US Immigration Questions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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).

  11. Friday, 9...
    Question: Why does it take years and years for family to be reunited.
    Answer:

    Many of the family-based categories are given only a certain number of green cards per year. The quota is based upon the country of birth. So, if there is more demand than supply, waiting develops. Every month, the govt. publishes the green card waiting times in their Visa Bulletin. Click here for more information http://www.immigration.com/search/node/visa%20bulletin

  12. Thursday, 8...
    Question: How can someone get a extension on drivers license if his H1B extension is pending and I-140 is approved in Georgia??? What do you suggest someone should do in such a situation?
    Answer:

    I had a discussion on this just yesterday with an employer who has 19 employees in a similar situation in various States. The problem here is, while USCIS regulations do permit a grace period of 240 days to continue working, most States have no clue about it. While, this is a good topic for advocacy, short of suing the States, the best thing is to just premium your pending H-1.

  13. Wednesday,...
    Question: I want to know whether our federal bank (reserve bank of India) is allowing this US $500,000.00 for investment in U.S.A. Then I will ask some more questions like whether it is easiest way to get green card and whether our money is safe in investment (in the regional projects) and the total expenses upto green card release level (apart from us$500,000.00)
    Answer:

    We practice US laws so I have no idea about RBI permissions. Safety of money is not guaranteed in any of the trusts that I know of. After all, this is an investment, not a fixed deposit or a CD in a bank. For businessmen with established businesses, L-1A and then EB1 is usually the better option.

  14. Wednesday,...
    Question: My sister's F4 application was approved 1997 and she is due to go for her interview any day. My question is - I was recently made aware that although at the time the application was made and approved her 2 kids were under 21, but now 12yrs later they are both over 21. What is the next step to take. I was told she has to petition them once she is in US and the priority date will be from 1997. Is that true? How does that work?
    Answer:

    Child Status Protection Act http://www.immigration.com/greencard/409/child-status-protection-act-cspa
    Contact the consulate for their assessment.

  15. Wednesday,...
    Question: I am graduate B.A and I am married having one daughter of 2.8 yrs old . I want to to work in u.s.a -I can do any type of work . I want to immigrate with my family ( me ,my wife and my daughter ) .Till today I was doing import business from china from 2004 and visiting every month to china from 2004 to china for buying of goods from there and then selling it in india but due to some little bit loss i will have to stop my business . I have everything viz income tax dox , balance sheets etc. Sir now i want to immigrate to u.s.a and want to do job -any type .
    Answer:

    The most obvious choices are H-1 and L-1 visas. Look into those. US laws are fairly stringent in visas. Good luck!

  16. Wednesday,...
    Question: My father in law is a US citizen.He went to India in january 2009.There one of his relative register a false case against him and the Punjab police took away his passport from him.Then the case started in the court.His passport is in the hands of police till now.The judge is just giving him dates.how can he get his passport back? He is still in India.
    Answer:

    I checked with Rajiv.  He said that a passport is ultimately the property of the issuing government.  Punjab police will probably not be able to hold the passport beyond a certain time.  We do not practice laws of India (US only).  They need to discuss this with local counsel.

  17. Friday, 4...
    Question: My company (an LLC) is filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy to restructure debt. They are planning to emerge out of Bankruptcy filing as a "C corp" company. We were told that there wont be any interruption to the day-to-day business. 1. How does it effect my H1B visa and GC application (filed I-485 - pending)? 2. Do I need to re-apply (transfer) H1 B to the new company or can I send an amendment? 3. Do I need to file AC 21 portability or send an amendment to pending I-485 application?
    Answer:

    1. If your job remains the same and regular salary continues to be paid I see no issue for H-1 or green card.

    2. An amendment should be filed, though it is debatable if it is required.

    3. In my view, AC21 port is easier.

  18. Tuesday, 1...
    Question: My 6 year period of H1b visa expires in Dec 2010 and my labor application is still pending for approval. It was filed in February 2009. Am I eligible to apply for a visa extension , if so when should I apply for that? I assume I still have time.
    Answer:

    H-1 extension beyond six years can be obtained under two circumstances:

    First, indefinite H-1 extensions in one-year increments can be obtained, if the I-140 (or I-485) was filed and the green card process was started a year ago. The GC process is started for:

    - Labor Certification based cases (including PERM) the date for the begining of the countdown is the date when the labor certification is officially received:
    - for PRE PERM cases - by the local office (SWA); and
    - for PERM cases - the date it is received by the DOL; and

    -EB-1 and National Interest Waiver cases; when the I-140 is officially filed with CIS.

    Second, if your I-140 has been approved but you cannot file I-485 because your priority date has retrogressed, you can get H-1 extensions (most probably) in chunks of three years each time.

    You are permitted to apply for an extension 6 months ahead of time, as long a you meet one of the above two criteria on the requested start date of H-1.

  19. Monday, 31...
    Question: 1. I am on H1B. It is valid until 2010. Since I am hearing that there are many queries on the port of entry, do ou think I should travel back to the country with valid AP or H1? Which one is more preferable? 2. Considering I have valid H1B until 2010 and valid AP (though I don't have AP at the moment). I plan to stay on H1 as long as I am waiting for my greencard. But for travel purposes I use AP. Does coming back into the country using AP will change my status from H1 to EAD? 3. How long is AP processing taking these days? 4. All my co-workers are getting huge queries on H1 extension or H1 transfer. Is AP processing also getting queries? Should I even start AP processing? 5. Please list out all the documents that I should carry while traveling?
    Answer:

    1. I think I prefer AP. Read the Cronin memo and you will understand that even if you enter using AP, you will be considered to be on valid H-1 as long as you were maintaining H-1 status before you left. Search the word "Cronin" on my blog .

    2. No. See answer above.

    3. It is impossible to predict times. Plan for a six-month turnaround.

    4. Do not be scared of queries. We are yet to lose an H-1 case. I am not aware of any queries on AP.

    5. Advance Parole and Passport.

  20. Tuesday, 25...
    Question: My self and my wife are on EAD and advance parole. My wife and I are from India. I have to work in Switzerland on my company business for some time 6 months to a year – would that affect my EAD status in the USA. I would be working for the Swiss branch of my company.The assignment is short term 6-12 months. This is however not the company with which I started my green card. I changed jobs when I got my EAD. But I have several questions: 1. Can I even work abroad while on EAD status - short term, i am only talking 6-12 months. if this term is 11 months is that fine? Or do i have to work in the USA only while on EAD? 2. Do I need to maintain substantial presence in the USA while on EAD. And if so what is that term of stay. 3. Updated FAQ: My case is slightly different than the above one. Currently I am on Derivative EAD, which I got through my spouse's company. (I 485 pending and more than 180 days) I was on H1B and I got laid off in March 2009. I am still finding difficult to find a job in the US. I got an offer from a company in Canada. I know that I can work there once I get canadian work permit. My wife (main applicant and EAD holder) will be working for the same company in the US. My question is how often I can come to US with my Advance Parole? will there be any problem if I visit US often? Please advise.
    Answer:

    1. An EAD is good to work on US soil only. If you wish to work in a third country, you have to look to their laws for work permissions. You should file an AC21 portability and make sure during your entire stay abroad you have at least your Advance Parole; preferable both your AP and H-1 visa.

    2. As long as the permanent job continues to exist, there is no other requirement of presence.

    3. I see no problem with visiting USA as often as you like.

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