Yes. You can work part time for different employers provided each employer obtained an H-1B visa on your behalf. H-1B visas are employer specific, that is, they only allow employment by the employer who has filed the petition and received a petition approval.
I am a U.S. employer who filed an H-1B petition on behalf of one of my employees. When can the employee start working?
Employment by the U.S. employer cannot begin until the H-1B visa is approved unless the alien already has H-1B visa status. In that case, employment can begin as soon as the new H-1B visa application is filed. However, if an individual possesses previous employment authorization such as a work authorization card, employment may be authorized up until the point that the H-1B visa is approved. If an individual already has an H-1B visa for the specific employer who is seeking to continue the employment, employment authorization is continued by the filing of the H-1B petition seeking to extend the employment and it is not necessary that the petition be actually approved.
I am a student currently working for a U.S. company on my OPT. How soon should I contact my company to apply for an H-1B on my behalf?
As soon as possible. USCIS will start accepting filings of new H-1B petition on April 1, 2015. Your company and attorney need ample time to assess your case, gather the necessary documentation, and prepare the petition. If you are seeking to change your status to H-1B and are subject to the April 1 deadline, contact your employer in advance.
I am the Director of Human Resources of a U.S. company. My company currently employs a student pursuant to his OPT. My company seeks to change his status to H-1B. What deadlines should I be aware of?
As a U.S. employer seeking to file an H-1B petition, you need to be aware of the April 1deadline. If you have employees who will need to change their current status to H-1B status on October 1, 2015, we strongly suggest starting the filing process as early as January of 2015. USCIS will start accepting filings of new H-1B petition on April 1, 2015. Because the H-1B petitions cannot be filed more than six months in advance of the requested start date, all employers in the U.S. seeking to hire new H-1N employees will rush to file on April 1, 2015 to apply for the prospective employees to start work on October 1, 2015.
Last year, USCIS received 172,500 H-1B petitions during the filing period.
U.S. Immigration Law known as the Immigration and Nationality Act allows U.S. Permanent Residents to file for certain family members. Under the current Law, green card holders can only file to sponsor their spouses or unmarried children. You must first obtain your U.S. Citizenship through the Naturalization process before you can sponsor your parents.
I am a U.S. Citizen. If I marry someone who is not a U.S. Citizen or green card holder, do they automatically become a U.S. Citizen?
No, they do not automatically become a U.S. Citizen. You must first file form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative to begin the process for your spouse to obtain permanent resident status. If they are legally present in the United States, they may be eligible to also file for Adjustment of Status with USCIS. If they are outside of the U.S. or do not qualify to file for Adjustment of Status, after USCIS approves the I-130 Petition, it is forwarded to the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. Once NVC processing is complete, the case is sent to a U.S. Consulate in your spouse’s home country where the medical examination and interview will take place. After your spouse becomes a permanent resident, […]
After you file the I-140 Petition for Alien Relative, it takes USCIS about 5 months to complete processing. The case is then sent to the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC). NVC takes about 3 months to complete processing at which time the case is sent to a U.S. Consulate in your wife’s home country for her interview. It usually takes approximately 2 months before an interview is set after NVC completes processing. You should plan that it will take anywhere between 10 and 12 months for your wife to have her interview and obtain an Immigrant Visa to allow her to come to the U.S.
My wife has had her interview at the consulate and her Green Card was approved. Is there anything else we need to do before she comes to the U.S.?
Your wife will need to pay the Green Card fee to USCIS before she comes to the U.S. This fee is charged by USCIS to create the actual green card. The fee is $165 and is paid online at: http://www.uscis.gov/forms/uscis-immigrant-fee.
Unfortunately under current law, your minor brother or sister would not get a green card if you file an Immigrant Visa Petition for your parents. Parents of U.S. Citizens are classified as “Immediate Relatives” and there is no “tag along” status for minor children. After your parents obtain their green cards, your parents could file to sponsor your brother and sister. However, there will be a wait of several years before they would be able to get their green cards.
The Immigration and Nationality Act sets out the categories for Family visa sponsorship. The Immediate Relative category is where U.S. Citizens sponsor their parents, spouses, or unmarried children under 21 years of age. There is no limitation to the number of Immediate Relative immigrant visas that can be granted in a year, so there is no waiting period for a visa to come available. Getting a green card still requires processing by USCIS and perhaps the National Visa Center, but there is no lengthy wait for the visa to come available. Preference categories are the other categories set out in the Act. They are: Family 1st-for unmarried children of U.S. Citizens over 21; Family 2A – for spouses and unmarried children under 21 of Permanent […]
I know that it could take 10 months or more for my parents to process through a U.S. Consulate to get their green cards. If I bring them here on visitor visas can they file for Adjustment of Status? Will processing be faster?
While the Adjustment of Status process through USCIS can be substantially shorter than processing through a U.S. Consulate, not all persons who come to the U.S. on visitor visas are allowed to file for Adjustment. An individual using a visitor visa to enter the U.S. must have an intention not to remain permanently in the U.S. and must intend to be coming only temporarily as a visitor. If a person enters with a visitor visa but is intending to stay permanently, they may be committing visa fraud. If a person is found by USCIS to have committed visa fraud, they could be prevented from obtaining an Immigrant visa/green card.
Yes, in most cases dependents of the primary alien will also be given green cards. There may be special rules for children who become 21 before the visa interview. In some cases they “age out” and are no longer considered dependents. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) in some cases may allow older children to still receive a green card.
I married a woman who entered the U.S. without a visa. Can she file for Adjustment of Status with USCIS or will she have to go to a consulate?
The answer to this question will depend on many things and there is no one answer for all cases. There are various laws and regulations that will determine if the case is eligible for an Adjustment of Status or if the case must be processed at a consulate. You will need to consult with one of our attorneys to determine if she can process in the U.S. through Adjustment or if Consular processing is required.
A person filing the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative must also file an Affidavit of Support for the person or persons sponsored. You are required to make $125% of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines to file the Affidavit of Support. The Poverty Guidelines are a sliding scale based on the number of persons in your household added to the number of persons being sponsored. For example, if you are married, have two children and are filing for your mother, that is a household of 5. Under the current guidelines, you would need to show that you have a family income of at least $43,625. If your family income is below that, you can show that you have assets such as savings, investments or property worth 5 […]
My wife has filed for Adjustment of Status. Can she travel outside the U.S. while she is waiting for her interview?
Unless your wife is in H-1B or L-1 status, she cannot travel outside the U.S. while the Adjustment of Status is pending without permission from USCIS. If she does, USCIS will presume that she has elected to process her green card at a U.S. Consulate and will deny the Adjustment of Status and send the case to the National Visa Center. If she first obtains Advance Parole from USCIS, she can travel outside the U.S. and then re-enter for the purpose of completing the Adjustment of Status.
We just had our visa interview at the USCIS Office. My wife was granted a “Conditional” green card. What is a Conditional green card?
A “Conditional” Permanent Resident Visa is given when at the time of the interview at either USCIS or a U.S. Consulate the parties were married less than 2 years. The Conditional green card is itself valid for 2 years and the Conditional green card status expires at the end of the two years. You and your wife will need to file Form I-751 to remove the Condition. USCIS will want to have copies of documents to prove that you and your wife are still married and residing together. If the Condition is removed by USCIS, your wife will be granted a full 10 year green card and full permanent resident status. If she does not file Form I-751, then she will be out of status […]
My Parents want green cards to make it easier for them to come to the U.S. They also want to spend time in their country with the rest of our family. As long as they come back every six months is that ok?
A person who has been granted a green card as proof of U.S. Permanent Resident status, must be a continuous resident of the U.S. There are two components to this. The first deals with periods of time outside the U.S. If a Permanent Resident is outside the U.S. for more than six months, but less than a year, there is a presumption that they have abandoned their Permanent Resident status. This can be refuted by showing continued ties to the U.S. such as family, a job, and property in the U.S. If a Permanent Resident is gone for more than a year, they cannot return using the green card. The second component is the long term history of residence. If a Permanent Resident only comes […]
The K-1 visa allows you to bring your fiancé(e) to the U.S. to get married. U.S. Citizens can file an I-129F Petition to ask USCIS to approve a K-1 visa for a fiancé(e). The U.S. Citizen and foreign national fiancé(e) must have met personally within the two years before the K-1 Petition is filed. If USCIS approves the I-129F Petition, the approval is sent to the U.S. State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) for Processing. The NVC then sends the approved I-129F to a U.S. Consulate in the fiancé(e)’s home country where he or she is interviewed. If the Consulate believes that there is a true relationship between the U.S. Citizen and the fiancé(e), then the K-1 visa is granted.
When the K-1 non-immigrant visa is granted, the K-1 visa holder (and any K-2 child dependent) must enter the U.S. within 90 days.