US Immigration Questions

  1. Wednesday,...
    Question: 1. Am I allowed to travel to the USA as a B-1 business visitor? How many times in a year and for how long can I stay in the US for my business trip?<br> 2. What kind of paperwork would I be asked to show at the port of entry?<br> 3. B-1/B-2 visa stamp is valid until 2026; Do I need to renew it every time before travelling to the US by going to the US consulate or any other office?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Doing business in the USA on a B-1/B-2 visa


    Video Transcript

    1. B-1/B-2 are mixed used visas. You can do pretty much everything on these visas. <br>

    2. They can ask you why you are in the USA. Remember, just because you have a visa does not mean that your entry into the USA is guaranteed. The government would still want to know why you are in the US.<br>

    3. You do not have to renew your visa. It is good till 2026. 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. Tuesday, 4...
    Question: 1. Had H-1B petition approved in 2015 through consular processing while residing outside the USA? But did not get stamped for H-1 but came to the USA on H4 visa. Currently working as an employee on H-4-EAD. Can I change my status to H-1B from H-4, If Yes - Will it be treated outside H-1B Cap?<br> 2. Do I have to leave the country and get stamped and re-enter with H-1B status?<br> 3. Will I get a new I-94 with latest 1 yr or 3 yrs approval? <br> 4. How many days will the process take to change status?<br> 5. Can I continue working while the COS is in progress or pending with USICS as I would like to continue working without a break? Also, do I have to go back to the same petitioner who applied for H-1B visa or can I transfer it to a different employer?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-4 EAD changing back to H-1

    Video Transcript

    1. That's uncertain. If you are outside the USA and you got your H-1B but you didn't get it stamped, will consider you still subject to the quota. I personally think if they say you can't get an exemption from the quota and you got to get a visa stamping there is really no support in law for that viewpoint. So you can try that's all I can tell you.

    2. You don't have to leave USA to get H-1B status if you are maintaining H-4 status.

    3. If you got three years remaining on your H-1 or more you will get a three-year H-1 and if the project is for 3 years.

    4. Many months.

    5. If your EAD is valid until your H-4 is changed to H-1 you can continue working. Once you are exempt from the quota you don't have to go back to the same employer. 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. Tuesday, 4...
    Question: 1. With my approved I-140 from Company B can Company C use that to file my extension for 3 years. I have a copy of approved I-140. Is it safe to change companies in the 6th year. <br> 2. Using the approved I-140, I have filed H4-EAD for my spouse in Feb 2017 and is yet to receive the EAD approval. If I get it will be only valid till Nov 2017 based on current I-797 validity. So, if H1-B is approved for Company C, can I file extension of H4-EAD 120 days before validity based on that approval. If EAD is provided, it is going to expire on Nov 2017 based on the H1-B's current I-797.<br>
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Changing employers after 6 years of H-1 are over

    Video Transcript

    1.Yes you can file for an extension. That's all you need a copy of the approved I-140. It is safe to change companies. The law is once your I-140 is approved and stays approved for 180 days, even if your old employer revokes your I-140 you have the right to keep extending your H-1 through any employer.

    2. I think you can apply 180 days. The new regulations allow you to file for EAD extension 180 days ahead of time. Have it double checked. It is not a guaranteed right but USCIS has said that they will accept that unless they post it differently on their website. So always double check the information. 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. Friday, 31...
    Question: 1. Is there any legal restriction to have two H-1B petitions from totally unrelated employers in the lottery to double my chances of getting H-1B?<br> 2. I do not intend to inform both the companies. Will they ever know that another company has also filed H1B on my behalf?<br> 3. What will happen in case both my H-1B petitions are approved (chances are rare). Can I join any company? <br> 4. I also want to ask, is there any possibility USCIS can trigger RFE or NOID in case both H-1B petitions get approved?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Filing two quota H-1 petitions simultaneously through different companies


    Video Transcript

    1. You can file two H-1B petitions simultaneously. When you are filling a quota H-1 more than one company can file, but the company shouldn't be related to each other. If the company is related you have the risk of being denied both applications. But if they are totally different companies you can have as many as three thousand H-1's filed and nobody cares.

    2. Look at form I-129 and the supplement H. For sure the first company who has filed would not know and I don't think so any of the companies would find out about the other company. It depends entirely on the language of the questions on form I-129 and supplement H. You can double check this. They don't require to disclose pending filings only approved cases.

    3. If both H-1B's are approved, you can join any company. One company's approval does not overrule the others. The only thing I would say is to be careful if you have signed some kind of a reimbursement agreement that you will reimburse them X dollars for liquidated damages if you don't join. You might have a legal issue from the contract side, but from the immigration side, I don't see a problem.

    4. I don't think so unless they want to check if the companies are related that could certainly be a possibility. That's one way they could find out. 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. Thursday,...
    Question: 1. Does the new 60 day grace period for H-1Bs apply to one after quitting their job ? Or is it only applied to situations only in the cases where the employer terminates the job?<br> 2. I am on H-1B and plan to quit my job and move back to India, I would need 3-4 weeks to wrap up things here after quitting the job. I am trying to see if I can use this 60 day grace period.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Does the H-1 60 days grace period apply when one quits a job?

    Video Transcript

    1. According to the regulations what my best guess is it was reserved for those circumstances where you had no choice but to be out of status, but if you quit voluntarily I don't think you can claim the 60 day grace period.

    2. Apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa, change of status before you quit your current job. It takes them 4-5 months just to decide on that application and as long as that application is pending you are not illegal in the United States as you are in an authorized period of stay. Carry a copy of that application and the receipt always to make sure if ever that question comes up about your stay. More...


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

  6. Wednesday,...
    Question: I have worked for a company A and my I-140 was approved with PD of 2013. I worked another 7 months in the same company after I-140 approval and then moved to a new company with a similar profile. As far as I know, my I-140 has not been revoked. The new company B has also started Perm processing to get I-140 approved. I am working in Company B for almost a year now, and I would like to go back to my previous employer A. Can I rejoin Company A and pick up I-140 from there without restarting another PERM filing? Company A would like to take me back? Do I have to start the process all over again?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video FAQ: Can I go back and join an employer who has my I-140 approval, but I left them

    Video Transcript

    Yes, you can go back to your old employer, but again as long as the job was continuing to exist you can go back to the I-140 employer and you can pick it up from the I-140 process itself. More...

     

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

  7. Tuesday, 28...
    Question: Working for the same company for 9+ years (7 yrs in the USA and since last 2 years in India Development Center for the same company). I received my GC in June 2016 and have got the physical cards delivered to me in India. Lost my father in Nov 2016. More than 9 months passed since GC - never traveled on GC so far or worked for the Sponsoring employer even for 1 day in the USA. I want to work and live in the US but for immediate time (next 1 to 2 years) I need to spend more time in India to console and support my grieving mother. My current company does not have any immediate work for me in the US. I am looking for options outside my company to come back to the USA. I am also considering an opportunity local in India.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: What if I never joined the employer who sponsored me for green card?



    Video Transcript

    I believe your circumstances are so unique I think what you could do is at least come to the United States as early as you can and take up that job even if it is for a few pay periods with the intention to stay in the United States as much as possible. You can also bring your mother on a tourist visa and keep extending that as well. At the very least you should come to the United States present yourself for work, whether you do it through an email or whatever method and if the company says they don't have a job right now at least you have some hook to the argument that you had presented yourself and they didn't have a job for you. I think you will be able to keep your green card safe eventually is my guess.

     

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

  8. Tuesday, 28...
    Question: We are on H (H-1B and H-4). For I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, can a printout from the web sufficient? We have US driver's licence, which we carry all the time. Do we need to carry original I-797A all the time?
    Answer:

    You must carry the I-94 printout at all times. A photo ID is also important. The evidence of status COULD be in the forms of copies, I think. It is not required, but I recommend you do carry it.

    For more on this issue watch this video.

     

  9. Friday, 24...
    Question: My I-140 got approved in Oct 2016, after this rule is passed do I have to wait for 180 days after Jan 17 or will it be applied from Oct 2016 itself?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: "Retroactive" effect of the new regulations; would H-4 EAD remain valid if I-140 is withdrawn

    Video Transcript

    I think if you have arrived at 180 days mark on or after January 17th, you should be covered by the regulations. 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. Thursday,...
    Question: 1. My husband and I are planning to apply for citizenship and had Green Card for the 9 years. We are planning to travel to India for approx. 3 weeks in spring (March 2017)?<br> 2. Can I travel after filling application for citizenship?<br> 3. Should I plan that after biometrics or can be before that as well? <br> 4. The Green Card expires Nov. 2017?<br> 5. Also, is employment necessary or helpful when applying?<br> 6. Do we have to reside in USA 3 months at a stretch?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Traveling after applying for naturalization/citizenship pending


    Video Transcript:

    1. That's not a problem.

    2. Sure.

    3. As long as you appear for biometrics or request that biometrics has been scheduled, I don't see any problem. 

    4. I don't think that matters either.

    5. No, it is not needed, as long as your taxes are paid up I don't see any problem.

    6. I don't think three weeks absence is going to cause a problem in the domicile requirement. But if you want to be overly cautious, you can come back and stay extra three weeks before you apply. 

    More...

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

  11. Tuesday, 21...
    Question: I have approved I-140 from 2010. I read that if I apply for I-140 EAD (due to compelling circumstances ) it will revoke my H1B status and then I would not be able to adjust the status through I-485 without going outside the country and getting back on H1 which is extremely risky. The other option is Consular Processing which is also waiting outside US. Is that right? What status would a person be in US if on I-140 EAD due to a compelling circumstance? Is there a way to switch to H-1B so as to continue with Green Card through Adjustment of Status ( with same priority date) while within US?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Compelling circumstances EAD

    Video Transcript

    If you use a compelling circumstance EAD you are in authorized period of stay. If you want to file I-485 or want to convert back to H-1B you got to go outside the USA and come back on a H-1B visa. There is no way around that. More...

     

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

  12. Monday, 20...
    Question: I am working on H-1B. The job will end in a few weeks. What are the implications of the "60 day grace period" rule that has been created recently?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: How does H-1 60 day grace period work?

    Video Transcript:

    The 60 day grace period is available to you for each H-1 episode whether it is an extension, amendment or a transfer. When they proposed the regulation, it was supposed to be one time 60 day grace period, but then government relented and made it available for each H-1 incident.

    For some extraordinary reasons like, you got laid off without any notice and you found a job in the next 40-45 days you can apply for a transfer. You cannot start working until you have applied for the transfer, using the AC21 you can start working until the decision is made and if the decision is made and they give you concession then you can get your H-1 within USA.

    Hence the 60 day period is available for each episode of H-1, two it is not automatic, you have to ask for it and three you can start working once you apply for the 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.

  13. Monday, 20...
    Question: 1. For a resident who is completing residency on Jun 30 on cap-exempt H-1B visa and has a job offer from a hospital that is cap-exempt because it is non-profit and has affiliation with a medical school for training, can the employer be requested to first apply for a cap-subject H-1B visa on April 1? <br> 2. If the lottery does not come through, can hospital apply subsequently for cap-exempt? Are there any risks with this approach?<br> 3. Is a start date of July 1 possible with cap-subject?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Physician FMG applying for Cap H-1 through a cap exempt employer

    Video Transcript:

    1. My guess is they can. You can also have the employers' lawyers look into it or your lawyers look into it including making a phone call to the USCIS. Document what they have to say and if they say yes, then there is no problem, but if they say no it can be followed up further.

    2. They can, later on, do a cap exemption. If you don't go through the lottery their right to do a cap exempt is already there.

    3. No, it is October.

    More...

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

  14. Friday, 17...
    Question: My EB2 priority date is June 2009. I filed for my I 485 in 2012 and since 2013 I have EAD and have been maintaining H1b status. In 2014 I changed my job from the original employer who started my GC process (with whom I have I 140). I sent AC21 when in 2016 I got the standard RFE to produce medical records and employment proof (since then the priority date had retrogressed again), and also have H-1B with my new employer. I have not started the new GC file with a new employer. Should I file supplement J now, proactively, or should I wait for another RFE from USCIS when my priority date becomes current in the future, to file for supplement J?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: AC21, changing jobs and when to file Supplement J

    Video Transcript:

    There is a graph on this about when you must file Supplement J on our web site and what happens after you file. 

    As for your question, the answer is No. You will have to file Supplement J when the case is still pending, it's optional if you want to file you can but if you change employers next time and if there is an RFE you must file a 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.

  15. Thursday,...
    Question: My I-140 approved (India/EB2) from Employer A in June 2015, I joined Employer B in Oct 2016. Employer A sent revocation of my I-140, on USCIS website today is showing below status: "On December 7, 2016, we received your correspondence for Form I-140 ..." Will I still be eligible for 3 years of multiple H-1 extension with my approved I-140 from employer A without filing new I-140?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Impact of the new I-140 regulations

    Video Transcript:

    Your revocation of the I-140 is occurring from December 7 which is before January 17 where you would have been protected. I am worried that in your case if there was a revocation you will not be allowed for multiple H-1 extensions based upon an I-140 that has been revoked. If the revocation was from January 17 onwards you would be fine, but if it is before January 17 you will no longer have the right to keep getting H-1 extensions if the employer revokes your I-140. That was the old 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.

  16. Thursday,...
    Question: My elder son born in India and now he is 10 years old. We came to the US in 2009. My visa status is H-1B and GC is in progress. My son is a bleeding disorder patient(like hemophilia). The medicine available only in the US. Does my son's medical problem make any issue while applying 485/EAD or at the time of GC issue?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Medical problems/diseases that can cause issues in green card

    Video Transcript:

    It is not an issue for Green Card. 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: I am working for same company for more than 9 years out of which 2007 to Aug 2014 in the US and since Aug 2014 in India Development Center for the same company. I have visited the US frequently (4 times) between Aug 2014 to Sep 2015 and in India since then (through Advance Parole). I received my GC on 6/26/2016 and have got the physical cards delivered to me in India by a friend traveling from the USA. My father was sick for last one year and passed away on 15th Nov 2016. I have EAD card with validity till 12/10/17 (Not Valid for reentry to the US). My Advance Parole has expired on Dec 29, 2016. Also, 6 months timeframe for GC entry to the US has expired on 12/26/2016. <br> I want to work and live in the US but for immediate time (next 1 to 2 years) I need to spend more time in India to console and support my grieving mother. My current company does not have any immediate work for me in the US. I am looking for options outside my company to come back to the USA.<br> 1. Can I directly join some other company in the USA using the same GC my company has filed for me? If yes, are there any legal formalities/paperwork involved to do that?<br> 2. I have already filed for Advance Parole twice between 2014 and 2016. Once I am in the USA, can I file for a Re-entry permit to get a leave for another 2 years outside the USA to support my mother while she is going through recent grief? <br> 3. How long does the process for Reentry permit application take? Do I need to stay in the US till the time application is approved or can I leave for India once application is filed and bio-metric is done?<br> 4. On a side note - I have no earnings in the US for the year 2016 but I must file the taxes as a GC holder (and also to maintain my ties with the US). Do you have references for any good CA who can help me with this?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: Joining a company other than green card sponsor; staying abroad after green card - reentry permit

    Video Transcript:

    You have to take the green card job to make yourself safe. If you come to the USA and you take the green card job intending to work for this company in the USA on an indefinite basis and with the consent of the company you can apply for a reentry permit. A reentry permit is not a guarantee, but it is a formal declaration by you that says that you are going to live outside the USA for up to two years and not to take your green card away.

    A1. I think it is a little risky.

    A2. Not from outside USA. You will have to come into the USA.

    A3. After you file for your biometrics, it takes about 6-8 weeks to get it done and then you can leave and the reentry permit can be picked up even at your lawyer's office or at any USA address that you have given or at the consulate in your home country.

    A4. For green card holders, you can never file taxes as a non-resident. The best thing is because you are living in India we have some kind of a taxation relief treaty with India so that you don't have to pay taxes twice. More...

     
    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.
  18. Tuesday, 14...
    Question: If Trump administration tries to revoke H-4 EAD through rulemaking /congressional Act, is there some way for the H-4 community to fight for it in the court to retain the H-4 EAD? What are the least possible ways to fight for it?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Revoke H-4 EAD regulation



    Video Transcript:

    The reason H-4 EAD regulations have come under a cloud is because there is a lawsuit pending. This all started about two years ago when an organization called Save Jobs USA sued USCIS for the regulations that created H-4 EAD and the basis was that these regulations were beyond the authority of the USCIS and they were hurting US workers. 

    The major issue right now is, does Save Jobs USA have the right to file this lawsuit. If they win then this case goes back to the District Court. H-4 EAD regulations should not go away very quickly. One of the dangerous thing is that Save Jobs USA as a part of their appeal has asked the court to not only rule that they have standing to sue but also to rule that the Department of Homeland Security does not have the power to issue these regulations. I don't think the court of appeals is going to entertain that.

    Rajiv in this video explains, discusses and answers questions on this issue.


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

  19. Tuesday, 14...
    Question: I am currently working as a research fellow on F-1 OPT and my employer is considering filing for EB-1. My question is, can the transition be done from F-1 OPT to EB-1 and in case my application does not go through can I come back to renew my F-1 status to continue a Ph.D. in the future?
    Answer:

    There is nothing in law that stops an F-1 student from directly filing for a green card. But, exhibiting immigrant intent while on an F-1 visa can raise some issues that should be discussed and planned for with your lawyers.

  20. Tuesday, 14...
    Question: I have an approved I-140. My priority date is April 2011. Can I file for EAD on the basis of approved I-140?
    Answer:

    No. The only EAD possible is a compelling circumstances EAD. This would not be a routine EAD. See the graphic on my blog.

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