Visa FAQs

National Interest Exemption for Visas – For Students

Authored on: Fri, 06/04/2021 - 06:05

Question

Today I got NIE waiver approval from the US consulate. They sent the approval mail with a passport number. I have a valid USA visa. I am planning to travel back to the USA in a week. What doc's required to travel ? or NIE waiver is sufficient?

Answer

You have not told us what type of visa you possess. In addition to the NIE, you must meet all the usual requirements for your visa type.

Note: For the NRI readers, The Economic Times has started an immigration helpdesk. A team of experts which includes Rajiv S. Khanna will address the most pressing issues. Please see the link below.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/migrate/nri-helpdesk-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-current-situation-for-f-1-and-j-1-visas/articleshow/83171279.cms

Visas for same-sex partners from countries where such marriage is not allowed

Authored on: Wed, 02/12/2020 - 00:39

Question

My partner is a teacher and was granted a J-1 visa on September 25, 2019. We've been together under one roof for 5 years and undergone the rite of Holy Union since same-sex marriage is not honored in the Philippines. I would like to seek advice on the best possible way on how to go to the US. Should I still push through with the J-2 visa application or as a tourist or visitor?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Visas for same-sex partners from

countries where such marriage is not allowed

Video Transcript:

In these cases B-2 visa can be extended as long as the J-1 holder is in the USA. FAQ in detail...




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.

Legal Stay to the Parent of US Citizen Child With Disability

Authored on: Thu, 05/24/2018 - 03:54

Question

My spouse and me are staying in USA since last 10 years on work visa H-1B. We have our second daughter born in 2016 who is facing neurological disability which requires long term care and constant therapies. Current scenario is my husband's H-1B has denied and couldn't get back to USA. I am here in USA with my both kids on B2 Visa. My both kids are US Citizens. Is there any legislation which can provide legal stay to the parent of child with disability in the USA?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Is there any law to provide legal stay to the parent of US citizen child with disability?

Video Transcript

The answer is No. You can stay on a tourist visa. There are no special visas or green card for such situations.  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.

Immigration Consequences of a Denial of Entry at the Airport

Authored on: Mon, 10/23/2017 - 08:44

Question

I had been travelling to the US on a tourist visa for all my life, in 2008 I had to travel out of the country and when I returned to the US, in the Minneapolis checkpoint they found a pay stub from my work which I obviously shouldn't have had since I didn't have a work permit, they took away my tourist visa and made me sign what looked like a "voluntary departure" or "refusal of entry" I really can't remember exactly the term that I signed and was returned to MX the next day. <br>

My questions are:<br>
1. Is there a website where I can see if I was penalized? <br>
2. Will I be able to solicit another tourist visa? <br>
3. If the answer to the above question is yes, given the political climate, do you think it is a good idea to go through the whole process again or would it just be a waste of money?<br>
4. My father has become a US citizen, I'm unmarried, can he request citizenship for me or residency? approximately how long is the process?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Immigration consequences of a denial of entry at the airport

Video Transcript:

1. You can file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and or USCIS and see what information they have on you and within a few months they should be able to give you a copy of your document everything that they have on you and this doesn't cost you anything.

2. Do remember tourist visa is not a guarantee. The consular officer could refuse you a tourist visa for many reasons, so even if the fact that you worked without authorization on a previous time is long gone the prior bad history could be used to deny you another tourist visa.

3. As long as you don't lie about anything, by all means, you can try.

4. You have to go through green card and it takes many, many years. So if you go to the visa bulletin there is a category for unmarried children of US citizens and it takes several 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.

Exemption from H-1 Quota and Visa Stamping

Authored on: Tue, 07/11/2017 - 08:13

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.

Is it legal to do business in home country while working in USA on a visa?

Authored on: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 00:17

Question

I am a Canadian citizen currently working in the U.S. with a TN visa.

I am planning to start a Canadian business part time with a partner in Canada (also a Canadian citizen).

I've read that starting a U.S. business is not allowed while I'm working in the States with a TN visa, but I cannot find sufficient information online about whether I can operate a Canadian business part time while I am in the states as a Canadian citizen.

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Is it legal to do business in home country while working in the USA on a visa?

Video Transcript

If there is no connection with the USA and the business is conducted totally outside the USA you can certainly work 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.


English Language Exemption for VisaScreen for Nurses

Authored on: Wed, 03/08/2017 - 05:40

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.

Visa Is In An Expired Passport

Authored on: Tue, 07/12/2016 - 04:07

Question

If my visa is in an expired passport, what should I do?

Answer

If your Visa is in a passport that has expired or will expire within 6 months of the end of your U.S. visit, you will need to get a new passport. However, you do not need to apply for a new visa. Just bring both your NEW and  passport with the valid visa to present to the CBP Officer when you arrive in the U.S. 

*Note:  Your ESTA is not a U.S. Visa.  If you obtain a new passport, you are required to apply for a brand new ESTA.  To re-apply visit esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

The U.S. has an agreement with certain countries exempting their citizens from the requirement that their passports be valid for up to six months past the end of their U.S. visit. (See page 19 of the Carrier Information Guide on cbp.gov).Citizens of the countries which are exempt the six-month rule need to have a passport valid for their intended period of stay.

Please contact the U.S. Embassy in your country of citizenship to determine if you are exempt from this requirement. 

Six-Month Club Update (Countries that Extend Passport Validity For an Additional Six Months After Expiration)

Birth certificate late registration and secondary evidence

Authored on: Mon, 12/21/2015 - 04:53

Question

I have a delayed birth registration certificate issued by municipal authority with place of birth: hospital name, city. My passport just got the city name as place of birth. Do I need to submit secondary evidence when I file I-485 because of delayed registration?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

https://youtu.be/1QbgUmUUJvc?t=1405

FAQ Transcript:

In many countries especially India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, it can happen that the birth occurred much earlier but the registration of the birth was done much later. Remember it was not the law that you have to register every birth, it was a voluntary action. So if a child was born in 1980 or 1970 you registered the birth in 2015 because that’s when you needed to get the green card. Now those are not acceptable registration. What you should do in those cases is get a letter from the municipal corporation, or local government, that says before this was registered there was no other registration. Like a non-availability before the registration. Along with that get two affidavits, from your parents or other people, who were alive when you were born, that will take care of it.

Secondary evidence becomes acceptable only when you can’t get non-availability from the municipal corporation and that’s a much more complicated area. I think you should get the non-availability.

In which country must I apply for a US visa?

Authored on: Tue, 05/26/2015 - 21:09

Question

My name is Harendra having H-1B and an Indian national , I want to file H-4 for my wife who is a Srilankan national with Srilankan passport , living in India legally with my parents after marriage for the past three months. Can she apply her H-4 from India or she needs to go back to her native country to apply ?
Is there any rule for spouse applying visa from primary applicant's country of residence?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

https://youtu.be/3Heaadpk1Ik?t=396

FAQ Transcript:

Answer is yes. This is the requirement for visa stamping from US. If you want to apply for a US visa, you can actually go to pretty much any country. They are not obliged in that country to take your application but you should. US Consulates don't turn people away no matter you are from which country. They can if they can't verify degrees, for example H-1 visas or they can't verify your family ties in case of tourist and student visas. They can ask you to go to your home country. But there is no harm in asking for an apply. As of right where do you have right to apply, where do you live on the long term basis. Let’s say you are on student visa in Australia, you have right to apply for the US visa from the Australia, in the US Consulate in Australia . Or where you are a citizen, if you are resident in one place and citizen of other you can apply from both places, that's your right.   

Everything else is called third country national processing TCM. In TCM  almost always Consulate will entertain your application but they may not be able to verify your degrees or your family ties, F-1 visa, H-1 visa, tourist visa this become problematic but you can certainly try.  There is no harm in trying. The only time TCM does not work when you are out of status. If you are out of status even for one day, under the law TCM option is taken away, Third country nationals will not be entertained unless you are in extra ordinary circumstances. In practice, however I have seen Consulates don't really make a big deal of out of status; of course unlawful presence is other thing.

So for you Harendra there is absolutely no doubt your wife who is Srilankan citizen but living in India with your parents legally can apply for a visa to the United States, H-4 visa from India. 

H-1B Visa stamping in general and in third countries like Canada

Authored on: Mon, 11/10/2014 - 18:12

Question

My H1B petition got approved through my existing employer and became effective 10/01/14 (I was on F1 OPT before). Where am I eligible to go to for doing first time H1B stamping, other than my home country (Russia) – can it be done in Canada, Mexico, or other countries? I have Masters from an American university, and over a year of working experience in the US. Also I’ve heard that starting June Canada has suspended doing first time H1B stamping, can you please provide any clarification, and also could you please advise what all options are available to me?

Answer

Visa Status (Void when out of status)

Authored on: Tue, 03/18/2014 - 05:49

Question

How do I know if my visa is voided or not? I applied for a change of status while in the USA and got a denial, so I left the country 11 days after, with my I-94 already expired. Some people say my visa is voided, but where can I check this?

Answer

That is covered by section 222(g) of INA. See this link: http://www.uscis.gov.edgesuite-staging.net/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-...

"(g) 2/ (1) In the case of an alien who has been admitted on the basis of a nonimmigrant visa and remained in the United States beyond the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General, such visa shall be void beginning after the conclusion of such period of stay."

Visa Expiration Date

Authored on: Tue, 02/04/2014 - 06:04

Question

What the Visa Expiration Date Means

Answer

The visa expiration date is shown on the visa along with the visa issuance date. The time between visa issuance and expiration date is called your visa validity. The visa validity is the length of time you are permitted to travel to a port-of-entry in the United States.
 
Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries.
 
A visa issued for a single entry (denoted on the visa under “Entries” with the number 1) is valid, or can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry one time.
A visa issued for multiple entries (denoted under “entries” with a certain number (2, 3, etc.) or “M” for multiple/unlimited entries) is valid, or can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires to travel to the U.S. port-of-entry as many times as your visa states, provided that:
    Applying for a new visa is not necessary if your visa has not expired and you have not exceeded the number of entries permitted on your visa.
    Multiple uses of a visa must be for the same purpose of travel allowable on the type of visa you have.
 
Please be aware, a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States. Additionally, the visa expiration date shown on your visa does not reflect how long you are authorized to stay within the United States. Entry and the length of authorized stay within the United States are determined by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the port-of-entry each time you travel.
 
It is important to note that there are circumstances which can serve to void or cancel the period of visa validity. If you overstay the end date of your authorized stay, as provided by the CBP officer at a port-of-entry, or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), your visa will automatically void or cancel unless;
 
You have filed an application in a timely manner for an extension of stay or a change of status;
That application is pending and not frivolous;
If you have applied for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident (LPR, also called green card holder), you should contact USCIS regarding obtaining Advance Parole before leaving the United States.
 
Admission to the United States and your Duration of Stay
Upon arriving at a port of entry, the CBP official will determine the length of your visit.
 
On the admission stamp or paper Form I-94, the U.S. immigration inspector records either an admitted-until date or "D/S" (duration of status). If your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 contains a specific date, then that is the date by which you must leave the United State. If you have D/S on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, you may remain in the United States as long as you continue your course of studies, remain in your exchange program, or qualifying employment. The admitted-until date or D/S notation, shown on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 is the official record of your authorized length of stay in the United States. You cannot use the visa expiration date in determining or referring to your permitted length of stay in the United States.
 
Carefully review information about international visitor admission on the CBP Website.
 
Extension of Stay
If you came to the United States on a nonimmigrant visa and you want to extend your stay you must apply with USCIS before your authorized stay, denoted on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, expires. It is recommended you apply well in advance of your expiration date. To learn more select USCIS, How Do I Extend My Stay?.
 
Important Note: Providing permission to enter and/or remain in the United States. to persons holding a nonimmigrant visa is not the responsibility of the Department of State, and therefore Visa Services is unable assist you in this regard. All inquiries must be directed to USCIS.
 
What if I Decide to Stay Longer and am Out-of-Status with the Department of Homeland Security?
You should carefully consider the dates of your authorized stay and make sure you are following the procedures. Failure to do so will cause you to be out-of-status.
Staying beyond the period of time authorized, by the Department of Homeland Security, and out-of-status in the United States, is a violation of U.S. immigration laws, and may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travel to the United States. If you overstay the end date of your authorized stay, as provided by the CBP officer at a port-of-entry, or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), your visa will generally be automatically be voided or cancelled, as explained above. Select Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas to learn more.

Administrative Processing

Authored on: Thu, 11/21/2013 - 05:19

Question

What is Administrative Processing?

Answer

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. Learn more.

Interview Protocol

Authored on: Mon, 07/22/2013 - 07:25

Question

May a third party (spouse, sponsor, etc.) accompany an applicant to an interview for a Nonimmigrant or Immigrant Visa?

Answer

The State Department says that on the Immigrant Visa side, the petitioner may accompany the beneficiary if the petitioner is in the Consulate city at the time of the interview.  The interviewing officer will speak to the petitioner only if he/she determines it is necessary to assess the case.  Applicants under 17 years old MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian on the Nonimmigrant Visa side.  Other third parties are not permitted to accompany the Nonimmigrant Visa applicant.

Request Number in the visa appointment site - Explanation from State Department

Authored on: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 01:28

Question

When using the new visa appointment site, what should my client list in the mandatory field that asks for the "Request Number"?

Answer

When a visa applicant sets up a user account in the appointment system, an 8-digit identifying number is assigned to the applicant. When logged into the appointment system, this "Request Number" appears in white against a red background in the upper right hand corner of the screen in parentheses after the applicant's e-mail address:

AOS applicants applying for H-1 visa

Authored on: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 15:38

Question

My spouse and me are currently working on H1 and we do have our EAD and AP even though we are not using it.
We are planning on a trip to India in the month of December. Both of our H1 visa's on passport have expired. We plan on using AP when coming back to US to avoid the hassle of getting our passports stamped.

We plan on remaining on H1 even though we use AP to get back. We do plan on renewing our AP and EAD when they expire. What I want to know is... is there any advantage of having visa stamped in your passport as to using AP if you plan on remaining on H1? One that I know is cities like London require you to get a transit visa if your visa has expired when traveling to India.

Answer

We would highly recommend not applying for an H visa if it can be avoided. In the past few weeks, I have provided consultations to various employers on H-1 visa refusals. The refusals were ridiculous, illegal and would be overturned if there were an adequate mechanism for reversal. So, I see no point in applying for an H-1 visa. Even if you enter on AP and continue working for the original H-1 employer, you ARE considered to still be on H-1. All other matters are more or less ancillary.

H-1 visa denial and investigation

Authored on: Tue, 08/25/2009 - 03:50

Question

1. I had filed for H1B visa last year but the VISA consulate in Delhi denied it as they wanted Tax returns of the Client company and other details which my H1B sponsor company was not willing to share. I was really frustrated with VO at embassy. I then applied to embassy to withdrawn my H1B visa application. I got a confirmation that it has been withdrawn.

Now today after so many days when I checked my H1B status on USCIS, it said " This case has been received from the State Department with a request we review it."

Please let me know what does it mean and does it mean something serious to take care of.

2. Updated FAQ - What are the implications of H1B Visa revocation for future H1b application

Answer

1. This means that the consulate sent the case back to USCIS for review, revocation (and may be investigation of the employer). Usually, you should not have any issue with it. But from what I recall, if the case is revoked, you will be subject to the H-1 quota in future.

2. I do not see any implications for the individual unless the revocation was based upon some problem with the individual's qualifications.

Status, authorized period of stay and unlawful presence

Authored on: Mon, 05/11/2009 - 02:56

Question

Answer

Status, authorized period of stay and unlawful presence are three VERY important concepts in US immigration laws with far reaching implications. The nuances in these concepts are so intricate that they can trip up even my fellow-lawyers. I see issues in this all the time.

Here is a brief primier to enable you to understand the basics. This is by no means an exhaustive analysis.

Status
Status is the immigration designation what has been given to you by USCIS. For instance, when USCIS approves your H-1 with an I-94 attached to the approval notice, you are in H-1 status.

Status and Visa
The difference between status and visa is important. A visa is a stamp on your passport. This stamp is placed by US consulates outside USA. The system of entry and stay in USA is governed by dual permission (DHS and DOS). When you are outside USA and you wish to enter, you first go to a US consulate (an arm of DOS - Department of State or State Department) for the appropriate visa stamping.

For instance, for a tourist visa, you go the US consulate in your home country, follow their procedures and apply for a "B-2" visa. When you get the B visa stamp you have been permitted by one agency (US State Department) to enter USA. If the visa stamp is valid for 5 years, you may travel to USA any time during those 5 years. This is your first permission in the dual permissioning system.

Now with the B-2 visa, you travel to USA. When you land at the US port, CBP (an arm of DHS - the Department of Homeland Security) decides whether you will be allowed to enter USA and how long you can stay in USA. The permission to stay in USA is given to you in the form of a small card that is put inside your passport. This card is called "Arrival Departure Record" or Form I-94. The I-94 has an expiration date.

Once you are inside USA, you are "in status" only till your I-94 is unexpired. If you wish to seek an extension of of your stay, you must request USCIS (another arm of DHS) for an extension.

Authorized Period of Stay
Authorized period of stay means you are not illegal but you are not in full status. Taking the example of B-2 extension I was discussing above, let us say you want to stay longer than the stay initially given on your I-94. You will need to apply for an extension BEFORE your current status (the termination date on your I-94) expires. Once you have made a timely application for extension or a change of status (for instance you wish to change to H-1B), you can continue to stay in USA till your application is decided (but not past the point you had asked for as an extension). The moment your I-94 expires, you go from being "in status" to being in "authorized period of stay." This is less than full status (for instance you cannot change status within USA when you are in authorized period of stay, but you can do so when you are "in status."

Authorized period of stay also applies to people who have applied for the last step of their green card, "Adjustment of Status" (AOS or I-485). When someone files an appropriate AOS, they are in authorized period of stay until their AOS is adjudicated, no matter how long it takes.

Unlawful Presence
This is the real bad one you have to watch for. If you accrue 180 days of unlawful presence in USA, you are barred from entering USA for 3 years. If you are unlawfully present for one year, you are barred for 10 years. This is referred to as the 3/10 bar. A rule of thumb is, unlawful presence begins to accrue when your I-94 expires and you have done nothing to extend/change your status or when the government says your unlawful presence has begun (typically happens when an extension or change of status is denied.
 

In AOS (I-485) Context

Quote: Hope you remember me. I am one of your clients and you had represented me for my H1-B. Today I was laid off from my employer who was the H1-B sponsor. I have my AOS EAD as a beneficiery to my husband's PR process. I am concerned about my status in the US. My husband is also on EAD as he recently changed his employer using AC-21. Could you please help me? What status am I on now? Can I stay in the US? I currently have a valid I-94 in my passport. I need to decide the future course of action

Ans. You are now in authorized period of stay and can legally stay in USA. To work, you will need an EAD and to travel an AP.

In Change of Status Context
Updated 11 May 2009

Q. I am currently on H4 visa and the expiration date of my I-94 is May 23, 2009. My spouse had applied for an extension during the last week of April 09. In between, I received an offer for MS course at Penn state University, PA - US. I am planning to join school again on F1 visa since I have received assistantship/ financial aid from my University. I am planning to join for Fall 09 semester which begins in August 09.

Since I have to apply for a change of status from H4- F1 , is it possible to do this having applied for H4 extension now? Is there any way by which I can submit an application for F1 visa directly to USCIS without going for H4 extension?

Ans.
The rule of thumb is you can always apply for COS when you are in status, but not when you are in authorized period of stay. Upto 23 May, you are still in full H-4 status. After that day you will move to authorized period of stay because your H-4 status would have expired. So, if you file for a COS now, it should be fine. After 5/23 you have two choices. Wait for H-4 to be extended, then apply for COS to F-1 OR go outside USA any time and get F-1 visa stamping.

H-1 holder aplying for H-4 visa

Authored on: Wed, 04/15/2009 - 01:00

Question

My wife has been in US for 6 months on H1 and is going back to India.
In india if she applies for H4 , will it be necessary to carry any Salary Slips generated during her stay in US on H1?
Is there a possibility that the consulate might demand for her W2 and salary slips before stamping her H4 visa?

Answer

The cardinal rule in visas is that consulates can ask for pretty much anything. If they do ask for proof of H-1 employment or pay stubs and you do not have it, the H-4 still cannot be denied. The fact that one has been out of status is no bar to the grant of an H-4 visa.

When is an H visa stamping required?

Authored on: Tue, 04/14/2009 - 01:00

Question

Answer

1. My story begins like this: I was working for company A, got stamping in May2007(in canada). Came back to US, changed to company B. Got laid off on Feb 27th, 09. In order to have a valid status I got married on Feb 15th and got my H4 legally on March 20th, 09. Two weeks back a miracle happened, got a job through company C and applied for PP H1b, received it last Thursday. Now, I am planning to go to India for a week in June, 09. Tough having a valid H1b stamping prior to the H4-H1, do I still need another H1b stamping?

PS: I do not have H4 stamping.

Ans. I do not believe you need a new visa stamp because you already have an H-1 visa from another employer. You should be able to travel with the same visa (and a new H-1 approval). If you had ever been out of status, you would have been well-advised to get a new stamp. In your case, you appear to always have maintained status (albeit H-4 for a brief while). So, I see no issues. As always, double check with your H-1 lawyers.

PS. I would be careful how I phrase my thoughts if I were you.

2. In order to have a valid status I got married on Feb 15th?

Ans. I know you do not mean that :-), but the govt might think otherwise.

Consequences of not using an H-1 visa

Authored on: Tue, 02/10/2009 - 01:00

Question

I really appreciate ur efforts here.I had one question to ask u if u can answer humbly.I am a doctor from india and i had got a residency in internal medicine last year.I got my H1b visa stamped but coulnt go to usa coz of some reasons.So the hospital got my H1B visa legally cancelled.This year again i have got residency in another hospital and they r ready to sponsor my H1b visa.I wanted to ask u that will there be any problem from USCIS in processing my petition this time as my visa got cancelled last year.As i have not told this hospital about my visa cancellation last year will that be a problem.Will my petiton be processed in a routine way this time too by uscis.

Answer

It looks like your visa was not canceled, you just did not use it. Note two things. First, non-use of an earlier issued visa should not create any problems in the future. But second and much more important, you HAVE to tell the hospital that you had an H-1 earlier. As far as I know, there is a question on the H-1 forms that specifically asks that question. Not answering the questions on the forms truthfully can get you into trouble. Check the forms, if there is no question that asks about any earlier H-1, you are fine. But I am pretty sure there is such a question and you have to get that answered truthfully.

L-2 to L-1 COS or Visa?

Authored on: Tue, 02/10/2009 - 01:00

Question

Hi...i have a question...i came to US on my L2 visa and am here for 1 month.meanwhile my company has initiated for my L1b visa in India..now my question is...
1. Should i have to travel back to my native for Visa stamping or i can apply for COS from L2 to L1B in US itself?
2.Since i already own L2 visa is there any chance that my L1B is rejected?i have been working in the company for 1yr and 2 months only now.
3.in case if my L1b is rejected is there will be any impact on my already approved L2 visa?can i come back to US again using L2 visa?

Answer

You can apply for COS. Even if L-1 is rejected, you can still maintain your L-2. In case of a visa rejection, you should be able to come back on L-2 visa or reapply for L-2 visa on the spot.

Using B visa with F-1

Authored on: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 01:00

Question

I have a tourist visa to the US which expires in 2009. However, back in 2004, i was able to obtain a F-1 visa for MBA studies. It expired in 2006 and my stay was extended through practical training. I have all necessary documents supporting that. My question is, will I still be able to use my tourist visa until the March 2009 expiration?

Answer

My assumption is that you are still on F-1 and in USA. If this is correct, you cannot use your B visa within USA.

While in USA, your stay and status is controlled exclusively by your I-94.

You can, however, try to reenter USA on B visa but after having stayed here for so long, a reentry is likely to be denied.

If, you are outside USA and have been out for a while (like a year or more), I think you can still use that B visa and try to enter USA.

Filling DS 156

Authored on: Sun, 07/06/2008 - 01:00

Question

Answer

I am trying to take an appointment for my wife to renew her H-4 visa since the dates are available right now. She came here on H4, switched in between to F-1 (change of status) but did not leave US, then got the new approval for change of status to H4 (after we filed for green card) and wants to get it stamped now. There is a bit of confusion on the DS-156 form that I have to fill out.

Qo1. Question 30. Have you ever been Issued a US Visa - Yes, but for the second part it says When - Does this have to be the date when the first H4 was stamped or the date the second change of status H4 approval notification came through. My understanding is that is the visa date when it was stamped. Can you confirm?
Ans1. The answer requires response only to the issuance of a visa – the stamp given by the US consulate. It does not refer to change of status. In your wife’s case, she came to US on H-4 visa. That is what they are asking about. The fact the she later changed to F-1 and then back to H-4 status (but no other visas were obtained) is irrelevant.

Qo2. Also in the additional visa issuances section do we need to mention the change of status to F-1/H4 information (I would presume no since these were not visa stampings but change of status). Can you confirm?
Ans2. Change of status is not a visa.

Qo3. Question 36: Has Anyone Ever Filed an Immigrant Visa Petition on Your Behalf ? Yes since my wife's name was on the I-140 as per your previous post. For the Part where it says by ‘Who’ what should she enter - Spouses Company Name or Spouses name.
Ans3. I would answer your name.