US Immigration Questions

  1. Tuesday, 20...
    Question:
    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 Either the I-140 has not been revoked in that case you can use it for extensions or the I-140 was revoked by the old employer, but after 180 days of approval in both cases you can extend your H-1 through some other employer like employer B even while employer B's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...

     

    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.

  2. Tuesday, 20...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-4 EAD termination and converting to H-1B

    Video Transcript

    If you have already completed six years you cannot go back to H-1 unless you leave the United States for at least one year or unless you start a green card. Then you would be able to apply for an H-1 extension based upon either the first year anniversary of the filing or I-140 approval, whichever comes first you have to fall under the 180 days. A mere change in jobs doesn't allow you to reset the period for yourself.  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.

  3. Thursday,...
    Question:
    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...

     

    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.

  4. Thursday, 8...
    Question:
    Answer:

    The law says:

    1. Generally, you must have been physically present and residing in the United States for an uninterrupted period, without any absences, for at least one year after your admission as a lawful permanent resident before you can file Form N-470.

    2. You do not have to be in the United States to file Form N-470, but you must file it before you have been absent from the United States for a continuous period of one year.

     

    Religious Workers Exception to the One Year Absence Requirement

    Religious workers may apply:

    1. Before departing from the United States;

    2. After departing from the United States; or

    3. After returning to the United States.

    Religious workers are not required to have lived in the United States for a specific period of time prior to filing Form N-470.

  5. Wednesday,...
    Question:
    Answer:

    1. In general, you will need to present a passport from your country of citizenship or your refugee travel document to travel to a foreign country.  In addition, the foreign country may have additional entry/exit requirements (such as a visa).  For information on foreign entry and exit requirements, see the Department of State’s webpage.


    2. If seeking to enter the United States after temporary travel abroad, you will need to present a valid, unexpired “green card” (Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card). When arriving at a port of entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer will review your permanent resident card and any other identity documents you present, such as a passport, foreign national I.D. card or U.S. Driver’s License, and determine if you can enter the United States.  For information pertaining to entry into the United States, see U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s webpage.


    3. Permanent residents are free to travel outside the United States, and temporary or brief travel usually does not affect your permanent resident status. If it is determined, however, that you did not intend to make the United States your permanent home, you will be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status.  A general guide used is whether you have been absent from the United States for more than a year. Abandonment may be found to occur in trips of less than a year where it is believed you did not intend to make the United States your permanent residence.  While brief trips abroad generally are not problematic, the officer may consider criteria such as whether your intention was to visit abroad only temporarily, whether you maintained U.S. family and community ties, maintained U.S employment, filed U.S. income taxes as a resident, or otherwise established your intention to return to the United States as your permanent home. Other factors that may be considered include whether you maintained a U.S. mailing address, kept U.S. bank accounts and a valid U.S. driver’s license, own property or run a business in the United States, or any other evidence that supports the temporary nature of your absence.


    4. If you plan on being absent from the United States for longer than a year, it is advisable to first apply for a reentry permit on Form I-131. Obtaining a reentry permit prior to leaving the United States allows a permanent or conditional permanent resident to apply for admission into the United States during the permit’s validity without the need to obtain a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.  Please note that it does not guarantee entry into the United States upon your return as you must first be determined to be admissible; however, it will assist you in establishing your intention to permanently reside in the United States.  For more information, see the “Travel Documents” page. 

    If you remain outside of the United States for more than 2 years, any reentry permit granted before your departure from the United States will have expired. In this case, it is advisable to consider applying for a returning resident visa (SB-1) at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. An SB-1 applicant will be required to establish eligibility for an immigrant visa and will need a medical exam.  There is an exception to this process for the spouse or child of either a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or civilian employee of the U.S. Government stationed abroad on official orders.  For more information on obtaining a returning resident visa, see the Department of State’s webpage on returning resident visas.

    Additionally, absences from the United States of six months or more may disrupt the continuous residency required for naturalization.  If your absence is one year or longer and you wish to preserve your continuous residency in the United States for naturalization purposes, you may file an Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes on Form N-470. For more information, please see the “Continuous Residence and Physical Presence Requirements” page.

     

    5. If you lose your green card or reentry permit or it is stolen or destroyed while you are abroad, you may need to file a Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation).  This carrier documentation will allow an airline or other transportation carrier to board a lawful permanent resident bound for the United States without the carrier being penalized.  For more information, please see the Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation) page.

  6. Monday, 5...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Your parents must not have a preconceived intention to file for a green card. I have covered this issue in a bunch of our frequently asked questions. Please take a look. In the USA, ex post facto laws are considered to be unconstitutional.

  7. Monday, 5...
    Question:
    Answer:

    EB-1A category requires a two-step analysis: quantitative and qualitative. In the quantitative analysis you must meet 3/10 requirements, or equipment. In the qualitative analysis, which is performed after that, your resume, in an overview, should look like that of a person who is one of the top people in your profession. 

  8. Monday, 5...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Tourist visas are often denied based upon incomprehensible reasons. The most difficult reason to overcome is the 214B denial. Essentially, the consular officer says that your parents possess immigrant intent and that he is not convinced they will come back. You can ask for a supervisory review of that decision, but most of the times they don't work.

  9. Thursday,...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: National interest waiver (NIW) filing when priority date is not current

    Video Transcript

    1. No because the dates are not current. If your country of birth is India you cannot file them together.

    2. No because you can't get I-485 filed.

    3. Remember NIW is not bound to a particular job except for physicians. Doctors are different, but NIW for non physician employment is not tied to a particular position you can change jobs as many times as you like as long as you are still working in the area of 'intrinsic merit'  which is the basis of your filing. 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.

  10. Tuesday, 20...
    Question:
    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...


    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.

  11. Monday, 19...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Watch the Video for this FAQ: Can I get H4 visa stamping while the H1 to H4 change of status is still pending?

    Video Transcript:

    Absolutely no problem at all. You can go to any country of your choice, no harm done. Remember for H-4 stamping a prior approval from the USCIS is not needed. You walk in with your spouses H-1 approval and that's how you get your H-4. 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.

  12. Wednesday,...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-1B or other status denied - what is my status?

    Video Transcript

    Basic Concepts to be in Status

    To be in Status means you got the right kind of I-94. For example, if you are on H-1B and you have got an H-1B and I-94 which is unexpired and a proper approval from the USCIS to work for that employer at that location and you get paid and you are doing the work that you are supposed to be doing. So Status is a combination of immigration permissions as well as the work you do in the context of H-1B. In the context of F-1 it is the study that you do, so you could have an F-1 approval on paper, but you are not attending school, you are out of status or you could have an H-1B approval with an unexpired I-94 but you are not approved to work at the location you are working.

    Therefore, it is a mixture of immigration permissions and the activity which is permissible and expected under the immigration permissions.

    Then comes unlawfully present. This is a very complicated concept. Unlawful presence is dangerous because 180 days of unlawful presence will make you ineligible to enter the United States for three years. One year of unlawful presence will make you ineligible for 10 years. Now typically the unlawful presence begins with I-94 expiration or a finding by the USCIS or by an immigration court if you are in proceedings in deportation etc... that you are out of status and unlawfully present. That's the date your unlawful presence will kick in. This is a very complicated concept.

    So when you are not doing the activity or don't have the proper legal permissions you could be out of status and unlawfully present that's the third concept and the fourth concept is authorized period of stay. This is in between status. You are allowed to stay in the United States, but you cannot convert from one status to another, from authorized period of stay to status. An example: lets say you were on H-1 and you filed for I-485 Adjustment of Status you let the H-1B expire you working on EAD you are in an authorized period of stay. If you want to go back to H-1 you cannot do a conversion or a change of status from Adjustment of Status to H-1. You can get an H-1B approval, but to get this status you have to leave USA get a visa stamp and come back because authorized period of stay is not status. 

    These are very important. Please share them with as many people as you can especially in today's environment when Trump administration is in my opinion illegally denying a lot of cases. 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.

  13. Monday, 5...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Anyone who attempts to gain any immigration benefits, including visas, through perceived fraud or misrepresentation is permanently barred from entering the USA. In cases like this, you can try to revisit these findings with the consulate, but these are long, drawn out battles and difficult to win. Temporary visits may be possible with something called a 212 (d) (3) waiver.

  14. Wednesday,...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: How to find an accredited university to get Master’s degree to process an EB-2 green card

    Video Transcript

    The US Department of Education maintains a list of state level agencies who can accredit programs and your university should be able to tell you who has credentials or accredited them or their programs. 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.

  15. Tuesday, 23...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Transferring H-1B while an RFE is pending

    Video Transcript

    Yes of course, but in a situation where your company applied for your extension, let's say six months ahead of time and in the second month they got a RFE, its pending now, but you still have four months on your original H-1 still left during that time you can transfer there is no question. But what if your status has expired and the extension is pending you can still transfer, but you may have to go outside for visa stamping if on the date your transfer is approved or extension is not already approved. 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.

  16. Tuesday, 23...
    Question:
    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...

     

     

    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.

  17. Tuesday, 23...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-4 EAD rules change and H-1B extensions rules change

    Video Transcript

    1. What you could try doing is have your green card started and you can use that to extend your H-1. 

    2. The problem is you don't have any time left on your H-1 because you have taken 6.9 years of L-1A. I think you can only do this if you start a green card process. More Questions and Answers

     

    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.

  18. Tuesday, 16...
    Question:
    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...


    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.

  19. Wednesday,...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Staying in the United States based upon medical need of child, B-2 or humanitarian parole

    Video Transcript

    If you are outside USA and your B-2 Visa is denied you can try a humanitarian parole. For more information, you can visit the USCIS link -  https://my.uscis.gov/exploremyoptions/humanitarian_parole

     

    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.

     

  20. Wednesday,...
    Question:
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Implications of alcohol-related convictions, such as DUI, on immigration or H-1B

    Video Transcript

    The first thing you need to do is get an immigration lawyer involved somebody who does deportations and also try and get somebody local. As long as you are not convicted you are not guilty. 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.

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