H Visa FAQs

Out of Status

Authored on: Wed, 02/10/2010 - 02:36

Question

How many months gap is permisible for H-1 and also in GC process if person is on H-1 ?

I mean to say supposse one H-1 holder lost his job and if he got another job after 02 months ( Gap of 02 months ) then his H-1 and GC process will be effected ? His last co. is supporting by keeping her I-140 as such ( no revock )

(Condition: Person has H-1 and his I-140 was also aproved in last co. but due to some reason she left job and would like to join another co. on 3rd month, say after 02 months and would like to file H-1 in this new company )

Answer

A gap of even one day (unless excused by USCIS) puts a person out of status and is not permitted. When you leave a sponsoring employer, it certainly calls into question the continuity of existence the green card job'

H1B Status

Authored on: Wed, 02/10/2010 - 02:32

Question

My wife is on H1B and now she is 7th month pregnant. If she takes leave on non-payment, will she be in H1B status or out of status?

Answer

As long as the leave of absence is reasonable and customary (or required by medical necessity), she should be considered in status.

Must we withdraw a PERM application if the employee is laid off?

Authored on: Wed, 02/10/2010 - 02:26

Question

I am Mr. Jones, the employer. The employee, Mr. Smith, is no longer employed with us because of company's budget issue. However, we may hire him in the near future if circumstance changes.
My question:
Q1. Do we need to withdraw PERM LC for him that was submitted 2009?

Q2. Question from the employee, Mr. Smith:
If Mr. Smith filed an immigration benefit (e.g. visa, petition, change of status), does he need to answer YES / NO to the following question: "Has an immigrant petition ever been filed for you?" Basically: does submitting PERM/LC mean filing an immigrant petition? This question is often asked in application.

Answer

A1. I do not know of any law that requires an employer to withdraw a PERM application if an employee leaves or gets laid off, but the employer still retains a good faith intention to hire them back. When we first filed the PERM application, we filed it in good faith, asserting to the USDOL under penalty of perjury that:
You have enough funds available to pay the wage or salary offered the alien and you will be able to place the alien on the payroll on or before the date of the alien’s proposed entrance into the United States.
Both these assertions were true when we filed the PERM application on your behalf. So, we have followed the laws to the letter. Now, several months later, circumstances have changed. Do we have an affirmative duty to withdraw the PERM application? I do not see such a duty in the law.
Having a PERM in process, gives your employee an opportunity to continue extending their H-1 with any employer beyond 6 years. That is a considerable benefit.
The government could take the position that your application is now void on two grounds. First, you no longer have a job open, which is a continuing requirement. Second, you had an interruption in your ability to pay the intended wage, which is also a continuing requirement. We could lose the green card on both counts, but I see nothing illegal in letting the application stay pending. My opinion could change if we get an audit request from the USDOL. At that point, it may be inappropriate for us to continue. That is something we will review carefully at that time. Please do remind us. We will also post a note to your file.

A2. A PERM is not a visa application or an immigrant petition, a Form I-140 (the step after PERM) is.

Importance of having continuity of employment/pay stubs

Authored on: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 05:50

Question

Whats the relevance or importance of having continuous pay stubs (How much gap is permissible if Not significant?) in the processing of Green card of an H1B holder.

Answer

Continued payments are required by law for H-1 holder, unless they come under some very limited exceptions for leave for employee's personal reasons. Not paying, exposes the employer to investigation and penalties and may place the employee out of status.

In the green card context, non-payment can lead to problems with demonstrating ability to pay wages.

For both H-1 and GC, nonpayment can lead to an assumption that no genuine job exists. That could lead to cancellation of one or both processes, except for situations where AC21 portability is involved.

Status change from F1 to H1b

Authored on: Fri, 01/29/2010 - 07:32

Question

I got F1 in Jan 2009. Got H1b approval in May 2009. H1b approval means just got I797B form. I preferred to join Fall 2009 semester in University and came in USA in Jul 2009, got I94 with F1 and continued to fulfill F1 obligations.Now I want to change my status from f1 to H1b, and its seems my employer needs to file a petition with form I-129, will that means it should be applied April 2010 and all the balloting process and I will be able to start work after 1st Oct 2010. Will my existing unused H1b approval be able to be used and to exempt cap and and all things required? And can I get I797

Answer

You are cap exempt and should be able to change status OR get H-1 visa stamping right away. No waiting till 1 Oct.

H1B layoff, H1B transfer-RFE raised, New H1B approved

Authored on: Fri, 01/22/2010 - 04:18

Question

I was laid off by Company A on August 14th. I found a job with company B on October 14th. A transfer of H1B was filed by company B, but an RFE was raised asking me to prove that I had maintained my status. Since, I had no way of proving that I had maintained my status, a new H1B was filed by company B. The new H1B was approved. I have my stamping interview in 3 days. What kind of questions should I be prepared to answer? I am concerned that they might not approve my case. Please help!!

Answer

Merely being out of status is no ground for visa denial in your circumstances. Tell the truth. You should be ok on the status issue.

H4 to H1-B

Authored on: Thu, 01/21/2010 - 07:07

Question

I was working as an IT professional and my H1-B visa expired on 13 december 2008 (I shifted to H4). I have been in this country for 10 years now and there are other factors involved too. Is there some way I can reactivate my H1-B visa status?

Answer

Once 6 years on H-1 are over, I know of only two ways to reactivate: go physically outside USA for one year, OR apply for a green card, one year after which you can extend your H-1 (or upon approval of I-140, whichever is earlier).

H1B Visa Stamping

Authored on: Thu, 01/21/2010 - 06:39

Question

My first term of H1B is going to expire in August 2010, is it possible that I will get the new visa stamped from Canada before expiration like in June or July?

Answer

I think they will not stamp a new visa while the old one is still valid for some number of days (30 or 60, I forget). Email the consulate.

EAD - Job title change on the same job

Authored on: Tue, 01/19/2010 - 04:35

Question

My wife and I am on EAD and also both have H1B (I am in my 8th year of H1B and wife is in 5th year as teacher). Our EAD is based upon my job in EB3 category in IT as System Analyst/Administrator, my priority date Aug'2003. Last year I have completed MBA in Finance and can now work as a Project manager within the same company. Can I change my title to Project Manager or IT Manager and also can I change my profile now to work in Investment Company or any other non-IT field in the same company I am already working. As these delay of getting green card are actually causing problem in my career.

Answer

If you change your field/job description, it is very likely that you have to start your green card all over again. You should be able to carry the same priority date, but the PERM/I-140 may have to be done again.

F1 visa to H1-b

Authored on: Tue, 01/19/2010 - 04:28

Question

I just completed my undergraduate degree and my F1 status does not expire till May 2010. My OPT application is in process and still pending with a requested start date of 10th February 2010. However, I have found an employer who is willing to sponsor my H1B visa. So here are my questions. i)Can my employer file for my H1B visa right now, even though I am interim OPT application process? ii) When can I start working and getting paid from my employer? Essentially, I want to start working and I am wondering what is the fastest way to do so.

Answer

Since the H-1 quota is over, OPT is your best option as far as I can tell.