Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 7/24/15

This blog entry was originally posted on 7/24/15. 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 – Alternate Options to H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Since the H-1B Cap Case Quota has been met, are there any other options for me to hire a Foreign Worker?

Answer #1
Now that all of the new H-1B visas for the 2016 Fiscal Year have been allocated, What options do Employers who are looking to hire Foreign National Professionals have?
Here are some creative solutions to this problem:

OPT – STEM Extension
If the company is registered for E-Verify, the database that enables employers to verify the legitimacy of work authorization and identity documents at the time of hire, those who have been granted 12 months of Optional Practical Training after graduation, are eligible for a STEM extension of an additional 17 months of work authorization.

O-1 Visa
The O-1 visa is suited for individuals of extraordinary ability or achievement. The O classification is a useful and flexible alternative to the H-1B program because there is no overall limit on time in the classification and there is no cap. O-1 beneficiaries in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics must have extraordinary ability “demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.”

E-3 Visa
The E-3 visa classification is limited to Australian Professionals. The E-3 visa is a “specialty occupation” visa similar to the H-1B visa. Therefore to be eligible for the visa, the Australian citizen must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent) in the specialty and the specialty occupation must require the degree. There is a 10,500 annual limit on the E-3 visa.

L-1 Visa
The L-1 visa is an option for international organizations with offices in the United States who transfer employees to the United States for temporary periods of time. In order to be eligible for an L-1 visa, the petitioning entity must prove that the beneficiary of the visa has worked for the non-U.S. based sister company/subsidiary for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge.

H-1B Visa for FY2017
WAIT for the H-1B FY2017 Quota! The H-1B FY2017 Quota will open on April 1, 2016 with employment beginning on October 1, 2016. 65,000 visas are annually allocated to foreign nationals who possess a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent) in the specialty and the specialty occupation must require the degree. We can begin to prepare cases for the annual quota now; however, no cases will be filed with the USCIS towards the CAP until after April 1, 2016.

Contact MVP Law Group for more information!

Question #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My H1B visa got approved in 2014 which was filed by my previous employer. I did not get chance to travel to USA or my visa stamped. Now that I am with another employer, can I transfer my H1B?

Answer #2
Yes, as your facts appear to indicate that you were subject to the H1B CAP within the past six years.

Question #3 – Lawful Permanent Residence
Last week, I received my Green Card. What are my next steps?

Question #3
Congratulations on receiving your Green Card!

1. USCIS maintains a useful web page on the topic “Now That You Are A Permanent Resident.” It can be found at http://uscis.gov this is the USCIS home page, go to the left side of the page under More Information on and click on “Permanent Residence-Green Card” Then look to the right side and under Related Links you will find valuable information on, among other topics, how not to lose your status as a permanent resident. I highly recommend that you review this page and contact our office if you have any questions concerning the information it provides.
2. USCIS also maintains good information on the topic of naturalization (U.S. citizenship) on their website. If you have any interest in applying for U.S. citizenship, I would recommend that you familiarize yourself with this information now so that you can begin to lay the groundwork for a successful application.
3. All permanent residents are required to advise USCIS of changes in their home address. The permanent resident’s change of address form can be found at the website listed above.
4. Your card is good for 10 years. It must be renewed when it expires. If you have any questions concerning this information, do not hesitate to contact our office.

Question #4 – Dependent Spouse H4 EAD
What are the USCIS filing fees for an H-4 EAD?

Answer #4
The USCIS filing fee for Form I-765 is $380.00. No biometrics filing fee is required.

Question #5 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Is it possible for me to switch from an H-1B visa to another status? How long does it normally take?

Answer #5
Generally, yes and it depends. You have not provided sufficient information to provide a solid answer. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss any options that may be available.

Question #6 – Lawful Permanent Resident
If I am a Permanent Resident, can I file a petition for my parent’s Green Card?

Answer #6
No. You may sponsor your Parents if/when you become a United States Citizen.

Question #7 – Biometrics
My priority date is current but waiting for a Green Card. I just received second biometrics appointment notice. My first one I got was in Feb of 2013. Do I have to attend the second appointment?

Answer #7
Yes, you should attend your biometrics appointment and notify the front reception desk that you appeared back in February 2013. If a second set of fingerprints is not required, they will let you know. Generally, fingerprints are valid for a period of 15 months only, so it is likely that a second set of fingerprints are required to complete the adjudication process.

Question #8 – TN Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What is required to obtain a TN visa at the border?

Answer #8
You must be a Canadian National, with a valid offer of employment from a U.S. employer. Mexican Nationals are required to seek the TN visa directly from the Consulate and are not able to obtain a TN visa directly at the border.

Question #9 – Family Based Immigration
I am marrying a United States citizen in two weeks; do you know when I can expect to have my interview to change my status?

Answer #9
You will have to file the Immigrant Petition along with the Adjustment Application and allow those petitions to process. It can take anywhere from 6-12 months, if not longer depending upon the current case load for the Immigrant Petition and Adjustment Application at the Service Center. It is not an automatic process.

Question #10 – Premium Processing
If my employer does Premium Processing for my H-1B extension, how long does it take for my case to get approved?

Answer #10
Premium processing allows a case to be adjudicated within a period of 15 calendar days from the date the USCIS receives the petition. If a request for additional evidence (RFE) is issued, the 15 day clock stops and will re-start once the USCIS receives the response to the RFE.

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

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 7/24/15

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