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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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
Question #5 – Family Based Green Card
How can you remove the conditions on permanent residency?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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!