MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, May 15, 2015

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Question #1 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Is the USCIS finished with the acceptance process for the FY2016 Cap? My future employer filed my case and we still have not received a notification that my case was accepted.

Answer#1
According to the USCIS, on Monday, May 4, 2015 they completed the data entry of all Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 H-1B cap– subjected petitions that have been selected randomly through the computer generated process. USCIS will begin returning all H-1B petitions that were not selected but because of the large amount received; the return time frame is unknown. They also ask that petitioners not contact them until they have received a receipt notice or had their unselected petition returned. *USCIS will announce when all the unselected petitions have been returned.

For more information, please check out our Blog Post on the Subject: USCIS Completes Data Entry of FY 2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

Question #2 – General
Are there any type of restrictions on a Conditional Green Card? Once I get my green card, can I travel out of the country?

Answer #2
A conditional green card is only granted for a period of two years. Within 90 days of the expiration of the two year anniversary period, you must file to remove those conditions (Form I-751) with the USCIS, or risk losing conditional green card status and being deported. With a conditional green card, you may travel outside of the U.S.; however, you should limit your trips abroad to less than one (1) year to avoid any abandonment issues, unless you have applied for a re-entry permit.

Question #3 – Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Petition
What are the filing fees for the I-485 application? I would like to file an EAD and AP as well.

Answer#3
The USCIS filing fee for Form I-485 is $985.00, plus an $85 biometrics fee (total = $1070.00) for people ages 14-78. For children under 14 & applying with at least one (1) parent = $635.00. For children under 14 and NOT applying with at least one (1) parent = $985.00. For people 79 or older = $985.00.

No additional fee is required to also file an application for employment authorization on Form I-765 and/or advance parole on Form I-131.

Question#4 – Change of Address (Form AR-11)
My family and I are in the process of moving to a new home this summer. How do I notify the USCIS of this change? I have a pending I-485 for myself, my wife and child.

Answer#4
To notify the USCIS of any address change for any pending cases, the process consists of two (2) steps:

Step1: File Form AR-11 (online OR by mail)
AND Step 2: Change your address on any pending or recently approved applications or petitions (online OR by phone at 1-800-375-5283)

Question#5 – General
Can I change my employer once I receive my Green Card or is there a waiting period?

Answer #5
Our recommendation is that you wait at least six (6) months after receiving your green card before changing employers.

Question #6 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What is the minimum time period for which an H1B visa can be issued? Can it be less than 3 years? If yes, what is the minimum number of years for which my employer can sponsor me for a visa?

Answer #6
It depends. I’ve seen H1B approvals for the entire three (3) year period, and cases approved for only two (2) months. You should speak with an Immigration Attorney concerning your circumstances.

Question #7 – Employment Based Immigration
I have an approved I-140 in the EB-3 category. My new employer wants to file an application for me in the EB-2 category. Can I make the switch if I believe I am qualified?

Answer#7
If the employer offers you the position, and you are able to satisfy the minimum education and experience requirements for the position, you should be able to make the switch and petition to recapture the earlier priority date at the I-140 stage.

Question #8 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Do non-profit organizations follow the same guidelines/rules for filing H-1B cases?

Answer #8
No. H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education (or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities), a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to the numerical cap. In other words, if a nonprofit research organization wants to employ a qualified H1B specialty occupation worker in the middle of June, they may petition the USCIS directly, and do not have to wait for the annual April 1, H1B CAP to open.

Question #9 – Family Based Immigration
As a Lawful Permanent Resident, can I file an I-130 petition for my family members?

Answer #9
It depends upon your relationship to that family member. As an LPR, you may only petition on behalf of your spouse, your children, and your unmarried sons and daughters (21 and older). An I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative will need to be filed for each qualifying family member.

Question #10 – L1 Intracompany Transferee Work Visa
How long can one stay in the US on an L-1A visa?

Answer#10
If the L1A recipient is coming to open a new office in the U.S., the initial L1A visa will only be valid for a period of one (1) year. The recipient will then have to petition the USCIS for an extension of stay in L1A status. The max limit in L1A nonimmigrant visa status is seven (7) years.

MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, May 29, 2015!

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