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Question #1 – Business Visitor Visa
How long can someone stay in US on a Business Visa (B1/B2)?
Answer #1 – 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 #2 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Do non-profit organizations follow the same guidelines/rules for filing H-1B cases?
Answer #2 – 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 #3 – 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 #3 – 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 #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 – 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 #5 – 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 #6 – Family Based Immigration
As a Lawful Permanent Resident, can I file an I-130 petition for my family members?
Answer #6 – 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#7 – 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 #7 – To notify the USCIS of any address change for any pending cases, the process consists of two (2) steps:
Question #8 – L1 Intracompany Transferee Work Visa
How long can one stay in the US on an L-1A visa?
Answer #8 – 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.
Question#9 – Green Card
Can I change my employer once I receive my Green Card or is there a waiting period?
Answer #9 – Our recommendation is that you wait at least six (6) months after receiving your green card before changing employers.
Question #10 – Sponsorship
What is an affidavit of support?
Answer #10 – 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.
MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.
Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, November 30, 2018!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!