The K-1 visa was only granted to allow your fiancé(e) to be married to you. He or she will now be required to return home. Your fiancé(e) will begin a period of “unlawful stay” when the K-1 admission period ends. If your fiancé(e) stays in the U.S. for more than six months but less than a year after the K-1 admission period ends, he or she will not be able to return to the U.S. for three years. If the period is more than a year, he or she will not be able to return for ten years.
You are required to marry within 90 days of the date of the entry of the K-1 visa holder.
Now that you are married, your fiancé(e) will file to seek an adjustment of his or her K-1 non-immigrant visa to an immigrant visa, otherwise known as a green card. Your fiancé(e) will file form I-485 Application to Adjust Status together with proof of your marriage and your Affidavit of Support. USCIS will call you in for an interview at the local office. If USCIS determines that the marriage is “bona fide” it will grant the Adjustment and will issue your fiancé(e) an immigrant visa.
The K-1 visa is valid only for 1 entry. Your fiancé(e) will be required to obtain an Advance Parole document when the I-485 Application to Adjust Status is filed before he or she can travel outside the U.S.
When the I-485 Application to Adjust Status is filed, your fiancé(e) can also file an application to obtain a temporary Employment Authorization Document (EAD). An EAD is usually issued within 90 days after filing. The EAD allows temporary employment until the immigrant visa is issued.
In all green card cases where the application is based on a marriage, if at the time of the interview the parties were married for less than two years, USCIS will grant a Conditional Permanent Resident Card. The Conditional Permanent Resident Card (green card) is valid for two years and expires two years after it is granted. To remove the condition and to obtain a full 10 year green card, your fiancé(e) is required to file form I-751 beginning 90 days before the expiration of the conditional green card and before the expiration date.
I currently work abroad. My employer has an office in the United States. Do I qualify for a transfer?
The appropriate classification you will need to request from USCIS is L-1A, if you are a Manager or Executive, or L-1B, if you perform Specialized Knowledge assignments. In addition, you and the company need to meet the following criteria:1) there needs to be a qualifying corporate relationship between the foreign company and the U.S. company, 2) you have been employed for at least one year with the foreign company in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity, and 3) you will be performing a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge assignment in the United States.
Specialized knowledge is special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets or an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company. USCIS defines specialized knowledge as uncommon and advanced.
If you are coming to the United States to open or work in a new office, you may be eligible for an L visa, provided: the new office has an affiliation with a foreign company and specific other requirements are met. The L-1A manager or executive of a new office differ from the L-1A manager or executive of an already established office. The L-1 visa for a new office is valid for one year and needs to be extended after the first year to demonstrate to USCIS adequate staffing and operations.
The Blanket L Petition is available to U.S. companies that are large in size. The Blanket L is an option for a U.S. company that often transfers employees from a foreign entity that it is affiliated with.
To qualify for an L-1A visa, you must be either a manager or an executive. To qualify as a manager, you must manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization. You can be either a “personnel manager” and manage employees of the company, or a “function” manager and manage an essential function of the business, without any subordinate staff. You must be able to exercise authority, commit the company to a particular course of business, have hiring/firing power, etc. To qualify as an executive, you must manage, thorough subordinates, all activities of the entire company, report to the Board of Directors, etc.
I am looking to hire a new employee. He/she is currently in an F-1, student status. What can I do to legally employ him/her?
First, you will need to check whether the student has applied for and been awarded Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment authorization. The OPT period is valid for 12 months. If the student graduated in a STEM field, he/she may be eligible for an additional 17 months extension. The student applies for the OPT at the foreign student’s office of his/her school. If the student is in a valid, post-completion OPT period, you may request a change of status for an H-1B status for him, provided the H-1B requirements are met.
I am looking to hire a new employee. He/she is currently in a J-1 student status. Most of the student hires I have had in the past have been in an F-1, student status. How is the J-1 different from an F-1, student status?
The J-1 visa allows students to visit the United States as exchange visitors to perform a specific internship at the end of which, he/she must return to his/her home country. For employers, it is important to ask the J-1 holder whether he/she is subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement, pursuant to which, the J-1 holder must depart the United States and reside in his/her home country for two years prior to coming back to the United States. In very rare circumstances, the two-year requirement may be waived.
I am looking to hire a recent grad. He tells me he has OPT and therefore work authorization. What does that mean?
OPT, or Optional Practical Training is available to students upon completion of their degree program. A student may be authorized for 12 months of Optional Practical Training. The school attended by the student recommends the grant of employment authorization. You can employ the student who will have employment authorization pursuant to OPT and file an H-1B petition on his or her behalf.
I am looking to hire a recent grad. He tells me he has OPT for 29 months because he is a STEM Degree Student. What does that mean?
A student in certain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is able to obtain OPT employment authorization for a total of 29 months. The STEM extension is an extension of the student’s 12 months OPT for an additional 17 months period. The student’s school recommends the grant of employment authorization for both the 12-month OPT and the 17-month extension. That means, he will be able to work for 29 months after graduation. You will have an opportunity to apply for an H-1B on his behalf. If the H-1B petition is not chosen in the H-1B April 1 lottery, you will have an opportunity to try again next year.
STEM refers to certain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. A list of STEM majors is available at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/stem-list.pdf.
“In status” means that you are maintaining the status in which you were admitted, has not violated that status, has not worked without authorization and has not overstayed or taken any other action inconsistent with the entry status.
The most common path by which nonimmigrant employees are granted permanent residence status (Green Card) involves three steps: Labor Certification Application (PERM), Immigrant Visa Petition (I-140), and Application for Permanent Residence (Adjustment). The Labor Certification Application is the first step in the permanent residence process. The employer must obtain a certified labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) that certifies that there are no able, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The process involves several, sequential tasks completed by the attorney, the employer, and the employee including identifying the job description/minimum requirements, […]
One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is: “How do I renew my green card and do I need an attorney to do that?” If you are a permanent resident with a 10 year permanent resident card (i.e., a green card) that has expired or is about to expire, you need to renew your green card. You can file an application to renew as early as 6 months prior to the expiration date. To renew, you will need to complete Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. The instructions for the form are found online here. You can complete and submit the form online at www.uscis.gov or by mail. The fee for renewing your green card is $450. You do not need […]
The Labor Certification Application is the first step in the permanent residence process. The employer must obtain a certified labor certification from the Department of Labor that certifies that there are no able, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The process involves several, sequential tasks completed by the attorney, the employer, and the employee including identifying the job description/minimum requirements, recruitment, and Labor Certification filing. Labor Certification is not required for the preference category reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers and executives.