H Visa FAQs

H-1 denial, appeal, MTR

Authored on: Thu, 06/11/2009 - 08:44

Question

My 10th yr H1B extension/my wife H4 was filed and got rejected. Following are the details.

H1B/H4 filed: March 1st 2009
RFE was issued in April
RFE replied: May 6th 2009
H1B/H4 denied: June 1st 2009
Our H1B/H4 I-94 expired: Apr 10, 2009

My company wanted to do a) file appeal and b) a brand new H1 with vermont center(along with original RFE/denial letter etc.).

1) While appeal is pending, if we don't file a new H1B, what is my status? Am I considered to be in status?

2) While new H1B is pending, what is my status? Am I considered to be in status?

3) Can we file brand new H1B through the same company while appeal is pending?

4) Can I work for my employer while appeal is pending, without filing new H1B?

5) Can I work for my employer while new H1B is pending?

6) Since my I-94 is expired, if we apply for H1B while appeal/MTR is pending, if it is approved, will I get the approval along with I-94 or with no I-94 at the bottom of the approval. I heard that in some cases they gave the approval from the date of new H1B petition.

7) When does the time for 180 days(towards 3yrs bar) start? Is it from my I-94 expiry date (or) my H1B petition denial date.

Answer

1) When an H-1B is denied and your I-94 has expired, your out of status immediately upon denial AND you are accruing unlawful presence. An appeal or an MTR does not give you status nor does it stop the running of unlawful presence.

2) You are still out of status AND unlawfully present because the new H-1 was applied after your I-94 expired.

3) Too many variables. Generally speaking, USCIS is supposed to hold a new case pending if an appeal has been filed on exactly the same case.

4) No.

5) No.

6) This is totally in the discretion of USCIS. They can "forgive" your being out of status if there are VERY good reasons for it.

7) In your case, from the date of the denial. You were protected until the timely filed extension was pending.

Can H-1 be extended based upon family-based green card?

Authored on: Tue, 05/26/2009 - 01:00

Question

I am on H1B. If applied for GC through Family Based 4 category (brother/sister) can I apply for extension of my stay after my 6 yrs H1 period once the I-130 approved? Or this extension request is applicable only on Employment Based processing after Labor clearance?

Answer

You cannot. This extension is available only to employment-based applicants.

Employee's complaint for non-payment of salary-E-3, H-1B and Non H-1B

Authored on: Wed, 05/20/2009 - 01:34

Question

I (a software consultant) have EAD from my current employer(consulting firm). My employer holds my salary abruptly without any notice or reason. When pressed why? after the salary date passes by without getting paid, the general excuse given is "The bill is not collected from the client" , though there is no such contract between us wherein my salary is dependent on the accounts receivable/ collection. I want to know
a- Can they do it legally?
b- What are my options including can i sue this employer despite being on EAD?

Answer

Your best bet is the local State Workforce Agency for the State where you are employed. If you are not on H-1, this is the way to go. They will recover your salary. And, it does not cost you anything.

Here is the link to the SWA's for non H-1B workers http://www.doleta.gov/regions/reg01b...ources-SWA.cfm

H-1B and E-3 workers, go here:
 

Your best bet is the local State Workforce Agency for the State where you are employed. If you are not on H-1, this is the way to go. They will recover your salary. And, it does not cost you anything.

Here is the link to the SWA's for non H-1B workers http://www.doleta.gov/regions/reg01b...ources-SWA.cfm

H-1B and E-3 workers, go here:
http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/forms/wh-4.pdf

To complain to ICE, go here:
http://www.ice.gov/about/contact.htm

From H-4 to F-1

Authored on: Mon, 05/18/2009 - 11:48

Question

1. I have been on H-4 for almost 3 yrs now, and starting my MS in Spring 09 (on H4 status itself). But now I want to change to F-1 for personal reasons. I have the following doubts. request your clarification:
If I want to get my F-1 stamped from India, do I need to submit I-539 form also to the ISO of my school ?

2. How long should I be on F-1 before when I will be eligible to apply for OPT and work using the same?

3. If I want to start working as a grad assistant from Fall 09 semester, do I have enough time to apply for a change of Status through USCIS, CA ? Will I get an approved F-1 by then ?

Answer

1. No. An I-539 is used if you want to change status within USA.

2. You need to check with your school about CPT. The requirements for OPT as I recall are two full semesters on F-1.

3. No one can predict that. Sorry.

What kind of company is good for H-1B processing

Authored on: Fri, 05/15/2009 - 01:00

Question

Can you give us some tips on legally what kind of companies should one look for to process H-1.

Answer

I think this is a timely question. I can give some pointers based upon my experience.

H-1 approvals are easier:
- for in-house projects and for companies who can obtain letters from end-clients verifying the work; the degree of control they have over the H-1 worker and the duration of the assignment; and

- for companies that do not have a negative history with USCIS. I do not consider investigations to be negative history. Investigations are a way of life. What I do consider negative is an adjudication of willful violation and/or a finding of misrepresentation in any prior case.

As a rule of human conduct, a company that lies for you will also lie to you (the same is true for lawyers). So, stay away from companies who are "easy going" with the truth. While good advocacy and emphasizing the positive points in any case being filed are legitimate and desirable goals, misrepresenting truth is a crime.

Also from my experience, there are plenty of honest, sincere people doing business out there. The laws are so complex that even with the best of intentions, employers can unknowingly be in violation. Usually, employers can avoid findings of willful violation by obeying the laws in good faith and not getting "cute" with the investigators, but not always. For a job seeker, this is all I can say. I will add to this note if I think of something else. Now I have to get some work done. Good luck!

LCA's for H-1 will probably take longer now

Authored on: Fri, 05/08/2009 - 01:00

Question

Answer

New LCA Online System Beginning May 15th, 2009

Beginning May 15th 2009, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification will be disabling the filing of existing LCA form 9035E on its website http://www.lca.doleta.gov/.

Our office will use the new iCERT Portal System (http://icert.doleta.gov/) to file LCAs online using the latest Form 9035.

PLEASE NOTE: This new system can take up to 7 business days to process LCAs.

Because of this extended processing time, we will no longer be able to instantly process and submit LCA Forms online. Therefore, please allow our team ample time to review and process your H-1B application.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

H-1 Quota Count still at 45,000 as of 4 May 2009

Authored on: Wed, 05/06/2009 - 01:00

Question

Answer

USCIS Updates Information on FY2010 H-1B Petition Filings
Receipts remain relatively unchanged
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced information on the number of filings for H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2010 program. USCIS has received approximately 45,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap. The agency continues to accept petitions subject to the general cap.
 

USCIS Updates Information on FY2010 H-1B Petition Filings
Receipts remain relatively unchanged
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced information on the number of filings for H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2010 program. USCIS has received approximately 45,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap. The agency continues to accept petitions subject to the general cap.
Additionally, the agency has received approximately 20,000 petitions for aliens with advanced degrees; however, we continue to accept advanced degree petitions since experience has shown that not all petitions received are approvable. Congress mandated that the first 20,000 of these types of petitions are exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas.
For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window, the 15-day premium processing period began April 7. For cases filed for premium processing after the filing window, the premium processing period begins on the date USCIS takes physical possession of the petition. USCIS will provide regular updates on the processing of FY2010 H-1B petitions. The updates can be found on the USCIS Web site at www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count.

H-1 extension denied - status

Authored on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 01:00

Question

Answer

Quote: Hi Rajiv,
Its good to see the way you are providing appropriate answers to our questions. your responses are very helpful for us, specially in this tough time when USCIS is scrutinizing every Non-Immigration case.

I have a situation: My current Employer had applied for my H1B extension in regular processing in January, 09 which was expiring on 29th, April, 2009. They got a query, asking for agreement between me and the employer and agreement between my employer and 'ULTIMATE END CLIENT' and complete itenarary of services. When, my employer applied for extension in Jan, I was working for a project in CA, and they submitted LCA showing, CA as my work place. But, by the time, they got RFE, my CA project was ended and i got another project in TX. Then, they replied to RFE under premium processing along with new LCA showing, TX as my work place. On 22nd April 09, USCIS denied my extension saying, they cannot accept new LCA with an old dated I-129. I had filed for my H1B extension with a new employer and USCIS received my application as of 27th April, 09. But now my new employer also got a RFE.

Note: My I-94 is expiring on 09th May, 09. According to this, I can legally stay in country.

Ans. This situation is a bit complicated. Do get together with your lawyers. I am giving you the advice that I can based upon what I see. The good thing about your situation is that you did not start working with a new employer. Since you continued working with the old employer, a strong argument can be made that you are still in status (despite the change in locations). When your employer (new or old) files an extension; that, if timely filed, keeps you in authorized stay and gives you permission to continue working for 240 days.

Quote: My question is:
Since my new employer got an RFE, now I will not have a decision on my H1 Transfer before 9th May, can I stay untill I get any decision?

Ans. Yes, you can stay.

Quote: If, I start working for my new employer and suppose I get a denial from them, will the duration I work for them will be legal?

Ans. Yes.

H-1 Extension based upon spouse's 140; Child born in USA

Authored on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 01:00

Question

Answer

Quote: 1. Hello Rajiv, my wife and I have been working on H1B for different employers. My employer applied for my GC in 07. I have my I-140 approved, my wife and I have our EAD cards and AP. Thanks to your team! Now my wife's H1B term (6 years) ends on Jan 2010. Does this mean that if she wishes to continue her employment with the same employer after Jan 2010, she "HAS" to use her EAD ?

Ans. Yes. Under the current USCIS policy, they will not extend her H-1, based upon your I-140. They used to do that a few years ago, but not any more, as far as I know.
 

Quote: 2. If not can her employer file for her H1B extension based on my I-140 application.(Probably not since I-140 is an employer based application,but wanted to know if there is any other way).

Ans. No other way.
 

Quote: 3.If my wife were to change her employer after Jan 2010, could the new employer file for H1B transfer? If not does this mean that the option of a new employer filing for her H1/green card is completely ruled out?

Ans. She cannot get an H-1 extension beyond 6 years unless her own green card process is started.
 

Quote: 4. This question is not related to the above, but we are expecting our first baby in the month of August. Are there any applications that need to filed after the kid is born?(I am just glad that USCIS doesnt have any laws regarding making babies during the I-485 pending stage.Or is there...?)

Ans. Congratulations! And no, there are no laws against making babies so far :-). You have to do nothing. The child is born a US citizen if born in USA.

H-1 Quota still open

Authored on: Tue, 04/28/2009 - 01:00

Question

Answer

Here is the release from USCIS.

April 27, 2009
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced an updated
number of filings for H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2010 program.
USCIS has received approximately 45,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated
65,000 cap. The agency continues to accept petitions subject to the general cap.
Additionally, the agency has received approximately 20,000 petitions for aliens with advanced degrees;
however, we continue to accept advanced degree petitions since experience has shown that not all
petitions received are approvable. Congress mandated that the first 20,000 of these types of petitions are
exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas.
For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window, the 15-day premium
processing period began April 7. For cases filed for premium processing after the filing window, the
premium processing period begins on the date USCIS takes physical possession of the petition.
USCIS will provide regular updates on the processing of FY2010 H-1B petitions. The updates can be
found on the USCIS’ Web site at www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count.
– USCIS –