MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, March 4, 2011

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Question #1 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am an H1-B Employee. My PERM and I-140 have been approved. Our company recently moved to a new office within the same Metro area (MSA), same county and just about 10 minutes from earlier office. Is a new LCA required?

Answer #1
Based on the information you have provided, as long as the position title and duties have not changed, you do not need to obtain a new LCA. However, the employer should notify the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) of the change in company address.

Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration – GC
Same facts as above. Is my PERM and I-140 still valid or do I need a new PERM and I-140?

Answer #2
The H-1B nonimmigrant visa program and employment based green card process are two entirely distinct processes so the paperwork used to obtain your H-1B (Form I-129, LCA, etc..) has no bearing on your PERM and approved I-140. However, the employer should notify the USCIS of the change in company address.

Question #3 – Employment Based Immigration – GC
I’ve been working at my current company for nearly 5 years and have a bachelor’s degree in EE. Can I change jobs within the company after the five year mark and be able to use the experience for my current job towards my labor certification and moving to an EB-2 category?

Answer #3
No, you cannot use the experience obtained in your current job to apply for another position within the same company. The experience needed for EB-2 classification must be prior experience.

Question #4 – Green Card
My fiancé is on an H1-B visa and is further along the path to getting a green card. I have my own H1-B visa but if he does get his green card before I get mine, should I be applying to be his spouse through the INS somehow in order to avoid the 3-5 year F2 priority date wait?

Answer #4
If you are only his fiancé, then you cannot be added to his I-140 Petition nor his I-485 Application, unless and until you get married, you cannot be added as a derivative. Once you are his spouse and he has obtained his green card, then yes, you will need to petition by filing Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative and obtain your green card through family-marriage based immigration (F2 classification).

Question #5 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If my 6 years of H1-B run out, can I transfer immediately to a TN visa (I’m Canadian), and avoid the 1 year waiting period in Canada before reapplying for another H1-B?

Answer #5
You can transfer to TN from H1-B but you are still going to have to wait one full year outside of the United States before being eligible to obtain a new H-1B nonimmigrant visa.

Question #6 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can I file an H-1B petition if I am currently under optional practical training on an F-1 visa?

Answer #6
Yes, beginning on April 1, 2011 you are able to file an H-1B petition for the FY2012 with H-1B employment beginning October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2014.

Question #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If I was recently fired while in the country on an H-1B visa, can I stay in the country legally by obtaining a new job or filing for a change of status to a different category?

Answer #7
Yes, you could change jobs if the new employer agrees to sponsor your H1-B for a specialty occupation, this would be called an H-1B transfer. If you wanted to file for change of status there are three visas you could switch to: F-1 if you meet all eligibility requirements, L-2 if you are the spouse of an L-1 nonimmigrant visa holder or H-4 if you are the spouse of an H-1B nonimmigrant visa holder.

Question #8 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What sort of factors are used to determine the prevailing wage for a beneficiary on H1-B status?

Answer #8
Many factors are used to determine the prevailing wage for a beneficiary on H1-B status. The Department of Labor considers the average wage paid to those in the specialty occupation for the jurisdiction of employment, the level of skill/experience of the applicant, and other industry factors.

Question #9 – Marriage Based Immigration – GC
I am planning to marry my fiancé soon after entering the United Stated on a K-1 visa and I was wondering whether there were any restrictions or limitations on a K-1 visa that I should be aware of?

Answer #9
The main restriction on a K-1 visa is that you and your fiancé must be married with 90 days of him/her entering the country. Additionally, your fiancé would only be issued a two year conditional green card and would have to apply to remove the conditions on his/her permanent residency by proving the legitimacy of the marriage through Form I-751.

Question #10 – Employment Based Immigration – GC
How soon after I begin the employment green card process can my spouse begin working?

Answer #10
It depends upon several factors – where you are in the process, your country of citizenship/chargeability, your priority date and the processing times associated with the I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment. We hope the information provided is helpful.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, March 18th, 2011! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyer blog.

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