MVP LAW GROUP – Q&A Forum, September 3, 2010

Question #1 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B & L1A/L1B Nonimmigrant Visas
I am a U.S. small business employer. I have read different articles about the new public law and its applicability to nonimmigrant visas, but I am somewhat confused based on what I have read. Does the new public law fee apply to me and my company?

Answer #1
Under Public law 111-230, Employers with 50 or more employees in the U.S., for which more than 50% of their workforce utilize H and L visas are subject to the new fee. Employers to which the Public law is applies will have to pay an additional fee of $2,000.00 for each H-1B filed, in addition to normal USCIS filing fees associated with the H-1B visa. Additionally, Employers are required to pay an additional fee of $2,250.00 for each L1 petition filed in addition to the USCIS filing fees already required. If your company employs less than 50 employees, you are not subject to the new fee. If you are a larger company and have 50 or more employees and have less than 50% of those employees on H1B/L1 visas, then you are not subject to the new fee.

Question #2 – Temporary Work Visas – OPT/F1 to H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am currently on OPT and my 12 months of OPT expired yesterday and I essentially wanted to apply for my H1B before that. When I spoke earlier to my hr manager, she stated that once my labor certification for H1B petition was cleared, I would not have to worry about the dates or me going out of status.

Answer #2
Most importantly, if you have not filed for your H-1B petition at this point, you must STOP working, as you do not have authorization from the USCIS to work. You have a grace period after your OPT expires to either leave the country or file a petition to change status. If your employer is interested in filing for your H-1B nonimmigrant visa, I would recommend that they do so immediately as H-1B visas are still available under the FY2011 Cap. Regardless of whether or not you have a labor certification cleared, you cannot continue working and must immediately make plans to either depart the U.S. or file for a change of status.

Question #3 – Student Visa – F1
I am a Chinese citizen and I would like for my nephew to obtain a college education in the United States. Please let me know what I need to do? Thank you.

Answer #3
Please visit the following website as it will provide the steps for how your nephew can get his 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 his first step, your nephew must first apply for enrollment at a college of his choice which is listed on the SEVP certified list. Once he has been accepted by that SEVP certified school, he will then need to apply for his 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

Question #4 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Do non-profits come under the same category as far as H1B is concerned?

Answer #4
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 non-profit status, 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 #5 – Family Based Immigration – Green Card – Marriage Based (K1)
What happens if my wife and I do not file to remove the conditions on her permanent residency?

Answer #5
If you do not apply to remove the conditions near the expiration of her two-year conditional period then the permanent residency automatically expires and she is subject to deportation and removal. To avoid this, within 90 days of the expiration of the conditional period, she must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

Question #6 –Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have vacation plans to go to Indonesia in the first week of October 2010. Can I file my H-1B extension petition prior to my departure from the U.S.?

Answer #6
You may file your H-1B extension prior to your departure; however, unless you upgrade your case to Premium Processing, your vacation plans will need to be delayed. When you have a case pending with the USCIS, you CANNOT leave the United States, as they will interpret it as abandonment of your pending case.

Question #7 – Naturalization/Citizenship
I’d like to become a U.S. Citizen, I have been a Green Card holder for the past 7 years, have no criminal background, but am worried about what is to be expected out of me during the citizenship test and interview. Can you provide me with some resources for help to ease my concerns?

Answer #7
As part of the Naturalization Test and Citizenship Awareness, Education, and Outreach Initiative, USCIS will host a Naturalization Information Session at George Washington, Law School – Lerner Hall, 2000 H Street NW, Rooms LL101-LL102 in Washington, DC, 20052 on September 10, 2010 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm to provide accurate information on eligibility requirements and steps to become a U.S. citizen. This event is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to demystify the naturalization process for immigrants and is just one out of several USCIS hosted information sessions throughout the country. The sessions provide an overview of the naturalization process and detail the contents of the naturalization test, and raise awareness of free USCIS educational resources available for immigrants interested in pursuing U.S. citizenship.

Question #8 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What triggers H-1B employer site visits?

Answer #8
There are three ways in which H-1B employer site visits are triggered: (1) site visits conducted as part of a fraud inquiry; (2) site visits conducted as part of a Benefit Fraud Compliance Assessment; and (3) site visits conducted as part of an ASVVP Compliance Review.

Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card (AC-21)
I have an approved I-140 filed by my previous company and they also submitted my I-485 back in 2007. I have since moved onto employment with another company on my EAD and do not wish to go back to work for my former employer. What happens if my former employer cancels my approved I-140? Can I file an AC-21 Portability letter?

Answer #9
To answer your first question, if your former employer cancels your approved I-140, then you will have to start the Employment based green card process over from the beginning, unless you have another employment based preference category immigrant petition pending/approved or you filed an AC-21 portability request prior to the cancellation of the approved I-140.

You may be eligible to file an AC21 106(c) Portability Request if the new position/duties are the same or substantially similar to the position/duties listed in your Labor application certified by the DOL and your former employer hasn’t canceled your approved I-140.

Question #10 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can I still file for an H-1B nonimmigrant visa, to begin work in the U.S. on October 1, 2010?

Answer #10
As of August 27, 2010, there were 30,100 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 7,000 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas remaining. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn. For continuous FY2011 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to our website.

MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment. We hope the information provided is helpful.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, September 17, 2010! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyerblog.

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