MVP LAW GROUP – Q&A Forum, August 20, 2010

Question #1 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can more than one (1) employer file a temporary (part-time) H1B visa application on my behalf at the same time? For a part time H1B worker, what is the minimum number of hours per week and days per week of work required to be eligible for maintaining the part-time H1B visa status?

Answer #1
Simply put, yes more than one employer can file a temporary part-time H-1B visa application for you during the same time period, as long as a certified LCA covering the jurisdiction of employment is obtained and the I-129 petition and additional supporting documentation reflects this part-time period. 40 hours per week would be considered a full time employee, therefore, anything less than 40 hours per week would be considered part-time.

Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
We have traveled to India about 2 months back (in June). My husband got a job transfer to India, and I resigned my job in the US to move here with my family. Since we are not there in the US, do you know if the green cards will go back to the USCIS? Or to my forwarding address in the US?

Answer #2
If you do intend to come back to the U.S. in the near future – they will not send your permanent resident cards to India, therefore, you will need to contact the USCIS and provide your new U.S. mailing address so that they will be sent there. The USCIS DOES NOT forward mail, so if you have your mail being forwarded, your cards will be returned to the USCIS and the USCIS case status will indicate that your cards have been returned as undeliverable until you can provide the USCIS with an updated U.S. mailing address for them to be re-sent.

Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What is the minimum time period for which an H1B visa can be issued? Can it be less than 3 years? If yes, what is the minimum number of years for which my employer can sponsor me for an H1B visa?

Answer #3
The maximum time period that an H-1B visa can be issued for is three (3) years. Therefore, if your position does not require your placement for the entire three year period, your employer can request any time period from six (6) months to three (3) years.

Question #4 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
I just received my Green Card, what do I do now?

Answer #4
USCIS maintains a useful web page on the topic “Now That You Are A Permanent Resident.” It can be found at http://uscis.gov this is the USCIS home page, click on After a Green Card is Granted under the Green Card (Permanent Residence) heading. Then look to the right side and under More Information you will find valuable information on, among other topics, how not to lose your status as a permanent resident. Additionally, if you look to the left side under After a Green Card is Granted you will find numerous resources on different topics relating to your status as a Permanent Resident.

Question #5 – General – Social Security Card
How and when can I get a Social Security Card?

Answer #5
Generally, you may obtain a Social Security Card once you are legally authorized to work in the United States. Such authorization may be evidenced by receipt of an employment authorization card, an Alien Registration Card (Green Card), or receipt of temporary evidence of Green Card status (as established by presentation of an I-551 stamp in your passport). You will need to file an application for a Social Security Number in person at the Social Security Office. When filing this application at the Social Security Office, you should bring the following documents with you: your original birth certificate, passport, and employment authorization document, stamped passport or Green Card. Call 1-800-772-1213 for further information including the address of your local Social Security office, or visit their website at www.ssa.gov.

Question #6 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My co-worker, a U.S. citizen worker showed me a brochure he receives from the SSA. It provides the credits he receives each year for the work he does. Does this apply to me, should I be receiving the brochure? Please advise what I need to do…

Answer #6
If you have a Social Security number, you should check to make sure you received credits under Social Security for any taxable work you did before you got your Green Card. Sometimes the Social Security Administration misplaces the records if you did not have a valid card, and this is the time to unscramble the records. Request a form SSA-7004, Request for Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement, from Social Security to check these records. In fact, you should check your earnings statement every three to four years because errors more than four years old usually cannot be corrected.

Question #7 – Employment Based Immigration – Labor Certification
What is the difference between the old process for obtaining labor certification and the new PERM process?

Answer #7
In 2005, the Department of Labor (DOL) drastically changed the way it processes labor certification cases. The primary difference between the new process (referred to as “PERM”) and the old process is how recruitment-related documentation is handled. Previously, supporting documentation such as newspaper ads and other recruitment efforts, justification of the job requirements, prevailing wage determinations, etc., were submitted when the labor certification application was filed. Under PERM, while the same documentation must be prepared or assembled, it is kept by the employer and only submitted if and when requested by the DOL. The employer is required to retain this documentation for a period of five years. Under the previous regulations, there were two types of labor certifications: Reduction in Recruitment (RIR) (also known as “fast-track,” since these types of cases were given priority handling), and traditional or non–Reduction in Recruitment (non–RIR) cases. These two classifications have been done away with. However, occupations are now classified as “professional” or “nonprofessional” and each classification has different recruitment requirements.

Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
The Social Security card I have states that it is not valid for employment, but I just received my Green Card in the mail…can I continue to use my Social Security card or can they re-issue me a card without the restriction on it?

Answer #8
If you already have your Social Security card, but it is annotated indicating that it is not valid for employment without a USCIS employment authorization document, you should contact Social Security with your evidence of permanent resident status to have the restrictions removed.

Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My priority date is current. How long do I have to wait, we’ve already waited 5 years for our green cards. Do you suggest I call USCIS and make a service request to make sure they have everything and to speed up the issuance of my card??

Answer #9
Normally when priority dates become current according to the Visa Bulletin, it takes anywhere from 30-90 days to complete the processing of the I-485 before issuing the Green Card to the primary applicant and his/her derivatives, unless issues arise during the process.

Question #10 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How many H1 nonimmigrant visas are left?

Answer #10
As of August 13, 2010, there were 35,300 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 7,700 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, September 3, 2010! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyerblog.

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.