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Question #1 – Premium Processing
Can Premium Processing be used to speed out the processing of an H-1B extension?
Yes. Regular processing can take anywhere from 2-5 months depending upon the caseload of a particular Service Center. If you apply under premium processing, for an additional USCIS filing fee of $1225.00, the USCIS will issue a decision on your case within 15 calendar days of receiving the case. A decision can include – the issuance of a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE), a Notice of Intent to Deny, an Approval or a Denial. If a Request for Additional Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny is issued, the 15 calendar day clock stops and starts again once a response is received by the USCIS.
Question #2 – Citizenship
If I have been a Green Card Holder for 8 years, am I eligible to Apply for Citizenship?
The general requirements for administrative naturalization include:
• A period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
• Residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing;
• An ability to read, write and speak English;
• A knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
• Good moral character;
• Attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,
• Favorable disposition toward the United States
Question #3 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How long do you have to work in the US under H-1B before you can apply for an I-140?
There is no specific set time frame, as an applicant who has never been in the U.S. can be sponsored for an employment based green card by a U.S. employer.
Question #4 – Sanctuary City
Lately, in the news, I have heard the term “Sanctuary City” and I was wondering what it meant?
Sanctuary city is a name given to a city in the United States that follows certain procedures that shelters illegal immigrants. These procedures can be by law (de jure) or they can be by action (de facto).
Question #5 – Asylum
How does someone apply for Asylum status in the US?
If someone is eligible for Asylum or may think they are eligible for Asylum, they should speak with an Immigration Attorney immediately, as there is a time frame for applying for Asylum once arriving in the United States. If a person is eligible for Asylum, they apply directly with the USCIS by completing and submitting Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, along with substantiating evidence to support their Asylum claim.
Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My current H-1B visa expires on 12/1/2016. I’ve filed for an extension and received a receipt for it. Can I continue working without the new approval?
Yes. Under regulation 8 C.F.R.§274a.12(b)(20), a person lawfully employed under A-3,E-1,E-2,E-3,G-5, H-1B, H-2A/B, H-3, I, J-1, L-1, O-1/O-2,P-1/P-2/P-3, R or TN status who timely files an application for extension consistent with 8 C.F.R.§214.1, is automatically given 240 days from the date of expiration.
Question #7 – Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
What happens if I get fired from a company who sponsored my I-140?
Being a recipient of an approved I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative does not give you lawful status in the U.S. If you are fired by the company that sponsored your I-140 petition, the company is within their legal authority to withdraw your I-140 petition. You should contact our office so that we may discuss all of the circumstances of your case.
Question#8 – Green Card
If I misplaced my Green Card, how do I obtain a replacement card?
File Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card with the USCIS along with the filing fee of $540.00 which includes $455.00 for Form I-90 and $85.00 for biometrics, made payable to the “US Department of Homeland Security.” *new fee schedule 12/23/16
Question #9 – Consular Processing
How does Consular Processing work?
The USCIS website best explains the difference between Adjustment of Status (in the U.S.) and Consular Processing (outside of the U.S.):
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) offers an individual two primary paths to permanent resident status (a green card). An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition and has an immigrant visa number immediately available may apply (Form DS-230) at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This pathway is referred to as “consular processing.”
Adjustment of status (Form I-485) is an alternate process by which an eligible person, who is already in the United States, can apply for permanent resident status without having to return to his/her home country to complete processing.
Question #10 – Conditional Permanent Residence
How do I remove my conditions on my Conditional Green Card?
File Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence with the USCIS, within 90 days of the expiration of the conditional permanent resident card. You should file the petition jointly with your spouse through whom you obtained conditional status. However, certain exceptions do exist that may allow you to apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirement.
MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.
Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, January 6, 2017!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!