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Question #1 – Advance Parole
What are the documents required to file for Advance Parole?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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!