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Question #1 – Family Based Immigration
As a Lawful Permanent Resident, can I file an I-130 petition for my family members?
Answer #1 – 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 #2 – Visa Interview
If I do not speak English, when I go to my interview for my visa, will a translator be provided for me or will I need to provide one myself?
Answer #2 – It depends upon the type of visa you are applying for and from where you are applying for the visa. Most Consulates have counters were different languages are spoken. If you are applying in the U.S., when you go to your visa interview, you will need to provide a translator for yourself. This translator should not be an interested party in your case.
Question #3 – Green Card
If my permanent residence card has expired, do I need a visa? Or is it possible to renew my permanent residence?
Answer #3 – A green card is valid for a period of 10 years; you may renew 6 months prior to its expiration. You may renew your green card by filing Form I-90 with the USCIS.
Question #4 – Conditional Permanent Residence
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 #4 – 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 #5 – 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 #5 – 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 #6 – Green Card
Can I change my employer once I receive my Green Card or is there a waiting period?
Answer #6 – Our recommendation is that you wait at least six (6) months after receiving your green card before changing employers.
Question #7 – 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 #7 – 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 #8 – J-1 Visa
My niece has a J1 visa and some things have occurred and now the sponsor wants to cancel her visa. My question is what is the time period that she has to leave the country without incurring any unlawful presence?
Answer #8 – Considering the circumstances, if your niece’s visa was cancelled, she should make arrangements to leave immediately. If your niece’s visa has expired, which is different – you should speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney.
Question #9 – 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 #9 – 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 #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, September 20, 2019!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!