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Question #1 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
I appealed my denied my labor application to BALCA. My employer just got notice that my appeal has been docketed. When can I expect a decision?
According to the United States Department of Labor website, it is approximately taking up to two (2) years for a case to be reviewed by BALCA from the date of filing the appeal.
Question #2 – Green Card (Permanent Residence)
If my permanent resident card has expired, do I need a visa? Or is it possible to renew my permanent residence?
A green card is valid for a period of 10 years; you may renew 6 months prior to its expiration. You may renew your green card by filing Form I-90 with the USCIS.
Question #3 – H-1B Non-immigrant Work Visa
How long does it take for the USCIS to review an H1B case that has been returned by the Department of State? When can we contact USCIS to check on the status?
The USCIS has indicated that when cases are returned to them from the Department of State (DOS), those cases are reviewed and processed when time and resources allow. Accordingly, they are low priority in the eyes of the USCIS. Pursuant to the USCIS National Customer Service Center (1-800-375-5283), you may initiate a Service Request after waiting 180 days from the date your case is returned to the USCIS.
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?
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 Non-immigrant Work Visa
What is the difference between having H-1B status and having an H-1B visa?
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 non-immigrant in H-1B visa status.
Question #6 – H-1B Non-immigrant Work Visa
Can I change my job while I am under the H-1B visa?
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.
Question #7 – 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?
It depends. You could apply for an H-1B non-immigrant 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 #8 – Temporary Visas
Will a criminal conviction impair my ability to receive a temporary visa?
It depends upon the type of criminal conviction. Depending upon the seriousness of the criminal conviction, it is possible to be inadmissible and/or deportable for certain criminal convictions – crimes of moral turpitude, crimes involving domestic violence.
Question #9 – General – Social Security Card
How and when can I get a Social Security Card?
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 #10 – General
Is it necessary that I have someone sponsoring me when I apply for a visa?
It depends, as almost all types of visas require sponsorship whether employment based or family based.
MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.
Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, September 14, 2012!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!