US Immigration Questions

  1. Thursday,...
    Question: I have valid H1B stamp till 2010 sept from employer A. Just after coming into US, transferred to employer B. My transfer is approved and got the I797 approval notice, which is valid until Sep 2010. Now I am planning to go India. Can I re enter US using my previous employer's Visa stamp and the new I797 or do I need to get visa stamped again? Is it true that if the previous employer has cancelled the visa, it would be a problem and the visa has to be re-stamped. It would be great if this can be clarified?
    Answer:

    An H-1 visa does NOT need to be stamped during its life even if you change employers. You can use the same visa to travel as long as you have never been out of status.

  2. Thursday,...
    Question: I was just wondering what the laws say about an F-1 student working for the company that he co-founded when he's on OPT. Suppose that I start up a new business while I'm still a full time student, I can't draw a salary from it but I maintain ownership, in part or whole. When I'm done with school, and approved for my OPT, can I work at my company and draw a salary from it then?
    Answer:

    As far as I know, theoretically, you could be working for yourself on OPT as long as your work is related to your area of study. I think I read that in one of the FAQ issued by USCIS. But you will not be able to continue doing that on H-1.

  3. Thursday,...
    Question: It seems that to qualify for an L1-A Visa, one has to be employed overseas by the same employer for a year on a full time basis. How would you define "full time"? Does a work schedule of 4 days a week qualify?
    Answer:

    Generally speaking, 35 hours each week can be argued to be full time.

  4. Thursday,...
    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.

  5. Thursday,...
    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.

  6. Thursday,...
    Question: I was denied a visa this morning under 214(b) in Kuwait. I have been working in Kuwait for a year (I am an expatriate), and have an offer of employment upon return from my studies. I just received a letter to that effect (after the denial). This is my second denial. Would the letter be sufficient as additional evidence for reapplication? I also have a bank account containing about $3000 which I plan to keep for when I return (apart from my sponsor's account).
    Answer:

    214(b) denial is based upon a suspicion that you have no intention of returning to your home country. This ground is almost impossible to overcome when you are an expatriate, but you can try. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I doubt this will work.

  7. Thursday,...
    Question: I am on OPT F-1 Status after my second degree. I need to know what other parts of US outland I can visit besides Hawaii without having any immigration problems?
    Answer:

    Normally, travel to "contiguous territories" (like Canada and Mexico) does not require a visa when the trip is less than 30 days AND you do not happen to be a national of one of the eight countries that US govt. looks upon with some suspicion. But there can be immigration problems. Trip to any one of the 50 states presents no special issue.

  8. Wednesday,...
    Question: I was laid off by my last employer in early May. Now I have a question regarding answering for the potential I-485 RFE requesting for employment verification letter. I was told that a future similar position will be enough for satisfying the I-485 employment letter request. Is that true? Can you confirm on that?
    Answer:

    That is correct for AC21 portability. But USCIS can ask why you are not working for that employer right now. If you have a good, truthful answer for that question, you should be fine.

  9. Wednesday,...
    Question: My company filed an EB1 in 2005 for me; my wife was part of the same filing. I received my Green Card in April 06 but my wife’s application is still pending. We contact the USCIS every 6 month and each time they send a standard letter telling us to check back in 6 months. Actually, one time the letter said check back in 3 months but the last letter went back to the normal 6 months. She went for fingerprinting in 2006 and 2007 but we have not received any requests since then. Is there anything that we can do?
    Answer:

    Contact your Congressman. See the suggestions on this page: http://www.immigration.com/issues-relating-delays-various-immigration-ma...

  10. Tuesday, 13...
    Question: Iam an FPGEC certified Indian pharmacist, I wanted to know what category does pharmacist green card come under ,am I eligible for EB1?
    Answer:

    Pharmacists, like all professionals can potentially come under any of the three -- EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 category depending upon their qualifications and the jobs they do. So read carefully information about all the categories.

  11. Tuesday, 13...
    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.

  12. Tuesday, 13...
    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.

  13. Tuesday, 13...
    Question: What is the effect of unpaid leave for sick time or maternity leave on H1B status? I had to take about 3 months of unpaid leave and back to work for about two months now. I will have to file extension of stay H1B end of the year and want to know if it effects the extension of stay approval.
    Answer:

    As long as the leave is normal, or supported by documented necessity, you should have no problem.

  14. Tuesday, 13...
    Question: I am an amateur singer who has had an american label interested in carrying my CD's (this is my first CD, and I have never been paid for my music before). They intend on having me appear on shows on radio and tv nationally, and to do press, both by doing interviews and performing. Would I qualify to do interviews and perform for national tv shows under a B1 visa, since I am still an "amateur" singer? Or am I NOT an amateur just because a major label is carrying my CD?
    Answer:

    In my view, a B-1 would be appropriate because you are not engaging in any employment that would take a job away from a US worker and you are not getting paid for your appearances.

  15. Tuesday, 13...
    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.

  16. Monday, 12...
    Question: If the Child is born in India and we have the GC by that time, is there any way the child can travel to US?
    Answer:

    Your child may accompany you or travel with you to the U.S if the following conditions are met:
    a) the child has a separate passport;
    b) has a birth certificate from the corporation, municipality or a registrar of births and deaths (please note hospital records are not adequate)
    c) the child accompanies the immigrant mother or father upon her or his return to the U.S following the birth of the child
    d) the child is under the age of two years
    e) the immigrant mother or father has a valid Form I-551 or I-151, alien registration receipt card (in short called green card), or Form I-327 (permit to re-enter the U.S.) valid for two years from the date of issue.
    If the above are satisfied then the child may accompany you into U.S without a visa.
    Following admission to U.S contact the nearest CIS office to regularize the stay of the child in U.S.

  17. Friday, 9...
    Question: DOL seems to have stopped progressing on the Audit cases. Can litigation alleviate this problem and force them to atleast respond?
    Answer:

    All things considered, in my view, a Mandamus is possible. But the chances of success are remote at least in DC circuit. Typically, in delay cases, courts do not interfere with the executive branch of the govt. At the very least, lawsuits draw attention to difficult issues. I think a petition to the govt. should be the first step. May be the worthy President can help. Although, speedy processing in this environment is certainly not a politically popular issue, but we have all followed the laws and the promise of the laws.

  18. Friday, 9...
    Question: My company applied to change my status from L1B to L1A at the same time as filing my GC application. It was approved and the GC only took about 5 months
    Answer:

    True. Converting to EB1 through an executive or a managerial job is the way to go. That way you can go thorough EB1 rather than PERM based process that takes several years.

  19. Friday, 9...
    Question: I am working in petro chemical industries as a field operator 7 and have 15 years experience with computer, operated sap system,dcs pannel operating etc. I am intersted in a job in usa. I am hard working &honest person.I am married for 7 yrs and have two children.
    Answer:

    Lawyers should not get involved with finding jobs. That creates an inherent conflict of interest. Nothing we can do about finding you a job. Once you have a job in USA, we can assess the visa processes and advise you and your employer. You can try speaking with the people in the forums http://forums.immigration.com/ for practical guidance. Good luck!

  20. Friday, 9...
    Question: Does a person with EB1 Extraordinary Ability category I 140 approved , require employment letter during I-485 filing ?
    Answer:

    The short answer is no, but it helps. An offer of employment helps to show that you will continue to work in your own field and that you can support yourself and your dependents (if any).

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