US Immigration Questions

  1. Wednesday,...
    Question: My question is on unemployment benefits-is it illegal to collect unemployment benefits while on a B2 visa. I was on H1B and my 60 days are over so I moved to B2 (pending). I received unemployment benefits for the 60 days grace period which is legal. However, the question is how about after 60 days? I stay in California and EDD said they will look at my case and make a decision if I continue to get benefits after 60 days. My only concern is I don't want to collect benefits now that may cause issues later for GC.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Unemployment benefits while on B-2

    Video Transcript

    The extended unemployment benefits were for all US workers. They were not just for green card holders or US citizens. As far as I know this should not be a problem. 

    I have an article about what is allowed and what is not allowed on my Linkedin page

    FAQ in detail...


    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  2. Tuesday, 15...
    Question: I came to US on H-4, so I have only H-4 stamping in my passport. Got my H1b picked up in lottery two years back, and did COS to h1, and have approved i797A with I-94 and working with my current employer. Got an offer from another company, and they filed my H1b transfer, and got the i-797A approval with I-94. So my question here is, can I join the new company using the H1b transfer approval, even though I don’t have H1b stamp at all in my passport? Will this be a valid H1b transfer?, or should I go back to India to get my H1b stamping to join the new employer?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-1B portability without a visa stamp

    Video Transcript

    When you have an H-4 visa stamp and you came to the United States and you got selected in the lottery that means you got your H-1B and you got your change of status. If you change employers you can start working as soon as your change of employer paperwork is delivered to the USCIS. You do not need any H-1B visa stamp for that purpose. FAQ in detail...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  3. Wednesday,...
    Question: I am planning to switch from Employer A to B. Can you please help clearing some confusion i have. Moving from Employer A to Employer B with I-140 approved. 1: If Employer A revokes I-140 and Employer B files a new petition I can retain the priority date. Does Employer A have to revoke I-140 or if he can continue it even if I am not working there?<br> 2: If Employer A doesn’t revoke the I-140 and Employer B files a new Labor and I-140 petition and retains the PD of previous I-140, would the previous I-140 be valid anymore?<br> 3: If Employer B files a brand new PERM and I-140 with new PD (2020) and Employer A I-140 is valid with the old PD. What happens if the old PD becomes current. Do I need to go back to old employer A or Employer B can file I-485 with the old I-140 PD.<br> 4: Is there a one year max limit rule on filing the I-485 once the date becomes current? What if it cannot be filed, does that void approved I-140?
    Answer:

    FAQ: Issues in changing employers after I-140 approval

     

    Video Transcript

    1. Absolutely.

    2. Absolutely. The I-140 priority date gets attached to you. Therefore, wherever you go, that's where the priority date goes.

    3. No, because what is being transferred is the priority date and you can transfer that to any petition.

    4. Yes, there is an issue about the one year filing date, but it does not revoke your I-140. FAQ in detail...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  4. Wednesday,...
    Question: My I 485 priority date is Feb 2018 (EB1B) and I am expecting as per current trend to receive my green card by December. I have greencard EAD valid until June 2021. However, I have enrolled for Fall 2020 semester in MIT to pursue a one year MS degree in System Design and Management. I am sponsored by my employer and I will be paid as a fulltime employee during this period. I will be writing a research thesis on a topic related to my company. On receiving green card, Do I need to discontinue my degree in between and immediately return to my previous position as a fulltime researcher in the company for which my greencard was filed? I
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

    Going to school while I-485 is pending

    Video Transcript:

    In my view, there are no repercussions because there is a reason you are not joining immediately. As this is a very special circumstance, I would suggest you talk to your lawyer. FAQ in detail...

     

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  5. Wednesday,...
    Question: I have my PERM approved from my current employer A recently this month, can I still use my PD when I transfer my H1B to a new employer B, before I-140 approval or when I-140 is in progress with the old employer A?. If my job title is changed (from 'Software Engineer' to 'Business systems analyst')with changing job to the new employer B, can I still use the approved perm from employer A for the PD or to extend my H1B max stay beyond 6 years?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

    Changing jobs while I-140 pending and change in job title


    Video Transcript

    No problem at all with the job titles and the only requirement is on the date the I-140 is filed there is an intention to continue with the job. FAQ in detail...

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  6. Thursday,...
    Question: After H-1B transfer is approved with the new employer, how long do I have to decide if I can to join the new employer? Can I join after 90 days of H-1B transfer approval? Is there a deadline?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

    Deadline to join new employer after H-1B transfer is approved

    Video Transcript

    The answer is there is no deadline... FAQ in detail

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  7. Tuesday, 18...
    Question: My employer ended my employment due to COVID reasons on May 31, 2020 but I never received an official termination letter. Calculating the grace period depending on the assumed termination date mentioned above, I have till July 30 to find a new job. Should my new employer give me an offer or start the H1B transfer application before July 30? What happens if they fail to do so in time? Can I extend the grace period on the basis of having an offer in hand or maybe because of the pandemic? My final interviews with potential employers are being withdrawn because of the time restriction.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

    H-1B no notification of termination, 60 days grace period, etc.

    Video Transcript

    File a complaint against the employer with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor by filling up the form WH-4. You can also call them. 

    The 60 day grace period works like this. The new employer must make sure that your H-1B transfer application is received by the USCIS within 60 days. So the LCA should be done, the package prepared and USCIS should receive your H-1B transfer within 60 days, otherwise you will be out of status and you will have to go outside the USA for visa stamping pandemic or no pandemic, also remember there is a proclamation that will stop you from coming back at least before December. Make sure you remain in status or at least file a B-2. FAQ in detail...

     

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  8. Thursday,...
    Question: I am having H4-EAD,Can I start any business?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-4 EAD issues

    Video Transcript

    You can start a business, any business and 10 businesses if you want. The only issue is what if there is a gap in your EAD. You will not be able to run that business, somebody else should be able to do that for you. That's the only practical difficulty. Legally, there is no problem. You can do whatever you like. FAQ in detail...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  9. Wednesday,...
    Question: I am a Registered nurse present in the US with F-2 visa stamp on my passport. My husband, being in grad school, has 2 more years of valid I-20. An employer sponsored me the green card, and recently I received my EAD based on I-485 application. But both my I-140 and I-485 are still pending. The employer wants me start working although my I-140 is pending.<br> 1. Do you recommend to work on EAD while I-140 still being pending? <br> 2. If I use that EAD, and by any change if I-140 is denied later, should I leave the USA to avoid unlawful presence? How can I come back to F-2 status again?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

    I-485 Pending Using EAD Consequences

    Video Transcript

    1. My inclination is to start using the employment authorization and if you are a registered nurse and if you are working with covid patients or even otherwise as a health care worker there might be some options for your visas.

    2. I strongly recommend obtaining the H-1B's. You should also look at the H-1B's which are for university hospitals. There you will not be subject to the H-1B quota. So as a fall back device having an H-1 is a lot better than having an F-2. FAQ in detail...

     

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  10. Wednesday,...
    Question: I was in USA on h1b for 11 yrs until august 2019 as senior software engineer and moved/transferred to Canada on September 2019 as software development manager, managing 5 direct reports plus 4 second level reports with the same company in USA and Canada. And now promoted as Director, software development projects support and maintenance, before completing one year as manager. Have I-140 approved and priority date is 2012 july.<br> 1.What is my success rate of getting L1A<br> 2. Also need to re-apply my green card in EB1C, do I need to be in USA or when I am in Canada my company can apply for this. And upon EB1C I-140 Approval can I get L1A and move to USA<br> 3. Is this the correct time to apply EB1C in the next couple of months when 1 year completes or should I wait for visa ban to complete.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

    How can I qualify for EB-1C/International Managers or Executives

     

    Video Transcript

    1. Please discuss your job description that is intended in the foreign country outside USA with your lawyers. Make sure you plan for it from day one because if you try to plan for it a year down the line you won't succeed.

    2. You can apply an EB-1C and then transfer the priority date from another case. No problem EB-2 and EB-3 can be transferred over. You can come on L-1A. You should definitely at least get your EB-1C started as quickly as possible that my opinion.

    3. There is no visa ban in starting the application.

    FAQ in detail...

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  11. Tuesday, 28...
    Question: Questions, 1. Can I stay in Vancouver while I commute to Seattle for work once a month for a day? Is there any restriction on the amount of time I need to spend inside the US on H1B? Is there any restriction to how frequently I can go in/out of the US on H1B? <br> 2. Since my work location would be changing to Seattle from California for me to be able to do this. I am suspecting my PERM will need to be refiled. But given that my H1B is expiring next year and the PERM, I140 process takes almost 1-1.5 years. Can my current company use an older existing approved I-140 petition to help me get my H1B Visa extended? My older I-140 had been approved for more than an year before I left the employer. <br> 3. Will doing this have any impact on my H1B Renewal? I would need to go for re-stamping next year in September.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

    Working from Canada on or off H-1B

    Video Transcript

    1. Sure and there are no restrictions on time.

    2. No, not really. Depends on how the PERM was filed. You should talk to your lawyers. Regarding I-140 yes of course as long as at least one day of that approval period was on or after January 17, 2017.

    3. No impact on your H-1B renewal.

    FAQ in detail...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

     

  12. Tuesday, 28...
    Question: I came to the US on H1b in 2010. My i140 got approved in Dec 2013. I joined a new employer on 21 Feb 2020. My H1B got approved till 20 Feb 2023, But I did not receive any receipt notice for my wife and my elder son H4. My employer told me that he applied for an H4 visa for my dependents. Unfortunately, I got laid off due to COVID-19 and my employer notified USCIS on 8th June 2020 to revoke my visa. My priority is to find a new job. But in case I do not find any job I would like to move out of the USA, I do not want to accrue unlawful days. But, due to the COVID-19 situation in India, I am scared to travel to India. My wife called USCIS and was asked to email USCIS on lockboxSupport@uscis.dhs.gov to notify her of the receipt number of my wife and son. But she has not received any response. I want to stay in the USA until the COVID-19 situation becomes normal. As per the Document COVID Coronavirus Converting to B-1 B-2 status.pdf on your website, I can apply for a change of status to B1/B2?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

    Covid-19/Coronavirus applying for B-2 status

    Video Transcript

    Reach out to your lawyers and explain to them what is happening and tell them to make sure you get copies of everything. File for your family's B-2 if your H-1 is not filed within that 60 day I-94 time. If it is filed go ahead and file another H-4 application with them. For applying for EAD under certain circumstances please click here

    FAQ in detail...


    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

     

     

  13. Monday, 13...
    Question: I applied I-130 for my father to get his GC through Consular processing. I'm a US citizen myself. However I got RFE asking for his birth certificate. I have these queries: The supplemental documents for I-130 for parents as per USCIS application only need US citizen's birth certificate and not the parent's birth certificate. So I don't understand why RFE was issued at this stage? My father was born in the time when the birth certificates were not available. As per the dept of state reciprocity website, it clearly states: "Exceptions: Birth certificates are not available to persons born prior to 1968. " Since it is acknowledged by reciprocity that birth certificates are not available, do I still need to provide NABC (Non-Availability of Birth Certificate)?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Birth certificate problems for parents

    Video Transcript

    I would prefer you to get a  non-availability certificate along with two affidavits from people who were alive when your parents were born. That is what I would recommend. If it is too cumbersome you could try to set up the reciprocity table as evidence if such documents are not available. FAQ in detail...

     



    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  14. Monday, 13...
    Question: I recently became US citizen and now planning to file for green card for my own parents from India. However, in past my parents overstayed on their visitor visa(6 months) in UK from 2002 to 2013. They applied for asylum in 2006 and case was going on but then they withdrew their file and then they were sent on their emergency passports(as their old passports were lost and expired, they were given white passport) to India. They had no other criminal activity there and also have No Objection Certificate from Police department of the city they were staying in UK. Now they have their new passports printed from India. I wanted to know that Does any of this situations in past makes it difficult for them to obtain permanent residency in USA?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Impact on US immigration

    for violation of other countries’ laws

    Video Transcript

    I do not see how breaking UK immigration laws should impact their U.S. immigration. FAQ in detail...

     

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  15. Wednesday,...
    Question: 1. My son is currently a student studying engineering at a 4 year public college in Illinois. I am working in the US on H1B, and my son is on H4. The issue is that he turns 21 next year before he would finish his final year in college, and since would age out of the H4 So what are the options he has left to continue his study Can he change to F1?<br> 2. What are the caveats to this? Can he do the adjustment of status in the US, or does he need to travel out of the country? I've heard that F1 visa processing takes a long time to process, and there is no determinate time - he has about 14 months for him to become 21 years as of now. When inquired the college said they are not processing the I-20s for Fall 2021 now, only for Spring 2021, and have asked him to wait, what are the consequences of this ?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Students aging out of H-4

    Video Transcript

    1. He can change to F-1

    2. You are likely to get the H-4 to F-1 conversion and he should be able to do it within the United States. You can check with them about I-20s. File as early as you can and that's the best you can do. He might be able to travel to Canada or Mexico to get his F-1 visa stamp in done. FAQ in detail...


    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  16. Tuesday, 7...
    Question: The petitioner is a newly established religious organization {has IRS 501( c )(3) and state registration}. However, its principal place of business (this would be the beneficiary’s work location as well) is still under construction (so far, they have made good progress in the construction of the building). The petitioner does not conduct any religious programs yet. No other primary office location. Can the petitioner file an R1 for a minister for future employment? Would there be issues with the site visit if the facility is not completed by then? Do you have any advice on how to proceed with this case?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

    Religious Worker Visa, premises still under construction

     

    Video Transcript

    As long as you have somebody who can start working soon, I think it could be accommodated. In this case I would have to review the law. FAQ in detail...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  17. Tuesday, 9...
    Question: My employer has applied for my H1 B extinction and got an RFE ,based on RFE responded but I got denial USCIS site 03-20-2020. But my employer still did not received denial notice. How many days I can stay in the USA after denial. (my I-94 has expired Jan-25-2020)
    Answer:

     

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:
    Covid Coronavirus Converting to B-1 B-2 status and 
    Covid Coronavirus H-1B denial

    Video Transcript


    A lot of you who have been laid off can use this information to maintain status. Lets say you got laid off in your H-1B. The way the 60 day grace period works is, you are given either the time remaining on your I-94 or 60 days whichever is less. So if you have only 45 days on your I-94 you have got a 45 day period not a 60 day period. 

    As long as you file a B-1/B-2 application with the government within those 60 days or 45 days depending upon your situation I think you are going to be quite OK. But here is what you need to understand. When you file B-1/B-2 you will use the form I-539. You will prepare a cover letter to the government telling them the truth that you have been laid off unexpectedly in the times of coronavirus. You cannot travel outside the USA, finding another job is getting difficult, you have enough money to support yourself, you will not work illegally and you are asking for a six month stay on a B-1/B-2 status and that as soon as you are back on H-1B you will not start working until the H-1B is approved. So make these points with the government.

    You can file the application online. While this application is pending you are not accruing unlawful presence. You are in an authorized period of stay. But here is one big point to remember. If you ask for six months your application is probably not going to be decided till about nine months. The last three months you would be accruing unlawful presence. So what you need to do is before the requested six month period is over if you have not found a job, apply for another extension even though the first one is still pending. Keep applying for further extensions until you need them no more.

    But B-1/B-2 is a great way to maintain your status. Nobody can travel during this time, so obviously you have something pending with the government even if you are out of status. These are extraordinary circumstances the government should forgive you for being out of status and at some point either at the point of the fist B-1/B-2 or at the point of the second B-1/B-2 approve your B-1/B-2 therefore take away all your unlawful presence issues and if they don't that’s what the good lord made the courts for. Apply for a B-1/B-2. It is a very important way to do things.

    FAQ in detail...

     

     

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  18. Wednesday,...
    Question: I am on H1-B with approved I140. My I94 expired on 10th October and my H1 extension was filed in time. After 7 months of processing time I got RFE even though my employer has filed two service requests requesting to expedite the process. Regardless now that I have got the RFE there is a very high probability that I wont get a response before 240 days which is on 6th June. As far as my understanding goes I am allowed to stay even after 240 days of H1 extension waiting for the decision but not authorized to work. Is that understanding right?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ:

     

    Implications of the 240 days grace period


    Video Transcript


    When you file your petition timely you have a 240 days grace period to continue working even after your current status expires. That is a very big advantage, but the problem is what if the government takes more than 240 days to adjudicate. While the case is pending you can work for only 240 days, but you can stay an unlimited amount of time in the United States as long as the case is pending.

    In the context of an H-1B if you have filed for an extension to change you can continue working as long as the case is pending, but if you have filed for an extension without change, you have got 240 days. FAQ in detail...


    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  19. Tuesday, 5...
    Question: My father is having a B1/B2 visa till 2025. He came to visit me on Feb 12, 202. He has stamped (I-94)till August 4, 2020. Due to this COVID-19 situation, I would like to extend his stay in the USA on B1/B2. He visited the USA multiple time from 1987 to 2020.
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: B-1/B-2 visitors visa extension 


    Video Transcript

    There should be no problem applying for extension in these circumstances. The important thing is to get the application filed. It is not that important to get it approved. Make sure he keeps proof of timely filing. FAQ in detail...




    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  20. Tuesday, 5...
    Question: I have a question regarding the impact of the recent Executive Order on my parents' greencard application, which is currently underway. I’m a US citizen (India-born, recvd greencard via EB category) and have sponsored the greencard application for my parents, who live in India, via consular processing. I-130 is approved, and we filed DS-260 and Form I-864 on 4/22 before EO was announced. Does the EO impact their case, or given it’s already in-progress (past I-130 approval), will it continue unaffected?
    Answer:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Effect of immigration proclamation/

    executive order on green cards


    Video Transcript

    First of all it does not apply to people who are already in the United States. It impacts, only to the extent that they will not get the immigrant visa stamp on the passport for the next 60 days. FAQ in detail.



    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

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