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Question #1 – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
If I returned my work permit for DACA, during the required time period, will I be issued a new one and how soon?
The USCIS website provides the following information:
• IF you have a three-year Employment Authorization Document that was issued to you after the February 16, 2015, court order. THEN, your three-year card is no longer valid and you must return it. USCIS has already sent a replacement card valid for two years and one or more letters instructing you to return your three-year EAD.
• If you have a three-year Employment Authorization Document that was initially issued to you on or before the February 16, 2015, court order, but then re-mailed to an updated address after the court order. THEN, your three-year card is no longer valid and you must return it. In those cases, USCIS is in the process of sending you a replacement card valid for two years.
Question #2 - Immigration Petition for Alien Relative
As a U.S. citizen, for whom can I file an I-130 Form?
As a USC, you may sponsor (file an I-130, Immigration Petition for Alien Relative) petition on behalf of your Immediate Relatives – Parents, Spouse, and Children who are under 21 and unmarried. Visas are always available for Immediate Relatives of USCs.
You may sponsor other family members who are not immediate relatives; however, the preference categories apply and you may experience significant delays in the sponsorship of those relatives depending upon their country of chargeability and relationship to you.
• First preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (adult means 21 or older.)
• Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens
• Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens
Question #3 - General
How long can you lawfully stay in the United States before returning home after a visa expires?
There is no safeguard/grace period written in the regulations; however, everyone should be aware of the 3 year/10 year bars. Persons who have accumulated 180 days or more of unlawful presence after April 1, 1997, and have then left the country, cannot return to the U.S. for 3 years. Persons who have accumulated one year or more of unlawful presence after April 1, 1997, and have then left the country, cannot return to the U.S. for 10 years.
Question #4 – Employment Authorization (EAD)
I filed for my EAD renewal back in May and it is still pending. My current EAD expires next week. What are my options?
Stop working once your current EAD expires and wait for the delivery of your new EAD. Or, if you are eligible/qualify, you may submit an expedite request to the USCIS through an INFOPASS Appointment at a local office.
USCIS Expedite Criteria:
• Severe financial loss to company or individual
• Extreme emergent situation
• Humanitarian situation
• Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States
• Department of Defense or National Interest Situation (Note: Request must come from official United States Government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to our Government)
• USCIS error
• Compelling interest of USCIS
Question #5 – Visa Bulletin
Where can I find the visa bulletin numbers?
On the U.S. Department of State website: Visa Bulletin
Question #6 – General
My name was spelled incorrectly on my I-797 receipt notice for my I-129. Can I have it corrected and will it affect the approval process?
Contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 and initiate a Service Request to correct the typographical error, so that the approval notice is accurate.
Question #7 – Green Card
Does Green Card processing duration depends on the country of birth or country of nationality?
Chargeability is usually determined by country of birth. Exceptions are made to prevent the separation of family members when the limitation for the country of birth has been met.
Question #8 – Green Card
If my wife just received her EAD, can she apply for a Social Security Number or does she have to wait until her Green Card is approved?
Once you are officially authorized to work in the United States (issuance of an Employment Authorization Document) you may apply for a Social Security Number.
Question #9 – H4 Dependent Visa
Are there pros to Consular Processing an H-4 Visa rather than just applying for one while in the US?
Yes. You do not have to pay a legal fee to a lawyer to prepare the I-539 form, and you do not have to pay a filing fee to the USCIS ($290.00). You pay for and schedule the appointment, and then appear for the visa stamping appointment with the necessary documentation (proof of spouse’s H1B approval; spouse’s paystubs; marriage certificate, birth certificate of any children, etc.) Generally, it is a short process unless the Consulate is experiencing a backlog in the scheduling of appointments. General processing with the USCIS is 3-4 months depending upon the Service Center.
Question #10 - Affidavit of Support
What is an Affidavit of Support?
USCIS: An affidavit of support is a document an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently.
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 4, 2015!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!