MVP LAW GROUP – Q&A Forum, August 6, 2010

Question #1 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H1b visa got approved in 2009 which was filed by my previous employer.I did not get chance to travel to USA and even my visa is not stampted. Now I am with other employer.
Can I transfer my H1b?

Answer #1
The safest option to utilize at this point given the facts as you have provided is to file a new H-1B petition. Transfers and Extensions do not apply in this scenario because you have never entered the U.S as an H-1B nonimmigrant. Once the petition is filed and approval received, you would need to attend the Consulate interview and if all goes well, you would be able to then travel to the US and after speaking with CBP, enter as an H-1B nonimmigrant visa holder.

Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card: Biometrics
I think the fingerprints that the USCIS has on file for my GC are set to expire soon. Should I take Info pass appointment to give them a new set of fingerprints?

Answer #2
As written on the I-797C, Notice of Action, in some types of cases USCIS requires biometrics. In such cases, USCIS will send you an appointment notice with a specific date, time and place for you to go to a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) for biometrics processing. You must WAIT for that appointment notice and take it to your ASC appointment along with your photo identification.

Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa: Traveling
I am planning on traveling out of the US for a vacation; however, I heard from friends that I may not be able to obtain a new visa stamp for my recently approved I-129 and come back. Please advise.

Answer #3
If you MUST travel on H-1B status, we recommend that you have the following: at least two month’s worth of pay stubs, a copy of the approved H-1B petition, an original employment verification letter, the original approval notice, and any other documentation that would demonstrate compliance with the laws governing the H-1B program and the establishment of a bona fide job opportunity.

Question #4 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My child has received his Green Card and his birth date is wrong on the card. Do I need to fix this? How do I fix this?

Answer #4
You will need to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. If you believe this was an administrative error on the part of the USCIS, you will need to check box d in Part 2, number 2 of the application. Along with the Form I-90 and accompanying filing fee of $290.00 plus $80.00 for biometrics, please attach the incorrect card and evidence of the correct information (original birth certificate; passport; previous approval notices, etc). You will need to submit the USCIS filing fees (made payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”) even though you believe it was an administrative error. If you send the form with accompanying documentation without the filing fees, the case will be returned until you provide those fees. If the USCIS agrees that the error was administrative in nature, they will issue a new card and return the filing fees.

Question #5 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My spouse and child have received their Green Cards but I have not. I filed for our GCs through my employer. What do I need to do? Is there a problem with the processing of my case? Could my GC be denied? Please advise.

Answer #5
Based on the small amount of information provided, it seems like there may just be an issue with the issuance/mailing of your Green Card. Your husband and child would not have received their Green Card if there was a pending issue with your case. From the information you provided, you are the primary applicant and your spouse and child are your derivatives. Therefore, the USCIS would not approve the I-485 Application to Adjust status for the derivatives without first approving it for the primary applicant. Follow up with the USCIS after 30 days from the date your spouse and child received their Green Cards by calling 1-800-375-5283.

Question #6 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card – EAD Renewal
I filed for my EAD renewal back in May 2010 with the NSC and it is still pending. My current EAD expires next week. What are my options moving forward – can I expedite the EAD renewal process since my card is expiring next week, can I continue to work with the receipt notice?

Answer #6
To my knowledge you normally cannot expedite an EAD renewal request; however, I have heard from my colleagues that after an EAD renewal has been pending for 75+ days at the NSC an Attorney may contact the Service Center directly to notify them of the situation. If you do not receive your EAD approval by the time your current EAD expires, you MUST WAIT and NOT WORK until your EAD is approved. You MAY NOT continue to work using the EAD receipt notice as the receipt is not evidence of an approval.

You may file an EAD renewal request up to 120 days in advance of the expiration of your current EAD and should be aware of the Service Center processing times well in advance of filing so that you can obtain an approval of the EAD to continue working.

Question #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What document determines how long I can stay in the United States: my visa, my I-94 card or the expiration of my current passport?

Answer #7
Short answer: The visa stamp issued by the U.S. State Department displayed in your passport allows you to enter the U.S. at a port of entry. The I-94 card issued by an Immigration Inspector at the port of entry is your admission ticket and displays the time period you are authorized to stay in the United States. If your I-94 card expires and you did not obtain an extension, and you remain in the U.S. without taking further action, this inaction will result in you accruing unlawful presence in the U.S.

Question #8 – Family Based Immigration: Marriage – K1 Fiancé Visa
My son is U.S. Citizen and would like to marry his Pakistani fiancé. Both boy and girl know each other over three years and have been engaged for 8 months already. Can my son file a petition for his fiancé? How long is it taking?

Answer #8
U.S. Citizens who are engaged to be married to a foreign national may petition the USCIS on behalf of their fiancé by way of the K-1 visa. To be eligible for this visa: (1) you must be legally able to marry; (2) the marriage must be a bona fide marriage with good intent; (3) you must be willing to marry within 90 days of the fiancé entering the United States; and (4) you must have met within two years of filing for the visa. The K-1 visa is valid for only one entry into the United States. Therefore, reentering with it is not possible. You also cannot renew a K-1 fiancé visa. Your son should first file a Petition for Alien Fiancé (Form I-130) with the USCIS. Once the petition is approved, the USCIS will forward the approved petition to the appropriate American consulate to interview the beneficiary. Once the beneficiary attends the consular interview and is approved for the visa, she may travel to the United States to marry your son. A petition for K-1 status is valid for four months from the date of USCIS action, and may only be revalidated by the consular officer. Currently, it is taking approximately 5 months to obtain approval for the Petition for Alien Fiancé.

Question #9 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I was on H-1B status from 2006-2009 and now currently utilize my EAD. My sponsoring H-1B employer did not pay me what was listed in my LCA. Can I do anything now about this?

Answer #9
If your employer has not paid you in accordance with the certified LCA, then they are most likely in violation of the The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), The FLSA prescribes standards for the basic minimum wage and overtime pay which affects most private and public employment. It requires employers to pay covered employees who are not otherwise exempt at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay of one-and-one-half-times the regular rate of pay. The Act is administered by the Employment Standards Administration’s Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor.

You may wish to check out the following link regarding how to move forward when attempting to file suit to obtain any back payment of wages, etc.

Question #10 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can you let me know how many visas remain under the H-1B Cap?

Answer #10
As of July 30, 2010, there were 37,700 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 8,400 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas remaining. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn. For continuous FY2011 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to our website.

MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment. We hope the information provided is helpful.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, August 20, 2010! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyerblog.

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