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

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!

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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

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