MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, October 24, 2014

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Question #1 – Employment Based Immigration
I am currently awaiting my green card. My spouse’s Green card was approved, yet my case is still pending and I am the primary applicant. Both filed at the same time. My wife’s case was filed as dependent, mine under EB2, Employment based. When do you think I will receive my green card?

Answer #1
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. If you require assistance, please contact our office to set up a consultation.

Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My Long pending H1B visa petition was returned by Chennai Visa consulate. I am a retired ex-serviceman (Indian Navy) and my petition for H1B visa for “Software Programmer” was approved by USCIS in June 2013. However, the petition was returned to USCIS by Chennai Consulate in November 2013. Until today, I have not received any confirmation from USCIS for receipt of returned petition. Is my past military service to do anything with this extraordinary delay? Please note that I have B1 visa.

Answer #2
Are you still in contact with your sponsoring employer? Have you checked with them to see if they have received a Notice of Intent to Revoke from the USCIS? Did your employer have an Attorney? Contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I hold an H4 visa and I am currently looking for a consultant position from a U.S. employer that sponsors H1B visas holders. I want an H1B visa. Is there a cut-off date for submission of an H-1B application for the year 2014 and 2015?

Answer #3
If you have never before been in H-1B visa status, then YES, any H1B petition filed on your behalf will be subject to the annual quota. Each fiscal year, beginning on April 1, 65,000 visas are available for those who qualify for ‘Specialty Occupations.’ An additional 20,000 are reserved exclusively for those who graduate from U.S. Universities with Master’s degrees. In years past, the annual quota was filled within a week of being open. Although you are able to submit your H-1B petition as of April 1, if selected and approved, authorized H-1B employment will not begin until October 1 of the same year. The annual quota for years 2014 and 2015 has been reached. We are now getting ready for the FY2016 H1B Cap, opening April 1, 2015.

Question # 4 – Advance Parole/Travel
My parents came to US on B1/B2 in March 2014. In July (after 3 Months), we filed concurrent applications for green cards. Their I-94 expired on 09/17/2014. Their AP has been approved now while I-485 and I-130 are still processing. Fingerprinting is also done. Is it safe for them to visit India for 2 Weeks to attend a wedding?

Answer #4
Although they have been granted the Advance Parole document providing them permission to travel outside of the U.S. while their I-130 and I-485 remain pending, it has been my practice to advice clients not to travel under these circumstances unless it is absolutely necessary. Please contact our office to further discuss the potential issues involved with traveling abroad while the Immigrant Petition and AOS application remain pending.

Question #5 – Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140
I got an approved H-1B visa in September 2012. When can I apply for I-140? Do I have to wait until H-1B expires after 2 years or I can apply right now?

Answer #5
Your employer would need to initiate the Green Card process on your behalf, which starts with the filing of the Labor Application with the Department of Labor after sufficient recruitment has been conducted. You should speak with your employer concerning whether employment based green card sponsorship is available within your company. As far as timing is concerned, it is recommended that you begin the Green Card process well before your 5th /6th year of H-1B status in order to take advantage of the H-1B extensions available under AC21 Law due to the unavailability of visa numbers.

Question #6 – F1, Student Status
My mother sponsored an application to adjust status on my behalf, but it was rejected by the USCIS. I am currently in F1 status, can I still apply for OPT even after having applied for I-485 and been denied?

Answer #6
Speak with your Designated School Official (DSO).

Question #7 – Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130
On the I-130 application, what address abroad do I need to write for my wife? She has been living in the US legally for the past 9 years.

Answer #7
I believe the question is ‘Your Relative’s Address Abroad’ – you should enter the last known address where she lived outside of the United States or N/A. You can certainly contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.

Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am an H-1B holder, and I have already filed an I-485. Do I need to apply for Advance Parole?

Answer #8
You are not required to file for Advance Parole; however, it may be worthwhile to speak with an Attorney to discuss the advantages/disadvantages of applying for an Advance Parole document while in a valid H-1B nonimmigrant visa status. Contact our office to schedule a consultation to further discuss.

Question #9 – Green Car Renewal
I came to the United States on a Fiancé’ visa many years ago. I got married and have been married for 11 years since. However, I never renewed my green card (it has been 6 years). My recently sent application was denied. What could be the reason?

Answer #9
The reason for denial should have been listed in the notification that you received informing you that the application had been denied. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I just got my visa stamped, but I am planning to change employers before travelling to US. If my new employer wants to file an H1b petition for me, will it be cap exempt considering I haven’t travelled to the US on this H-1B?

Answer #10
It depends. More information is required from you in order to affirmatively answer YES or NO to your question. Is this your first ever H-1B? Who sponsored you – a cap exempt entity? ETC… Please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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 7, 2014!

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