Form I-485 FAQs

Effect of a career change on naturalization process and timing

Authored on: Wed, 10/13/2021 - 10:13

Question

I am in field A and have received my green card, still working with my sponsoring employer. I am contemplating a career change to field B that is totally unrelated to field A due to personal dissatisfaction with field A on the whole. Is there a safe time frame to do this without repercussions to my current green card and the naturalization process?

Answer

Video URL

Green card holder working on multiple jobs - Is it legal?

Authored on: Wed, 10/13/2021 - 09:16

Question

I received my green card two days ago. I work 40 hours a week in IT company A as a full-time software engineer from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Can I work on another full-time job 40 hours a week in IT company B as a software engineer from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the same time while working for company A if I can manage because I am working remotely? While I am employed with company A full-time 40 hours a week, can I work on another part-time IT job like 20 hours a week assuming that some hours of IT full-time job overlap with some hours of IT part-time job? Can I work on another non-IT full-time or non-IT part-time job during weekends/holidays, or after my other job working hours while I am employed with company A full time?

Answer

Video URL

Retaining valid H-1B status while AOS is pending and when to file Supplement J

Authored on: Wed, 08/25/2021 - 06:36

Question

1) Most attorneys don't recommend to abandon H1B status while AOS is pending.
What are the chances of AOS denial for someone who has had a clean history and is a law abiding alien living in the US waiting for AOS?
2) What are your thoughts about the timing of filing I-485 J? Upon job change, should it be filed proactively or wait for RFE Won't it delay the AOS adjudication if it's not filed proactively?

Answer

Video URL

Multiple Employers or Jobs on I-485 EAD

Authored on: Wed, 08/11/2021 - 07:57

Question

Can I do a second job using GC EAD which I recently got and continue working for sponsored employer on H1B (unexpired I-797) for not more than 6 months? i am being told that this actually would void H1B status. I'm fine with it (moving to AOS status) as long as i do that secondary job until I-797 with current employer expires. But will it cause any issues with AOS whenever priority date becomes current ? ​
 

Answer

Video URL

Criminal Charges in Immigration - Domestic Violence Laws and Risk in Applying for I-485

Authored on: Tue, 07/13/2021 - 09:50

Question

I had a domestic violence charge that got dismissed in pre-trial.

Soon after the incident occurred my attorney asked me to get 4-5 anger management classes as that would increase the chances of my case getting dismissed but said the court never asked/mandated the classes.

And he also said the prosecutor elected to dismiss the case due to lack of evidence and because he was satisfied that I completed anger management counseling sessions.

I've a few questions around this:

1) When I apply for I-485, will this situation be treated as Conviction by Immig Officer thouse the case was dismissed in pre-trial?

2) Can I be deported for this when I file for I-485? Am I risking by applying for I-485?

3) The court did not give a separate disposition letter (disposition is in the Criminal Complaint itself). We drafted a letter explaining the charges against me and the outcome of the case and took stamp, seal along with Clerk's signature from the court.

When I file my 485 will this letter be enough as a proof to the Immig Officer that my case was dismissed?
Or do I need to submit the entire docket?

Answer

Video URL

AC21 Job Portability

Authored on: Thu, 04/15/2021 - 05:25

Question

Previously I was on H1B when my I-140 was approved. Currently I am on H4 status, not employed and my priority date became current.
Previous employer has provided Supplement J and I have filed I-485, I-765, I-131 concurrently. The Supplement J indicates (#9 in Part 6) I am not currently employed with the sponsoring employer.

Q1) Upon receiving AOS EAD, can I directly join a new employer after 180 days of pending I-485 if sponsoring employer doesn't have any open position?

Q2) Can I start searching for new job before 180 days of pending I-485, but join after 180 days? Or, I must have to start searching and interviewing for new job, only after 180 days?

Q3) At the time of filing AOS, my Supplement J indicated that I am not currently employed with the sponsoring employer. If I join the sponsoring employer upon receiving EAD, then do I have to send USCIS new Supplement J indicating that I am now employed with the sponsoring employer, knowing that it might take a decade for my Final Action Date to become current and I may not be employed with the sponsoring employer at the time of GC interview?

Q4) What if I need to change my employer after GC interview, but before receiving GC?

Q5) I heard, after 180 days of pending I-485, even if I change my job couple of times, I can take the Supplement J only from the employer with whom I will be working at the time of GC interview. But can I still send new Supplement J to USCIS from each employers everytime I change my job? Is that legally allowed? or, is there any concern? Because, it might take a decade for my Final Action Date to become current and within that timeframe I might have to change job 2-3 times.

Answer

Video URL

After I get my green card, is it legal to work for two companies (and not the original company) simultaneously?

Authored on: Thu, 04/15/2021 - 05:19

Question

I got my GC on March of 2016 through my then employer. Soon after getting my GC my project ended (May 2016) abruptly because of the change at client location. I did not had any project at hand so I started looking for a new job and started to work with new employer in June of 2016. There was no official end date of my employment with my previous employer through which I got my GC because they were looking for a new project for me but without any certainty how long it could be before they can find me a new project. While they were looking for a project for me, I already started working for my new employer so I just moved on without any official end date with my previous employer.

In Feb of 2019, I started a second job with another employer. Currently, I'm working 2 jobs full time on GC.

I am now eligible to file for citizenship through 5 years of permanent residency requirement. I'm worried if there will be any issues while I file for my citizenship because I did not stay with the employer that file my GC long enough after receiving my GC. Also will there be any issues because I am currently working 2 full time jobs when I file for citizenship?

Answer

Video URL

Cap-exempt to cap-subject H-1

Authored on: Fri, 03/26/2021 - 10:20

Question

Situation: I am on a cap exempt H1 with an approved I-140 more than 180 days and I found an employer who can file my cap subject H1 this April.

1. If the cap subject H1 is approved before oct 1st, will my new employment start date be earlier than October 1st?
2. Should I have to leave my current employer as soon as the other H1 is approved?
3. What if I don’t join the new employer until I find a project with them? Meaning, can I wait until after oct 1st until I find a project with them?
4. From your previous calls, I understood that if the new H1 is not revoked until oct 1st, I don’t have to go under cap anymore. Is that still accurate? Also, can you explain about getting a new I-94?
5. Should I have to go thru the GC filing all over again? 
6. Can I start working with new employer while continuing my current employment?
 

Answer

Video URL

Laid off before getting Green Card, I-485 pending! How to renew Green Card?

Authored on: Thu, 03/25/2021 - 06:41

Question

I have a situation of my relative - person has the employment based green card received on Mar 12, 2012, Received EAD in 2007. However lost the job(job termination) (Nov 2, 2011) 4 months before to receive the Green Card. At the time when GC was approved (March 12,2012) person was not having the job, and there after person couldn't gone to job. Could you let us know what to do for GC renewal and for citizenship.

Answer

Video URL

DUI and I-485 approval

Authored on: Wed, 03/24/2021 - 07:53

Question

I'm currently on H1-B visa. I applied for I-485 in October 2020 and I got my EAD/AP card approved. I'm in EB2 category with priority date of March 2011.

I was convicted for DUI in November 2011 and consulted Rajeev Khanna Sir in 2012 through 15 minutes telephone consultation. As Rajeev sir advised, I got the certified copy of court disposition and a letter from criminal lawyer explaining that this is a misdemeanor -- quoting the statute.

So with the first time DUI arrest (in 2011 been 10 years) , I have 2 questions:
1) I would like to know if first time DUI affects my chances of getting I-485 approval?
2) I'm planning to convert from my H1-B status and start using EAD, will it be wise to do that considering the DUI arrest.
 

Answer

Video URL

Filing Supplement J, staying without work on EAD, H-1B denial effect on I-485

Authored on: Wed, 02/10/2021 - 08:08

Question

I am currently on H1-B visa (valid until Dec 2021) and my Priority date is May 15, 2010, in EB2. I am working for employer A and I have recently applied for I-485/AOS in Oct 2020. Both EAD/AP are not approved yet and haven't received biometrics notice yet from USCIS. Kindly see below questions and advise.<br>

1) If I change to employer B after 180 days of filing I-485, how would USCIS know that I changed my employer if I do not file new I-485 J that's given by employer B?
<br>
2 After getting EAD, can I stay without working for a few months? Is there a regulation that says that employment based I-485 applicant needs to work continuously after obtaining EAD?
<br>
3) I am working for a consultancy company and recently changed my client who is not within 50-mile radius of the existing MSA. My current employer A is not planning to file H1-B amendment. In this case, if there is a site visit by USCIS officer and if they revoke H1-B, then am I still considered to be in legal status because I already applied for I-485 in Oct 2020? Am I safe to stay legally in USA in this scenario even though I did not receive EAD based on AOS?
<br>
4) If H1B amendment/extension of an employee gets denied after filing AOS/I-485, is the employee still considered as in-status because of pending I-485?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Filing Supplement J, staying without work on EAD, H-1B denial effect on I-485


Video Transcript

1. Usually if you do an H-1B transfer or if the I-140 is revoked that becomes their source of knowledge.

2. Absolutely, the regulations only require that when asked, you should be able to produce an offer of employment for the same or similar job and file Supplement J. This is only when asked.

3. If you have a I-485 pending you are always allowed to stay in the United States, but make sure that you have an EAD.

4. Normally an H-1B denial has no effect on the Adjustment of Status I-485. 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.

Age Out/CSPA for children immigrating to the US

Authored on: Wed, 02/10/2021 - 07:57

Question

I am working for an S/W company, I have an 8 years Old Daughter who was born in India, I am having EB3 /priority data in July 2016, My question is, How can I ensure my child remain in the US after 21?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Age Out/CSPA for children immigrating to the US

 

Video Transcript

Most of these kids are turning to F-1 and the government is giving them F-1/Student visas to go to college, even if the parents are here and even if their names appear on the green card parent screen card. 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.

I-485 AOS filed - Maintaining H-1B status after getting EAD/Changing jobs after I-485/Being unemployed/Start own business, etc. (Filed for I-485, EAD, AP along with EB-2 to EB-3 I-140 downgrade)

Authored on: Fri, 01/29/2021 - 08:47

Question

I have filed for I-485,EAD,AP along with EB2 to EB3 I-140 downgrade in October 2020. Got the receipt notices.
1)After 6 months of I-140 approval & I-485 pending with USCIS. Once if I switch job to new employer and use my EAD,AP. Should I have to ever come back to my employer (who sponsored my green card)before I receive green card or after I receive green card for any duration of time anytime?
2)What happens if I stay unemployed after using EAD for some days before I receive the green card? Is my I-485 automatically denied?
3)Is it possible for me to go back to EB2 line with same employer if I start using EAD and AP based on EB3 downgrade I receive?
4)Is it possible to start a company on my own using my EAD and work for my own company till I receive green card? If yes, then say I am working project to project basis consulting do I need to file any other documentation?
5)Why do people maintain H1B status even after getting EAD. Only risk I understand is I-485 denial. But if everything is clean and clear with respect to I-485 why do candidate needs to keep maintaining H1-B visa.
6)What are the risks for EAD and AP renewal. Does the candidate need to prove anything related to job/salary etc any time for renewing EAD and AP each time till I get green card.

Job Change after I-140 Approval, Before I-485 Submission

Authored on: Wed, 01/06/2021 - 06:33

Question

I have a PERM and i-140 approved by my previous employer. My priority date is 15 Mar 2015. I changed my employer in Jan-2020 with a similar job occupation. I was told that I don’t need to file a completely new process for PERM and i-140 with the new employer but the new employer can file an i-485J form when the priority date is current to complete the remaining GC process. Is this a valid process to complete my adjustment of status(i-485) and apply for EAD? What are the complications involved of going through the route with old i-140 and getting an approved i-485? If that option is not viable, will I have to file a new i-140 with the new employer? There’s got to be an easier way of dealing with this, because I’m sure many people have changed their employer after their i-140 approval.

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Job Change after I-140 Approval, Before I-485 Submission

Video Transcript

You have to start your green card all over again, no question about that. 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.

Eligibility for and the process of EB-3 to EB-2 Porting

Authored on: Wed, 01/06/2021 - 06:24

Question

Can you talk about this upgrade process from EB3 to EB2 for pending I-485? Does it need another I-485 application or just a letter to USCIS?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Eligibility for and the process of EB-3 to EB-2 Porting

Video Transcript

You can always go up and you can always go down as long as your PERM was filed as an EB-2. If you filed your PRM as an EB-3 then you're not going to be able to upgrade to EB-2. But if your PERM was filed as an EB-2 you can downgrade I-140 EB-3. You can go back upgrade to EB-2 if you already have an EB-2 approval. You can file a downgrade second case as EB-3 with the same PERM. 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.

Supplement J timing and joining previous Employer

Authored on: Wed, 01/06/2021 - 05:59

Question

I was working with employer A for 7 years on H1 B and they have filed Labor and I-140 with Priority Date 2014. Now I am on H4 EAD since 2019 and working for employer B for same role .
My Priority date was in filing date chart and my ex employer A agreed and filed my I-485 with form J on November 2020. Do I have to join my old Employer A now or it's fine if I join them after I-485 is Approved? If I don't join them now , will there be any problems in the 485 interview if I intent to join after I-485 approval ? Is it possible that employer B can file form J form after 180 days of I-485 receipt date without joining my old employer A considering my Priority date will be on the final action date after 4, 5 years .

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Supplement J timing and joining previous Employer


Video Transcript

You have to discuss your case with your lawyers.  I would recommend having your lawyers review your honest intentions make sure that everything is all right and then if you file the I-485 under whatever circumstances, Supplement J can be used after 180 days. 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.

Pending I-485 Petitions and 180 Day Portability Rule

Authored on: Tue, 12/22/2020 - 09:03

Question

1) My I-140 approved one Aug 2020. Filed I-485 in Oct 2020. Pending application less than 180 days No GC EAD yet. In this situation if my job is terminated for some reason, what will happen to my I-485 application ?
<p>
2) After getting GC EAD and AP and before final action dates becomes current can I go outside USA and work for same employer who filed my I-485 or any other employers using EAD or needs to stay and work in USA until my GC is approved.?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Pending I-485 Petitions and 180 Day Portability Rule

 

Video Transcript:

1. I think you should be comfortable as long as your I-485 revocation does not get triggered off.

2.  Well, first of all when you are outside the United States you do not need an EAD. Second as long as you have a permanent job offer it shouldn't matter whether it is the same employer or some other employer as long as you are protected by AC21 portability. Hence you have a lot of flexibility. Talk with your lawyers, make sure if a Supplement J is available now. The fact that you are working from outside the United States is completely irrelevant. 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.

Changing Status During a Pending Application - Authorized Period of Stay

Authored on: Fri, 09/25/2020 - 10:56

Question

Currently, I am On My H1B, filled H1 extension on time, before I -94 expiry, ( Perm, I-140 Approved ). When H1 extension pending in normal process can I apply for a change of status to F1 by using the H1 receipt number? While I am on F1 if my Priority date is current, can I Adjust my status / file (i-485) when I am on an F1 visa? Will it be an issue If I am F1 visa to Adjust my status if priority date is current?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Changing status during a pending application - authorized period of stay


Video Transcript

There is an assumption if old status has expired and you have an application pending you are just in authorized period of state. And by the way, if you have an employment based green card going on and your dates become current you can file a I-485 that is if you are protected by section 245(k). 245(k) says we will forgive you being out of status or unofficially employed for up to 180 days if you are an employment based applicant or their derivative so if your old status expired, F-1 is pending, but the old status expired less than 180 days ago you can file I-485. 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.

Going to school while I-485 is pending

Authored on: Wed, 08/26/2020 - 08:26

Question

My I 485 priority date is Feb 2018 (EB1B) and I am expecting as per current trend to receive my green card by December. I have greencard EAD valid until June 2021.

However, I have enrolled for Fall 2020 semester in MIT to pursue a one year MS degree in System Design and Management. I am sponsored by my employer and I will be paid as a fulltime employee during this period. I will be writing a research thesis on a topic related to my company.

On receiving green card, Do I need to discontinue my degree in between and immediately return to my previous position as a fulltime researcher in the company for which my greencard was filed?
I

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Going to school while I-485 is pending

Video Transcript:

In my view, there are no repercussions because there is a reason you are not joining immediately. As this is a very special circumstance, I would suggest you talk to your lawyer. 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.

Birth certificate problems for parents

Authored on: Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:25

Question

I applied I-130 for my father to get his GC through Consular processing. I'm a US citizen myself. However I got RFE asking for his birth certificate. I have these queries:
The supplemental documents for I-130 for parents as per USCIS application only need US citizen's birth certificate and not the parent's birth certificate. So I don't understand why RFE was issued at this stage?
My father was born in the time when the birth certificates were not available. As per the dept of state reciprocity website, it clearly states:
"Exceptions: Birth certificates are not available to persons born prior to 1968. "
Since it is acknowledged by reciprocity that birth certificates are not available, do I still need to provide NABC (Non-Availability of Birth Certificate)?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Birth certificate problems for parents

Video Transcript

I would prefer you to get a  non-availability certificate along with two affidavits from people who were alive when your parents were born. That is what I would recommend. If it is too cumbersome you could try to set up the reciprocity table as evidence if such documents are not available. 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.

Impact on US immigration for violation of other countries’ laws

Authored on: Mon, 07/13/2020 - 06:14

Question

I recently became US citizen and now planning to file for green card for my own parents from India. However, in past my parents overstayed on their visitor visa(6 months) in UK from 2002 to 2013. They applied for asylum in 2006 and case was going on but then they withdrew their file and then they were sent on their emergency passports(as their old passports were lost and expired, they were given white passport) to India. They had no other criminal activity there and also have No Objection Certificate from Police department of the city they were staying in UK. Now they have their new passports printed from India.

I wanted to know that Does any of this situations in past makes it difficult for them to obtain permanent residency in USA?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Impact on US immigration

for violation of other countries’ laws

Video Transcript

I do not see how breaking UK immigration laws should impact their U.S. immigration. 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.

Covid Coronavirus loss of job while in AOS I-485 period

Authored on: Tue, 05/05/2020 - 01:39

Question

What happens if somebody on H1B loses job while in AOS ( interview done)? Can he/she be without job for an extended period of time? Does the status change to AOS automatically? Have you seen a rejection in I-485J that’s filed after change of employment under a SOC code that’s not same as earlier SOC code but Job Description is similar? What happens if I-485J is denied? Does USCIS allow a new I-485J to be filed?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: 

Covid Coronavirus loss of job while in AOS I-485 period

Video Transcript

 

All you have to do is file a Supplement J with a new job offer. In the meantime, if you are not working and staying at home that’s fine because adjustment of status 180 days brings you to a point where you don't have to have a job you only have to have the offer of a same or similar job. If the supplement J is denied I guess you can file another Supplement J. I would probably file a motion to reopen if the I-485 is being denied with another Supplement J. FAQ in detail...     

 
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Loss of job/laid off during Covid/Coronavirus times

Authored on: Sun, 04/26/2020 - 01:39

Question

I lost job and my last date of employment with the employer is March 20, 2020. This employer sponsored H1B and also had ported GC AOS in 2018.:

1. After my last date of employment (March 20, 2020), how much time do I have to transfer H1B and I-487 to a new employer?

2. Will losing the job affect the EAD renewal in processing?

3. How would it affect I-487 application, which can become current any time soon?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Loss of job/laid off during Covid/coronavirus times

 

Video Transcript:

 

First of all you are in a good situation because if you have a I-485 pending then you can continue to stay even if you lose your H-1B or L-1 or any status because I-485 allows you to stay here. EAD that comes with I-485 allows you to work here and advance parole that comes with the I-485 allows you to travel. Keep in mind that all these are additional benefits to being able to stay.

1. You have 60 days or the time remaing in on I-94 whichever is sorted so in this case probably 60 days.

2. It will not.

3. By the time you are ready to deal with the I-485 you should get another employment or at least an employment offer. 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.

Losing job after AOS I-485 interview

Authored on: Tue, 04/21/2020 - 01:39

Question

I had my EB2 Interview last week it went good. I did submit my offer letter and my paystubs. I am still waiting to hear back from USCIS regarding the next steps. If I end up losing my job what happens in that event? I am working with my current employer on EAD and I dont have an active H1B. Its very difficult to find another job in the current situation, since I have already submitted an offer letter will they require any other confirmation before approving?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Losing job after AOS I-485 interview


Video Transcript:

 

File for Supplement J if you already have a job. It may extend your green card processing time a little bit, but it is worth the wait. 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.

Must we maintain H-1 or L-1 status while I-485 is pending?

Authored on: Thu, 01/23/2020 - 04:55

Question

Is it mandatory to maintain non-immigrant status (H1B) until the I-485 application is approved (a green card is issued)? I am not sure whether USCIS will send an RFE and/or call for an interview when my PD becomes current.

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Must we maintain H-1 or L-1 status while I-485 is pending?

Video Transcript:

Yes, you SHOULD maintain H-1 or L-1 status while I-485 is pending, because these days, especially the government can create odd problems with your I-485. FAQ in detail...

 


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Parents’ birth certificates

Authored on: Thu, 01/16/2020 - 02:14

Question

I applied for my parents in September 2019, finger printing is done and we have received a RFE for I 485.
Both have Domicile Certificates, School Leaving Certificates - which states their place of birth - but does not state their parents name ( I guess in 1960's it was not a norm to have parents name in such documents). Also if we check the US Dept of State - Visa Reciprocity and Civil Document link shows that there were no Birth Certificates prior to 1970. As mentioned below - is this a sufficient enough evidence that there are no birth certificates available at the time of my parents birth?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Parents’ birth certificates

Video Transcript:

I would prefer you to get a  non-availability certificate along with two affidavits from people who were alive when your parents were born. That is what I would recommend. 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.

Options for Career or School, While Employment-Based Green Card is Pending

Authored on: Wed, 07/31/2019 - 02:43

Question

I have been working on H1B for a IT consulting company ( employer A), at a client location. My employer will file for I 485 in about 2 months. I am thinking of a few alternatives and wanted to understand the scenarios in which my GC petition might get cancelled or denied by the USCIS or considered abandoned by me. What precautions I need to take if I follow any of the below scenarios.<br>

1.Take a job with a different employer ( may or may not be same/similar to the job with employer “A” )<br>
2. Leave and join a graduate program full time ( may be after I get EAD, so that I do not have to change to F1 student visa)<br>
3. Leave the employer A and leave the USA, go to home country, India. I may or may not take a job in India which may or may not be same/similar to the job with employer “A”

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Options for career or school,

while employment-based green card is pending


Video Transcript

1. The moment your I-140 is approved the priority date becomes yours. But you will have to start the green card process all over again.

2. I would be hesitant to say that it is a safe option.

3. If you go to India the only thing you will keep is your priority date and the priority date will remain your's forever. The only time you lose your priority date under the current regulations is if your I-140 is revoked for fraud or misrepresentation. 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.

Filing Employment Based Green Card While Living Outside USA

Authored on: Tue, 04/02/2019 - 10:44

Question

I am currently located in India and working as a Technical Architect in software MNC. I had a prior H1B valid from Feb 2008 till Dec 2014 which was sponsored by my previous company and has about 17 days left in it to complete a total of 6 years. After this I have joined a new firm, so wish to know if my current company or a new company can file for a Green Card while I am still in India. If yes , what is the way forward?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Filing employment based green card while living outside USA

Video Transcript

The answer is Yes. Any company as long as it is done in good faith to hire and to be hired, they can file your green card while you are living in India. More...



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Consequences of and Logistical Problems in Dealing with Criminal Arrests or Convictions in Immigration Cases

Authored on: Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:55

Question

My priority date is 2013. I had one misdemeanor case in 2015 and within 2 months of time, case was dismissed by judge and judge issued expunged order also same time. I have not disclosed this to my present company. Can I file 485 without involving my present company and company attorney ? if yes where I can find some more information ? Do I need to submit all the document to Immigration officer ? I have sentencing certified copy and expunging record, do I need to get ' An original official statement by the arresting agency' and 'complete arrest record' ? as case was expunged, so I may not able to get the this document.

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Consequences of and logistical problems in dealing with

criminal arrests or convictions in immigration cases

Video Transcript

What you should do is get yourself a private lawyer. Tell the employer, you prefer to have your own lawyer for the I-485 proceedings and the I-485 is your application, it isn't the application of the employer so you should be able to get your own lawyer and get the I-485 process done yourself. As for what documents to submit - normally we just submit a certified copy of the court proceeding or the final adjudication. That's all we need. Nevertheless, I don't want you to make any assumptions, talk to your lawyers. More...

 

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Starting Business on I-485 EAD

Authored on: Tue, 01/08/2019 - 03:26

Question

1. Am I allowed to open a corporation and run a business on GC-EAD?<br>
2. If no, can I still work on a 1099 and file my taxes or do I have to be on a W-2 for an employer?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Starting business on I-485 EAD

Video Trascript

1. Sure you can. You can work for yourself, you can do multiple jobs as long as you have an EAD.

2. Sure, as long as you are not losing focus of your main job - that's the job that got you your green card. More...

 

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How Can I Downgrade from EB-2 to EB-3 and Consequences

Authored on: Tue, 11/20/2018 - 04:13

Question

I have I-140 approved in EB2, priority date is 2010. When date become current for EB3, I want to downgrade from EB2 to EB3 (I know I have to only refile I-140 and I-485 concurrent). What will happen if USCIS denied newly filed I-140 (EB3)? can I-485 also denied? If newly filed I-140 (EB3) denied, can I used my previously approved I-140 (EB2)?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: How can I downgrade from EB2 to EB3 and the consequences

Video Transcript

If we have an EB-2 approved I-140 we apply for an EB-3 approval on the same form or you can file EB-3 I-140 and I-485 concurrently if the dates are current. If you file a I-485 that is prematurely filed when the priority date of EB-2 is not current, if EB-3 is denied on which basis you had filed the I-485 then the I-485 will also be denied. I would want your lawyers to review your case very carefully. Make sure that you don't have any other issues. If the second EB-3 filing gets denied it should not have any impact on the already approved I-140 unless the second filing reveals some problem with the case that was not addressed earlier. More...


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Porting Priority Date from EB-2 to EB-1

Authored on: Wed, 10/03/2018 - 10:26

Question

My husband has an I-140 approved from Company A ( Priority Date April 2008 , EB2). He is now eligible for EB1 under Employer B ( He is currently on L1 A ). Can his priority date from EB2 be ported to EB1 ?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Porting priority date from EB-2 to EB-1

Video Transcript

The answer is Yes. The main thing is priority dates for EB-2 and EB-1 can be ported and there is no particular format for this. This is supposed to be automatic. The government is supposed to keep a track of that. More...

 


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Section 245(k) Protection During AOS/I-485

Authored on: Thu, 08/02/2018 - 06:14

Question

1. For the Yes/No questions on I-485 form, I have answered all "No" at the time of filing as I was not even aware of this situation. I have no intentions of mis-stating the fact during interview and would like to mention it. But my question is would this be considered as un-authorized employment ? Should I say I'm not sure of this but mentioning it ?<br>
2. Also, after doing some research, looks like there is an exemption based on INA 245(k) and my case seems to be falling into this. Below is the link I was referring to. Am I correct in assuming so ?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Section 245(K) protection during AOS/I-485

Video Transcript

This is a very important protection given to employment based applicants and their dependents when they apply for adjustment of status. What it says is that under Section 245(k) USCIS will forgive your being out of status or having worked without authorization for upto 180 days from the date of your last entry into the US immediately before you filed the I-485. More...

 

 

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Applying for H-4 Status While on Parole

Authored on: Tue, 07/31/2018 - 06:40

Question

I have I-140 and I-485 pending. H-1B ended on May 2018 and applied for extension which is pending.
Spouse entered US under parole status and is valid till December 2018, H4 visa has expired in May 2018
Can spouse apply for H-4 extension after approval of H-1B extension? If so can it be done from USA or have to travel abroad for H-4 visa stamping?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Applying for H-4 status while on parole

Video Transcript

You cannot really get a change of status because parole is not really status. It is just authorized stay which is legal, but not full status. So basically if you want to convert back to H-4 , it does not require any prior approval from the USCIS. You can just take the spouses H-1 approval and go outside USA get your visa stamped and come back. When you enter using your H-4 visa you are back on being on H-4 instead of being on parole and if the I-140 or I-485 etc., is still pending you can of course keep extending your advance parole. You can apply six months ahead of time before the expiration of the parole. More...

 

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Getting Promotions Or Changing Job Description While Green Card Is Pending

Authored on: Tue, 07/24/2018 - 12:55

Question

Present Status: I-140 is approved and priority date Jan 2016. I completed my MS in USA. My company attorney/HR is telling me I can't get promotion till I get my green card approved. As per them this is Immigration law or this is part of green card process. Can you please confirm if there is immigration law which tells that if your green card is pending then Job title can't be changed and promotion can't be awarded?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Getting promotions or changing job description while green card is pending

Video Transcript

If we are speaking of a green card filed through PERM it is complicated because any substantial change in the job requires you to refile the green card unless you have the intention to go back to the old job when you get the green card. 

One point at which you can change jobs, whether job descriptions or job titles or even employers is when your I-140 is approved and your I-485 has been pending 180 days, that's the AC21 portability. More...

 

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Can EB-2 Approved File For EB-3

Authored on: Thu, 06/14/2018 - 06:43

Question

With speculations that EB-3 may go ahead of EB-2, can we port down to EB-3 from EB-2 using existing labor, in general is it risky to do that, what happens if porting is denied will we loose existing approved EB-2 petition?.

Answer

Watch the Video for this FAQ: Can EB-2 approved file for EB-3?

Video Transcript:

The way I think it will work is if you have both EB-3 and EB-2 approvals already good for you. You can use either one. If you have an EB-2 approval and you want to take advantage of the EB-3 upsurge in the Priority Dates, file for an EB-3 I-140 with a copy of the same PERM application. If the I-140 is approved quickly great, if not and the dates become current while the I-140 is still pending, with the receipt you can file an I-485. So you will have an EB-3 pending with a I-485 coming along. Now if tomorrow the dates become better, moving for EB-2 because you have both I-140s in the works, one approved and one pending or maybe both approved by that time, government will automatically give you the benefit of which ever category is moving the fastest.  More...

 

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Effect of I-140 Revocation on Priority Date, H-1B Extensions Through Any Employer, etc.

Authored on: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 08:11

Question

I have my I-140 approved in 2015 and its beyond 180 days now with Employer A.
<br>
If I move to Employer B
a) Consider that Employer A revoked my I-140<br>
b) Please help to confirm will it possible to get multiple extension with previous 180 approved.<br>
c) Even if Employer B doesn't file a Green Card (Labor then I-140)... Can I get multiple extension with Employer A approved I-140

Answer

FAQ: Effect of I-140 revocation on priority date, H-1B extensions through any employer, etc.

Video Transcript:

Beginning January 17, 2017 the law is that if your I-140 has been approved and stays approved for 180 days and atleast one or two days past Janaury 17, 2017, because if it was revoked after 180 days but before Janaury 17, 2017 when the new regulations came in you would have to look at other things but not those regulations. These new regulations say first of all the moment your I-140 is approved your priority date is yours to keep. You can take it to any employer, you have to start the green card all over again, but you carry the priority date forward.

The second thing that it says is that if in addition your I-140 stays approved for 180 days you will retain the ability to extend your H-1B on three years any number of times as long as the priority dates are not current with any employer for any job. So once I-140 is approved and stays approved 180 days your rights to extend H-1 beyond six years with any employer are quite secure. More...


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H-1B and Green Card Transfer From a Non-Profit Organization to For-Profit

Authored on: Thu, 05/03/2018 - 13:09

Question

I am currently working for a Non-profit org on a cap-exempt H-1B. and my company initiated my GC processing. Below are the few questions:<br>
1. Is the GC processing any different thru a non-profit from a for-profit organization? meaning, is it any advantageous to process my GC thru a non-profit?<br>
2. Can my I-140 from a non-profit be transferred to a for-profit org, if I was able to move to a for-profit org?<br>
3. What are the possible ways that I could move to work for a for -profit organizations? From your previous calls and thru my research I found out below few ways that I could to that. Please give your inputs<br>

a. Finding a profit employer to file my cap-subject H1 (Can I start working for my new employer as soon as my H1b is picked in the lottery or approved, instead of waiting till Oct 1st?)<br>

b. If a new employer sponsor my cap-subject H1 and if I dont move to the new employer, will my current cap-exempt H1 be still active and should I have to go under the cap next time I file a Cap-subject H1<br>

c.applying for concurrent H1b<br>

d. Moving on to H4EAD and filing a H1b next April<br>

e.Joining a Masters CPT college and filing a Cap-subject H-1B next year

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-1B and green card transfer from a non-profit organization to for-profit

Video Transcript

1. The answer is No. There is no advantage in going through for-profit or non-profit that's just irrelevant.

2. No, non-profit or for-profit does not matter you cannot transfer I-140s, you can transfer priority dates unless your 1-140 is based upon a National Interest Waiver or an EB-1A.  Your green card can be transferred once your I-140 is approved and I-485 has been pending 180 days, then it doesn't matter what the nature of the organisation is.

3. a.  I don't think there is any specific law on this issue. Technically, you can start working for them on receipt, but obviously you will only get a receipt if your case is picked up for the lottery. So if you have been maintaining H-1B status I believe you can start working for a cap subject employer as soon as your H-1 is picked up.

     b.  Absolutely. My guess would be if your H-1B cap subject H-1B is approved and it is not revoked till October 1st, I don't think you will be subject to a cap to work for a for-profit in the future. It shouldn't be revoked before October 1st and you should receive your change of employer. So in other words, you should get a new I-94 with the case because USCIS has been taking this position that just getting an H-1B approval does not put you over the top where you are safe from cap quota issues. They say unless you receive a change of status or go get a visa stamping till that time you are not exempt from the quota so you must also receive an I-94 which is a transfer of employer, but you can still continue working with the old employer.

    c.  Another way is applying for concurrent H-1B although it is a strange provision in the law where if you have a quota exempt H-1B as long as you maintain that without worrying about the quota you can also work on a concurrent H-1B for a quota employer.

    d. Moving to H-4 EAD is not a good idea because in June they are going to announce the revocation of the H-4 EAD regulations according to the court.

    e. Joining a Master's CPT and filing a cap yes, that's definitely an option.   

More....

 

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H-1B Tranfer, AC21 and I-140 Process

Authored on: Tue, 03/20/2018 - 03:26

Question

1. While I am moving my H-1 New Employer B, What if something goes wrong during H-1 transfer or after that in GC processing with new employer like RFEs etc comes up, can I move back to employer A if employer A is willing to take me back. Does AC 21 portability rule applied to my case also? Since I have not filed I-485 yet, as per my understanding this rule does not apply to me. While my GC is in process with new Employer B and I am in waiting mode for I-140 approval with new employer, What will happen if my time to extend H-1 petition comes up.
<br>
2. Can I still extend my H-1 with new Employer even if I-140 with new employer is in process and not yet approved. Can I use my old Employers approved I-140 to extend my H-1 in this situation.

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: If H-1B transfer is denied, can I go back to my old employer? When does AC21 job portability

begin? Can H-1B be extended through a new employer while I-140 is in process?

Video Transcript

1. You can apply for an extension based upon two reasons either the first year anniversary of your green card filing that your PERM was filed a year ago or based upon I-140 approval. So, yes you can file for a one year extension if PERM was started a year ago.

2. The answer is yes, as long as one of the two things exist. Either the I-140 has not been revoked in that case you can use it for extensions or the I-140 was revoked by the old employer, but after 180 days of approval in both cases you can extend your H-1 through some other employer like employer B even while employer B's own I-140 is still in process. More...

 

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Change of Status to Student F-1 While Green Card is in Process

Authored on: Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:05

Question

My question is about switching from an H-1 to F-1 visa. My six years of H-1 expires in March 2018. I have received an offer for a Phd. at Stanford (starting Aug. 2018) that happens to be one of my dream universities. My employer applied for a PERM back in August 2017, it has not been approved yet. Does the filing of PERM interfere with getting an F-1 visa. I know you’ve answered this question in the past regarding an I-140 and I understand that my chances with just a PERM are slightly better ?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Change of status to student F-1 while green card is in process

Video Transcript

Yes, obviously you can try. I think what happens is when you are going to a good school, chances are government will accommodate and they will allow you to go back on F-1 because it is definitely a promotion path a career progression for you. I can't predict if the government will be reasonable or not, but reasonableness would require that they allow you to convert to F-1. Under the Trump administration I do not know how things are going to work out, but as far as predicting your chances are concerned I think you certainly have a shot. More...

 

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AC-21 Job Portability, Changing Jobs Before 180 Days

Authored on: Tue, 02/20/2018 - 07:47

Question

Have an I140 approved with a priority date of Oct 2009 under the EB3 category and worked for the same employer for over 10 years from 2007 - 2017
I filed for my AOS in December 2017 using Cross Changeability since my spouse is born in Malaysia
I left my employer after 2 weeks of filing the AOS for a better opportunity in terms of Compensation
I used my approved I140 to get three years of H1b extension. My new job and position are in the same category and my new employer is ready to provide Supplement J if needed
It has been almost two months since the filing and have received all the receipt notices and have also done the fingerprinting and haven't received any RFE Yet. Do you foresee any issues arising in near future and jeopardizing the application because I left my employer before 180 days of AOS pendency?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: AC 21 job portability, changing jobs before 180 days

Video Transcript

I do not see any issue other than the time issue so if you are able to have the I-485 pending for 180 days you are good. More...


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Change in Job Title after Getting a Green Card Approval

Authored on: Mon, 01/22/2018 - 23:59

Question

Come to US on green card EB2 (future employment base GC) consular processing. At the time of green card consular processing interview my employer offer letter mentioned my job title as “Programmer Analyst”. My employer is a consulting company and after coming to US on GC, I got my first contract project at client location (while full time with my GC sponsoring employer) with job tilte as “Architect/Project Manager”. But is it having similar job duties as my GC employment offer letter? My question is at the time of US citizenship interview will it be problem because of different job tittle between (GC offer letter and actual contact project at the client site), but similar job duties?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Change in job title after getting a green card approval

Video Transcript:

We would have to look at your job title and job description in the green card and see how different it is from the position you took on. Unfortunately for consular processing people, we don't have that same law - the AC21 same or similar job law. So I cannot really comment that this is going to be or not going to be a problem. Generally speaking, if you are going through Adjustment Of Status process and your I-485 has been pending 180 days, your I-140 is approved that means you are covered by the AC21 rules. In those circumstances, a change in job title to a same or similar job is not a problem. More...

 

 

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Submitting adjustment of status, form I-485, when the applicant is in between projects/not working

Authored on: Tue, 01/16/2018 - 00:38

Question

While submitting application for 485, must the primary applicant be on a project? My husband is a consultant on H1B, the employer has filed for green card - should my husband in a project during the 485 submission; will a between projects situation be an issue for filing 485?

Answer

Watch this Video on this FAQ: Submitting adjustment of status, form I-485, When the applicant is in between projects/not working

Video Transcript:

In your case, if the husband is not in a project, then it raises two issues whether the job is permanent and how is it being sustained on H-1B visa because you cannot be out of a project if you're getting paid. In a scenario, like this, it creates a certain amount of uncertainty. So the rule is if you have a PERM based you have got to have the sponsoring employer offer you a job before you file the I-485. The sponsoring employer can be present or future employer. More...


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Effect of Salary Variations During L-1A Visa

Authored on: Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:29

Question

I came here on L1A. At the time of petition, my offer letter from my employer had a salary of $120K annually. This is $10,000 monthly. I want to know if running my payroll for less money will affect my GC process which I am planning to apply next year.

Considering following situations, Will it affect my GC process which I am planning to apply after 1 year from my arrival date?
1) If my payroll is run for lesser salary e.g. in the range of $6000 to $8000?
2) If my payroll is run with (salary + bonus) to make it a total of $10,000/month (120K annually). For example salary = $6000/month and bonus = $4000/month

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Effect of salary variations during L-1A visa

Video Transcript

Ideally, you should be paid what is indicated on the L-1 paperwork, but there's certainly no law that I can point to that mandates that result. It is just a general sense of uneasiness because it could go into eligibility. Also, if your payroll is run with salary plus bonus I think then you should be ok although I haven't researched this issue. Have your lawyers look into it. More...


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Can we Open a Company While on EAD?

Authored on: Tue, 11/28/2017 - 07:36

Question

1. I recently filed I-140 under EB1 as I am on L1A, my spouse is on L2-EAD, can I open a company on my spouse name?<br>

2. When I file my I-485 do I have to provide any documents (W2, Tax Returns) related to my spouse company?<br>
3. As USCIS has announced In person interview from 10/01/2017, what kind of questions can I anticipate if I open a new company?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Can we open a company while on EAD? What kind of questions/documents will be needed in the I-485 AOS interview?

Video Transcript

1. You cannot open a company in your spouse's name. It would be illegal if you do business through your spouse. But if your spouse wants to do business he or she can. So there is a shade of distinction between what you said. Can I do business through my spouse and the answer is "no" and can my spouse do business the answer is "yes".

2. Yes, you will need to provide copies of all your documents and it is not necessary that she gets a W2 if she's getting a distribution instead of a salary that's fine.

3. First of all, I don't think if the company is not yours and is your wife's and you have nothing to do with it, then you have no questions about it, your wife will have to answer questions about what kind of company etc... More...

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Is Interview Required for Compelling Circumstances EAD?

Authored on: Mon, 11/27/2017 - 06:53

Question

Recently USCIS announced that when a I-485 application is filed the Candidate has to go through the interview process. Is this applicable to the COMPELLING CIRCUMSTANCES EAD as well?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Is interview required for compelling circumstances EAD?

Video Transcript

No. Not so far. The government has not indicated that they will be requiring an interview before issuing a Compelling Circumstances EAD. That's only confined to the I-485 applications. More

 

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Applying for Green Card while Holding H-4 Status; Applying for Green Card and Permanent Residence for Another Country Simultaneously

Authored on: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 05:05

Question

I was on H-4 visa from Feb 2014 till Dec 2015. I was on H-1 visa from Dec 2015 to April 2017. In April my H-1B transfer got denied. Hence I applied for change of status from here (April 15 2017) and now my H-4 application is under process. In Dec 2016 (while I was on H-1B visa), I had applied for GC in EB2 category with my employer. My employer told me that my labor has been approved.<br>
1: Is there a website where we can check the status of labor if it has been approved?<br>
2: When can I file for I-140? Is it true that it has to be filed within 180 days of labor approval?<br>
3: Can my GC application continue whilst being on H-4 visa? <br>
4. Does the GC process, at any stage, require the applicant to be on H-1 visa?<br>
5: I am planning to start Canada PR procedure. Will my GC application interfere with Canada PR at any point?

Answer

Watch the Video of this FAQ: Applying for green card while holding H-4 status; applying for green card and permanent

residence for another country simultaneously

Video Transcript:

1. You have to go through your lawyer or your employer. You won't have access to it, but definitely, there is a website.

2. Within 180 days of the labor approval.

3. Yes of course. 

4. It does not. 

5. I don't see any problem with it, I know that at the border the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sees that you have got two permanent residence applications going on sometimes they can raise a stink about it but in my opinion that's completely unjustified. More...

 

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Pros and Cons of Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing for Green Card

Authored on: Wed, 10/25/2017 - 03:34

Question

My H1B (6 years) was from 10/1/2004 - 9/30/2010 from 5 different companies.
Company A - PD(EB3) - Jun 19, 2007, I-140 applied on July 9, 2007, I-485 filed July 17, 2007 - got laid off Oct 31, 2008. - I-140 approved on Dec 29, 2008.
Moved to Canada in July 2012 and became Canadian Citizen in Apr 2017. I have been keeping Advance Parole active by visiting the USA every year.
Now I want to add my family in Canada(wife(Indian Citizen with USA visitors visa) and kid(Canadian Citizen)). Do you recommend AOS for myself and Consular Processing for my family?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Pros and cons of adjustment of status and consular processing for green card

Video Transcript:

You have got your I-485 filed and that's a good thing and you kept it alive by keeping your advance parole alive, but you need a job offer and you need to file Supplement J. So if you want to take advantage of AC21 you have to move over to a new employer get a new job offer and use Supplement J to indicate to the USCIS that you are going through another employer. You have two choices. You can split the green card. You going through adjustment of status, you enter the USA with your Advance Parole and you file form I-824 for your family to go through green card processing through consular processing in Canada. So you can either bring them all in on an H-1/H-4 type visa or you can do your adjustment of status and let them do their consular processing.You should not convert yourself to consular processing that could probably end in the loss of a green card. You are taking advantage of AC21 which as far as I know is available only in adjustment of status. It is not available in consular processing. Hence adjustment of status for you and consular processing for your family makes sense. More...

 

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How Late Can a I-485 be Filed After Priority Dates Become Current

Authored on: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 01:32

Question

Example Scenario: H1-B EB3. Candidate is in US for 10 years and extending his H1-B using approved I-140.<br>
If a Candidate’s Priority Date is Current can the Candidate file I-485 after 4 years of the Priority Date being Current? Is it allowed without problems?
Is there any specific limitation on the timing of filing (like I-485 should be filed within a specific time period after the priority date becoming current)

Answer

Watch Video on this FAQ: Are there any time limits on how late an I-485 can be filed after the priority dates become current?

Video Transcript:

There is no law that requires you to file the I-485 right away, but there could be some issues about H-1 extensions. You will certainly not be able to get three year H-1 visa extensions. Of course, you can work on EAD. 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.

I-485 Applicant Holding Multiple Jobs On EAD

Authored on: Tue, 08/22/2017 - 06:33

Question

1. In respect to the above, Case: I-485 pending since 4 years. Did not renew H1B as using EAD/AP. Can a primary applicant on Green card have multiple jobs on EAD ? More than one W2's simultaneous.<br>
Employer A (original) - Filed Green Card<br>
Employer B (temporary) - New Employer<br>
Work for both Employer A & Employer B.<br>
2. Is it important to have a continued pay stub from Employer A (original company)? Can I work for Employer B for few months and then work back for Employer A? Will there be any problem during final Adjudication?

Answer

Watch Video on this FAQ: I-485 applicant holding multiple jobs on EAD

Video Transcript

1. If you qualify under AC21 that is same or similar to the offered job under the green card or if you are going through the green card sponsoring employer, you will maintain that job. So, if you are currently maintaining that job full time and doing all other jobs at the same time or you intend to return back to that job when your green card is approved you can actually have simultaneous jobs with several different employers.

2. A green card is based upon a job offer which could be present or future. So for example, if you are working for employer A it can be a job offer for a present job or they could be offering you a promoted position. 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.

Protection of Section 245(k) for Employment-Based I-485

Authored on: Wed, 07/26/2017 - 04:24

Question

Will there be any issue with my I-485 approval? If it gets denied, will my unlawful presence/out of status be counted from the time my I-94 expired? What should be my next steps?

Answer

Audio FAQ: Protection of section 245 (K) for employment-based I-485

Audio Transcript

1. 245(k) says if you are an employment based applicant or spouse or child of an employment based applicant we will forgive you up to 180 days of being out of status or on authorized employment since the date of your last entry. Any period accumulated before last entry we can disregard. We only count from the date of the last entry. Hence it is a very strong permission to help you file I-485.

2. 245(k) is automatically given. The government actually applies for it themselves. You don't have to do anything special for it.

3. When you are in between statuses: H-1B extension pending or old I-94 expired you are not in status enough to apply for this kind of status. But if your status expired less than 180 days ago because of section 245(k) you can file Adjustment of Status. 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.

Child Status Protection Act in Employment-Based Petitions

Authored on: Tue, 07/25/2017 - 01:48

Question

I wanted to understand how Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) works in the case of employment based green card (EB-2) of the parent. My priority date is of 2012 under EB2, I-140 approved. Can CSPA be used to calculate child age when my EB2 priority date becomes current? Wondering what options I have when priority date becomes current and child age is 21+

Answer

Audio FAQ On: Child Status Protection Act in employment-based petitions

Audio Transcript

Child Status Protection Act (CSPA),  in employment-based petitions will allow you to take advantage of the time your I-140 is pending. So if your I-140 was pending for 8 months your child can file I-485 with you if the dates become current until 21 years, plus 8 months. Hence whatever time your I-140 was pending that time becomes an additional grace period for the child to file I-485 with you. The only advantage you will get is the dependency of the I-140. Other than that, there is no advantage. 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.

Compelling Circumstances EAD

Authored on: Fri, 07/07/2017 - 04:53

Question

I am on a H-1B Visa for past 9 years and have EB3 I-140 (2008 Priority Date) from Company A and EB3 I-140 from Company B (2014 Priority Date). I am now with Company C. I am Heart Patient and was operated for Heart By-Pass Surgery in 2013 and since then taking my regular Medicines (for my entire Life). I feel stressed on continually working for 40 hours a week and feel getting a EAD will be a god's gift and I can use this EAD to work at my convenience.

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Compelling circumstances EAD

Video Transcript

I have given a few examples on my blog please look at that.

Your surgery was a good four years ago I don't know if there is something particularly difficult about your medical situation, but normally people with bypass surgery resume their normal lives. In your case, like I said if there are any particular circumstances, you can certainly apply for compelling circumstances EAD and you can keep getting that renewed. 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.

Changing Jobs and Supplement J

Authored on: Thu, 06/29/2017 - 08:29

Question

How long does the supplement J form take for approval? What happens if supplement J is denied? Can I work with the new employer without filing supplement J?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Changing jobs and Supplement J

Video Transcript

Supplement J is essentially a replacement for employment letters. See my blog for the rules. 

The purpose of Supplement J is to confirm that the job offer from the employer and there is the intention of the employee to accept that job. It is also used to request portability. 

.......When must you file Supplement J?

When you are filing I-485 and I-140 separately. If you file them both together with the same employer, you don't need to file Supplement J. If you are filing them separately you file I-140 first and then you filed I-485 then you have to file Supplement J with it. 

Second, when USCIS requests it, you got to provide it. So if you have a pending case, you've never given Supplement J and UCIS has asked for it, you got to give it. 

Third, is when you do portability. When you change to a similar job you should file at that point Supplement J.  If you want to take benefit of portability you have to file it. But if you say I am going to be here for 3 months and then change jobs again you could skip 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.

I-485 approved while outside the USA - travel on AP or GC

Authored on: Tue, 04/25/2017 - 08:20

Question

Pending I-485 petition (AOS), AP&EAD approved and valid until another 6 months. I-485 petitioner went to India, on approval of AP. While in India, I-485 approved on 29/3/2017 and Card received

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: I-485 approved while outside the USA - travel on AP or GC

Video Transcript

This is a common situation where your I-485 is pending and you got your Advance Parole and you traveled outside the United States and while you were outside the United States your green card got approved and now you want to enter the USA. In a situation like this, you can enter the United States using your Advance Parole. You can also wait and get your green card delivered to you for e.g. by hand and then use that to enter the United States. But I am not sure if there is any law on that, but I know people do it. I don't think it's forbidden, but I would feel a whole lot more comfortable if people came back on their Advance Parole. 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.

Do jobs have to be same or similar when I port my priority date?

Authored on: Wed, 04/05/2017 - 11:40

Question

1. I'm on H-1 visa and on my 8 th year ...visa is getting extended based on I-140 approved. I'm getting an offer to join different company end client(currently I'm with the consulting company) designation not decided yet. In my current employer, I am manager and wondering if I get a different position in other company like Director or solution architect or Sr Manager...and if I join that company what effect that will make on my current approved I 140 or GC process. Is this safe to jump? I heard job category needs to be same or similar in various forums for PERM but I don't have clarity or understanding what that rule is and....how that thing impact my situation.<br>
2. I have not filed I-485 yet since my priority date is back in 2013 in EB2. Also, my wife has H-4 EAD does that impact as well?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Do jobs have to be same or similar when I port my priority date?

Video Transcript

1. When you port the whole job; I-485 is pending 180-days, jobs have to be same or similar. When you are just porting the Priority Date in the I-140, jobs can be completely different. You have to start the green card from the PERM process, but when you are just porting the Priority Date there is no problem.

2. The answer is No. As long as you are maintaining your H-1 status and she is maintaining her H-4 status. 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.

Can I go back and join an employer who has my I-140 approval, but I left them

Authored on: Wed, 03/29/2017 - 02:37

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.

What if I never joined the employer who sponsored me for green card?

Authored on: Mon, 03/27/2017 - 23:59

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.

Compelling circumstances EAD

Authored on: Tue, 03/21/2017 - 15:53

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.

AC21, changing jobs, when to file Supplement J

Authored on: Fri, 03/17/2017 - 03:49

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.

Medical problems/diseases that can cause issues in green card

Authored on: Thu, 03/16/2017 - 07:00

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.

J-1 Physician applying for following to join after waiver

Authored on: Wed, 03/01/2017 - 23:20

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.

Changing Employers With An Approved I-140 After January 17 2017

Authored on: Tue, 02/28/2017 - 02:18

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.

How do we keep up with the rumors and changes in the laws

Authored on: Thu, 02/23/2017 - 02:27

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.

Automatic EAD extension; I-485 EAD

Authored on: Thu, 02/23/2017 - 00:48

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.

What Happens to Existing Green Cards?

Authored on: Wed, 11/09/2016 - 22:53

Question

What happens to existing/pending green cards?

Answer

Nothing. The process continues.  Changes in laws are not retroactive.

Effect of Divorce on Employment-Based Immigration

Authored on: Fri, 09/30/2016 - 04:08

Question

I have been in US for the last 8 years and got GC employment based 3 years ago. I have 15 and 21 year old sons. My wife and I have differences on who manages my finances. I am thinking about applying for divorce. Just wondering whether divorce would have any impact on obtaining citizenship (either for me or my wife and children).

Answer

Watch Video: Effect of divorce on employment-based immigration

Video Transcript:

Divorce is a civil proceeding that has no consequences on immigration once you have obtained your immigration.  But in another situation if a I-485 was pending and before the I-485 could be approved the parties were going to get divorced you would have consequences because then the derivative spouse cannot really receive the immigration of the primary applicant that becomes much more complicated. 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.

Remedy for Denial of I-485 AOS

Authored on: Tue, 06/07/2016 - 09:27

Question

Today I have got denial on my I-485. Reason stated was "According to Visa Bulletin in effect on the date this application was filed , a visa was not available based on your established priority date and specific preference category" My category is EB2. Date of filing for this category is 1st July 2009. My priority date is 10th December 2008. I filed 485 application on 1/19/2016 and got receipt notice on 1/29/2016
I did my finger printing on 03/16/2016 based on USCIS schedule I and my family members also got EAD on 03/23/2016 I was surprised to see today’s denial reason. I filed 485 application based on Dates for Filing .e. 1st July 2009 for EB2 category. Not sure why they denied my case since Final action date is not current but I am sure I am eligible to file my application based on date of filing. Is there any way to appeal on this decision ? If appeal gets denied again is there any impact on my current H1B status ?

Answer

FAQ: Remedy for denial of I-485 AOS

Video Transcript: When you filed and the government says the priority date is not current then that's a question of fact. If they have mistakenly identified this petition as untimely filed you can definitely file an MTR (there is no appeal against an I-485 denial) and get it reopened, but if they are correct then have a lawyer review your case.

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.

Effect of Divorce on an Employment-Based Case and Cross-Chargeability

Authored on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 08:35

Question

I got married in May last year and my wife was born in Malaysia . I was on H-1B with I-140 approved then and learnt about cross chargeability and filed for green card in June, we both got our green card in October.
Things are not going well with marriage and my wife moved to NY and she is thinking of getting divorce. If divorce does happen does this affect mine or her green card?

Answer

Watch Video: Effect of divorce on an employment-based case and cross-chargeability

Video Transcript: As long as the marriage was in good faith and you just did'nt do it to get cross chargeability benefit then there is no problem in a divorce and that will not have an effect on her green card or yours. Both principal and beneficiary can opt out of processing the green card for their spouse if there is a split-up.

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.

Changing Back to F-1 Student Status After Filing for Green Card

Authored on: Fri, 05/27/2016 - 04:24

Question

I was a student on F-1 (MS), and I got my H-1B two years ago. My company has started GC process and already got my I-140 approved. But I want to go back to school this fall (law school), which means I'll have to change my status back to F-1 again.

Answer

Watch Video: Changing back to F-1 student status after filing for green card


Video Transcript:
If you have exhibited immigrant intent, getting F-1 status should be very difficult. So it is correct that when you have exhibited an immigrant intent the government or the counsellor officers can take the position that you have basically taken yourself out of consideration for a non immigrant visa like a student visa. 

Theoretically at least your chances are made worse because of the green card. I don't think withdrawal of the I-140 necessary helps.

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. 

 

Getting married when AOS I-485 is pending (following to join and other options)

Authored on: Tue, 04/19/2016 - 04:29

Question

My current status is AOS (Advance Parole) based on an employment-based EB3 green card filing with a PD of April 2007. I am an Indian citizen. My H-1B expired in 2007 and since then I have been working in the US on my EAD. My parents have found a prospective bride in India, so I am looking to get married soon and have her accompany me to the US after marriage. She does not have a US Visa. I have not found any information from any venue of getting married to an Indian girl from India in my current immigration status, except for hearing about Form I-824. Could you speak towards or confirm if indeed this is the process/procedure and its success rate or any caveat : filing Form I-824 to have my future wife added as a dependent to my pending AOS application, while she is still in India? And then subsequently filing my next I- 765 application and adding her as a dependent/spouse on the application. Once the EAD cards arrive then traveling to India and she could travel back to the US on her new EAD card?

Answer

Watch Video: Getting married when AOS I-485 is pending (following to join and other options)

 

Video Transcript: As per the law if you have an employment based case pending and you are married on the date your green card is approved, she is entitled to come through you through the same priority date and through a much shorter process called following to join. 

What is following to join?

Lets say you are here and your spouse is in India you will file form I-824 and request the government to send her papers to the consulate and that can take time. But this is processing time. It can take 6-10 months. But eventually she gets processed through an interview in the consulate following to join.

In the above situation H-1/H-4 is the only option because unless she is in USA in legal status she can't file adjustment of status. When you are outside you can do only following to join.

Get your H-1 stamping done and also her H-4 done. Both of you travel to USA on H-1 and H-4. If your priority date is current when you land you can file for her I-485 otherwise she can stay on H-4 and you can stay on H-1.

 

 

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.

The Proposed I-140 EAD Rule - FAQ's

Authored on: Mon, 01/11/2016 - 07:23

Question

Answer

Question 1: Redo the PERM or just the I-140. If redoing the PERM again then what's new in this regulation? 

Answer: After 180 days, you can extend H-1 even if 140 is withdrawn.

Question 2: It seems that there is no easy provision for EAD/AP for approved 140 applicants. So is there any point in waiting for this rule or Should I consider Visa stamping is only option for traveling outside US? Please suggest as I waited for a year or long thought they are going to give AP.

Answer: Your observation about EAD/AP is correct- no easier. I will be surprised if USCIS changes these proposed rules in any significant manner when they finalize.

Question 3: If I have consumed my 6 years of H-1B and I have approved I-140. If I go to India and of some reason I got stuck in India. After a while I want some other employer to file my H-1B petition other then with approved I-140 employer. Do the new employer can apply for my new H1b cap exempt petition based on approved i-140 from my old employer. OR New H-1B petition from the new employer comes under H-1 cap count?

Answer: You have raised two separate issues. One, the I-140 can be used to extend your H-1 through ANY employer, if it is not withdrawn within 180 days of approval. Two, you are exempt from H-1 cap if your H-1 was approved any time within the last 6 years.

Question 4: Is there any provision for promotions internally within a company that filed the petition and the I-140 is approved more than 180 days previously?

Answer: These regs will only clarify (I am not sure they really do that) what "same or similar" jobs are. That concept is crucial when your I-140 has been approved and I-485 has been pending 180 days. At that time, you can accept a same or similar job anywhere, including within the same company, and NOT have to start your green card all over again. That comes under the topic of AC21 portability.

Question 5: Is direct portability of I-140 across multiple employers, ever possible. because I-140 is a property of the Employer and not the Employee (unlike 1-485) ?.Can we suggest any other creative options, of working around this legal hurdle. a. Can PERM be made portable across multiple employers. So employees donot have to go through the hassle of the PERM filing, repeatedly. This will save, almost 4 months of pre PERM filing effort and another 8-10 months of PERM processing window.

b. Or, can the I 140 be made an Employee’s property after 180 days it is approved. If that can be done then portability of the same may be legally possible across different Employers

Answer: The Priority date IS the "property" of the employee, NOT of the employer. So, an employee can port it to any job, anywhere, any number of times. But, I do not think they are excusing us from having to refile the PERM.

Question 6: Does the 60 day grace period is accepted in this case; H-1 Ext filed before expiry of I-94, then Current H-1 and I-94 expired, then H-1 Ext denied. Can we use 60 day grace period for filing new H-1 with new employer? In what cases does this 10 day validity before and after petition dates is used. The 60-day grace period appears to apply only in those cases where an approved H-1 employment abruptly comes to an end. The proposed regs say, upto 60 days may be given: "on the basis of the cessation of the employment on which the alien’s classification was based".

Answer: The 10 days allow you enter (but, not work) upto 10 days before the date your "validity period" (approval of petition) begins, and another 10 days to leave the USA (but, not work), after that period ends.

Question 7: Emp A - I-140 Approved and Moved to Emp B. Got i-140 with Emp B and priority date retained. submitted Emp A Experience letter while fling PERM. Now I want to move to Emp C. Do I still need to get experience letter from Emp B? If I am not able to get experience letter from Emp B, Can Emp C file PERM. if so and filed new PERM and I-140 with Emp C, Can I still retain priority date even though if its not same or similar job?

Answer: There are two fundamental principles that you need to apply to your case:

1. Priority date transfer does NOT require that your jobs must be same or similar.

2. Experience letters are NOT required for priority date transfer or retention. 

Question 8: Now that it is clear that there is almost nothing much in the so called reform, how can the immigrant community represent themselves forcefully, while the public comment period is in place? I understand that each one of us can go and put our comments, but is your firm, or someone else, planning to represent us? For lack of proper words, these so called reforms are a piece of trash, and only done to pretend as if reforms are taking place. It could not be worse actually. 

Answer: There is a limit on what USCIS can do without action from the Congress. You can certainly write your comments and several organizations will place their comments on the record as well. NORMALLY, USCIS does not change the rules much once they have been proposed. I think US immigration policy in "skilled" immigration is distressingly short-sighted. Our adopted country does not recognize the value brought in by us.

Question 9: My I-140 already withdrawn/revoked after 180 days of initial approval date. Now after implements new rule, will it apply for my case to extend my H-1 beyond 6 years?

Answer: I cannot say for sure whether USCIS intends to apply these rules retroactively. I hope they do. 

Question 10: Can you comment on what date will this become effective ? Is it after the comment period is over?

Answer: The effective date is unpredictable. Usually, it is a few months after the comments are over. 

Question 11: I need to clarify regarding the I-140 EAD for H-4. If the principal applicant has I-140 approved but the priority date for that category and country in the visa bulletin is more than 10 years back, Can the dependents, such as H-4, apply for I-140 EAD without the documentation for compelling evidence? If no, what are the examples of compelling evidence?I think the regulation does very little incremental for the EB categories. As mentioned, it provides clarification rather than provide more flexibility to the household or family of EB categories. I am disappointed with the revisions that have been made.Also, the compelling evidence was not required till now. What happens to those H-4 EADs which were issued since USCIS started applications from May 27, 2015? How would those H-4 EADs which are approved on the basis of I-140 approval of principal applicant be dissolved?Also, if the spouse moves from H-4 to H-4 EAD. Can he/she move from H-4 EAD to H-1B or any other non-immigrant category? Does the form I-539 allows movement among all categories?

Answer: H-4 EAD does NOT require compelling evidence. That is a different rule: http://www.immigration.com/blogs/form-i-140-form-i-765/h-4-ead-rule-cont...

I-594 does allow movement between all categories. H-4 to H-1 is definitely no problem. I agree; I am not too thrilled with the regs. But there is a limit to what Pres. Obama can do, folks. 

What is I-485 Pre-adjudicate/Pre-adjudication and How soon must I join my future green card employer

Authored on: Tue, 12/15/2015 - 03:17

Question

What is I-485 Pre-adjudicate/Pre-adjudication? <br>
How soon must I join my future green card employer?<br>
Situation - <br>
I have my EB2 India PD as March, 2008.
I applied for I-485 in Oct 2014 (Future based GC application). My PD is not current as of yet but I have got an RFE for expired medical form I-693 ONLY in Oct, 2015.

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/1QbgUmUUJvc?t=402

FAQ Transcript:

Question: What is I-485 Pre-adjudicate/Pre-adjudication?

You are at the last step of the green card process. Your priority dates became current, you filed the I-485, then the priority dates slipped back two years, at this time USCIS has two choices. They can either put your file in their filing cabinet and forget about the case, until the priority dates become current again. Or they can sit down and can say look we have time, let’s go over the case, adjudicate all the details, decide that the case is completely qualified to receive a green card, so we pre-adjudicate, decide that the person is entitled to get the green card. Make a note on the file. If you need some documents, we send an RFE get the documents so when the priority dates become current again all we have to do is issue the green card. That’s pre-adjudicate.

Question: How soon must I join my future green card employer? 

There is really no rule of thumb. But within a commercially reasonable period of time. Three to four months maybe, after approval of the green card, you should join the future green card employer. In your particular case that appears to be a requirement sometimes it may not be a requirement because of AC21 and remember AC21 portability is available even in future employer green card cases.

Writ of Mandamus against delay

Authored on: Mon, 11/16/2015 - 06:45

Question

I am currently pending I-485 (EB3, skilled worker employment based, priority date Oct 2008) since April 2014. I submitted inquiries through congressman, they received a letter that my case is on hold indefinitely. Do you recommend filing Writ of Mandamus or would that cause a denial? What other actions can I take, I've submitted a case through the Ombudsman and met with a USCIS officer through Infopass appointment (who told me nothing). No RFEs have been issued for this case, I-140 was approved and fingerprinting done (twice, since first set expired).

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/F0YZD8zWm88?t=333

FAQ Transcript:

Writ is simply order of the court or a formal order.

Mandamus is to ask the government to do something, which it is legally obliged to do. It is important to understand what the court can and cannot do. First of all the court has to decide whether your case has taken too long unreasonably long to the extent where the delay itself becomes unreasonable. So very difficult thing to prove, depends upon the court. There is a ruling I remember litigating this issue very vigorously in Washington D.C. and one of the cases that was against us was a case from  Board of Indian Appeal that's what they called BIA not to be confused with Board of Immigration Appeal but Board of Indian Appeal . 

Usually if a group of people want to be declared Indian Tribe because if you are an Indian Tribe one of the things you can do is have unique rights within your own area such as opening a Casino. They had a determination pending for over ten years and court said that is not unreasonable.

So first hurdle is to actually be able to prove, of course before that there is hurdle of legal fees, it can be quite expensive to litigate an issue. Second hurdle is proving that delays are unreasonable, unreasonable according to what. The government processing times are merely guesses; they don't give us a right. The third thing which is also important, court cannot ask the government to decide  I-485 in your favor, they can only make government  act, whether the action is Yes, No or RFE. 

And my final point is something I find very odd, I never  believed to be possible until I saw it happened to  myself. The government behaves like a spoilt child because they have lost the case they can send you 30 page RFE requesting information that you would not believe could even be asked.

So because the court cannot tell the government to decide the case in your favor, they can only order the case to be decided Yes or No. You could end up creating more issues. The Freedom of Information Act usually does not help in these cases much. 

So keeping in view all these things personally my approach is very simple I tell people, are you at the point where you are so sick and tired that you either want a yes so you can get your Green card and stay in this country or get Naturalization whatever the benefit is or get a No and just leave, one way or the other. Once you come to that point that's when I want to litigate. Again it also depends upon the circuit, you know that in USA there are different Judicial circuits on the Federal level. So some circuits are more open to certain issues, some circuits are not open. We have to look at the law of the circuit also.              

Priority date loss upon revocation of I-140

Authored on: Wed, 11/11/2015 - 07:37

Question

1) Is there any difference between I-140 revoked by employer - vs - I-140 revoked by USCIS (say for fraud or misrepresentation) with respect to being able to retain the priority date with the new employer ?<br>
2) Changing from Employer A to Employer B - If Employer B files the PERM before I-140 by employer A is revoked by the employer A - would that help retain the PD corresponding I-140 to employer A ? In other words, are there any specific scenarios in this case - where the PD could be retained based on the first I-140 approval ?

Answer

As far as we know, USCIS has once again revered its position and has stated that priority dates will be retained if the revocation is based upon an employer's request.  See: the blog entry here

Investment property while on H-1 (Buying and renting out a house)

Authored on: Mon, 11/09/2015 - 04:01

Question

I am on H-1B visa and in green card process (waiting for I-485 date to become current). I would like to know if I buy and rent houses on my own name (without forming an LLC) and actively manage the activities (finding a renter, maintenance etc) and make profit out of those rentals, then would it violate my status?

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/F0YZD8zWm88?t=694

FAQ Transcript:

First of all in my view on passive investment where you are just putting in money and have no control over what happens to the investment it is ok to do that on H-1.   So if you buy stock in IBM that’s OK because you don’t get to manage or run IBM just because you bought 200 dollars worth a stock. So passive investments were you don’t actually control the investment or the business activity they are ok for H-1.

But when you buy and rent out a house I think that would be objectionable. I think that could be considered to be a violation of your status. What if you invested money in a small company like say a two person company when you own 100 percent  stock but you are not managing and somebody else is managing I think that would be ok (in fact closer to be ok). But the question, can you start your own IT company...well if you did in a partnership and if you were a passive investor and if you want to work for that company you would have to have a true employer-employee  relationship with the company. That means somebody should be able to file you and then a H-1 concurrent, H-1 for your own company. So the decision tree is:  Is my investment active or passive. If it is passive no problem I can invest even if  I am on H-1. If it is active I would have to do an H-1B for my own company and make sure I have an employee employer relationship.

I am finding that government is very much more understanding or flexible when it comes to radical practices, dental practices, were you own your company but you have somebody who can fire you whether  it is board of directors or president where you could be fired as long as that is there having a company on H-1 is possible.

I-485 Rejected and B-2 Expiring

Authored on: Thu, 10/15/2015 - 03:21

Question

My wife's I-485 got rejected because of priority date not current. My application was delivered early by FedEx(Sep 29). Her priority date is Sep 2014 so as per Oct 2015 guidelines I believe she has the eligibility to apply.
Can I re-apply same documents, and also do I need to apply for her Visa extension too because it will expire in 1 week from now. Will she be considered in status with her I-485 receipt number and in process of re submission?

Answer

An untimely filing based denial does not invalidate the documents, and, a pending 485 keeps her in authorized period of stay. Nevertheless, I advise people to keep their status (like H-1, H-4) current, anyway. By the way, a B-2 to AOS application is FULL of potential problems. Make sure you consult a lawyer.

 

 

 

Priority date port and multiple I-485/AOS petitions

Authored on: Wed, 09/23/2015 - 07:33

Question

I have my old Priority date as Dec 2009 in EB-3 and when I changed the company they filed the Labor and I-140 in EB-2 and my old Priority date is not ported on my new I-140 and I see the new I-140 in EB-2 with the Priority Date as Jan 2013. Now with the revised USCIS VISA Bulletin can I apply my I-485 with old PD ( EB-3) and simultaneously to be safer side can I apply I-485 from my wife's side and her PD is July 2010.

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/OMuYdzLJ2qQ?t=1436

FAQ Transcript:

Current thinking of USCIS is if the old employer revokes I-140 or USCIS revokes I-140 it will take away your Priority Date.  Second thing is in a situation when one files the second I-140, USCIS has already given the date from the old I-140 and now if the old I-140 is already revoked why keep the date and the answer is not necessarily. Just because the date has been put on your I-140 does not mean you get to keep it at least that’s the way I see it.

Let’s say husband and wife both have their  I- 485 going. Because she had her I-140, you had your Priority Date and might be a few months ahead of the other one should we be filing I-485s? One Primary and the other one Derivative and the answer is ...USCIS does not like it. On the other hand Is it legal to have multiple I- 485s the answer is "yes"... can it cause confusion and delays..."yes" but it also protects a bunch of very important rights.

The interesting this is ...let’s say husband and wife both filed I-485 one each but wife’s case got approved first what USCIS  does these days is they take husbands case and convert it to derivative  and approve him also. So they automatically convert pending I-485s from derivative to primary...from primary to derivative which is very good. So bottom line  - can you file multiple I-485's? " yes"...should you do it ?..get your lawyers check with the USCIS. I probably would where there is an advantage and where there is no advantage ...both jobs are secured nothing to worry about let’s say I would probably file one each and then wait. Chances are USCIS will convert when the approved primary and they will  convert  the derivatives case also . The second primary case also as a derivative and approved.

 

 

I-485/AOS/AC21 issues in job through future employer - I-485/AOS

Authored on: Tue, 09/22/2015 - 05:12

Question

Situation -<br>
1. I am working with employer A on L visa.<br>
2. Employer B has filed my future employment based GC under EB2 category. My I-140 is approved. (I have not worked for employer B until now)<br>
3. My I-485 filed by employer B is pending for more than 180 days.<br>

4. I certainly want to join employer B as soon as I get a project prior to getting green card OR when I get my green card.<br>

Questions - (in case point # 4 is not MET and I get an RFE on employment verification letter)<br>

1. During I-1485 adjudication if I get EVL RFE and I decide to respond to it using another job offer from employer C, then -
How do I prove that I certainly had intention to join employer B at the time of filing I-140 and I-1485?<br>
How to prove that my employer B also had intentions to hire me on a permanent Job offer at the time of filing I-140 and I-485?<br>

2. If we want to respond to EVL RFE using Employer C's offer then -
How do we prove that this offer was extended prior to I-485 adjudication (with joining date after getting green card)?<br>
What should be the offer extended date and<br>
What should be the joining date to comply by AC21?<br>

3. If I respond to this EVL RFE using employer B's job offer letter then -
What are the chances of getting "Ability to pay RFE" subsequent to my RFE response using Employer B's offer letter (Not using AC21 at all)?
(FYI - as far as I know so far none of the GC applications are denied for "Ability to Pay" RFE for employer B)

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/OMuYdzLJ2qQ?t=440

FAQ Transcript:

It is perfectly legal for an employer to process the green card for you as long as they have the good faith intention and you have the good faith intention of joining them. However once I-140 is approved and I-485 through a future employer has been pending 180 days you’re not required to join them. You could join anyone with same or similar job anywhere in the United States. So AC21 protects not only jobs you already have in hand it also protects future jobs. As long as the intention is honest basically that is based upon your statements and that’s all that matters.

Now you are protected by AC21 job portability or green card portability you can take any job anywhere with any employer as long as it is similar to the job described by your employer B when they file your green card.

Question: During I-1485 adjudication if I get EVL RFE and I decide to respond to it using another job offer from employer C, then - How do I prove that I certainly had intention to join employer B at the time of filing I-140 and I-1485?

How to prove that my employer B also had intentions to hire me on a permanent Job offer at the time of filing I-140 and I-485? If I cannot join them during I-485 adjudication.........can I use another job.

And the answer is - Yes you can and you don’t have to prove that this offer was extended prior to I-485 adjudication. That too can be a future job offer and the joining date does not really have to be specified all that needs to be specified is that is it is their intention to offer you the job and accommodate you either before or promptly after the green  card is approved.

So you have all the options open if you want to respond using a job offer from the future employer (employer B/employer A) all of them are open to you and ability to pay RFE is usually only relevant to the employer who filed your green card. So if I use AC21 and go from employer X to employer Y USCIS is not going to question employer Y’s ability to pay. But if you stay with employer X they can question the ability to pay all the way till you actually get the green card.

 

 

Applying I-485 On My Own

Authored on: Tue, 07/21/2015 - 10:25

Question

Is it possible for me to apply I-485 on my own when I have I-140 approved and having receipt number? I am on L-1A visa, employer is not ready to neither provide I-140 approval notice nor file I-485. What documents you need to apply for I-485, is there any documents required from my employer, who actually is not cooperating so that I do not leave, which I do not intend to leave.

Answer

You will need a confirmation of continued employment ("job letter") to file I-485. You should also put in a FOIA request to see you if you can get a copy of the I-140 approval.

Regarding Form G-884 (Returns of original documents)

Authored on: Tue, 07/21/2015 - 10:22

Question

I got I-140 approved and also got EAD with EB2 category in April 2012. I need to change my employer but my employer did not give me my green card paper like I-140 approval copy, labor code etc. I have only receipt copy of I-140 and I-485. I heard about USCIS form G-884 (Returns of original documents) which use to get all green card documents from USCIS. I have following questions to ask you. Based on G-884, can I get my all green card
documents from USCIS without knowing my employer?

Answer

Form G-884 is used to request return of documents YOU had sent to USCIS (e.g., your college degrees and diplomas). Use FOIA for the purpose you are considering.

Change jobs without having to file for I-140 again

Authored on: Tue, 05/26/2015 - 05:32

Question

Please let us know effective when we can change jobs without having to file for I-140 again?

Answer

When:
1. I-140 is approved; and
2. The I-485 has been pending 180 days; and
3. The job described in green card is the same or is similar to the job you are going to;
you no longer have to refile the green card.

How soon can I change employers after getting green card?

Authored on: Tue, 04/28/2015 - 00:03

Question

I got my green card base on EB-2 category. I got mail from USCIS mentioning they change my status in to Permanent resident. As well as I got my Green Card in mail this year March. But I
filed my I-485 last year July.I want to change my employer. (New Employer offering similar salary as well as similar position ). Is there any legal issue. Do I have to worry about this junction ?

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/3Heaadpk1Ik?t=599

FAQ Transcript:

Green card which is employment based does not require you to enter into slavery.  It requires only this. On the date your green card was approved it was your intention to work at your job indefinitely, not permanently. So if I got my approval today and today I continue working indefinitely for the next few days or years but a week later I got a better job can I leave and the answer is yes. I think you can. But let’s say I already have an offer at hand and I got my green card and I want to go and would that be considered indefinite.  Probably not.  The government can take an objection but even there if the job was same or similar to what the green card job was I think a good argument can be made under AC21 portability. Currently the law requires only to have indefinite intention but on the date you got your green card. However once the green c ard is approved and if your intention changes, then I do not see any problem with it. 

Considerations for AC21 job portability

Authored on: Mon, 03/30/2015 - 00:12

Question

My I-485 (based on EB-1) is pending more than 180 days. If I decide to change jobs under AC 21 rule -<br>
(1) Does the new job description should be same as by definition of EB-1 or should it match my current job description based on which I applied for GC in EB-1B?<br>
(2) Do you advise to change using EAD or transferring H-1B? <br>
(3) Based on your experience, will you advise to change jobs under AC 21 or stay in the present job until GC is approved?

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/GtOqgqgEG6I?t=242

FAQ Transcript

Very important issue is Job portability. Today the way it works is an AC 21 portability was basically enacted by Congress back in October 2000 under a law called American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act, the kind of abbreviation or acronym for AC21. What does it mean? If you’re I-140 is approved and your I-485 is pending whether it was filed with the I-140 or after I-140 approval. If it has been pending 180 days, you may change employers to any same or similar job anywhere in the United States and you will not have to do your Green Card again. So basically you can port your job over as long as it is same or similar. Tricky problem, what is same or similar? No one knows. If you are a software engineer and you remain as software engineer in the next job then same or similar. If you are a software engineer and you become IT manager in next job then not sure same or similar job.

This is where Obama steps in and he says look I will make it clear for the record that natural progression in a job does not take away from being a job same or similar that's the first thing President Obama wants to do and hopefully they will implement really quickly. So, natural progression is considered to be same or similar. Second thing President Obama wants to do is to let you file I-485 without the priority date becoming current. So that means you will earn a right for AC-21 almost a year- year and half, two years into your Green Card process which is very good. Right now if you are India born or China born you could have to wait minimum years to earn that right. So that's in a nut shell what AC-21 is.

Further down somebody was asking a question today: Do we have to inform USCIS?

Interesting thing is that there really is no formal process for implementing in AC-21 transfer over, job portability. Basically, you are not required to file a letter but we usually have employees, people, individual in that situation, file a letter and inform USCIS. Because USCIS is prone to making mistakes, sometimes if the old employer revokes your I-140, if you are an AC-21 eligible individual it does not make any difference if the employer revokes the I-140 as long as you cross the 180 days deadline. Even if they revoke you are entitled to AC-21. But the problem is USCIS sometimes is not aware of the new laws especially the less trained officers. They could revoke your I-485 and send you notice. Next thing is you are running around and trying to solve this problem and if the AC-21 is revoked you are immediately unlawfully present, you cannot work and work is debatable. Let’s just say you are unlawfully present, it’s just a whole lot of mess that should be avoided and that's why I also advice people to keep their H-1 active. So AC-21 letter should be sent.

Another question asked is should I hire a lawyer?

Please do not do this yourself, many things I OK with people doing by themselves you may be ok and you may be get through it. But this is not worth taking chance as downside is too terrible so get a lawyer don't do it by yourself.

Now the question before me

My I-485 (based on EB-1B) is pending more than 180 days. If I decide to change jobs under AC 21 rule -

1. Does the new job description be same as by definition of Eb-1B or should it match my current job description based on which I applied for GC in EB-1B?

Answer:  Current job description. If you are trying to take advantage of EB-1 portability or AC-21 portability your job description should be same or similar in relation to job description is already being filed.

2. Do you advise to change using EAD or transferring H1-B?

Answer:  I told you H-1 is better; keep your H-1B alive.

3. Based on your experience, will you advise to change jobs under AC 21 or stay in the present job until GC is approved?

Answer:  Yes if you have good opportunity. We have done thousands of AC-21 in last few years and we never had an issue as long as job is same or similar you should be fine.

 

 

 

Green card through two employers and future employer

Authored on: Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:32

Question

I am in a very difficult/complex situation, the situation is as below:<br>
Have been on H-1 for 3 + 3 + 3 + 1 years (last 4 years extended based on approved I140). Have approved I-140 with priority date of June 2010 in EB-2 category. H-1 extension was denied last year hence had to leave employer A, now I am on H-4 and will be soon filing H-1 with employer B. I have following questions on which I am requesting your opinion. <br><br>

Q1. When my priority date becomes current and if I am still with employer B, can employer A still file my I-485 and that way I can then get the EAD and join him on EAD? :<br>
Q2. Further, do I have to be working with employer A on an active H-1 visa to be eligible to file EAD when my priority date becomes current? :<br>
Q3. If question 1 approach works, can I then continue to work with employer B and employer A can process my green card in parallel. :<br>
Q4. What are the risks in working for employer B when my I140 is with employer A. Note that employer A is willing to preserve my I-140 and process green card eventually without me working for him, because he is unable to find me any projects? :<br>
Q5. I do plan to file for a new GC with employer B but worry is the priority date is likely to become current before I complete GC process with B. :<br>
Q6. Do I need to be with employer A for my wife to apply H-4 EAD based on my I-140 with A (note that currently I am with employer B).

Answer

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baprYGs8IzQ&t=893 

 

FAQ Transcript

Answer to Q1. In other words you have the intention to join both of them but you haven’t chosen yet and I think that’s quite OK as long as that intention remains and the employer’s intention remains to hire you at the present date or future date you can file a green card or even an I- 485 that’s perfectly permissible. Actually you don’t have to join them on EAD you can join them after the green card is approved as long as you have the intention to join them the green card can go forward. 

Answer to Q2. No you do not. 

Answer to Q 3. The answer is yes 

Answer to Q 4. The problem is USCIS can always question this arrangement from a common sense perspective. This type of situation has not been questioned very frequently. In my entire twenty plus years of practice of immigration law I have had only one instance out of Chicago where this issue was raised and questioned. We get a kick back from USCIS saying well you know if he wants to work permanently for this employer why is he working for the other one why did he leave and we had a very good answer. In fact being paranoid we had prepared for that and made sure we knew what the reason was and it was genuine. This company was specialized in JD Edwards ERP and JD Edwards had lost a lot of market share so the individual in question the green card employee was a senior technical person and he went to get experience in other types of ERP. He looked at SAP and he was doing work in oracle finances and applications. He was learning all these technologies and the idea was he would be able to bring it back to the employer and they would be able to expand their ERP offerings and we were able to get that green card approved without any problem. So even though he was working for another employer the prior employer got his green card approved and once the green card was approved he joined. By the way under AC21 once the I-485 has been pending 180 days you can file an AC21 without joining the prior employer. The intent to join has to remain active in your own mind till 180 days or I-485 pendency has passed.

Answer to Q 5. I think that’s OK. 

Answer to Q 6. No because the government has made it clear we just want one active I-140 we don’t care which employer it has been approved with.

Enter USA while Green Card is Pending on B-1, B-2/H-1 Visa

Authored on: Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:39

Question

I am US citizen and planning to sponsor green card for my sibling. My sibling has already visited US in B-1/B-2 visa few times and holds that visa for another few years.
I know that this kind of application takes 10+ years to approve. From this context in mind, I have few questions -<br>

1) Can my sibling enter United States on the same B-1/B-2 visa after I apply immigration application?<br>
2) Can my sibling apply for renewal or new B-1/B-2/H-1 visa while application is being processed?

Answer

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baprYGs8IzQ&t=782

FAQ Transcription

There really is no statute law that specifically prohibits such an entry. Well maybe there is something that says you must have nonimmigrant intent but the question is can they do it. Theoretically  yes they can enter on a b visa while the green card is pending especially when something is pending for 13-14 years they maybe allowed an entry but they can be disallowed an entry at any point of time. So there is no guarantee that the B-1/B-2 option either the renewal of the visa or entry at the airport will be permitted on a indefinite basis. You could be stopped any time.  However H visa, L visa, E visa and O visa are some of the visas that are not subject to the problem of green card pendency. These visas can be utilized. Also remember a green card can be filed through several different categories at the same time. So if your sibling qualifies for other categories they can apply under all the categories available for them. So H-1 visa is no problem b but B-1/B-2 no guarantee.

Procedure for Porting a Priority Date from One I-140 to Another

Authored on: Thu, 02/05/2015 - 10:10

Question

I have two approved I-140`s in EB-2 from two different companies with same A# on them. One with 2009 PD and other with 2011 PD. I am working for the company with 2011 PD . 2009 case was approved after the 2011 case so we could not port the date at the time of filing for 2011 case I-140. Now my question is do I need to file for amendment to port the 2009 date? Or am I eligible for filing I-485 without the I-140 amendment? Both I-140's are alive and employer did not withdraw any of them.

Answer

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXq6DaDK7AA#t=657

FAQ Transcript

PD (priority date) date transfer is supposed to be automatic. We don’t have to do anything about it and it is my understanding what USCIS does is they do periodic sweeps in fact several times a month. They do a sweep like queries of their database and whoever is entitled to whichever priority date at the earliest they automatically assign that to you. So if you have one I- 140 approved earlier another I-140 going on or approved they will automatically assign you the earliest priority date to which you are entitled. That may or may not reflect in your approval though. So just because it does not reflect in your approval it doesn’t mean that you are not going to get the earlier priority date. You can confirm it by opening a service request. You can confirm by asking them your priority date.

Hence the answer is you are eligible for filing I-485 automatically when the 2009 date becomes current. All you have to do is attach a copy of the earlier approval notice with it along with the current approval and you should be fine.

Changing from EB-3 to EB-2 Category

Authored on: Thu, 02/05/2015 - 10:05

Question

I have my I-140 approved under EB-3 category, even though I have Masters Degree from accredited US University. Can I change it to EB-2 now?

Answer

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXq6DaDK7AA#t=472

FAQ Transcript 

The idea is once an I-140 is approved under any category EB-1/EB-2/EB-3 the priority date becomes the property of the employee. Whether the employee goes to work for a different employer or a different job completely or like a different job where you go from being a IT professional to a civil engineer you would still carry your priority date. This is not AC21.  AC21 requires same or similar job but that also requires I-140 approval, I- 485 pending for 180 days. This is not that case. The priority date transfer from EB-2 to EB-3 requires only the I-140 is approved. 

Hence the answer to the question is YES. If you get a job with the same employer or with a new employer that requires a masters degree or bachelors plus five year experience type of qualifications and your priority date will remain the same. The difference between AC21 and priority date carry over date is this: In AC21 you do not have to re file the green card. You can take the whole green card and take it over to a same or similar job if you’re I-140 is approved and I- 485 is pending 180 days. But in the priority date transfer you carry forward nothing. You only carry the priority date and it can be ported from EB-2 to EB-3/EB-1 to EB-2/EB2 to EB-1 it doesn’t matter. There is no requirement that the job that you are filing for is same or similar. That is the difference between AC21 and priority date transfer.

Changing Jobs During Green Card

Authored on: Thu, 01/15/2015 - 15:59

Question

I am still in the process of getting a green card. During this process I want to change my job from a present one to another one that is more challenging than the present one. Would this in any way affect getting the green card or is it advisable not to shift jobs now?

Answer

 

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84359240&v=uaBshBiaCUg&x-yt-ts=1421782837&feature=player_detailpage#t=719


FAQ Transcript

In this scenario we have employment based people who are good workers, very skilled people and they have a lot of trouble changing jobs or advancing in their careers because technically while the green card is going on even if you take up a promotion you could end up losing your current green card and have to start all over again - at least part of the process. So this is not a good thing. 

Keeping in view with the current law what Obama had said on November 21st about his plan and finally what this bill (Immigration Innovation Act) says. 

First of all under the current law if you change your employers before your I-140 approval is obtained you will lose everything. You have to start all over again. That means if you are a EB-1 based candidate your I-140 must be approved. If you are an EB-2 or EB-3 based upon the labor certification your perm application must be approved and then you’re I-140 must be approved. Remember I-140 can be filed by premium processing. So you got to get your I-140 approved very quickly. Generally speaking if you move before I-140 is approved you get nothing. If you move after I-140 is approved but before I- 485 is filed you keep your priority date and you keep the right to extend H-1 beyond six years as long as the I-140 is not revoked. This is an important concept to remember. You keep your priority date - that means when you go to the next employer you will have to start the green card all over again but your priority date will be the date the first case was filed which again is a very big advantage. The priority date is capped but here is an additional provision. if your priority dates are current and you have filed I-485 with the old employer, after 180 days of the I-485 pendency and the I-140 approval you can take any job anywhere with any employer and be able to carry the same green card forward without having to redo any work. so before I-140 you get nothing, after I-140 and before I-485 you get your priority date and the right to extend your H-1 beyond 6 years and after I-140 approval plus I-485 filing 180 days thereafter you get the right to keep your green card even if you take a slight promotion with another employer or move to an entirely different employer as long as the jobs are same or similar. 

President Obama said normally applicant can only file the last step - the I-485 if the priority date is current. He said he would change that by allowing the applicant to file I-485 along with the I-140 no matter where the priority dates are. This is a big advantage. That means technically just roughly speaking once you start your green card process through PERM in a year and half you could be free to join any employer – proximately or two years at the most as long as you  maintain the job category you are in. President Obama also said he is going to make it clear that advancement in career is considered to be same or similar job so that your green card will not be disturbed. And that idea has been very welcomed. Combine that with the Immigration Innovation Act you could be getting your green card much earlier than 3, 4, 5....10 years that you are waiting for right now. So all these things combined are very good signs for people in a situation such as the query above. If you have not yet got your I-140 approved and you are far from that stage it’s ok as long as you don’t have H-1 problems. If you are about to get the I-140 approved then get it approved. If you have H-1 issues beyond six years make sure the second H-1 is approved before you change employers. Once the H-1 is approved for 3 more years even if the old employer revokes the I-140 they cannot take your right to the H-1 you already got. You can start another green card and protect yourself.

Obama's Immigration Action EAD At I-140 Stage

Authored on: Mon, 11/24/2014 - 00:52

Question

I am on H-1B Visa, got my I-140 approved in EB-2 Category and waiting for the dates to get current. Based on Executive Action, shall I be given any EAD ? Or at least any other forms so that I can travel and need not go for Visa Stamping and all the additional paper work.

Answer

I have heard that there is a proposal to allow filing of I-485 at the I-140 stage, without waiting for priority dates to be current. This, if implemented, would get you an EAD as well as the right to change jobs under AC21. Unfortunately, there is no clear indication about this proposal in any government document so far. 

Cross-Chargeability

Authored on: Mon, 11/24/2014 - 00:00

Question

I am working on H-1B. This week, I got my I-140 petition approved that was filed in EB2. I am Indian citizen born in India. My marriage is scheduled to happen in Jan, 2015. The girl is citizen of India and was born in Nepal. I have heard that after marriage, I would be eligible to file I-485 for both myself and my (then) wife, based on cross-chargeability rules. <br>
1: Is my eligibility to file I-485 (based on the birth country of wife) and its approval thereafter dependent on discretion of USCIS? If yes, does USCIS generally approve or deny such I-485 petitions filed on the basis of cross chargeability rules? <br>
2: Is there any reason due to which my wife and I would be denied from filing I-485 and there-after getting an approval of I-485 (leaving aside fraud matters)? <br>
3: My fiancée is yet to get her passport made in India. I found that my fiancée does not have her birth certificate from Nepal. Is a birth certificate the only way to prove location of birth? If she gets her birth certificate made now, Does the USCIS create issues about a birth certificate made so many years after birth? <br>
4: In my scenario (EB2 petition, primary applicant India born, wife Nepal born Indian citizen), How long (approximately) after filing I-485 would it take to get the green card?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujMQ79pgzX8

FAQ Transcript

Here is the situation. What is Cross-Chargeability? Let me explain. Normally when we do analysis which country quota do you belong to for your employment based Green Cards we go by your country of birth. If you are born in India and you are citizen of Japan, you are still going to be charge to India not Japan. If however, your wife is born in third country in Japan you are born in India but your wife is born in Japan, you can be charge to Japan that is called Cross Charge-ability. That is very useful thing to have, because all of sudden from a heavily backed up country you go to country where dates are current. 
So the problem is she is born in Nepal but does not have the birth certificate. Before I go to the birth certificate question, let me go one by one. First is, does USCIS have discretion to deny such cases? Or do they have to give me the Cross charge-ability? The answer is they have to give the cross chargeability. This is not the question of discretion; they are not doing any favors. Once you meet the requirements and you can prove it you are entitled to your cross charge-ability. You cannot be denied your I-485 for this reason.
Now, she does not have the birth certificate from Nepal. Birth certificate is the only way to prove the location of birth, it gets tricky. In normal circumstances if you don't have a birth certificate what you will do is you will get a certificate of non availability from the village Panchayat or Municipal corporation where she is born saying that her birth is never recorded. Then you will get two affidavits from people like her parents, who say that we know that she is born on this date, this place. In areas of cross charge-ability USCIS may require further evidence. It can be any evidence about where she lived in Nepal, things like that but if you try to register her birth now that's not going to happen.
So if you do go through the cross charge-ability and your dates are “current” typically your Green Card should be done within a year.

Discrepancies In Date Of Birth Information

Authored on: Tue, 11/11/2014 - 09:30

Question

Currently my I-140 is approved and now for the I-485 I need to present date of birth certificate. Problem is that DOB on certificate is correct and on all other documents including school, college, and passport and in all US records it is in correct. It started with wrong DOB in 10th certificate which was used in college, passport and finally all US documents. Now I went through all the channels and found the ways to change in passport and in all US documents. Question is what legal problems I should be prepared for and how it impacts my US records once it is changed. I am in US for last 7 years. I need to take decision on this as if it is worth doing it or just go back to India and may be forget about GC for this time. Really appreciate you taking out time for this kind of questions.
Really appreciate you taking out time for this kind of questions.

Answer

FAQ: Discrepancies In Date Of Birth Information

FAQ Transcript

First of all you don't need to leave USA and go away and the question regarding should I forget about Green Card?

No, not at all. What you do is when you file I-140/I-485 make sure you mention your correct date of birth. Try to get your documents corrected, if you cannot get corrected have your lawyers file affidavit explaining what happened. But always go with correct date of birth.

Have we done this in the past? Yes we have. Have we had the problems? Little bit. 

We have to make sure that government understands it what the reason is and that we are just not being cute and trying to take advantage in some ways by creating the false identification. As long as government is convinced about that I usually see no further problems. So just don't give up, there should be detailed explanation, we should make attempt to make sure that you have corrected all the information about your date of birth on your passport, your school certificate. Whatever you can correct it, whatever you cannot correct document it. 

So, yes you do need your correct date of birth and because the documents for immigration in the United States are all filed under the Penalty of Perjury, your information must be correct.

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.

Writ of Mandamus for Govt. Delays

Authored on: Thu, 10/02/2014 - 13:49

Question

Hello Rajiv Ji,
Thanks for your time and responses (over the email). I have below questions.

1) I am an EB-2, with Priority date Jun-2008. Applied i-485 in Jan-2012. Cut-off date became current in July-2014. Through congressperson / infopass found that my application is in background checks.
1.a) I have given fingerprints 2.5 years ago and background checks are not cleared yet. so what are my options in expediting it?
1.b) My worry is the checks may not be cleared before next time dates become current, and I may be in the same situation again.
1.b) Can I use Writ of Mandamus? Does my case (485 pending for 2.5 years, current for 2.5 months, but background checks are not completed yet) have enough reasons to claim "unreasonable delay"?

2) I am using my EAD. My labor says "Senior Analyst" as my job title.
2.a) Can I accept a promotion with a director/managerial job title ?
2.b) or does it cause a problem / RFE in future? Duties are more or less similar and work on same software technology, but will have few direct reports and need to manage projects.

3) Can I switch to H1-B as a safe measure?
3.a) Does switching mean I am abandoning my GC?
3.b) Do I need to go out of the country for stamping or can I continue to work without going out?
3.b) what are the risks involved?

Answer

See the marked clip below from Rajiv's video recording for the answer to this question.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&list=UUm4s1qwOS…

Traveling While I-485 Pending

Authored on: Tue, 09/23/2014 - 07:08

Question

What happens if I travel without visa or advance parole while my I-485 is pending? I want to go to India.

Answer

That would lead to abandonment (sort of like cancellation of I-485). You will have to enter USA under some legal status (like H-4/H-1/L-2/L-1) and then file I-485 again when the priority dates becomes current.

That would lead to abandonment (sort of like cancellation of I-485). You will have to enter USA under some legal status (like H-4/H-1/L-2/L-1) and then file I-485 again when the priority dates becomes current. - See more at: http://www.immigration.com/comment/14781#comment-14781

Ability to Pay

Authored on: Thu, 09/05/2013 - 01:05

Question

1. Is submitting consolidated returns and audited financial statements for a parent company and its wholly owned subsidiaries sufficient to meet the burden of proof for establishing the company’s ability to pay by a preponderance of the evidence?

2. Where an employee who is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 and is eligible for AC-21 portability ports to a new employer in the same or similar occupation, must the new employer demonstrate the ability to pay the proffered wage from the date of portability?

3. When adjudicating I-485 applications for portability-eligible individuals where the petitioning employer is no longer in business, does USCIS require the subsequent employer to satisfy both the ability-to-pay requirement and the bona fide offer of employment requirement from the date of the employee’s subsequent hire through the approval of adjustment of status?

4. Why are prorated net assets not sufficient evidence to support ability to pay?

5. Why is the Yates Memo not applied if a beneficiary’s W-2 indicates that the actual wage paid to him/her is at least as much as the beneficiary’s proffered wage for the prorated period?

Answer

1. USCIS says that it evaluates each consolidated financial statement on a caseby-case basis under the preponderance of evidence standard to determine whether the petitioner has the ability to pay the proffered wage.

2. USCIS says that, in this situation, the new employer is not obligated to demonstrate the ability to pay from the date of portability.

3. USCIS says that, in this situation, the new employer does not have to demonstrate the ability to pay during the entire period.  Once the Form I-485 has been pending for 180 days, the applicant may port and present evidence.  If AC-21 portability requirements are met, the dissolution or withdrawal of the I-140 petition (after the 180-day point) by the former employer does not affect portability.

4. USCIS does not specifically address why it will not accept prorated net assets as sufficient evidence to support ability to pay.  Prorating is not provided for in any policy, regulation, or statute.  Therefore, only current assets should be included in the calculation.

5. According to USCIS, the Yates Memo will apply only in respect of ability to pay. The adjudicating officer will look at the rate paid and not the total amount paid.  It is the petitioner’s burden to demonstrate that the rate that is being paid is an appropriate increment to the proffered wage.

Locating A Long-Pending I-485 Application and Priority Dates

Authored on: Wed, 09/04/2013 - 00:50

Question

1.How can I locate a long-pending I-485 application that has been transferred multiple times and appears to be “lost”?

2.When the priority date is going to become current for an individual with a long-pending I-485 application, is it advisable to send an advance email to USCIS?

Answer

1. According to USCIS, if you have an old I-485 that has been transferred multiple time and you do not know where the case is, you should call USCIS.  It is advisable to follow up in case no useful answer is forthcoming.  USCIS aims to keep close control over its case inventory and tracks cases to make sure all the parts stay together and get adjudicated together.

It is also important for the attorney of record (using Form G-28) and the applicant (using Form AR-11) to keep USCIS apprised of any changes of address.

2. According to USCIS, it is not advisable to send an email, because there is a system to identify these cases.  However, one may contact USCIS if the priority date has been current for more than 30 days and no action has been taken on the case.

L-1 to GC

Authored on: Wed, 06/19/2013 - 04:17

Question

I am on L-1 visa until 2015, according to my employer's attorney the I-140 form was already approved, now my employer does not want to continue with the I-485 form process (because they don't want to pay attorney's fees) and will not release any information related to my case, do I have any chance to continue with the GC process by myself? Or will I be facing deportation at the L-1 visa expiration date?

Answer

There is no problem with you paying the I-485 fees. But the employer must be involved to the extent that they need to provide a (truthful) letter evidencing continuity of your employment.

Immigrant Petition and R-1 Visa

Authored on: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 02:22

Question

I am currently in the U.S. on an R-1 visa. Can I file my immigrant petition and my petition to adjust status to that of permanent resident at the same time?

Answer

No. Religious workers are not permitted to file Form I-360 (immigrant petition) concurrently with Form I-485 (petition to adjust status to permanent resident). You must wait until your I-360 is approved before you can file you Form I-485.

Multiple I-140 Approvals and Linking to I-485

Authored on: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 06:06

Question

When there are multiple I-140 approvals, how do you link the appropriate approval to the pending I-485 petition?

Answer

If an I-485 is already pending, a newly approved I-140 can be linked to it by sending a written request to the USCIS. Include all information and relevant copies to clearly explain the transfer of the I- 485 petition to a different I-140 approval.

Procedure for Filing the I-824

Authored on: Fri, 12/21/2012 - 02:21

Question

What is the procedure for filing the I-824?

Answer

The I-824 needs to be filed concurrently. Once the I-485 approval is done, the I-824 must be adjudicated. Any further delays should be reported to USCIS.

I-140 Expedite requests

Authored on: Fri, 12/21/2012 - 02:17

Question

What is the process for I-140 expedite requests?

Answer

Expedite requests are received through the USCIS NCSC customer service number. In cases of emergency where an AP is required, an INFOPASS appointment will be made possible at the local office. Usually, for expedite issues on I-485 applications for religious workers, the biometrics takes about 14 to 30 days. The lockbox, on the other hand, takes seven to ten days to issue a receipt. There is a sweep to bring up possible cases every two weeks.

I-485 Filed While Applicant is Outside United States

Authored on: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 23:34

Question

Can an I-485 (Adjustment of Status) application be filed while the applicant is outside the United States?

Answer

No. It is required that the applicant be on U.S. soil when the application is submitted. For those applying from outside the United States, Consular Processing would be in order.

Evidence of Legal Permanent Resident Status

Authored on: Sun, 11/11/2012 - 23:42

Question

If a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) needs proof of LPR status, USCIS provides an ADIT stamp in the passport.This is not done often because the card is usually manufactured and delivered very quickly for newly approved applicants. However, for those in removal proceedings, the ADIT stamp is still needed.For those without passports and for those with expired passports, in the past, USCIS issued the ADIT stamp and a seal on an I-94 card to which a photo of the LPR was attached. Has there been a change to this process?Can an attorney with a G-28 attend with an INFOPASS on behalf of the client for ADIT stamp issuance? Is there any requirement for the client to be physically present?Does it make a difference if the LPR has been ordered by an Immigration Judge to be removed but an Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is still pending? (The person is still an LPR until the BIA decision).

Answer

There have been no changes to this policy.  USCIS does not issue ADIT stamps routinely as the applicant should be receiving I-551s within several weeks. If the LPR status has recently being granted, the only reason USCIS would provide an ADIT stamp is in the case of emergencies and with proof of the emergency, along with a travel itinerary/tickets.For those in removal proceedings, USCIS will stamp either a passport or an I-94.The I-94 will be marked “Pending  IJ Order” or “Pending 240 Hearing.”  The applicant must be physically present in the office to receive an ADIT stamp.  If a person has a final removal order, but the case is pending before the BIA, then he or she is considered an LPR until the decision is final.

Expedited Advanced Parole

Authored on: Sun, 11/11/2012 - 23:34

Question

An applicant whose Form I-131 is filed and currently pending at a USCIS Service Center may go to a local office to apply for an expedited Advance Parole in case of an emergency. Have there been any changes to the process in which the applicant presents a copy of the receipts for the I-131 (and the underlying applications), documentation proving the emergency, filing fee, and two photos?

Answer

There has been no change to this policy.  USCIS requires documentary evidence of the emergent situation, as well as supporting documentation indicating that the applicant has a pending application.

Priority date retrogression -- consequences and concerns

Authored on: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 04:54

Question

The current prediction that the priority dates for employment based green card applications are likely to retrogress again has brought a lot of speculation and questions from our clients and our community. Let me clarify some of the questions and concerns.

Q 1. What happens if my priority date (“PD”) retrogresses while my I-485 is still pending?

Q 2. Can we expedite the adjudication of our pending I-485 (or any application, for that matter)?

Answer

A 1. There are two possibilities. First, the case is not yet ripe for adjudication (for instance, it has not been assigned to an officer or the security clearances are not yet submitted or obtained), USCIS can shelf the case and not process it any longer untile the PD becomes current again. Second, USCIS can “preadjudicate” that case. That means the case is adjudicated and then shelved for PD to become current again. I do not believe there exists a mechanism currently to determine what USCIS will do with an individual case.


A 2. Not usually. Here is what USCIS says about expediting:
Expedite Criteria
All expedite requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and are granted at the discretion of the Director. The burden is on the applicant or petitioner to demonstrate that one or more of the expedite criteria have been met. The criteria are as follows:
• Severe financial loss to company or individual
• Extreme emergent situation
• Humanitarian situation
• Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States
• Department of Defense or National Interest Situation (Note: Request must come from official United States Government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to our Government)
• USCIS error
• Compelling interest of USCIS
Note: Discretionary expedite requests for petitions and applications that have Premium Processing Service available will not be considered for expedite processing. The only exception is when the petitioner is a not-for-profit organization designated by the Internal Revenue Service. For information regarding premium processing, please refer to the premium processing webpage.
If you have already filed your application or petition:
You can make an expedite request by contacting the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283. The NCSC will take a “service request” and forward your expedite request to the office with jurisdiction over the application or petition. You also have the options of 1). visiting your local office by scheduling an InfoPass appointment or 2). writing a letter to the local office or service center.

Spouse of an O-1 - next step to Green Card

Authored on: Wed, 01/11/2012 - 03:03

Question

I am the spouse of an O-1 visa holder and we live in the US (so I am on an O-3). His company is putting together the application for his green card, but do they need to do a separate one for me too? Or do I get one automatically if he gets one? Or do I have to wait until he gets one and then he applies for one for me? And what about our children - too young to work yet, but want to make sure they are ok too.

Answer

The way it works is that the company can file everyone's AOS (Form I-485) together OR they can first get your husband's I-140 approval and leave you to file the last step (AOS) for the family.

Questions regarding I-485

Authored on: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 06:38

Question

I am on H1-B visa and my EB-2 Priority Date is May 15, 2010. Please see below questions regarding I-485.

Question # 1:- Typically, how long would it take to receive Advance Parole and EAD after filing I-485?

Question # 2:- I entered USA on F1-Visa in year 2000, and then changed my status to H1-B visa within USA in year 2004. I never left USA since year 2000. My passport does not have H1-B visa stamp. In order to file I-485, is it required to have H1-B visa stamp in my passport?

Question # 3:-After filing I-485 and before receving A.P., if I travel to my home country for H1-B visa stamping, is it possible that my company can mail A.P. documents to my home country so that I could enter USA using my A.P. in case H1-B visa in my home country is denied?

Question # 4:- I came to know that it is required for an alien to be present in USA at the time of I-485 filing. Is it also required that an alien must be present in USA until A.P. is approved?

Question # 5:- Does Visa Officer have the ability to cancel A.P., in case H1-B visa is denied in my home country due to 221(g)/missing tax returns/W-2's/Paystubs?

Question # 6:- If my H1-B visa is denied in my home country, and if i enter USA using A.P., then could my spouse enter USA using H-4 visa using my valid I-797 approval notice even though I do not have H1-B visa stamp in my passport? If I enter USA using A.P., what are the options for my spouse?

Question # 7:- At what point of time during GC process, do I need to add my spouse? Should it be before filing of I-485 or before Visa Number is available?

Question # 8:- After filing my I-485, and if my spouse is in USA on H-4, will I be able to add my spouse to my I-485 application? By the time, I want to add my spouse to I-485 application, if Visa Number is available and if AOS/I-485 is approved, then would I still be able to add my spouse if spouse is in USA and also outside USA?

Answer

Answer 1: EAD is usally processed within 90 days and AP within 3-6 months. You can check I-131 processing times from links on this page: http://www.immigration.com/processin...-status-checks

Answer 2: A visa stamp is NOT required. Proper status only is needed.


Answer 3: It is NOT advisable to travel before AP is issued, if you do not have an H/L visa already stamped. For details, listen to recording's of the community conference call. It is posted here: http://www.immigration.com/free-comm...nference-calls


Answer 4: Presence in USA for 485 filing is mandatory. See previous answer for AP.


Answer 5: I do not believe VO has the authority to revoke an AP.


Answer 6: Under Cronin memo, if you enter on AP to continue working on an existing, valid H-1, you are still considered to be on H-1. I believe your spouse can use his H-4.


Answer 7: Before APPROVAL of I-485.


Answer 8: Your spouse can file his 485 if he is in USA; Priority Dates are current AND he has not been out of status for more than 180 days -- whether or not your 485 is already approved.

Can I apply for H4 visa for spouse while on EAD?

Authored on: Fri, 07/01/2011 - 04:34

Question

My I -485 is pending since 2007, on EB3. My I-140 approved in Nov 2007. I did not for I-485 for my spouse and dependents as they were not in USA. I am working on EAD and I do not have H1B. My Question is can I apply for H4 visa for my spouse, as I am legally working on EAD? I heard that people on student visa can bring their spouse on dependent visa.

Answer

You can have them apply for H-4 only if you go to an H-1 (you can). An F-1 is difficult if you have an AOS pending.

AOS interview next week, mother in India on AP

Authored on: Wed, 06/29/2011 - 01:24

Question

I am a US citizen, had applied for my parents GC in October 2009. Mom underwent fingerprinting three times here, but did not get her AOS done in time. End of last year my father (who got his EAD and AOS smoothly) had emergency heary bypass here, and then they had to leave back for India for more tests. Mom left on AP. Subsequently I wrote a letter to NBC, MO to ask them to expedite my mothers case. Yesterday I received a letter stating that she has go to Philadelphia USCIS office next week for "Completion of application to register for Perm residence." Mom is in India now.

Answer

You need to contact USCIS customer service for guidance. Definitely put something down in writing that you are requesting a rescheduling. Maybe asking your Congressman's assistance is the best way to go for rescheduling.

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.

I-130 & I-485

Authored on: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 04:01

Question

My immigration status is in pending for AOS. My spouse got recently the US citizenship. If she files for I-130 do I need to file for another I-485?

Answer

No. You should be able to use the same I-485.

With I-485 pending can I be an investor ?

Authored on: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 04:38

Question

My 485 is pending and I am on advance parole and EAD, my employment based GC priority date date was June 2006. I want to be an investor in my friends start up company. I wont be leaving my current job but only investing in it. Should that be an issue If I dont have my GC?

Answer

I see no problem with it, especially, if you are a passive investor who takes no action to manage or conduct the business of the entity invested in.

How to check if I-485 received

Authored on: Fri, 05/21/2010 - 01:55

Question

How will i know if they already recived ( i mean is there a way to trck it) my application for the change of status (I-485). i sent that last april 29, 2010....how long do i have to wait for the responds from the uscis....

Answer

You can verify delivery (if sent by Fed Ex, UPS, etc.) and also check with your bank if your fees checks were encashed.

What would be derivative's status

Authored on: Fri, 04/30/2010 - 15:49

Question

What would be derivative's status during the interim between the final divorce and the 485 is adjudicated/denied? Is it true s/he is still on AOS until the 485 is adjudicated?

Answer

In my view, the moment of divorce takes away the right to be a derivative and hence also the legal right to have a 485 pending.

Green card under the Child Status Protection Act

Authored on: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 07:28

Question

I have a friend who got his green card recently. His sister in law was the one who applied for the green card which was filed on October 1997. His son was 14 at that time. By the time he got his green card, his son was 22, so the son didnt get the green card. Can my friend's son still get a green card under the Child Status Protection Act, or some other ruling?

Answer

Your friend can apply for an unmarried child independently. Application of CSPA requires analysis of specific facts. I suggest your friend should consult an immigration lawyer for that.

When can I apply for EAD?

Authored on: Tue, 03/23/2010 - 05:01

Question

May be a newbie question, I'm from india and I just got my I-140 approved in EB2, Can i file my I-485 as pending or do i need to wait for the date to be current. Is there any way to get EAD so that my spouse can also work?

Answer

This is a newbie question. :-) I-485 cannot be filed till PD is current and EAD cannot be obtained until I-485 is filed. H-1 is one obvious way for her to work.

Quickest way to get a GC

Authored on: Tue, 03/23/2010 - 04:58

Question

I was a resident physician on the H1B visa.. Prior to completing residency, I got the EAD(my husband , a pharmacist had applied for a Green card through his company). That was in 2006 and we have since made no progress as the EB3 numbers are not current. I did not renew my H1B after the initial 3 years because I could work with the EAD. Would I get a GC faster if I start my own application or should we keep waiting? Can both of us have seperate applications without one affecting the other? Are we better off just waiting?

Answer

Generally speaking, where there is a choice, we always file multiple green card applications for spouses.

Pending I-485 and marraige

Authored on: Mon, 03/08/2010 - 07:17

Question

Currently My I-485 is pending and I-140 is approved last Year (2009) january My PD 05/29/2007. I am working using my EAD and change my job last year I don't have my H1B. I filed my I-485 as single, but I will get married to my Girlfriend (Germany). She come here Last November with waiver visa (stay up 90days),
Now she is thinking to come back using F1 visa a students instead re-entry using waiver visa which she can't change her status anyway). If I get married, can I put her name under my petition (file I-485 for her) ? and apply EAD also with her Travel documents ?

Answer

If your priority date is current, you can file her AOS as long as she is legally in the US. I just have an issue with using F-1 visa to accomplish this purpose. Please consult with a lawyer about the details.

File I-485 while J-1 waiver is pending

Authored on: Mon, 03/08/2010 - 07:12

Question

I am currently in the US under the VWP which expires March 15. I was about to apply for a marriage-based GC but I just found out that I am subject to 2-years HRR. I applied for a waiver (no objection). A lawyer told me today that I should still file the I-485 and just leave the question "subject to" blank or check "yes" and add "waiver pending". Is that going to work? I don't want to overstay the VWP. How many days does it usually take to find out that I-485 submission got accepted and I can legally overstay the VWP?

Answer

To the best of my knowledge that information is incorrect. You can file AOS only after the waiver is approved.

Legality of I-485/I-130 filing

Authored on: Mon, 03/01/2010 - 06:38

Question

I married my Canadian wife in November 09 in the US. She had entered the country as a visitor. She flew back to her expatriate parents in Australia. She re-entered the country - POE was LAX - and we linked up in North Carolina to drive north to pick up her belongings in Montreal. We exited the US and then we re-entered. USCIS gave us some difficulty at the border but they let us in together. Now I know I need to file the I-130 form, and I am hoping to file an I-485 for AOS and I-765 so she can work. Is this legal? She is here legally as a visitor with 6 months to stay.

Answer

This is a touchy topic. As long as you revealed to the Post during your last entry that you were married, I see no problem with the 130/485 combo.

AOS and EAD

Authored on: Mon, 03/01/2010 - 06:33

Question

I have been in AOS since Sep 2007. I have a EAD and now a new opportunity hit the door to move to another company, same functions but much better pay, arounf a 40% increase. I also got married to a US citizen. My dilema now is should I take the job? my actual employeer may get angry, so could he do something to screw my case? should I re-apply through a spouse? is something the new employer can do so I can be safe? I don't want to bother new employer, but could he eventually at least help so I can keep my actual status until AOS is approved.

Answer

It looks like you have several options. Once 180 days of AOS pendency are over after I-140 approval, usually employers cannot hurt you. Speak with a lawyer.

EAD restriction for 245i

Authored on: Fri, 02/26/2010 - 07:05

Question

I applied for GC through 245i. I currently have a valid EAD. I140 approved. and I485 pending. Its for future employment. Can I work for a non related (not related to my labour) until my 485 is approved?

Answer

Theoretically, there is nothing wrong with that, but speak with your lawyers. In my view, not working for the future employer raises issues like is there a job, do you really want to work for this employer, etc.

How to renew green card

Authored on: Fri, 02/26/2010 - 07:00

Question

My father's greencard will expire in June. How do we renew it?

I130/485 for wife

Authored on: Wed, 01/27/2010 - 03:25

Question

I will become a US citizen in Jan. 2010. My wife is an F-1 student but will graduate on 12/12/09. Is there any problems if I file I-130/485 for her be the end of her grace period(2/10/10)?

Answer

I do not see any problem if the 130/485 is filed during the 60 days following the F-1. In any case, she can and should apply for OPT.

Birth Certificate Question

Authored on: Wed, 01/20/2010 - 07:09

Question

My I-140 was approved in Oct 2009 under EB1-b category. Now for filing I-485 we I had obtained my birth certificate (for the first time) in 2009. My lawyer is saying that will not do, instead I should obtain a non-availability certificate for my birth and provide three affidavits about my birth date and place from my relatives who are at least 10 years older than me. This sounds bizarre to me, as the birth certificate that was issued to me should be seen as a valid document and perhaps better than a non-availability certificate.

Answer

As far as I can think, what your lawyers say makes sense only if your birth was not registered when you were born. If the registration was done recently, I would agree with your lawyers, otherwise not.

EAD - Job title change on the same job

Authored on: Tue, 01/19/2010 - 04:35

Question

My wife and I am on EAD and also both have H1B (I am in my 8th year of H1B and wife is in 5th year as teacher). Our EAD is based upon my job in EB3 category in IT as System Analyst/Administrator, my priority date Aug'2003. Last year I have completed MBA in Finance and can now work as a Project manager within the same company. Can I change my title to Project Manager or IT Manager and also can I change my profile now to work in Investment Company or any other non-IT field in the same company I am already working. As these delay of getting green card are actually causing problem in my career.

Answer

If you change your field/job description, it is very likely that you have to start your green card all over again. You should be able to carry the same priority date, but the PERM/I-140 may have to be done again.

Questions on AC21, EAD, losing job, etc.

Authored on: Tue, 01/19/2010 - 04:08

Question

1. On 5th year of H1. Single employer till date from day one of H1. Same employer has sponsored GC applications, I-140 approved, I-485 filed in Aug-07, EAD and AP approved and successfully renewed. What is the real value of CIS issuing EADs to people like me? Does this allow me in addition to the current job I have, take up ‘any’ other job using EAD? Does having an EAD permit me to work multiple jobs?

2. Does having an EAD permit me to work multiple jobs?

3. If due to economic situation my employer (who has sponsored GC) has to lay off people and I am let go am I out of status? Reading through your blogs I understand that since I-485 is pending, one is NOT out of status even if NOT working – is this correct?

4. How long can one stay without working (no job) while I-485 is pending? Will not working be seen as ‘abandoning the GC application’?

5. Do we have to let CIS know that one has been laid off? If we have to do this wouldn’t CIS see that the job for which GC is being processed is no longer available and immediately terminate the I-485 application?

6. Do I lose EAD and AP?

7. My wife is working using her EAD…will she lose her EAD?

8. Is it possible to invoke EAD and take up similar job if one can be found? Is there a time period within which this has to be done?

9. Is it possible to invoke EAD and take up ‘any’ job if a ‘similar’ job is unavailable? If this route is chosen I understand that Labor Certification & I-140 may have to be re-applied, but would the priority date remain where it was originally (as obtained in original GC application) OR would priority date change to the date when new I-140 is filed?

Answer

1A.  Yes.

2A. Yes, but you will then lose H-1 status (which can be revived by reentering USA using an H-1 visa during the life of your H-1 and taking up single-employer job with the H-1 sponsoring employer – not a difficult task, usually).

3A. Correct. You are in authorized period of stay. That has been explained in my blog.

4A. You can stay as long as CIS does not send an RFE or a Notice of Intent to Deny requiring you to prove similar, alternate employment (AC21 portability – also explained in detail on my blog).

5A. There is no such obligation for the employee. If the employer informs CIS, they should send (eventually) an NOID requiring proof of employment – see the answer above.


6A. No.

7A. No.

8A. I am not sure I understand, but there is no deadline unless an RFE or an NOID is issued.

9A. Since your I-140 is approved and I-485 has been pending over 180 days, you are entitled by law to change jobs to a similar position with any employer. And you do not have to start your green card all over again. This is referred to as AC21 portability – discussed in exhaustive detail on my blog. But if the jobs are not similar, you can only carry forward the PD and have start your GC all over again. Make sure you maintain H-1 status.

Turning 21 and I-485 pending

Authored on: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 06:24

Question

I am turning 21 on July and I filed my I-485 on sep 2007, I wanted to know if there is a problem with me turning 21 while my I-485 is pending or if the child status protection act applies to me.

Answer

Speak with your lawyers. You will be protected to some extent by CSPA.

I-485 pending and after 6 months laid off

Authored on: Wed, 01/13/2010 - 06:47

Question

I-485 pending and after 6 months (so AC21 portable). Laid off. H1-B revoked but I-140 not revoked. Since it was very hard to find a job in US, I found a job outside the US temporarily in Sept 2009 and stayed there till now. Can I still enter US on AP?

Answer

The way I see it, until and unless your AP or 485 is revoked, it is legal to use both.

Current USCIS procedures for PD transfer and AOS

Authored on: Wed, 11/04/2009 - 02:02

Question

Recenlty we submitted my NOID response for my 485. Today called USCIS customer service about my status of my 485.They said its PreAdjucated waiting for Visa number.But they mentioned I have 2 I-140s in my file
1.EB3 PD,2002
2.EB2 PD,2005.
They said which date first current then that 140 will use. I am not sure about EB3 140( i don't have any info about this 140).B'cos i filed my 485 with Eb2 140.My case is Ac-21 .So i wasn't with both employers now.
Is that above statement correct? Do i need to do anything now or just stay calm until either of EB category comes current? Please advice.

Answer

I would probably do nothing. Under current USCIS procedures, they scan an applicant for all existing I-140 approvals. You are then automatically assigned the earliest PD you are entitled to.

Priority Date For Indians

Authored on: Mon, 11/02/2009 - 04:26

Question

I have LC approved and 1-140 approved last year April. How do I know when I can file I-485? Is USCIS going to let my employer know about it? Also what is the priority date for Indians who are current?

Answer

USCIS does not inform. You should keep track of the priority dates. See the Visa Bulletin each month: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

I-485 and Divorce

Authored on: Thu, 10/29/2009 - 05:04

Question

If both husband and wife are on EAD and waiting for I485 approval, how does it effect the status of i485 for the spouse of one of them decides to divorce?

Answer

If the divorce occurs before the 485 approval, the derivative spouse is no longer entitled to a green card

I-485 AOS Pending, Employer's Bankruptcy

Authored on: Fri, 09/04/2009 - 04:20

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.

Important questions on H-1, AP and Travel

Authored on: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 01:35

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.

Working abroad while AOS pending

Authored on: Tue, 08/25/2009 - 10:15

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.

Working for two companies on EAD

Authored on: Tue, 08/25/2009 - 09:31

Question

1. Wanted to check if on an EAD one could work for 2 companies. One sponsoring the GC (Maybe part time) and other full time.

2. Updated FAQ: I have a question in similar line. Currently I am on derivative EAD. My spouse is the main applicant and I got my EAD thru her company. She still works for the same company.
We (me and my friend) have started a company in India some time back. Now, I want to start our new office in the US. Will there be any legal implications? What kind of company I can start here.. LLC or Inc? Please advise.

Answer

1. Theoretically, you can work for as many companies as you like on EAD. My concern would be the implication that you no longer have a full time job with the sponsoring company, which is a requirement for the green card.

2. Since you are on a derivative EAD, you have even more freedom than the primary applicant. Other than an S corporation (I think that requires green card under tax laws), you can form any kind of corporation (LLC, etc.), but do check on the State law.

AC21 - accepting a green card

Authored on: Fri, 08/21/2009 - 13:38

Question

1) After getting the GC through a sponsoring employer, is there any procedure to indicate that the future job is accepted by the employee. I mean switching from H1B to GC status is just based on letting the employer know about the status or is there any paperwork needed to be sent to USCIS?

2) Also, based on getting a green card, is there a stringent requirement of payroll checks? This is based on the fact that H1B employees have to maintain the payroll constantly (based on my knowledge). I am asking this in case I want to take a vacation for some time in case I get my GC?

3) After joining the sponsoring employer, if on GC, more opportunities come by, is it allright to consider those opportunities? What is the timeframe for USCIS to consider that the employee did have the right intent to join the sponsoring employer?

Answer

A1) There is no formal procedure other than joining, preparing a Form I-9, being on the payroll and actually working.

A2) You can behave like you would in any other permanent job - take vacations, etc.

A3) That question has been answered on my blog. See http://forums.immigration.com/blog.php?b=36

Leave of absence - I-485 pending

Authored on: Tue, 07/21/2009 - 03:04

Question

a). I am an associate professor at XXX State University. Beginning August, 2009 (in two weeks time), I am planning on going for a one-year unpaid professional leave of absence. During the leave I will be in India. However I would technically still be employed by my University. Meanwhile, I have an approved I-140 (EB-2) - I-485 pending.

b). What happens if I get my green card while I am on leave (I am going to India)? Can I still receive it legally? If I can legally accept the green card, can I change my address on the USCIS web site and give my relative's address? We currently live in California and our case is is handled by Nebraska Center. Given this scenario, should we give the address of our relatives in California, or is it O.K. to give the address of our relative who lives in New Jersey?

c). At the time I filled the I-485 for myself and my wife, my wife was pregnant and could not get one of the immunizations (I think it was MMR). Now I am afraid that when we are out of the country we might get a medical RFE for my wife. Is it possible for us to get the immunizations done by a USCIS authorized doctor, and send the report to the USCIS in anticipation of the RFE? If yes, then which form should be fill/take to the doctor?

Answer

a). The first issue would be whether or not you still have a "permanent job" that would qualify you for a green card. In situations of long vacation, questions could be raised whether or not the green card job is indeed permanent; if so, who will do it in your absence; what is the reason for your leave; are you terminating your relationship with your employer, etc. If you have good answers to all these questions, you are fine.

b). Getting a green card approval while you are abroad is not a large issue as long as you have advance parole. Giving a relative's address is a bad idea. In the absence of a US address, you do run the risk of the green cards being returned back to USCIS, but we can figure that out.

c). USCIS may not accept medicals from anyone except a USCIS approved physician. But we can double check options on this issue also.

 

Marriage to US Citizen with EB AOS is pending

Authored on: Tue, 07/14/2009 - 01:53

Question

I am currently on H1B extension (7th year ; with pending I-485 under NIW, and approved Advanced Parole & EAD) dating an American citizen. We want to get married in India. If I were to leave my current job in October 2009, and go to India (for making marriage arrangements), is it advisable to:

1. First get engaged here in the US and file for fiancé Visa while I am in US (and then travel to India) in order to re-enter US on a legal status.
2. Also do we have to get married in US again in order to provide proper legal marriage documentation and to file family based I-485 as spouse.

Answer

NIW applicants get their green card based upon an expectation of employment - not employment (unless you are a physician). So, if you have a job offer in your area of expertise, your travel on AP is fairly safe.

A legal marriage in India is fully recognized in USA.

Nufield Memo-Are you deportable even if in valid AOS/I-485 pending?

Authored on: Mon, 07/06/2009 - 09:57

Question

I have a question on the new very scary and confusing interoffice memo (May 6, 2009) that the acting associate director of USCIS issued regarding unlawful presence. I am currently on EAD/AP since the expiration of my 6 years of H1-b visa on september 3, 2008 with my I-140 approved and my I-485 (PD-october 2, 2004, EB2) pending. According to the example 2 (page 10) of this memo-, anybody with an expired non-immigrant visa is subject to deportation even though his I-485 was filed properly when that person was in proper non-immigrant status and the petition is still pending. My understanding was that once an AOS is filed, I am authorized to stay here and work on EAD and go in and out of USA on AP until that petition is denied. When did this law change?

Answer

That example does not make any sense. It appears to be more a clarification of a concept - NOT practice. Do NOT worry. You are fine. If someone has not already done so, I will write USCIS next week after reviewing the entire 51 page memo carefully. Do NOT lose sleep over this.

What does AOS approval mean?

Authored on: Tue, 06/30/2009 - 02:59

Question

I filed I-130 for my mother. She has received approval letter for adjustment of status saying that your application has been approved . What does this mean . Does she will have interview or she will get green card in mail? She needs to go to india its emergency in india.

Answer

Approval of AOS (Form I-485) means she is now a green card holder as of the date of the approval. The only thing she needs is the proof of that fact. You can take the approval notice, make an infopass appointment and ask that her passport be stamped with evidence that her green card has been approved. That stamp is as good as a green card. She can travel using that.

Following to join

Authored on: Wed, 06/03/2009 - 00:35

Question

This is regarding my sister who is going through lot of stress due to visa issues.

She has been on H4 for past 9 years. Her H1 was approved in 2007 with an employer who wanted to hire when she was doing her MBA from a reputed University here in US. They were even willing to hire her once she is done.

3 months back her husband lost his job and had to go on EAD since (My sister could not do it because she was traveling out of US in 2007 when the window opened).

She has decided to go on H1 status. She has to get it stamped outside US as she had lost her H4 status. It has been now more than a month and she is stuck out of US (in UAE). Her employer is a small firm and due to THE bad economy she is very nervous about the future even if she gets H1 B.

Here are our questions/ concerns. Please do answer these:

1. If she gets H1 B could her husband still file for Follow to Join. There is no guarantee in this environment it would give her peace of mind if he could.

2. God forbid - If she doesnot get H1B and her husband files for Follow to Join - would she have to stay out side US to do consulate processing?? How much time it takes?

3. Any advise/ suggestions are welcome.

Answer

I am assuming the situation is that the husband's AOS is pending and he is using AC21 portability. That said, she is entitled to follow to join because she was (is) married to him before his green card got approved. There is NO requirement that a spouse must on a derivative visa (like H-4) in order to follow to join. She can follow to join even if she is outside USA, OR on F-1, H-1, L-1 or any independent visa. She will have to stay outside USA if her H-1 is denied, unless he revives his H-1 and brings her back on H-4.

Employment-based out of status protection for AOS - Section 245(K)

Authored on: Fri, 05/29/2009 - 01:10

Question

My previous employer didn't pay me for 7 continuous months in 2006, Current employer is going to file I-140 and I-485 based on my EB2 PERM. I have all W2 and Pay stubs except that period. will that going to affect my GC application ? Please let me know what are the possible consequences of that. I didn't know about that 180 days rule.

Answer

Pursuant to section 245k of INA, an employment-based applicant and their family can file for an AOS (I-485) if they have been out of status or have worked without authorization for less than 180 days. The protection period is counted since the date of your most recent entry into USA. So if before filing I-485, you leave USA and reenter, you should have no issues. There are other ways to fix this also, but this is the most direct.
See attached USCIS Neufield Memo of 14 July 2008.

I-485: pre-adjudication and employment verification letter

Authored on: Mon, 05/25/2009 - 01:58

Question

1. I see few cases where CIS has sent an RFE to ask for Employment Verification Letter (EVL). When does this typically happen?

2. For cases where in the EVL was already sent along with the I-485 application, what are the reasons usually for CIS asking EVL again?

3. I had taken an Infopass few months ago, and they had said my I-485 application is pre-adjudicated. What does this mean?

Answer

1. EVL can be asked for at any stage of AOS/I-485 process. It is REQUIRED when you submit the 485, but thereafter it is discretionary.

2. The main reasons are that USCIS has to make sure you still have a job and the job is "same or similar" to what was described in the labor cert (or I-140 for EB1).

3. This means your application has been reviewed and adjudicated to be approvable. So, USCIS is just waiting for the visa numbers to be current.

 

 

Filing I-485 after I-130 approved

Authored on: Thu, 05/14/2009 - 00:47

Question

I filed I-130 for my mother at beginning of April. Now I want to file I-485 as part of the concurrent filing. Can I just file I-485 and attach a copy of I-130 notice? Please advise what I should do. Thank you

Answer

I think you can and there should not be any problem. As to where to file, call USCIS customer service. 1 (800) 375-5283.

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.

I-485 interview-- does arrest create a problem

Authored on: Wed, 05/06/2009 - 01:00

Question

Answer

Quote: I just got a letter from USCIS that I need to appear for a I-485 interview. I had applied my green card under the EB-XX. To update you i had an arrest record in 2005 for a domestic violence battery case, which was later dismissed in court. Also you might be aware my wife is currently in india, and we are under separation. She will join me on (XXX date) if she agrees for marriage counseling. Under these circumstances I had some questions which I wanted answers for: Please let me know your response.
 

Quote: a. What all questions can the officer ask me in the interview?

Ans. No one can reliably predict that. But there is nothing in your background that seems to indicate there will be a problem. You were not convicted. The rules are simple: do not answer what is not being asked, and answer every question truthfully.

 

Quote: b. My wife is now in our home country. Do i need to have her accompany me?

Ans. Your case is an employment-based case. Unless USCIS specifically asks for her presence (which would be strange), it is not required.

 

Quote: c. Can the officer ask me for another interview with my wife, if she isn't with me the first time?

Ans. They can, but I do not see why.

 

Quote: d. What should I say about the DV record?

Ans. The truth and nothing but the truth.
 

Quote: e. Does the officer approve my green card after the interview or does it
take some more time?

Ans. They have the authority to approve on the spot. Whether or not they will is their discretion. Often, the approval comes a few weeks later.

 

Quote: f. What if the officer asks me about the status of my marriage, what
should I say?
Should I say yes we are married or should I say that we are separated?

Ans. Married but separated. You tell the truth.
 

Quote: g. Does my wife need to be in US when the final green card is approved?

Ans. No. Make sure she has her AP.
 

Quote: h. What happens if the green card is approved while she is in india?

Ans. She can reenter with her AP.

H-1 Extension based upon spouse's 140; Child born in USA

Authored on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 01:00

Question

Answer

Quote: 1. Hello Rajiv, my wife and I have been working on H1B for different employers. My employer applied for my GC in 07. I have my I-140 approved, my wife and I have our EAD cards and AP. Thanks to your team! Now my wife's H1B term (6 years) ends on Jan 2010. Does this mean that if she wishes to continue her employment with the same employer after Jan 2010, she "HAS" to use her EAD ?

Ans. Yes. Under the current USCIS policy, they will not extend her H-1, based upon your I-140. They used to do that a few years ago, but not any more, as far as I know.
 

Quote: 2. If not can her employer file for her H1B extension based on my I-140 application.(Probably not since I-140 is an employer based application,but wanted to know if there is any other way).

Ans. No other way.
 

Quote: 3.If my wife were to change her employer after Jan 2010, could the new employer file for H1B transfer? If not does this mean that the option of a new employer filing for her H1/green card is completely ruled out?

Ans. She cannot get an H-1 extension beyond 6 years unless her own green card process is started.
 

Quote: 4. This question is not related to the above, but we are expecting our first baby in the month of August. Are there any applications that need to filed after the kid is born?(I am just glad that USCIS doesnt have any laws regarding making babies during the I-485 pending stage.Or is there...?)

Ans. Congratulations! And no, there are no laws against making babies so far :-). You have to do nothing. The child is born a US citizen if born in USA.

EB-3 "Unavailable"

Authored on: Fri, 04/10/2009 - 01:00

Question

Here is a question this morning from forclients.com, our clients' extranet.

Quote:
The nightmare has once again come true, eb3 would be unavailable until September 09, if I am not wrong?

With this in the background, I am thinking of giving up the hope of getting my green card soon (my pd may 04). If I go back to India, can my GC application still continue to be processed?

Answer

Correct. "Unavailable" means that it is the ESTIMATE of the State Department that visa numbers for India are exhausted for this fiscal year which ends on September 30. But the estimate may not always be accurate. DOS may go back and reopen this category if they need to (unlikely, but not impossible). Your green card can go on in your absence. That is no problem as long as we have answers to these questions: 1. Is the job really permanent? 2. Why is the employer accommodating you? 3. Who is performing the job in your absence? While these questions have never been asked, do not be surprised if they are. Our explanation must be truthful and not contrived.

GC future job; H-1 ext. revocation upon 140 denial, etc

Authored on: Mon, 04/06/2009 - 01:00

Question

I have just been accepted into a residency program here at a university. I am currently working in the same department as a clinical research associate on H1B since april 2006, they have applied for my permanent residency in EB-2 for the same position and I am on 7th year H1B valid till nov 2009. My I-140 is in process and I have responded to RFE on oct 16th and have not got any reply so far. Priority date is oct 2007. The residency starts in july

I think I can continue on H1B till my I-140 is pending and since my green card process is in the same department they have assured me that they will not withdraw my I-140 and that I’ll come back and work in the position of research associate after my residency(4years). Please let me know if this is legally possible as they have the intent to hire and I have the intent to join them when green card is approved.

Answer

Ans. Yes. As long as the employer has the intention of keeping the job open for you and you have the intention to join them, the green card process can continue.

Quote: If by any chance they say that I can do it, does it involve just an amendment to my H1b or will it be a fresh H1b? My job responsibilities will change and $8000 change in salary only.( from Research Associate to resident). If yes, can I join residency before the amendment is approved? I heard that INS should receive the petition before the join date and I am fine.

Ans. The petition would need to be amended/extended and you can start residency any time after filing the amendment.

Quote: Worst case scenario my I -140 get’s rejected what are my options to start residency in july? I remember last time you told me that my current H1b will not be revoked, so I can continue for residency till nov 2009 , but what after that?

Ans. I have considered the question of revocation of existing H-1 if the 140 etc is denied. As I see the law, USCIS COULD, some day, start revoking these H-1 extensions already given. Currently, they do not. After Nov 2009, you can still get extensions of H-1 based upon your pending GC. Remember also that if I-140 is rejected, it can be refiled/appealed. You are entitled to H extensions while the refiling/appeal is pending.

 

Converting from EAD back to H-1--Updated 6 April 2009

Authored on: Mon, 04/06/2009 - 01:00

Question

Here is a question from our clients-only extranet - forclients.com. I think this question is relevant for a lot of people.

Answer

 

Quote: I am currently on H1b status valid till may-2011 and have a valid EAD card, My I-485 is pending for over 180 days. My company has cut my position and may revoke my H1b. If I transfer my H1b to another company and then work on EAD. Will my H1b remain in the dormant status?

Ans. Yes.

Quote: If yes, can i switch back to my H1b if i wish to? and what would be the process?( go out of country to get stamped?)

Ans. You will need to get an H-1 approval by having your new employer apply to USCIS any time you like (just like a new H-1 or an H-1 transfer. This is, of course, NOT subject to quota). After the approval you need to exit and reenter USA using your H-1 visa. You may use the old visa stamp if it is still valid and you have not been out of status or get a new stamp if you were out of status or the old stamp has expired.

Quote: Rajivji,

If I convert from H1B to EAD with my current sponsoring employer and they revoke the H1B as you have mentioned before being the best thing to do.
1) Does the H1B revocation still mean that my H1 status is dormant?
2) Would I be able to reactivate my H1 again with the current employer?
3) Would my employer have to reapply for the H1 approval or the current approval that I have valid till Apr 2010 enough?
4) I am assuming based on the answer to Q3 above, I will have to go out of the country and come back on my current H1 visa that I have stamped?

Ans. Once revoked, the H-1 will have to be reapplied, will not be subject to the quota and will be valid for 1 or 3 years depeneding upon your situation. And, yes, you will need a visa stamping to activate the H-1.

Employers and Employees -- H-1 or EAD?

Authored on: Thu, 04/02/2009 - 01:00

Question

Considering that the economy is not doing that good and sometimes projects get over and consultants go on "bench" without any clients kinda situation, this is something not that uncommon. Related to this, as being on a H1B requires me to maintain the LCA salary as mentioned on my W2, would switching to EAD with my sponsoring employer help with getting away from this restriction?

Does that also mean that if I don't get paid by my employer for a certain period and I am on an EAD, there is no issue with my GC/status at all as there is no H1B.

Just trying to find out what the possible advantages would be at this time with EAD.

Answer

 There are two situations to analyze here: being benched and getting paid a lower salary. Both of them have problematic implications for employers and employees.

Here is what concerns me. As far as I know, it has never been done so far, but the possible consequences of being benched are that the I-485 can be denied and (POSSIBLY, but there are strong arguments against it) I-140 could be revoked if already approved. If I-140 is not approved, USCIS could easily deny the I-140.

 Additionally, I suspect there could be exposure to charges of discrimination if one set of workers is getting paid less than another in the same job categories.

The best solution for most companies is NOT to bench employees whether on H-1 or on EAD. Salary reductions are permissible if they are across the board and still comply with the prevailing wages. The workers on non-immigrant visas will probably need amendments. Watch out for the I-140/I-485 issue though.

H-1 and EAD

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

Question

Answer

Qo. I plan to be on EAD after my 6th year of H1-B expires on September 23, 2008. If I decide to be back on H1-B then is there any time limit within we have to file for H1B extension after its expiration on September 23, 2008 while I am working on EAD?
Ans. Generally speaking there is no time limit as long as you are entitled to the extension.

Qo. For example, will we have to file within 6 months or 1 year after September 23, 2008 while I-185 is still pending?
Ans. If it is an extension beyond six years, you will need to have 485 or 140 pending and meet other related requirements for the extension.

Qo. After USCIS approves H1-B extension in this case, are we required to go immediately to India to get visa stamped or can we keep working on EAD and get the H1-B visa stamped when we like. My I-140 is approved and I-485 pending.
Ans. You can go when you like.

Follow up Qos/Ans

Qo. Thanks a lot, Rajiv. Just one clarification related to H1-B visa stamping in the above case. Do you think the US embassy will ask me why I want to come back to H1-B after having worked on EAD for say 6 months or 1 year after 6 years of H1-B expiration at the time of applying for H1-B visa?
Ans. It should not be any of their concern.

Qo. what should be the response to their question?
Ans. The truth.

Qo. Also, God forbid, in a worse case scenario, if my I-485 is denied after my H1-B extension has been approved in the above case and then I go for H1-B visa stamping, w'd they still give me visa?
Ans. That is legally uncertain. So it is wise to get stamping while the 485 is still "alive."

Qo. On a different note, is there any basis other than a crime, misrepresentation, public health, or revocation of approved I-140 on which the I-485 can be denied?
Ans. Sure. AOS is a discretionary process. It can denied for many reasons (but usually is not).

Qo. If not, then will it still be more advantageous to work on H1-B instead of EAD? I am just trying to evaluate the benefit of coming back to H1-B as opposed to keep working on EAD. Your answers to the above questions will help me greatly in that direction.
Ans. As I have commented several times, I like to keep both options open. So, work on H-1 while keeping your EAD in hand.

Further Questions 

Quote: Me and my spouse are working on H1B for two different companies. My spouse company is processing the green card and the process started in 2005 in EB2. We got married in 2006 and I-140 got approved before our marriage. We filed together for I-485 after marriage in August 2007. We got our EAD card in Nov 2007. We also got our second EAD card in Nov 2008 and it will be valid till Nov 2010.
Though we had EAD card, we are using our H1B. Now, I got laid off from my company last week. I am looking for opportunities. I hope I could find one in a week or two. My questions are
1. When I join my new company should I use EAD card or I do H1B transfer? Please advise.

Ans. H-1 is the best option usually. You can try for a transfer. Usually, CIS declines transfer within USA (requiring you to go outside USA for a visa stamping) if there is any gap in status. But, it is in their discretion to permit it. Joining on EAD is no end of the world. You can start work on EAD and file an H-1. Gert stamping done whenever it is convenient. When you reenter on H-1 visa, you are back on H-1.

Quote: 2. Also, if the market goes further bad and my spouse also got laid off, what will happen to me if I am using my EAD?

Ans. If she uses AC21, you should be fine. Otherwise, if her 485 is void, so is yours. 

I-485 Priority Dates and Processing Dates

Authored on: Mon, 03/30/2009 - 01:00

Question

One of our community members had asked a questing regarding the processing dates of 485.

Answer

In a pending AOS (I-485), unless your PD is current, USCIS will not touch your application. Only when the PD becomes current, they start processing applications ROUGHLY in the order received.

GC Compliance for Employers

Authored on: Thu, 03/19/2009 - 01:00

Question

Some of our employees' Green cards
have been filed. There projects have ended. They are working on H-1 but possess EAD and have 140 approved and 485 pending more than 180 days.

Answer

Quote: (1) If we revoke their H-1, are we still required to pay full wages if our clients say they do not currently have a project for our employees?

Ans. You are not required to pay "bench salaries" for employees whose H-1 are revoked (remember you must inform CIS and offer employee a one-way ticket home). But we then have exposure to the questions, "do you still have a "permanent" job for them?" If the answer is no, then their GC processing can be interrupted unless they use AC21 portability.

Quote: (2) Do we need to notify anyone about their GC process and let them know that they are no longer working for us?

Ans. There is no such requirement, but the better practice is to write to CIS revoking the I-140.

Quote: (3) Can we re-hire them on their EAD after few (or several) months once they get a project on their EAD?

Ans. Yes, but the question about "permanent job" remains.

Quote: (4) Can we continue their Medical Insurance (and our company pays for it) even if they are NOT employed with us.

Ans. I can see that as objectionable on several grounds.

Quote: (5) Can they stay in USA if I cancel there H-1 and they have a valid EAD but they are NOT employed by anyone.

Ans. Yes. Have them review the entries on my blog under I-485. You will still have unanswered questions about "permanent job."

Quote: (6) Is there an alternative for them to apply for Consular Processing, under what circumstances should they do so, what are the benefits / disadvantages

Ans. I see no advantage in CP. The basic question about a permanent job remains unanswered.

Starting business while in AOS/I-485/H-1/H-4

Authored on: Wed, 03/11/2009 - 01:00

Question

1. Hi Rajiv I have a few questions about starting business in partnership.

I am currently on H-1B , my I-140 is cleared and priority date is not current. My wife is on H-4 visa and she is interested in starting her own business with some one who has I-485 pending and has EAD.

I will be the one who will be investing in this business but I won't be employed with that business.

- Is this legal ?

2. Can you be a passive investor on H-1?

Answer

1. She can NOT do this on H-4. Once you folks file 485 and get EAD, things will be different.

You can then be a passive investor (performing no work type activity for the company) even while on H-1. You can also be an active investor if you wish to move to EAD as long as you maintain your intention to work full time for the GC sponsoring employer. Your wife can work for the company, own it, be partners, etc. as long as she has the EAD.

2. I think that should be fine. But passive means performing no work. Think of it as investing in IBM on the stock market. Just because you purchase a few shares, you do not get a seat at the Board of Directors of IBM. That is passive investing.

Am I obliged to join my sponsoring employer after GC approval?

Authored on: Tue, 03/10/2009 - 01:00

Question

For past 7 years I work for company ‘A’ on their H1B visa (EB3). I had a I-140 cleared in 1998 from my previous company ‘B’ under EB2. Company ‘B’ filed for my I-485 in 2004 and I finally got my green card.

Answer

Quote: 1) Do I need to inform company ‘B’ and be in their payroll with immediate effect?
2) If company ‘B’ cannot provide me a job in my location and offer the salary I demand, is it a valid reason for me not to join ‘B’?
3) How should I inform company ‘A’ about my green card and what is the best reason to justify my case to continue work with company ‘A’?
or Should I inform company ‘A’ only when I fill the I-9 form next year Jan 2010.
4) If I inform company ‘A’ now about the green card, is there any legal basis for company ‘A’ to take any action on me and terminate me?
6) If I am impacted in any way, will my spouse and daughter loose their green card status.

Ans. Your basic question revolves around one issue. "Am I obliged to join my sponsoring employer after GC approval?"

This is a tough question to answer with so many shades of gray that I am venturing into conjecture rather than well-founded legal opinion. But I must try, because this situation does come up a lot.

First, we all the know GC is for a future position but you must have an honest intent ("good faith") to join the employer and they to hire you.

Quote: Practical hint 1. Document as best as you can that you had a good faith intent to join the employer and they to hire you, but due to the economy or whatever other reason they do not have a job for you. You can get a letter from the employer and some evidence that shows they have lost business and have had employee lay offs. You are also not obliged to take a pay cut over the labor cert salary or join in a location other that that mentioned in the labor cert.

Ans. Second, in my opinion, if you will join them, you should do so within a reasonable period. There is no definition of that either. May be a few months delay is justifiable.

Quote: Practical hint 2. If the job you are doing now and the job under the GC are same or similar, make sure you document that. Keep copies of your labor cert and of your current job description. This gives an additional argument to protect your GC under AC21.

Ans. The reason I am asking you to document all this is that when you apply for naturalization, these issues may and often do come up. I am thinking of the defense you will need 5 years from now and if we end up taking the govt. to court, we can have good chances of success.

Company A should have no reason to let you go but you should update your I-9 now. If your GC is revoked so will that of your family.

Does chargeability change with citizenship change?

Authored on: Tue, 03/10/2009 - 01:00

Question

I have attained Canadian Citizenship but a born Indian citizen, when I am applying for 485 which priority dates do I need to consider, General or India. I do not have Indian passport.

Answer

Still, India. Your chargeability follows the place of birth, not your citizenship.

Start-up applying for H-1 and AC21 for employees

Authored on: Fri, 11/28/2008 - 01:00

Question

If a new start-up IT consulting company wants to transfer H1 of a prospective employee who is already on H1 and working for his current H1 sponsor, what are the issues and feasibility for such a transfer?

How can such a start-up IT consulting company go about hiring AC21 eligible folks on EAD? May this is the safest route in the beginning until the company gets more employees and grows revenue?

Will the AOS of the prospective employee be safe if he is the only employee of this company in the beginning. Of course the company wants to expand in the future but has to start somewhere.

Answer

 H-1 by Start-up Companies

It can be really difficult for start up (or very small) companies to obtain H-1 visas. Doubly so, if people are being hired outside the U.S. Normally CIS asks you to prove:
1. You are capable of paying wages
2. You have sufficient amount of work
3. You are a reliable company with proper staff, offices and equipment.
4. If providing consulting services, you are able to procure a letter from your end-client showing the terms of engagement including what the H-1 holder will do and who will supervise them.
YOU MAY SUCCEED If you can:
- SHOW HOW YOU CAN PAY THE WAGES
LINE OF CREDIT
We have advised people to try to get a line of credit from a bank. That works sort of like a credit card. Unless you use the money, you pay no interest on it. Contact any local bank for more details. It is difficult to put down exact numbers, but $250,000 line of credit is a healthy number. Please note, merely having money in the bank may not be sufficient. Also, those companies that are starting with a promised Venture Capital of more than $500,000 should be OK.

BUSINESS PLAN
Having a solid, detailed business plan can help. There is mush software out on the shelves that can help you put together a good business plan.
This will also help show how you have enough work for employees.
LETTER FROM/CONTRACTS WITH CLIENTS
If personnel are being outsourced, contracts from clients will help.

Start up Companies Doing AC21
There is no law on this issue. The current thinking of CIS appears to be that there is no problem in doing AC21 for a start up, as long as the job offered to the employee is similar to their labor cert job. In the past, CIS had tried to question the start up on ability to pay wages. But Yates memo of May 2005 (posted on my blog under AOS/485 section) shut that down stating that is not relevant.

Start up companies starting new green cards
This would be difficult because you have to demonstrate the ability to pay wages from the day you file the labor cert on to the time an employee actually receives the green card approval. This ability is usually shown through a profitable tax history. But if you are consistently paying an employee the wage he/she is supposed to be paid under the labor cert, you are in a good position to get your GC through.

AC21 Portability and Related Issues

Authored on: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 01:00

Question

Answer

Quote:

Both me & my wife have EAD and have our full time job. My question is , it is possible for us to start a new LLC ??

Ans. On an EAD, you can start a company and do everything that a green card holder can do including opening and owning your company as an active participant/owner. Your spouse has larger freedom than you do. You have to be in a job "similar" to your labor certification job. In the May 2005 Yates Memo (Posted under AOS discussions in my blog), Yates said you can port to your own company, but I recommend that only as the last option, because there are some troublesome issues that are still unsettled in self porting.

Quote:

Can I hire few more peoples on H1B ??

Ans. Yes.

Further questions on AC21

Authored on: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 01:00

Question

I got laid off from work from my present employer on October 31, 2008 and I have 3 questions.

Presently, my employer has sponsored both my H1B (completed initial period of 6 years) and Green Card (EB-2, with priority date 2006). I have filled my I-485 in July 2007 and is currently pending. My I-140 has been approved 2 years ago and my employer promised that he will not revoke it. I have approved EAD & AP both for the primary and dependent.

Answer

Quote:

 I would like to be on my H1B even with the new employer. To my knowledge we should file a new H1B within a month but due to the market situation if I have to get on to EAD then can I get back to H1B? If yes then with in how many days should I apply for H1B?

Ans. If you do go on EAD, you can get back on H-1 provided you are willing to get a visa stamp from outside USA. There is no limit on the number of days.

I also think you can try filing for an H-1 transfer and ask to be "forgiven" the 30 days gap in the H-1 transfer.

Further, per Yates memo (posted above in another note on AC21), even if the employer revokes I-140, you still keep your right to AC21.

Quote:

If I move from VA to MD the prevailing wages is changing. So should we file for a new LC?

Ans. No. That is the whole point of AC21. You should not have to file a new labor certification or green card as long as the job and salaries are similar.

Quote:

Within how many days should I file for AC21?

Ans. No limit. But in my view, ASAP.

Supervisory review

Authored on: Tue, 09/23/2008 - 01:00

Question

Filed I-130 and I-485 oct 29/07,went for interview feb/08 and have not heard anything from immigration.Is this normal for USCIS.When I did infopass was told that case is under supervisory review,what does this mean.

Answer

Pretty much anything can be within the context of a case. Supervisory review means just that - a review by a senior level adjudicator. Usually, that means there is some unusual procedural or legal issue involved. The good news is that, means your case is being reviewed, the bad, we don't know for what. You can try to go through a Congressman's office to find out more if you like.

AOS Pending, Should H-1 be Renewed

Authored on: Wed, 07/30/2008 - 01:00

Question

Should H-1 be renewed while the AOS is pending?

Answer

Bottomline - I think H-1 should be renewed.

A little more info: A few months ago, I used to feel strongly that AOS applicants should keep their H-1 active for several reasons. Two of these are:

One, EAD issuance was erratic and CIS had discontinued issuance of interim EAD's (that is, if in 90 days your EAD is not issued, you could walk with a infopass appointment to your local CIS office and get an EAD). Thus, EAD's were unreliable and given for only a year. You could have interruptions in your work.

Two, if your AOS were to be denied (even in error), you would have no way to work, because the EAD goes with the AOS. And since there is no appeal against AOS denial, only an MTR can be filed. While the MTR is pending, you are not given a work authorization (as of now, July 2008). In addition, you would not be able to get n H-1 extension beyond the original six years because nothing is pending and "final action" has been taken on your green card. This could result in a situation that can be very dangerous. You do not have an H-1, a pending MTR gives you no legal status to sty in the US. Not only can you not work, you are deportable and you are accruing illegal presence even though the MTR is pending.

While CIS has done well to eliminate the first concern by reinstating the interim EAD issuance policy, the second concern still bothers me. While erroneous denials are few an far between (thank heavens), they do, nevertheless, occur. So, just maintain your peace of mind by keeping your H-1 active. That is my opinion. Reasonable people can easily argue against this and perhaps, their points of view may be just as valid.

All the above holds true, whether or not you intend to use AC21 portability.

Priority Date and AOS (Form I-485) Processing

Authored on: Mon, 07/14/2008 - 01:00

Question

Rajiv, this month’s visa bulletin shows our category is current. What does this mean for people who have already applied for 485. Have AP and EAD. And now their dates are current again? Does it mean they will get a GC via mail? What if I haven’t had my FP done yet?

Answer

As of July 2008, this is how the system works.

First, let me provide a little background. Priority Date is the date your PERM is filed (in Case of EB-1 or NIW – the date your I-140 is filed; in case of Family-based petitions – the date your I-130 is filed.).

When the Visa bulletin shows a category is current, the I-485 (AOS) can be filed in the month the PD is current. Once AOS is filed, if the PD stays current, CIS continues to process the case. They call you for FP, put you through security checks and if no further evidence or questions are raised – approve the case. Upon approval, they seek a Visa Number from the State Department. Once that visa number is received (by fax or electronically), they approve your AOS. Eventfully, your GC is produced and mailed to you.

If the PD does not stay current, CIS puts the adjudication on hold till the PD is current again. When the PD is current, again AOS processing is resumed. This part makes no sense to me, but that is how, I believe they generally do it. Now, if you are fortunate enough to have already been assigned a visa number, your case may be approved even if the PD’s slide back again. But if your fingerprinting has not been done, you cannot get a green card approval.

Do feel free to correct me if my understanding is incorrect.
 

EAD and H-1 Conversions for Derivatives

Authored on: Thu, 06/26/2008 - 01:00

Question

I have applied for 485 as the primary applicant and my wife is the secondary applicant. Right now both of us are on H1 visa. We had applied for EAD and AP and intend to apply for renewal soon as we near 120 days.
I am on my 7th year of H1 and my wife is on 2nd year of H1 and 3 year of (H1 and H4 combine). Her current H1 expires on April 2010.
I intend to remain on H1 itself and have no intentions of using my EAD.
Can you please clarify these questions.

Answer

Qo1. Would it be advisable for my wife(secondary applicant) to change to EAD in case she gets a better employment with another employer? This employer is not willing to transfer H1.
Ans. That should be fine.

Qo2. All that is required to work on EAD is fill in form I-9 and submit a copy of EAD with it. Does the employer have to do anything like notifying USCIS etc?
Ans2. The employer has to do nothing more than prepare the I-9 and keep updating it every time new EAD is issued.

 

Qo1. Would it be advisable for my wife(secondary applicant) to change to EAD in case she gets a better employment with another another employer? This employer is not willing to transfer H1.
Ans. That should be fine.

Qo2. All that is required to work on EAD is fill in form I-9 and submit a copy of EAD with it. Does the employer have to do anything like notifying USCIS etc?
Ans2. The employer has to do nothing more than prepare the I-9 and keep updating it every time new EAD is issued.

Qo3. From what I have read on forclients.com if she joins on EAD now she can come back later on H1 but will have to travel out of the country and get her H1 stamping done. Is this right(just confirming it)?
Ans3. Correct.

Qo4. When she comes back on H1 she will be using the current H1 itself? It will not be a new H1 and we will not have any issues of new H1 quota right?
Ans4. Correct.

Qo5. If she decides to come back to H1 should it be before April 2010(when current H1 expires) or it can be after that also?
Ans5. Any time.

Qo6. What happens if her current employer reinvokes her H1 after she quits them. Can she still come back on H1?
Ans6. When she leaves, they should revoke her H-1. If she wishes to rejoin them, they can reapply the H-1.
 

Gap in Employment during AOS

Authored on: Mon, 06/23/2008 - 01:00

Question

My friend lost his job on Friday when he was working on EAD (this is not the employer who has applied for GC). His i-140 was approved last year in May. He is looking for new job which would take couple of weeks. I have following question for the situation:

Answer

Q1. Is there any limit or restriction for number of days without work between changing job?
Ans. No. I do not believe a few weeks should make a difference.

Q2. Will this impact his GC process?
Ans. Not as long as he is eligible for AC21 portability.

AOS Denial – Consequences for H-1

Authored on: Thu, 06/19/2008 - 01:00

Question

Answer

Qo. If an AOS (adjustment of status or I-485) applicant has already used up six years on H1 and is currently in 8th year of H1, what are his/her options if AOS gets denied before the 8th year on H1 expires?
Ans. A lot depends upon the grounds of denial and whether they are likely to be overturned on a Motion to Reopen/Reconsider. Do note, there is no appeal against a 485 denial.
Technically, as I see the law, if CIS denies the AOS, they can also revoke the H-1 given beyond six years. As a practical matter, they do not. So, even after denial, you should be able to stay in USA to the end of the already granted H-1. You can start a new PERM application and eventually, get H-1 extensions based upon that.
Also, just because AOS is denied, may not mean the CP is not an option. Depending upon the facts of the case, consular processing for green card may still be an option.

Qo. So, would it not be better that a person who applies for AOS should NOT insist on maintaining H1 because he will use up the six years sooner. He should use Advance Parole and EAD to stop the H1 clock because H1 will give him/her more options ONLY IF six years are not up. Your thoughts?
Ans. That may be a good option if there is over one year left on the original H-1 AND the beneficiary is not entitled to three-year H-1 extensions. I get very nervous when your entire work options are based upon an EAD whose renewal time is left in the hands of CIS.

Qo. In your practice, have you encountered similar scenario where I-485 was denied but H1 was not canceled?
Ans. Yes. Several times.

Qo. I was given a three year H1 extension in my 8th year on H1 based on pending I-485 application and approved I-140. Please note that at the time of requesting H1 extension, my employer requested 3 year extension which I thought I wasn't eligible for as visa dates had not retrogressed for my category so I should have been given one year extension.
My three year H1 extension is valid until 2011(8th, 9th, 10th year on H1), in case of AOS denial in the 8 th year, do I have two more years to sort it out?
The maximum time one can stay in H status is 6 year unless the AOS is pending. If AOS is denied and CIS DOES NOT cancel H1 with AOS denial, does such a person start to accrue unlawful presence in US?
Ans. If you have been given an extension mistakenly, that can be taken away and you can have other issues as well. And, I don’t want to us to digress into unlawful presence. That is a whole new topic.