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Question #1 – Family Based Immigration
At what stage of the Family Based Green Card process does the priority date get assigned?
Answer #1 – The priority date gets assigned once the I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative is filed with the USCIS.
Question #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Some of our H-1B employees are nearing their 6th year in visa status. They have approved I-140s filed by different employers. Can we use those approved I-140s to get 3 year extensions with our company?
Answer #2 – Yes, as long as the I-140 petition is not revoked due to misrepresentation or fraud.
Question #3 – Prevailing Wage
How can I find out the Prevailing Wage on jobs in my county?
Answer #3 – Go to U.S. Census Bureau – QuickFacts lookup to determine the county. Go to Online Wage Library – FLC Wage Search Wizard, select the State, then the County, then the occupation from the drop down list and hit SEARCH.
Question#4 – Green Card
Can I change my employer once I receive my Green Card or is there a waiting period?
Answer #4 – Our recommendation is that you wait at least six (6) months after receiving your green card before changing employers.
Question #5 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Is there a grace period for applying for an H-1B transfer after termination from a previous sponsoring employer?
Answer #5 – According to the USCIS, there is no grace period. In practice, a period of two weeks is a reasonable period of time in order to transition to new employment; however, the regulations do not provide for a grace period.
Question #6 – Sponsorship
What is an affidavit of support?
Answer #6 – From the USCIS website:
An affidavit of support is a document an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently. The person who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor of the relative (or other individual) coming to live in the United States. The sponsor is usually the petitioner of an immigrant petition for a family member.
An affidavit of support is legally enforceable; the sponsor’s responsibility usually lasts until the family member or other individual either becomes a U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (usually 10 years).
The law concerning affidavits of support is found in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sections 212(a)(4) and 213A. The provisions are codified in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 8 CFR 213a.
Question #7 – Business Visitor Visa
How long can someone stay in US on a Business Visa (B1/B2)?
Answer #7 – You may receive a Visitor Visa valid for 10 years; however, the maximum duration of stay in the United States on a B1/B2 visa is 6 months.
Question #8 – 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#8 – 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 #9 – Employment Based Immigration
If my Labor Application is denied, can we appeal the decision?
Answer #9 – Yes; however, your employer and Immigration Attorney should review the reasons for denial and determine whether or not the DOL wrongfully denied the ETA 9089. If there is a basis supported by case law and/or documentation for a reversal of the DOL’s decision, the employer may file a Request for Reconsideration with the DOL within the specified time period.
Question #10 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I have vacation plans to go out of the country the first week of July. Can I file my H-1B extension petition prior to leaving?
Answer #10 – More information is needed in order to provide a sufficient answer. When does your current H-1B expire? Generally, we recommend that you do not travel unless it is an emergency, while a case is pending with the USCIS.
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 11, 2018!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!