MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

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 - General
I recently get a letter of "Notice of Intent to Deny" from USCIS for my I-140 application. What is the difference between the Request for Evidence and Notice of Intent to Deny?

Answer #1
A Request for Evidence (RFE) is issued when an application/petition is lacking required documentation/evidence (initial evidence) or the officer needs more documentation/evidence (additional evidence) to determine an applicant's eligibility for the benefit sought. The USCIS may send a request for evidence at any stage of review. The request will indicate what evidence or information is needed for the USCIS to fully evaluate the application or petition. The notice will explain where to send the evidence and will give the deadline for the response. The application or petition will be held in suspense during that time.

A Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is issued when the USCIS has determined that the applicant is ineligible for the immigration benefit requested. The USCIS will allow the applicant an opportunity to overcome this USCIS determination by responding to the NOID within a specific time frame with specific evidence to demonstrate that he or she is eligible for the benefit sought.


Question #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Currently, I am a H-1B holder working for a medical billing consulting company. I may be laid-off soon. Is there a USCIS policy giving a 60-day grace period to an H-1B laid-off worker to look for new job?

Answer #2
No, there is no 60 day grace period given by the USCIS, as the regulations are silent on this issue. This type of situation is viewed by the USCIS on a case-by-case basis. It is important that you speak with an Immigration Attorney concerning the specifics of your situation, feel free to contact our office.


Question #3 - DACA
I have DACA status. Do I need advance parole to travel outside of the United States?

Answer #3
Yes! DO NOT attempt to leave the United States without obtaining prior approval for international travel from the USCIS.


Question # 4 – Green Card
What is the purpose of the immigration medical examination? I have one scheduled next week for my I-485 application of status adjustment. How do I submit the exam results to USCIS?

Answer #4
According to the Department of State, Medical eligibility is a requirement of INA Sections 212(a) and 221(d). Failure to provide required information may cause delay or denial of immigrant visas. If an immigrant visa is not issued, all medical eligibility forms will be treated as confidential under INA Section 222(f).
Print out and bring the most recent version of Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to your medical exam appointment: Fill out Part 1 of Form I-693 but do not sign until the civil surgeon instructs you to do so. The civil surgeon will use Form I-693 to document the results of your medical exam. The designated civil surgeon will complete, sign and seal Form I-693 and any supporting documents in an envelope. You must submit the sealed envelope to USCIS as directed in the Form I-693 instructions. IMPORTANT: Do not break the seal or open this envelope. USCIS will not accept Form I-693 if it is not in a sealed envelope or if the envelope is altered in any way.


Question #5 – Family Based Immigration
My mother filed an I-130 for me and it has been approved. I am an unmarried woman over 21. Many have told me to wait for a visa number to be available before filing for an adjustment of status. However, I want to know if in the meantime, can I file an I-765 Employment Authorization?

Answer #5
Unless your priority date is current, the date your I-130 petition was accepted by the USCIS for processing, you cannot file for adjustment of status, nor can you file for Employment Authorization. You must wait your turn in line according to the preference category as displayed on the monthly visa bulletin.


Question #6 – Green Card
Since 1985, I have had a green card. There are some family issues and I need to return home to England for about a year. Do I file advance parole or an re-entry permit?

Answer #6
A Re-entry permit! You may want to speak with an Immigration Attorney to discuss your eligibility for Naturalization, feel free to contact our office.


Question #7 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My company is in the process of merging with a larger company, and there may be some changes to my job duties or even my job location. I am on H-1B and they have also filed for my Green Card in EB2. Do you think my new employer should file an amended H-1B petition to the USCIS or a new PERM?

Answer #7
This type of determination is made on a case-by-case basis as several factors must be considered. Your employer should speak with a Qualified Immigration Attorney to discuss the possible immigration related consequences of a merger/acquisition.


Question #8 – Green Card
I am working with an EAD. My I-485 remains pending and is based on Employment in EB2. Is it possible for me to register and run an LLC company in partnership with another Green Card holder?

Answer #8
More information is required in order to provide an accurate answer given your particular situation. Are you currently working for your sponsoring employer? If not, has an AC21 portability request been filed? Etc. Please feel free to contact our office to further discuss your options and any risks that may be involved.


Question #9 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
For an H-1B transfer from a company to another company, how soon can the immigrant employee start to work for the new employer?

Answer #9
It depends upon the type of company the applicant is transferring from/to; however, generally speaking the employee can start to work for the new employer as soon as USCIS has accepted the H-1B transfer filing.


Question #10 – Family Based Immigration
A few months ago, I filed an I-130 petition for my spouse based on my LPR status. Last month, I just got naturalized. How much time do you think it will take for an approval of my I-130 petition?

Answer #10
Have you contacted the USCIS to inform them of this material change in your status, which would move your spouse from a preference category relative to an immediate relative? According to the USCIS posted processing times, it appears 6-8 months for processing of the I-130 petition.


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 12, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, August 29, 2014

August 25, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, August 29, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15, 2014

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 – Advance Parole
What are the documents required to file for Advance Parole?

Answer#1
Please refer to the Instructions for completing and filing Form I-131 with the USCIS at the below link, as the evidence to be submitted with your application depends upon your eligibility for filing Form I-131.


Question #2 – Employment in the United States
I am going to study in the US for 2 years. Afterwards I plan to change my student visa to an H-1B. If I work for 2 years can I apply for my Green card?

Answer#2
You should speak with an Immigration Attorney to fully discuss your plans before you act on them.


Question #3 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Right now, I am on a H4 visa and got my H1B from the FY 2015 quota. Can I apply for a SSN now and what are the documents required to submit?

Answer#3
The Social Security Administration’s website provides downloadable forms that you take with you to a Social Security office. You need to Show us at least two original documents proving your Identity; Work-authorized immigration status; and Proof of Age. It has a special section for Non US Citizens that explains everything that you need to obtain a Social Security Number. Please click on the following link to take you to the Social Security website: http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/


Question# 4 – Family Based Green Card
My sister-in-law, who is a US citizen, is in the process of sponsoring my husband, our kids and my Green Card. She just started filing the I-130 last month. I know that sibling sponsorship will take so many years, so am I allowed to apply for the Diversity Lottery in the mean time?

Answer#4
Yes, you are allowed to apply for the Diversity Lottery if you meet the eligibility requirements. You should consult with an Experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss your eligibility for the Diversity Lottery.


Question#5 – Employment Based Green Card
Can I use my work experience to prove a degree requirement for an I-140?

Answer#5
For the EB2 preference category – NO. For the EB3 Skilled and Other Worker preference category – it depends upon whether a professional association can determine that you have equivalent job experience. You should consult with an Immigration Attorney for case specific advice.


Question #6 – Naturalization/Citizenship
How long does it take to get US Citizenship?

Answer #6
Eligibility for US Citizenship – 3 years as an LPR married to a USC; 5 years as an LPR if received GC through Employment, and you satisfy other eligibility criteria as found on the USCIS website:

As far as the actual processing of the application - it depends upon the local USCIS’ office processing times. You can determine the processing times of your local office by checking out the below link:
USCIS Processing Times


Question #7 – Employment Based Green Card
What is the meaning of "same or similar" job in the AC-21 rule for job change?

Answer #7
USCIS generally makes a determination as to whether one job is in the “same or similar” occupational classification as another by referring to the DOL’s SOC system. USCIS officers also consider multiple factors to conclude if two jobs are considered to be in similar occupational classifications for porting purposes. USCIS officers may compare factors including, but not limited to:
• The job duties of both positions
• The SOC code from the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) and the appropriate SOC code for the new position
• The wages associated with each position
USCIS officers will view the totality of the circumstances to determine if the two jobs are the same or similar for porting purposes.


Question #8 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Currently, I am on an H4 visa and have applied for H1 in April 2014. I have not heard back anything yet from my employer. Can I apply for an F1 student visa now? If in the meanwhile, I get my H1 news from my employer that it got selected in lottery than what should I do?

Answer #8
You should speak with your employer as they would know by now whether or not your case was accepted in the FY2015 H1B CAP lottery. If you receive news that your case was not accepted…then yes you can apply for an F1 student visa; however, you should consult with an experienced Immigration Attorney to ensure that you have not accrued any unlawful status and to discuss any and all options that may be available to you.


Question #9 – Employment Based Green Card
Is it better to file my I-140 petition in the EB2 rather than the EB3 category?

Answer#9
That is a determination that can only be made by your employer, as your employer is the one who has the proffered position. Yes, EB2 cases tend to move along a little faster than EB3 cases; however, cases are not to be tailored and although you may want to file under EB2, the preference category depends ultimately upon the educational and experience requirements of the proffered position, not your specific qualifications.


Question #10 – Employment Authorization (EAD)
Since my I-485 application is still pending, I need to renew my EAD. How many days are needed for me to renew the EAD in advance of the expiration?

Answer#10
You are allowed to submit an application for renewal/extension of your EAD 120 days in advance of its expiration. You are NOT allowed to continue working after your EAD has expired unless and until you receive the new EAD card.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, August 29, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, August 15, 2014

August 11, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, August 15, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, August 1, 2014

August 1, 2014

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 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Currently, I am working with an H-1B but it will expire soon. I already have 6 years as H1B, I have labor certificate and my company filed I-140. Can I get an extension?

Answer #1
From the information you have provided, it appears you may be eligible for a one (1) year or three (3) year extension of your H1B nonimmigrant visa status. However, more information is needed in order to determine your eligibility. When was the Labor Certificate filed? When was the I-140 filed? Is the I-140 approved? Contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss.


Question #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I have a valid H4 VISA and it's valid till Aug 2016. I am looking for a COS from H4 to H1B. Can you please suggest me with a suitable process to do the conversion?

Answer #2
How are your eligible to change status from H4 to H1B? More information is needed in order to answer your question. Are you the recipient of an H1B approval within the past six years? Do you have time remaining in H-1B status? Contact our office to further discuss your situation.


Question #3 - Naturalization
My mother is in the US on a Green card for the last 6 years. Now, I wanted to apply for her citizenship. However, she cannot read, write or speak English. She is going to be of 70 years age in Oct 2014. Can I still apply for Naturalization?

Answer #3
You can; however, it would not be a good idea as it is unlikely your Mother will pass the civics test & English language test of the Naturalization examination without learning the English language. USCIS has some extremely useful tools on its website: http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/naturalization-test. If she waits for several years, she may be eligible for an exception due to her age and time period as a lawful permanent resident.

Please see below:
Exemptions from the English Language Test
A. 50 Years of Age or older and have lived in the US as an LPR for periods totaling at least 20 years at the time of filing the N400
B. 55 Years of Age or older and have lived in the US as an LPR for periods totaling at least 15 years at the time of filing the N400
C. 65 Years of Age or older and have lived in the US as an LPR for periods totaling at least 20 years at the time of filing the N400 (under this exemption, an applicant will also be given a simplified version of the civics test).


Question #4 – AC21 Portability
I filed my I-140 application several months ago and got it approved. Since it is an employer sponsored application, I have not changed my job during the I-485 pending period. Now, I have an opportunity to change my job to another larger company as a manager for a group. I want to know if I can take this job without affecting the pending green card process?

Answer #4
You have not included enough facts for us to provide a solid answer….how long ago did you file the I-140, the I-485…is this new position, the same or similar to the one used in your initial I-140 filing? Etc… If you are eligible for AC21 Portability, you may be able to take this job without affecting the pending green card process. Please contact our office to further discuss your specific situation.


Question #5 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Currently, I am on H-1B status, and I have filed my I-140 and I-485 applications. If I use the EAD and then my I-140 is denied, but the EAD is not expired, can I still work until the EAD expired, or I must leave US immediately?

Answer #5
We recommend that when clients are able to file the I-140/I-485 concurrently, or when their priority date is finally current and are able to submit the I-485 petition, that they continue to maintain their underlying H-1B nonimmigrant visa status as a safety net in case anything happens with the I-140 and/or I-485 petition. Otherwise, you are left in a limbo area which may only lead to further complicated problems. Contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss.


Question #6 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
How does the USCIS determine a job is a specialty occupation?

Answer #6
Section 214(i)(1) of the Act defines the term "specialty occupation" as an occupation that requires:
(A) theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and
(B) attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

A specialty occupation is defined as:
an occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in fields of human endeavor including, but not limited to, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology and the arts, and which requires the attainment of a bachelor's degree or higher in a specific specialty, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. (Emphasis added.) 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(ii).

Section 101 (a)(32) of the Act, as amended, states:
'The term 'profession' shall include but not be limited to architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, surgeons, and teachers in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, academies, or seminaries."

The H-1B regulations set forth a four-part test for determining what constitutes a specialty occupation. To qualify as a specialty occupation, the position must meet only one (1) of the following four (4) criteria:

1. A Bachelor or higher degree must normally be the minimum requirement for entry into the particular position; OR

2. The degree requirement must be common to the industry in parallel positions among similar organizations or, in the alternative, an employer may show that its particular position is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree; OR

3. The employer must normally require a degree or its equivalent for the position; OR

4. The job's duties must be so "specialized and complex" that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a baccalaureate or higher degree. See 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(3)(iii)(A).


Question #7 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Does my employer have to file a new H-1B for me if I got promoted into another job?

Answer #7
It depends upon the job title/job duties and how different they may be from your previous position. If the job duties are significantly different, more complex and/or have supervisory requirements, you may need to prepare/submit an Amended H1B petition based upon a material change in employment. Contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss your specific situation.


Question #8 – Green Card
What is the A#/Alien number used for and when do I receive it?

Answer #8
An A number is an alien registration number that the Department of Homeland Security assigns to each foreign national who submits an Immigrant Petition. In family based cases, the A number attaches upon approval of the I-130 petition. In employment based cases, the A number attaches upon approval of the I-140 petition.


Question #9 – Family Based Immigration
Can an approved I-130 be revoked if it not used right away?

Answer #9
Yes, if the USCIS finds that there was fraud and/or willful misrepresentation in the relationship presented to the USCIS, they may revoke the I-130 petition.


Question #10 - Naturalization
Two months ago, I filed my application for naturalization (N-400) to USCIS. I am planning to get married with my boyfriend next month (we have been in relationship for the last 4 years). Does the change in my marital status affect approval of my application?

Answer #10
No, because AT THE TIME of filing, you were not married; however, this information will need to be disclosed to the USCIS. When you are called in for your Naturalization Interview, you will need to inform the Interviewing Officer of your recent marriage, and provide proof of the marriage (example – marriage certificate).


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, August 15, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, August 1, 2014

July 28, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, August 1, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014

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 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I've been out of the US for over 6 months in Ghana working on an assignment for the company that sponsored my H1. The assignment ends this Friday and I'm scheduled to be back in the US this Sunday. Is there anything I need to do with my H1 before I leave Ghana?

Answer #1
You did not provide enough details to provide an adequate answer. Do you have a valid H-1B visa stamp from your current employer in your passport? If so, then you should be good to go; however, we do recommend having handy an employment verification letter from your current employer establishing that the job is still available as you have been outside of the U.S. for over 6 months.


Question #2 - General
I moved recently to the US with a B1 visa which as of today is expired and I have overstayed my visit. However, I would like to change my status in order to indulge in business in the US. What steps do I need to undergo to accomplish this?

Answer #2
You need to immediately contact a qualified Immigration Attorney to discuss all available options along with all risks/consequences involved.


Question #3 – Employment Based Green Card
My previous employer filed an I-140 petition in the E-B3 category. Can I transfer my priority date to the new I-140 Petition in E-B2 from my current employer?

Answer #3
Yes, you may, as you are entitled to the earliest priority date if multiple petitions have been filed on your behalf. You would need to specifically make a request for the USCIS to recapture your earlier priority date from the EB3 filing.


Question #4 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If my I-140 is denied, can I apply for a 7th year Extension of my H-1B?

Answer #4
It depends. Contact a qualified Immigration Attorney to discuss your specific case.


Question #5 – Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Since my I-485 application is still pending; I need to renew my EAD. How many days are needed for me to renew the EAD in advance of the expiration? Can I work when the renew process is pending?

Answer #5
You are allowed to apply for an extension of your EAD 120 days in advance of its expiration. You CANNOT work if your previous EAD has expired and you do not have the renewed EAD in your hand.


Question #6 – Employment Based Green Card
I plan to file my I-140 and I-485 petitions soon. In addition, I would like to get EAD as quickly as possible for my wife. Do I have to receive my I-140 petition approval first before I submit the EAD application?

Answer #6
Not enough details provided. Are you eligible to file the I-140/I-485 petitions concurrently? You may only submit the I-485/I-131 and I-765 if there is an immigrant visa number available to you (if your priority date is current according to the monthly visa bulletin distributed by the DOS). More details are needed in order to adequately address your question.


Question #7 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If I qualify for an extension of my H-1B visa past the 6-year limit, can more than one extension be granted?

Answer #7
Yes; however how many and for how long depends upon how you qualify.


Question # 8 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Recently, my Visitor’s visa was denied by the US Consulate. Will this denial affect my chances of obtaining an H-1B Visa?

Answer #8
It depends upon a multitude of factors. Why was your visitor visa denied? Do you have a U.S. employer willing to sponsor you for a specialty occupation and do you have the necessary qualifications for the position? Please contact a qualified Immigration Attorney to further discuss.


Question #9 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H-1B Case was not selected during the FY 2015 Cap Season. Will my employer be able to refile for me next year?

Answer #9
Yes, if your employer remains willing to sponsor you and wishes to re-file the petition with the USCIS.


Question #10 – EB5 Investor Visa
For an E-B5 Visa, do I need previous business experience or a business degree?

Answer #10
Although helpful, it is not a requirement.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, August 1, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, July 18, 2014

July 14, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, July 18, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4, 2014

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 – 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?

Answer #1
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?

Answer #2
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?

Answer #3
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?

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 Non-immigrant 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 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?

Answer #6
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?

Answer #7
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?

Answer #8
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?

Answer #9
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?

Answer #10
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, July 18, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, July 4, 2014

June 30, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, July 4, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, June 20, 2014

June 20, 2014

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 Visa
Can my spouse apply for an H-1B or does she have to apply for an H-4?

Answer #1
Your spouse may only apply for an H-1B if she has a U.S. employer willing to sponsor her H-1B temporary work visa. Otherwise, if she does not have a bona fide offer of employment from a U.S. employer willing to sponsor her, then, yes in order to accompany you and stay with you in the U.S., she would need to apply for an H4 visa. Individuals in H4 dependent visa status are NOT authorized for employment, they are NOT allowed to work.


Question #2 – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
What is DACA?

Answer #2
It is a policy that will defer action for Children who qualify, who are otherwise unlawfully present in the U.S. through no fault of their own.
As listed on the USCIS website: As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, including individuals convicted of crimes with particular emphasis on violent criminals, felons, and repeat offenders, DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines. Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization.


Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
How long does my H-1B Visa last? What if it is about to expire? How do I re-apply?

Answer #3
An H-1B visa will last for the validity period as provided on Form I-797 (I-129 Approval Notice). A typical H-1B visa is approved for a period of three years, and may be extended once for an additional three years, totaling 6 years in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status; however, certain circumstances do exists that will make an H-1B applicant eligible for H-1B extensions beyond the six year limit.

If your H-1B visa is about to expire, you need to know how much time you have remaining in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status. If you have time remaining, you will need to file an H-1B extension with the USCIS requesting an additional period of time, not to exceed three years. If you do not have any time remaining, you will have to leave the U.S. for a period of one (1) year, and after one (1) year you will become subject to the H-1B Annual Cap and will need to apply for a new H-1B to return to the U.S.


Question #4 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visas
My company is in the process of setting up a United States office. They would like for me to transfer to the US to oversee their daily operations. I am not sure how long I will be staying. Do I apply for an H-1B or L-1 Visa?

Answer #4
I cannot answer case specific questions in this forum, therefore, I have provided below, basic information concerning the H-1B and L1 visa. We recommend that you speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney to determine which visa will be most suitable for your situation.
The H-1B non-immigrant worker visa is subject to numerical limitations imposed by Congress. Each fiscal year, beginning on April 1, 65,000 visas are available for those who qualify for ‘Specialty Occupations.’ Specialty Occupations are defined as those that require a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The laws regarding the H-1B visa are in constant flux and applicants seriously considering this category as a means of working in the U.S. on a temporary basis should stay informed and updated as much as possible. Due to the fact that an applicant’s circumstances and the circumstances of his/her dependent family members may require special attention, the following information is not tailored to any one individual but provides general information about this category. The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the U.S. and work in a variety of fields ranging from architecture and engineering to teaching and medicine. The H-1B visa offers a wide range of employment possibilities and is a logical first step toward permanent immigration. In order to qualify for H-1B classification, the applicant must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. This is not a self-petitioning category; therefore the applicant must have a sponsoring employer in the U.S. The spouse and unmarried children below the age of 21 are allowed to accompany or join the H-1B worker as H-4 dependents. However, they cannot work unless they qualify for a work visa. H-4 dependents can enroll and attend schools in the U.S. without obtaining a student visa.
The L-1 visa allows companies operating both in the U.S. and abroad to transfer certain types of employees from its overseas office to the U.S. office for up to seven years. This visa comes in the following categories: L-1A - for executives and managers; and L-1B - for personnel with specialized knowledge. Businesses that function both in the United States and in their home country gain the benefits of the best of both areas. The L-1 visa is open to international organizations with offices in the U.S. who transfer employees to the U.S. office for temporary periods of time. This visa is sometimes referred to as the 'intra-company transferee' visa. To obtain an L-1 visa, you must be able to prove that you have worked for the non-U.S. company for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge. The L-1 visa enables the transfer of managers, executives and specialized knowledge personnel to a U.S. office, subsidiary or affiliated company. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 qualify for L2 status. Spouses may seek employment by filing form I-765. Children may attend school.


Question #5 – General
I am from Jamaica and have always wanted to live and work in the United States. My friend and I thought about applying for work at Disney World. What kind of Visas would we need?

Answer #5
You would need to speak with a Representative at Disney World, as they have several international exchange programs available for international applicants. They have a J1 Cultural Exchange Program that may suit your needs.


Question #6 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visas
Can a Canadian native apply for an H-1B? Or do they only qualify for a TN Visa?

Answer #6
Anyone may apply for an H-1B nonimmigrant work visa so long as they meet the educational requirements. Only Canadians citizens and Mexican citizens may take advantage of the TN visa.


Question #7 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visas
I am a Brazilian Soccer player. A few teams in the United States have contacted me to come & play for them. I am interested in traveling to the US to play. What are the differences between the 0-1 and 0-2 Visas?

Answer #7
The O-1 Visa is reserved for those with Extra-ordinary ability in the Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics and for those who have demonstrated records of extraordinary achievement in the Motion Picture or Television Industry. To be considered an outstanding individual, an applicant should be highly regarded in their particular field, and may only work in the U.S. in that specific area of expertise. The O-1 Visa is for outstanding individuals. This visa enables individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion picture and television industry to enter the U.S. for temporary periods of time. USCIS loosely defines this category, and the spectrum of eligible individuals also includes chefs, carpenters and lecturers. The O-1 Visa must be petitioned by a US employer, U.S. agent or foreign employer through a U.S. agent. The spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the applicant in the U.S. under O-3 status. While they may not work while in the U.S., immediate family members are allowed to attend school or college. To qualify for an O-1 in the Sciences, Education, Business or Athletics, a person must demonstrate either of the following:

1. Receipt of a major, internationally-recognized award (e.g. the Nobel Prize), or
2. At least three (3) of the following apply to him/her:

- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in his/her field.
- Membership in an association in the field which requires outstanding achievements of its members, as judged by national or international experts in the field.
- Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the person, concerning the person's work in the field.
- Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field.
- Scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.
- Authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or other major media.
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
- High salary or other remuneration commanded by the person for services


The O-2 Visa enables the support personnel of an artist or athlete (O-1 visa holder) to accompany and assist the performer in a specific event or performance. The presence and support of the O-2 personnel must be essential to the successful performance of the O-1 visa holder. O-2 visas are offered to support personnel of O-1 Visa holders in the fields of athletics, entertainment, science, business or education. This status is not applicable to personnel in the motion picture and television industry. The O-2 Visa must be petitioned by a U.S. employer, U.S. agent or foreign employer through a U.S. agent. The spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 are permitted to accompany the applicant to the U.S., under an O-3 status. The dependents of the applicant must be able to prove immediate family relation to the applicant. Dependents are not allowed to work while in the U.S., although they may attend school or college. More than one O-2 application may be included on the same petition, if all parties are helping the same O-1 applicant for the same events or performances, during the same period of time and at the same location.


Question #8 – Family Based Green Card
My fiancé and I have been dating for 2 years and we plan to get married in the next year. He is from Peru and is currently using a Student Visa. Can he apply for a Fiancé Visa now or should he wait until after we are married to get a Spousal Visa?

Answer #8
I cannot answer case specific questions in this forum. We recommend that you speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney to determine which process will be most suitable for your situation.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I have applied for an H-1B Visa. My wife has applied for a H4 Visa. Do we need to apply for an H4 Visa for all of our children? 2 of our children are under 3. The other one is 6 years old.

Answer #9
If your children are not U.S. citizens, then yes you will need to include them. Your children should have been included in your wife’s H4 application (Form I-539).


Question #10 – Employment Based Green Card
For the past 7 years, I have been attending medical school and working as a resident at some of the local hospitals. I would like to stay in the US and find a permanent position as a doctor. How do I get my Green Card and how long does it take?

Answer #10
In many cases, individuals find a permanent position with a company willing to sponsor their Green Card process. The length of the process depends upon which preference category you fit under and your country of birth.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, July 4, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, June 20, 2014

June 16, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, June 20, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, June 6, 2014

June 6, 2014

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 – Employment Based Green Card
I am currently working on EAD since 2007 and had filed my 485 in 2007 under EB3 category. I have being renewing my EAD every 2 years since 2007. My PD is May 2004. I got married to a US Citizen in 2012 and filed my I130 (along with copies of my EAD, pending 485, ETC) in June 2013. I got an email in Dec 2013 that the case was transferred to Nebraska Service Center and then in Feb 2014 the Nebraska office informed me that the case was transferred to NVC along with a receipt# starting with ANK. I then got an email earlier this month April 2014 about filing CHOICE OF ADDRESS AND AGENT (DS-261), Affidavit of Support (AOS) Fees, IV Application Processing Fees and IV AND ALIEN REGISTRATION (DS-260). My question is why are they asking for all this information when I already have a pending 485 for the last 7 years or so? Plus what is the time frame for NVC to approve all this paperwork?

Answer #1
Contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 or the National Visa Center and explain the situation. Or, contact our office for assistance.


Question #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I got my petition approved in Nov 2013 and received a copy of my I-797C. For some reason not known to me, my employer revoked the petition. My I797 says my petition is approved until 2016. Am I cap exempt?

Answer #2
You have not provided enough information for us to properly answer your question. More information is needed in order to provide a response. What type of employer sponsored your H1B…a non-profit, a university, a for-profit business, etc.? Who revoked your petition – your employer or the USCIS? Please contact our office to discuss your situation.


Question #3 – Conditional Permanent Resident
How do I remove conditions on my 2-year conditional Permanent Resident Card?

Answer #3
If you:
• Are still married to the same U.S. citizen or permanent resident after 2 years. You may include your children in your application if they received their conditional-resident status either at the same time or within 90 days as you did;
• Are a child and, for a valid reason, cannot be included in your parents’ application;
• Are a widow or widower who entered into your marriage in good faith;
• Entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended through divorce or annulment; or
• Entered into a marriage in good faith, but either you or your child were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident spouse.
Then you may apply to remove the conditions on your 2-year conditional permanent resident card by filing Form I-751, along with the USCIS filing fee with the USCIS.


Question #4 – Re-Entry Permit
I am a LPR and need to travel abroad. Can I file my Form I-131 to get a reentry permit while I am outside the United States?

Answer #4
No, you must be physically present in the United States when you file Form I-131 requesting a Re-Entry permit.


Question #5 – Family Based Green Card
What if I filed an I-130 petition for a relative when I was a permanent resident, but I am now a U.S. Citizen? Is this petition no longer valid and do I have to refile?

Answer #5
According to the USCIS, if you become a U.S. citizen while your relative is waiting for a visa, you can upgrade your relative’s visa classification and advance the processing of that petition by notifying the appropriate agency of your naturalization. When you are a U.S. citizen, your husband or wife and any unmarried children under age 21 will have visas immediately available to them.


Question #6 - Naturalization
Do I have to be in the United States when I file an N-400 application? I am currently out of the country helping my parents sell their home and move into an apartment. It will take a few months. Should I just wait until I return to the US?

Answer #6
Yes, you have to be in the United States when you file an N400 Application with the USCIS. You should wait until you return to the United States. All of your arrivals to and departures from the United States for the last five years must be listed in your N400 application.


Question #7 – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Do brief departures from the US for travel interrupt the DACA requirements of having continuous residence in the United States since June 15, 2007?

Answer #7
According to the USCIS, a brief, casual and innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuous residence. If you were absent from the United States, your absence will be considered brief, casual and innocent if it was on or after June 15, 2007, and before Aug. 15, 2012, and:
1. The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence;
2. The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation or removal;
3. The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure, or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before you were placed in exclusion, deportation or removal proceedings; and
4. The purpose of the absence and/or your actions while outside the United States were not contrary to law.

Question #8 – General
I just looked at my I-94 and it has incorrect information on it. What can I do? Will this affect my status?

Answer #8
If there is an error or mistake on the paper or electronic form I-94, the traveler can contact the Deferred Inspection office closest to their location.

If a traveler was admitted incorrectly to the United States, the traveler should visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or Port of Entry (POE) to have his or her admission corrected. A list of Deferred Inspection Sites and POEs can be found on CBP's website, www.cbp.gov, under the "Ports" link at the bottom of the page. If a traveler was issued an incorrect I-94 by USCIS, the traveler should refer to the Form I-102, which can be found at www.uscis.gov/forms.


Question #9 – L1 Intra-Company Transferee
My L-1 visa extension was approved Jan 2014. In addition, my EB3 - I140 was approved in Apr 2014. I am going to India for the visa stamping next month. I am wondering if this I140 approval will be a hindrance during the visa interview.

Answer #9
When scheduling your visa interview appointment, you will be asked if an Immigrant Petition has ever been filed on your behalf. You will have to be truthful in your response.


Question #10 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How many times can I transfer my H-1B visa status to a new employer?

Answer #10
There is no set cap on the amount of times that an applicant may transfer his H-1B visa status from employer to employer.

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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, June 6, 2014

June 2, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, June 6, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23, 2014

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 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have applied for H1B Visa for the year 2015 H1B CAP. After applying, I was notified by university people that there is a small clerical mistake in my MCA main certificate and the correction has been done. But the certificate I have send for H1B application is my old certificate which will be differing from my corrected certificate which is in my hand. Do you think it will create any issues?

Answer #1
If this discrepancy would cause an adjudicator to question your eligibility for the H-1B nonimmigrant visa, then the USCIS Adjudicator will most likely issue a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE) and request that you explain the discrepancy/issue at hand and provide the newly corrected certificate.


Question #2 – L1 Intra-Company Transferee
I am in China, and hope to move to US. My uncle has an internal trade business in China and plan to start a branch or participate or buy an existing business with me in US to get the L1-A visa both and change to EB1C a year later. Is there are an exact number of how many full time employees, investments, etc., turnover as the EB5?

Answer #2
There is no hard set figure for the number of full time employees, or the amount of capital investment for the L1/EB1(c). For more information, please contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney.


Question #3 – Employment Based Green Card
Can an employer file an I-140 for a beneficiary in multiple visa categories?

Answer #3
Yes, as long as there is a bona fide job offer behind each I-140 petition, and effective recruitment efforts were carried out to test the U.S. labor market for each case.


Question #4 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am working on an H-1B full time for my employer. My employer is planning to transfer me from the West Coast to the East Coast with same job title. Do I have to apply for H1B amendment for this change?

Answer #4
Yes, your employer would need to submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor (DOL) prior to moving you from the West Coast to the East Coast, and once the LCA is certified, the Employer must file an amended H1B petition with the USCIS informing them of this material change in employment.


Question #5 - H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can I still work if my H1B extension has been filed, but the USCIS still has not processed my application yet. My initial H1B visa has just expired.

Answer #5
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.


Question #6 – Employment Based Green Card
I never worked for my "Green Card" sponsoring employer, who filed Labor Certification for me. It was a future job offer. Can I use AC-21 portability to change jobs?

Answer #6
Yes, if you are otherwise eligible to port pursuant to AC21 law.


Question #7 - General
My parents have already applied for their Green Cards. Before I apply for mine, I want to study in the US first. Can I get a student’s visa?

Answer #7
Yes, however, you could possibly run into intent issues.
Please contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney to discuss your plans.


Question # 8 – Employment Based Green Card
I am a Ph.D student with an F-1 visa. Do I have to wait to apply for the Green Card in EB1-Extraordinary Ability after my graduation and changing the visa to H-1B?

Answer #8
Please contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney to discuss your case.


Question #9 – Employment Based Green Card
After working for my employer for more than 2 years with H1B visa, I recently got promoted as a group manager with more job duties. Can I use my experience with current employer to apply for a PERM Labor Certification?

Answer #9
It depends and generally it is not advisable; however, you should speak with an Immigration Attorney at our firm to discuss your specific case. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation.


Question #10 – Employment Based Green Card
This month, I obtained my Green Card based on my employer's sponsorship in EB2 category. If I change job within a few months after I-485 approval, is there any problem for my permanent resident later or in the U.S. citizen naturalization proceedings?

Answer #10
It depends. There is no hard set period of time that you must remain with your sponsoring employer; however, we recommend to our clients that they remain with their sponsoring employer 6 months-1 year after receiving their Green Card, unless there are serious issues that warrant you leaving before that recommended time period, or a better job is offered that cannot be passed up.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, June 6, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, May 23, 2014

May 19, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, May 23, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, May 9, 2014

May 9, 2014

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 Visa
Now that the H-1B Cap for FY 2015 been reached and USCIS said they issued all receipts as of May 2, when we will expect to hear which cases have been accepted?

Answer #1
The sponsoring Employer and the Attorney of Record should receive the receipt notice from the USCIS. If your employer/Attorney has not received a receipt notice for an H1B CAP filed case, the employer is advised to check its bank account to determine if any of the checks submitted with the petitions were deposited. If so, then the receipts should be coming, if the checks were not deposited, it is safe to assume the case was not accepted in the random H1B CAP lottery.

Our office has received receipt notices for the premium processing filed cases, the Masters CAP filed cases, and just this week, the regular H-1B CAP filed cases.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am an international student on an F-1 visa. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in pharmacy from India, came to USA in 2010 on Master’s program in industrial pharmaceutics. After coming here, I transferred to UNVA, a college closed by USCIS in 2013. I completed a Master’s degree in UNVA before closure and was working on OPT when the college closed out. I worked on OPT for 6 months and had to dis-continue my job as my college closed. I joined another school in Chicago to maintain status and also got CPT for 20 hours to work. Can I apply for an H-1B?

Answer #2
Unfortunately, the H1B CAP for FY2015, with employment beginning as of October 1, 2014 was reached within days of opening, and is now closed. You will have to wait until April 1, 2015 in order to submit an H-1B CAP case for FY2016, with employment beginning as of October 1, 2015.


Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What is an AC-21 for H1B Extension?

Answer #3
Pursuant to AC21 law, an H1B nonimmigrant may extend his or her status beyond the 6 year limitation if: (1) a labor certification, or I-140 application has been filed where 365 days or more have elapsed since the filing of the labor certification or I-140. Or, (2) the H1B nonimmigrant has an I-140 petition which has been approved. Under the first scenario, an applicant may be eligible for one year extensions to H-1B status until a final decision is made. Under the second scenario, an applicant may be eligible for three year extensions to H-1B status until a visa number becomes available.


Question #4 – H4 Dependents
Are H-4 dependents eligible for an H extension beyond the six year limit?

Answer #4
Yes, if the primary H1B applicant is eligible for an extension beyond the sixth year (see #3 above), then the H4 dependent is entitled to extend status as well.


Question #5 – Family Based Immigration
Is my U.S. Citizen spouse required to attend the interview for my marriage based Green Card?

Answer #5
It depends upon where the visa interview takes place. If in the United States through Adjustment of Status (AOS), then YES the U.S. Citizen Spouse is required to attend the interview. If abroad through Consular Processing, then NO the U.S. Citizen Spouse is not required to attend the interview.


Question #6 – Green Card
Who is eligible to apply for Removal of Conditions on permanent residence?

Answer #6
According to the USCIS.GOV website: generally, you may apply to remove your conditions on permanent residence if you:
• Are still married to the same U.S. citizen or permanent resident after 2 years. You may include your children in your application if they received their conditional-resident status either at the same time or within 90 days as you did;
• Are a child and, for a valid reason, cannot be included in your parents’ application;
• Are a widow or widower who entered into your marriage in good faith;
• Entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended through divorce or annulment; or
• Entered into a marriage in good faith, but either you or your child were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident spouse.
Note: Refer to Form I-751 for more specific eligibility requirements


Question #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
While in the US, we applied & changed my wife's visa (not yet stamped), from H4 to H1, so that she could work. This was not stamped and it was extended for another year a few months ago. When I look at my daughter's H4 petition (valid till 2015 & not yet stamped), it still refers to my wife's old H4 petition. Since my H1 was the basis in the 1st place for both their H4's, is my daughter's H4 petition still valid, or should I file a fresh H4 against my wife's H1?

Answer #7
If the beneficiary’s spouse/children are in the United States on H4 status, they do not need a H4 every time the H1B individual changes H1B’s. As long as the H1B individual remains in status, the H4 individual(s) need only to file a request for extension of the H4, no less than 90 days before the H4 individual’s I-94 expires. Remember that if the H1B individual is out of status so are all individuals on H4 irrespective of their I-94 and our recommendation is that an “out of status” individual not remain “out of status” in the United States for over 180 days because they may be subject to being excluded from the United States for a period of three to ten years respectively.


Question #8 - General
Everyone is telling me that I should apply for DACA because I’m currently eligible. Is it better to pursue another form of immigration status first?

Answer #8
Please contact our office to discuss any options that you may have.


Question #9 – Adjustment of Status & Travel
My I-485 application has been pending for more than 2 years. Now I want to travel to my home country to visit my relatives. Can I travel abroad with my current working visa? Or do I have to apply for an Advance Parole (AP) before travel?

Answer #9
If you have a valid visa stamp or will be applying for a visa stamp prior to your return to the U.S., then you may travel abroad on your current working visa. If you prefer not to obtain visa stamping based upon your current work visa, you may apply for an Advance Parole document prior to traveling abroad…please note that after applying and before traveling abroad, you will need to wait for and attend your biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment.


Question #10 – Green Card
After I get my Green Card in the EB1 category, do I still have to stay in the same or similar field?

Answer #10
Please contact our office to further discuss.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, May 23, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, May 9, 2014

May 5, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, May 9, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

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 – H4 Dependent Visa
Right now, I am H-4 Status under my husband’s H-1b. I was wondering if any employer could apply for an H-1B for me. Do I keep my H-4 if I am not approved?

Answer #1
In order to qualify for H-1B classification, you must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. As this visa category is not a self-petitioning category, you must have a sponsoring employer in the United States.
Unfortunately, you just missed the H-1B CAP for FY2015, running from October 1, 2014 until September 29, 2015. Therefore, the only way in which you could receive an H-1B at this time would be through employment with a CAP EXEMPT employer. For more information, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with an Immigration Attorney.


Question #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If my employer does not have a project for me, are they allowed to “bench” me without pay?

Answer #2
NO, it is against the law to “bench” an employee without pay.


Question #3 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I got approval for my H-1B visa but I have not gone to the Consulate for Visa Stamping. With the Cap deadline passed, am I out of luck?

Answer #3
It appears that you are confused about the process. If you have already filed an H-1B CAP case, were counted under the CAP and received an approval (I-797 form), then you may apply at any time for visa stamping, to allow you to come to the United States to begin working for your sponsoring employer.


Question #4 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Can I start my own company while on H-1B Status?

Answer #4
Yes; however, you MAY NOT WORK for that company. It is highly recommended that you contact our office before moving forward.


Question #5 – Family Based Immigration
I got married to an American citizen and I am filing an I-131. I am still applying for Adjust of Status (I-485). When I got married I was an Au Pair (J-1) and I still have this visa, which will expire only in September 2014. In this case, do I qualify for reentry permit or advance parole?

Answer #5
It appears that you may be confused with the process, or just made a typographical error. Considering that you currently hold a J1 visa, it is advisable that you contact our office to further discuss the specifics of your case.


Question #6 – Visa Waiver Program
What is the Visa Waiver Program and who is eligible to apply for it?

Answer #6
As taken from the Department of State website, the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, when they meet all requirements explained below. Travelers must be eligible to use the VWP and have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel. Please refer to the following website for more information: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visa-waiver-program.html


Question #7 – Employment Based Green Card
Will processing of an I-485 application continue when a Request for Evidence (RFE) is sought on an I-140?

Answer #7
If an I-140 RFE is issued on a concurrently filed I-140/I-485 petition, then the process will be on hold until a response is received by the Service for the I-140 petition. In order to qualify for Adjustment of Status, you must have an approved Immigrant Petition, I-140.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration
Can I travel out of country for VISA Stamping after I filed my I-140?

Answer #8
If you have a valid nonimmigrant visa approval (i.e., H1)


Question #9 – Green Card
My Green Card is about to expire in November this year. Should I apply for a renewal now?

Answer #9
You should file to renew your green card six months prior to its expiration date.


Question #10 – Employment Based Immigration
Can I apply for consular processing of green card from my home country with an approved I-140 and with a current priority date, but no longer employed with the company that sponsored the I-140?

Answer #10
Has the company revoked your approved I-140 petition? Will you re-join the company once you become a Lawful Permanent Resident? The Green Card is ultimately for future employment. These questions will need to be considered and answered. It is recommended that you contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney.

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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, May 9, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, April 25, 2014

April 21, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, April 25, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11, 2014

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 Visa
Can your firm sponsor my H-1B or find a company to sponsor me? I am ready to come to the U.S. and work; I have a BS in Computer Science

Answer #1
We are a law firm that will help you prepare the paperwork (Forms and documents) for your H-1B non-immigrant petition once you find an employer willing to sponsor you for employment; however, we cannot find you H-1B sponsorship. In summary, once you have secured an H-1B sponsor (U.S. employer), we can then assist you with the process.


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

Answer #3
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 #4 – 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 #4
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 #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Can an H-1B dependent employer sponsor my H-1B visa?

Answer #5
Yes.


Question #6 – 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 #6
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 #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What factors determine the prevailing wage for an H-1B beneficiary?

Answer #7
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 #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Can I change my job while I am under the H-1B visa?

Answer #8
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 #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Are applicants with Master Degree’s given preference when filing for an H-1B under the yearly Cap?

Answer #9
The cap (the numerical limitation on H-1B petitions) for FY 2015 is 65,000. In addition, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap of 65,000.
*The applicant must have a U.S. Master’s degree or higher.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My current H-1B is going to expire in 4 months. Can my employer file an extension for me to remain on H-1B?

Answer #10
Yes, if you are eligible for an extension. Extensions and transfers are not subject to the Annual CAP. Your employer may submit an extension filing up to 6 months in advance of the current expiration of your 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, April 25, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, April 11, 2014

April 7, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, April 11, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014

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 – Family Based Green Card
Can same-sex marriages, like opposite-sex marriages, reduce the residence period required for naturalization?

Answer #1
According to the recently updated FAQs released by the USCIS, the answer to the question is yes. As a general matter, naturalization requires five years of residence in the United States following admission as a lawful permanent resident. But, according to the immigration laws, naturalization is available after a required residence period of three years, if during that three year period you have been living in “marital union” with a U.S. citizen “spouse” and your spouse has been a United States citizen. For this purpose, same-sex marriages will be treated exactly the same as opposite-sex marriages.


Question #2 – Family Based Green Card
Do my same sex partner and I have to live in a marriage equality state to apply for his green card?

Answer #2
According to the recently updated FAQS released by the USCIS, the answer to the question is No. USCIS will review the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. That general rule is subject to some limited exceptions under which federal immigration agencies historically have considered the law of the state of residence in addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage. Whether those exceptions apply may depend on individual, fact-specific circumstances. If necessary, we may provide further guidance on this question going forward.


Question #3 – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Are there educational requirements to be eligible for DACA?

Answer #3
Yes, in addition to other eligibility requirements. In order to be eligible for DACA, an applicant must be: currently enrolled in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or they are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have applied for an H-1B Visa. My wife has applied for a H4 Visa. Do we need to apply for an H4 Visa for all of our children? 2 of our children are under 2. The other one is 12 years old.

Answer #4
If your children are not U.S. citizens, then yes you will need to include them. Your children should have been included in your wife’s H4 application (Form I-539).


Question #5 – Employment Based Green Card
My spouse and son have received their Green Cards but I have not. I filed for all of our Green Cards through my employer. Do you think there is a problem with the processing of my case?

Answer #5
From the facts you have provided, your spouse and son are your derivatives. Generally, the USCIS would not approve their cases without approving your case first. You may wish to contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to determine the issue with the delivery of your green card.


Question #6 – Green Card General
Once my wife gets her green card, can she travel out of the US?

Answer #6
There are certain restrictions once receiving a Green Card, especially in terms of traveling for long periods of time. She is able to travel; however, for purposes of maintaining LPR status, she should not be outside of the U.S. for more than 6 months at a time, without obtaining the proper re-entry permit.


Question #7- Employment Based Immigration
What is an AC21 Portability letter?

Answer #7
The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) permits an individual to seek new employment when the following conditions are met:
• New employment must be the "same or similar" occupational classification;
• Form I-140 has been approved, or is approvable when filed concurrently with I-485;
• Form I-485 has been pending for at least 180 days.
Your attorney sends a letter to the USCIS explaining that you have invoked the AC-21 portability provision and includes evidence of your eligibility with the letter.


Question #8 - Green Card
Later this year, my EAD and AP are expiring. When is the earliest that I can file my renewal petitions?

Answer #8
You can file the renewals 120 days prior to the expiration date.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I just got my H-1B approval; can I get a Social Security Card?

Answer #9
Yes! Make sure you check the Social Security Number (SSN) website, “Get Or Replace A Social Security Card” and carry all the required documents to SSN Office when applying for your SSN.

Additional resource: Social Security Numbers for Noncitizens


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Earlier this month, my employer moved my job location from New York to Virginia. Do they need to submit an amended H-1B?

Answer #10
Under the regulations, an H1B amendment is required if there has been a material change in the employment terms of the H1B petition. The USCIS considers the relocation of an employee outside of the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or a move from one state to another state, a material change, requiring the filing of an amended H-1B petition.


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 11, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, March 28, 2014

March 24, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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 28, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014

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 Visa
I’ve heard that this year’s cap could be reached very quickly, even on the first day; does this mean that my petition has to be received on April 1st for it to be included in this year’s Cap?

Answer#1
Your petition should be shipped to arrive at the USCIS on April 1st; however, just because it arrives at USCIS on April 1, 2014 does not guarantee that the case will be included in this year’s CAP.

Please see the information below as provided by the USCIS concerning last year’s H1B CAP and the random lottery selection process:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period, which ended on April 5, 2013. USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.
USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.


Question #2 - H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How can an H-1B petition qualify for a “Cap-Gap” extension?

Answer #2
Current regulations allow certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions to remain in F-1 status during the cap-gap period. This is referred to as filling the "cap-gap." The regulations provide a way of filling the "gap" between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status.

- H-1B petitions that are timely filed, on behalf of an eligible F-1 student, that request a change of status to H-1B on October 1 qualify for a cap-gap extension.
- Timely filed = H-1B petition (indicating COS rather than CP) was filed on or after April 1 while the student's authorized F-1 duration of status (D/S) admission was still in effect.
- Once a timely filing has been made, the automatic cap-gap extension will begin and continue until the H-1B petition adjudication process has been completed. If the student’s H-1B petition is selected/approved, the student’s extension will continue through September 30. If denied, withdrawn, revoked, or is not selected, the student will have the standard 60-day grace period from the date of the rejection notice or their program end date, whichever is later, to prepare for and depart the US.
- Travel is not advisable during the CAP GAP period

Please note: F-1 students who have entered the 60-day grace period are not employment-authorized. If an H-1B cap-subject petition is filed on behalf of a student who has entered the 60-day grace period, the student will receive the automatic cap-gap extension of his or her F-1 status, but will not become employment-authorized (since the student was not employment-authorized at the time H-1 petition was filed, there is no employment authorization to be extended).


Question #3 - H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H-1B is valid until Dec 15, 2014, but my current project will run until Jan 31, 2015. Will my H-1b get extended just for one month, or will it be extended for the next 2-3 years automatically?

Answer#3
H-1B nonimmigrant petitions are not extended automatically, as you must petition the USCIS to receive an extension of H-1B nonimmigrant visa status. Accordingly, if you are eligible to extend your H-1B status beyond 12/15/2014 (you have time remaining in H-1B visa status), then your employer will prepare or hire an attorney to prepare an H-1B visa extension petition on your behalf requesting a period of time that can be substantiated by relevant documentation showing that your services are in fact needed for the entire period of time requested. You will then file the request for an H-1B visa extension with the USCIS at the designated Service Center, either California or Vermont.


Question#4 - H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H-1B Visa was approved. What do I need to take with me for Visa Stamping?

Answer#4
Check the Consulate website for specific information; however, in general:
• A printed copy of your appointment confirmation letter,
• Your DS-160 confirmation page stamped at the Visa Application Centre
• Your current and all old passports,
• Supporting Documents as per your visa type
a.I-797 – the original or a certified copy of the original notice of approval;
b.Two (2) copies of the complete I-129 petition submitted by your prospective employer including the Labor Condition Application (LCA);
c.The originals, plus one copy, of your university diplomas, mark sheets and any certificates you may have. (Secondary school information is not required);
d.Current Letter from petitioning employer confirming employment on company letterhead;
e.Original, plus one copy, of your work experience letters from your previous employers
f.If third party placement – end client letter/work orders/agreement; vendor letter/work orders/agreement;

Depending upon your case, you may want to consider taking the following additional documents:
1. Pay slips from current or most recent place of employment
2. Names and current phone numbers of the personnel managers at the applicant's present and past jobs
3. Photographs of the inside and outside of current or most recent employer's place of business
4. Names and contact information of two co-workers from your current or most recent place of employment
5. Names and contact information of two co-workers from past jobs
6. A complete resume/bio-data and cover letter describing current job duties in detail
7. Personal bank records for the last six months
8. US company information: photographs of the inside and outside of the company's offices, prospectus, brochures, and annual report


Question #5 - H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am an H-1B holder, and my I-485 is pending. I wish to travel abroad, but I am not sure whether I can get an H-1B visa to re-enter the U.S. Do I need to apply for an Advance Parole?

Answer#5
If you do not have a valid H-1B visa stamp in your passport, you will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. after a trip abroad. You may only be admitted if you have a valid H-1B visa stamp in your passport or a valid Advance Parole travel document.

As an Adjustment Applicant with a pending I-485 petition, you may apply for an Advance Parole document (Form I-131).

Contact our office to further discuss the specifics of your situation.


Question #6 – Family Based Immigration
Can a son or daughter over the age of 21 qualify as an immediate relative?

Answer #6
USCIS website: To promote family unity, immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for certain qualified relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. Eligible immediate relatives include the U.S. citizen’s:
• Spouse
• Unmarried child under the age of 21
• Parent (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21)
Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.

**Unmarried sons or daughters of U.S. Citizens fall into the first preference category (F1) and must wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate.


Question #7 – Family Based Immigration
If my relative is abroad and going through Consular Processing, do I need to be present with them for the interview?

Answer#7
No.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration
I filed my I-140 two months ago and it is still pending with the USCIS. May I file my adjustment of status at this time?

Answer #8
Processing of the I-140 petition generally takes anywhere from 6-8 months unless you elect to utilize the premium processing option. What preference category did you file the I-140 petition under? What is your country of chargeability? Is your priority date current? Please contact our office to further discuss the specifics of your case as we do not have enough information.


Question #9 - Employment Based Green Card
Does an approved labor certification allow me the legal right to work within the U.S.?

Answer #9
No. An approved labor certification only allows your employer to file an EB-2 or EB-3 category immigration petition on your behalf.


Question #10 - Green CardOnce my Priority Date becomes current, how long do I have to wait for my Green Card?

Answer#10
It depends upon a number of factors. Contact our office to further discuss.


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 28, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, March 14, 2014

March 10, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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 14, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014

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 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have some questions about my current H1-B case extension. My employer has applied for my H1-B extension through the Vermont center. The case was sent to USCIS via Federal Express on 01/21/2014. We haven't yet received the receipt notice and now want to now upgrade to premium processing. How long does it normally take them to send a receipt notice? Is there any way to get the receipt notice by contacting the USCIS?

Answer #1
Receipts normally take anywhere from one-two weeks to arrive in the mail after the case is accepted for processing by the USCIS. The USCIS sends receipt/approval notices through the United States Postal Service (USPS) and does not provide tracking information for receipt/approval notices. Speak with your employer to determine if the USCIS filing fee checks have been cashed, if so, normally the receipt number is listed on the back of the deposited checks. I have heard that the USCIS has changed the process of depositing checks and now utilize an electronic method that does not provide the receipt number on the back of the check. If this is the case, your employer and/or authorized representative (i.e., Attorney) should contact the USCIS via the customer service 800 number or by mail with documentation to show that the package was in fact delivered and the checks that were cashed for a receipt notice to be issued.


Question #2 - H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If I am a graduate student who is awaiting my Degree in May, can I apply for an H1B under the CAP?

Answer #2
Yes; however, you may have other options that should be discussed and considered. You should contact your designated school official (DSO) at your College/University or Contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney.


Question #3 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am on F-1 visa and my OPT EAD will expire on August 1, 2014. My employer is ready to file my H1B Petition when the H-1B Cap opens. Can I continue to stay in the US and work during the gap period?

Answer #3
Based upon the facts you have provided, it would appear that the answer to your question is yes. H1B CAP GAP is a regulatory provision which extends an eligible F-1 student's status to bridge the gap between the end of F-1 status and start of H-1B status, thereby allowing the student to remain in the US during the "gap.” It is recommended that F1 students whose F1 status expires after submission of the H-1B petition, NOT leave the country prior to receiving the H-1B nonimmigrant visa status in October.


Question #4 – Family Based Immigration
What is a conditional resident green card?

Answer #4
Conditional resident status only applies to those who received a green card based upon marriage; or those who received a green card as an Entrepreneur. As provided on the USCIS website - A conditional permanent resident receives a green card valid for 2 years. In order to remain a permanent resident, a conditional permanent resident must file a petition to remove the condition during the 90 days before the card expires. The conditional card cannot be renewed. The conditions must be removed or you will lose your permanent resident status.


Question #5 – Green Card
I am a Green Card holder and I am getting married in the Fall. Do I need to report my name change and get another Green Card?

Answer #5
As long as you carry with you evidence of your legal name change in addition to your Green Card, you should be fine until the time comes for you to file to renew your Green Card. Otherwise, if your name changes and you want to get a new Green Card with the new name change, then you will have to complete Form I-90, and pay the USCIS filing fee of $450.00, $365.00 plus $85.00 biometrics.


Question #6 – Employment Based Immigration
I just received a new I-140. My 485 was already filed with another I-140. Is there any way to link this new I-140 to my 485 application?

Answer #6
Yes. Contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney.


Question #7- H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
More than a year ago, I filed my I-140 petition based on EB1 and the I-485 is still pending. I will be reaching my 6 years limit on H1B status soon. Can I file the H-1B extension for 7th year?

Answer #7
Based upon the facts you have provided, the answer to your question appears to be YES. The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21), allows an applicant to apply for three-year extensions of H-1B status, if an I-140 has already been filed and approved on behalf of the Applicant, but the Applicant’s priority date is not current, i.e. immigrant visa number is not available.


Question #8 – General
How does “Aging Out” affect an I-485 application? My daughter will be turning 21 next year. Can I get her Green Card expedited so she can receive it sooner?

Answer #8
The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) was enacted on August 6, 2002. The CSPA allows a beneficiary to retain classification as a child after reaching the age of 21, if certain requirements are met. Contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney concerning the specifics of your case.


Question #9 – Green Card
How long can I remain outside the United States with my Permanent Resident Card?

Answer #9
As taken from the USCIS website - You may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you: (i) Remain outside of the United States for more than 1 year without obtaining a reentry permit or returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned, any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year; or (ii) Remain outside of the United States for more than 2 years after issuance of a reentry permit without obtaining a returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year.

Contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney to discuss your specific questions.


Question #10 – General
What is INFOPASS used for?

Answer #10
According to the USCIS website, InfoPass is a free service that lets you schedule an appointment with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigration Officer by using the Internet at any time of day or night. If you have an immigration issue that is best handled by a trained USCIS Immigration Officer, InfoPass will let you schedule your appointment instead of requesting it in person at your local USCIS office.


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 14, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, February 28, 2014

February 24, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, February 28, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, February 14, 2014

February 14, 2014

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 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
After working for my employer for more than 2 years with my H1B visa, I recently get promoted as a group manager with more job duties. Can I use my experience with current employer to apply for the PERM Labor Certification?

Answer #1
It depends. It should not be ruled out immediately, as this would require an in-depth review and discussion of the previous position and promoted position. However, using experience gained through the sponsoring employer will likely increase the chances of receiving an Audit from the Department of Labor. It is recommended that you consult an Immigration Attorney to further discuss this issue.


Question #2 –Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
What Are the Major Differences between the EB2 and EB3 Categories?

Answer #2
As provided on our website – www.mvplawgroup.com - The EB-2 classification is open to 3 types of foreign nationals: (1) Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business; (2) Advanced Degree Professionals; and (3) Qualified Alien Physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the U.S., which is underserved. *Labor certification is required for this category
The EB-3 classification includes foreign nationals with at least two years of experience as skilled workers; professionals with a baccalaureate degree; and other workers with less skill who can contribute abilities unavailable in the U.S. Skilled workers should have at least two years experience, either through hands-on experience or through post-secondary education. Professionals should have either a U.S. bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent degree.


Question #3 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
After recruitment has been completed, but before submitting ETA Form 9089, our company’s name was changed after we merged with another company. Does the company name used in the recruitment efforts have to match the company name used on ETA Form 9089?

Answer #3
In its Frequently Asked Questions, the Department of Labor has provided the following concerning this issue: The employer must conduct recruitment using its legal name at the time of the recruitment. However, an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089) must be filed in the name of the employer’s legal name at the time of submission. If a merger, acquisition, or any other corporate change in ownership occurs between the time of recruitment and the time of submission, resulting in a disparity between the employer’s name shown on the advertising used to recruit for a job opportunity and the employer’s name on the submitted ETA Form 9089, the employer must be prepared to provide documentation -- in the event of an audit -- proving that it is the successor in interest, a determination made based on the totality of the circumstances, including whether the current employer has assumed the assets and liabilities of the former entity with respect to the job opportunity.


Question #4 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
Can an employer withdraw a PERM application if it has already been certified?

Answer #4
Yes, an employer may withdraw a certified PERM application from the Department of Labor.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Since I did not wanted to accrue any out of status, I am currently in India as my recent H-1B transfer from Company A to Company B got denied. A new company is filing my new H-1B petition in the US. I wanted to know if I need to go to US Consulate Processing in India after my H-1B approval?

Answer #5
Once the H-1B petition is approved, it is recommended that you schedule an interview at your nearest Consulate in order to obtain H1B visa stamping. Please contact an Immigration Attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.


Question #6 - H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If I have an H-1B visa and my I-140 is completed but my visa is going to expire soon, how long can I stay in the USA if my employer does not file a H1B visa extension?

Answer #6
Under the regulations, there is no set grace period…once you are no longer employed by your sponsoring employer; you should immediately make plans to depart the United States. If you remain in the United States once your H-1B visa expires, you will begin to accrue unlawful status. Please note that you do have the option to transfer your H-1B to another U.S. employer willing to sponsor you.


Question #7 - H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Once I receive my H-1B transfer to my new employer, is there any time limit as to when I need to begin working there?


Answer #7
Under the regulations, there is no set time period. When you begin to work for your new employer is entirely up to the agreement made between you and your employer. Consult an Immigration Attorney to further discuss possible risks involved in waiting too long to begin employment with your new employer.


Question #8 - H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My H1B is expiring in September 2014. Do I need to file under the H-1b Cap? What documents do I need to file an extension?

Answer #8
If you are already in H-1B status, you would not need to file under the H-1B CAP, unless your current employment is with a CAP EXEMPT U.S. employer, and you wish to seek employment with a CAP SUBJECT U.S. employer. If this is purely an H-1B extension with the same employer and you have time remaining in H-1B status, extensions are not subject to the CAP. Please contact our office to further discuss your situation.


Question #9- H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
When should I start preparing cases to submit for the upcoming H-1B Cap Case filing?

Answer #9
NOW!

The Fiscal Year 2015 H-1B season is quickly approaching and has been projected to be yet another short season.
Each Fiscal Year (FY), which starts on October 1, 65,000 H-1B visas become available for what is referred to as the “General Cap,” and 20,000 H-1B visas become available for what is referred to as the “Master’s Cap.” Those individuals holding a U.S. Master’s degree or higher may fall within the Master’s Cap; all others fall within the General Cap. The FY H-1B filing season opens six months before each FY, i.e., during the first week in April.
The FY 2015 H-1B Cap season will open on April 1, 2014 with employment beginning October 1, 2014.
In the past few seasons, as H-1B visa numbers dwindled, the rate of filings of Cap-subject H-1B visa petitions increased. For this reason, we predict the H-1B quota will be reached within the first week, just like last year.
This will be yet another short H1B season. In FY 2009, 165,000 H-1B petitions were filed within the five-day filing period at the beginning of April 2008 and a lottery was needed to select the petitions that would be awarded a place within the Cap. After the start of the Great Recession, however, the demand for H-1B visas decreased dramatically, resulting in significantly longer H-1B seasons: the FY 2010 H-1B Cap was reached December 21, 2009; the FY 2011 H-1B Cap was reached January 27, 2011; the FY 2012 H-1B Cap was reached November 22, 2012; and the FY 2013 H-1B Cap was reached June 11, 2012. The FY 2014 H-1B Cap was reached April 5, 2013 and all petitions were subjected to the random lottery process. Many see the markedly higher demand for H-1B visa petitions as indicative of an improving job market and economy in the U.S.
Employers wishing to file H-1B Cap-subject petitions with the earliest possible start date in FY 2015, i.e., with a start date on or after October 1, 2014 need to start their cases immediately. Employers cannot file H-1B visa petitions for new employees until they first obtain a labor condition application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which takes at least six business days to process. Start now or wait about 18 months before the next H-1B visas are available in October 2015.
If you have questions, we have answers. Give us a call today to discuss or to get started on preparing your FY2015 H1B CAP cases.


Question #10 – Family Based Immigration – Green Card
I am a US citizen based in CA. My Japanese parents are currently visiting my sister in Kansas. I would like to apply for a Green Card for my parents through AOS. Does it matter that they are currently not living in the same state as me?

Answer #10
It does not matter that your parents do not live in the same state as you; however, for other reasons, please contact our office to further discuss your situation.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, February 28, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, February 14, 2014

February 10, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, February 14, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014

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 – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
I think I am eligible under DACA. Do you think given the potential risks, I should file my application with USCIS?

Answer #1
Only YOU can make the decision of whether or not to file your application. I would recommend that you speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney first to discuss your eligibility and the risks involved in submitting a DACA Application to the USCIS. Please feel free to contact our office.


Question #2 – Family Based Immigration
I’ve read conflicting information on the internet, can you please clarify for me who is responsible for scheduling the Green Card Interview, my spouse or the Consulate itself?

Answer #2
The Consulate is responsible for scheduling the Interview and will send you notice of the date and time of the scheduled interview.


Question #3 – General
What is the Visa Waiver Program? Is Portugal included in the VWP?

Answer#3
As provided on the Department of State website, The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The program was established to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

Yes, Portugal is a participating country in the Visa Waiver Program.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If I have not use all six years on my previous H-1B visa and still have time remaining, can I apply to USCIS to use the remaining years now as I have found new employment in the U.S.? I am currently abroad.

Answer#4
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. Please contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney.


Question #5 –Immigration – Green Card
The fingerprints that I gave the USCIS a while ago are set to expire soon. Should I make an Info Pass appointment at my local USCIS office to give them a new set of fingerprints?

Answer #5
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 #6 – Non-Immigrant Visas
Are a B-1 and an H-1B visa interchangeable as far as my ability to work in the United States?

Answer #6
NO. A B-1 visa is reserved for Business visitors who are not allowed to be gainfully employed in the United States. B1 visa holders are limited in the actions that they may partake in while in the U.S. as a business visitor. In order for them to be able to work (gainful employment) while in the U.S. a work visa is required. An H-1B nonimmigrant visa is a work visa reserved for specialty occupation foreign workers.


Question #7 – Employment Based Immigration
I filed for my EAD renewal back in October 2013 and it is still pending. My current EAD expires next week. What are my options moving forward - can I expedite the EAD since my card is expiring? What can I do I can’t risk losing my current job?

Answer#7
When an EAD renewal has been pending for 75+ days, you may initiate an ‘outside the processing times’ Service Request with the USCIS. 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. You MUST wait for your EAD card to arrive in the mail before you can begin to work again.

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 #8 - H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am looking forward to obtaining an H-1B visa under the CAP for this year. When does time begin to accrue in H-1B status? The day that the visa is approved or when I first enter the U.S. using it?

Answer #8
The six year period begins to accrue when you first enter the U.S. on a valid H-1B nonimmigrant visa. Your I-94 will be recorded in the CBP database to reflect the date you arrived along with other details governing your authorized stay in the U.S.


Question #9 - H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am an international student with F1- status and Associate degree that I obtained here in US. Am I qualified to change my status to h1B VISA?

Answer #9
Unfortunately, you are not, unless you possess qualifying work experience (3 to 1 rule). To be eligible to obtain an H-1B visa, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in a Specialty Occupation field, and the position for which you are being sponsored must require at a minimum the attainment of a Bachelor’s degree in a specific specialty occupation field. Please contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney.


Question #10 - Temporary Work Visas – H-1B & L1A/L1B Nonimmigrant Visas
I need clarification; does the public law apply to transfer and extension petitions for nonimmigrant workers, or only to transfer petitions and new CAP filings?

Answer#10
Under Public law 111-230, Petitioners subject to the new fees must submit the fee with an H-1B or L-1 petition filed (1) initially to grant an alien nonimmigrant status (initial cases); or (2) to obtain authorization for an alien having such status to change employers (transfer cases). Therefore, the fee must be submitted with any initial H-1B filings and any transfers, but extensions with the same employer do not require the new fee.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, February 14, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, January 31, 2014

January 27, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, January 31, 2014. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, January 17, 2014

January 17, 2014

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 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My employer applied for my H1-B. It was approved in Jan 2013. I went to the US in April 2013 and worked there until October 2013. I had to come back to India for a family emergency and had to rejoin our office in India. My employer told me that he had to revoke my H1-B. I am interested to going back to the USA to work for a different employer. Can I just request another employer to file a new H1-B for me?

Answer #1
If you are: (1) the recipient of an approved I-129 (H-1B) filed in the last six years; (2) did not receive that I-129 from a CAP exempt organization; and (3) have time remaining under the 6 year limit, then yes…you may find a new employer who is willing to sponsor your H-1B work visa in order to come back to the U.S. and work for that sponsoring H1B employer.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration
My I-140 has been approved and I am on H1B extension. My priority date is March 2010. Will it be valid if I leave the country and come back after few years?

Answer #2
The employer, who sponsored your I-140 petition, may in fact withdrawal your approved I-140 petition at any time; however, you will forever be entitled to the priority date, unless the USCIS revokes the I-140 for fraud or willful misrepresentation. You should speak with an Immigration Attorney to discuss the implications of your suggested plans of leaving the country and coming back in a few years.


Question #3 - General
Currently, I am in an 8-year wait for my green card to be issued. Can I file an I-765 Employment Authorization Document in the mean time to start working in the US? If not, with the exception of H1B or student visas, is there something I could do to start working in the USA within 1-2 years?

Answer #3
In order to receive an employment authorization document (EAD), you must be eligible to apply and receive an EAD. Based upon the information you have provided, you do not appear otherwise eligible to apply for and receive an EAD. Contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney about your present situation.


Question #4 – Family Based Immigration
Can an approved I-130 be revoked if it is not used in 12 months?

Answer #4
As long as you remain in contact with the National Visa Center on an annual basis, the I-130 will remain valid until a visa number is available for the intended recipient or the I-130 is withdrawn by the Petitioner.


Question #5 - Naturalization
If my application for naturalization is denied by the USCIS, can I re-apply and how soon?

Answer #5
Yes; however, how soon you re-apply depends upon several factors. You should discuss the reasons for denial with an Immigration Attorney and make an informed decision based upon the advice received from the Attorney.


Question #6 - AC 21 Portability/Employment Based Immigration
I filed my I-140 and I-485 concurrently in the EB2 category. Since the I-485 has been pending for more than 180 days, can I use the AC-21 rule to change employer before my I-140 is approved?

Answer #6
AC21 provides that an adjustment of status applicant who has an I-485 application pending for 180 days or longer is able to continue with the green card process even after s/he has changed employers, as long as the new job is in the same or a similar job classification. Specifically, AC21 permits an individual to transfer, or “port”, his or her green card process to a different employer if (1) the new job is the “same or similar”, (2) Form I-140 has been approved or is approvable when filed concurrently with Form I-485, and (3) Form I-485 has been pending for at least 180 days.


Question #7 – Employment Based Immigration
I have recently filed an I-140 in the category of extraordinary ability. Currently I am waiting for an H1B approval from the USCIS. I would also like to concurrently file my I-485 also. If I file I-485 now, may I change my current job after 180 days?

Answer #7
It appears from your question that you may be confused. Please contact our office to discuss with an Immigration Attorney, the particulars of your case and what has actually been already filed on your behalf, or if you have an attorney, contact your Attorney.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration
Can I file multiple I-140 petitions in different immigration categories?

Answer #8
Yes, but those cases must not be frivolous (they must be based upon bona-fide employment offers.)


Question #9
How does the USCIS determine Priority Dates?

Answer #9
As taken directly from the USCIS website:
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets the number of immigrant visas that may be issued to individuals seeking permanent resident status (a green card) each year. Immigrant visas available to “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens are unlimited, so are always available. Immediate relatives include, parents of a U.S. citizen, spouses of a U.S. citizen and, unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen. Immigrant visa numbers for individuals in a “preference category” are limited, so are not always available. The U.S. Department of State is the agency that distributes visa numbers. Family sponsored preference categories are limited to 226,000 per year and employment based preference visa are limited to 140,000 per year. In addition, there are limits to the percentage of visas that can be allotted to each country. Because the demand is higher than the supply of visas for a given year for some categories, a visa queue (waiting list) forms. To distribute the visas among all preference categories, the Department of State gives out the visas by providing visa numbers according to the preference category and one’s priority date. The priority date is used to determine an individual’s place in line in the visa queue. When the priority date becomes current, the individual will be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. Your priority date can be found on Form I-797, Notice of Action, for the petition filed for you. The length of time you must wait in line before receiving an immigrant visa or adjusting status depends on: The demand for and supply of immigrant visa numbers; the per country visa limitations; the number of visas allocated for your particular preference category.

For family sponsored immigration, the priority date is the date that the petition is properly filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The priority date for an immigrant petition that is based on employment is either: The date the petition was properly filed with USCIS; or The date the labor certification application was accepted for processing by the Department of Labor.


Question #10
My I-485 application has been pending for more than 2 years. Now I want to travel to my home country to visit my relatives. Can I travel abroad with my current working visa or I have to apply for an Advance Parole (AP) before travel?

Answer #10
You may travel to your home country to visit your relatives, if you have a valid work visa. If you do not have a valid visa stamp in your passport, you will need to obtain visa stamping in your home country while you are there in order to come back to the U.S. to continue working. An AP is not required, if you have a valid work visa. If you have further questions, please contact our office.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, January 31, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, January 17, 2014

January 13, 2014

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, January 17, 2014. 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.

Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 4/12/13

January 6, 2014

This blog entry was originally posted on 4/12/13. We here at the MVP Law Group would like to wish every one of our blog readers, Happy Holidays!

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 just heard the H-1B cap has been reached and they are doing a lottery. How does the H-1B Lottery work?

Answer #1
According to the USCIS website:
USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.
The agency conducted the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If my employer filed my case during the H-1B Cap, how will I know if my case has been accepted?

Answer #2
If your case was filed under premium processing, and accepted in the lottery, your employer’s attorney will receive an electronic emailed receipt notice from the Vermont Service Center premium processing unit, or the California Service Center premium processing unit.

If your case was filed under regular processing, and accepted in the lottery, your employer and your employer’s attorney will receive a receipt notice in the regular mail from the USCIS.

If your case was filed under premium processing or regular processing, and NOT selected in the lottery, the petition along with the USCIS filing fees will be returned to the employer or the employer’s attorney’s office.


Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Now that the H-1B cap has been reached, what are the other options for companies to hire foreign workers?

Answer #3
Please refer to our previous Blog post entitled “Alternatives to the H-1B Visa for Individuals who did not make the FY2014 H-1B Quota”.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Right now, I have an H-1B with one company and I just got hired to work for another firm. Can I transfer my H-1B status without worrying about the cap?

Answer #4
Yes, transfer filings and extension filings are not subject to the annual H-1B CAP. However, if you are changing from a cap-exempt H-1B sponsoring employer, to a cap-subject H-1B sponsoring employer, the CAP for FY2014 with employment beginning October 1, 2013 has been reached, so you will need to wait until FY2015.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What kind of visa should I apply for if I am an International student from Germany and I want to work off campus?

Answer #5
As an international student, you will need to apply for F1 student visa status; you may work on-campus or in other previously approved jobs if approved by your Designated School Official (DSO).


Question #6 – Family Based Immigration
My Grandfather (Dad's Dad) was a US citizen and he had filed an I 130 petition (Immigrant petition for relative, fiancé, or orphan) for my dad in Feb 2009. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away this April. My dad's sisters are US citizens and they are willing to take over the case, if we can transfer the petition. I would like to know if there anything that can be done with this petition now? Or is it a closed chapter?

Answer #6
Under regulation 8 C.F.R. § 205.1(a)(3)(i)(C)(2), an I-130 petition is automatically revoked upon the death of the petitioner, unless:

USCIS determines, as a matter of discretion exercised for humanitarian reasons in light of the facts of a particular case, that it is inappropriate to revoke the approval of the petition. USCIS may make this determination only if the principal beneficiary of the visa petition asks for reinstatement of the approval of the petition and establishes that a person related to the principal beneficiary in one of the ways described in section 213A(f)(5)(B) of the Act is willing and able to file an affidavit of support under 8 C.F.R. part 213a as a substitute sponsor.

Only a spouse, parent, mother in law, father in law, sibling, child, son, daughter, son in law, daughter in law, brother in law, sister in law, grandparent, grandchild or legal guardian of the principal beneficiary is eligible to be a substitute sponsor. A substitute sponsor must also be a U.S. Citizen/national or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), be at least 18 years of age, be domiciled (live) in the U.S. and meet all of the financial requirements of a sponsor.


Question #7 – General
What is Customer Identity Verification?

Answer #7
According to the USCIS website:
On Monday, May 6, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. Individuals will now be required to submit biometric data, specifically fingerprints and photographs, when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit. CIV will help to both defend against threats to national security and protect customers from identity fraud by enhancing the agency’s ability to verify identity.
For CIV, an individual appearing at a USCIS field office for an interview or to be issued evidence of an immigration benefit will have his or her identity biometrically re-verified. Examples of evidence include temporary travel documents, parole authorizations, temporary extensions of Form I-90, and temporary I-551 stamps on passports or on Forms I-94 to evidence lawful permanent resident status. Individuals coming to USCIS field offices for other purposes, such as an Infopass appointment or as the guest of an applicant or petitioner, will not submit biometric data.
Under this new process, staff will take two fingerprints and a photograph of the individual and input this information into the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology’s (US-VISIT’s) Secondary Inspections Tool (SIT). SIT is a Web-based application that processes, displays and retrieves biometric and biographic data. US-VISIT also links databases associated with border inspections and security. After identity verification is satisfactorily completed, individuals will proceed to their interviews or be issued their immigration documents.


Question #8 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am an Australian citizen who has been hired by a US corporation. Will I be subject to a cap for my visa?

Answer #8
As an Australian citizen, you may be eligible for the E3 Australian visa. The E-3 visa classification is limited to 10,500 Australian nationals annually. E-3 principal nonimmigrant aliens must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a “specialty occupation”. This term is used and defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act in the same context as the H1B visa program, and will be interpreted in accordance with the criteria used for H1Bs. The category has requirements with respect to the education of the beneficiary and the job duties to be performed which mirror the H1B requirements. It thus will be helpful in some situations where the H1B otherwise would be the logical category.


Question #9 – General
What is an RFE?

Answer #9
An RFE is a Request for Additional Evidence from the USCIS. An RFE is issued when an adjudicating Officer cannot make an informed decision based upon the documentation provided in the initial filing whether to approve or deny the case, and seeks additional information in order make a decision.


Question #10 – Employment Based Green Card
We filed a labor application and it was approved for a software engineer. We have not received the certified labor application in the mail (approved several weeks ago) and wish to move to the next step, file the I-140. What can we do?

Answer #10
Generally, there are two options available to you; however, both are rather similar. The recommended route is to file the I-140 petition with a request that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) obtain the certified Labor from the Department of Labor (DOL) itself. The other option is to write a letter to the DOL notifying them that the USCIS will be requesting the certified Labor from them directly for purposes of filing the I-140 petition.


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

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 4/12/13

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

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, January 3, 2014

January 3, 2014

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 – Family Based Immigration
I am an US Citizen and I applied for an Immediate Relative Petition (I-130) for my husband. How long does the process take to adjust his status?

Answer #1
The I-130 generally takes 6 months to adjudicate; however, the USCIS has released the following statement concerning the extended processing times for Form I-130.

The USCIS has been receiving feedback from the public expressing concerns regarding extended processing times for Form I-130. USCIS is working on the delays as part of their goal of preserving family unity. In the last few months the processing time has went from October 2012 to February 2013; that puts the processing time to around 9 months. We have found in practice that current I-130 processing is taking between 6 months to 11 months. USCIS’s goal is to return to an average processing time of five months by May 2014.

Please note that once the I-130 is approved, there is still another process to be completed, depending upon where the applicant resides – if the applicant already lives in the U.S. - Adjustment of Status by filing Form I-485 with the USCIS; if the applicant lives abroad, by Consular Processing through a U.S. embassy and the National Visa Center…another estimated 6 month processing period.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration
I am currently awaiting my green card. My Mother’s was approved, my case is still pending. Both filed at the same time. My case was filed as Dependent, EB3. Employment based. When do you think I will receive my green card?

Answer #2
Was a Request for Evidence issued on your case? It is possible that your case has just been overlooked. Contact the USCIS to determine the expected time frame of when the USCIS expects to make a decision on the case. Try contacting the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to initiate a Service Request.


Question #3 – Re-Entry Permit
What does a legal resident have to do to stay outside the U.S. for more than 6 months?

Answer #3
If a Legal Permanent Resident of the U.S. wants to make trips outside of the U.S. for periods of 6 months or more, they should prepare and file a Re-Entry permit with the USCIS, Form I-131. Still, you should contact an Immigration Attorney to discuss your specific situation.


Question #4 – Deportation
Can a person who was deported from the U.S.A ever return to the US legally?

Answer #4
It depends. If a noncitizen was deported from the U.S., they are not supposed to attempt to reenter for a specified period of time, if ever. It depends upon factors such as the reason for removal, and whether the person was convicted of a crime, etc. You should contact an Immigration Attorney to further discuss.


Question #5 – Family Based Immigration
I already filed my I-130 form and I need to get a work permit. How long do I have to wait to get a work permit?

Answer #5
The I-130 petition for Immigrant Relative must first be approved before you are eligible to file Form I-485. Ancillary benefits of filing Form I-485 are employment authorization (I-765) and advance parole (I-131). Unless you qualify to receive a work permit some other way, you must wait for the I-130 petition to be approved, and the I-485 filed, along with Form I-765 and I-131, and you must wait for the I-765 to be approved before you will receive a work permit.


Question #6 – Citizenship
I just received my U.S. citizenship. Can I file for Citizenship for my son who was not born in the U.S?

Answer #6
No. You will need to go through the process of family based immigration and sponsor your son for an immigrant visa. As a U.S. citizen, immediate relatives are not subjected to the preference categories/priority dates listed in the visa bulletin released by the Department of State.


Question #7 – Family Based Immigration
If a person has a permanent visa, what happens if their US Citizen spouse passes away? Can they remain in the US Legally?

Answer #7
Your question is very general in nature and without other details; we cannot provide an answer in this forum. Please contact an Immigration Attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.


Question #8 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Can my employer pay 95% of the prevailing wage or is it fixed to the rigid 100% when filing for H-1B?

Answer #8
Your employer must pay 100% of the prevailing wage when filing for H1B.


Question #9 – Employment Based Green Card
If an individual changes companies while pursuing a green card, do they have to start the process all over?

Answer #9
It depends upon what stage in the process they have completed. If they have filed only the Labor and I-140 and not the I-485 and want to move to a new company, then yes. If they have filed Labor, I-140 and I-485, it is possible to change employers through an AC21 portability filing, if the new position is the same or substantially similar to the one as provided for in the original certified Labor filing with the previous company, and the I-485 has been pending for 180 days or more.


Question #10 – Family Based Immigration
My father got an approved I-130 with me as a beneficiary. Can I seek an adjustment of status if the priority date is current?

Answer #10
If you are in the United States and your priority date is current and you are otherwise eligible to adjust, you should be able to submit the requisite paperwork with the USCIS to adjust status to that of permanent resident.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, January 17, 2014!

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

Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 6/21/13

January 2, 2014

This blog entry was originally posted on 6/21/13. We here at the MVP Law Group would like to wish every one of our blog readers, Happy Holidays!

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 – Employment Based Green Card
Will anyone that has an advanced degree qualify for an EB-2 Immigrant Visa?

Answer #1
No. Qualifying for the EB-2 preference classification ultimately depends upon the employer’s minimum requirements for the proffered position.


Question #2 – Employment Based Green Card
If I have completed my Master’s degree though an on-line US university, can I apply for an EB-2?

Answer #2
It depends. Is the University accredited? Again, qualifying for the EB-2 preference classification ultimately depends upon the employer’s minimum requirements for the proffered position.


Question #3 – Employment Based Green Card
Should I file my I-140 petition through regular processing or premium processing to get my case expedited faster?

Answer #3
If you simply just want the case adjudicated faster, than premium processing will provide you with a decision on the case within 15 calendar days of filing. However, if there is no need to spend an additional $1225.00 USCIS filing fee, then regular processing is sufficient.

You should consider the following when determining whether to file through regular processing or premium processing: Is your priority date current? Is your priority date predicted to be current soon, within the next 2-3 months?


Question #4 – Permanent Residence
If my permanent resident card has expired, do I need a visa? Or is it possible to renew my permanent residence?

Answer #4
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 #5 – Employment Based Green Card
Should I file my I-485 with my I-140 or wait until my I-140 is approved?

Answer #5
If you are eligible to file forms I-140 and I-485 concurrently, then you should file them concurrently. If you are not eligible to file them concurrently, then you must wait for approval of the I-140 and your priority date must be current before submitting Form I-485 to the USCIS.


Question #6- DACA
Can I still apply for DACA if I am currently in removal proceedings?

Answer #6
This process is open to any individual who can demonstrate he or she meets the guidelines for consideration, including those who have never been in removal proceedings as well as those currently in removal proceedings.


Question #7 – General
Can my children go to a U.S. public elementary school on a dependent visa?

Answer #7
Yes.


Question #8 – Adjustment of Status
I was able to file I-485 application back in 2007 in EB3. Now I am recipient of an approved I-140 in EB2 classification. Do I need to submit a new I-485 even though the EB-3 I-485 is pending with USCIS?

Answer #8
No. The USCIS should be able to link up your existing I-485 petition with the current filing. You can always contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center for additional information concerning your Adjustment of Status filing, 1-800-375-5283.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H-1B is going to expire on October 1? Is it too early to file for an extension of my stay?

Answer #9
No, you may file for an extension of your H-1B up to 6 months in advance of the expiration date.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can my small “start- up” company obtain an H-1B visa for a nonimmigrant worker? We have less than 25 employees!

Answer #10
Yes, please contact our office to further discuss.


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

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 6/21/13

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

Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 5/10/13

December 31, 2013

This blog entry was originally posted on 5/10/13. We here at the MVP Law Group would like to wish every one of our blog readers, Happy Holidays!

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
If I am working in the US with an H-1B Visa, can I obtain a driver’s license right away? What do I need to show them at the Motor Vehicle place?

Answer #1
Yes. You must present necessary supporting documents required to verify legal presence in the United States. Generally, a nonimmigrant should be prepared to present the following: Valid passport with visa (if applicable); Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record”; Form I-20 (for an F or M student) or Form DS-2019 (for a J exchange visitor); EAD card (Form I-766 “Employment Authorization Document”), if on post-completion OPT; Form I-797, “Notice of Action,” in cases of a change of status (e.g., from F-1 to H-1B); Social Security number (SSN) on a Social Security card. To determine what is specifically required in your state, you will need to check the DMW website or contact a local DMV office


Question #2
How do I become categorized as STEM worker? I would like to find a job in the US. Right now, I live in Prague and have my Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

Answer #2
In order to become categorized as a STEM worker, an applicant must receive an accredited U.S. degree in one of the STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.


Question #3
I work for Toyota as a head mechanical specialist and my company wants to transfer me to a plant in the US. Would I qualify for an L-1 Visa?

Answer #3
The L-1 visa allows companies operating both in the U.S. and abroad to transfer certain types of employees from its overseas office to the U.S. office for up to seven years. This visa comes in the following categories: L-1A - for executives and managers; and L-1B - for personnel with specialized knowledge.
Businesses that function both in the United States and in their home country gain the benefits of the best of both areas. The L-1 visa is open to international organizations with offices in the U.S. who transfer employees to the U.S. office for temporary periods of time. This visa is sometimes referred to as the 'intra-company transferee' visa.
To obtain an L-1 visa, you must be able to prove that you have worked for the non-U.S. company for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge. The L-1 visa enables the transfer of managers, executives and specialized knowledge personnel to a U.S. office, subsidiary or affiliated company.


Question #4
What date does my company have to start using the new I-9 form?

Answer #4
Beginning May 7, 2013, Employers must ONLY use the newly revised Form I-9 with revision date 3/08/2013 appearing in the lower left hand corner of the Form.


Question #5
What is an EB-5 visa?

Answer #5
In short, The EB-5 visa is for Immigrant Investors. This visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a "Targeted Employment Area" - high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least ten (10) jobs for U.S. workers excluding the investor and their immediate family.

For more information on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa, please contact our office.


Question #6
My family has vacation plans to travel back to India in August 2013. Can I file my H-1B extension petition prior to my leaving for vacation?

Answer #6
You may file your H-1B extension up to 6 months prior to the expiration of your current H-1B visa. You should file as early as possible, as we do not recommend that you travel outside of the U.S. while your H-1B extension petition is pending with the USCIS.


Question #7
What does it mean when a Priority Date becomes current?

Answer #7
When your Priority Date becomes "Current", it means that there are visa numbers available for your particular nationality, for your situation, for your particular preference category, (i.e. India, Employment Based, Third Preference). When your Priority Date becomes current, you may then proceed to the Adjustment of Status or Consulate Processing phase of the Green Card process.


Question #8
If my Green Card is expiring the end of this year, how soon should I apply to renew it?

Answer #8
You can apply up to six months prior to the expiration date of your card (indicated on the front of the card).


Question #9
I’m a U.S. Citizen and engaged to marry my Irish fiancé. We have known one another for over five years and have been engaged for three months. Can I sponsor my fiancé? What are the requirements?

Answer #9
If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must show that:
• You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
• You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
• You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
• You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
1. If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
2. If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.


Question #10
If I am residing in the US with an H4 Visa, can I apply for a Social Security card?

Answer #10
You cannot apply for a Social Security card, as an H4 dependent under current immigration laws.


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

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 5/10/13

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, January 3, 2014

December 30, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, January 3, 2014. 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.

Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 3/15/13

December 27, 2013

This blog entry was originally posted on 3/15/13. We here at the MVP Law Group would like to wish every one of our blog readers, Happy Holidays!

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 – General
What jobs are considered STEM occupations?

Answer #1
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers are concentrated in the following fields: Computer and Informational Sciences; Engineering and Engineering Technologies; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; Physical Sciences and Technologies.


Question #2 – General
What is an EAD?

Answer #2
An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a document issued by the USCIS to authorize an alien to work in the U.S. for a temporary period of time. It is also referred to as a work permit. With a valid EAD, an alien may legally work in the United States for any employer.


Question #3 – Green Card
How long do I have to live and work in the United States before I can apply for my Green Card?

Answer #3
There is no set period of time that you must live and work in the United States before you may apply for a Green Card or have a U.S. employer sponsor your Green Card.


Question #4 – General
I was able to file I-485 applications for myself and my wife in November and since then we have received the combined EAD/AP card. Can my wife apply for a SSN now? My health insurance coverage is requesting that she obtain a SSN.

Answer #4
Yes, your wife can apply for a Social Security Number. She will need to take her valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD), her passport, birth certificate and the completed application to the local Social Security Administration office to apply.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Right now, I am living in the US with my husband who has an H-1B Visa. I would like to start working myself. Do I need my own H-1B?

Answer #5
Yes. I am assuming that you are presently on H4 status which does not allow you to work. In order to work, you will need to find a sponsoring employer willing to file an H-1B petition on your behalf.


Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If I have an H-1B Visa, but I want to work for a different employer, do I change my job and then submit the new H-1B papers?

Answer #6
NO. You will need to have your new employer submit an H-1B transfer/extension petition with the USCIS before you are able to move to the new employer.


Question #7 – General
I am reading in the online forums and read things mentioned as PIMS and CLAIMS. Can you tell me what these mean?

Answer #7
PIMS stands for Petition Information Management System which is an electronic report generated by the Department of State’s (DOS) Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) that collects nonimmigrant visa petition approval information from the USCIS.

CLAIMS stands for Computer Linked Application Information Management System. CLAIMS provides USCIS employees with automated support for adjudicating cases and processing various notices, among other things. CLAIMS capabilities include case tracking, status update, notice reporting, and document production.


Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If I’m currently training on an F-1 Visa, when should I file my H-1B petition?

Answer #8
If you mean, you are currently utilizing your OPT, the answer will depend upon when your OPT will expire. If expiring between now and March 31, 2014, you should submit your H-1B petition under the FY2014 CAP opening on April 1, 2013 with H-1B employment beginning on October 1, 2013.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What is CAP GAP? And Am I subject to the CAP GAP?

Answer #9
As provided on the USCIS website, Current regulations allow certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions to remain in F-1 status during the period of time when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization would otherwise expire through the start date of their approved H-1B employment period. This is referred to as filling the “cap-gap,” meaning the regulations provide a way of filling the “gap” between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status that might otherwise occur if F-1 status is not extended for qualifying students.


Question #10 –H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am an international student with F1- status and Associate degree that I obtained here in US. Am I qualified to change my status to h1B VISA?

Answer #10
Unfortunately, you are not, unless you possess qualifying work experience. You can combine your education and experience to satisfy the Bachelor’s degree requirement if you have the requisite years of experience. To be eligible to obtain an H-1B visa, you must possess a Bachelor’s degree in a Specialty Occupation field, and the position for which you are being sponsored must require at a minimum the attainment of a Bachelor’s degree in a specific specialty occupation field.


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

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 3/15/13

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

Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 2/15/13

December 26, 2013

This blog entry was originally posted on 2/15/13. We here at the MVP Law Group would like to wish every one of our blog readers, Happy Holidays!

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 Non-Immigrant Visa
Who is included in the H-1B CAP?

Answer #1
The H-1B CAP that opens every year on April 1, only applies to new H-1B recipients – individuals graduating from a U.S. university; those who live abroad and have found work in the U.S.; those changing status from H4 to H1B, L1 to H-1B, TN to H-1B, etc.

Recipients of H1B Extensions, Transfers and Amendments are not subject to the Annual H1B Cap.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration
How can I qualify for an H-1B with a company, but not a Green Card with that company?

Answer #2
The H-1B program is entirely different from the Green Card process. With the H-1B program, one is able to combine both education and experience to satisfy the requirement of having the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree in a specific field. However, with the Green Card process, education and experience cannot be combined for education equivalency to satisfy the employer’s minimum requirements for the position.


Question #3 – H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa
What is your projection of the H-1B CAP Season?

Answer #3
The Fiscal Year 2014 H-1B season is quickly approaching and has been projected to be the shortest season since the start of the Great Recession. In the past few seasons, as H-1B visa numbers dwindled, the rate of filings of Cap-subject H-1B visa petitions increased. For this reason, we predict the H-1B quota will be reached in the first two to three weeks.

This will be the shortest H-1B Season since FY 2009, when 165,000 H-1B petitions were filed within the five-day filing period at the beginning of April, 2008 and a lottery was needed to select the petitions that would be awarded a place within the Cap. After the start of the Great Recession, however, the demand for H-1B visas decreased dramatically, resulting in significantly longer H-1B seasons: the FY 2010 H-1B Cap was reached December 21, 2009; the FY 2011 H-1B Cap was reached January 27, 2011; the FY 2012 H-1B Cap was reached November 22, 2012; and the FY 2013 H-1B Cap was reached June 11, 2012. Many see the markedly higher demand for H-1B visa petitions this season as indicative of an improving job market and economy in the U.S.


Question #4 – Marriage Based Immigration
I married a U.S. Citizen after 4 years of dating and an autistic child, received my conditional green card and am now eligible to remove my conditions. My situation is a bit complicated and I may be facing a divorce. Can I, and Can you advise me on what to do?

Answer #4
You may be able to remove the conditions by filing a waiver. The questions and answers in this forum are limited to those of a general nature. We recommend that you contact one of our experienced Immigration Attorneys to further discuss the specifics of your situation.


Question #5 – H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa
Is there any limit to how many times I can apply for an H1B transfer?

Answer #5
No, you can apply as many times as you want.


Question #6 – DACA
Will I be able to get a driver’s license with DACA? What about in-state tuition?

Answer #6
The answer is dependent on the state.


Question #7 – H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa
I applied for an H-1B visa back in 2008, it was approved and I worked for two years and then returned to my home country to deliver my first child. I have found another work opportunity with a new employer in the US and would like to return. Am I subject to the Annual CAP?

Answer #7
If you have a I-797 approval notice indicating that your H-1B was approved within the past six years, and there is time remaining on your 6 year H-1B limit, then YES, you may return to the US upon receipt of a new I-797 approval notice with a new sponsoring employer.


Question #8 – Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR)
Will a new legalization program simply lead to more illegal immigration?

Answer #8
No: not if the new program contains all the appropriate elements and is implemented properly. Please stay tuned to our h1bvisalawyer blog, Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates concerning Comprehensive Immigration Reform.


Question #9 – H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa
My H-1B was approved in September 2011. Went for visa stamping in January 2012 and was denied. Consulate returned my petition to the USCIS in March 2012, still no response. What is going on? What’s going to happen next? I’m stuck in my home country until I receive some news.

Answer #9
Normally, when the Consulate/Department of State (DOS) returns a case to the USCIS, the USCIS has the authority to review the response from the Consulate/DOS and either re-affirm their previous decision or issue a Notice of Intent to Deny. The burden is then on the Petitioner to overcome any allegations presented in the Notice of Intent to Deny. Cases returned to the USCIS from the DOS are not given top priority and are worked on/reviewed as time and resources allow.


Question #10 – DACA
Will DACA let me travel internationally?

Answer #10
You would need to apply for an Advance Parole document in order to travel internationally. Please be advised that the Department of Homeland Security has stated that it will only grant Advance Parole for “humanitarian, education or work purposes.”


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

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 2/15/13

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

Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 1/18/13

December 24, 2013

This blog entry was originally posted on 1/18/13. We here at the MVP Law Group would like to wish every one of our blog readers, Happy Holidays!

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 Visa
My employer somehow lost my original I-797 H1 approval notice and I need it to renew my driver’s license and get visa stamping in the future when I travel. Can I get a new approval notice?

Answer #1
Your employer will need to submit Form I-824 to the USCIS along with the USCIS filing fee of $405.00 to request a duplicate approval notice.


Question #2 – Family Based Immigration
If my child is a U.S citizen can I obtain legal status in the U.S?

Answer #2
The U.S. citizen petitioner must be 21 years of age in order to petition on behalf of their parents.


Question #3 – General
I am a national of Singapore; I have a Master’s degree and am looking for work in the United States. I want to live in the U.S. Can you please help me?

Answer #3
Our office cannot assist with your employment search. Once you find a willing sponsor/employer, we can assist with explaining the various Immigration options and with preparing and filing the necessary paperwork with the USCIS.


Question #4 – Visa Waiver Program
What exactly is the Visa Waiver Program?

Answer #4
As provided on the U.S. Department of State website… The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of 37 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The program was established to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.


Question #5 – Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What’s the difference between an E work visa and an L work visa?

Answer #5
The E-1 visa allows individuals to enter the U.S. temporarily to engage in substantial trade. There are strict requirements as to the nationality of individuals and the level of trade necessary to qualify for the visa. As an advantage to this category, individuals may apply directly at a U.S. Consulate. The E-1 Visa is issued to individuals known as 'treaty traders'. A treaty trader is defined as a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. An applicant should be coming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade, or to develop and direct the operations of a business in which they have invested or will soon invest a substantial amount of capital. An applicant must be a national of a treaty country and must be involved in international trade. An applicant’s spouse and/or children may accompany them under the same status. An applicant’s employees, or the employees of the treaty company, may also be eligible to receive E-1 visas.
The E-2 visa allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the U.S. temporarily to carry out substantial investment and trade activities. To qualify for this visa, the applicant must be a key employee of their company and a national of a country that has an investor treaty with the U.S. The E-2 visa is available for individuals known as 'treaty investors'. A treaty investor is a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. A treaty investor should be coming to the U.S. to involve themselves in a substantial investment. The investment may be less than that demanded for the EB-5 ($500,000). However, if the investment becomes equal or greater than $500,000, the treaty investor may petition for permanent immigration status. The treaty investor's spouse and/or children under the age of 21 may accompany him/her under E-2 status. The treaty investor's employees may also be eligible for the E-2 Visa.
The L-1 visa allows companies operating both in the U.S. and abroad to transfer certain types of employees from its overseas office to the U.S. office for up to seven years. This visa comes in the following categories: L-1A - for executives and managers; and L-1B - for personnel with specialized knowledge. Businesses that function both in the United States and in their home country gain the benefits of the best of both areas. The L-1 visa is open to international organizations with offices in the U.S. who transfer employees to the U.S. office for temporary periods of time. This visa is sometimes referred to as the 'intra-company transferee' visa. To obtain an L-1 visa, you must be able to prove that you have worked for the non-U.S. company for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge. The L-1 visa enables the transfer of managers, executives and specialized knowledge personnel to a U.S. office, subsidiary or affiliated company. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 qualify for L1B status and they are not allowed to work, but may attend school or college.


Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If I am terminated from a job and I cannot find new work, what affect will that have on my H1B Status?

Answer #6
If you are terminated from your H-1B sponsored employment and cannot find new work with a possible new H-1B sponsor, your employer is responsible for paying the reasonable costs of transportation for you to return to your home country.


Question #7 – Family Based Immigration
Can my husband get deported if his visa has expired but we are married?

Answer #7
Your inquiry cannot be answered in this general forum. You need to consult with an experienced Immigration Attorney immediately to do a final assessment of his eligibility to remain in the US.


Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I came here to do internship right after graduating from my University in 2012 March. Now, i'm trying to get H-1 from this company but i'm not sure its possible to get H-1 with this company since our company is small and doing online business. In addition, I don't have any job history. Could you please advise me?

Answer #8
The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the U.S. and work in a variety of fields ranging from architecture and engineering to teaching and medicine. In order to qualify for H-1B classification, the applicant must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. This is not a self-petitioning category; therefore the applicant must have a sponsoring employer in the U.S. It is our recommendation that you or your employer contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss the possibility of obtaining an H-1B temporary nonimmigrant work visa on your behalf.


Question #9 – General
Can bankruptcy alter my immigration status?

Answer #9
It is well known that it is not a crime to file for bankruptcy; however, it could potentially affect your immigration status. We recommend that you speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss your options.


Question #10 – General
Will an expunged felony affect my Visa Process?

Answer #10
Although the conviction has been expunged by a federal, state or foreign court, it does not necessarily mean that the conviction has been expunged for immigration purposes. It is our recommendation that you contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss your situation.


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

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 1/18/13

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

Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 7/20/12

December 23, 2013

This blog entry was originally posted on 7/20/12. We here at the MVP Law Group would like to wish every one of our blog readers, Happy Holidays!

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 – General
Is it necessary that I have someone sponsoring me when I apply for a visa?

Answer #1
It depends, as almost all types of visas require sponsorship whether employment based or family based.


Question #2 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B
Next year I will be traveling to India, so while returning do I need to go for fresh Visa Stamping with new H-1B sponsors approval notice or I can come with the old Visa Stamp (with old employer) as my current visa is valid till Mar 2014? Kindly advise.

Answer #2
You can come back to the United States based upon the valid visa stamp in your passport; however, upon appearing before a CBP Officer, you will present the new I-129 approval from the new H1B sponsor.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa
Will a criminal conviction impair my ability to receive a temporary visa?

Answer #3
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 #4 – Green Card
My EB-3 priority date is October 25, 2006 and I have a pending I-485 application filed back in July 2007 when all categories were current. My fiancé and I are getting married in January 2013. Since my I-485 is not approved yet, I heard that it is possible to include her in my green card application so that both of us can get our green cards when my priority date is current. Is that true? If so, when and how should I start the process?

Answer #4
You will need to wait for your priority date to become current before you are able to file your spouses’ I-485, Adjustment of Status application.


Question #5 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B
My company is considering merging with another company, if we do merge, will we need to file amended petitions for each nonimmigrant worker to be in compliance? I will still remain President of the organization, and the workers will remain in their respective positions and nothing else will change except for the name of the company. Please advise.

Answer #5
Under the Visa Waiver Permanent Act of October 2000, a person is no longer required to file an H1B amendment after a merger, consolidation or other corporate restructuring in many cases if the new job is identical to the prior job before the merger, etc. We would recommend the applicant carry a letter explaining the merger for travel purposes.


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B
What types of questions are asked during the H1-B visa application interview process?

Answer #6
During the interview the Immigration Officer has the authority to ask questions regarding the applicant’s educational background, experience, the sponsoring employer, vendor/end client, if applicable, and any information contained in the submitted H-1B petition. Accordingly, you should be thoroughly familiar with this information.


Question #7 – Naturalization/CitizenshipWhat are the eligibility requirements to apply for naturalization?

Answer #7
The general requirements for administrative naturalization include: a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States (if LPR – period of 5 years; if LPR spouse of U.S. Citizen – period of 3 years); an ability to read, write and speak English; a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government; Good moral character; attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and favorable disposition toward the United States.


Question #8 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B
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 #8
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 #9 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B
If I plan to continue working for my employer in the United States, at what point should I apply for an extension?

Answer #9
For the H-1B (Specialty Occupation) nonimmigrant visa, you are able to apply for an extension at least 6 months prior to the visa’s expiration date.


Question #10 – General
Can you obtain permanent residence outside of the country in which you intend to be a resident?

Answer #10
Yes, this process is called Consular Processing. After the necessary forms are filed and approved by the USCIS, an individual will be scheduled for and attend a visa interview at a U.S. Consulate abroad where a Consular Officer will decide within their discretion if an applicant is eligible to receive the requested benefit.


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

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 7/20/12

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

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

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 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
How long before my H-1B visa ends should I apply for EB-2 Green Card category? Can I apply in the 5th or the 6th year of my H1B?

Answer #1
Only an employer can initiate an employment based green card filing. It is recommended that an employer initiate this process within the 4th or 5th year of H-1B status, or sooner depending upon the circumstances.


Question #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My resignation date with my old company and joining date with my new company is on the same day. I am on H1B visa. Will this cause any issue in future since I was on the payroll for the both companies on the same day?

Answer #2
It should not; however, it is always recommended that you give a prior employer a two week notice period before leaving the company.


Question #3 – Family Based Immigration – Green Card
Can a Conditional Permanent Resident submit a permanent resident petition for my 20 year old unmarried son?

Answer #3
A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) may petition on behalf of a child or unmarried son or daughter. A conditional permanent resident may not until their conditional LPR status is removed. A child must be unmarried and under 21 for the F2A preference classification. An unmarried son or daughter must be 21 years of age or older to qualify for the F2B preference classification.


Question #4 – Citizenship
This January, I can apply for citizenship because I have had my green card for 5 years. Next year, my university offered me a chance to study abroad. Will this affect my citizenship application?

Answer #4
There are several eligibility requirements for seeking U.S. citizenship; one of those requirements is a period of continuous presence in the United States. The answer to your question depends upon the timing of your application for citizenship. Please contact our office to discuss the specifics of your case.


Question #5 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
Can my employer charge me the fees for a Green Card application if I terminate employment? I believe they can charge me for the I-140, but am I liable for all legal costs as well as costs of the PERM process?

Answer #5
An employer MAY NOT charge you for the costs of the PERM process.


Question #6 – Family Based Immigration – Green Card
If I marry someone who lives outside the country, will they be able to return home with me?

Answer #6
No, unless they have a valid visa to present for admission into the United States. You will have to go through the Family Based Immigration process by sponsoring your spouse through an I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative.


Question #7 – General
How do I know if I can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?

Answer #7
If you are eligible to file Form I-485, Adjustment of Status petition; if you are eligible for DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; if you are eligible for OPT – Optical Practical Training; if you are eligible for TPS – Temporary Protected Status; etc., then more than likely, you are eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document. Please contact our office to further discuss your eligibility for an EAD, Employment Authorization Document.


Question #8 – General
What can I do if I can't locate my I-94 online?

Answer #8
According to the CBP website, if you tried to retrieve your I-94 from the cbp.gov online system and you receive a response that your I-94 is "Not Found", please read the following questions to help you check for mistakes and try to enter the information again:
1. Did you enter your first and last name the same way it appears on your passport? Please do not use dashes or titles.
2. Did you enter the passport number that appears on the upper right hand side of your passport?
3. Did you enter your country of citizenship (country that issued the passport, not where you currently live)?
4. Under Class of Admission, did you enter the visa classification that appears on your U.S. visa OR, if you are traveling under the visa waiver program (VWP) enter WT/WB?
5. If you entered your first and middle name and it is not found, try one name or the other. Also try entering your first and middle name in the first name box.
6. Try entering either your most recent date of entry or your original date of entry into the U.S.
If you still cannot find your I-94, please contact your nearest* Customs and Border Protection Deferred Inspection Site and a CBP Officer will be able to assist you.


Question #9 – General
I am currently on an L-1 visa, but I am thinking of resigning from my job. I have an Australian passport. If I do resign, could I just change my status to the Visa Waiver Program or would I need to physically exit and re-enter the country?

Answer #9
Contact an Immigration Attorney.


Question #10 – Employment Authorization
When should I file for an extension of my employment authorization?

Answer #10
You should not file more than 120 days before the expiration date shown on your current employment authorization document; however, you should file 90 days before the expiration date.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, January 3, 2014!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, December 20, 2013

December 16, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, December 20, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 2013

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 Visa
One year ago I employed someone on HIB 3yr visa. I just found out today that he has applied for a similar job in Australia. What recourse do I have?

Answer #1
Generally, employers are rather limited in what they can do to H-1B employees who transfer employment, unless your employment agreement/contract provided for liquidated damages or other alternatives in case the employee would decide to terminate the employment prior to the end of the validity period of the visa or some other specified date. If you are terminating the H-1B employee, you are responsible for paying for the nonimmigrant’s travel back to his/her home country. H-1B employees are free to transfer their H-1B employment to a new employer at any time.


Question #2 – General
Both my husband and I are in H-1B status. If I am being laid off from my job, can I apply for some other status? What are my other options?

Answer #2
Based upon the brief information you have provided, you are likely eligible to apply for an H4 dependent visa based upon your husband’s status in H1B. You would need to submit a Change of Status Petition (I-539) with the USCIS. To speak about any additional options available, please contact our office to discuss.


Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Right now I am on my second year of an H1B. Recently I was relocated to a new client's site. Do I need to let the USCIS know my new working location? If not, is there any problem for my status? Do I need to file a new labor condition application?

Answer #3
It depends. If the move to a new client site is outside of the MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) as listed on the certified LCA, then yes, it would require the filing of an amended petition with the USCIS, which includes an amended certified LCA covering the new location. As stated above, it depends upon the specific circumstances of the case, and you should contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney about your situation.


Question #4 – H4 Dependent Visa
When my employer extended my H-1B Visa, they forgot to renew my wife's H-4 status. What should I do now? Does this means that she has failed to maintain her H-4 status in the U.S.?

Answer #4
Contact our office to discuss.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am H-1B Candidate in US. My H-1B was filed (new) this year in April and is under "initial review" process and no decision has been made yet. Now, I have new offer from a new employer. Can I interfile my current H-1B application with USCIS with this new employer? Can we use Premium Processing?

Answer #5
Unfortunately, until a decision is made on your H1B CAP case, you cannot transfer H-1B status to another employer. In essence, in order to be eligible to transfer your H-1B to a new company, you would first need to be granted H-1B nonimmigrant visa status. The fact that your case is still pending means that H-1B status has not been granted for you, as of yet. Hang in there and explain the present situation to the current job offer and see if they will wait, as there is nothing you can do at this point unless you decide to premium process the pending H1B application.


Question #6 – Family Based Immigration
I am preparing an AOS package with my wife. I am a USC and my wife is on OPT but wants to adjust. We live together in California and are going to file an I-485 and I-131. Which status does my wife belongs to, Advanced Parole or Reentry permit?

Answer #6
An ancillary benefit of being eligible to file for adjustment of status is the beneficiary also being eligible to receive a travel document and employment authorization while the adjustment case is processing. The travel document is referred to as Advance Parole in the AOS context, as you would only be eligible for a re-entry permit if you were already a Permanent Resident or Conditional Resident of the United States. If you have any further questions, please contact our office.


Question #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How soon can I get an AP card? I am on a H1B but need to travel out of the country urgently on business.

Answer #7
Have you filed a I-485 petition? How are you eligible for an Advance Parole document? Normal AP requests are processed in a 2-3 month period. If you are eligible to receive an AP document, please note that Advance Parole documents are only expedited in certain cases: 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; or a Compelling interest of USCIS. You may make an expedite request by contacting the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 or by submitting a written request and supporting documentation with your application.
If you are experiencing an extremely urgent situation, you may visit your local USCIS office to request an emergency advance parole document. When visiting a local office to request emergency advance parole, you should bring the following items: A completed and signed Form I-131, Application for Travel Document; The correct I-131 filing fee; Evidence to support the emergency request (e.g. medical documentation, death certificate); and Two passport-style photos. The agency reviews these requests on a case-by-case basis, and the USCIS field office director has discretion to grant or deny them.


Question #8 – DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
When I was 15 years old, I entered the USA in May of 2007. I have a GED. Will I qualify to apply for DACA? I have not left the USA since 2007.

Answer #8
You may request consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals if you: Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012; Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. In order to request consideration of deferred action for child hood arrivals – qualified youth must mail their forms and supporting documentation to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To discuss your eligibility, please contact our office.


Question #9 – Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)
My sister applied for her citizenship but she just realized her green card expired. Does she still need to renew her green card? Or can she just wait for the citizenship application to respond for the next step?

Answer #9
Although her physical green card may have expired, her actual status as a Lawful Permanent Resident does not expire.


Question #10 – Employment Authorization
I sent my Form I-765 application, received a receipt notice but then last week, I received a denial decision letter. I didn’t attach my photographs with my original application. Do I need to re-apply?

Answer #10
It depends upon what the denial decision letter provides. Is it a denial decision or a request for evidence (RFE)? If it is a denial, then yes you will need to re-apply. Before re-applying, make sure there are no other grounds for denying the initial application. If it is an RFE, you may submit the photographs with your response to the RFE. If you have any further questions, please contact our office.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, December 20, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, December 6, 2013

December 2, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, December 6, 2013. 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.

Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 4/13/12

November 29, 2013

This blog entry was originally posted on 4/13/12. We here at the MVP Law Group would like to wish every one of our blog readers, Happy Thanksgiving!

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 am an international student with F1- status and Associate degree that I obtained here in US. Am I qualified to change my status to h1B VISA?

Answer #1
Unfortunately, you are not, unless you possess qualifying work experience. To be eligible to obtain an H-1B visa, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in a Specialty Occupation field, and the position for which you are being sponsored must require at a minimum the attainment of a Bachelor’s degree in a specific specialty occupation field.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Is H-1B CAP moving faster or slower than this time last year? How many have been filed at this point?

Answer #2
Faster. According to the USCIS, H-1B petitions being filed subject to the CAP have doubled since this time last year. As of April 9, 2012, there were approximately 17,400 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas filed and 8,200 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas filed. 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 FY2012 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to our www.h1bvisalawyerblog.com.


Question #3 – Family Based Immigration
Who is responsible for scheduling the Interview, my fiancé or the Consulate itself?

Answer #3
The Consulate is responsible for scheduling the Interview and will send you notice of the date and time of the scheduled interview.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I filed I-485, am waiting for EAD, my H-1B expires in May 20, can I wait until first week of May to prepare and file the H-1B, in hopes of receiving my EAD in the meantime? I do not want to get any unlawful presence/status. Please advise.

Answer #4
As long as you timely file your H-1B extension, 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. We recommend that you maintain H-1B status while your I-485 is pending as a safety net in case any problems arise in the adjudication of your I-485 petition.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant 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?

Answer #5
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 #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Is a Nurse Practitioner considered a Specialty Occupation? A doctor’s office has given me a job opportunity (I’m on OPT) and I wanted to make sure before I accept that this is doable?

Answer #6
If you have at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field and the position requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in a stated filed, then you may be eligible for the H-1B nonimmigrant visa. In the medical industry, most of these occupations require graduate school. This type of position also requires extensive skill, knowledge and experience.


Question #7 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
The May visa bulletin shows that priority dates went back to 2007 for my category, EB2, I’m from India. My priority date was August 2010. Please explain to me what “priority date becoming current” means?

Answer #7
In order for an individual to obtain an immigrant visa, a visa number must be available to you. This is referred to as the priority date being "current." 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. This Bulletin is accessible at www.travel.state.gov. If there is a backlog in the preference category in which you were filed in, this means, that you must wait until a visa becomes available, until your priority date becomes current. When your priority date becomes current, you may file the I-485 application, but until then, you must wait. If your priority date was after May 2, 2010, then you will have to wait.


Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have a student on OPT currently working for my company. I need to apply for her H-1B under this CAP. Her OPT expires in August of 2012. Will she have to return home or will she be covered under the “CAP GAP”? I am not sure of eligibility requirements for H1B CAP GAP. Please assist.

Answer #8
H-1B petitions that are timely filed, on behalf of an eligible F-1 student, that request a change of status to H-1B on October 1 qualify for a cap-gap extension. Once a timely filing has been made, requesting a change of status to H-1B on October 1, the automatic cap-gap extension will begin and will continue until the H-1B petition adjudication process has been completed. Timely filed means filed within the H-1B acceptance period beginning April 1, 2012. The paperwork (LCA and I-129) must also reflect a beginning employment date of October 1, 2012 to be covered under the CAP GAP.


Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
We appealed a denial of an I-140 Immigrant Petition filed on behalf of one of our employees. How much longer can we expect to wait for a decision to be made?

Answer #9
According to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), Appeals filed under the EB2 preference category (Professionals with Advanced Degrees) are currently being reviewed within 23 months of filing the appeal. Appeals filed under the EB3 preference category (Skilled and Professional workers) are currently being reviewed within 36 months.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Can an H-1B applicant change employers during the visa process?

Answer #10
Yes, an H-1B applicant is free to change employers during the visa process, changing H-1B employers is considered an H-1B transfer, and that petition would not be counted against the CAP, unless they are changing from a CAP EXEMPT employer to an employer who is not CAP EXEMPT.


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

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 4/13/12

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

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, November 22, 2013

November 22, 2013

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 Visa
I have been offered a full time position as a charge nurse for the Emergency Department in an underserved area in Kansas. I'm currently a graduate student with F1 visa and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. My employer is willing to sponsor H-1B in April 2014. Please let me know if it is possible to file for an H-1B.

Answer #1
The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the U.S. and work in a variety of fields ranging from architecture and engineering to teaching and medicine. In order to qualify for H-1B classification, the applicant must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. This is not a self-petitioning category; therefore the applicant must have a sponsoring employer in the U.S.

Please contact our office or have your employer contact our office to speak with an Attorney concerning your specific circumstances.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration – GREEN CARD
I just read the latest Visa Bulletin numbers for EB2. Why did the numbers change so drastically? My Priority date is in July of 2009. Will the numbers go back up soon? I am very frustrated!

Answer #2
The numbers changed drastically because the demand for visa numbers clearly exceeds the available supply. The Department of State does not predict any further movement in the EB2 preference category for Indian Nationals until May 2014.


Question #3 – Lawful Permanent Resident
Are Green Card holders allowed to vote in elections? I have heard that I could participate in state but not national elections.

Answer #3
You must be a United States Citizen in order to vote in any Federal election. As far as local and state elections are concerned, it depends upon the laws of the locality and state. For example, seven municipalities in Maryland and Massachusetts have extended the right to vote for local offices to noncitizens.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H-1B visa was approved and now I need to get my H-1B visa stamp. What do I need to take with me for visa stamping? What about my dependents?

Answer #4
If you are applying for an H-1B visa:
I-797 -- the original notice of approval; Two (2) copies of the complete I-129 petition submitted by your prospective employer including the Labor Condition Application (LCA); The originals, plus one copy, of your university diplomas, mark sheets and any certificates you may have (Secondary school information is not required); Letter from petitioning employer confirming employment; Original, plus one copy, of your work experience letters from your previous employers.

First time applicants may consider submitting the following documents:
Pay slips from current or most recent place of employment; Names and current phone numbers of the personnel managers at the applicant's present and past jobs; Photographs of the inside and outside of current or most recent employer's place of business; Names and contact information of two co-workers from your current or most recent place of employment; Names and contact information of two co-workers from past jobs; A complete resume/bio-data and cover letter describing current job duties in detail; Personal bank records for the last six months; US company information: photographs of the inside and outside of the company's offices, prospectus, brochures, and annual report.

For dependents:
Documentation establishing proof of the relationship to the H-1B applicant – passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, and pay slips of the H-1B applicant.

*It is important to note that you will only have a short period of time with the Consular Officer, so you should be thoroughly familiar with your position and your sponsoring employer. The Consular interview is more about a conversation with the Officer than just a presentation of documents. It is recommended that you speak with an Immigration Attorney about your case in preparation for your Consular Interview.

**Additionally, H-1B applicants appearing at Consulates for visa stamping who work for IT Consulting companies should speak with an Immigration Attorney prior to the Consular Interview to prepare for the types of questions asked and documentation that may be requested.


Question #5 – Employment Based Immigration – GREEN CARD
My previous employer applied for an I-140 in EB-3 for me, now, can I transfer my priority date to my I-140 application in EB-2 filed by my current employer?

Answer #5
According to the regulations, a petition approved on behalf of an alien under §§203 (b)(1), (2) and (3) of the Act accords the alien the priority date of the approved petition for any subsequently filed petition for any classification under §§203 (b)(1), (2) or (3) of the Act for which the alien may qualify. In the event that the alien is the beneficiary of multiple petitions under §§203 (b)(1), (2) or (3) of the Act, the alien shall be entitled to the earliest priority date.


Question #6- H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How can I extend my H-1B status beyond the six-year maximum period?

Answer #6
An applicant may extend H-1B status beyond the six-year maximum period in a number of ways. If the applicant spent any time outside of the U.S. since receiving the initial grant of H-1B visa status, s/he may be eligible to apply to recapture the time spent outside of the U.S. in an H-1B extension petition.

Additionally, under AC21 law, an applicant may extend status in one year increments if a Labor Application or I-140 Immigrant Petition were filed on behalf of the applicant and 365 days or more have elapsed since the filing of the Labor or I-140 and it has not been revoked or denied. An applicant may be eligible to extend H1B status in three year increments until a visa number becomes available, if they are the recipient of an approved I-140 Immigrant petition.


Question #7- Employment Based Immigration – GREEN CARD
In a month, my company will be merged in to another company. Will this affect my pending I-140 application and pending I-485 application?

Answer #7
For Successor-in-interest purposes, the transfer of ownership may occur at any point after the filing of the original labor certification. The USCIS will evaluate the following factors: If the position described on the immigrant visa petition is the ‘same job’ as the one described on the labor certification application, and the ‘same job’ that the applicant will be performing for the Successor; whether the Successor has established eligibility for the requested visa classification in all respects; and whether the Successor has adequately detailed the nature of the transfer of rights, obligations, and ownership of the prior entity.


Question #8 - Lawful Permanent Resident
My spouse just received her I-485 Welcome Notice. What is the next step?

Answer #8
As a result of the issuance of the I-485 Welcome Notice, your spouse’s green card should be in production. Once the card is produced, it will be mailed to the address provided in your spouse’s I-485 application. You are not required to do anything further, as the green card will be mailed to your spouse.


Question #9 - Employment Based Immigration – GREEN CARD
If my employer is a start-up company, does it weaken my case for an EB-2?

Answer #9
As long as the company sponsoring your green card can meet the ‘ability to pay’ requirement, the fact that they are a startup should not weaken the case. The requirement to prove that a company has the ‘ability to pay’ attaches when the Labor application is filed on behalf of the foreign national and continues until the foreign national receives the green card. Contact our office to speak with an Immigration Attorney.


Question #10 - Employment Based Immigration – GREEN CARD
How does the USCIS determine your Priority Date?

Answer #10
The priority date is determined in an employment based immigration case once the Labor application is accepted for processing by the Department of Labor. In order to move forward with the priority date and file an I-140, Immigrant Petition, the Labor Application must be certified by the DOL.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, December 6, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, November 22, 2013

November 18, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, November 22, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, November 8, 2013

November 8, 2013

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 – General
Can an illegal immigrant apply for a Driver’s license? If so, what do they need to bring?

Answer #1
The answer to your question is going to depend upon the laws of the State in which the undocumented immigrant lives/resides. Some states allow for undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, while other states do not.


Question #2 – Family Based Immigration
We received a notice from the USCIS stating my I-130 case was transferred to another office for processing. Will this affect the processing of my case?

Answer #2
Yes. It is highly likely that the case was transferred to another office for processing so that the USCIS can attempt to process the case in a timely manner. According to the posted processing times, it is currently taking 5-11 months for an I-130 petition to be processed by the USCIS.


Question #3 – Family Based Immigration
I'm a Green Card holder and would like to get married in India. How long would it take for my spouse to come to US?

Answer#3
If you marry your spouse in India, you will have to file form I-130 along with supporting evidence with the USCIS to establish the validity of your marriage/relationship. Currently the posted processing times for the I-130 petition are between 5-11 months. Once the I-130 petition is approved, then your spouse would go through Consular Processing to obtain his/her Green Card. You would need to file the necessary documents online or with the National Visa Center itself, and the NVC would then coordinate with the specific Consular Post to schedule the Green Card interview.


Question #4 – Family Based Immigration
I am a US Citizen and I want to file forms I-130 and I-485 for parents so that I can start their green card process. Unfortunately, they both don't have their birth certificates. They both have visited USA and have the multi-entry visit visas. They both have Indian passports. What is an alternative acceptable form that I can provide with my application packet if I don't have their birth certificates?

Answer #4
You will need to make a request with the civil authority responsible for producing and recording their birth certificates in their home country. If you are still unable to obtain the birth certificates, then you can attempt to submit affidavits of birth from numerous relatives attesting to the birth of your parents. Each application should be accompanied by at least two affidavits of birth from relatives who were present at the birth of your parents.


Question #5 – General
When you receive a notice of intent to deny, once you reply to the notice, do other issues not addressed in the notice of intent to deny affect the decision?

Answer #5
In almost all Notices of Intent to deny, all grounds for denial are listed and the Petitioner/Applicant has the opportunity to rebut/address each ground for denial with evidence. If the Petitioner/Applicant is not able to address all grounds listed in the Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), then it is likely that the case will be denied. If there is an option to appeal, it will be listed in the denial notice.


Question #6 – Family Based Immigration
This year, I married my spouse overseas. I am a US Citizen and I am filing the petition I-130 to bring her to the states. I meet all of the requirements. But, I am unemployed. Please advise if it is Ok to apply now or wait until I get a job?

Answer #6
It depends upon your particular situation. You may use a joint sponsor or a household sponsor to establish that you meet/exceed the poverty guidelines; however, in my experience I would highly recommend that you wait until you get a job before filing the I-130 petition.


Question #7- Naturalization/Citizenship
My 10 year Green Card is about to expire next month. Can I apply for Naturalization using the N-400 form now or do I have to apply for another 10 year renewal using the I-90 form?

Answer #7
If you meet the eligibility requirements for Naturalization/Citizenship, then you may apply now using Form N-400. However, if you do not meet the eligibility requirements for Naturalization/Citizenship because of presence issues, criminals issues, or other reasons, then you may want to renew your green card by filing Form I-90 with the USCIS. You should contact our office to speak with an experienced Attorney concerning your particular situation before doing anything.


Question #8 - Adjustment of Status
If you are applying for an I-485, do all of the foreign documents need to be translated? My birth and marriage certificates are in Spanish.

Answer #8
Yes, all documents submitted to the USCIS must be translated and certified by a translator.


Question #9 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
For an H-1B Visa, what is considered a specialty occupation?

Answer #9
Specialty Occupations are defined as those that require a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. We have filed numerous H-1B cases for doctors, dentists, pharmacists, teachers/professors, various IT positions, graphic designers, civil engineers, etc.


Question #10 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H-1B visa was approved through my United States employer, but I am currently abroad. Do I have to enter the U.S. on the start date listed on my H-1B approval notice or can I enter sooner?

Answer #10
Do you have a valid H-1B visa stamp in your passport? If so, then you are able to enter the U.S. at least a week prior to the commencement of your employment in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, November 22, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, November 8, 2013

November 4, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, November 8, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, October 25, 2013

October 25, 2013

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- H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My Visa was expired on Sept' 2010(first 3 yrs.), still is it eligible to re-open my Visa, after I got Visa I didn't travelled to US in Visa valid period. 2) I would like to know if the expired H1 can be re-opened/ re-filed?

Answer #1
Generally speaking, as long as an H-1B petition was filed on your behalf and approved in the past 6 years and there is time remaining, and you have a current offer of employment from a U.S. employer, you are eligible to recapture and reinstate any time remaining in H-1B status.


Question #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am from Bangladesh (nearby India). I have Master's Degree in Commerce & working experience 10 years + as an Accountant. I need your help for employment/Sponsors offer from USA Company also.

Answer #2
Our office does not assist in finding offers of employment from Sponsoring U.S. employers. However, once you find a willing U.S. Sponsoring Employer, our office may assist you in obtaining the requisite visa applicable to the sponsorship.


Question #3 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H1B case is still "Initial Review" from 2009 and my employer is out of the business and he closed his office. I am staying out of USA and living in India. Please help how to proceed to get the H1B case to move forward for next steps.

Answer #3
If the sponsoring employer is out of business and has closed his office, then a valid job offer does not continue to exist, and therefore, an approval will not be forthcoming. You should speak with a qualified immigration attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation and whether there are other options available for you.


Question #4 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How soon can we begin to prepare for H-1B Annual Quota?

Answer #4
MVP Law Group, P.A. begins to accept H-1B CAP cases beginning in November for the CAP period opening April 1. Generally, we begin to publically advertise in mid-January, as it takes time to adequately prepare and gather all of the supporting documents, credential evaluations, etc.


Question #5 – E3 – Australian Visa
I am currently in Australia, Australian national, never rec’d E3 before, and I have conflicting information concerning this. Is it necessary that my sponsoring employer submit an I-129 to the USCIS for me to obtain the E3 visa?

Answer #5
It is not necessary to submit and obtain approval of Form I-129 with the USCIS prior to applying for the E3 visa at the Consulate. There are several required documents that you are required to submit at the Consulate, one of the most important being a certified LCA; however, there is no requirement that an I-129 be filed with and approved by the USCIS prior to applying for the E3 directly at the Consulate.


Question #6 - Family Based – Removal of Conditions
My child is a U.S citizen; can I obtain legal status in the U.S from my child?

Answer #6
The U.S. citizen petitioner must be 21 years of age in order to petition on behalf of their parents.


Question #7- Employment Based Green Card
How long do I have to live and work in the United States before I can apply for my Green Card?

Answer #7
There is no set period of time that you must live and work in the United States before you may apply for a Green Card or have a U.S. employer sponsor your Green Card.


Question #8 – Employment Based Green Card
I am in 6th year of H-1B. I have an approved I-140 from my previous company, and my current company is in the process of filing a new I-140. Can I extend my H-1B with the previous company’s I-140 approval?

Answer #8
Pursuant to AC21 law, an H1B nonimmigrant may extend his or her status beyond the 6 year limitation if a labor certification, I-140, or employment based adjustment of status application has been filed where 365 days or more have elapsed since the filing of the labor certification or I-140. Or, where the H1B nonimmigrant has an I-140 petition which has been approved under the employment based green card and the AOS/485 is pending due to the unavailability of visa numbers.


Question #9 – Family Based Green Card
Is it true that the CIR that the Senate passed a while back would totally eliminate the ability for U.S. citizens to bring their sisters and brothers to the U.S. and receive green cards?

Answer #9
The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744) passed by the Senate on June 27, 2013 would eliminate the F4 Category.
This means that Adult U.S. Citizens would no longer be able to petition on behalf of their Brothers and Sisters. Although the backlog is significant, if you are eligible under this category, you should consult with an Immigration Attorney to discuss your case.
PLEASE NOTE THAT S.744 IS NOT A LAW.


Question #10 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am an international student with F1- status and Associate degree that I obtained here in US. Am I qualified to change my status to h1B VISA?

Answer #10
Unfortunately, you are not, unless you possess qualifying work experience and/or training in the related specialty occupation. You can combine your education, training and/or work experience to satisfy the Bachelor’s degree requirement if you have the requisite years of experience. To be eligible to obtain an H-1B visa, you must possess a Bachelor’s degree in a Specialty Occupation field, and the position for which you are being sponsored must require at a minimum the attainment of a Bachelor’s degree in a specific specialty occupation field.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, November 8, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, October 25, 2013

October 21, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, October 25, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, October 11, 2013

October 11, 2013

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- Green Card
My husband is a naturalized US Citizen and my daughter was born in the United States. I am from Ireland but have a Green Card. How do I know I am eligible to apply for Citizenship?

Answer #1
If you received your GC through Marriage to a USC, you will have to wait three years once becoming an LPR, and also meet the eligibility criteria for applying for Citizenship through Naturalization. If you received your GC through Employment or other means, you will have to wait five years once becoming an LPR, and also meet the eligibility criteria for applying for Citizenship through Naturalization.


Question #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can I work for more than one employer on an H-1B Visa Status?

Answer #2
Yes, you may work for multiple employers in H-1B visa status, as long as an I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker has been filed on your behalf by each of the companies with the USCIS and approved. As an H-1B visa holder, you are able to hold full time work as well as a sponsored part time position, if your employers are willing and able to accommodate you, or multiple part time positions, etc. It is recommended that you contact an experienced Immigration Attorney so that the Form I-129 and LCA are prepared and filed appropriately.


Question #3 – Family Based Immigration
I would like to file a Family Based Immigration application for my Scottish husband. How do I know which preference category?

Answer #3
We would need some further information from you concerning your question. What is your current status in the US? Are you a USC, an LPR, temporary work visa holder, a visitor, etc.? If you are a USC, your husband would be considered an immediate relative. If you are an LPR, your husband would fall under the F2A preference category. If you are not a USC or LPR, you cannot file a Family Based immigration application on behalf of your Scottish husband.


Question #4 – Green Card
Do I have to be living in the United States to apply for permanent residence?

Answer #4
No. If you are living in the United States and eligible to apply for permanent residence, you would do so by preparing and filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident. If you are not living in the United States and are eligible to apply for permanent resident status, you would do so through Consular Processing, filing the necessary forms/documentation with the National Visa Center who then works directly with the Consulate to schedule your Interview for permanent resident status.


Question #5 – Green Card
What happens if I am here without permission and I try to adjust my status?

Answer #5
DO NOT DO IT. It is highly recommended that you speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney about your present situation and any forms of relief that may be presently available.


Question #6- Employment Based Immigration
I am a Medical Research Doctor from India and I am planning to work at a US University. What Employment Based preference category do I use for my Visa?

Answer #6
It is recommended that you speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney about your qualifications as you may be eligible for an EB1 and/or EB2 preference filing.


Question #7 - Green Card
What should I do if I lost my Green Card?

Answer #7
Apply for a new one. File Form I-90 with the USCIS with the necessary USCIS filing fee of $365.00 + $85.00 for biometrics, and supporting documentation.


Question #8 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I do not have a copy of my I-94 from my last entry to the US in August, but I need it for my H-1B renewal. What should I do?

Answer #8
Go to https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html to retrieve and print a copy of your electronic I-94.


Question #9 – Nonimmigrant Visa
Can I travel on my current nonimmigrant visa or do I need to get advance parole?

Answer #9
If you have a valid nonimmigrant visa stamp in your passport and copies of your approval notice and a copy of the petition, you should be able to travel on your nonimmigrant visa. Advance Parole is a separate creature that you may apply for once you are eligible to file an I-485 petition for either a family based or employment based green card. The Advance Parole document allows you to travel outside the country while your I-485 application is pending.


Question #10 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have been working with my present employer for two years, but have found a position with a different company. My H-1B Approval Notice is valid until next year. Can my H-1B approval be transferred to this new company?

Answer #10
Yes. The new company interested in sponsoring your H-1B work visa will need to prepare and file the requisite paperwork with the USCIS in order for you to transfer your H-1B to the new employer.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, October 25, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, October 11, 2013

October 7, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, October 11, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, September 27, 2013

September 27, 2013

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 Visa
I have an H-1B application pending since April 2013, CAP case, no RFE issued yet. Can I contact USCIS and make a service request for them to look further into the case and why it is taking so long? Filed at Vermont.

Answer #1
If your case is outside of the normal processing time, the Petitioner/Authorized Representative or an Attorney for the Petitioner/Applicant should contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center, which can be reached at 1-800-375-5283, to initiate the service request for a petition that is outside of the normal processing time.

If making a service request to the Customer Service Center, please have the following information available so the Representative will be better able to assist you: your full name, the applicant’s full name, your complete company mailing address, the applicant’s complete mailing address, the applicant’s date of birth, the applicant’s receipt number for the pending application/petition, and the filing date of the applicant’s pending application/petition. If your case is outside of the normal processing time, the Officer should initiate a service request and will provide you with a timeframe for a response and a referral number in case you have to call back because no correspondence was issued within the timeframe suggested.


Question #2Family Based Immigration
How does the USCIS define an immediate relative?

Answer #2
The term “immediate relative(s)” is used to define certain immigrant relatives of U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives include:
• Spouses of U.S. citizens
• Children (unmarried and under 21) of U.S. citizens
•Parents of U.S. citizens (The petitioning citizen must be 21 or older.)


Question #3 – Removal Proceedings
What is a Cancellation of Removal?

Answer#3
Cancellation of removal is a form of immigration relief available to individuals who have been placed in removal proceedings before the United States Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).


Question #4 – Naturalization
About three and a half years ago, I was admitted to the United States as a legal permanent resident because I am the wife of another legal permanent resident. My husband naturalized about two and a half years ago. I am anxious to become a citizen as soon as possible. What requirements do I have to meet? When is the earliest I can apply?

Answer#4
The general requirements for administrative naturalization include:
• A period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
• Residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing;
• An ability to read, write and speak English;
• A knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
• Good moral character;
• Attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,
• Favorable disposition toward the United States

For more information and Natz resources, please check out our website.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Do non-profits come under the same category as far as H1B is concerned?

Answer #5
If you are the beneficiary of an H-1B nonimmigrant visa for a company that is a not-for-profit, and they have sufficient proof of their qualifying non-profit status according to USCIS criteria, then any new H-1B nonimmigrant petition filed by that company is not subject to the annual H-1B nonimmigrant visa CAP. An H-1B petition for new employment can be filed at any time.


Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I recently filed for H4 Change of Status and yet to get my receipt notice. My employer came back to me with another job offer. Can we file for H1B Extension while H4 Change of Status is in progress? My H1B Visa validity is till 12/13/2013. Can my H4 Change of Status filing be stopped?

Answer #6
Generally, yes. Does your employer have an Immigration Attorney? If not, I would recommend contacting an experience Immigration Lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.


Question #7- Employment Based Green Card
How soon can we file a second I-140? It has been six months since our first was denied.

Answer#7
You can file a second I-140 at any time as long as you have valid certified Labor Certification to support the I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.


Question #8- Family Based Immigration
Do you need a Certificate of Naturalization to file an I-130? I can’t find a copy of mine. Can I use my US passport?

Answer #8
You can send a copy of your US passport biographic data page as proof of your US citizenship.


Question #9 – Employment Based Green Card
Can an employer withdraw a PERM electronically or do they have to mail in a request?

Answer #9
Yes. If the application was filed online, the application can be withdrawn by accessing the account wherein the application was filed and simply marking the appropriate box. If the application was filed by mail, a withdrawal request must be sent to the National Processing Center to which the application was originally submitted.


Question #10 – Employment Based Green Card
If I have a Master’s Degree (or foreign equivalent), can I automatically qualify for the EB-2 category?

Answer #10
It depends upon the particular sponsoring employer’s minimum education and experience requirements for the proffered position.

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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, October 11, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, September 27, 2013

September 23, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, September 27, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, September 13, 2013

September 13, 2013

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- Family Based Immigration
I was married to a U.S. citizen for 4.5 years. Seven months ago, my husband passed. We were not separated and were living together at the time of his death. Neither of us filed an immigrant application during our marriage. May I still file an immediate relative immigration petition based on my marriage to my deceased U.S. citizen husband?

Answer #1
Yes, you may still file an I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant based upon your marriage to a deceased U.S. Citizen. You may self-petition for an immediate relative petition based on a marriage to a deceased U.S. citizen if you:


  • Were married to the deceased U.S. citizen for at least two years;

  • Entered the marriage in good faith and not solely to obtain an immigration benefit;

  • Were not legally separated or divorced at the time of his death;

  • Are Able to file the immigrant petition within two years from the date of the death; and
  • Have not remarried after his death.

Question #2 – Marriage
Could my upcoming marriage impact the I-485 process? I just got my approved I-140 and want to apply for my I-485.

Answer #2
A definitive answer to your question would require a discussion concerning your circumstances. Is your priority date current? Is your spouse a U.S. Citizen, an LPR? Will they be filing with you? Are there children involved? ETC. It is recommended that you speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney to discuss your specific circumstances.


Question #3 – Employment Based Green Card
Why should you file and I-140 and I-485 concurrently?

Answer#3
It is recommended that you file the I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, along with the I-485, Adjustment of Status petition, when you are able to file them concurrently, because filing concurrently allows you to file the I-485, along with the I-765 and I-131 (ancillary benefits) rather than waiting for the I-140 to be approved first before being able to submit the I-485 application. Your priority date must be current in order for you to file the I-140 and I-485 concurrently.

On the other hand, if you are not able to file concurrently because your priority date is not current, you must submit the I-140 petition first and wait for it to be approved, and also wait for your priority date to become current prior to being able to file the I-485 and receive the ancillary benefits of employment authorization and advance parole.


Question #4 – Green Card
Three days before my Green Card expired; I applied for Green Card renewal online. I received a confirmation, a receipt, and an I-797. In one month, I have to travel overseas for a family member’s wedding. Will I have a problem re-entering the U.S.?

Answer #4
You should not, if you have the evidence that you have mentioned pursuant to the following - Section 264 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states, "Every alien in the United States . . . shall be issued a certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card in such form and manner and at such time as shall be prescribed under regulations . . .." It also says, "Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him . . .. Any alien who fails to comply with [these provisions] shall be guilty of a misdemeanor ..." The specific requirements and procedures for applying to renew an expiring green card are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR section 264.5.

However, if you are not comfortable with the evidence you have, you may schedule an InfoPass appointment at your local USCIS Office to obtain further evidence of LPR status in the form of a stamp in your passport.


Question #5 – Family Based Green Card
About 5 months ago, I had concurrently filed for my mother's I130 and I485. I also applied for advance parole and received the approved document. Today, I got a letter from USCIS that my mother's application is a potential” interview waiver case” and it mentioned that there's a delay of approx. 6 months in processing the case. My mother would like to leave for a short time to go see my other sister in South America. In the light of current situation and with advance parole document is it ok for her to leave for a couple months?

Answer #5
Our firm always recommends that applicants not travel when you have a pending case with the USCIS for a variety of reasons unless there is an emergency and you must leave. Yes, your mother has the advance parole document – however, she could potentially miss her appointment – she should be fully aware of all of the risks involved before making a decision to travel. It is recommended that she contact a competent immigration attorney to discuss the specifics of the case before leaving the United States for a couple of months.


Question #6 – Green Card
Just recently, I got married and I’m in the process of applying for my green card. I have a baby with another woman. Will this situation affect my green card processing?

Answer #6
It should not; however based upon the limited information that you have provided, it is recommended that you contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss your specific circumstances.


Question #7- H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My employer is in the process of filing an extension of my H-1B. Since my last H-1B Approval, the title of my job has changed. Will this cause any problems in extending my H-1B?

Answer #7
As long as the position is a Specialty Occupation that requires an individual holding at least a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent in a specified field and you possess a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent in that specified field and are otherwise technically/professionally qualified for the job, it should not cause any problems in extending the H-1B.


Question #8 - Employment Based Green Card
Can my company still sponsor an employee for green card even though we filed for bankruptcy in 2008? Our business has been successful the past 4 years.

Answer #8
If your sponsoring employer can successfully show that it has the financial ‘ability to pay’ your proffered wage, then your company should be able to sponsor you as an employee for the employment based green card process. Your sponsoring company should speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney to discuss pursuing an employment based green card which will encompass a discussion concerning their current financial status.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My EAD ended in June 2013. Now I am on a Cap Gap until Sep 30 as my new H1B is still pending. Can I still work or I have to leave the country or I can go on some kind of leave (paid or unpaid) here in US?

Answer #9
You may continue to work under the CAP GAP extension. Pursuant to the regulations, once a timely filed request to change status to H-1B on October 1, 2013 has been made, the automatic cap-gap extension will begin and will continue until the H-1B petition adjudication process has been completed.


Question #10 – Employment Based Green Card
I have an EB-1 Green card and my employer wants me to leave the country to work for a few months. Do I have to apply for Advanced Parole to re-enter the US?

Answer #10
Considering that an LPR who stays outside of the U.S. for 6 months or more per year risks losing his/her green card when trying to reenter the U.S. due to possible abandonment, filing for a re-entry permit may be a good option for you. You should speak with a competent Immigration Attorney to discuss the specifics regarding your trip/time spent outside of the U.S. while in LPR status.


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 27, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, September 13, 2013

September 9, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, September 13, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, August 30, 2013

August 30, 2013

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 - Employment Based – Green Card
My PERM application is in BALCA Review. I would like to withdraw my current petition and go for a new petition. Is there any defined period for me to withdraw my PERM petition from BALCA? Kindly clarify

Answer #1
An employer may withdraw the PERM petition at any time to file a new petition.

Question #2 – Employment Based – Green Card
My daughter and Spouse have applied for green cards about five years back under the EB-3 category. Their present status is I-485. How long will it take to get to get their GC’s?

Answer #2
Your answer depends upon providing more details, including - their country of chargeability and their priority date. It could be a matter of weeks, months or years, depending upon the specific case details.


Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I don't have a U.S. bachelor's degree. Can I still qualify for an H-1B Visa?

Answer #3
Possibly - A 4-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited or recognized foreign university or college will generally be considered equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. However, if you have less than a 4 year degree you may combine the years of your degree/diploma with years of study completed on a post-baccalaureate diploma, master’s degree or other studies. The regulations also allow you to combine progressive work experience in the field with university study, or in some cases you may use work experience only, to meet the equivalency requirement.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If my bachelor's degree is unrelated to the occupation, will I be turned down for an H-1B?

Answer #4
In order to qualify for H-1B classification, the applicant must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
It is recommended that you speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney to review the specific details of your situation.


Question #5 – General
My wife’s I-130 is in "administrative processing" in the U.S. Consular of her home country. What is "administrative processing" and how long does it take?

Answer #5
As taken from the DOS website: Applicants are sometimes refused under section 221(g) because your case requires further procedure or review by our office or another U.S. government agency. At the interview, if your case required further administrative processing, you will be advised of these circumstances. You will receive a “pink sheet” that shows your case number.

The reason for this additional processing is never made clear, and the timetable for completion of the processing is never known in advance. It is inherently a non-transparent process. Consular Officers are advised not to revel to visa applicants the specific reason for administrative processing in a given case. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interviews; others within months of the visa interview.


Question #6 - Temporary Work Visa
I found a company willing to sponsor me, but they are strongly considering not sponsoring me due to the costs associated with sponsoring me – lawyer fees, filing fees, etc. Can I pay these fees directly to USCIS and lawyer or can I reimburse my sponsoring company, or arrange some type of payment plan?

Answer #6
NO. Lawyer fees and USCIS filing fees MUST be paid solely by the employer, not by the beneficiary. This action would be in violation of the laws governing the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program. With the H1B, only the premium processing fee and H4 USCIS filing fee may be paid by the H1B applicant.


Question #7 - Green Card
What does “Age Out” mean in the Green Card process?

Answer #7
As taken from the USCIS website: A “child” is defined as an individual who is unmarried and under the age of 21. Before CSPA took effect on August 6, 2002, a beneficiary who turned 21 at any time prior to receiving permanent residence could not be considered a child for immigration purposes. This situation is described as “aging out.” Congress recognized that many beneficiaries were aging out because of large backlogs and long processing times for visa petitions. CSPA is designed to protect a beneficiary’s immigration classification as a child when he or she ages out due to excessive processing times. CSPA can protect “child” status for family-based immigrants, employment-based immigrants, and some humanitarian program immigrants (refugees, asylees, VAWA).


Question #8- Temporary Work Visa
I had gone for visa stamping and was issued 221(g) blue form. This is the reason given: "Your petition is not currently reflected in the PIMS database. Processing of your case will be suspended until we can verify your petition details." According to the visa officer, I should get my passport in 10 days. I am worried, is this normal?

Answer #8
It is a normal process and there is no reason to be alarmed, this is a standard procedure, so unfortunately, you must wait until your status/case can be confirmed and then you will receive your visa stamp. As stated below by the DOS, extensions of stay and change of status petitions take longer to verify through the database.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has instructed consular posts that approvals of H, L, O, P and Q visa petitions must be verified through the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) before a nonimmigrant visa can be issued. PIMS is an electronic report generated by DOS’s Kentucky Consular Center that collects nonimmigrant visa petition approval information from USCIS. PIMS contains data on initial petition approvals and on L blanket petitions that were approved in 2004 or later. PIMS does not contain information on approvals of extension of stay or changes of status petitions. Consular officers adjudicating visa applications must consult PIMS to verify the approval of the underlying nonimmigrant visa petition. If the petition approval cannot be verified through PIMS, the officer must contact the Kentucky Consular Center, which in turn attempts to verify the approval through USCIS’s Computer Linked Applications Information Management System (CLAIMS).
DOS officials state that PIMS verification typically takes no more than 24 hours and that verification through CLAIMS typically takes two business days. Most cases involving initial nonimmigrant visa petitions are verified within these timeframes. However, they have received many reports of longer processing times for extension of stay and change of status cases. These cases must be verified with the assistance of the Kentucky Consular Center and can take longer to be processed. DOS has indicated that there are no current plans to include extension and change of status approval information in PIMS, which may result in significant delays for many applicants. Foreign nationals who will be applying for nonimmigrant visas should expect longer processing times due to the new PIMS and CLAIMS verification requirement. How long the electronic process will take may vary from case to case. However, same-day and next-day visa issuance should not be expected.


Question #9 – Student – F1 Visa Status
I want my youngest sister to come to USA to go to school; she has mentioned it many times. What do we need to do to make it happen?

Answer #9
Please visit the following website http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/index.htm as it will provide the steps for how your sister can obtain an F1 visa to come to the U.S. for school.

The first step for a prospective nonimmigrant student is being accepted for enrollment in an established school which is SEVP certified. There is a list of SEVP certified schools on the website listed above. Therefore, as her first step, your sister must first apply for enrollment at a college of her choice which is listed on the SEVP certified list. Once she has been accepted by that SEVP certified school, she will then need to apply for her F1 student visa. All of the steps for obtaining such status are available on the website listed above, and additional information can be found on this website http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html.


Question #10 –Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My I-140 Immigrant petition has been approved. My next step is to apply to adjust status to permanent resident. What kind of documents do I need to have for AOS application?

Answer #10
In order to apply for AOS, your priority date needs to be current, once your priority date is current, you will able to file the Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident along with the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. There are numerous background documents that will need to be submitted along with your petition, including: a sealed medical examination from a civil surgeon in your area, birth certificates, copies of federal tax returns, bank statements, and an employment verification letter, among other documents.


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 13, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, August 30, 2013

August 26, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, August 30, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16, 2013

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 Visa
I am currently on H1B status with my employer and my future employer has filed a H1B. Can I start working for the other employer without an approval?

Answer #1
If you have maintained a valid H-1B nonimmigrant visa status with your previous employer up until the time of filing the present petition, then it seems you would be able to commence employment with the new sponsoring employer upon filing the H-1B transfer petition with the USCIS pursuant to the provisions of AC21 law.


Question #2 – Employment Based Green Card
My priority date just became current, EB2 for India. How long do I have to wait to receive my green card?

Answer #2
This period of time varies and depends upon numerous factors: Issuance of an RFE; how many individuals are in front of you with earlier PD’s that have not been issued a GC yet; demand from your country; backlog at the Service Centers, the period of time your I-485 petition was filed; etc. Generally, I-485 applications take 6 months or less to process; however, please note that I did mention ‘generally’. A GC can only be issued if there is an available immigrant visa number. You should monitor the monthly visa bulletin and speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney concerning the specific details of your case.


Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Does filing with your H1B case Premium Processing always guarantee that it will be approved faster?

Answer #3
Regular processing takes 3-5 months for an approval; in the meantime, an RFE may be issued which may further delay the case. With premium processing, the premium processing clocks begins to run the date the case is receipted by the USCIS, and runs for a period of 15 calendar days, in which a decision must be made. This decision; however, can be in the form of an RFE, an approval or an intent to deny, or outright denial. If an RFE is issued, the premium processing clock will stop, and will run again once the RFE response is received by the Service. A new period of 15 calendar days will begin upon the USCIS receiving the RFE response.


Question #4 – General
My husband and I recently bought a new house expected to move in the beginning of September. When should I notify the USICS for our pending I-485s?

Answer #4
By law, you are required to notify the USCIS of any change in address within ten (10) days of the move to the new location. Please use the link below to update your address at USCIS. Please make sure you update the information on all pending cases using the receipt number.

Welcome to Change of Address on the Internet for USCIS


Question #5 – Family Based Green Card
How can you remove the conditions on permanent residency?

Answer #5
You must file a petition (Form I-751) with the USCIS to remove the conditions of the conditional permanent resident status during the 90 days before the conditional green card expires. You must present evidence of the validity of your marriage, or must be eligible for an exception. The exceptions are listed on the instructions to Form I-751.


Question #6 – Employment Based Green Card
Next year, I will enter my 6th year of an H-1B status. Should I apply for my PERM visa now?

Answer #6
It is recommended that an applicant initiate the GC proceedings prior to the 6th year in H-1B status. You will need to speak with your employer to determine if there is a position available for sponsorship and whether you qualify for the position pursuant to their minimum requirements. Only your employer may decide to initiate this process.


Question #7- H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have still not received my H-1B approval for my case filed on April 8, 2013. Since I am scheduled to start working for my employer on October 1, should I be concerned?

Answer #7
Our office contacted the USCIS National Customer Service Center last week, August 8; to inquire about the status of a few pending H-1B cap cases and the Officer informed us that the Vermont Service Center was currently processing cases with a receipt date of April 3, 2013. They requested that we contact them again at the end of the month if we did not receive any correspondence between now and then.

There is always the option to upgrade a pending H-1B case to premium processing, to obtain a decision within 15 calendar days of making the request, unless an RFE is issued. Please see Question 3, regarding what occurs once an RFE is issued with a premium processing case.


Question #8 - Green Card
How much are the filing fees for the I-485?

Answer #8
The USCIS filing fee for the I-485 Application is $985.00, plus $85.00 for biometrics, total $1070.00 per applicant. (If an applicant is under 14 and applying with at least one parent - $600.00)


Question #9 – Advanced Parole (AP)
If my Advanced Parole is expiring the end of this month do I need to reapply for a new one right away? My family just got back from a trip and don’t plan to travel anymore in the next year.

Answer #9
You do not need to apply for a new one right away. You may in fact apply at a later date. However, it is recommend to have a valid Advance Parole document, if you have no other valid authorization to re-enter the U.S., because emergencies do occur, and expediting an Advance Parole document can be troublesome if you do not satisfy any of the expedite criteria.


Question #10 – Employment Based Green Card
If I leave my job, can my employer withdrawal my I-140? I have had it for 2 years. If they withdraw it, do I have to leave the US immediately?

Answer #10
Yes, your employer may withdrawal your I-140 petition at any time. You should contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss the specific details of your case.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, August 30, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, August 16, 2013

August 12, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, August 16, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, August 2, 2013

August 2, 2013

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 – Family Based Green Card
Can same-sex marriages, like opposite-sex marriages, reduce the residence period required for naturalization?

Answer #1
According to the recently updated FAQs released by the USCIS, the answer to the question is yes. As a general matter, naturalization requires five years of residence in the United States following admission as a lawful permanent resident. But, according to the immigration laws, naturalization is available after a required residence period of three years, if during that three year period you have been living in “marital union” with a U.S. citizen “spouse” and your spouse has been a United States citizen. For this purpose, same-sex marriages will be treated exactly the same as opposite-sex marriages.


Question #2 – Family Based Green Card
Do my same sex partner and I have to live in a marriage equality state to apply for his green card?

Answer #2
According to the recently updated FAQS released by the USCIS, the answer to the question is No. USCIS will review the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. That general rule is subject to some limited exceptions under which federal immigration agencies historically have considered the law of the state of residence in addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage. Whether those exceptions apply may depend on individual, fact-specific circumstances. If necessary, we may provide further guidance on this question going forward.


Question #3 – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Are there educational requirements to be eligible for DACA?

Answer #3
Yes, in addition to other eligibility requirements. In order to be eligible for DACA, an applicant must be: currently enrolled in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or they are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have applied for an H-1B Visa. My wife has applied for a H4 Visa. Do we need to apply for an H4 Visa for all of our children? 2 of our children are under 2. The other one is 12 years old.

Answer #4
If your children are not U.S. citizens, then yes you will need to include them. Your children should have been included in your wife’s H4 application (Form I-539).


Question #5 – Employment Based Green Card
My spouse and son have received their Green Cards but I have not. I filed for all of our Green Cards through my employer. Do you think there is a problem with the processing of my case?

Answer #5
From the facts you have provided, your spouse and son are your derivatives. Generally, the USCIS would not approve their cases without approving your case first. You may wish to contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to determine the issue with the delivery of your green card.


Question #6 – Green Card General
Once my wife gets her green card, can she travel out of the US?

Answer #6
There are certain restrictions once receiving a Green Card, especially in terms of traveling for long periods of time. She is able to travel; however, for purposes of maintaining LPR status, she should not be outside of the U.S. for more than 6 months at a time, without obtaining the proper re-entry permit.


Question #7- Employment Based Immigration
What is an AC21 Portability letter?

Answer #7
The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) permits an individual to seek new employment when the following conditions are met:
• New employment must be the "same or similar" occupational classification;
• Form I-140 has been approved, or is approvable when filed concurrently with I-485;
• Form I-485 has been pending for at least 180 days.
Your attorney sends a letter to the USCIS explaining that you have invoked the AC-21 portability provision and includes evidence of your eligibility with the letter.


Question #8 - Green Card
Later this year, my EAD and AP are expiring. When is the earliest that I can file my renewal petitions?

Answer #8
You can file the renewals 120 days prior to the expiration date.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I just got my H-1B approval; can I get a Social Security Card?

Answer #9
Yes! Make sure you check the Social Security Number (SSN) website, “Get Or Replace A Social Security Card” and carry all the required documents to SSN Office when applying for your SSN.

Additional resource: Social Security Numbers for Noncitizens


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Earlier this month, my employer moved my job location from New York to Virginia. Do they need to submit an amended H-1B?

Answer #10
Under the regulations, an H1B amendment is required if there has been a material change in the employment terms of the H1B petition. The USCIS considers the relocation of an employee outside of the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or a move from one state to another state, a material change, requiring the filing of an amended H-1B petition.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, August 16, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, August 2, 2013

July 29, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, August 2, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19, 2013

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 – Family Based Immigration
My foreign born spouse and I were married in a U.S. state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but we live in a state that does not. Can I still file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse?

Answer #1
Yes. According to guidance issued by the USCIS - any same-sex marriage that was officially recognized in a state or country permitting it will now count for immigration purposes. This will be true even if you now live (or plan to live) in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage.


Question #2 – General
What is the Diversity Lottery?

Answer #2
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available up to 55,000 diversity visas (DVs) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.


Question #3 – DACA
Can I renew my Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA)?

Answer #3
DACA was only announced on June 15, 2012, with implementation of the program beginning August 15, 2012, unfortunately, at this time there are no instructions for the renewal of the DACA program. However, you should keep track of your DACA/ EAD expiration and check our blog for updates on renewal at least 6 months prior to your card’s expiration date.


Question #4 – DACA
What would potentially disqualify someone from applying for DACA?

Answer #4
Various factors: Age; criminal history; if they did not enter the U.S. prior to age 16 and entered after age 16; if they were not continuously present in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 to the present; if they were not present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012; and for not meeting certain educational requirements.


Question #5 – Family Based Immigration
How long does it normally take to have my fiancée’ petition approved? We filed it about 7months ago.

Answer #5
According to the USCIS processing times, it is estimated that it takes approximately 4-6 months to obtain approval. However, in practice, it has taken anywhere from 5-9 months to obtain approvals.

If your case appears to be outside of the posted processing times by 30 days or more, you may contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to initiate a Service Request.


Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have a H1B visa but lost my job a few days ago, can I remain in the US or is my H1B officially no longer valid?

Answer #6
The amount of time that an H-1B worker may stay in the country after being laid off or terminated is not defined in the law or the regulations. The date on the I-94 governs your lawful presence in the U.S., so as long as the I-94 has not expired; you will not begin to accrue any unlawful presence subject to the 3 and 10 year bars. However, you should speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney concerning your situation.


Question #7 – General
Can I travel to India for my sister’s wedding if I lost my Green Card? I have filed for a replacement but it has not arrived.

Answer #7
You should schedule an InfoPass appointment with your local USCIS office. At your appointment, share the circumstances of your situation with the USCIS Representative, show proof that you filed for a replacement and they may be able to stamp your Passport as evidence of your LPR status until your replacement GC is issued.


Question #8 – Family Based Immigration
My husband and I have divorced after 10 years of marriage. Will he be able to remain a resident of the United States?

Answer #8
It depends upon the circumstances of your specific case. It depends upon when you married, when you petitioned for his LPR status, if you have since removed the conditions of his residency, etc. We recommend that you speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney.


Question #9 – General
If my wife overstayed her student Visa, can she still apply to be a Permanent Resident? I am a US Citizen.

Answer #9
Your question requires an attorney consultation. It is not a simple question that can be answered on this type of forum. There are many factors that would need to be considered and evaluated. We strongly suggest that you contact an experienced immigration attorney for a consultation to discuss all of the facts surrounding your situation.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
When should I start preparing my case for the 2014 H-1B Cap?

Answer #10
The FY2014 H1B CAP has concluded, it open on April 1, 2013 and was closed by April 5, 2013, with employment beginning on October 1, 2013. The FY2015 H1B CAP, will open on April 1, 2014, with employment to begin as of October 1, 2014. We normally begin to receive and prepare H1B CAP cases in November-December of the preceding year.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, August 2, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, July 19, 2013

July 15, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, July 19, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, July 5, 2013

July 5, 2013

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 – Family Based Immigration - Marriage
Can my same sex spouse partner apply for a Green Card now that DOMA has passed? I am a US Citizen and he is from Spain. We were wed in New York in 2011.

Answer #1
Yes he can, as long as you are able to fully document your bona fide martial relationship, and are able to satisfy other eligibility requirements.


Question #2 – Family Based Immigration - Marriage
If I am a legal permanent resident and I want to marry my partner, will this affect my ability to naturalize?

Answer #2
No it should not, as long as you meet other eligibility requirements for Naturalization (i.e., continuous presence; no serious criminal convictions or crimes of moral turpitude, etc.)


Question #3 – General
This fall, I will graduate from college, but I want to stay in the United States and work. What options do I have?

Answer #3
There are many options available. You should first speak with your DSO – Designated School Official about the various options available. If after speaking with your DSO, and you still have questions concerning your eligibility for the various options available, you should contact a qualified Immigration Attorney to discuss your plans/goals of remaining in the U.S. (Some of the options include: OPT, H-1B, etc.)


Question #4 – Employment Based Immigration
How do I prove exceptional ability in the medical field for an E-B1 Visa?

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 – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
What forms do I need to apply for DACA?

Answer #5
You would need to submit Forms I-821D; I-765 and I-765WS, along with extensive evidence that you meet each of the eligibility requirements.


Question #6- Naturalization/Citizenship
Four years ago, I was admitted to the United States as a legal permanent resident because I am the spouse of another legal permanent resident. When is the earliest I can apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Answer #6
Lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship after residing in the U.S. in LPR for a period of 5 years; however, technically, an LPR is able to apply after 4 years 9 months of being in LPR status, if all other eligibility requirements are satisfied.


Question #7 – Employment Based Immigration
In the next month, I am hiring a consultant from the U.K. to work for my US company. I understand that, as her potential employer, I need to start the immigration process for her. What forms should I file?

Answer #7
Please contact our office to speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney to better access the potential employee’s situation and have an in-depth discussion concerning the company, its goals and the immigration process.


Question #8 –Naturalization/Citizenship
Can I apply for US citizenship for my 18 year old brother? We are from Iran and I have been a U.S. citizen for 5 years. I have heard the new Immigration law won’t allow me.

Answer #8
There is no new Immigration Law at this point. The Senate has passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, but it still must be passed through the House and then signed by the President before it is concerned LAW. Accordingly, if you wish to file on behalf of your brother, speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney and get started now to reserve your brother’s place in line.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What is a Labor Condition Application?

Answer #9
Form ETA 9035/9035E is a document that a prospective H-1B employer files with ETA when it seeks to employ nonimmigrant workers at a specific job occupation in an area of intended employment for not more than three years. In this document, the employer attests to standards to which it will adhere. It must be certified by the authorized DOL official pursuant to the provisions of 20 C.F.R. §655.740 before it can be used.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How many times can you renew an H-1B Visa? My company has sponsored mine three different times. Is it possible to get it a 4th Time?

Answer #10
You may renew an H-1B visa for as long as the individual remains eligible to extend the H-1B visa. Accordingly, if a labor application has been filed on your behalf with the Department of Labor, or an I-140 petition has been approved on your behalf, you may be eligible to get an extension beyond the normal 6 year limit for H-1B nonimmigrants. Please speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney to discuss about the specifics of your case.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, July 19, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, July 5, 2013

July 1, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, July 5, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, June 21, 2013

June 21, 2013

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 – Employment Based Green Card
Will anyone that has an advanced degree qualify for an EB-2 Immigrant Visa?

Answer #1
No. Qualifying for the EB-2 preference classification ultimately depends upon the employer’s minimum requirements for the proffered position.


Question #2 – Employment Based Green Card
If I have completed my Master’s degree though an on-line US university, can I apply for an EB-2?

Answer #2
It depends. Is the University accredited? Again, qualifying for the EB-2 preference classification ultimately depends upon the employer’s minimum requirements for the proffered position.


Question #3 – Employment Based Green Card
Should I file my I-140 petition through regular processing or premium processing to get my case expedited faster?

Answer #3
If you simply just want the case adjudicated faster, than premium processing will provide you with a decision on the case within 15 calendar days of filing. However, if there is no need to spend an additional $1225.00 USCIS filing fee, then regular processing is sufficient.

You should consider the following when determining whether to file through regular processing or premium processing: Is your priority date current? Is your priority date predicted to be current soon, within the next 2-3 months?


Question #4 – Permanent Residence
If my permanent resident card has expired, do I need a visa? Or is it possible to renew my permanent residence?

Answer #4
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 #5 – Employment Based Green Card
Should I file my I-485 with my I-140 or wait until my I-140 is approved?

Answer #5
If you are eligible to file forms I-140 and I-485 concurrently, then you should file them concurrently. If you are not eligible to file them concurrently, then you must wait for approval of the I-140 and your priority date must be current before submitting Form I-485 to the USCIS.


Question #6- DACA
Can I still apply for DACA if I am currently in removal proceedings?

Answer #6
This process is open to any individual who can demonstrate he or she meets the guidelines for consideration, including those who have never been in removal proceedings as well as those currently in removal proceedings.


Question #7 – General
Can my children go to a U.S. public elementary school on a dependent visa?

Answer #7
Yes.


Question #8 – Adjustment of Status
I was able to file I-485 application back in 2007 in EB3. Now I am recipient of an approved I-140 in EB2 classification. Do I need to submit a new I-485 even though the EB-3 I-485 is pending with USCIS?

Answer #8
No. The USCIS should be able to link up your existing I-485 petition with the current filing. You can always contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center for additional information concerning your Adjustment of Status filing, 1-800-375-5283.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H-1B is going to expire on October 1? Is it too early to file for an extension of my stay?

Answer #9
No, you may file for an extension of your H-1B up to 6 months in advance of the expiration date.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can my small “start- up” company obtain an H-1B visa for a nonimmigrant worker? We have less than 25 employees!

Answer #10
Yes, please contact our office to further discuss.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, July 5, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, June 21, 2013

June 17, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, June 21, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013

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 – U.S. Citizenship
I recently received a Green Card. Next year, I am going to marry my US Citizen Fiancé. How long do I wait to apply for Citizenship?

Answer #1
As it appears, you did not obtain your green card through marriage, as you have yet to be married. Accordingly, you must wait five (5) years to apply for Citizenship. In addition to the time period, there are other eligibility requirements.


Question #2 – U.S. Citizenship
How long does it normally take to become a US Citizen?

Answer #2
It depends. If you received your green card through marriage, then the waiting period is 3 years, subject to additional eligibility requirements. If you received your green card through employment, then the waiting period is 5 years, also subject to additional eligibility requirements.


Question #3 – DACA
Is there a minimum age requirement for DACA applicants?

Answer #3
Yes. Anyone requesting consideration for deferred action under DACA must have been under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012. The applicant must also be at least 15 years or older to request deferred action, unless the applicant is currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order.


Question #4 – DACA
If someone has applied for DACA status, can he/she travel outside the US?

Answer #4
Generally no, they may not travel until a decision is made on the DACA application, unless the travel is related to employment, education or humanitarian purposes and the applicant seeks permission directly from the USCIS prior to departure.
Please see below as taken from the USCIS website:
If you travel outside the United States after August 15, 2012 and before your request for deferred action is adjudicated, you will not be considered for deferred action under this process.
Deferred action will terminate automatically if you travel outside the United States without receiving advance parole from USCIS. If USCIS approves your request for deferred action, you may travel outside the United States only if you receive advance parole from USCIS before traveling.
Application procedures for advance parole for individuals with deferred action are being finalized. USCIS expects to incorporate those requirements into USCIS Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, in the near future and will inform the public when the new form is available. Should you have a compelling need to travel outside the United States before the new instructions are issued for reasons related to your current employment, education or humanitarian purposes, you may submit Form I-131 and request advance parole from USCIS by attaching a copy of your DACA approval Form I-797, and a letter that explains your compelling need to travel to your application


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My 6 year period of H1B Visa will expire in Dec 2013 and my labor application is still pending for approval. Am I eligible to apply for a visa extension?

Answer #5
It depends upon several factors.

• Have you ever left the U.S. since your initial arrival in the U.S.? If so, you may be able to recapture the time you spent outside of the U.S. in a recapture/extension petition.
• When was the Labor application filed on your behalf? If it has been in a pending status for 365 days or more, then you may be eligible to file a one (1) year extension based upon AC21.
• Although you are able to submit an extension up to 6 months prior to the expiration of the visa, you may wish to wait to see if your case is approved within the coming months; however, you would still need to file and obtain approval of the I-140 petition.


Question #6 - Employment Based Immigration
For the last 4 years I have been working as a contractor in the IT sector as an EB3 worker. Last May, I completed my MBA. Is it possible to change my category from EB3 to EB2?

Answer #6
You should speak with one of our experienced Immigration Attorneys to determine your eligibility.


Question #7 – Family Based Immigration
If I live out of the US, and apply for an I-130, do I have to come to the US for my interview appointment?

Answer #7
No. Once the I-130 petition is approved, you will have to appear at the nearest Consulate for the interview appointment, once it is arranged with the Consulate through the National Visa Center. This process is called Consular Processing.


Question #8 – Family Based Immigration
My husband recently filed an I-130. We have included all the documentation that was required. How long will it take for USCIS to respond?

Answer #8
Current processing times indicate a period of 6 months for the adjudication of Form I-130. If further evidence is required, a Request for Additional Evidence will be issued, which will further delay the final adjudication of the petition by a USCIS Officer.


Question #9 – General
On the USCIS website, what does it mean if the status of the application states that it is now changed to “post decision activity?”

Answer #9
This means that the government has reached a decision in your case. For example, if you applied for DACA, the govt. has either approved or denied your petition.


Question #10 – Family Based Immigration
My wife came here from France four years ago with a visa waiver. Now that we are married, we filed an adjustment of status. Will she need to return to France for the immigration interview?

Answer #10
No. She will likely attend the interview at a USCIS local field office.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, June 7, 2013

June 3, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, June 7, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, May 24, 2013

May 24, 2013

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
Can I apply for a spousal visa, if I am getting married to a green card holder & am currently in H-1B visa status?

Answer #1
Yes; however, you must first marry your spouse. After marriage, your green card holder (Lawful Permanent Resident) spouse, may then prepare and submit an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative on your behalf to the USCIS for processing.


Question #2
Are employers required to post a notice of filing of LCA at the end-client location? Why can’t we just post at our offices?

Answer #2
Yes. Pursuant to the regulations, notices are to be posted in two conspicuous locations at the actual location where the work is to be performed. Therefore, posting at the employer’s office only is not sufficient.


Question #3
If I have less than six months before my passport will expire, how can I file an H-1B petition?

Answer #3
You can still file an H-1B petition. However, your passport should be current at all times. If visa stamping is needed, then you should have a valid passport for a validity period of longer than six months.

In most cases, to enter the United States, you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date you enter or reenter. Many countries will allow you to renew your passport while in the United States. The other alternative is to renew your passport when you return home for a visit. You may want to delay leaving the United States until you have renewed your passport. You will not be able to reenter the United States without a valid passport.

If your expired passport has a valid visa, you can still use it if you kept the old passport. Present the old passport, along with the new passport when you reenter the country.


Question #4
I have my Green Card and I will be traveling outside of the US this summer. What documents do I need to travel outside the United States?

Answer #4
Your Green Card. However, be certain to not take trips longer than 6 months in duration outside of the U.S., if you intend to apply for Citizenship in a few years, as it will disrupt the continuous residence requirement. Furthermore, please take note not to make any trips outside the U.S. of one year or longer without possessing a valid re-entry document in addition to your Green Card.


Question #5
If I am a Green Card holder and plan to be outside of the US for more than a year to care for my ailing mother, what should I do?

Answer #5
You should apply for a re-entry permit with the USCIS.


Question #6
If I lost my Green Card, how do I replace it? What are the costs?

Answer #6
You must file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card with the USCIS. The USCIS filing fee is $365.00 plus biometrics $85.00, total of $450.00


Question #7
Once I get my H-1B transfer, is there any time restriction to join my new employer?

Answer #7
Pursuant to AC21, H-1B transferring employees are able to begin working with the new sponsoring employer upon submission of the case to the USCIS; however, the applicant may only begin working with the new employer if the LCA and I-129 cover the beginning date of employment.


Question #8
Is there a limit of how many times someone can transfer an H-1B Visa?

Answer #8
No, there is no limit of how many times someone may transfer their H-1B to a new employer.


Question #9
Can I change my status from an H-4 to an F-1? I am enrolling in college this Fall.

Answer #9
Yes, if you are eligible to change status from H4, dependent status to F1, student status.


Question #10
While we were staying in the US with my H-1 Visa, my wife had a baby boy. Do I need to get a Visa or a US Passport to travel with him out of the country?

Answer #10
If your baby boy was born in the United States, he is automatically a U.S. Citizen. Therefore, yes, you will need to apply for a U.S. Passport for your son in order to travel with him outside of the country.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, June 7, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, May 24, 2013

May 20, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, May 24, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013

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
If I am working in the US with an H-1B Visa, can I obtain a driver’s license right away? What do I need to show them at the Motor Vehicle place?

Answer #1
Yes. You must present necessary supporting documents required to verify legal presence in the United States. Generally, a nonimmigrant should be prepared to present the following: Valid passport with visa (if applicable); Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record”; Form I-20 (for an F or M student) or Form DS-2019 (for a J exchange visitor); EAD card (Form I-766 “Employment Authorization Document”), if on post-completion OPT; Form I-797, “Notice of Action,” in cases of a change of status (e.g., from F-1 to H-1B); Social Security number (SSN) on a Social Security card. To determine what is specifically required in your state, you will need to check the DMW website or contact a local DMV office


Question #2
How do I become categorized as STEM worker? I would like to find a job in the US. Right now, I live in Prague and have my Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

Answer #2
In order to become categorized as a STEM worker, an applicant must receive an accredited U.S. degree in one of the STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.


Question #3
I work for Toyota as a head mechanical specialist and my company wants to transfer me to a plant in the US. Would I qualify for an L-1 Visa?

Answer #3
The L-1 visa allows companies operating both in the U.S. and abroad to transfer certain types of employees from its overseas office to the U.S. office for up to seven years. This visa comes in the following categories: L-1A - for executives and managers; and L-1B - for personnel with specialized knowledge.
Businesses that function both in the United States and in their home country gain the benefits of the best of both areas. The L-1 visa is open to international organizations with offices in the U.S. who transfer employees to the U.S. office for temporary periods of time. This visa is sometimes referred to as the 'intra-company transferee' visa.
To obtain an L-1 visa, you must be able to prove that you have worked for the non-U.S. company for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge. The L-1 visa enables the transfer of managers, executives and specialized knowledge personnel to a U.S. office, subsidiary or affiliated company.


Question #4
What date does my company have to start using the new I-9 form?

Answer #4
Beginning May 7, 2013, Employers must ONLY use the newly revised Form I-9 with revision date 3/08/2013 appearing in the lower left hand corner of the Form.


Question #5
What is an EB-5 visa?

Answer #5
In short, The EB-5 visa is for Immigrant Investors. This visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a "Targeted Employment Area" - high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least ten (10) jobs for U.S. workers excluding the investor and their immediate family.

For more information on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa, please contact our office.


Question #6
My family has vacation plans to travel back to India in August 2013. Can I file my H-1B extension petition prior to my leaving for vacation?

Answer #6
You may file your H-1B extension up to 6 months prior to the expiration of your current H-1B visa. You should file as early as possible, as we do not recommend that you travel outside of the U.S. while your H-1B extension petition is pending with the USCIS.


Question #7
What does it mean when a Priority Date becomes current?

Answer #7
When your Priority Date becomes "Current", it means that there are visa numbers available for your particular nationality, for your situation, for your particular preference category, (i.e. India, Employment Based, Third Preference). When your Priority Date becomes current, you may then proceed to the Adjustment of Status or Consulate Processing phase of the Green Card process.


Question #8
If my Green Card is expiring the end of this year, how soon should I apply to renew it?

Answer #8
You can apply up to six months prior to the expiration date of your card (indicated on the front of the card).


Question #9
I’m a U.S. Citizen and engaged to marry my Irish fiancé. We have known one another for over five years and have been engaged for three months. Can I sponsor my fiancé? What are the requirements?

Answer #9
If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must show that:
• You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
• You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
• You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
• You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
1. If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
2. If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.


Question #10
If I am residing in the US with an H4 Visa, can I apply for a Social Security card?

Answer #10
You cannot apply for a Social Security card, as an H4 dependent under current immigration laws.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, May 24, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, May 10, 2013

May 6, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, May 10, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, April 26, 2013

April 26, 2013

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 Visa
If my employer has received an RFE for my H-1B case, does this mean my case will not be approved?

Answer #1
No. An RFE is a Request for Additional evidence, which seeks further documentation/information from the Petitioner and/or the Beneficiary. An RFE is issued because the Adjudicating Officer cannot make a final determination whether to approve or deny based upon the initial filing. The Officer needs more information concerning a certain issue or several issues in order to ultimately approve or deny the case.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration
What is the difference between an EB-2 and an EB-3 classification for a Green Card?

Answer #2
The EB-2 preference classification is open to 3 types of foreign nationals: (1) Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business; (2) Advanced Degree Professionals; (3) Qualified Alien Physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the U.S., which is underserved.
The EB-3 classification includes aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers; professionals with a baccalaureate degree; and other workers with less skill who can contribute abilities unavailable in the U.S. Skilled workers should have at least two years’ experience, either through hands-on experience or through post-secondary education. Professionals should have either a U.S. bachelor's degree or a foreign equivalent degree.


Question #3 – General
What is the Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) system?

Answer #3
According to the USCIS website:
The Web-based Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) is a tool designed to enhance USCIS’s adjudications of certain employment-based immigration petitions. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies or organizations petitioning to employ certain alien workers.
Currently, Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the independent information provider for the VIBE program.


Question #4 – DACA
How do you file for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?

Answer #4
You prepare and submit Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-765WS, along with supporting documentation to the appropriate USCIS lockbox facility.

*You should speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney if you believe you are eligible.


Question #5 – Family Based Immigration
I’m an 18 year old US citizen and want to file a Green card application for my husband who is 32 years old. Am I old enough to do this?

Answer #5
Yes.


Question #6 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If someone is in the US on a H4 Visa, and his H1 gets approved, how many days can he wait before starting his new job?

Answer #6
It depends upon what Form I-797, the Approval Notice provides. If the starting date of employment is not until October 1, 2013 for instance, then the applicant will remain in H4 status until September 30, 2013, and may begin working as an H-1B nonimmigrant only on October 1, 2013.

Pay attention to what Form I-797, the Approval notice provides. An individual may start working on the date as provided on the approval notice, or any date thereafter.


Question #7 – Revised Form I-9
My company employs H-1B workers on a yearly basis. I just heard that they revised the I-9 form. Are there any significant changes to this form?

Answer #7
Our office just posted a blog on the Revised Form I-9, and the FREE webinars that the USCIS has made available to the public regarding the changes in the revised form, and how to properly complete Form I-9.


Question #8 – General
Right now, I am in the US on a B1 Visa. Can I apply for an L1 visa after using the B1 visa? Is there a waiting period before applying?

Answer #8
A B1 visa is a visitor/business/tourism visa, which allows you to enter the U.S. for a specific period of time with the intent to return to your residence abroad, and which does not allow you to work. An L1 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant work visa, which allows you to enter the U.S. to work for a specific period of time with the intent to return to your residence abroad at the end of the specific time period.

*You should speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney about your situation.


Question #9 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
In a few months, I will be starting work in the US with an H-1Visa. Does my spouse need to accompany me to the US right away? She wanted to stay in our home country for a few months. My wife has an approved H-4 Visa.

Answer #9
No.


Question #10 – TN Visa
I am a Canadian citizen and wanted to work as a dentist in the US. Do I qualify for a TN Visa under the NAFTA regulations?

Answer #10
The position of Dentist is listed in Appendix 1603 of the NAFTA regulations. In order to be eligible, you would need the following: (i) present job offer from a U.S. employer; and proof that you have the following qualifications (ii) D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, May 10, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, April 26, 2013

April 22, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, April 26, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013

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 just heard the H-1B cap has been reached and they are doing a lottery. How does the H-1B Lottery work?

Answer #1
According to the USCIS website:
USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.
The agency conducted the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If my employer filed my case during the H-1B Cap, how will I know if my case has been accepted?

Answer #2
If your case was filed under premium processing, and accepted in the lottery, your employer’s attorney will receive an electronic emailed receipt notice from the Vermont Service Center premium processing unit, or the California Service Center premium processing unit.

If your case was filed under regular processing, and accepted in the lottery, your employer and your employer’s attorney will receive a receipt notice in the regular mail from the USCIS.

If your case was filed under premium processing or regular processing, and NOT selected in the lottery, the petition along with the USCIS filing fees will be returned to the employer or the employer’s attorney’s office.


Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Now that the H-1B cap has been reached, what are the other options for companies to hire foreign workers?

Answer #3
Please refer to our previous Blog post entitled “Alternatives to the H-1B Visa for Individuals who did not make the FY2014 H-1B Quota”.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Right now, I have an H-1B with one company and I just got hired to work for another firm. Can I transfer my H-1B status without worrying about the cap?

Answer #4
Yes, transfer filings and extension filings are not subject to the annual H-1B CAP. However, if you are changing from a cap-exempt H-1B sponsoring employer, to a cap-subject H-1B sponsoring employer, the CAP for FY2014 with employment beginning October 1, 2013 has been reached, so you will need to wait until FY2015.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What kind of visa should I apply for if I am an International student from Germany and I want to work off campus?

Answer #5
As an international student, you will need to apply for F1 student visa status; you may work on-campus or in other previously approved jobs if approved by your Designated School Official (DSO).


Question #6 – Family Based Immigration
My Grandfather (Dad's Dad) was a US citizen and he had filed an I 130 petition (Immigrant petition for relative, fiancé, or orphan) for my dad in Feb 2009. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away this April. My dad's sisters are US citizens and they are willing to take over the case, if we can transfer the petition. I would like to know if there anything that can be done with this petition now? Or is it a closed chapter?

Answer #6
Under regulation 8 C.F.R. § 205.1(a)(3)(i)(C)(2), an I-130 petition is automatically revoked upon the death of the petitioner, unless:

USCIS determines, as a matter of discretion exercised for humanitarian reasons in light of the facts of a particular case, that it is inappropriate to revoke the approval of the petition. USCIS may make this determination only if the principal beneficiary of the visa petition asks for reinstatement of the approval of the petition and establishes that a person related to the principal beneficiary in one of the ways described in section 213A(f)(5)(B) of the Act is willing and able to file an affidavit of support under 8 C.F.R. part 213a as a substitute sponsor.

Only a spouse, parent, mother in law, father in law, sibling, child, son, daughter, son in law, daughter in law, brother in law, sister in law, grandparent, grandchild or legal guardian of the principal beneficiary is eligible to be a substitute sponsor. A substitute sponsor must also be a U.S. Citizen/national or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), be at least 18 years of age, be domiciled (live) in the U.S. and meet all of the financial requirements of a sponsor.


Question #7 – General
What is Customer Identity Verification?

Answer #7
According to the USCIS website:
On Monday, May 6, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. Individuals will now be required to submit biometric data, specifically fingerprints and photographs, when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit. CIV will help to both defend against threats to national security and protect customers from identity fraud by enhancing the agency’s ability to verify identity.
For CIV, an individual appearing at a USCIS field office for an interview or to be issued evidence of an immigration benefit will have his or her identity biometrically re-verified. Examples of evidence include temporary travel documents, parole authorizations, temporary extensions of Form I-90, and temporary I-551 stamps on passports or on Forms I-94 to evidence lawful permanent resident status. Individuals coming to USCIS field offices for other purposes, such as an Infopass appointment or as the guest of an applicant or petitioner, will not submit biometric data.
Under this new process, staff will take two fingerprints and a photograph of the individual and input this information into the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology’s (US-VISIT’s) Secondary Inspections Tool (SIT). SIT is a Web-based application that processes, displays and retrieves biometric and biographic data. US-VISIT also links databases associated with border inspections and security. After identity verification is satisfactorily completed, individuals will proceed to their interviews or be issued their immigration documents.


Question #8 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am an Australian citizen who has been hired by a US corporation. Will I be subject to a cap for my visa?

Answer #8
As an Australian citizen, you may be eligible for the E3 Australian visa. The E-3 visa classification is limited to 10,500 Australian nationals annually. E-3 principal nonimmigrant aliens must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a “specialty occupation”. This term is used and defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act in the same context as the H1B visa program, and will be interpreted in accordance with the criteria used for H1Bs. The category has requirements with respect to the education of the beneficiary and the job duties to be performed which mirror the H1B requirements. It thus will be helpful in some situations where the H1B otherwise would be the logical category.


Question #9 – General
What is an RFE?

Answer #9
An RFE is a Request for Additional Evidence from the USCIS. An RFE is issued when an adjudicating Officer cannot make an informed decision based upon the documentation provided in the initial filing whether to approve or deny the case, and seeks additional information in order make a decision.


Question #10 – Employment Based Green Card
We filed a labor application and it was approved for a software engineer. We have not received the certified labor application in the mail (approved several weeks ago) and wish to move to the next step, file the I-140. What can we do?

Answer #10
Generally, there are two options available to you; however, both are rather similar. The recommended route is to file the I-140 petition with a request that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) obtain the certified Labor from the Department of Labor (DOL) itself. The other option is to write a letter to the DOL notifying them that the USCIS will be requesting the certified Labor from them directly for purposes of filing the I-140 petition.


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 26, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, April 12, 2013

April 8, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, April 12, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013

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
Are applicants with Master Degree’s given preference when filing for an H-1B under the yearly Cap?

Answer #1
The cap (the numerical limitation on H-1B petitions) for FY 2014 is 65,000. In addition, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap of 65,000.

*The applicant must have a U.S. Master’s degree or higher.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I recently read the H-1B cap quota may be filled in the first 5 days. When do my employer & I expect to be notified if my H-1B is accepted?

Answer #2
According to the USCIS FY2014 H1B CAP website:

Based on feedback from a number of stakeholders, USCIS anticipates that it may receive more petitions than the H-1B cap between April 1, 2013 and April 5, 2013. USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received and notify the public of the date on which the numerical limit of the H-1B cap has been met. This date is known as the final receipt date. If USCIS receives more petitions than it can accept, USCIS will use a lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit. USCIS will reject petitions that are subject to the cap and are not selected, as well as petitions received after it has the necessary number of petitions needed to meet the cap. The lottery for the H-1B cap was last used in April 2008.

H-1B petitioners should follow all statutory and regulatory requirements as they prepare petitions, in order to avoid delays in processing and possible requests for evidence.

Expect to be notified within the month of April 2013.


Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If my H-1B is not processed during the quota, what can I do to remain in the US?

Answer #3
Shortly after the quota is reached, our office will post a blog about other options – for instance, L1 nonimmigrant visa, O1 nonimmigrant visa, F1 student visa, etc. For more information about other options, please stay posted to our blog.

If you are interested in learning about other options now, please contact our office for more information.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What is the normal processing time for an H-1B visa? Does it change during the Cap?

Answer #4
Regular processing takes approximately 3-4 months from the date of receipt of filing. Premium processing takes 15 calendar days from the date of receipt of filing, for an additional USCIS filing fee of $1225.00.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My employer filed my case using Premium Processing. Will it help my case?

Answer #5
According to the USCIS FY2014 H1B CAP website:
Filing an H-1B petition requesting premium processing will not increase the chances of obtaining an H-1B under the quota. If you request premium processing and the case is accepted for processing, the 15 day premium processing window will start on April 15, 2013, according to the USCIS press release issued 3/15/2013. Please note that one perceived benefit of filing a cap subject H-1B petition with a request for premium processing is that a receipt notice may be issued faster than if filed under regular processing. Therefore, the petitioner and beneficiary may confirm sooner that the petition has been chosen in the lottery.


Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What is an LCA? Does my employer file it for me?

Answer #6
An LCA stands for a Labor Condition Application. It is a document that a sponsoring H-1B employer files with the Department of Labor (DOL) – Employment & Training Administration (ETA), when it seeks to employ nonimmigrant workers in a specific job occupation in an area of intended employment for not more than three years.


Question #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
How can I check on the status of my H-1B case?

Answer #7
Once you receive a receipt number, you can go online and check the status of your case by going to http://www.uscis.gov and using the receipt number. The case status mechanism is located on the left hand side of the website.


Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My current H-1B is going to expire in 4 months. Can my employer file an extension for me to remain on H-1B?

Answer #8
Yes, if you are eligible for an extension. Extensions and transfers are not subject to the Annual CAP. Your employer may submit an extension filing up to 6 months in advance of the current expiration of your visa.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Right now, I am on a Student Visa and my employer has filed for an H-1B Visa for me. May I leave the country to attend my sister’s wedding?

Answer #9
Our law firm strongly recommends that you do not travel once your H-1B visa petition has been submitted to the USCIS.

For more information, or to discuss your particular situation, we recommend a scheduled consultation with one of our Attorneys.


Question #10 –H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
While on an H-1B visa, can I immigrate permanently to the U.S.?

Answer #10
The H-1B nonimmigrant visa is a temporary work visa, only granted in 3 year increments for a period not to exceed 6 years, unless you have initiated the Green Card process prior to your 6th year in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status. The H-1B nonimmigrant visa is the only nonimmigrant visa that allows you to possess ‘dual intent’, to work on a temporary work visa and then eventually seek permanent residence in the U.S.


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 12, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, March 29, 2013

March 25, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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 29, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013

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 – General
What jobs are considered STEM occupations?

Answer #1
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers are concentrated in the following fields: Computer and Informational Sciences; Engineering and Engineering Technologies; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; Physical Sciences and Technologies.


Question #2 – General
What is an EAD?

Answer #2
An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a document issued by the USCIS to authorize an alien to work in the U.S. for a temporary period of time. It is also referred to as a work permit. With a valid EAD, an alien may legally work in the United States for any employer.


Question #3 – Green Card
How long do I have to live and work in the United States before I can apply for my Green Card?

Answer #3
There is no set period of time that you must live and work in the United States before you may apply for a Green Card or have a U.S. employer sponsor your Green Card.


Question #4 – General
I was able to file I-485 applications for myself and my wife in November and since then we have received the combined EAD/AP card. Can my wife apply for a SSN now? My health insurance coverage is requesting that she obtain a SSN.

Answer #4
Yes, your wife can apply for a Social Security Number. She will need to take her valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD), her passport, birth certificate and the completed application to the local Social Security Administration office to apply.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Right now, I am living in the US with my husband who has an H-1B Visa. I would like to start working myself. Do I need my own H-1B?

Answer #5
Yes. I am assuming that you are presently on H4 status which does not allow you to work. In order to work, you will need to find a sponsoring employer willing to file an H-1B petition on your behalf.


Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If I have an H-1B Visa, but I want to work for a different employer, do I change my job and then submit the new H-1B papers?

Answer #6
NO. You will need to have your new employer submit an H-1B transfer/extension petition with the USCIS before you are able to move to the new employer.


Question #7 – General
I am reading in the online forums and read things mentioned as PIMS and CLAIMS. Can you tell me what these mean?

Answer #7
PIMS stands for Petition Information Management System which is an electronic report generated by the Department of State’s (DOS) Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) that collects nonimmigrant visa petition approval information from the USCIS.

CLAIMS stands for Computer Linked Application Information Management System. CLAIMS provides USCIS employees with automated support for adjudicating cases and processing various notices, among other things. CLAIMS capabilities include case tracking, status update, notice reporting, and document production.


Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If I’m currently training on an F-1 Visa, when should I file my H-1B petition?

Answer #8
If you mean, you are currently utilizing your OPT, the answer will depend upon when your OPT will expire. If expiring between now and March 31, 2014, you should submit your H-1B petition under the FY2014 CAP opening on April 1, 2013 with H-1B employment beginning on October 1, 2013.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What is CAP GAP? And Am I subject to the CAP GAP?

Answer #9
As provided on the USCIS website, Current regulations allow certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions to remain in F-1 status during the period of time when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization would otherwise expire through the start date of their approved H-1B employment period. This is referred to as filling the “cap-gap,” meaning the regulations provide a way of filling the “gap” between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status that might otherwise occur if F-1 status is not extended for qualifying students.


Question #10 –H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am an international student with F1- status and Associate degree that I obtained here in US. Am I qualified to change my status to h1B VISA?

Answer #10
Unfortunately, you are not, unless you possess qualifying work experience. You can combine your education and experience to satisfy the Bachelor’s degree requirement if you have the requisite years of experience. To be eligible to obtain an H-1B visa, you must possess a Bachelor’s degree in a Specialty Occupation field, and the position for which you are being sponsored must require at a minimum the attainment of a Bachelor’s degree in a specific specialty occupation field.


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 29, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, March 15, 2013

March 11, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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 15, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013

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 Visa
Can my spouse apply for an H-1B or does she have to apply for an H-4?

Answer #1
Your spouse may only apply for an H-1B if she has a U.S. employer willing to sponsor her H-1B temporary work visa. Otherwise, if she does not have a bona fide offer of employment from a U.S. employer willing to sponsor her, then, yes in order to accompany you and stay with you in the U.S., she would need to apply for an H4 visa. Individuals in H4 dependent visa status are NOT authorized for employment, they are NOT allowed to work.


Question #2 – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
What is DACA?

Answer #2
It is a policy that will defer action for Children who qualify, who are otherwise unlawfully present in the U.S. through no fault of their own.
As listed on the USCIS website: As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, including individuals convicted of crimes with particular emphasis on violent criminals, felons, and repeat offenders, DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines. Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization.


Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
How long does my H-1B Visa last? What if it is about to expire? How do I re-apply?

Answer #3
An H-1B visa will last for the validity period as provided on Form I-797 (I-129 Approval Notice). A typical H-1B visa is approved for a period of three years, and may be extended once for an additional three years, totaling 6 years in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status; however, certain circumstances do exists that will make an H-1B applicant eligible for H-1B extensions beyond the six year limit.

If your H-1B visa is about to expire, you need to know how much time you have remaining in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status. If you have time remaining, you will need to file an H-1B extension with the USCIS requesting an additional period of time, not to exceed three years. If you do not have any time remaining, you will have to leave the U.S. for a period of one (1) year, and after one (1) year you will become subject to the H-1B Annual Cap and will need to apply for a new H-1B to return to the U.S.


Question #4 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visas
My company is in the process of setting up a United States office. They would like for me to transfer to the US to oversee their daily operations. I am not sure how long I will be staying. Do I apply for an H-1B or L-1 Visa?

Answer #4
I cannot answer case specific questions in this forum, therefore, I have provided below, basic information concerning the H-1B and L1 visa. We recommend that you speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney to determine which visa will be most suitable for your situation.
The H-1B non-immigrant worker visa is subject to numerical limitations imposed by Congress. Each fiscal year, beginning on April 1, 65,000 visas are available for those who qualify for ‘Specialty Occupations.’ Specialty Occupations are defined as those that require a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The laws regarding the H-1B visa are in constant flux and applicants seriously considering this category as a means of working in the U.S. on a temporary basis should stay informed and updated as much as possible. Due to the fact that an applicant’s circumstances and the circumstances of his/her dependent family members may require special attention, the following information is not tailored to any one individual but provides general information about this category. The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the U.S. and work in a variety of fields ranging from architecture and engineering to teaching and medicine. The H-1B visa offers a wide range of employment possibilities and is a logical first step toward permanent immigration. In order to qualify for H-1B classification, the applicant must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. This is not a self-petitioning category; therefore the applicant must have a sponsoring employer in the U.S. The spouse and unmarried children below the age of 21 are allowed to accompany or join the H-1B worker as H-4 dependents. However, they cannot work unless they qualify for a work visa. H-4 dependents can enroll and attend schools in the U.S. without obtaining a student visa.
The L-1 visa allows companies operating both in the U.S. and abroad to transfer certain types of employees from its overseas office to the U.S. office for up to seven years. This visa comes in the following categories: L-1A - for executives and managers; and L-1B - for personnel with specialized knowledge. Businesses that function both in the United States and in their home country gain the benefits of the best of both areas. The L-1 visa is open to international organizations with offices in the U.S. who transfer employees to the U.S. office for temporary periods of time. This visa is sometimes referred to as the 'intra-company transferee' visa. To obtain an L-1 visa, you must be able to prove that you have worked for the non-U.S. company for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge. The L-1 visa enables the transfer of managers, executives and specialized knowledge personnel to a U.S. office, subsidiary or affiliated company. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 qualify for L2 status. Spouses may seek employment by filing form I-765. Children may attend school.


Question #5 – General
I am from Jamaica and have always wanted to live and work in the United States. My friend and I thought about applying for work at Disney World. What kind of Visas would we need?

Answer #5
You would need to speak with a Representative at Disney World, as they have several international exchange programs available for international applicants. They have a J1 Cultural Exchange Program that may suit your needs.


Question #6 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visas
Can a Canadian native apply for an H-1B? Or do they only qualify for a TN Visa?

Answer #6
Anyone may apply for an H-1B nonimmigrant work visa so long as they meet the educational requirements. Only Canadians citizens and Mexican citizens may take advantage of the TN visa.


Question #7 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visas
I am a Brazilian Soccer player. A few teams in the United States have contacted me to come & play for them. I am interested in traveling to the US to play. What are the differences between the 0-1 and 0-2 Visas?

Answer #7
The O-1 Visa is reserved for those with Extra-ordinary ability in the Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics and for those who have demonstrated records of extraordinary achievement in the Motion Picture or Television Industry. To be considered an outstanding individual, an applicant should be highly regarded in their particular field, and may only work in the U.S. in that specific area of expertise. The O-1 Visa is for outstanding individuals. This visa enables individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion picture and television industry to enter the U.S. for temporary periods of time. USCIS loosely defines this category, and the spectrum of eligible individuals also includes chefs, carpenters and lecturers. The O-1 Visa must be petitioned by a US employer, U.S. agent or foreign employer through a U.S. agent. The spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the applicant in the U.S. under O-3 status. While they may not work while in the U.S., immediate family members are allowed to attend school or college. To qualify for an O-1 in the Sciences, Education, Business or Athletics, a person must demonstrate either of the following:

1. Receipt of a major, internationally-recognized award (e.g. the Nobel Prize), or
2. At least three (3) of the following apply to him/her:

- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in his/her field.
- Membership in an association in the field which requires outstanding achievements of its members, as judged by national or international experts in the field.
- Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the person, concerning the person's work in the field.
- Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field.
- Scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.
- Authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or other major media.
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
- High salary or other remuneration commanded by the person for services


The O-2 Visa enables the support personnel of an artist or athlete (O-1 visa holder) to accompany and assist the performer in a specific event or performance. The presence and support of the O-2 personnel must be essential to the successful performance of the O-1 visa holder. O-2 visas are offered to support personnel of O-1 Visa holders in the fields of athletics, entertainment, science, business or education. This status is not applicable to personnel in the motion picture and television industry. The O-2 Visa must be petitioned by a U.S. employer, U.S. agent or foreign employer through a U.S. agent. The spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 are permitted to accompany the applicant to the U.S., under an O-3 status. The dependents of the applicant must be able to prove immediate family relation to the applicant. Dependents are not allowed to work while in the U.S., although they may attend school or college. More than one O-2 application may be included on the same petition, if all parties are helping the same O-1 applicant for the same events or performances, during the same period of time and at the same location.


Question #8 – Family Based Green Card
My fiancé and I have been dating for 2 years and we plan to get married in the next year. He is from Peru and is currently using a Student Visa. Can he apply for a Fiancé Visa now or should he wait until after we are married to get a Spousal Visa?

Answer #8
I cannot answer case specific questions in this forum. We recommend that you speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney to determine which process will be most suitable for your situation.


Question #9 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I have applied for an H-1B Visa. My wife has applied for a H4 Visa. Do we need to apply for an H4 Visa for all of our children? 2 of our children are under 3. The other one is 6 years old.

Answer #9
If your children are not U.S. citizens, then yes you will need to include them. Your children should have been included in your wife’s H4 application (Form I-539).


Question #10 – Employment Based Green Card
For the past 7 years, I have been attending medical school and working as a resident at some of the local hospitals. I would like to stay in the US and find a permanent position as a doctor. How do I get my Green Card and how long does it take?

Answer #10
In many cases, individuals find a permanent position with a company willing to sponsor their Green Card process. The length of the process depends upon which preference category you fit under and your country of birth.


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 15, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, March 1, 2013

February 25, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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 1, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, February 15, 2013

February 15, 2013

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 Non-Immigrant Visa
Who is included in the H-1B CAP?

Answer #1
The H-1B CAP that opens every year on April 1, only applies to new H-1B recipients – individuals graduating from a U.S. university; those who live abroad and have found work in the U.S.; those changing status from H4 to H1B, L1 to H-1B, TN to H-1B, etc.

Recipients of H1B Extensions, Transfers and Amendments are not subject to the Annual H1B Cap.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration
How can I qualify for an H-1B with a company, but not a Green Card with that company?

Answer #2
The H-1B program is entirely different from the Green Card process. With the H-1B program, one is able to combine both education and experience to satisfy the requirement of having the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree in a specific field. However, with the Green Card process, education and experience cannot be combined for education equivalency to satisfy the employer’s minimum requirements for the position.


Question #3 – H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa
What is your projection of the H-1B CAP Season?

Answer #3
The Fiscal Year 2014 H-1B season is quickly approaching and has been projected to be the shortest season since the start of the Great Recession. In the past few seasons, as H-1B visa numbers dwindled, the rate of filings of Cap-subject H-1B visa petitions increased. For this reason, we predict the H-1B quota will be reached in the first two to three weeks.

This will be the shortest H-1B Season since FY 2009, when 165,000 H-1B petitions were filed within the five-day filing period at the beginning of April, 2008 and a lottery was needed to select the petitions that would be awarded a place within the Cap. After the start of the Great Recession, however, the demand for H-1B visas decreased dramatically, resulting in significantly longer H-1B seasons: the FY 2010 H-1B Cap was reached December 21, 2009; the FY 2011 H-1B Cap was reached January 27, 2011; the FY 2012 H-1B Cap was reached November 22, 2012; and the FY 2013 H-1B Cap was reached June 11, 2012. Many see the markedly higher demand for H-1B visa petitions this season as indicative of an improving job market and economy in the U.S.


Question #4 – Marriage Based Immigration
I married a U.S. Citizen after 4 years of dating and an autistic child, received my conditional green card and am now eligible to remove my conditions. My situation is a bit complicated and I may be facing a divorce. Can I, and Can you advise me on what to do?

Answer #4
You may be able to remove the conditions by filing a waiver. The questions and answers in this forum are limited to those of a general nature. We recommend that you contact one of our experienced Immigration Attorneys to further discuss the specifics of your situation.


Question #5 – H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa
Is there any limit to how many times I can apply for an H1B transfer?

Answer #5
No, you can apply as many times as you want.


Question #6 – DACA
Will I be able to get a driver’s license with DACA? What about in-state tuition?

Answer #6
The answer is dependent on the state.


Question #7 – H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa
I applied for an H-1B visa back in 2008, it was approved and I worked for two years and then returned to my home country to deliver my first child. I have found another work opportunity with a new employer in the US and would like to return. Am I subject to the Annual CAP?

Answer #7
If you have a I-797 approval notice indicating that your H-1B was approved within the past six years, and there is time remaining on your 6 year H-1B limit, then YES, you may return to the US upon receipt of a new I-797 approval notice with a new sponsoring employer.


Question #8 – Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR)
Will a new legalization program simply lead to more illegal immigration?

Answer #8
No: not if the new program contains all the appropriate elements and is implemented properly. Please stay tuned to our h1bvisalawyer blog, Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates concerning Comprehensive Immigration Reform.


Question #9 – H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa
My H-1B was approved in September 2011. Went for visa stamping in January 2012 and was denied. Consulate returned my petition to the USCIS in March 2012, still no response. What is going on? What’s going to happen next? I’m stuck in my home country until I receive some news.

Answer #9
Normally, when the Consulate/Department of State (DOS) returns a case to the USCIS, the USCIS has the authority to review the response from the Consulate/DOS and either re-affirm their previous decision or issue a Notice of Intent to Deny. The burden is then on the Petitioner to overcome any allegations presented in the Notice of Intent to Deny. Cases returned to the USCIS from the DOS are not given top priority and are worked on/reviewed as time and resources allow.


Question #10 – DACA
Will DACA let me travel internationally?

Answer #10
You would need to apply for an Advance Parole document in order to travel internationally. Please be advised that the Department of Homeland Security has stated that it will only grant Advance Parole for “humanitarian, education or work purposes.”


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 1, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, February 15, 2013

February 11, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, February 15, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, February 1, 2013

February 1, 2013

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 Visa
I am an employer. When should we begin to prepare our H-1B CAP subject cases? Once prepared, can we submit them prior to April to ensure our petitions are accepted?

Answer #1
MVP Law Group has already begun accepting and working on H1B cap-subject cases. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting H1B cap-subject filings for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) on Monday, April 1, 2013. We are advising employers and individuals who are in need of H1B cap-subject filings that it is time to start preparing for the H1B cap.

The cap filings may be filed as of April 1, 2013, NOT BEFORE. It is vital to file on the first day. Last year, FY13, the H-1B CAP was reached by June 12, 2012.


Question #2 – L1 Nonimmigrant Visa
How long does it take to get an L1?

Answer #2
Current processing times indicate a period of 1 month if the application is filed with the California Service Center or the Vermont Service Center.


Question #3 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
I would like to know more about moving my application from EB3 to EB2 status.

Answer #3
Please contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to learn more.


Question #4 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My employer appealed my labor application to BALCA. My employer just received notice that my appeal has been docketed by BALCA. When can I expect a decision?

Answer #4
According to the United States Department of Labor website, it is taking up to two (2) years for a case to be reviewed by BALCA from the date of filing the appeal.


Question #5 – L1 Nonimmigrant Visa
Can spouses and children of L1 visa-holders work in the USA?

Answer #5
Spouses of L-1 workers may apply for work authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Children may attend school.


Question #6 – Family Based Immigration – Green Card
My father is a U.S. Citizen and agreed that he would sponsor my GC. He currently makes roughly $21k annually. Can he sponsor me for my GC?

Answer #6
To qualify as a sponsor, he must demonstrate that his income is at least 125 percent of the current Federal poverty guideline for his household size. Please refer to the Federal Poverty Guidelines to determine if he could be the primary sponsor for your family based GC application.


Question #7 – 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 work, 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 #7
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 #8 – Dependent H4 Nonimmigrant Visa
Will my spouse automatically be shifted from F2 to H4 once I receive my approved H1B or do I need to process her case separately?

Answer #8
In this situation, your spouse’s status will not automatically be converted to H4 status, she must file a Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) requesting a change of status from F2 to H4. Her case can be processed separately or it can be prepared and filed along with your H-1B visa petition. If you have already filed your H-1B petition, you will have to file her I-539 (H4) petition separately.


Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My husband and daughter have received their Green Cards but I didn’t get mine. I filed for our green cards through my employer. Is there a problem with my case?

Answer #9
Based on the information provided, it seems like there may be an issue with the production/issuance/mailing of your Green Card. Your husband and daughter would not have received their Green Cards if there was a pending issue with your case. From the information you provided, you are the primary applicant and your husband and daughter 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 60 days from the date your husband and daughter received their GCs by calling the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can an employee pay any of the costs associated with obtaining an H-1B visa? Or can the employee reimburse the employer for these costs?

Answer #10
An Employer is responsible for the legal fees and USCIS filing fees associated with the H-1B nonimmigrant visa. The Employer is responsible for the legal fees and the $325.00 fee associated with Form I-129; the $500.00 one-time fraud fee; the $750.00 or $1500.00 fee associated with the Form I-129DC; as well as the $2000.00 Public Law fee, if applicable. The only USCIS filing fee that may be paid by the employee is the premium processing fee of $1225.00.

The Employee may not pay for the associated costs listed above, except for the premium processing fee of $1225. However, if an H4 petition is filed, the employee may pay the costs associated with the H4 legal fee and H4 USCIS filing fee.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, February 15, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, February 1, 2013

January 28, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, February 1, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, January 18, 2013

January 18, 2013

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 Visa
My employer somehow lost my original I-797 H1 approval notice and I need it to renew my driver’s license and get visa stamping in the future when I travel. Can I get a new approval notice?

Answer #1
Your employer will need to submit Form I-824 to the USCIS along with the USCIS filing fee of $405.00 to request a duplicate approval notice.


Question #2 – Family Based Immigration
If my child is a U.S citizen can I obtain legal status in the U.S?

Answer #2
The U.S. citizen petitioner must be 21 years of age in order to petition on behalf of their parents.


Question #3 – General
I am a national of Singapore; I have a Master’s degree and am looking for work in the United States. I want to live in the U.S. Can you please help me?

Answer #3
Our office cannot assist with your employment search. Once you find a willing sponsor/employer, we can assist with explaining the various Immigration options and with preparing and filing the necessary paperwork with the USCIS.


Question #4 – Visa Waiver Program
What exactly is the Visa Waiver Program?

Answer #4
As provided on the U.S. Department of State website… The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of 37 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The program was established to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.


Question #5 – Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What’s the difference between an E work visa and an L work visa?

Answer #5
The E-1 visa allows individuals to enter the U.S. temporarily to engage in substantial trade. There are strict requirements as to the nationality of individuals and the level of trade necessary to qualify for the visa. As an advantage to this category, individuals may apply directly at a U.S. Consulate. The E-1 Visa is issued to individuals known as 'treaty traders'. A treaty trader is defined as a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. An applicant should be coming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade, or to develop and direct the operations of a business in which they have invested or will soon invest a substantial amount of capital. An applicant must be a national of a treaty country and must be involved in international trade. An applicant’s spouse and/or children may accompany them under the same status. An applicant’s employees, or the employees of the treaty company, may also be eligible to receive E-1 visas.
The E-2 visa allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the U.S. temporarily to carry out substantial investment and trade activities. To qualify for this visa, the applicant must be a key employee of their company and a national of a country that has an investor treaty with the U.S. The E-2 visa is available for individuals known as 'treaty investors'. A treaty investor is a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. A treaty investor should be coming to the U.S. to involve themselves in a substantial investment. The investment may be less than that demanded for the EB-5 ($500,000). However, if the investment becomes equal or greater than $500,000, the treaty investor may petition for permanent immigration status. The treaty investor's spouse and/or children under the age of 21 may accompany him/her under E-2 status. The treaty investor's employees may also be eligible for the E-2 Visa.
The L-1 visa allows companies operating both in the U.S. and abroad to transfer certain types of employees from its overseas office to the U.S. office for up to seven years. This visa comes in the following categories: L-1A - for executives and managers; and L-1B - for personnel with specialized knowledge. Businesses that function both in the United States and in their home country gain the benefits of the best of both areas. The L-1 visa is open to international organizations with offices in the U.S. who transfer employees to the U.S. office for temporary periods of time. This visa is sometimes referred to as the 'intra-company transferee' visa. To obtain an L-1 visa, you must be able to prove that you have worked for the non-U.S. company for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge. The L-1 visa enables the transfer of managers, executives and specialized knowledge personnel to a U.S. office, subsidiary or affiliated company. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 qualify for L1B status and they are not allowed to work, but may attend school or college.


Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If I am terminated from a job and I cannot find new work, what affect will that have on my H1B Status?

Answer #6
If you are terminated from your H-1B sponsored employment and cannot find new work with a possible new H-1B sponsor, your employer is responsible for paying the reasonable costs of transportation for you to return to your home country.


Question #7 – Family Based Immigration
Can my husband get deported if his visa has expired but we are married?

Answer #7
Your inquiry cannot be answered in this general forum. You need to consult with an experienced Immigration Attorney immediately to do a final assessment of his eligibility to remain in the US.


Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I came here to do internship right after graduating from my University in 2012 March. Now, i'm trying to get H-1 from this company but i'm not sure its possible to get H-1 with this company since our company is small and doing online business. In addition, I don't have any job history. Could you please advise me?

Answer #8
The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the U.S. and work in a variety of fields ranging from architecture and engineering to teaching and medicine. In order to qualify for H-1B classification, the applicant must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. This is not a self-petitioning category; therefore the applicant must have a sponsoring employer in the U.S. It is our recommendation that you or your employer contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss the possibility of obtaining an H-1B temporary nonimmigrant work visa on your behalf.


Question #9 – General
Can bankruptcy alter my immigration status?

Answer #9
It is well known that it is not a crime to file for bankruptcy; however, it could potentially affect your immigration status. We recommend that you speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss your options.


Question #10 – General
Will an expunged felony affect my Visa Process?

Answer #10
Although the conviction has been expunged by a federal, state or foreign court, it does not necessarily mean that the conviction has been expunged for immigration purposes. It is our recommendation that you contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss your situation.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, February 1, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, January 18, 2013

January 14, 2013

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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, January 18, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, January 4, 2013

January 4, 2013

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 – Green Card
Can you premium process the I-140 for an EB1A or EB1-B Applicant?

Answer #1
The premium processing service is available for the following applicants: Aliens of extraordinary ability; outstanding professors and researchers; Members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability not seeking a National Interest Waiver; Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Workers other than skilled workers and professionals.


Question #2 – General
Can my children go to a U.S. public elementary school on a dependent visa?

Answer #2
Yes.


Question #3 – Green Card
How can I, as an entrepreneur establish that I have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business?

Answer #3
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 #4 – Employment Based Immigration
Does anyone with an advanced degree qualify for an EB-2 Immigrant Visa?

Answer #4
No. The education and experience requirements are determined by the Employer.


Question #5 – General
May an individual travel while their petition is pending?

Answer #5
It depends upon the type of petition that was filed.

At MVP, we caution our clients against traveling while a petition is pending unless it is necessary for emergency reasons.


Question #6 – Employment Based Immigration
Where can I find the laws governing the Employment Based Second Preference (EB-2) Immigrant Visa Category?

Answer #6
The statutory requirements may be found in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) at Section 203(b)(2). The regulatory requirements may be found in the Title 8 Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR) at section 204.5(k).


Question #7 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Visa
How can I qualify for an O1 nonimmigrant visa? I want to come here, have an offer, but don’t know if I want to permanently stay in U.S.

Answer #7
To qualify for an O-1 in the Sciences, Education, Business or Athletics, a person must demonstrate either of the following:
1. Receipt of a major, internationally-recognized award (e.g. the Nobel Prize), or
2. At least three (3) of the following apply to him/her:
o Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in his/her field.
o Membership in an association in the field which requires outstanding achievements of its members, as judged by national or international experts in the field.
o Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the person, concerning the person's work in the field.
o Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field.
o Scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.
o Authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or other major media.
o Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
o High salary or other remuneration commanded by the person for services


Question #8 –Adjustment of Status
I was able to file I-485 application back in 2007 in EB3. Now I am recipient of an approved I-140 in EB2 classification. Do I need to submit a new I-485 even though the EB-3 I-485 is pending with USCIS?

Answer #8
No. The USCIS should be able to link up your existing I-485 petition with the current filing. You can always contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center for additional information concerning your Adjustment of Status filing, 1-800-375-5283.


Question #9 – Green Card
Who can qualify for EB classification without the labor certification process?

Answer #9
The following applicants can qualify without the labor certification process: EB1 Priority workers - Individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and Managers and executives transferred to the U.S. EB4 Special Immigrants and EB5 Immigrant Investors.


Question #10 – Immigrant Investor
Are any countries excluded from eligibility for the EB-5 Visa program?

Answer #10
Citizens of all countries are eligible to apply for the EB-5 visa program.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, January 18, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, January 4, 2013

December 31, 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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, January 4, 2013. 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21, 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 – Naturalization
I have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for the past 3 years, 7 months. I received my Green Card through marriage to a U.S. Citizen. Conditional status has been lifted. When can I apply for Naturalization?

Answer #1
You may apply now for Naturalization. If you received your Green Card based upon marriage to a U.S. Citizen, you are eligible for Naturalization after 3 years if certain conditions are satisfied. If you received your Green Card based upon employment, an applicant is eligible for Naturalization after 5 years.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can we file our H-1B CAP cases with the USCIS now in order to ensure we get selected for the CAP?

Answer #2
No, everyone must wait before submitting their H-1B CAP case to the USCIS for consideration. The USCIS will return any H-1B CAP cases that are filed prior to April 1, 2013. Beginning on April 1, 2013, the USCIS will begin to accept H-1B CAP cases.


Question #3 – Adjustment of Status (EAD/AP renewals)
I am receiving conflicting information, please advise. If I filed my I-485 petition after 2007, must I pay the USCIS filing fees of $380.00 and $360.00 each time I request renewal of my EAD and AP?

Answer #3
Taken directly from the USCIS website: Please note that, if you file Form I-485 to adjust your status as a permanent resident on or after July 30, 2007, no additional fee is required to also file an application for employment authorization on Form I-765 and/or advance parole on Form I-131. You may file these forms together. If you choose to file the I-765 and/or I-131 separately after July 30, 2007, you must also submit a copy of your I-797C, Notice of Action, receipt as evidence of the filing of an I-485. If you filed your Form I-485 prior to July 30, 2007, you must pay the fees associated with Forms I-765 and/or I-131 when you file.


Question #4 – Naturalization
As part of my divorce order, I must pay child support and alimony to my wife. I have constantly been paying for past 3 years and nothing is overdue, how do I provide proof of my payments at my Naturalization interview?

Answer #4
As listed in the Documents Checklist for Form N-400, Evidence of your financial support (including evidence that you have complied with any court or government order), can be shown through: a. Cancelled checks; b. Money and receipts; c. A court or agency printout of child support payments; d. Evidence of wage garnishments; e. A letter from the parent or guardian who cares for your child(ren). If you decide to present a letter, we recommend that you present a notarized letter.


Question #5 – Religious Workers
My current R1 temporary visa is expiring in May of 2013. I am ready to apply for I-360 petition approval. Can I file I-360 petition with I-485 application so that I can remain in the U.S. once my temporary visa expires in 2013?

Answer #5
No - Religious Workers may not file Form I-360 with Form I-485 per the recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned the permanent injunction issued by the District Court in Ruiz-Diaz v. United States, No. 09-35734.


Question #6 – Naturalization
Can you guide me in the right direction where I can find tools to study for Naturalization test?

Answer #6
Please see the below resources to help you prepare for the Naturalization test:

Naturalization Self-Test

Study Materials


Question #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I received an approval for an H-1B back in 2009 but never used it. I am outside of the U.S. Can I now apply to work for another employer in the U.S. who is willing to sponsor me or must I now wait for the CAP to open?

Answer #7
If you have received an approval for an H-1B in the past six years and have time remaining in H-1B status, then yes, you may be eligible to file an H-1B with the new sponsoring employer.


Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I recently got a new project in Northern Virginia. I will be working at a client in Northern Virginia and living in Maryland. I have North Carolina labor filed on my H1B petition. Do I need to file a new labor for Northern Virginia? If so can you guide me and my employer in filing a new labor in a new state?

Answer #8
According to the regulations governing the H-1B program, when you move to a new location outside of the geographical location listed on the original certified LCA, a new LCA as well as an amended petition must be filed with the USCIS. In summary, since your location change would be considered a "material change" in your previously approved employment, you would need to file a new LCA as well as the amended petition to stay within the regulations.


Question #9 –Naturalization
Our Immigration Officer told everyone during my Naturalization ceremony that any child under the age 18 who lives with their parent who are US Citizens, are eligible for US Citizenship. Is this true?

Answer #9
Please refer to the following link: Citizenship Through Parents


Question #10 –E3 Australian Visa
As an Australian, I am eligible for an E-3 visa, but my potential sponsoring employer has suggested I am eligible and should look into an H1-B visa too. What is the difference, and which is preferable?

Answer #10
The H-1B non-immigrant worker visa is subject to numerical limitations imposed by Congress. Each fiscal year, beginning on April 1, 65,000 visas are available for those who qualify for ‘Specialty Occupations.’ Specialty Occupations are defined as those that require a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the U.S. and work in a variety of fields ranging from architecture and engineering to teaching and medicine. The H-1B visa offers a wide range of employment possibilities and is a logical first step toward permanent immigration. In order to qualify for H-1B classification, the applicant must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. This is not a self-petitioning category; therefore the applicant must have a sponsoring employer in the U.S.
The E-3 visa is exclusively reserved for Australian nationals. The visa allows Australian Professionals to come to the U.S. to work in a specialty occupation, similar in many aspects to the H-1B nonimmigrant worker visa. The new E-3 visa classification is limited to 10,500 Australian nationals annually. E-3 principal nonimmigrant aliens must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a “specialty occupation”. This term is used and defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act in the same context as the H1B visa program, and will be interpreted in accordance with the criteria used for H1Bs. The category has requirements with respect to the education of the beneficiary and the job duties to be performed which mirror the H1B requirements. It thus will be helpful in some situations where the H1B CAP has been exhausted. To be eligible, the Australian citizen must possess a bachelor's degree or higher (or its equivalent) AND the specialty occupation must require the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, January 4, 2013!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, December 21, 2012

December 17, 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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, December 21, 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7, 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 – General
What steps do my employer and I need to follow in order to switch from H1B to EAD when my H1B expires. My employer and I have decided not to renew my H1 B.

Answer #1
You and your employer will need to complete a new I-9 form and you will need to present the proper document evidencing your eligibility for employment.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Is there an annual limited on the number of H1B visas?

Answer #2
Congress allocates 65,000 general CAP H-1B visas each year as of April 1, with employment beginning October 1 of that same year. An additional 20,000 H-1B visas are available for those graduating from U.S. Universities with Master’s degrees. Once the annual limits are reached, an eligible applicant must wait until the following April to apply, unless they have found an offer of employment with an H-1B exempt employer.


Question #3 – General
Would like to ask if your office can a find me an employer! I am an RN license in California. I have a specialty Hemodialysis. I have more than 5 years’ experience as a Dialysis Nurse.

Answer #3
Our office cannot assist with your employment search. Once you find a willing sponsor/employer, we can assist with explaining the various Immigration options and with preparing and filing the necessary paperwork with the USCIS.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
When is the best time to submit the H-1B application to the USCIS?

Answer #4
The best time to submit the H-1B application to the USCIS is on the first day the Annual Cap opens, April 1. Accordingly, H-1B CAP subject petitions should be prepared prior to the April 1 date, and filed to reach the USCIS on April 1.


Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am working on OPT. If H-1 B processing time goes beyond validity of OPT, what will happen?

Answer #5
If your H-1B visa petition was filed in a timely manner and the first date of work clearly mentioned October 1, 2012, there should be no issues, as you should be considered under the H-1B CAP GAP.


Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What status would my spouse and children have when I am granted H-1B Status?

Answer #6
When you are granted H-1B status, your spouse and children may live with you in the United States as your dependents on H4 status. Individuals on H4 status are not allowed to work, but children may attend school.


Question #7 –H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My husband’s I-129 has already been reaffirmed by USCIS almost 2 months already. Until now we are still waiting for the US Embassy to call us. Is there any hope that the embassy will eventually call us and asked us to send our appt. for H1B stamping? What are the possible reasons for the delay? It has already 10 months of waiting since our first interview.

Answer #7
Once the USCIS reaffirms the approval, the applicant may apply again for an H1 stamping interview.


Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Hi, my H1B case file filed on June 2nd 2012. I haven't received the Approval. What is the cut off time to get approval from USCIS?

Answer #8
The current processing times for an H-1B filed under regular processing is 2-4 months depending upon the Service Center where the case was filed. You should request that your Employer or the Attorney who filed the case contact the USCIS to initiate a Service Request.


Question #9 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Visas
Is H-1B status the only way that I can qualify to work in the U.S.?

Answer #9
No, the H-1B nonimmigrant work visa is not the only way for an applicant to qualify to work in the U.S. Please refer to our website at http://www.mvplawgroup.com/Immigration_Lawyers/Temporary_Visa to learn about additional options that may be available for you.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
after the I-129 was received by uscis for review from the DOS, it was on the post decision stage. now the uscis sent me an email that they mailed a duplicate copy of their decision on the case or the instructions to follow if it is still pending. my case is now on acceptance stage. why is my case back to acceptance stage?

Answer #10
Were you denied a visa at a U.S. Consulate? If this is the situation, the USCIS has to review the petition from the DOS to determine whether or not to uphold the approval or revoke the original approval based on the reasoning provided by the DOS. Unfortunately, if this is the case, you are at the mercy of the USCIS until they make a final decision on your case.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, December 21, 2012!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, December 7, 2012

December 3, 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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, December 7, 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, November 23, 2012

November 23, 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 am back in my home country, not US. If I did not use all of my six years on my previous H-1B visa, can I use the remaining years now?

Answer #1
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 #2 – Employment Based Immigration
Where do I mail Form I-140 petition withdrawal requests and AC21 106(c) portability requests?

Answer #2
Please refer to the USCIS website at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=cfe8745543256210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD for the applicable address.


Question #3 – DACA
If I am now in High School but have two more years before I graduate, does this mean that since I have not yet graduated from High School or earned a GED that I won’t be able to take advantage of this opportunity?

Answer #3
According to the guidance released by the USCIS, you must be either: currently in school, graduated or received a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a general educational development certificate (GED), or an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces.


Question #4 – Travel
We just applied for my wife’s green card (she just became my wife here in United States). Can she travel back to her birth country to visit her family while her I-485 is pending with the USCIS?

Answer #4
If you included Form I-131 in your Adjustment of Status petition for your wife, then once Form I-131 is approved, she should be able to travel back to her birth country to visit her family while her I-485 remains pending.


Question #5 – Employment Based Immigration
How can a petitioner request the withdrawal of a Form I-140 petition?

Answer #5
As provided on the USCIS website, the petitioner or the Form G-28 representative may send a letter requesting to withdraw the I-140 petition to USCIS.
Withdrawal requests should include:
• A statement indicating that the Form I-140 petitioner wishes to withdraw the petition;
• The Form I-140 petition receipt number;
• The name, address and phone number of the petitioner;
• The name of the alien beneficiary;
• The alien registration number of the alien beneficiary, if known;
• The petitioner's signature or the Form G-28 representative’s signature.


Question #6 – DACA
Will this deferred action process lead to citizenship?

Answer #6
This process does not result in lawful status for persons who have received deferred action because deferring action is only a discretionary determination to defer removal action as an act of prosecutorial discretion and does not provide you with a lawful status. Also, keep in mind that deferred action does not confer lawful permanent resident status or a path to citizenship, only Congress acting through its legislative authority can confer these rights.


Question #7 – Unlawful Presence in USA
I cannot remember the specifics regarding unlawful presence. When would a person trigger the 3yr and 10yr bars, can you provide those time periods?

Answer #7
If an applicant remains in the US unlawfully (without authorization) for more than 180 days, they may be subject to the 3 year bar. If an applicant remains in the US unlawfully (without authorization) for more than 360 days (1 year), they may be subject to the 10 year bar.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration
When will employment based visas in 2nd preference for India be available again?

Answer #8
According to the Visa Bulletin, there is no movement predicted in the coming months in the Employment Based 2nd Preference category for Foreign Nationals from India. The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables which can change at any time.


Question #9 – DACA
Why is this program only for two years? What happens after those two initial years? Am I taking a risk by coming out of the shadows and admitting I am here illegally?

Answer #9
Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization.

According to the guidance released by the USCIS, if a request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals is denied, USCIS will apply its policy guidance governing the referral of cases to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA). If a case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, the case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except if DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.


Question #10 – Family Based Immigration
Who is responsible for scheduling the visa immigrant Interview? Is it us or the Consulate? My wife’s form I-130 was approved and we are just curious to know what we need to do next.

Answer #10
The National Visa Center (NVC) will be in contact with you to instruct you to pay the immigrant visa fee, prepare necessary forms and gather appropriate documents. Once the NVC has everything they need, they will forward the case to the Consulate. You will receive a notice of the date, time and place of the scheduled interview.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, December 7, 2012!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, November 23, 2012

November 19, 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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, November 23, 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9, 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 – General
I have less than 6 months remaining on my passport. May I apply for my U.S. visa?

Answer #1
No, you should immediately apply for a new passport. If applicable, there is a federal regulation which grants an exception to certain “NATO” and “A” visa classifications.


Question #2 – Green Card
If I pay the I-485 application fee, and I submit an I-765 and/or I-131 with my I-485, do I have to pay the I-765/I-131 filing fees?

Answer #2
No. If you submitted Form I-485 on or after July 30, 2007 and paid the I-485 filing fee, you do not have to pay the I-131 filing fee or I-765 fee.


Question #3 – Green Card
When renewing a 10 year Green card do you have to submit any info of sponsoring employer?

Answer #3
No.


Question #4 – Green Card
If I submit an I-765 and/or I-131 after filing the I-485, do I have to pay the I-765/I-131 filing fees? What documents do I need to send to prove I already filed the I-485?

Answer #4
If you choose to file the I-765 and/or I-131 separately after July 30, 2007, you must also submit a copy of your I-797C, Notice of Action, receipt as evidence of the filing of an I-485.


Question #5 – Student Visa
Can my family travel with me on a student visa?

Answer #5
The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an F1 student are eligible for F2 status, and may stay in the US as long as the primary student remains in legal F1 status.


Question #6 – Consular Processing
If my visa is refused; will I get my fee refunded?

Answer #6
No. Visa fees paid prior to the Visa Interview are non-refundable.


Question #7 – Nonimmigrant Visa
I still have a valid US nonimmigrant visa but my Indian passport has expired. Can I transfer this visa to my new passport?

Answer #7
You will need to carry both passports, no need to transfer the valid visa to the new passport.


Question #8 – Green Card
Can I request a waiver of the I-131 and I-765 filing fees?

Answer #8
If you file Form I-485 to adjust your status as a permanent resident on or after July 30, 2007, no additional fee is required to also file an application for employment authorization on Form I-765 and/or advance parole on Form I-131.


Question #9 – General
If my child is a U.S citizen can I obtain legal status in the U.S?

Answer #9
It depends upon the age of your U.S. Citizen Child. In order for a U.S. Citizen to petition on behalf of their Parent, the U.S. Citizen must be at least 21 years old.


Question #10 – Green Card
Where do I find the instructions on where to file my I-485, I-765, and I-131 forms?

Answer #10
Instructions on where to file these forms are located on the instruction pages for all of the forms themselves, found at www.uscis.gov under the FORMS tab.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, November 23, 2012!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, November 9, 2012

November 5, 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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, November 9, 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26, 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 – Nonimmigrant Visa
Can I travel on my current nonimmigrant visa or do I need to get advance parole?

Answer #1
If you have a valid nonimmigrant visa stamp in your passport and copies of your approval notice and a copy of the petition, you should be able to travel on your nonimmigrant visa. Advance Parole is a separate creature that you may apply for once you are able to file an I-485 petition for either a family based or employment based green card. The Advance Parole document allows you to travel outside the country while your I-485 application is pending.

The nonimmigrant visa and advance parole are two separate and distinct items, you may have both if you are applying for adjustment, but if you only have a valid nonimmigrant visa stamp in your passport, you should be able to travel.


Question #2 – Green Card
How long can you live outside the United States and still keep your green card valid?

Answer #2
One should be able to use one's green card to return from trips abroad of up to one year. However, anytime a green card holder leaves the U.S., he or she is subject to being accused by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) of having abandoned the intention of living in the U.S., and is subject to having the green card taken away--on the spot. Staying longer than one year may also affect the naturalization process if and when you attempt to apply.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have been considering teaching for a while as a way to give back and was wondering being on H1-B, would I be able to hold a part-time/adjunct teaching position at a university, if given the opportunity?

Answer #3
You would be able to hold a part-time/adjunct teaching position at a university; however, the University must be willing to sponsor your H-1B visa. The University would have to go thru the normal process of preparing and filing the necessary forms and paying the necessary USCIS filing fees, if applicable, as well as paying all legal fees involved.


Question #4 – Nonimmigrant Visa
What is the TN Visa and how can I qualify for it?

Answer #4
The TN Visa is a product of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), certain citizens of Canada and Mexico are eligible to enter the U.S. under the nonimmigrant TN status. The TN Visa enables Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily work in the U.S. in a NAFTA-approved professional occupation.


Question #5 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
I always check the visa bulletin and the movement varies. One time, there was a 3 month movement and the next time it was just 22 days, then a month. Why is that so?

Answer #5
Each month, the State Department issues the visa bulletin, usually in the middle of the month. When the bulletin is issued, it will provide information that will take effect on the first day of the following month. Depending on the availability of immigrant visas, the priority dates in each category and for each country can change each month. However, please note that the priority dates can also stay the same. They can move very slowly or progress by several months or years. They can move forward or backward. Therefore, there is no way to anticipate what the priority date will be in a future month or when a category will become current.


Question #6 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
After my priority date becomes current, when is my spouse able to get a working permit?

Answer #6
You will file the I-485 application along with the I-765 application and I-131, Advance Parole application if requested. Your spouse will be able to get a working permit once the I-765, Employment Authorization application is approved with the USCIS. Once approved, your spouse will receive an EAD card and will be able to begin working.


Question #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I found a company willing to sponsor me, but they are strongly considering not sponsoring me due to the costs associated with sponsoring me – lawyer fees, filing fees, etc. Can I pay these fees directly to USCIS and lawyer or can I reimburse my sponsoring company, or arrange some type of payment plan?

Answer #7
NO. Lawyer fees and USCIS filing fees MUST be paid solely by the employer, not by the beneficiary. This action would be in violation of the laws governing the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program.


Question #8 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
One of our employees is nearing his 6th year on H-1B visa status and he has an approved I-140 filed by a different company. Is it possible to use the approved I-140 to get a three year extension with our company?

Answer #8
Yes. Pursuant to AC21 law, an H-1B non-immigrant may extend his or her status beyond the 6 year limitation if a labor certification, I-140, or employment based adjustment of status application has been filed where 365 days or more have elapsed since the filing of the labor certification or I-140. Or, where the H-1B non-immigrant has an I-140 petition which has been approved under the employment based green card and the AOS/485 is pending due to the unavailability of visa numbers.


Question #9 – 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 #9
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 #10 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What document determines how long I can stay legally in the United States: my visa, my I-94 card or the expiration of my current passport?

Answer #10
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.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, November 9, 2012!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, October 26, 2012

October 22, 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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, October 26, 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, October 12, 2012

October 12, 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 – 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 2010 with a priority date of 27-Jun-2010. I am from India. I want to apply for me and my dependent wife when my priority date becomes current again. 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, October 12, 2012!

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

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, October 12, 2012

October 8, 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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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, October 12, 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.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, September 28, 2012

September 28, 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 – General
I was able to file I-485 applications for myself and my wife in February and since then we have received the combined EAD/AP card. Can my wife apply for a SSN now? My health insurance coverage is requesting that she obtain a SSN.

Answer #1
Yes, your wife can apply for a Social Security Number. She will need to take her valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD), her passport, birth certificate and the completed application to the local Social Security Administration office to apply.


Question #2 – Green Card
If my I-485 was denied while I was working on EAD, can I still apply for an H-4 since my wife still has a valid H-1?

Answer #2
You may apply for an H4 as a dependent of your wife; however, you are not able to work while maintaining H4 dependent status.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa - H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What is “Cap-Gap”?

Answer #3
As provided by the USCIS website, Current regulations allow certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions to remain in F-1 status during the period of time when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization would otherwise expire through the start date of their approved H-1B employment period. This is referred to as filling the “cap-gap,” meaning the regulations provide a way of filling the “gap” between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status that might otherwise occur if F-1 status is not extended for qualifying students.


Question #4 – General
I am reading in the online forums and am reading things mentioned as PIMS? and CLAIMS? Can you tell me what they are?

Answer #4
PIMS stands for Petition Information Management System which is an electronic report generated by the Department of State’s (DOS) Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) that collects nonimmigrant visa petition approval information from the USCIS.

CLAIMS stands for Computer Linked Application Information Management System. CLAIMS provides USCIS employees with automated support for adjudicating cases and processing various notices, among other things. CLAIMS capabilities include case tracking, status update, notice reporting, and document production.


Question #5 –Temporary Work Visa – H1-B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have been considering teaching for a while as a way to give back to my community and was wondering being on H1-B, would I be able to hold a part-time teaching position at a university, if given the opportunity?

Answer #5
You would be able to hold a part-time teaching position at a university; however, the University must be willing to sponsor your H-1B visa. The University would have to go thru the normal process of preparing and filing the necessary forms and paying the necessary USCIS filing fees, if applicable, as well as paying all legal fees involved.


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have heard from friends and by reading the forums that the Consulates are very strict and ask for original I-797 approval notice but my employer is not willing to give me the original, they only provide me with bottom portion of original. Can I request USCIS to give me another original to take to Consulate? Is there anything I can do, I do not want rejected based on me not having original I-797 approval?

Answer #6
You do not need the entire original I-797 approval notice to schedule/attend a Consulate interview. Consular Officers are able to verify all approved petitions through the PIMS or CLAIMS system, and therefore the I-797 original notice is not required in order to verify that the petition has been approved. Additionally, the original I-797 notice clearly provides that the bottom portion may be torn off and provided to the applicant to be used for purposes of applying for a visa at a Consulate abroad.


Question #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
The Processing Time Table indicates it takes about 2 months. My case has been pending for four months already. Can you tell me why it is taking so long?

Answer #7
Although the USCIS processing times may state 2 months, you have to factor in that when it is posted, that data is already 45 days old. Reports indicate that nearly 17,000 H-1B CAP-subject cases remain un-adjudicated. Additionally, with the recent enactment of DACA, remaining resources of the USCIS are being used to actively process those cases as well. There are many factors that contribute to the processing times for the H-1B nonimmigrant visa.


Question #8 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
We received approval from USCIS for an H-1B for our new employee. Our new employee scheduled a consulate interview and was denied the visa, how is this possible?

Answer #8
Form I-797 indicates that the approval is not a visa, only the U.S. Consulates have the authority to grant or deny a nonimmigrant visa. If an individual has an H1B petition approved by USCIS that does not mean that the U.S. Consular Officer will automatically issue the H1B visa. The Consular Officer may ask a serious of questions and if they believe that the information obtained during the questioning was not information available at the time of the USCIS’s approval of the petition, they will likely issue a denial and provide a written explanation as to why the visa was denied.


Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
Can you premium process or otherwise speed up the Green Card process?

Answer #9
You may only premium process the I-140 Immigrant Petition, which is the petition that is filed with the USCIS after the labor application is certified by the Department of Labor (DOL). You cannot speed up the process of labor certification with the DOL, nor the process of adjudicating the Adjustment of Status petition with the USCIS.


Question #10 – Temporary Work Visas
What is the grace period on an O-1 extension? I reside in New York City, NY, USA, my current O1 visa expires on 10/25/2012 and I’ve filed for an extension on 8/17/2012. I have received a receipt notice.

Answer #10
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 date of expiration. This extension does not apply to persons seeking a change of status. During 240 days, there is no INA 245(c) bar to adjustment of status.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, October 12, 2012!

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