with no problems. b) Get a L2/H1B visa for my self and then submit a request saying my parents want to visit the country for some time.

Answer:

I dont see much difference in the two (as long as we are truthful with the consulate). Option b may be slightly better because you would already have the L/H visa.

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Mother's visa expires - reentry

Detailed question:

My mother's 6 month stay expires next month and she wants to go back to her country and come back to US in 10 days. What kind of questions will they ask her at the airport?

Answer:

A trip back after just 10 days is likely to be problematic. She can be declined entry because the govt. Can view this is an abuse of B visa in that she is staying in USA more than she is in her own home country.

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B1/B2

Detailed question:

I entered the US with my mom in 2005. I was underage then. My visa B1/B2/BCC expires in Oct of 2010 and my permit I-94 expired in December of 2007. I am now 20 years old and I am married to the love of my life and he is a US citizen. I want to know what I can do. What files and forms will I need?

Answer:

You should be able to get your green card. Do not travel outside USA until you do. I would suggest getting a lawyer.

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B-1/ B-2 for business

Detailed question:

I am an internet marketing professional and I had H1B visa for the period of 2007-2009. I visited US 3 times ( 7-15 days each) but for some reason I did not join job there. Meanwhile I registered a LLC there for my business and running a small business for last year.I am internet marketing professional and i had H1B visa for the period of 2007-2009. I visited US 3 times ( 7-15 days each) but for this or that reason i did not join job there. Meanwhile I registered a LLC there for my business and running a small business for last year. Now I have to attend a conference and set up things for the business. This time I want to go with my wife and 2 year old kid. Which visa would you suggest?

Answer:

B-1/B-2 seems to be the correct visa.

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Visit visa and work

Detailed question:

I have B1/B2 visitor visa and I am planning to visit USA. I also have job offer from one of the company in USA. They are asking me to come on visit visa and then they will apply for my work visa (H1) while staying in USA. Should I accept their offer and travel with my spouse and children?

Answer:

This could be viewed as fraud by the government.

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My wife filed for Skilled Worker

Detailed question:

My wife filed for Skilled worker (EB-3(A)(i)). Can I apply for NIV to visit her?

Answer:

There is nothing in law that stops you from getting an NIV. But grant of visas like B-1/B-2 is completely discretionary.

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Mom's visa denial

Detailed question:

My mother had an appoinment to get a visa today and she got denied but they did not give her a reason, is there a time period she should wait to try again or can we find out why somehow.

Answer:

They are required by law to give a reason. Contact your Congressman.

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B-1/B-2 visa for medical reasons

Detailed question:

I am married to an alien and I am a citizen and I am looking to bring my mother-in-law here from mexico. It would be for pleasure and also medical reasons. She has a bad knee and I am looking to take her to go get checked for her knee.

Answer:

I think until your husband get naturalized, a tourist visa for medical treatment is your best bet. These visas can be designated B-1 (Business visas) or B-2 (Tourist). You should get an appointment letter from her intended physician and try for the B-1/B-2 visa.

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Australian Musician to perform in US

Detailed question:

An Australian Musician that is wanting to come to US for a few weeks to travel and play at approx 15-20 venues across the US. I am willing to sponsor him via my DJ entertainment service, and he will be paid for the shows. He is a professional musician in his country, has been for 15 yrs. Which visa would be required in this case?

Answer:

A "B" visa is appropriate if the artist will not be paid in USA, other than for travel and incidental expense.


An "O-1" Visa is for an individual artist of International Renown - well known outside their home country. A "P-1" is for a performing group that meets the same standard.


"P-2" Visas are issued on reciprocal basis between countries. You may want to contact the US consulate to see if they have programs for Australia.


"P-3" Visas are for groups that are Culturally Unique - for instance, folk musicicians.

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5 year multi entry visa

Detailed question:

I have a 5 year multivisa. I visited US for two weeks 4 month ago. Now my friends invite me to stay longer than 2 weeks (2-3 months) and I dont have a job now. Can you please advice how long can I stay in US with this visa?

Answer:

The duration of the stay will be determined by the CBP when you land in USA.

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Visitor visa - passport in maiden name

Detailed question:

My cousin has invited me to his wedding, and I got married October 31 2009. The thing is this - my current passport is not in my married name, can I just apply for the visitors visa with my current passport and bring my marriage certificate as proof of marriage? My current passport will be expiring in 2012.

Answer:

There is no US law (that I can think of) requiring you to change your passport right away. I think you can travel. But eventually you should get it all corrected. Change to married name is not required, but I think the passport should accurately reflect marital status.

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Tourist Visa Validity

Detailed question:

I am a holder of a US tourist Visa which will expire on July of 2011. I will visit the US on March 2011 to attend a wedding. If I go I will only have 4 months visa validity. Can I still use it with less than 6 months valid stay? I will stay only for 2 months the most.

Answer:

Visa validity is required only to enter USA, not to stay. The stay period is determined by CBP (at the airport) when you enter USA. The stay is noted on a document called an I-94 (Arrival Departure Record). Even if the visa expires, you can stay till the end of your I-94.

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Co sign

Detailed question:

Can a friend co-sign for me to bring my brother to the United States, I have green card and i don't make enough money. I just want to know if a friend can co-sign for me.

Answer:

An affidavit of support can be co-sponsored by your friend. But green card holders cannot sponsor siblings for green cards, only US Citizens can.

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B2 visa to green card

Detailed question:

I am a US citizen can I apply for green card for her while she is in US and can she stay here while the application is in process?

Answer:

The answer to both your questions is - yes. But you MUST speak with a lawyer to understand all the nuances of her case.

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Visitors visa sponsored by H-1B holder

Detailed question:

I got my parents Visitor Visa stamped when I worked for Company A . But now I work for company B and I am planning to get them to US now. Do they need to go for stamping again?

Answer:

I see no need for a new visa.

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Proper protocol for B-2 visa

Detailed question:

I am american citizen, I wish to invite Egytian CEO for visit to U.S. since my dad is dying of pancratic cancer stage 4 and he wish to see him . Unfortunatly, he is stating. I need to provide documentation or application for B-2 visa. What is exact requirment for B-2 Visa? He has his own companies and I own a building in Texas and have bank account. We are both financially solid.

Answer:

There are no formal requirements, but the consulates can ask for anything they feel is necessary. Get your Congressman involved. They will be able to get more information from the consulate very quickly.

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Married to a US citizen

Detailed question:

I got married to a US citizen in Mumbai under the Special Marriage Act about a month back. He is currently in the US and I am also planning to immigrate there with him. I have a tourist visa & am planning on going to the US on that visa and then apply for change of status. Will it be ok to do that? & once I apply for change of status, am I allowed to stay in the US beyond the regular tourist visa timelines (meaning the stamp given at the immigration counter at the airport showing the last permissible date of stay in the current visit)?

Answer:

This may sound silly, but I think you should reapply for a tourist visa and tell the consulate what you are planning to do. They may not require a new visa or they may even deny you entry and ask you to wait for your green card. But that, I think is the right thing to do. Once you arrive in USA and file for adjustment of status, you can stay beyond your tourist visa/I-94 duration.

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B-2 Visa Multiple destination

Detailed question:

My grandmother has a B2 visa to visit Guam. After her two week stay, she wants to visit her other daughter in California but she will have to go back to Philippines for a day because its cheaper to travel from Phil. to Cali. Can she still use the same B2 visa. When will she have to surrender her I-94? After the California trip?

Answer:

As long as the visa is valid and permits multiple entries (not all visas do), I see no problem.

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B-2 Visa

Detailed question:

I am US citizen trying to bring my friend from Pakistan to visit me in America , how hard is the process for him to visit, as we have never offical met in person, but are connected online. I hear you have to have proof that we actually have met, like pictures?. Is this hopeless? Would it be better for me to meet him out of the country?

Answer:

Getting a B-2 visa for a single person tends to be very difficult. If you meet him once, you can get him here on a Fiance (K-1) visa. That is much better if you want to get married.

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B1/B2 Category

Detailed question:

I have already applied for the draw for the Diversity Lottery Visa for which I am eligible.If at all I dont get selected and want to make a B1/B2 application thereafter will I have to mention in the application form that I have been denied such a chance for lottery before and if I choose not to do so can the consulate people find out that this person has made such an application before.Please advise for the correct approach.

Answer:

As far as I can think, you would have to reveal your DV application. Not having researched DV specifically, I can only say that generally, having applied for a green card makes getting a B visa much more difficult.

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Having a board test on B1/B2

Detailed question:

have a valid B1/B2 visa.I visited usa( 2 years ago, when I was a student) for tourism.Is it legal to use this visa to enter the usa to have a professional test (foreign pharmacy graduate equivalency examination)?. is there any problem to show this purpose to the officer at the port of entry (in airport)?

Answer:

As far as I know, this should not be a problem if you are truthful about your intentions.

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B1 rejected because I had applied for Green Card

Detailed question:

I was denied B1 because of lack of documents. On reality I have applied for Green Card as my sister is citizen of USA. How can I convince US officers that I will not abandon India and settle down in USA.

Answer:

I do not know of any special proof that you can provide. This is purely a matter of consular discretion.

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Visa for Mother in law

Detailed question:

I am a U.S citizen but my husband is not yet. My mother in law has been battling cancer for a while and I would love for her to come here and get medical treatment and to just see her grandson. She is from El Salvador, is there any way for us to do that?

Answer:

A B-1 visa is appropriate for medical treatment.

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Business Visa

Detailed question:

I sent an invitation to my business associate in India for supplying and installing equipments. The visa was rejected saying it is illegal to pay in US in USD. Actually, I am paying the company in India for supplying and installing equipments and not as a salary to the installer/project consultant.Now, I have asked him to reapply for the visa. What is the best way to present the case to the consulate office during interview?

Answer:

If you make the details of the transaction clear to the consulate, I feel you should have a shot.

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Return to America on a B-2 visa

Detailed question:

I want to know how long I have to spend in my country before I can return back to America,I left there on october 27 and I have a B-2visa.

Answer:

I cannot give you a hard and fast rule, but generally speaking, CBP wants you to spend more time outside than inside USA each year.

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H1B Pending

Detailed question:

I have 5 year M entry visa to visit US from India. I got a job offer and my employer is filing H1b for me in April 2010. My 6 month B1/B2 visa is over on June 4th 2010. (A)Can I continue to stay in US on pending H1b? (B) Should I apply for extension of B1/B2? Will this application for extension confuse or spoil my chance of getting H1b? (C)If I do the premium processing will I know the status of my visa before 4th of June?

Answer:

You need to discuss this with your H-1 lawyers. I do not believe you can stay. Filing an extension may not help either.

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F1 visa to business visa or H1/L1

Detailed question:

Which visa is easy to apply. Is it business visa or H-1 visa?

Answer:

If you qualify, H and L visas are certainly more secure than an F visa.

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B visa while GC pending

Detailed question:

A a citizen, I filled up a I-130 form for my parents; they live abroad, but they already have a tourist visa; may they visit USA for short time while they are waiting for the GC process, and then go back to their country, keeping back and forth in the meantime?

Answer:

The law is uncertain. This type of entry will be left at the discretion of CBP. I have a blog entry on this subject. Please review it: http://forums.immigration.com/blog.php?u=1

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Legality of I-485/I-130 filing

Detailed question:

I married my Canadian wife in November 09 in the US. She had entered the country as a visitor. She flew back to her expatriate parents in Australia. She re-entered the country - POE was LAX - and we linked up in North Carolina to drive north to pick up her belongings in Montreal. We exited the US and then we re-entered. USCIS gave us some difficulty at the border but they let us in together. Now I know I need to file the I-130 form, and I am hoping to file an I-485 for AOS and I-765 so she can work. Is this legal? She is here legally as a visitor with 6 months to stay.

Answer:

This is a touchy topic. As long as you revealed to the Post during your last entry that you were married, I see no problem with the 130/485 combo.

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I want to bring my mom to the states

Detailed question:

I have a question .. I am a US citizen .. my husband is in the navy i want to bring my mom to the states but i dont work cause we have a 2 year old baby . Can my husband be my mom's sponsor? or what should we do ?

Answer:

You can apply for her and he can be a joint sponsor on the affidavit of support. No problem.

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Visa for Mother in law

Detailed question:

My husband and myself need to bring my mother in-law to the USA from Mexico, she is in need of constant elderly care how can we do this I am a US citizen and my husband is a permanent resident.

Answer:

I can think of only a tourist visa or ER. But once your husband becomes a US citizen, he can get her green card.

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Can my parents stay in the US?

Detailed question:

I am an American citizen. My parents received their 1 year multiple B-2 visa in Aug-09 and they came to live with me in Sep-09. I applied for I-130 for my mother in Oct-09. I received my mom's I-130 approval notice in Feb-10. And my parents are still in the States with me now. They were granted 6 months stay till Mar-10. My questions are: 1. Can my mom stay in the States beyond March and file I-485 status ajustment? Or should she go back to her home country and wait to be interview at the consulate? 2. I haven't applied I-130 for my dad. Can I file a B-2 visa extension for my dad and can he legally stay in the States after Mar-10 until the B-2 visa extension is granted or denied by Immigration? What form should I use for B-2 visa extension? Approximately how long does it take Homeland Security Immigration to grant or deny a B-2 visa extension case?

Answer:

1. From what you have described, I see no reason why you cannot file for their I-485 and have them stay.

2. He can legally stay in USA as long as USCIS receives the extension request (Form I-539)before the expiration of his current status. He can stay till the request is decided or till the time for which the extension has been requested, whichever comes first. It can take several months for the application to be decided.

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Visit Visa to the U.S.

Detailed question:

My grandmother and my auntie are US citizens, I would like to know how to get a tourist visa to visit there in US califonia? can I know the requirements or how much I need to spend?

Answer:

Just contact the US consulate closest to where you live to find out the formalities and fees. Basically, you need to file a visa application and interview with the consulate. They will tell you what to bring with you.

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Co-sign for my fiance's mom

Detailed question:

My fiance's mother wants to visit him , but his income tax for 2009 not enough to sponsor his mother. Can I put my income tax to co-sign to let his mother get the visa visit US ? If its work how much my income should be that would qualify with the situation ? ( i'm a single mom with 2 kids).

Answer:

Anyone can sign a Form I-134 (the affidavit of support for a visitors visa). As to the amount of income, run an internet search for "poverty guidelines." If you meet those requirements, you should be fine. In fact, a Form I-134 is not a requirement of law, but consulates can ask for it.

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Entering U.S.

Detailed question:

My boyfriend is from pakistan and we would like to know what would be the best way for him to get a visa to visit the US and how. He is a student in Sweden at this time and has a Europe Visa. Will this help him in anyway to be able to come to the US? Would really appreciate any help or advice you could give to help him be able to visit me and my family.

Answer:

All he can do is try. There is no way to be certain, but being abroad already should help a bit.

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B1B2 VISA multiple entry 10 years

Detailed question:

I obtained my b1b2 visa on July 2007 with multiple entry and valid for 10 years. I travelled to USA on November 2007 and stay their for 2 weeks. I am planning to visit again my relatives this year but I heard from the people around me that my visa is already cancelled since I wasnt able to re enter USA after 2 years, they said that the requirements for me to do to keep my visa active is to enter USA every 2 years.

Answer:

There is no requirement that you enter every two years. I see no issue with your travel.

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Traveling to US while green card petition pending

Detailed question:

My husband and I have been married for over 2 years now. On September, he filed I-130 on my behalf and we have also filed G-325A in October. My question is whether I can come to visit him for Christmas on a B-1 visa? I just want to make sure that it will not affect the application and that I will not have to stay in the US until the application is processed.

Answer:

You can try, but such permission is rarely given.

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I have been revoked to seattle with visa B1/B2

Detailed question:

Last november 11, 2009 I went to seattle for vaccation. I detained: 1-one returned ticket for may 3, 2010; 2-one electronic ticket for one mission on geneva from december 1st to 7, 2009; 3- 3books for my online MBA courses; 4- one visa B1 & B2 for 10 years issue on july 2007, 5- a letter for my employer. But when I arrive to airport the immagration office say that I came to work or study, but not for vaccation. They put me in Jail ARROUND 1 MONTH and they revoked me. I want to know the way to make my complaint and ask to review my case. I am an international worker since 1999.

Answer:

You will need a consultation with a lawyer. It appears you were formally denied admission and excluded from entering USA. The one-month detention sounds strange. Anyhow, get a lawyer, this is not a simple matter.

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Applying for B1/B2

Detailed question:

Have a pending I-130 with priority date of 26 OCt 2002 In the F2B category, now my cousin wish for me to visit her in MARYLAND, My parents and siblings live in the states and I have been denied B2 Visa befor in 2002 , but I have also travelled to the US before as a child first in 1987 and 1992 with my father. QUESTION is I have 5 Years working experience in a bank, I have travelled to the UK,FRANCE,ITALY AND SPAIN regularly on holidays in the last 3 years. What are my chances of getting a visitors visa? If my chances are not bright, I might as well forget about applying for a visitors visa.

Answer:

Your chances are slim, but it is impossible to predict.

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Visa for parents and niece

Detailed question:

I want my parents and my niece to visit me here in US. Can I apply for visa for all 3 of them together. My brother and sister in law are currently undergoing separation. Will there be any issues because of that?

Answer:

I see no reason why they cannot all apply. Separation should not raise a problem as far as I can see. But consulates may want some additional paperwork for a minor to travel with grandparents.

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Are there any impediments to exit the US with a expired B1/B2

Detailed question:

I came to US when I was a minor under the care of my parents with a B1/B2 visa. My parents decided to stay here for 1 year. 5 years have passed. I am 20 years old now. My B1/B2 visa expired in august of this year and I do not want to stay illegal in this country anymore. I am going back to my country. Are there any impediments for me to exit without any problems?

Answer:

As far as I know, there is no impediment. But I think you will be subject to a ten year bar from reentering USA once you leave.

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Vistor Visa for Niece

Detailed question:

My parents are planning to visit us here in States in Summer. They have 10 year multiple entry visa. They have been here before (about 2 years ago). This time they want to bring my niece (9 years old) with them as my niece will have 2 months summer break during that timeframe. My question is what documents do we need for her visa. Does my parents need to accompany her during her Visa interview.

Answer:

Send an email to consulate asking for local requirements for grant of a visa for a child to travel with grandparents. They may need consent from her parents.

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B-1/B-2 visa to F-2 visa

Detailed question:

I came to US by b1/b2 visa, now I want to change it to f2. My wife (we got married 4 months ago, when i came to the states) is studying here. We have a baby whom was born here 3 months ago. Now I can't go back to my mother land to get a visa, because my wife doesn't have a visa but just valid I-20 form. Do you think I should apply for a status change here or should we go to Canada to get visas? What is more safe for us?

Answer:

There are several issues here that should require you consult with a lawyer. For instance, USCIS does not like it when people enter USA on a short-term visa and get married or try converting to a long term status (like F-2).

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From a B-2 visa to a green card

Detailed question:

I have a pen pal that is a citizen of Honduras. He would like to come to the US to visit me and our beautiful country. My question is this: if he obtains a 6 months B-2 visitors visa, then maybe half way through, he thinks he would like to move to the US and work here, could he apply for a green card during his 6 month stay. He has no family here in the US, just me, his friend.

Answer:

That does not sound possible. Green cards to USA are granted based upon very limited basis. But, you should have your friend speak with a lawyer to see what options may exist.

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Marrying B1/B2 girlfriend

Detailed question:

My girlfriend and I decided to get married. She is on a B1/B2 visa, we didn't know it is some kind of offense, how to deal with this? I don't want her to be deported. Where do we start?

Answer:

For all people on B visa or illegal in USA who are marrying a US citizen, I strongly advise at least one consultation with a lawyer to make sure you will not run into trouble.

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Re-enter US on tourist visa

Detailed question:

My mother has valid 10 year tourist visa. However, on tourist visa, she can stay upto 6 months in US. I wanted to know that after 6 months, can she fly to Canada for a month to stay with her sister and then return to US after a month. What's the min time limit she has to be out of US in order to re-enter US? I'm having a small child and would like her to stay with me as much as possible.

Answer:

It is unlikely she will receive another six months after visiting Canada. The rule of thumb is that she must spend more time outside USA than inside.

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B1 visa

Detailed question:

I am supposed to apply for my business visa today for USA. I am traveling for pure business, meeting my existing suppliers and doing further business development and also inspect a loading on existing contract. I will be providing relevant business details on my visa form. The small query that i have is, that my real sister is based in usa, and her husband holds a green card.the visa form asks for mentioning of any blood relation/relative settled in usa, so would mentioning their details on my visa form create some kind of hindrance in my getting the business visa?

Answer:

We have no choice. You have to tell the truth. I do not believe that by itself would be a problem.

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B visa for fiance

Detailed question:

I am a Filipina and I have my fiance in the US but he is still waiting for his greencard. We are really looking forward to be together soon. Which is more easier to get a visitor's visa or a fiance visa? But he is not a US citizen yet, he is still waiting for his greencard. Please tell us what would be the best for us to do in order for us to be together soon?

Answer:

Fiance visa option is available for citizens only. B visa is always a toss of a coin. No-one can predict how it will go. But chances of getting B visa for the fiance of a US immigrant are very low.

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How to apply for visitors visa?

Detailed question:

My mother in law would like to visit me and her grand daughter and i would like to get her a visitor visa what do i need to get that and how do i get one?

Answer:

She needs to contact the US consulate closest to where she lives. Normally, they will be able to tell her what she needs to bring and what the procedure is. This information should also be available on consular web site. Most consulates also respond to e-mail enquiries.

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B Visa renewal

Detailed question:

I came back from states in 2003. I had mulitiple b1/b2 visa that was expired in 2006. Now, if I apply again so what are the chances? Can i get multiple visa again?

Answer:

I see no reason why not.

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B1/B2 Multiple Entry Visa

Detailed question:

I have a urgent question, and I would super appreciate any advice you could give me. I have a B1/B2 Multiple Entry Visa till 2019. I went to the United States on Feb 25, 2009 and came back to the Philippines August 21, 2009. While in the States I was granted an extension to stay in the U.S. till Feb 2010, but I still decided to come home to the Philippines. Now, I would like to go back to the U.S. on November 8, 2009 to spend Thanksgiving with my Husband and my In-Laws. Will they give me a hard time at the Port Of Entry? Are there documents that I should bring to show the officer at the POE?

Answer:

Since you left without using the extension, the fact that you applied for one should not become an issue for reentry in the future. But the problem can be if you return too soon, CBP can deny entry. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

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Confused - B-1 to F-1 change

Detailed question:

I came to the US on a B1 visa got it changed to F1-->finsihed 4 years of undergrad moved on to 2 years of Masters(both in engineering). I am yet to apply for OPT. Is this going to affect my chances due to the entry method; also what will happen if I get a company that want to sponspor me. Would you advise me to go back home to rectify my visa situation. Because the B1 visa I entered the country with is expired, I haven't travelled out of the country. What would you suggest I proceed about this.I really would love to go back home to visit but scared the consulate will deny me. Confused as ever.

Answer:

You should be able to get your OPT and even an H-1 and a green card. But if ever you want to travel outside USA, make sure you discuss the facts of the case with a competent lawyer. You have to make sure you have a good chance of getting a visa to get back in to USA.

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I Need A B2 Visa

Detailed question:

I am a citizen of Nigeria and presently studying in China with a resident permit but my friend wants me to visit him in the States and he has sent all the necessary documents for me to apply for a visa. I would like to know if I need a travelling experience to apply for US visa when Iam in China.

Answer:

I am not sure what you mean by "traveling experience," but B-2 visas depend primarily upon the consular officer being convinced that you do not intend to overstay in USA or seek to become a long term or permanent resident during your visit. Good luck!

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B1 Visa

Detailed question:

I am a citizen of U.S. and had send the support documents. When my mother in law went for an interview they denied the visa because she stayed legally with the extension of three months in 1999 . After that she came to visit us in 2004 she went back by six months. At that time she got 10 years visa in 1998 multiple. My question is can they deny the visa without seeing the support documents.

Answer:

They can do a lot of things, and often do, even things that are unreasonable. If you feel the decision is in error, contact the consulate through your Congressman.

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B Visa renewal

Detailed question:

I came back from states in 2003. I had mulitiple b1/b2 visa that was expired in 2006. Now, if I apply again so what are the chances? Can I get multiple visa again?

Answer:

I see no reason why not.

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Visa B2 - affidavit of support

Detailed question:

I came to America 4 months ago. Am I eligible to send a visitor visa for my sister and her family? What should I do? Do I need a good financial credit?

Answer:

Technically only US citizens or permanent residents can provide affidavit of support. You can read the instructions on Form I-134.

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Can Europeans apply for B2 tourist visa?

Detailed question:

I have been away from my fiance for a year now. I was planning to either apply for a B2 and after it for a F1. Since my Spanish passport applies into the VWP, can I still apply for a B2? If so, should I mention the real reason why I want the visa?I just want to spend time with him, as we still have 4 yrs ahead till he can apply for citizenship.

Answer:

Yes, you can. Even if you are covered by Visa Waiver, you do have the option to apply for a B-2 visa. In my view, you must state the reason truthfully. As to what your chances are is impossible to predict.

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Applying for B2 visa after voluntary departure from USA

Detailed question:

I was voluntary deported from USA for over staying my b2 visa for almost 3 years ! What do I need to do to apply for the b2 visa again ( i am going for a medical reason )

Answer:

Chances of obtaining a B-2 visa are slim if you have overstayed that long earlier.

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How does one assist family in applying for B-2 (Visitors/Tourist) visa

Detailed question:

Q1. How to Assist Family Members in Applying for B-2 (Visitors/Tourist) Visa? Q2. In filling out Form I-134 form (Affidavit of Support), If you look at the question No.1. It says are your Citizen...., or permanent resident of US. It has no column says are you H1B etc. What should I do here. Should I leave this column or do something else please guide me.

Answer:

A1. There are no fixed procedures for applying for a tourist visa. Generally, the applicant just goes to the U.S. consulate closest to their home and applies. Often a friend or a family member (who is in the U.S.) of the applicant may be required by the consulate to provide Form I-134, Affidavit of Support.


Once a visa is obtained, the visa holder can travel to USA. Assuming, they travel by air, INS (actually, CBP) will grant them stay at the airport. The usual period of this stay is 6 months. Extension is possible but is usually not advisable. Visa duration governs the time within which someone can land in USA. I-94 (issued by INS (CBP) at the airport) governs how long they can stay in USA. So for example if your visa is expiring tomorrow and you flew into USA today. INS (CBP) has given you an I-94 expiring in 6 months, you may stay in USA for 6 months.


A2. Hand write or type next to it "H-1B Holder"


 


 

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Visitors I-94 extension on expired visa?

Detailed question:

My mother entered US with a valid visa in June 5 and got 3 months stay (until Sep 5) as per I-94. Her visa has expired 2 months (Aug 5) after she entered in the US and now we're planning to file for I-94 extension but we're not sure if the visa should be valid (not-expired) for I-94 extension. Can someone please advice?

Answer:

Once she is in USA, her stay is governed by the I-94, not the visa. There are other issues with extension (such as future problems in entering, etc.), but visa is not an issue.

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Extension for Visitor Visa Denied Please Help

Detailed question:

I applied extension for my mother, reason being she had a fracture 6 weeks before and was advised bed rest for 4 weeks. So I applied for extension and received I-797C in the mail (paid $300). Since I had requested 3 months ext, I rescheduled her departure date (luckily I bought 1 yr ticket, thx to my agent) and she left before 3 mos. I did not receive anything in the mail till then.Now, 3 days ago I got a letter from USCIS VT stating it is denied/abandoned as they did not receive any evidence supporting the app, file I-290B before Aug 23rd which has filing fee of $585!!! ouch. What can I do?

Answer:

Not much you can do at this point. Keep copies of all documents so you can show that the overstay was entirely inadvertent. You may also want to get a new visa stamp. If the consulate says a new stamp is not necessary, explain how she fell out of status. You can send this info to the consulate by email and see what they say.

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B-2 Visa

Detailed question:

I have a friend whose an oversea worker and was assigned in Thailand,wants to visit me in San Francisco, CA. Is it possible for him to apply for a B-2 visa? What are the requirements? How much is the fee?

Answer:

Sure. B-2 is for casual visits. I suggest starting with the consular web site.

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Visitor Visa denials

Detailed question:

I have been here in US for last eight years. I finished both my undergrad and grad degrees and presently under AOS based on skilled worker. My parents had applied for visitor visas on my three graduations, gradation of my wife, but got denied everytime. They showed enough balance and my father is a contractor. Should I give up my hope?

Answer:

Barring extraordinarily strong reasons or evidence to the contrary, it is very difficult to overcome denial of discretionary visas like B, F and J.

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B2 Visa

Detailed question:

I have a B1,B2 visa issued in 1992, valid "indefinitley", allowing me to stay in the US for up to 6 months. Is this visa still valid today?

Answer:

I have never heard of a "indefinite" visa. You should call the local US consulate in your country before you travel.

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B2 -- unlawful presence

Detailed question:

I have a B2 visa until Jan 2012. I had an approved H1 visa last year while I am here in the USA. But I have to get it from my home country , while my I-94 has expired already. As advised, I won't be able to come back since I overstayed my allowable I-94 duration. Being out-of-status already, what else can I do to make my stay here legalized? Can another employer like a school provide sponsorship?

Answer:

Once you have accrued unlawful presence of over 180 days/one year, you become subject to 3/10 year bar from reentering USA. That is a very difficult position to be in. I suggest you speak with a lawyer about your situation. Read my blog for understanding more about unlawful presence.

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Effective date on I-94 for a visitors visa

Detailed question:

My parents came to US in 2009 to visit me. The effective date on I-94 form allowed them to stay in US for 7 months. After they left US, customer collected the forms and left no evidences about the effective date approved by immigration officer at customer in SFO airport. Now, they were rejected for new visa application to come to US due to this problem. How should we work it out with visa officer for this problem?

Answer:

The usual time is 6, not 7 months. That could be part of the problem. If CBP gave them more time than is usual, your parents must not be penalized for it. In my view, contacting your Congressmen would help you.

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May B-1/B-2, E-1, E-2, F-1, H-1, J-1, L-1 O-1 visa or TN holder apply for green card?

Detailed question:

May B-1/B-2, E-1, E-2, F-1, H-1, J-1, L-1 O-1 visa or TN holder apply for green card?

Answer:

One of the questions I am asked quite frequently is whether or not an E-1/E-2 visa holder can apply for a green card and not jeopardize his or her E status. The answer is PROBABLY yes he can.

In the E visa context, this is what the govt says:

Quote:
9 FAM 41.51 N15 INTENT TO DEPART UPON TERMINATION OF STATUS
(TL:VISA-404; 04-29-2002)
An applicant for an E visa need not establish intent to proceed to the United States for a specific temporary period of time. Nor does an applicant for an E visa need to have a residence in a foreign country which the applicant does not intend to abandon. The alien may sell his or her residence and move all household effects to the U.S. The alien's expression of an unequivocal intent to return when the E status ends is normally sufficient, in the absence of specific indications of evidence that the alien's intent is to the contrary. If there are such objective indications, inquiry is justified to assess the applicant's true intent. As discussed in 9 FAM 41.54 N4, an applicant might be a beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition filed on his or her behalf. However, the alien might satisfy the consular officer that his and/or her intent is to depart the United States upon termination of status, and not stay in the United States to adjust status or otherwise remain in the United States regardless of legality of status.
So, are they saying they will apply the same standards as given in the note below? I THINK that is what they are saying, but this is not clear.

Quote:
9 FAM 41.54 N4 ISSUE OF TEMPORARINESS OF STAY

(CT:VISA-803; 04-27-2006)

L aliens are specifically excluded from the intending immigrant presumption of section 214(b) of the INA and are, furthermore, not required to have a residence abroad which they have no intention of abandoning. In addition, INA 214(h) provides the fact that an alien has sought permanent residence in the United States does not preclude him or her from obtaining an L nonimmigrant visa (NIV) or otherwise obtaining or maintaining that status. The alien may legitimately come to the United States as a nonimmigrant under the L classification and depart voluntarily at the end of his or her authorized stay, and, at the same time, lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the United States. Consequently, the consular officer's evaluation of an applicant's eligibility for an L visa shall not focus on the issue of temporariness of stay or immigrant intent.
There exists in law something called the "doctrine of dual intent." This doctrine permits nonimmigrants to have immigrant intent. In other words, even though, you are coming to USA on a visa that is temporary, you may pursue your green card (exhibiting intent to live in USA permanently).

By law, L-1 and H-1 holders are PERMITTED by the doctrine of dual intent to have their green cards pending. This is beyond question. That your green card application is pending can never be a ground for denial of your H or L visa application (includes H-4 and L-2).

As I have noted above, E-1, E-2 visas have an unclear situation. It appears the consulates WILL permit them dual intent, but may not(???). They do NOT have the same level of protection as H and L visas but usually consulates will permit dual intent.

The following visa types have no such protection and their vise or entry into USA can be denied if they have a green card application application in process: B-1, B-2, F-1/F-2, J-1, J-2.

O-1 is allowed to have an immigrant intent (by regulations - though not by statute).
Pursuant to 8 CFR Section 214.2(O)(13)
(13) Effect of approval of a permanent labor certification or filing of a preference petition on O classification. The approval of a permanent labor certification or the filing of a preference petition for an alien shall not be a basis for denying an O-1 petition, a request to extend such a petition, or the alien's application for admission, change of status, or extension of stay. The alien may legitimately come to the United States for a temporary period as an O-1 nonimmigrant and depart voluntarily at the end of his or her authorized stay and, at the same time, lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the United States.

TN is also not allowed dual intent, but are often not questioned on their green card pendency.

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Applying for green card while on a B-1 or B-2 visa

Detailed question:

1) I am a US Citizen. My parents (or spouse/spouse-to-be) are in USA on visitors visa. Can I apply for their green card? How does it all work? 2) My parents' I-130 application is currently pending. They are currently living in their home country, India. Can they visit me during the pendency of the green card application? 3) Is it better to apply for adjustment of status or consular processing for the last step of their green card? 4) Updated FAQ - My parent came to US with B1 visa and they are still here. But the visa were expired several years ago. Now I am a citizen, I wonder if I can still apply for green card for them. Could I apply by myself or need to consult with a lawyer?

Answer:

A1. There is nothing that stops you from applying for their green card. Note also that the same answer applies to children and spouse of a US citizens. But it does NOT apply to brothers/sisters.

There is just one issue. It is INAPPROPRIATE (may be even illegal) for a person to enter USA on a tourist or other similar visa if they have the intent to apply for a green card. BUT, if they enter USA without that intent, and after a few days of entry change their mind, that is perfectly appropriate and legal.

The tricky thing is, intent being a state of mind, can only be inferred from circumstances. If intent ever became an issue, INS may look at how soon after entering a green card was applied. Obviously, the more time has elapsed, the better the case is.

Once the I-130/I-485/I-131/I-765 package is properly filed with INS, your relatives can stay in USA without extending their status. Also, once Form I-131 (Advance Parole) is approved, they are free to leave USA and come back during the pendency of their application. Approximate processing times for these petitions are available on our web site at: http://www.immigration.com/node/1412/

A2. Maybe. If they already have a visitors visa stamp on their passport, they should be able to visit. Chances of INS (CBP) sending them back from the airport are probably small. But if they will be applying for a tourist visa (also known as visitors visa) now, they may be refused the visa by the US consulate because they have exhibited immigrant intent. In that case they will have to wait until they receive their green card approval.

A3. In terms of legal effect - they are both the same.

Consular processing is faster (as of May 2002 taking about 3-5 months to completion).

For persons outside USA, consular processing is the only option. Once the I-485/I-131/I-765 package is properly filed with INS, your relatives can stay in USA without extending their status. Also, once Form I-131 (Advance Parole) is approved, they are free to leave USA and come back during the pendency of their application. Approximate processing times for these petitions are available on our web site. See link in the question above.

A4. As I understand the law, they should be able to get their green card. You should talk with a lawyer.

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Visa after B-1 to F-1 conversion

Detailed question:

I entered the US on a B1/B2 visa in febuary 2007, and then changed my status to F1 in May 2007. I enrolled into a 1 year certificate diploma program and started attending school in June 2007. I completed the program and in Fall 2008, I transfered and enrolled into a Master's program at a prestigious university. I have completed 1 year of study and I am half way through the program. I am intending to visit my home country this summer. I would like to know the procedure to obtain the F1 visa stamping. I wish to travel and come back while I am a student. I have obtained my SSN and my Driver's License as well. I have also signed a lease for my apt for the next 1 year. I have always maintained legal status till date. I have working on campus for the last 6 months. I would like to know about the chances of getting my visa stamped before coming back to continue my studies. I am very confused listening to people and I really need some good advice. Its been close to 3 years now and I really wish i can get to see my family back home. I will really appreciate any advices and help. I dont know what kind of questions will be asked in the interview. Also the probability or obtaining the visa stamp. Please tell me what is the best way to approach this and the best thing that I can do.

Answer:

Chances of getting an F-1 visa are remote. I would want you to reconsider the trip. The biggest problem here is, unless you declared to the consulate that you intended to convert from B to F status, they are likely to consider you to have misrepresented your true intention when you obtained/traveled on B visa.

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Entering on/applying for nonimmigrant visa while green card is pending

Detailed question:

I filed I-130 for my parents in April 09 which is still pending. They have 5 years multiple visa and they been here 4-5 times already. Is it ok for them to visit for a month again while their I-130 is still in pending status?

Answer:

The answer is it is unlikely, but not impossible, that they will be permitted entry if CBP finds out about the I-130. If it were my own parents, I would probably not take the chance.

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New H-1 employee returning -- rights and issues

Detailed question:

Our employee XYZ has arrived in the US. However, it appears that because of the job market in the US, he is going to return home to his old job. I know you said they are allowed to return back to USA at a later date if they choose to work for us down the road. But my question is how long may he stay without getting paid until he must return home? I know you sent me information about benching, stating: Q. What is the law regarding the benching of H-1 holding employees? A. The law does NOT permit benching without full salary payment by the employer. The only exception is that when an employer first hires an employee on H-1B they are allowed an initial period of 30 or 60 days during which the employee does not have to be paid while on bench. i. If the employee is currently in USA and adjusts status or transfers from one employer to another within USA - the bench-without-pay period is 60 days from the date of approval of the petition by INS. ii. If the employee is entering USA from abroad, the period is 30 days from the date of entry into USA. If I'm interpreting this correctly, we must pay him no later than day 30 of his arrival here in the USA?

Answer:

There are a couple of issues I want to clarify. The period of payment begins on the earlier of the two events: when the employee presents himself/herself for the job or 30/60 days. DOL considers it to be irrefutable evidence of having reported when a consulting company starts "marketing" the resume (Note also that to bring an employee in without a project has been elevated by this administration to be an indictable offense, which I think is unlikely to stand up in courts).

If the employee wishes to continue to stay for tourism, I think they should apply for B status. See this post: http://forums.immigration.com/blog.p...gcategoryid=36

As for returning in the future, that can be problematic because the govt. can questions whether there truly exists a job for him. If you have a truthful answer for that, return should be possible and can be done any time during the life of this H-1. Note also that you have no obligation to pay him while he is outside USA, but there is a general obligation to withdraw an H-1 if the worker leaves. SO, that makes this a gray area as well.

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Inviting parents to provide care during pregnancy or postnatal period

Detailed question:

Here's the situation: LPR wife is pregnant, currently visiting her in-laws overseas. The LPR husband will travel overseas later to see his parents and both husband and wife will travel back to U.S together. The couple wants to invite husband's mother who has been rejected twice for a visit visa for tourism purposes. Last rejection was more than a year ago.

Answer:

Q1. Should the mother take visa appointment for interview before her son arrives overseas to see her so she can tell interviewing officer that she wants to see her son in the States in addition to tourism purposes. This may make her case stronger as a mother wants to see her son.

A1.
I am never in favor of trying to manipulate consulates. This could be considered outright fraud. Let us not go this way. Tell the truth. But, do let the consulate know that she is coming as a grandma - not a care taker or a health care employee.
 

Q1. Should the mother take visa appointment for interview before her son arrives overseas to see her so she can tell interviewing officer that she wants to see her son in the States in addition to tourism purposes. This may make her case stronger as a mother wants to see her son.

A1.
I am never in favor of trying to manipulate consulates. This could be considered outright fraud. Let us not go this way. Tell the truth. But, do let the consulate know that she is coming as a grandma - not a care taker or a health care employee.

Q2. Should the couple get letter from their doctor stating the due date of the baby and requesting the embassy to allow the mother to visit US to take care of kids in the postnatal period etc.
A2. Yes, but only if there are some special health concerns.

Q3. Does it matter if at the time of her visa interview, the couple is already overseas? Then she can't claim that she wants to see her son in addition to tourism related activities.
A3. The truth.

Q4. Should the mother go for visa interview when the couple had returned back to US after seeing her overseas? Will the fact that the couple just visited the mother not a good thing for her visit visa application?
A4. If the reason is to visit her grandchild and hold him/her and be the loving moral support for the family, why should it matter.

Q5. If the main reason for visit is to provide care for the yet-to-born or new-born grandchild, what are mother's chances of getting visit visa?
A5. Consulates have a very twisted idea of what "care" is. They start thinking of it as a job and not a part of what a grandparent normally does. So tell the truth but make it clear.

Q6. What should the couple and the mother do in order to increase her chances of getting visit visa? What documentation/proof etc would be considered sufficient. Should they provide affidavits under oath that the visitor will return to her native country after her short stay in US?
A6. I do not know of anything that would improve chances.

 

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Can B visa holder convert to F or other status?

Detailed question:

My question is that i have just entered USA on B1 /B2 visa on February 21 and sir now I am planning to stay here in USA...I am planning to carry on my further studies in Bridgeport university my arrival is for 3 months and I want to complete this procedure as soon as possible because I don't want to take the law in my hands

Answer:

While it is permissible to change from one status to another from within U.S., it may not always be advisable.

Typically, when someone enters the U.S., supposedly for a short visit (e.g. B-1 or B-2) and then tries to change it to a longer term visa (F-1, L-1, H-1, etc.), USCIS often frowns upon it (and may not grant it), but the consulates invariably frown upon it. My recommendation in most of these cases is to avoid this type of change. If you have already obtained the change, it may be very difficult to procure a visa whenever you need to travel abroad.

While it is permissible to change from one status to another from within U.S., it may not always be advisable.

Typically, when someone enters the U.S., supposedly for a short visit (e.g. B-1 or B-2) and then tries to change it to a longer term visa (F-1, L-1, H-1, etc.), USCIS often frowns upon it (and may not grant it), but the consulates invariably frown upon it. My recommendation in most of these cases is to avoid this type of change. If you have already obtained the change, it may be very difficult to procure a visa whenever you need to travel abroad.

In April 2002, INS changed its regulations regarding B to F-1 or M-1 (students) status conversions for people who enter USA from then on. INS maintains that B to F-1/M -1conversions from within USA will be permitted only if at the time of entering the USA (for instance at the airport) the applicant expressly declares to INS his/her intent to change to F-1/M-1 status. AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, HOWEVER, CIS seems to have often given changes from B to F status ignoring its own regulations. But in these cases also, the visa problem from consulates will remain.

The better thing to do is to go back to your home country and try for a visa there. Chances of getting a second visa are better if you have done nothing to violate the terms of an earlier visa.

 

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Laid off - Now what ???

Detailed question:

Current economy is making lot of people sleepless. We have heard about a lot of layoffs around the state and nation. Could you please explain us what are the options we have, if a person with H1-B (6year extension) EAD and I-485 pending in this situation.

Answer:

This is most certainly a very important topic and relevant for everyone. I will address the various issues raised in the relevant parts of the blog to make it possible for everyone to find the information applicable to their case.

Effect of Lay-off on H-1 and L-1
An H-1 or L-1 holder who gets laid off can be thought to be immediately out of status. There is NO grace period, not even one day. If, however, you continue to receive your salary, it can be argued that you are still in status. How valid or good that argument is remains to be tested.
Being “Out of Status” and Being “Unlawfully Present”
Bear in mind the very important distinction between being out of status and being unlawfully present. Unlawful presence of 180 days bars you from entering USA for 3 years and unlawful presence of one year raises that bar to 10 years. These bars are very difficult (if not impossible) to waive.
Most commonly, unlawful presence is triggered by expiration of I-94, revocation of H-1 by your employer or whenever CIS says your unlawful presence is now beginning.
Being merely out of status does not impose such drastic penalties automatically, but there are dangers here too. If discovered, you can be deported (removed). In that case, you cannot come back for (I believe) five years. Usually, being out of status for a few days or even months by itself may not be a major problem. But you MUST try not to fall out of status. I will provide one method below.

Option 1. Applying for Derivative Status
You can apply for derivative status if your spouse is in USA with his or her own status.

Option 2. Applying for B-1/B-2 Status
In most cases where interim status is needed (Some exceptions, e.g., J-1 with HRR) a B-1 application could be an option.
- Get Form I-539 from CIS (NOTE: CONFIRM THE FILING FEES)
- Apply for a 6 months change of status to B-1/B-2 (business/visitors visa) which in my view is a catch-all visa/status for all stay in the U.S.
- Attach to the I-539 a letter explaining to the CIS that
1. You have been laid off unexpectedly and that you need to stay in USA to wind up your affairs and to look for a job, if possible;
2. You have the means to support yourself; and
3. You know you are not allowed to work on a B-1/B-2.

This should usually get you 6 months stay without falling out of status.

Note that in one of our cases back in June 1999, CIS seems to say that they may NOT issue B-1/B-2 to everyone. Note the following letter from INS:
"The B-1/B-2 classification is not a "catch all" classification available to all who wish to come to the United States temporarily for whatever purpose. Instead it encompasses a specific, defined class of alien. You must establish the following to be eligible for a B-1 nonimmigrant visa: As you are in the United States conducting business on behalf of a foreign entity, it is reasonable to expect that you are making frequent contact with this entity. Submit evidence of your contact with the foreign company by submitting your phone statements.......Submit a letter from your employer that describe the nature of your employment with them...."
I think CIS is wrong. B-1 specifically appears to me to be a catch-all visa. For example, when someone needs medical treatment, they apply for a B-1 visa. To be safe, we recommend you apply for B-1/B-2, casting even a wider net.

Here are some Follow up Questions from H-1 and L-1 Holders

Q1. What if your company has promised that they will not revoke your H-1/L-1; does that make a difference?
A1. It makes some difference. You are still out of status the day on which you stop working. But the dreaded 180 day period that results in the dreaded 3-10 bar would not apply to you until your I-94 expires or CIS catches on that you are out of status.

Q2. What if the company keeps you on their pay roll but without pay?
A2. CIS is unlikely to allow that as being "in status."" Also, I we were representing the company, we would never advise them to take this route. This is dangerous for the company.

Q3. What is the company has given you a severance package that includes your getting paid for 2 (or more, or less) months after they laid you off?
A3. Technically CIS would consider you out of status from the day you stop working. It does not matter if you are still getting paid. That is what they have said in one of their memos (which we find a rather strange interpretation of the law). But as a practical matter, CIS requires only pay stubs to prove that you were in status. So you may be able to take benefit of this CIS practice.

Q4. Should you apply for some other status?
A4. Probably yes. Some folks apply for a student status (F-1), some for H-4 or F-2 (if their spouses are on H-1 or F-1) and some for tourist (B-2) or business status (B-1). These options could all work to help you stay in status.

Q5. If you covert to another status, can you then convert back to H-1 if you find a new employer?
A5. Yes. We have applied for H-1 successfully in cases where the change to another status (F-1 or B-1 etc.) was still pending.

Q6.1. To protect my status in US, if I transfer from H1 to tourist or business visa, have I to apply for it before my current H1 visa gets expired?
A6.1. Yes.

Q6.2. Am I legal and "in status" if my current H1 is expired and still I am waiting for approval of tourist/business visa?
A6.2. You are authorized to stay in USA while waiting for a decision on a timely filed application.

Q6.3. How much time will it take between I start preparing for tourist/business visa and Your office files the petition for it? (i.e. in preparation of papers)?
A6.3. I do not believe a lawyer is needed, but you can call us to discuss your situation.

Q6.4. Can I hold Tourist and H1, both types of visas at the same time?
A6.4. No.

Q6.5. Do I need to have any specific eligibility for the Tourist visa?
A6.5. If you mean any specific degree or education, no.

Effect of Layoff on Green Card Process
I will address here the most common method of obtaining green card – through PERM. If your situation is different, go ahead and post a comment here. I will respond as well as I can

LAY OFF ANY TIME BEFORE I-140 APPROVAL
If you get laid off before I-140 approval, you can carry NOTHING forward to the next employer. You have to start your PERM all over again with the new employer. If, however, the I-140 gets approved even after the layoff, we can at least try to carry the priority date forward as we would in a ordinary 140 approval. See the discussion in the next point.

LAY OFF AFTER I-140 APPROVAL
If a person has received an I-140 approval through an employer, the priority date then permanently belongs to him or her. Under very limited circumstances (such as fraud) INS may revoke the I-140 thus causing a loss of priority date.
If such a person gets laid off, their priority date will remain the old one, even though they have to process their labor certification and I-140 again with the new employer. It does not matter where in USA the new job is located, what the new job title is or whether the new job falls under EB-2 or EB-3. The priority date is still transferable.
We recommend that an applicant must keep at least a copy of the I-140 approval notice.

LAY OFF AFTER I-140 APPROVAL AND I-485 PENDENCY OF 180 DAYS
Read this article. http://boards.immigration.com/blog.php?b=25
Chances are, you will be fine.

Further Questions 26 Nov 2008
My 485 AOS is pending and 140 is approved. If my current company does layoffs and I happen to loose my job.

A: Can I be without job for some time(small duration)? I mean till I get a new Job?
Ans.As long as your 485 is pending, you are not out of status even if you are not working. You need to find a "similar" job and file AC21 letter with CIS. If there is a gap in employments, that is not a major issue as per the May 2005 Yates memorandum. The only way we can get into trouble is if CIS sends an RFE asking for an employment letter (they usually give us several weeks to respond) and we are not able to provide such a letter showing a "similar" job.

B: Is my Green Card in trouble Immediately if I am out of Job? Is there any provision that I can use in this case?
Ans If your I-140 was not approved and AOS had not been pending 180 days, there would potential for trouble.

C: Will leaving the country and trying for job from India and then coming back in USA help?
Ans. No need.

02/27/09
Q. Hi Rajeev, In context for preserving the PD, is there a time limit on that. If the 140 is approved and I get laid off, can I leave US, return after (say) 2 years with a different H1/L1 and start the GC process with same PD.
Ans. Under the current law, there is no time limit. So, yes, you could.

 

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B visa while GC pending or similar situation

Detailed question:

After a long-term relationship, earlier this year I married a U.S. citizen. I do not want to change my immigration status and do not wish to immigrate nor reside permanently in the United States since we both have steady jobs outside the U.S. and I do not want to leave my country. All I want is to be able to travel temporarily into the U.S. for pleasure and leisure as most tourists do, once or twice a year for a couple of weeks each time. I want to know if I can just apply for a new B-1/B-2 tourist visa to travel into the U.S. or if my husband needs to file an I-130 petition for alien relative and I-129 and K visa thereafter instead –which I understand would be the right process if I ever wanted to adjust status or become a U.S. permanent resident.

Answer:

This is upto the discretion of the consulate and then again upto CBP when you land in USA. Consulates have the discretion to issue you a B visa - despite your presumed immigrant intent - if they are convinced that you will return. This is true for all cases where a B (or F or similar) visa is sought while GC is pending or could be pending.

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Using B visa with F-1

Detailed question:

I have a tourist visa to the US which expires in 2009. However, back in 2004, i was able to obtain a F-1 visa for MBA studies. It expired in 2006 and my stay was extended through practical training. I have all necessary documents supporting that. My question is, will I still be able to use my tourist visa until the March 2009 expiration?

Answer:

My assumption is that you are still on F-1 and in USA. If this is correct, you cannot use your B visa within USA.

While in USA, your stay and status is controlled exclusively by your I-94.

You can, however, try to reenter USA on B visa but after having stayed here for so long, a reentry is likely to be denied.

If, you are outside USA and have been out for a while (like a year or more), I think you can still use that B visa and try to enter USA.

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