MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, December 23, 2011

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Question #1 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
After the I-129 was received by uscis for review from the DOS, it was on the post decision stage. now the uscis sent me an email that they mailed a duplicate copy of their decision on the case or the instructions to follow if it is still pending. My case is now on acceptance stage. why is my case back to acceptance stage?

Answer #1
When a case is returned by the DOS to the USCIS, the USCIS is afforded the opportunity to review the case and determine whether to uphold their original decision (approval) or to revoke the approved filing. If they decide to revoke the petition, the USCIS will issue to the Petitioner or Authorized Representative a Notice of Intent to Revoke outlining the reasons for revocation. It is the burden of the Petitioner or Authorized Representation to present evidence to overcome the allegations/reasons for revocation. Since the USCIS is reviewing the case, this could explain why the case status indicates ‘Acceptance Stage.’

Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
How long does it typically take for the USCIS to review an H1 case that has been returned by the Department of State? When can we contact USCIS?

Answer #2
The USCIS has indicated that when cases are returned to them from the DOS, those cases are reviewed and processed when time and resources allow. Pursuant to the USCIS National Customer Service Center (1-800-375-5283), you may initiate a Service Request after waiting 180 days from the date your case is returned to the USCIS.

Question #3 – Travel
I am planning on traveling out of US for short trip. I heard from friends that I may not be able to obtain a new visa stamp for my recently approved I-129 and come back.

Answer #3
If you MUST travel on H-1B status, we recommend that you have the following: at least two months’ worth of pay stubs, a copy of the approved H-1B petition, an original employment verification letter, the original approval notice, and any other documentation that would demonstrate compliance with the laws governing the H-1B program and the establishment of a bona fide job opportunity, and a legitimate employer-employee relationship.

Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Any H-1B visas left under quota for this year?

Answer #4
The H-1B FY2012 Quota was reached on November 22, 2011, accordingly, you will have to wait until April 1, 2012 to submit an H-1B CAP petition for employment beginning October 1, 2012.

Question #5 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My Priority date will be current soon. I am prepared to file my I-485, what are the associated USCIS filing fees? Do I have to pay for EAD and AP separately?

Answer #5
You will need to make payment in the amount of $1,070.00 or less depending upon your age, which will cover the I-485 processing, the biometrics, the employment authorization document (EAD) processing and the Advance Parole document (AP) processing.

Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have a student on OPT currently working for my company. Her OPT will expire in July of 2012. I need to apply for her H-1B but wasn’t able to make it under this CAP. Will she have to return home prior to October 1, if I file her under the new cap in April 2012?

Answer #6
According to the regulations, an F-1 student who is the beneficiary of an H-1B petition and who has timely filed a Change of Status petition will have his/her status and work authorization (if in OPT) automatically extended until October 1st of the following fiscal year so that there is no “gap” between the time her F-1 stay would have expired and the October 1 start date for the H-1B.

Question #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My current H-1B visa expires on 1/14/2012 and I’ve filed for an extension in late October and received a receipt for it. Can I continue working without the new approval?

Answer #7
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. During 240 days, there is no INA 245(c) bar to adjustment of status.

Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My priority date is current as of the January 2012 visa bulletin. I heard through various forum posts that we can call them and provide details of our case so that based on first come first call they would process and issue the GC faster, is this true?

Answer #8
You cannot call the USCIS to speed up the processing/issuance of your Green Card. Priority dates were established for this exact purpose. Each individual has a specific priority date which was issued to them when their Labor application was submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL). Only when the applicant’s priority date becomes current will the USCIS begin to process the applicant’s I-485 paperwork and thereafter may issue the Green Card.

Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
Is an approved I-765 any indication that the I-485 is getting close to approval and would eventually be approved without a hitch or are they autonomous processes?

Answer #9
They are separate processes. Therefore, to put it simply, an approved I-765 is not an indication that the I-485 is getting closer to being approved.

Question #10 – Temporary Work Visa – TN Visa
What is required to obtain a TN visa at the border? What documents do I need to have to get the visa?

Answer #10
You must establish that the position in question requires the employment of a person in a professional capacity, consistent with the NAFTA Chapter 16, Annex 1603, Appendix 1603.d.1. You will need to carry your educational documents (degree/transcripts/license, if applicable) and work experience documents (experience letters, resume, tax documents, etc.) to evidence your qualifications for the position. You will also need to present an offer letter and/or employment agreement from the company which clearly explains the position you are seeking to be employed in.

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, 2012!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyer blog.

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