US Immigration Questions

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form. This answer is for information purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

What is a 212(a)(6)(c)(1) refusal of visa?

Question details

My entry into the United States was denied a few months back, and my H1B visa was canceled saying that I need to re-apply for a new visa and I agreed to that. A few days back I attended an interview on H4, but the interviewer was asking about the canceled visa and gave me a refusal worksheet Section 212(a)(6)(c)(1). I'm wondering what's happening here, could you please help me with this?

 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

Having a 212(a)(6)(i) denial, which is related to fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining an immigration benefit, is a severe issue because it results in a permanent ban from entering the United States. This can occur in various situations, such as visa applications, petitions, or misrepresentation at the airport, involving both written and oral misrepresentations.

The problem lies in the fact that this ban is permanent, and obtaining a waiver is complex and challenging. The availability of waivers is limited, making these cases extremely difficult to resolve once you're caught in a 212(a)(6)(i) situation.

 

Immigration Law

EB-2 vs. EB-3 visa filing: Pros, cons, and priority date considerations

Question details

My perm got approved on Oct 5, 2023. I am an Indian citizen with a priority date from my previous employer filing as March 28, 2012. As per the Oct 2023 visa bulletin, I am current under the “Dates for Filing” chart for EB2 and the “Final Action Date” chart for EB3. My employer's immigration firm insists on filing my I140, I485, I765, I131, and I693 under EB2 instead of EB3 for my case. So two questions:

1) Can you please explain the pros and cons of filing under EB2 and the pros and cons of filing under EB3?

2) As the EB3 “Final Action Date” chart is current for my priority date. Wouldn’t it be better for my case to be filed under EB3 instead of EB2, ensuring my 485 will get decided faster if filed under EB3 instead of EB2? Isn’t it?

 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

According to law it is evident that even with an approved EB-2 case, you have the option to file the I-140 under EB-3 – that's a choice open to you, and no one can dispute it. However, this doesn't mean that your I-140 and PERM are permanently tied to EB-3. What is typically done is filing the I-140 under the category that offers a more advantageous date. For instance, if you are in the EB-2 category and the EB-2 date is more favorable, you would file under EB-2. Conversely, if EB-3 is more beneficial, you would choose that option.

It's important to note that you cannot upgrade from an EB-3 PERM to an EB-2 I-140, but you can downgrade from an EB-2 I-140 to an EB-3 I-140 – or the other way around, downgrading from an EB-2 PERM to an EB-3 I-140.

So, when you have an EB-2 PERM, you have the flexibility to file under either EB-3, EB-2, or both. Importantly, this filing of the I-140 does not terminate your case or prevent you from returning to EB-2 in the future. Thus, there's no compelling reason not to consider filing under EB-3. As for whether it's better to file your case under EB-3 or EB-2, my recommendation would be to file I-140s for both categories – EB-3 I-140 and EB-2 I-140. However, for the I-485, it's advisable to file with EB-3 – that's likely the most suitable course of action.

 

Delays in marriage-based immigrant visa processing: Expedite options and travel issues

Question details

My son-in-law was interviewed at the US Consulate in Frankfurt in May 2023 for a marriage-based immigrant visa. They have requested his CV with traveling details for further processing. His case has been in Administrative processing for well over 90 days. I have two questions:

1. Is anything can be done to expedite the process?

2. He has traveled to the US on a B1/B2 visa four times prior to his interview from Germany. Is there any problem with him traveling to the USA to visit his wife while his case is in Administrative processing?

 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

Regarding his previous B1/B2 travel history to the U.S., there shouldn't be an issue with further travel while his case is in administrative processing. Although there's a slight possibility of being turned away at the airport, Customs and Border Protection usually treats spouses of U.S. citizens with consideration.

To avoid potential travel hassles, your son-in-law can clear U.S. immigration at Dublin Airport, which offers a more convenient option.

 

Nonimmigrant Visas

Agency

Immigration Law

H-1B approved after the lottery, can we change employers? Multiple employers in H-1B lotteries

Question details

Question 1: Can my H-1B be approved after the lottery, and can I change employers?

Question 2: Do I need pay stubs for an H-1B transfer?

Question 3: Can I have multiple H-1B employers?

 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

Answer 1 : While there's no official answer, in our experience, you can transfer your H-1B even before October 1st when it's approved in August. No need for pay stubs from the previous employer, based on our experience.

Answer 2: If you never joined the employer, you won't have pay stubs, which is acceptable. Even if you join and leave the employer on October 1st without a paycheck, that's fine too.

Answer 3: Multiple employers are generally allowed unless they're connected or conspiring to manipulate the lottery, which is not allowed.

 

Preparing for birth certificate issues in USCIS applications: Affidavits, DNA tests, and timing considerations

Question details

A general question on birth certificates for any case. If there are issues (like errors in names, spellings, etc.) and we know this upfront during/after the documents were submitted to USCIS, is it better to wait until the application is processed and an RFE is sent to us, or it is better to prepare affidavits from relatives (as secondary evidence) mentioning correct details of birth and keep it ready. The reason I am asking this is, sometimes getting affidavits in a short duration when the RFE is sent might not be feasible as relatives may not be available, maybe in different places, or may have even passed away.

Will USCIS accept affidavits by relatives prepared in the past, before the RFE was sent? Or is it only possible to prepare affidavits based on the specific questions raised in the RFE?

Also, how about a DNA test to prove relationships, can this be done and kept ready even if there is a likelihood of RFE in the future? Is this acceptable or should it be done only after an RFE is received for USCIS to accept the validity of this? This is again to save time, as there may not be sufficient time to get it ready during the RFE period, especially when applicants or beneficiaries live in different countries etc.

 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

It is better to address these issues proactively rather than waiting for a Request for Evidence (RFE). While it's advisable to be prepared in advance, if an RFE introduces new concerns, you'll need to address them. However, this doesn't imply that the affidavits you prepared several months earlier will suddenly become problematic. If the affidavits are relatively recent, say one or two years old, it wouldn't be a problem.

Consider this scenario: If you had a spelling name issue and obtained one or two affidavits explaining it, and then the RFE raises this issue along with another one, you can simply provide supplementary documentation. The documentation you've already provided doesn't lose its validity just because the government posed additional questions.

In our practice, we only resort to preparing for a DNA test if it becomes the last resort because it can be quite expensive. I'm not certain about the exact cost, but we typically wait until the government explicitly asks for it.

 

Agency

Green Card

Exploring permanent work and stay options in the U.S. for Canadian Permanent Resident

Question details

As a Canadian PR and having completed my post-graduate studies in Canada along with five years of Canadian work experience (HR), are there any specific visas I can apply for to work and stay permanently in the US? I will be eligible for my Canadian citizenship in March 2024.

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

A Canadian immigrant doesn't enjoy any special advantages over others. However, once you attain Canadian citizenship, numerous new opportunities become available. For instance, you become eligible for Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor visas like E-1 and E-2, as well as TN visas. Additionally, for most visa categories, you don't actually require a visa stamp. As a Canadian citizen, you can enter the United States without a visa, except for E visas and K visas. Visas such as F-1 and tourist visas typically aren't necessary; you can simply arrive at the border or airport with your Canadian passport. That's how the process works. It's important to note that being a permanent resident of Canada doesn't provide any advantage in the United States.

 

Immigration Law

Countries and Nations

Do Canadian citizens need US visas? Canadian citizenship and F-1 visa

Question details

I will be eligible for my Canadian citizenship in March 2024 and will be pursuing a master's in the US for the fall 2024 intake. Do I have to get the F1 student visa stamped on the Indian passport (as the Canadian passport will take some time to process)? If yes, do I need to go to India to get the F1 visa stamped, or can I get it from a US consulate in Canada?

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

The processing time for the Canadian passport might be longer, so I suggest you check with the consulate. This situation appears unusual to me. In my understanding or recommendation, the law implies that once you take the oath of naturalization, it's the same as in the USA. I'm unsure about Canada's specific rules, but when you take the naturalization oath, you typically cease to be a citizen of any country except Canada. 

You may need to explore options to expedite your passport application, perhaps by paying emergency fees or any other required charges. I believe you should be able to enter the United States with a Canadian passport and an I-20 without needing a visa. Canadian citizens usually do not require a visa for entry.

 

Nonimmigrant Visas

Immigration Law

Countries and Nations

Difference between H-1B consular processing and change of status

Question details

I am on my STEM OPT, and it is valid till July 2024.

My H1B was picked(March 2022) and approved(August 2022) last year.

However, my H1B was approved under the Consulate processing and received ( I-797 B). So, I asked my employer about it and got to know that I can change to H1 status whenever I intend to or after my stem opt expires.

I am planning to go to India in Oct for stamping. So I asked my employer to change my status to H1B, and they mentioned COS is not needed, I can directly go on STEM OPT and get my H1B visa stamped. It will automatically change the status to H1B.

 

ANSWER
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Your employer is correct.

 

Green Card

Green card processing, F-1 visa, and H-1B transition: Travel and work considerations

Question details

I am on an F1 visa, and My spouse is on a Green Card. My Green Card through my spouse is under processing(I-130 under Review). I am graduating in March 2024. My questions are as follows:

At what stage in my Green Card Processing can I start traveling outside the USA?

Let us consider my GC is still under processing by the time I graduate and enter the job market:

A)Can my employer file an H1 while my Green Card is under processing?

B)Given my H1 got picked, will there be any issue for me to travel to India to get my H1 stamped?

 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

If your green card application is family-based, such as through your spouse, and you have student status, it could potentially become a problem if you travel. In your case, I would suggest traveling only after you obtain either an H-1B visa stamping or Advanced Parole.

A. Certainly, there is absolutely no problem with that; a green card can be in process, and an H-1B can be filed.

B. No. The pending green card application should not hamper or impede the grant of an H-1B visa because the H-1B is a dual intent visa.

 

Remote work for a U.S. startup: Starting off on managerial duties from India before L-1 visa filing

Question details

Can an Indian employee start working for a US startup as a manager remotely from India while his L1 is filed a few months later? Will the L1 processing will be earlier for the startup as the employee has been performing the duties and also being paid the required wages (employers ability to pay)

 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

The answer is yes. L-1 does not necessitate a demonstration of the ability to pay, as there is no such requirement for L-1 visas. There are two key points to consider: Firstly, the work must be carried out through a local organization. While there is some ambiguity in this area, you must collaborate with a sister company. Therefore, if the startup has an affiliate or sister company in India and you are beginning work with them, it is completely permissible. However, it's crucial to remember that you cannot qualify for an L-1 unless you have worked outside the United States for a branch or an affiliated entity of this company for a minimum of one year.