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Question #1 – Asylum
How does someone apply for Asylum status in the US?
Answer #1 – 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#2 – Green Card
If I misplaced my Green Card, how do I obtain a replacement card?
Answer #2 – 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 2/14/18
Question #3 – Consular Processing
How does Consular Processing work?
Answer #3 – 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 #4 – 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#4 – 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 #5 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Do non-profit organizations follow the same guidelines/rules for filing H-1B cases?
Answer #5 – 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 #6 – 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?
Answer #6 – 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 #7 – Sanctuary City
Lately, in the news, I have heard the term “Sanctuary City” and I was wondering what it meant?
Answer #7 – Sanctuary city is a name given to a city in the United States that follows procedures that shelters undocumented immigrants. These procedures can be by law (de jure) or they can be by action (de facto).
Question #8 – Citizenship
If I have been a Green Card Holder for 8 years, am I eligible to Apply for Citizenship?
Answer #8 – 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 #9 – Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
What happens if I get fired from a company who sponsored my I-140?
Answer #9 – 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 #10 – Conditional Permanent Residence
How do I remove my conditions on my Conditional Green Card?
Answer #10 – 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, July 13, 2018!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!