Posted On: March 30, 2012

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, March 30, 2012

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. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I had h1b approved on 8/31/2011. Went to US embassy in Amman, Jordan on 9/21/2011 and still pending administrative processing till now. Any advices or timeline to get cleared.

Answer #1
You may contact the Consulate itself, or request that your Attorney contact the Consulate. Administrative Processing can take as little as a few weeks to several months.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My Optional Practical Training just got declined, I have yet not received the hard copy but, I think the reason is because of my college. Some of my friends also got denial for the opt. Can you please give me some suggestion regarding my opt, can I reapply or can I apply for H1 as H1 will open in April.

Answer #2
You will want to wait and find out the reason the application was denied. You will also want to speak with your school Counselor about the reason for denial. You should speak with an Immigration Attorney concerning the specifics of your case to get a better understanding of any available options remaining.


Question #3 – Naturalization
Please let me know where there are information sessions near Orlando, FL for naturalization info.

Answer #3
Please monitor the following website to find out the next information sessions conducted by the USICS in Orlando, FL.


Question #4 – Student Visa (F1)
I am currently on OPT (F1 Visa) I am planning to get married in this December. Can I bring my wife to USA on dependent visa (F2 Visa) while I am on OPT (F1 Visa) status?

Answer #4
The F2 is reserved for spouse and children of the F1 visa holder. It depends upon a majority of factors – time remaining on OPT, sufficient funds to provide for you and your spouse, proof of intent to return to your home country, etc.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What is the difference between having H-1B status and having an H-1B visa?

Answer #5
H-1B status generally refers to your legal status while in the United States, as the moment you exit the U.S., you are no longer considered in H-1B status. An H-1B visa is a stamp that you receive in your passport when a Consular Officer approves your H-1B petition at a U.S. Consulate overseas. The valid H-1B visa stamp allows you to enter the U.S. as an H-1B nonimmigrant in H-1B visa status.


Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What is the new 'displacement' or 'no lay-off' attestation rule and how does it apply for those using the H-1B visa?

Answer #6
It is not a new rule. If an employer is H-1B dependent or has been found to have willfully violated their H-1B obligations, the employer has additional attestation obligations regarding the displacement of U.S. workers and its recruitment efforts in addition to the general employer requirements for H-1B visa petitions. H-1B dependent employers who are hiring a non-exempt H-1B employer must declare that they will not displace or lay-off a U.S. worker "in an equivalent job" either within its own workforce or that of another employer. The employer must also make a good faith effort to recruit U.S. workers for the position using industry-wide standards before hiring an H-1B worker.


Question #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Can an H-1B dependent employer sponsor my H-1B visa?

Answer #7
Yes.


Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If am I fired while on an H-1B visa, can I remain in the U.S. for the duration of my visa, or do I need to apply for another visa?

Answer #8
If fired by your employer prior to the end of the duration of your visa status, your employer is responsible for paying your reasonable travel costs back to your home country. You cannot remain in the U.S. for the duration of your visa. You may apply for another visa (i.e., H4 if you have a spouse in the country on H-1B, etc.) or you must exit the country.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What factors determine the prevailing wage for an H-1B beneficiary?

Answer #9
There are several factors: Job Title, work experience, education experience, location of Job opportunity, wage of similar situated employees of employer with similar qualifications and experience, etc.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Can I change my job while I am under the H-1B visa?

Answer #10
Yes, the petition would be referred to as an H-1B transfer. You are allowed to change jobs if you find a new and willing H-1B sponsoring employer. You must file the new H-1B transfer case with the USCIS.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, April 13, 2012!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!

Posted On: March 29, 2012

Predictions on EB-2 Priority Date Movement in FY2012 for China-mainland Born and India

Charlie Oppenheim, Chief, Immigrant Visa Control & Reporting in the State Department, provided the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) with further information on priority date movement in the EB-2 category for China-mainland born and India for the remainder of FY2012.

When the May Visa Bulletin is published, the China and India EB-2cut-off will retrogress to August 15, 2007.

Demand is still increasing at a very high rate and must be checked to maintain numbers for natives of other countries. As for projections for the remainder of the year, it is too early to predict movement.

Source: "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12032365 (posted Mar. 23, 2012)"

Posted On: March 26, 2012

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, March 30, 2012

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications or the debate focused on Ending Birthright Citizenship, please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, March 30th, 2012. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

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. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: March 21, 2012

Updated Service Center Processing Times

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on March 20, 2012 with processing dates as of January 31, 2012.

If you filed a petition with one of the Service Centers, please review the links below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

California Service Center
National Benefits Center
Nebraska Service Center
Texas Service Center
Vermont Service Center

**Please be aware that the data provided above is approximately 45 days old at the time of posting.

If your petition is out-side of the normal range listed, contact USCIS. (1-800-375-5283)

If you are a client of MVP Law Group and would like our assistance please contact our office.

Posted On: March 16, 2012

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, March 16, 2012

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.


Question #1 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Does the time on my H-1B visa start the day that is approved or when I first enter the U.S. using it?

Answer #1
The six year period begins to accrue when you first enter the U.S. on a valid H-1B nonimmigrant visa. Your I-94 card will be stamped to reflect the date you arrived.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If I did not use all six years on my previous H-1B visa, can I use the remaining years now?

Answer #2
Yes, if you have time remaining on your H-1B nonimmigrant visa status and have applied for the visa within the past six years, you are not subject to the H-1B numerical cap and are able to apply to use those remaining years now if you have an employer willing to sponsor you for your employment in the Specialty Occupation.


Question #3 – Tourist Visa
How do I provide proof of return if I have gone home after being on a tourist visa?

Answer #3
When you exit the United States, you hand over your I-94, Arrival-Departure Document. When you enter your home country, your passport is stamped with the date of your arrival. This passport stamp serves as proof of your return to your home country.


Question #4 – Student Visa (F1)
Should I apply for a student visa before or after I am accepted to an institution in the U.S.? And approximately how much time should be in between when I apply for the visa and when I plan on coming to the States?

Answer #4
You should apply for a student visa after you are accepted into an SEVP certified institution in the United States. The School will assist you in completing the necessary paperwork and obtaining the appropriate papers (Form I-20) for you to obtain your student visa, enter the U.S. and begin your education in the U.S. Students are encouraged to apply for their visa early to provide ample time for visa processing. Students should note that Embassies and Consulates are able to issue your student visa 120 days or less, in advance of the course of study registration date. Students should be advised of the Department of Homeland Security regulation which requires that all initial or beginning students enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the course of study start/report date as shown on the Form I-20.


Question #5 – Tourist Visa
When applying for a tourist visa, do I use a travel agent or a lawyer?

Answer #5
When applying for a tourist visa, we recommend that you utilize the services of an Experienced Immigration Attorney.


Question #6 – Student Visa (F1)
What is the SEVIS system?

Answer #6
According to the Department of State (DOS): The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is designed to help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and DOS better monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. Exchange visitor and student information is maintained in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit mandatory information and event notifications via the Internet, to the DHS and DOS throughout a student or exchange visitor's stay in the United States.


Question #7 – Diversity Visa Lottery
What is the Diversity Visa Lottery and who can win it?

Answer #7
Annually, the United States government issues a maximum of 50,000 green cards through a computer-generated random lottery drawing. These green cards are only available to those eligible participants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

Natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

To enter the DV lottery , you must be a native of one of the eligible countries. In most cases this means the country in which you were born. However, there are two other ways you may be able to qualify. First, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible but your spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, you can claim your spouse's country of birth provided both you and your spouse are on the selected entry, are issued visas and enter the U.S. simultaneously. Second, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but neither of your parents was born there or resided there at the time of your birth, you may claim nativity in one of your parents' country of birth if it is a country whose natives qualify for the DV program.

You must also meet either the education or work experience requirement of the DV program. You must have either a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR, two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The U.S. Department of Labor's O*Net On-Line database will be used to determine qualifying work experience.

If you cannot meet either of these requirements, you should NOT submit an entry to the DV program.


Question #8 – Travel
My visa is still valid but my passport is expired, can I still enter the U.S. with a visa on an expired passport? Can I transfer the visa in my old passport to my new passport?

Answer #8
If you have renewed your passport, you may enter the U.S. with the new passport. You will be required to show the valid but unexpired visa stamp in the expired passport to the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officer. (You will need to carry both the expired passport containing the valid visa stamp and the new passport).


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My current H-1B expires on 4/02/12 and I filed for an extension in January 2012 and got a receipt. May I continue to work for my employer without the extension approval?

Answer #9
Yes, under regulation 8 C.F.R. §274a.12(b)(20), a person lawfully employed under A-3, E-1,E-2,E-3,G-5, H-1B, H-2A/B, H-3, I, J-1, L-1, O-1/O-2, P-1/P-2/P-3, R or TN status who timely files an application for extension consistent with 8 C.F.R. §214.1, is automatically given 240 days from the date of expiration. During 240 days, there is no INA 245(c) bar to adjustment of status.


Question #10 – General
Does premium processing apply to visas other than the employment based?

Answer #10
At the present time, the option to premium processing only applies to Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, March 30, 2012!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!

Posted On: March 13, 2012

APRIL 2012 VISA BULLETIN

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the April 2012 Visa Bulletin.

The April 2012 Visa Bulletin still shows employment based third preference (EB-3) visas as oversubscribed while the employment based second preference (EB-2) is current for all areas of chargeability except for China and India.

**The priority date is current if there is no backlog in the category, or if the priority date is on or before the date listed as current in the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin.

Posted On: March 12, 2012

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, March 16, 2012

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, AZ SB1070, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications or the debate focused on Ending Birthright Citizenship, please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, March 16th, 2012. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

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.

Posted On: March 6, 2012

Administrative Appeals Office Processing Times

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of March 1, 2012.

If you filed an appeal, please review the link below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

Administrative Appeals Office

The current processing time for an I-129 H-1B Appeal is 21 months; for an I-129 L1 Appeal - 22 months. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is 24 months; for an I-140EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is 35 months.

**Most other cases are within USCIS' processing time goal of 6 months or less.

Posted On: March 2, 2012

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, March 2, 2012

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.


Question #1 – Green Card
What is Advance Parole?

Answer #1
Advance Parole is an ancillary benefit that one may apply for when submitting the I-485 Petition to the USCIS. Advance Parole is a travel document that once approved, allows you to exit and re-enter the U.S. while the I-485 is pending.


Question #2 – Temporary Work Visa
If I work for a company with offices overseas, and I want to work for the company in its United States offices, would I apply for a employment based visa? If not, which visa would I apply for?

Answer #2
It depends. You could apply for an H-1B nonimmigrant visa; an L1, Intra-Company Transferee visa; possibly an E1, Treaty Trader visa or an E2, Treaty Investor visa, an E3 Australian visa, or a TN visa, etc. Please contact our office to further discuss your particular situation and which visa would be a better fit for you.


Question #3 – Student Visa
If I am in the country on a student visa, does that prohibit me from working in the U.S. while I’m here because I’m not on an employment based visa?

Answer #3
Temporary/part time work within the school system may be authorized by the designated school official, you should speak with your Counselor in order to determine if you are eligible. Work outside of school is not allowed. OPT status is granted post completion of your F1 student studies.


Question #4 – Green Card
How is “extraordinary ability” determined for the EB-1 green card category?

Answer #4
To qualify under this category the individual should be one at the "top of her/his field of endeavor,” as demonstrated by national or international acclaim which should be recognized through extensive documentation. The alien should continue to work in the same field and provide proof of how s/he would substantially benefit the U.S. prospectively. The law provides that receipt of the Nobel Prize or at least three types of evidence from the list below are needed to satisfy the criteria.
Note that the submitted documentation must relate to and support the specific case presented to the USCIS.
1.Documentation of the alien's receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.
2.Documentation of the alien's membership to associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields.
3.Evidence of the alien's participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specification for which classification is sought.
4.Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien's work in the field for which classification is sought.
5.Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
6.Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.
7.Evidence of the display of the alien's work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
8.Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disc, or video sales.
9.Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field.
10.Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation.


Question #5 – Business Visa (B1)
If from a foreign country, but I have invested in a United States based business, can I apply for a business (B-1) visa?

Answer #5
You may be eligible for a B-1 visa if you will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, including, but not limited to:
(i) Consulting with business associates;
(ii) Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates;
(iii) Settling an estate;
(iv) Negotiating a contract;
(v) Participating in short-term training


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa
While on an H-1B visa, does the USCIS impose a limit on the amount of time that I travel out of the country?

Answer #6
The USCIS does not necessarily impose a limit on the amount of time that an applicant may spend outside of the U.S., as an applicant is able to recapture the time spent outside of the U.S. However, an applicant should be aware that too much time spent outside of the U.S. may cause the applicant to lose their sponsored H1B employment.


Question #7 – Derivative Nonimmigrant Visa
As an H-4 dependent, am I allowed to go to public school?

Answer #7
H-4 dependents can enroll and attend schools in the U.S. without obtaining a student visa.


Question #8 – Temporary Work Visa
Do professionals such as dentists and doctors qualify for the H-1B visa? Or would they apply for another category of visa?

Answer #8
Professionals such as Dentists and Doctors would qualify for the H-1B nonimmigrant visa. They may also be eligible for other categories of visas.


Question #9 – Green Card
I would like to file I-485(EB2) application for my Green Card. My I-140 has been approved since 2008 with a priority date of 27-Jun-2008. I am from India and my priority date is current now. I am applying for me and my dependent wife. Please advise about the filing fees involved.

Answer #9
If over the age of 14 and under the age of 65, the USCIS filing fee for the I-485 application is $1070.00 per applicant. This filing fee covers the I-485, the I-765, the I-131 and biometrics (fingerprinting).


Question #10 –Temporary Work Visa
How long can I have my H-1B visa for?

Answer #10
An H-1B nonimmigrant visa is valid for a period of 3 years. It may be extended for another three years, resulting in a total of 6 years in H1B nonimmigrant visa status. Under AC21 law, an H-1B nonimmigrant may extend their H-1B visa status further under certain circumstances. Otherwise, at the end of the 6 years, the applicant must return to their country of residence and remain there for a period of one (1) year before they can reapply for a new H-1B visa.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, March 16, 2012!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyer blog.