US Immigration Questions

  1. Friday, 14...
    Question: I have a question regarding the 6-year stay on H1B if someone was in the US on L1B & later H1B. When does the clock gets reset, does it has to be 1-year stay out of USA at the time of H1B application filing OR 1 year stay out of USA between exit & re-entry in the USA?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: How to Reset H-1 Six Years

    Video Transcript

    You have to be physically outside the USA for at least one full year. If you visit the USA during that time that is if you are here for ten days you've got to stay outside for ten extra days. If you are here too long, for eg: if in that one year you are here for seven months you might have to start the one year all over again.  

    Therefore:

    1. you have to be physically outside the USA.

    2. if you visit you must keep your visit short but then add in that time to the back end of your H-1 stay outside the USA.

    3. don't be here too long. 

    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. Friday, 14...
    Question: I got H1B approval from company 'A' till Oct 2015, filed H1B extension in May 2015. As there were no updates, changed extension regular case to premium and got RFE in 2016.Before responding to RFE got to know that company 'A' has some issues and no one was responding from company 'A'. So before 240 days completion of I-94 got visa transfer with company 'B' in a premium process. Now my H1b is in security check with company B. My Both H1b cases/receipts are still in pending status. I applied for H4 visa now within the USA and if any of my H1B cases get declined. Can I stay on my H4 visa receipt?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: Applying for H-4 status while H-1 is pending

    Video Transcript

    Looks like you are basically in an authorized period of stay because your approval was only good till October 2015. They will not give it to you. You are better off going outside the USA for visa stamping. You should have your H-1 lawyers call the U.S. attorney's office and see if they can talk with the prosecuting attorney and get some kind of a letter or an email from them that that would make your approval possible because you have not committed anything wrong. You just happen to be caught in a case which is either being investigated or prosecuted. If it is being investigated there isn't much you can do, but if it is already being prosecuted and it's already in court you might be able to get around this problem because even if you go for H-4 visa stamping if there is a red flag on you, you might have trouble getting H-4 visa stamping. 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. Wednesday,...
    Question: On 10-Mar-2017 I completed my 5th year on H-1B visa. I changed my job and joined my current employer on 01-Feb-2017 (after receiving the H-1B receipt number) while my H1B petition was being processed at USCIS.In the meantime, my employer filed my GC PERM application on 01-Mar-2017 while my H1B was still in process at USCIS.I got a RFE on my H1B application and while responding to the RFE my employer requested for 2 years of H-1B visa instead of 1 year i.e. 1 year for the 6th year on H1B and another year extension as my PERM application was filed and pending.
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: Effect of revocation of PERM on an already approved H-1 extension

    Video Transcript

    Once they give you an H-1 extension, if later on the PERM is revoked, which was the basis for the extension they will not take away your H-1 extension. So, supposing the date I filed my H-1 and the date my application was decided, my PERM was the basis for my H-1 extension, once the extension is given the PERM goes away and I should be able to keep my H-1. 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. Wednesday,...
    Question: I am a US GC holder and planning to get married to a bride in India. If I get married to a bride in India, can she get a tourist visa.? (Bride is a Software engineer working in India.)My idea is that after marriage, my wife enters the US under Tourist and stay for 6 months and then go to Canada and renter the US and stay in the US with me for next 6 months for a total of a 1 year.
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: The best methods for spouse of a green card holder to enter the USA

    Video Transcript

    As there is a gap between when you apply and when they can actually get some kind of a legal status it can be several years, so it becomes problematic for spouses of green card holders to stay outside the USA for that long. One option would be, if you in the interim become eligible for citizenship you can then upgrade the pending case of the spouse of a US citizen from the spouse of a green card holder. The other option is to get into a situation like H-1 or L-1 where a pending green card application doesn't matter. Even O-1 or E-1, E-2, E-3 visas. A tourist visa, student visa or a J visa would be a difficult option while a green card is going on, but not impossible. It is quite difficult to get those visas because they require nonimmigrant intent. 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. Tuesday, 11...
    Question: In 2014, My wife was working with employer "A" on L2 EAD and the employer "A" filed H1B petition in April-2014. She got approval notice in May-2014 but due to some family reasons we have to go back to India and she continues working for the same employer from India since then. Her approved H1B petition with the same employer "A" is valid till Aug-2017 and H1B visa is stamped in Dec-2016 for the same employer "A". She never traveled to the USA on that H1B visa as her employer does not have any opportunity there. Since she never traveled to the USA on her H1B visa ever, does that mean she has never granted status as an H1B Non-immigrant?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Exemption from H-1 quota, Visa stamped, did not join employer

    Video Transcript

    I personally feel once your case is approved on October 1st, you should be exempt from the quota. If you are outside the USA and you do not get a visa stamp, the government takes the position that you are not yet exempted from the H-1 quota. 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. Friday, 7...
    Question: 1. If I have my I-140 Approved and its been more than 180 Days after approval then I believe that even if I change the employer the I-140 does not gets revoked and it still stays valid. I can continue to extend my H1B with my old I-140. Is my understanding correct? <br> 2. If suppose I have applied for my H4 dependents EAD while I am in my first company and both of us are working. Now it's been 180 days after my I-140 got approved and I switch my employer. In this case does my dependents EAD get's affected in any way? <br> 3. Now assuming that answer to first question is Yes, but I believe that in-order to apply for GC my new employer has to file my PERM and I-140 again. If that happens will my dependents EAD gets affected in any way until the new I-140 gets approved?
    Answer:

    1. The essence of your understanding is correct. You are safe against revocation.
    2. No effect on H-4 EAD of H-1 change of jobs, as long as the H-1 holder maintains status.
    3. Again, no effect on H-4 EAD if your new green card is filed.1. The essence of your understanding is correct. You are safe against revocation. 2. No effect on H-4 EAD of H-1 change of jobs, as long as the H-1 holder maintains status. 3. Again, no effect on H-4 EAD if your new green card is filed.

  7. Friday, 7...
    Question: I want to take my fiancé on a vacation to Hawaii but she stated she received a 214b due to a failed student visa in Oct 2014; at the same time her ESTA expired. Prior to that she had visited the states and left on time without overstay. My fiancé is Japanese and was in her late 20s when denied without explanation. Is there an expiration on 214b?I want to take my fiancé on a vacation to Hawaii but she stated she received a 214b due to a failed student visa in Oct 2014; at the same time her ESTA expired. Prior to that she had visited the states and left on time without overstay. My fiancé is Japanese and was in her late 20s when denied without explanation. Is there an expiration on 214b?
    Answer:

    Getting married to a US citizen and applying for a K visa/green card will remove the 214(b) issue. There is no expiration of this denial.Getting married to a US citizen and applying for a K visa/green card will remove the 214(b) issue. There is no expiration of this denial.

  8. Friday, 7...
    Question: I am on a H-1B Visa for past 9 years and have EB3 I-140 (2008 Priority Date) from Company A and EB3 I-140 from Company B (2014 Priority Date). I am now with Company C. I am Heart Patient and was operated for Heart By-Pass Surgery in 2013 and since then taking my regular Medicines (for my entire Life). I feel stressed on continually working for 40 hours a week and feel getting a EAD will be a god's gift and I can use this EAD to work at my convenience.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Compelling circumstances EAD

    Video Transcript

    I have given a few examples on my blog please look at that.

    Your surgery was a good four years ago I don't know if there is something particularly difficult about your medical situation, but normally people with bypass surgery resume their normal lives. In your case, like I said if there are any particular circumstances, you can certainly apply for compelling circumstances EAD and you can keep getting that renewed. 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. Wednesday,...
    Question: This is my second year on H1B and my H1b visa is valid till Aug 2017 with Valid 194. My Extension was filed on Oct 2016 normal processing and now I got an RFE on 22 May 2017. for the RFE I received last time ( Dec 2016 for amendment), I had submitted all documents like SOW, MSA, Client letter etc. and got an approval. However now due to some organizational changes, my Client is no longer providing us the Client letter. Due to recent changes and scrutinizing of H1b applications these days, is there any risk involved NOT providing the Client letter? are there any changes of getting a decline?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Current trends in H-1B end client letters

    Video Transcript

    Since 2005 it has become very difficult to get H-1B approvals without clarification from an entrant if you are in a consulting position. Unless the end client can verify what your job is and how much control your employer doing the H-1 has over you, USCIS is not going to give you an H-1B approval. It has become very difficult to get H-1B's without the end client participation and sometimes it can be difficult even with a letter from the end client. It's really very sad that we have to do business in this way that our approvals depend upon the mood and the education level or knowledge level of the USCIS officer whose adjudicating the case. 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. Friday, 30...
    Question: 1. If I have my I-140 Approved and its been more than 180 Days after approval then I believe that even if I change the employer the I-140 does not gets revoked and it still stays valid. I can continue to extend my H1B with my old I-140. Is my understanding correct?<br> 2. If suppose I have applied for my H4 dependents EAD while I am in my first company and both of us are working. Now it's been 180 days after my I-140 got approved and I switch my employer. In this case does my dependents EAD get's affected in any way? <br> 3. Now assuming that answer to the first question is Yes, but I believe that in order to apply for GC my new employer has to file my PERM and I-140 again. If that happens will my dependents EAD gets affected in any way until the new I-140 gets approved?
    Answer:

    1. The essence of your understanding is correct. You are safe against revocation.
    2. No effect on H-4 EAD of H-1 change of jobs, as long as the H-1 holder maintains status.
    3. Again, no effect on H-4 EAD if your new green card is filed.

  11. Friday, 30...
    Question: I just had my interview with my family for an EB 3 application. Everything went well until the consul asked my years of working experience as a nurse. I only had a total of 21 months of working experience. Then she right away told me, "Oh I'm sorry, but your application is under EB 3 skilled worker since you are a nurse and you need to have 24months for you to qualify, I will have to send you to the releasing to give you further instruction." But having read all of these PERM law and provisions, why did the consul said that my case is for administrative review? Can somebody clear this up for me?
    Answer:

    EB-3, whether for nurses or any other worker, requires either 2 years of experience OR a bachelor's degree.

  12. Thursday,...
    Question: How long does the supplement J form take for approval? What happens if supplement J is denied? Can I work with the new employer without filing supplement J?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Changing jobs and Supplement J

    Video Transcript

    Supplement J is essentially a replacement for employment letters. See my blog for the rules. 

    The purpose of Supplement J is to confirm that the job offer from the employer and there is the intention of the employee to accept that job. It is also used to request portability. 

    .......When must you file Supplement J?

    When you are filing I-485 and I-140 separately. If you file them both together with the same employer, you don't need to file Supplement J. If you are filing them separately you file I-140 first and then you filed I-485 then you have to file Supplement J with it. 

    Second, when USCIS requests it, you got to provide it. So if you have a pending case, you've never given Supplement J and UCIS has asked for it, you got to give it. 

    Third, is when you do portability. When you change to a similar job you should file at that point Supplement J.  If you want to take benefit of portability you have to file it. But if you say I am going to be here for 3 months and then change jobs again you could skip Supplement J. 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.

  13. Tuesday, 27...
    Question: I got H-1B approval in August 2013 valid from Oct 2013 to Sept 2016. After this, I traveled to the US in August 2014 on H-1B & I am here till now. My question is, till what time I can stay in the USA. I know for H-1B we get 6 years. But will this count my earlier stay on L-1B? For more than 2 years, I didn't enter to the US. Will it be until August 2020 or ( August 2020 minus the L1B stay ) ?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Rules for counting 6 years of H-1B

    Video Transcript

    Any time that you spend on H-1 and L-1 will be counted together. So if you spend two years on L-1B or L-1A you've got four years left on H-1. The second rule is if you go outside the USA for one year the entire period is reset so you could have six years of H-1 back. If you were here on L-1A for seven years, then you went back to your home country stayed there for one year, did not come to the USA and even if you did come for a brief visit and then you have to be out those extra days you came, for example: if you came for 10 days you have to be out for ten days for the clock to be reset. You got your six years of H-1 reset. One thing L-1 is counted towards your H-1 and second thing, if you are outside for one year the period is reset. The next thing you need to know is every day you are outside the USA on H-1 you can recapture every day that you are outside. If you are outside the USA more than six months you get the entire year back. 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. Tuesday, 27...
    Question: What is RFE and audit of GC?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: RFE and Audit of GC

    Video Transcript:

    An RFE simply means a Request For Evidence, which is typically a request by the USCIS to get more information from you. It can come in any petition. RFE typically gives you 87 days to respond sometimes it gives you lesser days to respond. RFE, when it is sent by the consulate, is called administrative proceedings where they will give you a notice. When it is sent by the US Department of Labor it is called an Audit. An audit from the US Department of Labor is the same thing as RFE from the USCIS. It merely requests for more evidence. It doesn't mean the case is denied, it just means it needs to be clarified. 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. Friday, 23...
    Question: 1. I am Green card holder, can I sponsor my mom for dependent visa, she is in India?<br> 2. Is there any time limit for which extension to be provided?
    Answer:

    1. You have to be a US citizen to sponsor her Green card. For Green Card holders as I recall the only family other than the children and wife they can sponsor is unmarried adult children over 21 but unmarried you can apply for their Green Card. Once you become US citizen your possible beneficiaries can be larger including your parents. There is little-known provision that is sometimes used, use it if it's necessary when let say your parents they don't have anybody in India to take care of them. We have been able to extend their tourist visa in those cases, stay in tourist visa even though you are on Green card we can try to make an argument that there is nobody in India to take care of them. This provision is not very clear cut in cases of holders of Green Card but believe it or not if you are on non-immigrant visa like student or H-1 visa or O-1 or B-1 any of those visas or L-1, you actually have more rights to bring your parents here. The reason being that there are certain categories of visas where people are not directly dependent and you cannot sponsor them for derivative visas but government recognizes that we will give you an extension of tourist visas. So if you are here on H-1 and you wanted to bring your mother here because she is alone in India, you could actually do her because she can't get her H-4 being your mother, she can still get B-1 or B-2 which can be extended because she is recognized or covered under those situations. However, Green card holders they don't have same privilege but you can be able to get their extension sometimes. It's not the full proof method for me wait until you get naturalization. Once you are naturalized, your parents can be here within a year on a Green Card.

    2. I have done it repeatedly, every six months we have to do it, there are some people who are in 3rd, 4th or 5th year we are doing repeatedly for them. But it's not or no means it should be taken as given or guaranteed rule. 


  16. Friday, 23...
    Question: The visa bulletin refers to two tables, dates for filing applications and final action dates. The latest Bulletin, June 2017, for category F2A, has 15AUG15 specified for final action dates and 08APR16 for dates for filing applications.Assuming that the dates move at the same pace, we might see the dates for filing applications move to 08JUN16 in a couple of months from now. If this happens, will my husband be eligible to apply for the next step (consular processing) or have to wait for the final action dates to become current? When will he be eligible to take action on the next step?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: What are Visa Bulletin Final Action Dates and Date for Filing

    Video Transcript: 

    Visa Bulletin is an estimate. It is not mathematically accurate. It is an estimate based upon certain rules, statistical as well as legal which is an estimation by the State Department of what visa numbers they will be taking in the following month. In other words, it is the projection of the availability of visas in the month following the announcement of the visa bulletin. Let's say if your date is currently according to the visa bulletin which means either from your date forward or before your date, priority date cases are going to be dealt with in the following month you can then if you are in the USA in legal status apply for Adjustment of Status. If you are in the USA you need to look at the USCIS website and see what the final action date is according to them. Sometimes they might allow you to file as earlier than suggested by the visa bulletin. 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. Wednesday,...
    Question: What are the dos and don'ts to qualify for US Citizenship?
    Answer:

    Pay your taxes, don't default on your taxes, try not to get too many traffic tickets. If you get few that's OK, but if you get too many that can be ground for troubles. Don't get into any criminal plot, as you can lose your Green Card if you have a felony conviction. There are other things that can hurt your Green Card like DUI more than one or two of them then you can get into trouble. So, as long as you are like regular people I don't think there is anything to worry about.

  18. Wednesday,...
    Question: 1. I got my green card after that should I notify any US government agencies and Indian government regarding the change in status and having received my Green Card? <br> 2. Is there any restriction on my traveling outside the USA when I am on Green Card status?<br> 3. So what if I want to go to India for two months? <br> 4. What is N-470?<br> 5. Does any unemployment in the future affect Green card?
    Answer:

    1. There is no such requirement that I am aware of at this point today (June 2017) that you have to notify any US government agency or Indian government just because you received your Green Card. However, what you should do is you should inform your employer that you have got your Green Card so they can update your Form I-9 which is an internal matter within the files of the employer. They don't have to update any government agencies.

     

    2. Now, traveling has certain predicates or certain dependencies that should be calculated and that should be known. First of all, people have this idea that if I leave the USA for less than 6 months I won't lose my Green Card. Well, its little bit more complicated than that. Technically, if you leave the United States after you got the Green Card, you leave the United States with the intention to never come back even if you are gone for one day and the second day you change your mind and come back. If it could be proven that you left with the intention to never come back your Green Card is gone. So, the first thing very important - your intention. If you have to travel outside the USA where your intention is never to come back, your Green Card technically can be lifted.


    3. No problem at all, especially when your home is in the USA, you live here, you work here, your children go to school here taking vacations for a month, two months even three -four months is not the problem. So, some of these factors are important. Sometimes what happens is, let’s say you are in the USA and decide to go to India and take the job over there for two or three months and that goes up to seven or eight months you could be in trouble because the government can say that it looks like you quit your job here. The job is important, where your children are going to school is important, your permanent home is important. These are not issues for most of the people who live in the USA but I am just pointing out these so when a situation arrives I want you to consult a lawyer before you make a plan.

    An Intention is a state of mind, the state of mind cannot be directly looked at it can only be inferred from circumstances. So circumstantial evidence is important to prove your intention. For example, if you leave the USA with a one-way ticket and you don't come back for one year, chances are you lost your Green Card because if you are outside the USA for more than one year you will automatically lose your Green Card.

    There is something called Reentry permit which allows you to go up to two years and the reentry permit is a definitive announcement by the US Green Card holders that I do not intend to give up my Green Card. It is not the full proof for saving your Green Card but it is quite effective, if you need to go away for two years you can file for a reentry permit.  

    For reentry permit, you have to be in the United States to file for it. After you file it within a few weeks you will be scheduled for Biometrics. You have two choices whether you file and leave the USA, you have to be physically present when USCIS receives your application and then you can leave and come back for the Biometrics or you can stay here, do your Biometrics and then you go. The choices for receiving your reentry permit when it is approved are either to your lawyer or to the address in the United States or to the Consulate of your home country. If you go to live in Mumbai, you could pick up your reentry permit in Mumbai Consulate. 

    If you face a very bad emergency when you are in India, you can always apply for reinstatement of Green card which is called Returning Resident Permit or SB-1 Visa, that is done through the US Consulate. You go to the Consulate, explain to them in writing through the form. Everything has a Form, that shows that your stay was unintentional, they can take time and reinstate your Green Card for you. There is another Form you need to fill in, that's called Form N-470. 

     

    4. N-470 is a highly misunderstood Form. N-470 is helpful in naturalization only to the extent that normally, if you are gone for one year you have to start naturalization five years all over again. Normally, you can apply for Naturalization five years after you get your Green Card. If you need to stay away for one year you have to start your five years all over again. By filing N-470 you prevent that re-setting your five-year clock and there are very specific rule that covers N-470 including that there must be one year during which after getting the Green Card you must not have traveled outside the USA even for one day, this is one odd little rule but keep all these things in mind. So, N-470 is usually filed in conjunction with reentry permit application.

     

    5. No, of course not.

  19. Friday, 9...
    Question: Planning to change my employer. Priority Date: Sept 2014 (EB2). H1: on my 5th Year (Filed for an extension it is currently in process). My plan is to change my employer once my extension is approved but I have the following questions. I am 100% sure my employer is going to withdraw my I-140. How is my H1 transfer going to work?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Changing employers after I-140 approval; impact on H-1, green card, H-4 EAD, etc.

    Video Transcript

    First of all the moment, your I-140 is approved no matter which category EB-1 or EB-2, the Priority Date is yours to keep that means if you got your green card filed in let's say 2017 and you left this employer after the I-140 approval, they revoked your I-140 and you started another green card in 2020 your Priority Date will be still 2017 because your I-140 was approved. So the moment the I-140 was approved the Priority Date becomes your property and it can be carried across categories, across employers, and across geographical areas. So if you go from a PERM filing in New York to an employer in California and your previous filing was EB-3 next filing is EB2 or even EB-1 you can carry the date of the work petition as long as the I-140 was approved. The moment the I-140 is approved, the Priority Date is yours.

    There are limited exceptions unless the I-140 is revoked for fraud, etc., by the USCIS. Even if the employer revokes the I-140 you will keep your Priority Date. In addition to that, if the I-140 gets approved and stays approved for 180 days you will not only carry your Priority Date you will carry your right to extend your H-1 through any employer indefinitely. You will get a second benefit after 180 days and if the lawyer revokes the I-140 you will still get the benefit of both Priority Date and the right to extend your H-1 through any employer. The government has also said if you have an H-4 EAD for your spouse, your I-40 stayed approved for 180 days your wife's or your husband's H-4 EAD is safe even if the old employer revokes the I-140 later on as long as the I-140 stayed approved for 180 days. So if you left but the I-140 stayed approved for 180 days H-4 EAD is safe. That, in a nutshell, is the general law. 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, 6...
    Question: I am on H1 Visa, my H1, wife's H4 and H4 EAD expires on 7/18/2017. I will be completing my 6 years by 7/18/2017. My I-140 is approved. I have a question<br> 1. Should I file for H4 EAD extension along with my H1 and H4 extension<br> 2. Can my spouse (H4-EAD) work while her extension in progress?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Extending H-1/H-4EAD; working while extension pending

    Video Transcript

    1. Yes, you should. 

    2. No. Once the current H-4 expires and EAD expires and you are waiting for the new EAD to arrive she has to stop working. 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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