Immigration Reform

Substantial transcription for video: 

Question 1:

How can I file for an H-1B petition if I have left less than six months before my passport expires?


I am assuming they are India born. That should not be problem. You can still apply for H-1B if the passport has less than six months left. But as a practical matter, passport renewals are very quick in the U.S. So, I am not sure where the problem is. When you send it to the Indian Consulate, it is my understanding that it is not more than a week toten day process. In Washington D.C. I have not checked for a while, but it used to be like a 24 hour process. I am not sure what the problem is here. You could apply even without renewing, but it is best to just renew the passport.


Question 2:

I am currently on H-1 B Visa. Is there a way I can change the visa to F-2 without going back to India? My fiancée is here on F-1 Visa that is valid up to Sep. 20, 2014?


They can convert or change status within the United States if they have never been out of status. So, once they get married they can apply for an F-2 within the United States.

Question 3:

After getting married to a Green Card holder and applying for a spouse visa, is it possible to apply for an H-1 Visa?


H-1s are not in any way hindered by an existing Green Card application. So, if you have a Green Card application that would not in any way impede or create problems with your H-1 application. Therefore, if you do apply for a Green Card it does not in any way stop you from applying for an H-1 after the Green Card application is filed.  

Question 4:

How will I know if my H-1B petition has been accepted in the quota?


The quickest way to find out is if your employer’s fee checks have been cashed. If the receipt is getting delayed just have your employer follow through and see if the fee receipt has been cashed. In that case it is almost sure that you are made a part of the line.

Substantial transcription for video:


WASHINGTON — The popular Green Card Lottery program could be eliminated if the U.S. Congress passes the current version of the bipartisan immigration reform plan. The lottery was set up as a way to give anyone a chance at the "American dream." But the new plan will focus instead on adding more highly-educated workers in science, technology, engineering and math.


Two years ago Rafiq-ul-Islam won a U.S. permanent resident visa through the Green Card Lottery and came to the United States from Bangladesh -- with little more than the clothing he owned and a dream of a better life in America.  


“I apply for [and] came [to] America. I want to change my luck. If I can change my luck I can support my family, everything, all will be changed, everything like, that’s why I applied,” he said.


The late Senator Edward Kennedy came up with the idea for a visa lottery system in the 1990s -- as a way to give opportunity to European and other countries with low immigration quotas. The lottery program -- officially known as the diversity visa -- is relatively small, granting about 50,000 visas compared to the more than one million new green cards issued each year.


The lucky winners like ul-Islam must pass a background check, but need only a high school degree or work experience to qualify.  Immigration attorney Rajiv Khanna says the diversity visa has come to symbolize core American values.


“But United States is blessed and perhaps cursed with that unique vision we have, that we are as a nation, a citizen of the world community.  And we have to accommodate certain things in good conscience and good faith rather than as a matter of self-interest,” Khanna said.


But under the proposed immigration reform plan being considered by the U.S. Congress, the diversity visa faces elimination.  Instead, the plan would expand opportunities for professionals like Bhushan Parekh who hold advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.  Parekh’s H-1B professional visa was sponsored by a major U.S. company.


“Because I had done the engineering in India, the 4-year degree, and I’d also worked in India for a year after.  During the interview process it was very apparent to them that I had the management skills they were looking for,” Parekh said.


Some members of Congress oppose eliminating the diversity visa -- saying the U.S. should give some opportunity to the world's poor and disadvantaged.  But, in these hard economic times, Khanna says fairness is no longer the priority.


“So diversity by itself is no longer the virtue that we seek in our current immigration system as proposed.  What we seek instead is, ‘What can you do for us?,’” Khanna said.


Khanna says while U.S. businesses are lobbying for more professional visas, the poor from developing countries have no such powerful sponsors.


Subscribe to Immigration Reform