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.

Job loss situation - Alternatives and return options for H-1B visa holders with approved I-140

Question details

I have an approved I-140 (Approved in Feb 2022) which is already 6 months past the approval date & my priority date is August 2020. I am currently on H1B visa where I have already completed my 1st 3 years and currently am on the 1st 3 year extension.

My question is :

1.If for any odd reason I lose my job in the US, and I am not able to find another job within the 60 days grace period, what alternatives do I have within the US and find a job (H4 is not an option for me currently) ? Would joining a consultancy be a safe option to stop accruing unlawful presence OR compelling circumstance EAD ?

2. If I decide that going to India is a better option and want to come back after some time to the US, would I be subject to the H1B lottery at any point in future if my 6 years of H1B is exhausted ? What information or documents are needed to assist for returning back to the US ?

 

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

1. B-1/B-2 is another option. Please visit the blog entry on this issue. One might consider refraining from joining a consultancy unless they have a specific project.Compelling Circumstances EAD is not that glamorous, the reason being that it takes a long time to process. 

2. You can, of course, stay here while it's being processed, and then it's only given for one year, requiring you to extend it annually if you go to India.  B-1/B-2 is reasonably a good option; all you need is a copy of your earlier H-1B approval notice, and that should be enough.

Starting a new venture as an H-1B visa holder: Establishing an LLC/CCORP and Involvement as a Board Member and Founder

Question details

1. How can I set up an LLC/CCORP company for a startup while on H1B?

2. How to become a board member and founder without being an employee while maintaining legal H1B status as per USCIS?

 

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

As long as you are only dealing with the USCIS and don't have to travel, I don't see any problem. The key factor is the employer-employee relationship, not the ownership.

H-1B visa holder working remotely from India: Permissibility of working for an Indian company and also starting a business in India

Question details

I am on H1B with company A and currently working remotely from India. Given US rules don't apply in India -

1. Can I work for company B which is based in India and whose payroll also runs in India?

2. Can I start my own company in India while being on H1B for a US company?

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

The answer to both questions is that there is no problem.

Sponsoring Employment-Based immigration petition for Self-Employment: EB-2 or EB-1 I-140

Question details

I have an EB3 I-140-based EAD currently. If I set up a software firm for myself, can I sponsor EB2 or EB1 I-140 for myself? The main reason why I want to sponsor myself is I would not be under the constant fear that my employer may withdraw my I-140 for one or other reason. I will be able to work for myself. Is there any rule that stops me from filing an employment-based immigration petition for myself?

 

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

The answer is largely No, except under limited EB-1C circumstances.

Immigration Law

Can I omit a previous experience in PERM filing and I-140 transfer between companies?

Question details

I have an approved I-140 with COMPANY A. However, I have recently moved to COMPANY B, and they have initiated the green card process on my behalf. I prefer not to include my experience with COMPANY A in the PERM filing with COMPANY B. My understanding of the terms with company A is limited, and I may encounter difficulties in obtaining experience letters and supporting documents from COMPANY A. Could omitting my experience with COMPANY A cause any potential problems when COMPANY B files the I-140 & PERM and requests the previous priority date from COMPANY A.

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

There is no need to omit past employers.

Transfer an approved H-1B selected in the lottery to a new employer before October 1st

Question details

I am in the F1 OPT period and I worked with Amazon from August 2022 to May 2023. My H1B got picked in the lottery this year, and got it approved in June 2023. Currently, I’m in my 90-day period of unemployment, and would possibly get a new job with another employer before it ends.

I don’t want to lose my H1B this year. Is there any way that I can transfer my approved H1B to the new employer?

 

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

You can transfer an approved H-1B selected in the lottery to a new employer before October 1st.

Legal options and factors for a future stay in the USA; not selected in H-1B lottery, Master's Degree, and passport renewal

Question details

Currently, I am holding a STEM OPT from May 2022 until May 2024 (2 years).

My employer had applied for H1B this year and last year but had no luck.

Question and suggestion, please:

1) What are my legal options?

1.1 Apply for H1b next year in March and wait for the result, In case H1b is picked, how do I process it as my STEM opt expires in May 2024?

2) Enroll in university for the Master's degree?

2.1 I have a few classes remaining for my master's as I have finished my bachelor's degree in the USA and I take Day One CPT? Once a master's degree is complete, reapply for OPT and STEM OPT.

2.2 Should I continue to apply for H1B in the meantime?

3) If I apply for Master and Day One CPT, do I need to enroll for May–August 2024 (the summer class) or can I enroll for Fall 2024?

Note: STEM OPT Expires: May 15, 2024, or please suggest any other better option to stay in the USA.

Lastly, my passport expires in May 2024 as well. Is there any problem there?

- I'm thinking of starting the process for the renewal online. Should I do it now or wait for some time?

 

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

OPT can be applied at the next higher educational level. For instance, if your first OPT was based on a master's degree, you would need to pursue a higher level of education, such as a PhD, to apply for another OPT.

Regarding your passport expiration, it shouldn't be a significant issue. You have the option of expedited passport processing, which can help you get your passport renewed quickly. Overall, it should not cause major complications, and you should be fine.

For more information on your question please visit the blog section: 

https://immigration.com/blogs

 

EB-1C (International Managers and Executives): Eligibility for H-1B managers in the USA

Question details

I started working in the USA at my current company as a technical engineer, and they sponsored my GC application under the EB2 category. Recently, I was promoted to a manager position where I now oversee a team of 10 individuals. I'm wondering if I qualify to apply for a GC under the EB1 category based on my managerial role.

What are the available avenues to pursue a GC under EB1 as a manager in my current situation?

 

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

The answer is yes, but remember, EB-1C requires that you have worked for a branch or a sister company affiliate of this company outside the U.S. for one year as an executive or managerial employee, or equivalent.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Transitioning from H-1B to I-485 GC EAD: maintaining status and re-employment considerations

Question details

I have received my GC EAD based on my dependent status and am currently on an H-1B visa. However, the project I am working on will soon come to an end.

Do I still need to maintain my H-1B status, or will I automatically be in GC EAD status if I stop maintaining H-1B?

If I take a break from work while on GC EAD and then resume working after a 3-4 month period, will my immigration status be unaffected?

 

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

It is recommended to maintain the H-1, H-4, L-1, L-2, etc., statuses because it provides an additional layer of protection in case of any government errors or complications with the I-485 situation. If, for any reason, the government mistakenly or intentionally targets your I-485 application, having an H-1B to fall back on can be advantageous. The H-1B status remains intact and offers continued benefits. 

On the other hand, the EAD (Employment Authorization Document), unlike H-1B, grants you the freedom to choose whether to work, not work, work multiple jobs, or even start your own business. However, there are certain limitations to consider. Interestingly, the derivative beneficiary, which refers to your spouse, may have more rights under the EAD compared to your own. It's important to exercise caution and be mindful of these distinctions.

 

What are the consequences of H-1B or green card fraud or misinterpretation? How does it affect my departure, assets and financial matters?

Question details

If I am convicted of H1B/Green Card fraud or misrepresentation, resulting in a permanent entry ban, the following inquiries arise:

How soon must I depart from the US?

What will happen to my assets, such as my house and bank account funds? Will they be subject to seizure?

Can I sell my house and withdraw the money before leaving the US?

 

ANSWER
Video URL
FAQ Transcript

If you are convicted, which implies involvement in a criminal case, you will be unable to leave the U.S. without serving your sentence. If you receive a jail term of six months, one year, or five years (or any other duration), you must complete that period before departing. The timeline for your departure depends on the current status of your case. It is not advisable to stay in the U.S. illegally, considering that you are already facing the worst outcome—a permanent ban from entering the U.S. Overstaying by an additional six or eight months would result in an additional bar of three to five years on top of the existing permanent ban of three to ten years. As for your assets, unless there is some form of asset forfeiture, you can take your money and sell your house before leaving.

Green Card

Immigration Law