Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 1/18/13

This blog entry was originally posted on 1/18/13. We here at the MVP Law Group would like to wish every one of our blog readers, Happy Holidays!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Question #1 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My employer somehow lost my original I-797 H1 approval notice and I need it to renew my driver’s license and get visa stamping in the future when I travel. Can I get a new approval notice?

Answer #1
Your employer will need to submit Form I-824 to the USCIS along with the USCIS filing fee of $405.00 to request a duplicate approval notice.

Question #2 – Family Based Immigration
If my child is a U.S citizen can I obtain legal status in the U.S?

Answer #2
The U.S. citizen petitioner must be 21 years of age in order to petition on behalf of their parents.

Question #3 – General
I am a national of Singapore; I have a Master’s degree and am looking for work in the United States. I want to live in the U.S. Can you please help me?

Answer #3
Our office cannot assist with your employment search. Once you find a willing sponsor/employer, we can assist with explaining the various Immigration options and with preparing and filing the necessary paperwork with the USCIS.

Question #4 – Visa Waiver Program
What exactly is the Visa Waiver Program?

Answer #4
As provided on the U.S. Department of State website… The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of 37 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The program was established to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

Question #5 – Nonimmigrant Work Visa
What’s the difference between an E work visa and an L work visa?

Answer #5
The E-1 visa allows individuals to enter the U.S. temporarily to engage in substantial trade. There are strict requirements as to the nationality of individuals and the level of trade necessary to qualify for the visa. As an advantage to this category, individuals may apply directly at a U.S. Consulate. The E-1 Visa is issued to individuals known as ‘treaty traders’. A treaty trader is defined as a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. An applicant should be coming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade, or to develop and direct the operations of a business in which they have invested or will soon invest a substantial amount of capital. An applicant must be a national of a treaty country and must be involved in international trade. An applicant’s spouse and/or children may accompany them under the same status. An applicant’s employees, or the employees of the treaty company, may also be eligible to receive E-1 visas.
The E-2 visa allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the U.S. temporarily to carry out substantial investment and trade activities. To qualify for this visa, the applicant must be a key employee of their company and a national of a country that has an investor treaty with the U.S. The E-2 visa is available for individuals known as ‘treaty investors’. A treaty investor is a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. A treaty investor should be coming to the U.S. to involve themselves in a substantial investment. The investment may be less than that demanded for the EB-5 ($500,000). However, if the investment becomes equal or greater than $500,000, the treaty investor may petition for permanent immigration status. The treaty investor’s spouse and/or children under the age of 21 may accompany him/her under E-2 status. The treaty investor’s employees may also be eligible for the E-2 Visa.
The L-1 visa allows companies operating both in the U.S. and abroad to transfer certain types of employees from its overseas office to the U.S. office for up to seven years. This visa comes in the following categories: L-1A – for executives and managers; and L-1B – for personnel with specialized knowledge. Businesses that function both in the United States and in their home country gain the benefits of the best of both areas. The L-1 visa is open to international organizations with offices in the U.S. who transfer employees to the U.S. office for temporary periods of time. This visa is sometimes referred to as the ‘intra-company transferee’ visa. To obtain an L-1 visa, you must be able to prove that you have worked for the non-U.S. company for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge. The L-1 visa enables the transfer of managers, executives and specialized knowledge personnel to a U.S. office, subsidiary or affiliated company. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 qualify for L1B status and they are not allowed to work, but may attend school or college.

Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If I am terminated from a job and I cannot find new work, what affect will that have on my H1B Status?

Answer #6
If you are terminated from your H-1B sponsored employment and cannot find new work with a possible new H-1B sponsor, your employer is responsible for paying the reasonable costs of transportation for you to return to your home country.

Question #7 – Family Based Immigration
Can my husband get deported if his visa has expired but we are married?

Answer #7
Your inquiry cannot be answered in this general forum. You need to consult with an experienced Immigration Attorney immediately to do a final assessment of his eligibility to remain in the US.

Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I came here to do internship right after graduating from my University in 2012 March. Now, i’m trying to get H-1 from this company but i’m not sure its possible to get H-1 with this company since our company is small and doing online business. In addition, I don’t have any job history. Could you please advise me?

Answer #8
The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the U.S. and work in a variety of fields ranging from architecture and engineering to teaching and medicine. In order to qualify for H-1B classification, the applicant must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. This is not a self-petitioning category; therefore the applicant must have a sponsoring employer in the U.S. It is our recommendation that you or your employer contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss the possibility of obtaining an H-1B temporary nonimmigrant work visa on your behalf.

Question #9 – General
Can bankruptcy alter my immigration status?

Answer #9
It is well known that it is not a crime to file for bankruptcy; however, it could potentially affect your immigration status. We recommend that you speak with an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss your options.

Question #10 – General
Will an expunged felony affect my Visa Process?

Answer #10
Although the conviction has been expunged by a federal, state or foreign court, it does not necessarily mean that the conviction has been expunged for immigration purposes. It is our recommendation that you contact an experienced Immigration Attorney to discuss your situation.

MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

MVP LAW GROUP –Immigration Q&A Forum – Originally posted 1/18/13

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