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Question #1 – Diversity Visa (DV)
Why do natives of certain countries not qualify for the Diversity Visa (DV) program?
Answer #1 – Diversity Visas (DVs) are intended to provide an immigration opportunity for persons who are not from “high admission” countries. U.S. law defines “high admission countries” as those from which a total of 50,000 persons in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visa categories immigrated to the United States during the previous five years. Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) counts the family and employment -immigrant admission and adjustment of status numbers for the previous five years to identify the countries that are considered “high admission” and whose natives will therefore be ineligible for the annual Diversity Visa program. Since USCIS makes this calculation annually, the list of countries whose natives are eligible or not eligible may change from one year to the next.
Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration
If my Labor Application is denied, can we appeal the decision?
Answer #2 – 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 #3 – Family Based Immigration
At what stage of the Family Based Green Card process does the priority date get assigned?
Answer #3 – The priority date gets assigned once the I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative is filed with the USCIS.
Question #4 – 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 #4 – Yes, as long as the I-140 petition is not revoked due to misrepresentation or fraud.
Question #5 – Business Visitor Visa
How long can someone stay in US on a Business Visa (B1/B2)?
Answer #5 – 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 #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 – 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 #7 – 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.
Question #8 – Sanctuary City
Lately, in the news, I have heard the term “Sanctuary City” and I was wondering what it meant?
Answer #8 – 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 #9 – H4 EAD for Certain Spouses of H1B Nonimmigrants
Is there a deadline to apply for the H-4/EAD Visa?
Answer #9 – No. Eligible applicants may apply at any time.
Question #10 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Is there a grace period for applying for an H-1B transfer after termination from a previous sponsoring employer?
Answer #10 – 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.
MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.
Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Thursday, November 9, 2017!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!