US Immigration Questions

  1. Friday, 10...
    Question: My wife is in F-1 visa status (cos from H-4) and I am on H-1B (I-140 approved). She needs to travel to Canada for an academic conference and she doesn't have stamping on her passport. Can we apply for visa stamping in Canada?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR) traveling to Canada

    Video Transcript:

    She can apply for visa stamping in Canada. She can just use the H-4, 1-94 and at the airport when they ask her to surrender the I-94 she can tell them that she will be using the same I-94 to come back. Keep a copy of the I-94. If they insist on the surrender you can show them a copy of the I-94. On your way back they should let you on your AVR. 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. Thursday, 9...
    Question: Changing their employer from Company A (Current Primary Employer) to Company B (Direct Client of Company A - which will be the new primary employer going forward) - Can the experience earned by the person (skill set as well as number of years) earned with Company A be used for satisfying the job requirements of PERM / I-140 petition filed by Company B - if the person was actually working for the direct client i.e. Company B - all the time while employed by Company A (Current Petitioning Employer for approved I-140) ?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Using for green card experience gained with end client

    Video Transcript:

    Normally you cannot use the experience gained by the end client if the end client applies for your GC. That is the normal rule. 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. Thursday, 9...
    Question: After getting GC (emp based):<br> 1. If an employee is working for an end client (employer - vendor - end client): while employed with GC sponsor, can a person be on bench (no pay) for some time? or like H-1B, it's considered as out of status, risk of GC revocation? <br> 2. Would like to travel to visit family abroad- At of POE, any questions by the officer ? Even though still employed, but not on a project at end client?<br> 3. While applying for citizenship later, if W2 < LC salary for any given year, negative impact during interview?<br> 4. Also, as a green card holder, can a person be self-employed(sole owner of LLC - and do 1099 contracting for US clients) ?<br> 5. In above scenario, is it legal if you(LLC) did not make any revenue in between contracts?<br> 6. Is it legal for GC holder to be unemployed, or like H-1B, if you are on bench or not getting paid by employer - you are out of status - hence risk of losing GC?<br>
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Legal rights/benefits of Green Card compared to H-1B

    Video Transcript:

    It is easier to define the rights of a GC holder in comparison to the rights of a U.S. citizen. You can pretty much do everything that the US citizen can do.

    1. Of course, a US citizen can be on bench. no risk of green card revocation there.
    2. Technically if you are gone for less than 6 months there shouldn't be too many questions.
    3. Once you get your GC approval whether you get paid ten times more or less is irrelevant. 
    4. You can be self-employed as a GC holder and you can do a 1099.
    5. That's not a problem at all.
    6. Yes, it is legal for a GC holder to be unemployed. 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 have an inquiry about the section that says:<br> Additionally, applicants graduating from an entry-level program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are exempt from the English language proficiency-testing requirement.<br> If this is true then the program I graduated from is CCNE accredited. Is this included in the USCIS law if yes so that I check with the CGFNS how to proceed because in the visa screen section they don't mention being graduate of an accredited school as an exempt?
    Answer:

    For VisaScreen --

    Applicants educated in specific countries where English is both the native language and the language of classroom and textbook instruction (see below) are exempt from having to take an English language proficiency examination. For you to be exempt, you must meet BOTH of the following criteria:

    1. your country of entry-level education was in United Kingdom (England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland), Australia, Canada (except for Quebec), New Zealand, Ireland or the United States, and

    2. the language of textbooks and verbal instruction of your education was English.

    Exemption is not automatic because you meet all the criteria, CGFNS/ICHP must review your educational documents to determine exemption. IF CGFNS/ICHP determines you are not exempt, you will receive a letter.

  5. Tuesday, 7...
    Question: My brother in law has got Green Card on November 2013 from Parents based. He will be getting engaged this year April 2017 in the USA with a girl who is Indian Citizen. She has B1/B2 visitor visa. So I have couple questions. If she comes to the USA and gets married here in the USA and my brother in law will fill petitioned for F2A category (on Green Card based) then will she face any issues in future while coming to the USA on B1/B2 visa?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Entering the USA on B-1/B-2 visa to get married

    Video Transcript

    It is a bad idea for a bunch of reasons. The better option would be where she can apply for an F-1 visa now, especially if she has been to the USA and gone back before. Her chances of getting an F-1 is good. If they have not been formally engaged then there is a question I think in the DS-160 during the student visa which asks: is your fiance is in the USA and I don't think if you are not engaged you can say yes to that question so I think she will be ok. Her chances of getting a student visa will be good because she has been to the USA before on a tourist visa. She must enter as a bona fide good faith student. She must want to go to school. After a semester or two, if they want to get married, I think that is ok. She can continue as a student while she waits out her GC category. That is the only smart scenario I see. 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, 3...
    Question: If new legislation proposed by Cotton and Purdue passes to remove the IR5 category (parents of USC), what happens to change of status (I-130/I-485) petitions in progress?
    Answer:

    Watch the video on this FAQ: Can pending immigration applications be affected by changes in the law?

    Video Transcript:

    Pending immigration applications will not be affected by changes in the law. Some of these things cannot be changed by executive order they can only be changed by Congress. The idea is you cannot change the rules of the game for those who are already in the game you can change them for people in the future. That's all the more reason for anybody who has not filed their green card or anybody who is waiting to file any application, including naturalization go ahead and file them all as soon as possible, but don't get worried about pending applications they should go through under the old laws. 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. Thursday, 2...
    Question: 1) Is it true H-4 EAD rule will be revoked by the government? <br> 2) My H-1B visa is going to expire in 14-Jan-2018 and if my employer submits my PERM application in the month of June (i.e. before 6 months of my current 6 years of H-1B visa duration).<br> a) If my PERM is not approved before my current H-1B visa expires. Can I change to H-4 EAD at that time?<br> b) If my PERM approved after change to H-4 EAD, Can I change back to H-1B?<br> c) Is it possible to convert from H-1 to H-4 EAD without taking a break in employment?<br> d) If my PERM gets approved after my current H-1B expires can my employer file for H-1B extension?<br> 3) I would like to move to H-4 EAD but I would like to come back to H-1B anytime in future, in that situation what is the best status for H-1B?<br> 4) If I apply for new H-1B is it comes under H-1 quota (After 6 years completes.)?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: Will H-4 EAD Rule be revoked?

    Video Transcript:

    1. I don't think it will be revoked.

    2a. Yes, you can if your spouse's I-140 is approved or she is in the 7th year of her extension.

    2b. Yes, you can change back to H-1B.

    2c. I cannot predict this question as it is a question of logistics. 

    2d. Most definitely.

    3. You can be in any status. If your right to activate or H-1B comes mature you can jump back to H-1B without any problem. 

    4. It does not.

    More...

  8. Thursday, 2...
    Question: I am a physician currently in H-1B undergoing 3 years of J-1 waiver program which is set to be completed on July end of this year. My husband got his greencard through E-B2 category (rest of the world) in early 2013 When I was still in J-1. My name was included in I-140 but could not file I-485 due to my J-1 visa. I have been married since 2006 and came to the US initially on H-4 visa before getting residency in J-1 visa. Is there a possibility of filing my I-485 directly without waiting for the long I-130 approval process? Or is there any exceptions for a situation like mine such that spouse happened to be in J1 and could not apply for a change of status at the time primary applicant applied for I-485?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: J-1 Physician applying for following to join after waiver

    Video Transcript:

    Yes, if you are in the USA in legal status and his priority date through which he got his green card is still current you should be able to file your I-485 directly. 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: My I-140 (EB2) approved. Priority Date: 1st July 2009. Wife on H4 EAD. H1B expires in October 2018. H1B and EB2(GC) were filed for "software engineer" position. I got an offer from a different employer, they are offering me "Director of Dev. services". Q1. According to Feb bulletin, final EB2 application date is 15 April 2008. Knowing that dates are so close, I am not sure whether to switch to the new employer and start GC fresh OR stick to the existing employer as dates are close.Q2. If I move to a new employer and take "Director" position, Will this impact my H1B and Green Card, as the roles and responsibilities are different between "Software Engineer" and "Director of Dev. Services"? Does the new employer needs to start fresh GC process for "Director" position?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: Job promotions during AC21 portability of green card

    Video Transcript:

    If you have not filed your I-485 you have to start your green card all over again. You can get an H-1B for any professional job and getting an H-1B for a director position should not be a problem. When you have to start the green card all over again and you are just taking the priority date forward your jobs can be completely different they don't even have to be same or similar. More...

     

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

  10. Tuesday, 28...
    Question: I have an approved I-140 with priority date 2013 from employer A and my employer A is withdrawing it. I am going to apply I-140 with employer B now in regular processing and also porting the date. I will complete my 6 years of H-1 end of the year. Will I still be eligible for 3 years of H-1 extension with my approved I-140 from employer A?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this view FAQ: The new regulations, withdrawal of I-140, H-1 extensions

    Video Transcript:

    The moment your I-140 is approved the date is yours, the moment it stays unrevoked for 180 days your right to extend your H-1 with any employer remains safe even if the 1-I40 is revoked. But the caution that I was pointing out to be is sometimes USCIS can go back and revoke an already approved I-140. But they have raised the bar on that too. They will not be able to take away your rights merely because they made an error. The error has to be something I call error plus, basically which means there were some certain facts that were not in evidence when they approved 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.

  11. Tuesday, 28...
    Question: I have approved 140, Green card EAD/AP card in EB2 from company-A and passed more that 180 days. I have maintained H-1B status since last 9 years instead of using EAD/AP as the need to go India for marriage so my future wife gets H-4 easily. Just transferred my H-1B to company-B. Company-A will revoke my I-140 in March 2017 due to company policy. I have following questions to ask you.<br> 1. Shall I get H-1B extension (beyond 6 yr) in future with company-B after I-140 revoke from my previous employer?<br> 2. I have EAD/AP card from my previous employer. Is it required to start GC process like labor and I-140 application again with company-B if my previous employer revokes my I-140?
    Answer:

    You can continue to extend your H-1 even after I-140 is revoked by the employer, IF, the revocation was sent more than 180 days after I-140 approval.

    Under AC21, you do not have to start a new green card if:

    1. Your I-140 is approved;

    2. Your I-485 has been pending for 180 days or more;

    3. You will take an employment same as or similar to your green card job; and

    4. You file Supplement J.

  12. Monday, 27...
    Question: I am on H-1B visa and my 9th year H-1B approval will expire on 09/01/2017. This approval is when I was working at client A and from 09/19/2016 , I am working at client B but my employer checked with Lawyer and she is saying no need to file amendment as it is in same MSA. Is that ok? and my wife she on H-4 with EAD she wants to travel to india and She has to go for stamping so since my H-1B amendment is not filed do you see any issues for her H-4 stamping ? Is it safe to travel ?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: When is an H-1B amendment required?

    Video Transcript:

    USCIS has given us a relatively an incomplete memorandum that currently says this: if an employee relocates within the same geographical area,  which is a normal commuting distance of an approved location they do not have to file a H-1B amendment. This is not a complete story. The memorandum is misleading and we have been advising our clients to work according to my suggestions and not depend on the memorandum. 

    First of all, even if you go by the language of the memorandum, remember USCIS and the Department of Labor have different regulations so just because the memo talks about the USCIS regulations does not mean you have complied with the Department of Labor regulations for change of job locations. Department of Labor says, any new location even if it is in the same building you must post the LCA notice there, at the very least. So even if you are moving within the same area LCA notice should be posted.

    The second way this memorandum is misleading is: what if I change jobs next door, but my job description changes completely? You will have to file H-1B amendment even though it is the same neighborhood.

    What if my client changes and what if my project changes. I think in all those situations, the conservative thing to do is to file an H-1B amendment. 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. Friday, 24...
    Question: I am on H1-B and my H1-B is validating till 2019 and priority date is 2014 and I recently changed my job. I-94 is expired in 2014. Due to new trump gov. Do you think that it will very risky to go to India and do stamping ? do you find people are facing issues in stamping? What should we do if we go for stamping and face the problem? What precautions should we take? Should we go for stamping or not
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Should I travel outside the USA/H-1B visa stamping

    Video Transcript:

    If you are not on those list of seven countries, people are traveling and coming back. Overall, I think H-1B visa stamping was always complicated, especially when you work at the client's site instead of in-house so that is not becoming any easier. When you reenter the USA, the government does look at your paperwork. If you are approved to work in San Francisco and you are working in Akron, Ohio they are not going to let you enter. That was always the case. That law hasn't changed. Going to India will be risky. As a precautionary measure make sure your paperwork is reviewed by your lawyer. Make sure all the H-1 required conditions are being adequately met and you are not violating any conditions. But if the traveling is merely discretionary or optional then don't travel. Getting H-1 visa stamps was always a hassle and it certainly hasn't got any easier. More...

  14. Thursday,...
    Question: How do we keep up with the rumors and changes in the laws? My I-140 is approved in 2013 and priority date is on 2013. Do you have any inside on country quota elimination bill?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: How do we keep up with the rumors and changes in the laws

    Video Transcript:

    I can speak only for myself and you can follow my twitter account and all our social media accounts on immigration.com.  If there is a rumor going on and you are not sure, you can send me a Twitter message or a message through LinkedIn. 

    Don't wait for any bills to pass because there is no guarantee that any bill would be passed. Bills take a long time and I personally feel that under the current rules if you change before I-485 filing you have to start the green card all over again. But if your I-140 was approved for 180 days you keep your priority date as well as your right to extend your H-1 through any employer even past six years. More...

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

  15. Thursday,...
    Question: My H-1B visa is going to expire in 01-Jan-2018 and if my employer submits my PERM application in the month of June (i.e. before 6 months of my current 6 years of H-1B visa duration).<br> 1) If my PERM gets approved before my current H-1B visa expires (i.e. before 01-Jan-2018).<br> Would I be eligible for a H1B extension for 1 year since my PERM was approved before the current H-1B expiration?<br> 2) If my PERM gets approved after my current H-1B expires can my employer file for H1B extension of 1 year since my PERM is approved now.<br> 3) If my PERM is not approved before my current H-1B visa expires.<br> Would I need to go back to India?<br> 4) I spent about 2 months (on vacation) in India. Can these 2 months be added back to my current H-1B visa? or this can only be added if my current employer files for my green card?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: Extension of H-1 beyond six years, gap, in H-1, late in filing PERM, etc.


    Video Transcript:

    Under the current rules, there are two ways you can get H-1 extension beyond six years: one is based upon the time you're green card has been going on and the other one is based upon the stage you are at and we don't care what time the green card was started. Time-based and stage based. Time-based works like this. The day of the first anniversary of your perm filing is reached you are entitled to a one-year extension of your H-1 on a year to year basis. Stage-based green card, the day your I-140 is approved, you are entitled to three-year extensions. So those are the only two ways.  

    What if you are late? What if you have only eight months left on your H-1 when your PERM is filed? 

    Well, if there is a four-month gap or a two or three-month gap you would either have to convert to another status or leave the USA and then you come when you're one year time is matured or stage based green card is activated because you're I-140 is approved.

    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: I am a US citizen and would like to sponsor my brother for Permanent Residency. How long would it take for him to get Green card.If I file green card for him, does his family (His wife and kids) automatically get green card or should I file for each of them? I think I should for all. Just a question? He gets a EAD (so he can start working) when I file Green Card?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: US Citizen applying for green card for brother or sister

    Video Transcript:

    It takes about thirteen to fourteen years. Children who are below the age of 21 and spouse will automatically get a green card. There is no need to apply for them separately, but there is something called CSPA (Child Status Protection Act) which allows you to deduct the number of days the I-130 was pending from the age of the child. So as a general rule that might be something to keep in mind. There will be no EAD's until their dates are current and that takes thirteen to fourteen years and they cannot stay in the USA. You can have a green card pending as through many categories as you like but you cannot expedite a green card just because you have multiple green cads pending. So there is no advantage to it but you can have multiple green cards going. 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. Thursday,...
    Question: I am in I-485 pending status based on EB2 and have been working on EAD since 2012. Under the new rules effective January 2017, I understand that I can file for EAD extension 180 days prior to expiration. Will EAD be considered extended automatically if the approval doesn't come before the expiration of my current EAD?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: Automatic EAD extension; I-485 EAD

    Video Transcript:

    If you have a EAD based upon a I-485 approval and if you timely file, you can continue working for up to 180 days even after the current EAD expires. Also, USCIS has indicated that they will allow us to file EAD's 180 days before the expiration of your current EAD. So there are two 180 day periods - one 180 day period is you can apply that early and the second EAD period is it gets automatically extended if timely filed. More...

     


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

  18. Thursday,...
    Question: I am a permanent resident, a citizen of Poland. I want to study medicine in Poland. The program lasts 6 years. I don't want to abandon my status and want to understand if such long-term abroad is possible. If I am not mistaken GC holder can be away 6month-1 year. But, since I'll be out of US on regular basis, so it's best to apply for a reentry permit?
    Answer:

    Watch Video on this FAQ: How can a US green card holder study abroad without losing their green card?

    Video Transcript:

    I can only guess that in a situation like this since there is a specific reason why you are leaving the USA, reentry permit is not a guarantee of being able to keep your green card, but the reentry permit is your definition that I want to keep my green card though I am going away for a long period of time and I want to come back. More...

  19. Thursday, 5...
    Question: I heard your community conference call for 1st December, you mentioned that even though the approved I-140 is withdrawn by a previous employer after 180 days of approval we should still eligible for H1 extensions with a new employer. My question here: is it required that new employer need to file labor and I-140 in order to apply for extensions or can I just keep on applying for H1B extensions based on my first I-140 approval?
    Answer:

    You can keep applying for H-1B extensions based upon a valid I-140 approval from an old employer. The new employer does not have to file. But if you want to get a green card, some employer will have to restart the process.

  20. Tuesday, 3...
    Question: If I may verify the processing times involved in NIW. Since it falls under EB2 category, I am assuming it may be a long time before I can get my EAD card and be able to change employers. Also, I want to confirm if there could be issues if I change employers during the process - If so, I'd prefer to change my current employer before starting with it.
    Answer:

    You can change employers any time if you are a self-applicant and will continue to work in your stated area of national interest.  But NIW priority date will take the same time as a normal EB-2 application does.  See: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin under employment-based category 2.

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