H-4 Visa FAQs

AC21 Job Portability

Authored on: Thu, 04/15/2021 - 05:25

Question

Previously I was on H1B when my I-140 was approved. Currently I am on H4 status, not employed and my priority date became current.
Previous employer has provided Supplement J and I have filed I-485, I-765, I-131 concurrently. The Supplement J indicates (#9 in Part 6) I am not currently employed with the sponsoring employer.

Q1) Upon receiving AOS EAD, can I directly join a new employer after 180 days of pending I-485 if sponsoring employer doesn't have any open position?

Q2) Can I start searching for new job before 180 days of pending I-485, but join after 180 days? Or, I must have to start searching and interviewing for new job, only after 180 days?

Q3) At the time of filing AOS, my Supplement J indicated that I am not currently employed with the sponsoring employer. If I join the sponsoring employer upon receiving EAD, then do I have to send USCIS new Supplement J indicating that I am now employed with the sponsoring employer, knowing that it might take a decade for my Final Action Date to become current and I may not be employed with the sponsoring employer at the time of GC interview?

Q4) What if I need to change my employer after GC interview, but before receiving GC?

Q5) I heard, after 180 days of pending I-485, even if I change my job couple of times, I can take the Supplement J only from the employer with whom I will be working at the time of GC interview. But can I still send new Supplement J to USCIS from each employers everytime I change my job? Is that legally allowed? or, is there any concern? Because, it might take a decade for my Final Action Date to become current and within that timeframe I might have to change job 2-3 times.

Answer

Video URL

H-1B portability without a visa stamp

Authored on: Tue, 09/15/2020 - 08:00

Question

I came to US on H-4, so I have only H-4 stamping in my passport. Got my H1b picked up in lottery two years back, and did COS to h1, and have approved i797A with I-94 and working with my current employer.

Got an offer from another company, and they filed my H1b transfer, and got the i-797A approval with I-94.

So my question here is, can I join the new company using the H1b transfer approval, even though I don’t have H1b stamp at all in my passport? Will this be a valid H1b transfer?, or should I go back to India to get my H1b stamping to join the new employer?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-1B portability without a visa stamp

Video Transcript

When you have an H-4 visa stamp and you came to the United States and you got selected in the lottery that means you got your H-1B and you got your change of status. If you change employers you can start working as soon as your change of employer paperwork is delivered to the USCIS. You do not need any H-1B visa stamp for that purpose. FAQ in detail...

 

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H-1B no notification of termination, 60 days grace period, etc.,

Authored on: Tue, 08/18/2020 - 05:44

Question

My employer ended my employment due to COVID reasons on May 31, 2020 but I never received an official termination letter. Calculating the grace period depending on the assumed termination date mentioned above, I have till July 30 to find a new job. Should my new employer give me an offer or start the H1B transfer application before July 30? What happens if they fail to do so in time? Can I extend the grace period on the basis of having an offer in hand or maybe because of the pandemic? My final interviews with potential employers are being withdrawn because of the time restriction.

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

H-1B no notification of termination, 60 days grace period, etc.

Video Transcript

File a complaint against the employer with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor by filling up the form WH-4. You can also call them. 

The 60 day grace period works like this. The new employer must make sure that your H-1B transfer application is received by the USCIS within 60 days. So the LCA should be done, the package prepared and USCIS should receive your H-1B transfer within 60 days, otherwise you will be out of status and you will have to go outside the USA for visa stamping pandemic or no pandemic, also remember there is a proclamation that will stop you from coming back at least before December. Make sure you remain in status or at least file a B-2. FAQ in detail...

 

 

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Covid-19/Coronavirus applying for B-2 status

Authored on: Tue, 07/28/2020 - 03:07

Question

I came to the US on H1b in 2010. My i140 got approved in Dec 2013. I joined a new employer on 21 Feb 2020. My H1B got approved till 20 Feb 2023, But I did not receive any receipt notice for my wife and my elder son H4. My employer told me that he applied for an H4 visa for my dependents.

Unfortunately, I got laid off due to COVID-19 and my employer notified USCIS on 8th June 2020 to revoke my visa. My priority is to find a new job. But in case I do not find any job I would like to move out of the USA, I do not want to accrue unlawful days. But, due to the COVID-19 situation in India, I am scared to travel to India.

My wife called USCIS and was asked to email USCIS on lockboxSupport@uscis.dhs.gov to notify her of the receipt number of my wife and son. But she has not received any response.
I want to stay in the USA until the COVID-19 situation becomes normal. As per the Document COVID Coronavirus Converting to B-1 B-2 status.pdf on your website, I can apply for a change of status to B1/B2?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Covid-19/Coronavirus applying for B-2 status

Video Transcript

Reach out to your lawyers and explain to them what is happening and tell them to make sure you get copies of everything. File for your family's B-2 if your H-1 is not filed within that 60 day I-94 time. If it is filed go ahead and file another H-4 application with them. For applying for EAD under certain circumstances please click here

FAQ in detail...


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Traveling Abroad While H-4 EAD is Pending

Authored on: Wed, 11/21/2018 - 10:33

Question

I changed my job from company A to Company B. H1,H4,H4 EAD is approved for company A. I moved to company B and my H1 change of employer is approved. While H4 is pending with company B. Can my wife travel to India and apply for H4 visa stamping in India?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Traveling abroad while H4 EAD is pending

Video Transcript

You can travel if you are already on H-4 and just your EAD is pending. If you have a change of status as well as an EAD pending don't travel. If only EAD is pending and you are already on H-4 that is ok. Please talk to your lawyers. More...

 

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Applying for H-4 Status While on Parole

Authored on: Tue, 07/31/2018 - 06:40

Question

I have I-140 and I-485 pending. H-1B ended on May 2018 and applied for extension which is pending.
Spouse entered US under parole status and is valid till December 2018, H4 visa has expired in May 2018
Can spouse apply for H-4 extension after approval of H-1B extension? If so can it be done from USA or have to travel abroad for H-4 visa stamping?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Applying for H-4 status while on parole

Video Transcript

You cannot really get a change of status because parole is not really status. It is just authorized stay which is legal, but not full status. So basically if you want to convert back to H-4 , it does not require any prior approval from the USCIS. You can just take the spouses H-1 approval and go outside USA get your visa stamped and come back. When you enter using your H-4 visa you are back on being on H-4 instead of being on parole and if the I-140 or I-485 etc., is still pending you can of course keep extending your advance parole. You can apply six months ahead of time before the expiration of the parole. More...

 

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Can An Employee Withdraw An H-1B Petition?

Authored on: Wed, 07/04/2018 - 03:36

Question

I'm working on H-4 EAD with company A. Company B filed for H-1B for this year and it was picked in lottery but no decision made yet, now I don't want H-1B and asked company B to withdraw the H-1B and he agreed to it and shared the H-1B withdrawal letter along with the I-129C notice. Just to make sure that the petition is withdrawn without any issues, can I also post the same letter again to USCIS with company's from address on it?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Can an employee withdraw an H-1B petition?

Video Transcript

You should send a letter to the government in writing, certainly, even get it maybe notarized to assure the government that these are your signatures and say that you no longer wish to apply for a change of status and you are not going to take up that job. So you hereby withdraw from the change of status request under the H-1B. After you send a notarized letter give them a call as well and just tell them you have written and this is what you want to be noted and that you are not going to go through the change of status. There is no actual procedure for it, but this can be as secure as you can be to ensure that the government will not give you a change of status even though you don't want one. More...

 

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Can I Get H-4 Visa Stamping While the H-1 to H-4 Change of Status is Still Pending?

Authored on: Mon, 02/19/2018 - 03:41

Question

H1 to H4 COS pending from Jul 14 2017. I94 expired Nov 2nd. H4 to B2 applied on Oct 31 2017 as per our attorneys suggestion due to some delay with spouses visa. Spouse's H1 is now approved. I would like to get my H4 as soon as possible and apply for H4 EAD. Can I go to Canada/ any close by country and get my H4 stamping done while the petitions are pending or wait till H4 is approved? or going to India is my only option

Answer

Watch the Video for this FAQ: Can I get H4 visa stamping while the H1 to H4 change of status is still pending?

Video Transcript:

Absolutely no problem at all. You can go to any country of your choice, no harm done. Remember for H-4 stamping a prior approval from the USCIS is not needed. You walk in with your spouses H-1 approval and that's how you get your H-4. More...

 

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Applying for Green Card while Holding H-4 Status; Applying for Green Card and Permanent Residence for Another Country Simultaneously

Authored on: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 05:05

Question

I was on H-4 visa from Feb 2014 till Dec 2015. I was on H-1 visa from Dec 2015 to April 2017. In April my H-1B transfer got denied. Hence I applied for change of status from here (April 15 2017) and now my H-4 application is under process. In Dec 2016 (while I was on H-1B visa), I had applied for GC in EB2 category with my employer. My employer told me that my labor has been approved.<br>
1: Is there a website where we can check the status of labor if it has been approved?<br>
2: When can I file for I-140? Is it true that it has to be filed within 180 days of labor approval?<br>
3: Can my GC application continue whilst being on H-4 visa? <br>
4. Does the GC process, at any stage, require the applicant to be on H-1 visa?<br>
5: I am planning to start Canada PR procedure. Will my GC application interfere with Canada PR at any point?

Answer

Watch the Video of this FAQ: Applying for green card while holding H-4 status; applying for green card and permanent

residence for another country simultaneously

Video Transcript:

1. You have to go through your lawyer or your employer. You won't have access to it, but definitely, there is a website.

2. Within 180 days of the labor approval.

3. Yes of course. 

4. It does not. 

5. I don't see any problem with it, I know that at the border the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sees that you have got two permanent residence applications going on sometimes they can raise a stink about it but in my opinion that's completely unjustified. More...

 

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Pros and Cons of Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing for Green Card

Authored on: Wed, 10/25/2017 - 03:34

Question

My H1B (6 years) was from 10/1/2004 - 9/30/2010 from 5 different companies.
Company A - PD(EB3) - Jun 19, 2007, I-140 applied on July 9, 2007, I-485 filed July 17, 2007 - got laid off Oct 31, 2008. - I-140 approved on Dec 29, 2008.
Moved to Canada in July 2012 and became Canadian Citizen in Apr 2017. I have been keeping Advance Parole active by visiting the USA every year.
Now I want to add my family in Canada(wife(Indian Citizen with USA visitors visa) and kid(Canadian Citizen)). Do you recommend AOS for myself and Consular Processing for my family?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Pros and cons of adjustment of status and consular processing for green card

Video Transcript:

You have got your I-485 filed and that's a good thing and you kept it alive by keeping your advance parole alive, but you need a job offer and you need to file Supplement J. So if you want to take advantage of AC21 you have to move over to a new employer get a new job offer and use Supplement J to indicate to the USCIS that you are going through another employer. You have two choices. You can split the green card. You going through adjustment of status, you enter the USA with your Advance Parole and you file form I-824 for your family to go through green card processing through consular processing in Canada. So you can either bring them all in on an H-1/H-4 type visa or you can do your adjustment of status and let them do their consular processing.You should not convert yourself to consular processing that could probably end in the loss of a green card. You are taking advantage of AC21 which as far as I know is available only in adjustment of status. It is not available in consular processing. Hence adjustment of status for you and consular processing for your family makes sense. More...

 

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Transfer from H-1 (with I-140 approved) to H-4 EAD

Authored on: Fri, 08/25/2017 - 04:05

Question

I have approved I-140 with company A and my wife has her I-140 approved or over 2 years. I'm planning to move to H4 EAD. Can I file for H4 and H4 EAD concurrently? What would happen to my earlier I-140 and also to the GC process if I am on H4?

Answer

You can most definitely file H-4 and EAD together. Your green card process can continue even though you have changed your status.

Does H-4 Require a Prior USCIS Approval for Visa Stamping?

Authored on: Thu, 08/10/2017 - 04:43

Question

My dependents visa stamp on passport expires on Sept 1st 2017 and have valid I-94 till Sept 1st 2017 and this was with the previous employer A I worked for. I moved to a different employer B a year back and haven't filed H4 for dependents with employer B as it was not necessary. Now if my dependents travel to India prior to Sept 1st 2017, do I still need to file for H4 extension or is it good if they attend the interview at consulate in India and get visa stamped on passport without H4 extension using my approved I-797 (till 2019) with employer B.

Answer

Watch Video on this FAQ: Does H-4 require a prior USCIS approval for visa stamping?

Video Transcription

You do not need to get an H-4 extension from USCIS when you have certain derivative visas like H-4 or L-2. Those visas are given based upon the approval of the H-1 holder and the L-1 holder. For the dropbox facility, you have to look at the local rules. More...

 

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Applying for H-4 Status while H-1 is Pending

Authored on: Fri, 07/14/2017 - 10:43

Question

I got H1B approval from company 'A' till Oct 2015, filed H1B extension in May 2015. As there were no updates, changed extension regular case to premium and got RFE in 2016.Before responding to RFE got to know that company 'A' has some issues and no one was responding from company 'A'. So before 240 days completion of I-94 got visa transfer with company 'B' in a premium process. Now my H1b is in security check with company B. My Both H1b cases/receipts are still in pending status. I applied for H4 visa now within the USA and if any of my H1B cases get declined. Can I stay on my H4 visa receipt?

Answer

Watch Video on this FAQ: Applying for H-4 status while H-1 is pending

Video Transcript

Looks like you are basically in an authorized period of stay because your approval was only good till October 2015. They will not give it to you. You are better off going outside the USA for visa stamping. You should have your H-1 lawyers call the U.S. attorney's office and see if they can talk with the prosecuting attorney and get some kind of a letter or an email from them that that would make your approval possible because you have not committed anything wrong. You just happen to be caught in a case which is either being investigated or prosecuted. If it is being investigated there isn't much you can do, but if it is already being prosecuted and it's already in court you might be able to get around this problem because even if you go for H-4 visa stamping if there is a red flag on you, you might have trouble getting H-4 visa stamping. More...


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Extending H-1/H-4EAD; working while extension pending

Authored on: Tue, 06/06/2017 - 00:08

Question

I am on H1 Visa, my H1, wife's H4 and H4 EAD expires on 7/18/2017. I will be completing my 6 years by 7/18/2017. My I-140 is approved. I have a question<br>
1. Should I file for H4 EAD extension along with my H1 and H4 extension<br>
2. Can my spouse (H4-EAD) work while her extension in progress?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Extending H-1/H-4EAD; working while extension pending

Video Transcript

1. Yes, you should. 

2. No. Once the current H-4 expires and EAD expires and you are waiting for the new EAD to arrive she has to stop working. More...

 

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.


Will H-4 EAD Rule be revoked?

Authored on: Thu, 03/02/2017 - 00:34

Question

1) Is it true H-4 EAD rule will be revoked by the government? <br>
2) My H-1B visa is going to expire in 14-Jan-2018 and if my employer submits my PERM application in the month of June (i.e. before 6 months of my current 6 years of H-1B visa duration).<br>
a) If my PERM is not approved before my current H-1B visa expires. Can I change to H-4 EAD at that time?<br>
b) If my PERM approved after change to H-4 EAD, Can I change back to H-1B?<br>
c) Is it possible to convert from H-1 to H-4 EAD without taking a break in employment?<br>
d) If my PERM gets approved after my current H-1B expires can my employer file for H-1B extension?<br>
3) I would like to move to H-4 EAD but I would like to come back to H-1B anytime in future, in that situation what is the best status for H-1B?<br>
4) If I apply for new H-1B is it comes under H-1 quota (After 6 years completes.)?

Answer

Watch Video on this FAQ: Will H-4 EAD Rule be revoked?

Video Transcript:

1. I don't think it will be revoked.

2a. Yes, you can if your spouse's I-140 is approved or she is in the 7th year of her extension.

2b. Yes, you can change back to H-1B.

2c. I cannot predict this question as it is a question of logistics. 

2d. Most definitely.

3. You can be in any status. If your right to activate or H-1B comes mature you can jump back to H-1B without any problem. 

4. It does not.

More...

J-1 Physician applying for following to join after waiver

Authored on: Wed, 03/01/2017 - 23:20

Question

I am a physician currently in H-1B undergoing 3 years of J-1 waiver program which is set to be completed on July end of this year. My husband got his greencard through E-B2 category (rest of the world) in early 2013 When I was still in J-1. My name was included in I-140 but could not file I-485 due to my J-1 visa. I have been married since 2006 and came to the US initially on H-4 visa before getting residency in J-1 visa. Is there a possibility of filing my I-485 directly without waiting for the long I-130 approval process? Or is there any exceptions for a situation like mine such that spouse happened to be in J1 and could not apply for a change of status at the time primary applicant applied for I-485?

Answer

Watch Video on this FAQ: J-1 Physician applying for following to join after waiver

Video Transcript:

Yes, if you are in the USA in legal status and his priority date through which he got his green card is still current you should be able to file your I-485 directly. More...


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Changing Employers With An Approved I-140 After January 17 2017

Authored on: Tue, 02/28/2017 - 02:18

Question

I have approved 140, Green card EAD/AP card in EB2 from company-A and passed more that 180 days. I have maintained H-1B status since last 9 years instead of using EAD/AP as the need to go India for marriage so my future wife gets H-4 easily. Just transferred my H-1B to company-B. Company-A will revoke my I-140 in March 2017 due to company policy. I have following questions to ask you.<br>
1. Shall I get H-1B extension (beyond 6 yr) in future with company-B after I-140 revoke from my previous employer?<br>
2. I have EAD/AP card from my previous employer. Is it required to start GC process like labor and I-140 application again with company-B if my previous employer revokes my I-140?

Answer

You can continue to extend your H-1 even after I-140 is revoked by the employer, IF, the revocation was sent more than 180 days after I-140 approval.

Under AC21, you do not have to start a new green card if:

1. Your I-140 is approved;

2. Your I-485 has been pending for 180 days or more;

3. You will take an employment same as or similar to your green card job; and

4. You file Supplement J.

Change of Status to H-4 - effect on priority date; maternity leave on H-1

Authored on: Tue, 12/20/2016 - 10:26

Question

1. Planning to transfer from H1B to H4, I-140 approved with Jan2015 priority date. Can I keep the priority date after I change to H4? Intend to come back to H1 after few months.
2. Currently I'm 7 months pregnant and I work for a consulting company (employer) on H1B visa, Can I take maternity leave on H1B? If yes, for how long? will it be a paid or unpaid leave?
If not do I need to convert status from H1B to H4? If yes, can I change it back to H1B and work again or need to apply for a fresh visa?

Answer

Here is an interesting question, if I am on H-1 and I convert to H-4, does that kill or affect my priority date ? Answer is no. If you were on H-1  and you had filed a Green Card, you got a priority date and I-140 was approved now you changed to H-4 that does not kill your priority date. That's not the problem.

And the second part of the question was can I take maternity leave on H-1?

Yes, absolutely. How much you can take that depends upon the State law, so the Federal law and the state law combined that's the best way to decide. So the maternity leave definitely allowed and sometimes if in addition to maternity leave if some have medical necessity and you need to take more time off , you should be able to do as well and you would be considered to be on H-1 and you don't need to convert to H-4   for maternity leave reasons but you can do that also and you can convert back to H-1 later on.  

I-94 Given for Duration Shorter than Entitled

Authored on: Fri, 05/27/2016 - 05:27

Question

On December 18th 2015 I came back to USA on H-4, at that time my old passport was expiring on September 19th 2015 so the Immigration Officer approved my I-94 until September 19. Later I applied for H-1 and it got approved on Feb 2nd 2016 and my H-1 is valid until Ending Validity Date: 12/19/18 with I-94 number in it. I renewed my passport now and I have validity until 2026.
Question: Do I have to go for stamping again to extend my I-94 validity? Or since I got new I-94 with my H-1B is that good enough.

Answer

Watch Video: I-94 given for duration shorter than entitled

Video Transcript: In this case there is one piece of information missing as in I do not know how long your I-94 was expired, how much is the difference between expiration of the old or the H-4/I-94 that was given to you during your last entry and the H-1 approval date beginning. So if that gap is more than 180 days you should consult with your lawyers or have a consultation with us if you like. But that needs to be evaluated very carefully because that has many ramifications. Remember errors made by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) can be corrected by just going back to the port or one of the many CBP offices all over the country. 

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Gap in Status

Authored on: Tue, 04/19/2016 - 03:35

Question

A couple of questions on Gap in status:<br>

1. I am on H-1B and my project/job is going to end on April 29,2016 (Friday). I have my H-4 approved effective May 2, 2016. I will get salary slip from 1 April to 30 April. Do I need to have salary slip for May 1, 2016 (which is a Sunday) to maintain H-1B/ legal status (considering that I won't be getting May 1 to May 31 salary slip).<br>

2. I am currently on H-1B and have an approved H-4 Effective 15 July 2016. As part of my H-4 application (which I had filed along with my spouse extension) , I had requested USCIS to give me H-4 effective date of 13 May 2016 as my project was going to end on 13 May 2016. But, the request was not honoured and USCIS responded citing the reason "Since the beneficiary of the I-539 and I-765 will change status, we cannot give an earlier start date than what is shown on the I-129 approval notice." If my project ends on 13 May 2016 , should I leave the country as my H-4 effective start date is 15 July 2016 to maintain legal status ?

Answer

Watch Video: Gap in Status


Video Transcript:

Answer 1: These kinds of de minimis small gaps are sometimes  even a product of the way the government works. In your case I don't think it is going to be a problem. Technically yes even for one day being out of status the government can say you are out of status, but when they have already approved your status I don't think this is going to be a major issue. 

Answer 2: I personally think it is still not a big issue because  if you got the H-4 already with an I-94 attached I doubt if the government is going to make an issue out of it. But you can do another thing. You can file a tourist visa to cover you for those two months but make sure it does not go beyond July 14. Other wise your status will be changed to B. So you could do a stop gap kind of arrangement or you could leave USA for a couple of months. But even if you stayed I doubt whether it is going to be an issue. 


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Does H-4 EAD have to be applied again if H-1 changes jobs?

Authored on: Wed, 04/06/2016 - 02:04

Question

I am currently on H-1B(Valid till Sep 2018) with approved I-140 for Company A and spouse has H-4 EAD (valid till Sep 2018). My question is, if I switch my job to a company B. Can my spouse continue working with the current H-4 EAD (which is valid till sep 2018)?Will it cause any issue during next H-4/EAD extension?

Answer

Watch Video: Does H-4 EAD have to be applied again if H-1 changes jobs?

Video Transcript: The answer is of course not. The only time you have to worry is if you fall out of status. As long as you are maintaining status every time you change jobs her H-4 and H-4 EAD is good until her H-4 and H-4 EAD is about to expire there is nothing else you got to do. She can continue working and she need not change H-4 every time you change H-1.

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Travel while H-1 COS is pending

Authored on: Tue, 04/05/2016 - 02:37

Question

My Spouse is on H-4 and has a Valid H-4 stamped till Jan 16 2017. I am planning to apply H-1 for my Spouse through an Employer this year. Is it advisable to travel to India while her H-1B is in Process? What will be the implications if she travels to India?

Answer

Watch Video: Travel while H-1 COS is pending

Video Transcipt: Whenever you are on one status and you apply for another status, like from F-1 to H-1, from H-1 to H-4 or from tourist visa to student visa, anytime you have a situation where you are going from one status to another your application with the government has two requests implicitly contained in your application. One request is find me eligible for the status I am asking for. When I go from H-4 to H-1 I tell the government (USCIS) can you please hold me to be eligible to receive H-1 and if they say yes then you go on to the next step.

Next step is actual change of status. So not only do I want to be held eligible for H-1, I want you to then change my status to H-1. So there are two applications within that one application when you file for going from one status to another. One is the determination and the other one is the change. When you travel outside USA generically speaking there can be exceptions. Generically and generally speaking your application for determination is not invalid but your change of status is invalid. So what does that do. Let's say I am on H-4 like the questionnaires wife is and they file for my H-1 change of status, I travel to India or Switzerland where ever I want to go and I come back. Government will give me my H-1 if it is approved, but they won't give me status change from H-4 to H-1. I am still on H-4, my H-1 is approved but only the determination has been issued that I am entitled to an H-1. Now I have two choices either I cannot apply for change of status from H-4 to H-1, because by traveling out I abandoned that part. I didn't abandon my determination request but I abandoned my change of status. The second option is to go to a consulate and get a visa stamping and come. So if she travels she has to do one of these two things when she comes back. She won't have to wait outside the USA if she doesn't want to. She can come back on H-4. 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

The Proposed I-140 EAD Rule - FAQ's

Authored on: Mon, 01/11/2016 - 07:23

Question

Answer

Question 1: Redo the PERM or just the I-140. If redoing the PERM again then what's new in this regulation? 

Answer: After 180 days, you can extend H-1 even if 140 is withdrawn.

Question 2: It seems that there is no easy provision for EAD/AP for approved 140 applicants. So is there any point in waiting for this rule or Should I consider Visa stamping is only option for traveling outside US? Please suggest as I waited for a year or long thought they are going to give AP.

Answer: Your observation about EAD/AP is correct- no easier. I will be surprised if USCIS changes these proposed rules in any significant manner when they finalize.

Question 3: If I have consumed my 6 years of H-1B and I have approved I-140. If I go to India and of some reason I got stuck in India. After a while I want some other employer to file my H-1B petition other then with approved I-140 employer. Do the new employer can apply for my new H1b cap exempt petition based on approved i-140 from my old employer. OR New H-1B petition from the new employer comes under H-1 cap count?

Answer: You have raised two separate issues. One, the I-140 can be used to extend your H-1 through ANY employer, if it is not withdrawn within 180 days of approval. Two, you are exempt from H-1 cap if your H-1 was approved any time within the last 6 years.

Question 4: Is there any provision for promotions internally within a company that filed the petition and the I-140 is approved more than 180 days previously?

Answer: These regs will only clarify (I am not sure they really do that) what "same or similar" jobs are. That concept is crucial when your I-140 has been approved and I-485 has been pending 180 days. At that time, you can accept a same or similar job anywhere, including within the same company, and NOT have to start your green card all over again. That comes under the topic of AC21 portability.

Question 5: Is direct portability of I-140 across multiple employers, ever possible. because I-140 is a property of the Employer and not the Employee (unlike 1-485) ?.Can we suggest any other creative options, of working around this legal hurdle. a. Can PERM be made portable across multiple employers. So employees donot have to go through the hassle of the PERM filing, repeatedly. This will save, almost 4 months of pre PERM filing effort and another 8-10 months of PERM processing window.

b. Or, can the I 140 be made an Employee’s property after 180 days it is approved. If that can be done then portability of the same may be legally possible across different Employers

Answer: The Priority date IS the "property" of the employee, NOT of the employer. So, an employee can port it to any job, anywhere, any number of times. But, I do not think they are excusing us from having to refile the PERM.

Question 6: Does the 60 day grace period is accepted in this case; H-1 Ext filed before expiry of I-94, then Current H-1 and I-94 expired, then H-1 Ext denied. Can we use 60 day grace period for filing new H-1 with new employer? In what cases does this 10 day validity before and after petition dates is used. The 60-day grace period appears to apply only in those cases where an approved H-1 employment abruptly comes to an end. The proposed regs say, upto 60 days may be given: "on the basis of the cessation of the employment on which the alien’s classification was based".

Answer: The 10 days allow you enter (but, not work) upto 10 days before the date your "validity period" (approval of petition) begins, and another 10 days to leave the USA (but, not work), after that period ends.

Question 7: Emp A - I-140 Approved and Moved to Emp B. Got i-140 with Emp B and priority date retained. submitted Emp A Experience letter while fling PERM. Now I want to move to Emp C. Do I still need to get experience letter from Emp B? If I am not able to get experience letter from Emp B, Can Emp C file PERM. if so and filed new PERM and I-140 with Emp C, Can I still retain priority date even though if its not same or similar job?

Answer: There are two fundamental principles that you need to apply to your case:

1. Priority date transfer does NOT require that your jobs must be same or similar.

2. Experience letters are NOT required for priority date transfer or retention. 

Question 8: Now that it is clear that there is almost nothing much in the so called reform, how can the immigrant community represent themselves forcefully, while the public comment period is in place? I understand that each one of us can go and put our comments, but is your firm, or someone else, planning to represent us? For lack of proper words, these so called reforms are a piece of trash, and only done to pretend as if reforms are taking place. It could not be worse actually. 

Answer: There is a limit on what USCIS can do without action from the Congress. You can certainly write your comments and several organizations will place their comments on the record as well. NORMALLY, USCIS does not change the rules much once they have been proposed. I think US immigration policy in "skilled" immigration is distressingly short-sighted. Our adopted country does not recognize the value brought in by us.

Question 9: My I-140 already withdrawn/revoked after 180 days of initial approval date. Now after implements new rule, will it apply for my case to extend my H-1 beyond 6 years?

Answer: I cannot say for sure whether USCIS intends to apply these rules retroactively. I hope they do. 

Question 10: Can you comment on what date will this become effective ? Is it after the comment period is over?

Answer: The effective date is unpredictable. Usually, it is a few months after the comments are over. 

Question 11: I need to clarify regarding the I-140 EAD for H-4. If the principal applicant has I-140 approved but the priority date for that category and country in the visa bulletin is more than 10 years back, Can the dependents, such as H-4, apply for I-140 EAD without the documentation for compelling evidence? If no, what are the examples of compelling evidence?I think the regulation does very little incremental for the EB categories. As mentioned, it provides clarification rather than provide more flexibility to the household or family of EB categories. I am disappointed with the revisions that have been made.Also, the compelling evidence was not required till now. What happens to those H-4 EADs which were issued since USCIS started applications from May 27, 2015? How would those H-4 EADs which are approved on the basis of I-140 approval of principal applicant be dissolved?Also, if the spouse moves from H-4 to H-4 EAD. Can he/she move from H-4 EAD to H-1B or any other non-immigrant category? Does the form I-539 allows movement among all categories?

Answer: H-4 EAD does NOT require compelling evidence. That is a different rule: http://www.immigration.com/blogs/form-i-140-form-i-765/h-4-ead-rule-cont...

I-594 does allow movement between all categories. H-4 to H-1 is definitely no problem. I agree; I am not too thrilled with the regs. But there is a limit to what Pres. Obama can do, folks. 

Pros and cons of H-4 EAD

Authored on: Thu, 12/10/2015 - 15:21

Question

My wife is on H-1B and became aware of her project end dates. We are currently evaluating the options of H-4 EAD.

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/H_VV9kV_lOg?t=1345

FAQ Transcript:

Question: My wife is on H-1B and became aware of her project end dates. We are currently evaluating the options of H-4 EAD. Can we file H-1-H-4 transfer and EAD concurrently?

Let's take the situation where you are filing H-1, for you yes I do not see any problem with it. If you are doing H-1 transfer, you can do her H-4 and EAD concurrently. However, if you are trying to do H-1 transfer for her along with H-4 EAD simultaneously, that can become little complicated. But I don't know what exactly you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to cover both basis I would recommend to do an H-1 premium processing and then file an H-4. Let one status accomplish before you apply for the next status. If you want to do both simultaneously make H-1 premium.

Question: Do companies hire full time on H-4 EAD?

That depends upon the company. EAD holders has all rights almost equivalent to the Green card holder. So if the employer knows what this EAD is or they have good legal advice they should be able to hire full time on H-4 EAD.

Question: What are the benefits of H-4 EAD over H-1?

Some really big benefits. One benefit is there is no requirement of a particular salary. Number two is there is no requirement of specific job location. An H-4 EAD holder can work 3 hours in one job, 5 hours in another job location or 10 hours and then keep switching from job to job if they want. There is no limit on how they work. They can even start their own business. So those are some of the big advantages of H-4 EAD.

The biggest disadvantage is because the status depends upon the H-1 holder, something goes wrong with the H-1 status; they get laid off or they fall out of the status then the H-4 status is also in doubt.

Question: Do I recommend to convert to H-4 EAD?

That depends upon the case.

Question: What are the risks associated with the conversion?

From H-1 to H-4 not much risk that I can see.

Question: What is the typical timeline?

That is very tricky. We had a tweet exchange couple of weeks ago with the community member who said that; his wife's EAD got approved in couple of weeks. My office was reporting that H-4 EAD combine can take months. A few months ago they were only taking a couple of months. So few months is not an extraordinary for H-4 EAD combo. If you are doing EAD alone, already your wife is on H-4, it might be quick. Technically there is 90 days’ deadline on the government to decide these cases of EADs. How far they follow it I don't know.

Green card pending conversion to and from H-4 EAD – H-1; Filing green card while in F-1 status

Authored on: Wed, 12/09/2015 - 06:12

Question

1) My wife is currently on H-1B. I am also on H-1B with approved I-140. My wife's employer is willing to Start GC process for her. I understand that GC is for future employment.<br>

My wife is willing to Move to H-4 EAD. Say my wife's employer initiated her GC process when she is on H-1. Once the perm is filed by wife's employer, will she be able to convert from H-1 to H-4 EAD. Does this has any affect on her ongoing GC process. Is it safe for some one to changes status from H-4 to H-1 and H-1 to H-4 in between PERM and I-140 process.<br>

2) My brother is on F-1 in OPT status. Can my brother's employer start GC process for him while he is on OPT. I have some knowledge of the complications involved in Starting GC process on F-1. The main reason behind this question is to reserve a spot for GC process. That way my brother can get a earliest priority date, his employer would start GC process 2 years down the road when he is on H-1B.
<br>
What is the safe route for some one like my brother to get a earliest priority. Do they have to wait till H-1B to get in to GC process Queue

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/H_VV9kV_lOg?t=65 

FAQ Transcript: 

This question has two sub sets, one is about an individual converting from H-1 to H-4 while they are processing their Green card and back to H-1 if necessary.

Second question which is also a FAQ, whether a Green card can or should be filed while somebody is on F-1 status.

For first part of question, wife is currently on H-1B, gentleman who posted this also on H-1B, I-140 is approved. Wife's employer is willing to start the Green card; wife is willing to move to H-4 EAD. So is that going to be interruptive of the Green card and the answer is No. The fact that she has moved from H-4 to H-4 EAD does not in any way interfere or interrupt her Green card process.

If PERM is filed, can she convert H-1to H-4?

She can convert H-1 to H-4 EAD anytime she wants. This has no effect on going process of Green card process and it is in my view reasonably safe. Of course there are pros and cons of both approaches, sometimes it makes more sense to stay on H-1 and sometimes it makes sense to go on H-4 EAD. Typically, I would say if you are I-140 is secured and your own status is secured, your job is pretty solid because remember her status is derivative of yours, if something goes wrong with your status it affects hers as well. Therefore, in my view its Ok to convert H-4 EAD if your job is pretty solid and your I-140 is not going anywhere. And if she wants to convert   back to H-1 that too is not a problem, so going from H-1 to H-4 EAD and H-4 to H-1 is quite permissible and she will not be subject to the Quota, except when more than 6 years passed from her H-1 status.

So if she wants to convert back to H-1 within the 6 years of first approval, it is not a problem. She is not subject to the Quota.

Second part of the posted question was can we not apply for Green card while we are still on F-1 status?

First of all remember, filing for Green card is little deceptive, if you are filing for a PERM that's not really filing for Green card because in Immigration related forms the question asked is this, have you or has anybody in your behalf filed a Green card or an immigrant visa?

Immigrant visa is form I-140, so if you filed a PERM and PERM is under process that is not a Green card, technically. So is that Ok to F-1? 

I believe so, I don't see any problem in doing that. The problem if any begin is when I-140 is filed, because a F-1, unlike a H-1, H-4 or L-1 or L-2 is not a dual intent visa, it requires you to have non-immigrant intent and by filing the Green card which is I-140 actually you are exhibiting immigrant intent that means you have traveled outside USA on student visa, your stamping of the student visa or even your school transfers etc. could be affected if at any time the question of your immigrant intent comes up. So if you travel out and CBP officer at the airport notes that you have a Green card going and if they find out they could decline your entry, and that is something to worry about, other than that filing a Green card on F-1 is not forbidden. In fact, like you noted sometimes, it may have been recommended because it saves your time.  

Withdrawing one pending petition (H-4) when another is (F-1) approved

Authored on: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 04:31

Question

My H-4 to F-1 is approved on October 08 2015. My Spouse Employer filed H-4 extension for me which is currently in Process. We sent this H-4 withdraw letter and it has been reached USCIS (Vermont Service Center) on Oct 13th 2015. Could you please let us know approx when do USCIS withdraw this H-4 extension?. If by mistake USCIS approves this H-4 Extension, can we fight with USCIS to withdraw this H-4 extension?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://youtu.be/F0YZD8zWm88?t=72

FAQ Transcript:

Let's take an example of this, F-1 is approved, but H-4 extension is pending. Since you want to stay on F-1, you should write immediately to USCIS, put it in writing and make sure that you send it through something like Fed-ex or UPS or certified overnight mail, so that you can prove the delivery of the letter. That way once you have sent the letter of withdrawal out there is a very good argument that any subsequent approval of H-4 does not hurt your F-1, since you have already indicated an unambiguous intention and made a request to USCIS to revoke or withdraw an application which is currently pending but you don’t want to be acted upon.

The risk here is you got the F-1 already approved and don't want to be H-4 acted upon, because there is  something called  last action rule, which is really not a rule but merely a matter of common sense applied by the USCIS offer to the situation, that whatever status approved last would be your status. So you have F-1, H-4 going on same time, you got your F-1 approved. If your H-4 gets approved that means you are back on H-4. So at least  that is the conventional wisdom and there is some question about whether or not that is correct but nevertheless smart thing to do is if you already received  the approval that you want go ahead and revoke in writing what you don't want .  

Correcting dates on I-94

Authored on: Mon, 10/26/2015 - 05:04

Question

My current visa H-4 VISA is valid till Nov 25 2016.<br>
- I had applied for an change of status/extension of stay (I539) for H-4 status to July 4 2018 (through underlying H-1 extension).<br>
- I had to travel to India while it was pending. USCIS issued an I-797 - Approval for the extension of stay without abandoning it.<br>
- At the port of entry, the I-94 expiry was marked as Dec 25 2016.<br>
- The expiry date does not jive with the original VISA expiry date Nov 25, 2016 that was presented at the time of arrival. Nor does it reflect the I-539 extended date of July 4 2018 (that was not presented at port of entry).<br>

Please advise -<br>
a) What action would I required to correct I-94 expiry date? Who do I contact to correct it?<br>
b) I am filing for a I-485 adjustment as a spouse of EB-3, The forms require to put the status expiry date. Is it OK to use the more conservative Nov 25 2016 date even though I-539 has been erroneously approved till July 4 2018?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/ZvUVIGTM-Kk?t=705

FAQ Transcript:

This is a recurring issue, so first of all I want to address the problem and the possible solutions or the lack of solutions. Often times we have a case, we have a case working on right now actually. This lady entered the US on H-4 visa which was good for let’s say till 2017 but her passport was expiring in 2016 or 2015 She comes in and Customs and Border Protection gives her  I-94 only till the date of her passport approval. And sometimes they do that; they will give it to the extent of visa approval, which is incorrect. Your visa could be expiring earlier than your approval. They should still give you the I-94 all the way to your approval not till your visa. In this case they gave it  only till 2015 and she is been here over a year now in unlawful presence not realizing that she has been given less stay than 2017.

So, this is a very complicated issue or problematic issue. They will correct the mistakes they have made.  If they have made a mistake giving you a wrong date or giving you the date till visa not the approval date, you can actually go back to the CBP at the airport or any of their offices or nearby posts. They have lists of them at www.cbp.gov website and you can ask your I-94 to be corrected.

But there are certain things they don't consider them as errors, such as approval till the passport expiration that cannot be corrected. Then the question is what do you do then?

You have two choices; either you can do the extension of status or current status by filing the form I- 539 or I-129, if you are H-1, L-1 holder. For H-1, L-1 they do it all over again as new case. For H-4 it’s less complicated or simple or you can step outside USA, showing your visa and comeback  and receive your I-94 approval. But if your I-94 is already expired, you must speak with your lawyer before you leave. You could very well subject to the bar which comes from the unlawfully present.

So, in this case what happened is the person who has the above question traveled to India while change of status for H-1 to H-4 was pending.

Now USCIS should have declined change of status because they left US, came back received I-94 good till December 2016. The visa expiration date is November 2016, which is what I gave at the airport he says. 

What action would I required to correct I-94 expiration date?

Look you can go back to the CBP, make your case that you have made an error, I don’t see the error. If anything they have given you is more time not less and because you traveled abroad while your change of status was pending , that approval is really not  worth anything. That’s the mistaken approval.

I am filing for a I-485 adjustment as a spouse of EB3, The forms require to put the status expiry date. Is it OK to use the more conservative Nov 25 2016 date even though I-539 has been erroneously approved till July 4 2018?

I would use the date which they have given you in I - 94 and I would attach an explanation saying that this date maybe incorrect but you don't know. According to your calculation it should have been November 2016.

I always like to make full disclosure to the government, so that they don't come back and create a problem with the discrepancy. 

Maternity leave on H-1, FMLA and status

Authored on: Thu, 10/22/2015 - 04:32

Question

My wife is on H-1B visa and went on Maternity Leave (normal delivery) starting 8-Sep-2015 and will be completing 6 weeks of allowed vacation on 16-Oct-2015 (We have 6 Weeks letter from doctor). However, she would like to extend the leave till 15-Dec-2015 ( Total Duration 3 Months 10 Days) as we do not have the required support for the baby. Her Employer is willing to provide her with a leave/vacation letter and she can continue to work with the same employer post her vacation. Pay stubs ($0) will not be provided by the employer.<br>

Also, we are trying to have the pediatrician provide a letter suggesting 4 months of leave but not sure if we can get the same or will it be helpful?
<br>
State - New Jersey<br>
Visa Type - H-1B<br>

Question 1 - Will a $0 pay stub from employer be helpful to keep her in status while on leave?<br>
Question 2 - Will letter from pediatrician suggesting 4 months of leave be helpful to keep her in status while on leave?<br>
Question 3 - Request you to suggest if she will be in valid status if she continues to be on leave till Dec-15 and have a vacation letter from the employer without pay stubs ?<br>

We do have an option of moving her to H4 starting 30 Oct but would like to avoid the same.
<br>
If she changes her status to H-4, <br>
Question 4 - Will her current employer have to file a new H1B or a simple COS from H-4-H-1B would be required once she is ready to work?<br>
Question 5 - Can COS from H-4 to H-1B be filed in premium processing ? If not, what are the timeline for processing of the same.

Answer

 See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/ZvUVIGTM-Kk?t=2334

 

FAQ Transcript:

 If you go to this website - http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/&nbsp;on Family and Medical Leave Act the website explains a lot to you that you can go 12 weeks easily and USCIS will honor that and they will still consider you to be in status. So even if you don’t get paid for that time and you don’t get a pay stub that’s fine. Now if there is a medical reason for eg: a pediatrician saying she needs to have x number of months of leave. I think she will be in status. We had a case were one of our friends had to be hospitalized for extended period of time and then she was out of work on H-1 for almost a year but we were able to convert her to H-4 because the government realized she was not out of work because she didn’t have a job it was because she had a medical necessity.

As for the question if she changes her status to H4, and file premium processing, she is not subject to the quota if she changes into H-4. But the employer will have to file H-1B change of status which is almost like doing a new H-1.  Also COS from H-4 to H-1B be filed in premium processing can be done.

H-4 visa extension approved. Can I travel now?

Authored on: Mon, 10/05/2015 - 08:01

Question

My H-4 visa extension has been approved, I mean the USCIS has sent me an approval notice with the I-94 record card. Now it clearly says, this is not a visa. What do I need to do in order to travel to India, do I have to go to a US consulate here, to get a visa stamped in my passport, because in order to travel through Europe we need a valid US Visa or travel through Dubai , which doesn't require any visa, and then get stamped in the US consulate while coming back? I am confused and do not know what is the next step after approval notice. By the way my spouse H-1B visa was also extended while in US by the Employer. But, my spouse hasn't gone out for visa stamping yet, will this effect my visa stamping?

Answer

When you travel abroad, in order to return to the USA, you must first obtain a visa stamp from a US consulate in (any) country that you are visiting. Check the consulate web site to make an appointment and what documents you should bring for H-4 visa stamping. H-1B visa stamp is usually not a precondition to H-4 visa. 

Applying for H-4 EAD while H-4 is pending

Authored on: Wed, 08/05/2015 - 07:22

Question

I am on H-4 visa and my husband is on H-1 visa since 2008. We have an approved I-140 and have applied for a three year extension on the basis of approved I-140 on May 8, 2015, but we have not got any confirmation from USCIS yet, so my concern is that can I apply for a H-4 EAD before our visa extension is approved.

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.    

https://youtu.be/tSRYmjhoEzA?t=928

FAQ Transcript:
You can apply for EAD. But USCIS has said they don’t like the idea of separating the applications as it can cause delays. Personally I think that’s baloney. I would file it if I were you. You have two options. You can premium the H-1 then H-4 gets premium. Kind of piggy bank on it and when the H-1 is approved file EAD as long as you have a receipt number. I don’t see why it should be a problem. So your choice I would file it.

H-1B Employee, telecommuting/working from home

Authored on: Wed, 08/05/2015 - 06:29

Question

I entered US on Jan 2011 on F-1 Visa, completed my Masters and am now working for a reputed US organization since May 2012(OPT start date: May 2012, H-1B start date:Oct 2012. H-1B till: Oct 2017). My work does not require me to go to office, so I work from Home. Now I am planning to visit India next year and get my Visa stamped.<br>
My Questions are<br>
1. Can telecommuting job cause any issue during Visa stamping? I heard someone was asked "if you can work from home, why can’t you work from India?” The organization I am working for has offices in India.<br>
2. Do I need any extra evidence to prove that I am telecommuting, therefore not within commuting distance from my office?<br>
3. I am married. Would you suggest going alone to India for Visa stamping and in case of rejection comeback on H-4 or will it be good to go as a family. My husband is also on H-1B

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.   

https://youtu.be/tSRYmjhoEzA?t=437 

FAQ Transcript:

1. The answer is it can. When you have a telecommuting job in most cases what we do is we actually get an LCA for that location. I think that is the proper method to do things. So make sure you have LCA for your home location. You can always come back on H-4 if the H-1 is denied and your husband does not have to go with you. It is not necessary to go as a family but the option of coming back on H-4 is always there. 

2. We always get LCA for home location. So if your employers have not obtained LCA for you I think they might need to do an H-1B amendment depending upon the facts of your case. So before you go for visa stamping it would be a good idea to discuss it with your lawyers. In my view the safest thing is to have an LCA and that location specifically approved under the H-1 process.

H-4 Visa Delay

Authored on: Tue, 07/21/2015 - 10:35

Question

I am currently on H-1B visa and I applied for my spouse, H-4 visa (Dallas Texas service center) on They received it on March 4th and Receipt Date March 6th. Now 4.5 months completed. I heard that usually visa processing time is 3 months, but no idea what happened. Like to know what are my options available to expedite it, due to this we could not visit India.

Answer

Open a Service Request by calling USCIS customer service. By the way, you do NOT need an H-4 approval from USCIS to obtain a visa. In this respect, H-4 is different from H-1.

H-4 Visa Approval

Authored on: Tue, 07/21/2015 - 10:32

Question

I received my H-1 approval & other documents yesterday. I am worried because the I-129 document I received yesterday states no dependents are filed with my petition (Page 4, Part 4). I had sent all my spouse details/ marriage certificate etc. while attaching supporting documents in March. What is the process for H4 visa approval as my spouse would be accompanying me.

Answer

H-4 visas do NOT require a USCIS approval for a spouse who is going to the consulate for visa stamping.

H-4 EAD - Starting business

Authored on: Wed, 04/29/2015 - 02:51

Question

1.Can we own our business?
2. Do we have to run own payroll?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://youtu.be/3Heaadpk1Ik?t=933 

FAQ Transcript:

1. Yes you can.

2. You do not.

A business owner often does not get paid. Make sure you got a back up plan. If your EAD runs out for some reason and it is not renewed you should have someone run the business while you do not have an EAD. 

H-4 EAD COS pending; File green card while on H-4

Authored on: Thu, 04/23/2015 - 05:13

Question

1. Can I apply for H-4-EAD on May 26 2015 even if my H-4 COS is still pending ? Or I will have to wait till it get approved ?<br>
2. My employer already filed my PERM and they are OK to come back with them on H-4 EAD. Can I apply for I-140 after H-4 EAD is approved ?
Is it ok if I will stay on H-4 EAD to continue processing of my GC ?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://youtu.be/3Heaadpk1Ik?t=809

FAQ Transcript:

1. You can apply while your status is pending. but in my opinion an EAD can be applied on or after May 26th even if change of status to H-1 is pending.  

2. Yes there is no law that stops you from applying a green card. you can start your green card , continue your green card or even finalize your green card while you are on your H-4. 

H-4 EAD Rule FAQ's

Authored on: Wed, 04/01/2015 - 05:30

Question

1. Is there any time frame within which H-4 should have job offer after getting H-4 EAD?

2. Why is an adjustment of status I-539 needed? What status is being adjusted (H-4 to H-4?)? I get the other form for application of EAD. What if someone is on F-1? Could they file I-539 (To go from F-1 to H-1?) and I-765 concurrently?

3. I am currently on OPT ( from F-1- visa) and it ends in Dec. My husband on H-1B and I-140 to be approved 2009 PD in "ABC" company and he moved "XYZ" company .The XYZ company process my new I-140
Do we have any clarity on the F-1/OPT to H-4 EAD process? Should I move to H-4 and then apply for EAD ?

4. I know there is no clear picture that there will be a change in law for all candidates with I-140 approved can register for I-485, so that they can get EAD/AP. If that really happens, there is no use of this H-4 EAD regulation anymore it is just obsolete, any person with approved I-140 can apply for I-485. The H-4 EAD process took one calendar year from starting to beginning for approval which will become a waste of process, effort, wait time, expenses for the Government. If it really happens, it is a miracle or my guess is they might keep a condition that the person should be waiting at least 3-4-5 years with a approved I-140.
My question is it that easy task for USCIS/GOVT/EO just amend the process for I-485 pre registering ?
5. Can H-4 EAD can do business ?
6. I am in USA on H1B and running my 5th year. but recently I have got H1 extension from USCIS to 7th year. (This is because my labor is pending with DOL now for more than 1 year). So based on these conditions, is my spouse eligible for EAD?. Can your firm help me in filing the EAD for my spouse?

7. a. After the H-4 EAD, if the candidate is not willing to work or doesn't have a job and visited India, does she have to go for visa stamping while coming back?
b. Can she enter on approval EAD (without working) if she doesn't have H-4 visa stamped?

8. 1. I am planning to apply for H-4 EAD for my wife, what happens to her EAD if I change my current employer maintaining my H-1B status?
2. My wife has found a job which can apply for her H-1B, can we file for her H-4 EAD before actually knowing if her application is selected in lottery process? (In short have both H1B application and EAD application open at same time)

9. I am on H-1 B and my husband on H-4 working in India. Can I apply H-4 EAD while he is in India or he has to come here before applying?

10. a. If my H-1B petition is not selected in lottery, I will apply for H-4 COS and EAD simultaneously. Is it advisable to apply for H-4 COS/EAD on my own or through my wife's employer?
b. While my H-4 COS/EAD petitions are under USCIS’ review, can my ongoing STEM extended OPT EAD be further extended (under cap-gap extension policy or similar) to allow me continue working after 9-June-2015 (the day my OPT EAD expires) till I receive the decision on H-4 work authorization petition?
c. If YES, how long is this ‘grace period’ for OPT cap-gap extension?
- If NOT, will I be considered out of status (and have to leave USA) during the time period between the day my OPT EAD expires and H-4 EAD is approved/effective (assuming a positive outcome)?

Answer

1. Is there any time frame within which H-4 should have job offer after getting H-4 EAD?

Answer: The H-4 EAD, like the EAD under AOS/I-485 is an opportunity, not an obligation. You can choose to get get an EAD and then not work at all. The EAD remains valid.

 

2. Why is an adjustment of status I-539 needed? What status is being adjusted (H-4 to H-4?)? I get the other form for application of EAD. What if someone is on F-1? Could they file I-539 (To go from F-1 to H-1?) and I-765 concurrently? 

Answer: I-539, change of status has to be filed only if the derivative spouse is in a status other than H-4. If your spouse is already in H-4 status, you will file the I-765 only. If they are in a status other than H-4, such as F-1, you will file for change of status to H-4 using I-539 and you can concurrently file the I-765.

 

3. I am currently on OPT (from -F1- visa) and it ends in Dec. My husband on H-1B and I-140 to be approved 2009 PD in "ABC" company and he moved "XYZ" company .The XYZ company process my new I-140 Do we have any clarity on the F-1/OPT to H-4 EAD process? Should I move to H-4 and then apply for EAD?

Answer: I think we have plenty of clarity at this time. You can apply concurrently for H-4 COS and EAD on or after 26 May. You can also apply for H-4 COS now and EAD later. 

 

4. I know there is no clear picture that there will be a change in law for all candidates with I-140 approved can register for I-485, so that they can get EAD/AP. If that really happens, there is no use of this H-4 EAD regulation anymore it is just obsolete, any person with approved I-140 can apply for I-485. The H-4 EAD process took one calendar year from starting to beginning for approval which will become a waste of process, effort, wait time, expenses for the Government. If it really happens, it is a miracle or my guess is they might keep a condition that the person should be waiting at least 3-4-5 years with a approved I-140. My question is it that easy task for USCIS/GOVT/EO just amend the process for I-485 pre registering ? 

Answer: Good points. But H-4 EAD will still be good for people with no I-140 who are in 7th plus year H-1 extension. As to whether or not this is an easy task, depends upon whether they do it by memo (real easy) or regulation (time consuming). 

 

5. Can H-4 EAD can do business ?

Answer: H-4 EAD holders CAN do business.

 

6. I am in USA on H1B and running my 5th year. But recently I have got H1 extension from USCIS to 7th year. (This is because my labor is pending with DOL now for more than 1 year). So based on these conditions, is my spouse eligible for EAD?. Can your firm help me in filing the EAD for my spouse? 

Answer: Since you have received extension beyond 6 years of your H-1, I see no problem in your spouse obtaining her EAD.

As to whether we can represent you, is more problematic.  Since we do not know the depth to which USCIS will examine the supporting documentation that goes with the H-4 EAD petition, we have no good way to decide what to charge. For instance, if USCIS starts asking questions about the status of H-1 holder, it could involve hours of our time.  But if they do not, it would be just a simple filing.  There is no fair method to assess the issues that can be raised.  One of the options you have is to file the Form I-765 with supporting documentation yourself, and then retain us only if an RFE is issued.  That way, in reviewing the RFE, we can assess how much work is needed and charge accordingly.

 

7. a. After the H-4 EAD, if the candidate is not willing to work or doesn't have a job and visited India, does she have to go for visa stamping while coming back? 

b. Can she enter on approval EAD (without working) if she doesn't have H-4 visa stamped? 

Answer: a. In my view it is no, she does not need to go  for visa stamping if she already has a visa. Not working after getting her  EAD is  her right. Therefore, it is not a violation of her H-4 status if she decides not to work, work part time, or own a business, etc.

b. No. She will need a visa. The H-4 EAD does not operate like an Advance Parole.

 

8. 1. I am planning to apply for H-4 EAD for my wife, what happens to her EAD if I change my current employer maintaining my H-1B status? 

2. My wife has found a job which can apply for her H-1B, can we file for her H-4 EAD before actually knowing if her application is selected in lottery process? (In short have both H1B application and EAD application open at same time)

Answer: 1. I see no issue with changing employers as long as your eligibility is otherwise maintained (status/I-140 etc.)

2. Yes you can. I have discussed this in the video on my blog.

 

9. I am on H-1 B and my husband on H-4 working in India. Can I apply H-4 EAD while he is in India or he has to come here before applying?

Answer: USCIS's position is that casual trips that are brief are permitted. If your husband leaves for a long time, you are not permitted to stay in the USA.

 

10. a. If my H-1B petition is not selected in lottery, I will apply for H-4 COS and EAD simultaneously.  Is it advisable to apply for H-4 COS/EAD on my own or through my wife's employer?

b. While my H-4 COS/EAD petitions are under USCIS’ review, can my ongoing STEM extended OPT EAD be further extended (under cap-gap extension policy or similar) to allow me continue working after 9-June-2015 (the day my OPT EAD expires) till I receive the decision on H-4 work authorization petition?

c. If YES, how long is this ‘grace period’ for OPT cap-gap extension? If NOT, will I be considered out of status (and have to leave USA) during the time period between the day my OPT EAD expires and H-4 EAD is approved/effective (assuming a positive outcome)?

Answer: a. I see no reason why you must seek the help of your wife's employers.

b. You will not get any new rights other than an H-4 EAD. 

c. A timely filed H-4 petition will give you the right to stay in the USA awaiting outcome.

Status of the H-4 EAD regulations

Authored on: Fri, 02/20/2015 - 20:22

Question

Status of the H-4 EAD regulations

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXq6DaDK7AA#t=93

FAQ Transcript:

This FAQ is about H-1 quota, how does H-1 quota work?

I think this is an issue important for many people.

Question: I am on L-1 A, If I get H-1B this April, is it mandatory to work from October 1st. Can I continue on L-1A and then change to H-1B when I like.

Answer: It can be done, sure. Here is how you do, when you apply for H-1, don't apply for change of status, its up to you. You can tell the employer and double check it,make sure you talk to lawyers. Just say I want an H-1 approval but I don't want change of status. That way from October 1st you don't automatically get on H-1, you stay on L-1 continue working on L-1. And whenever you are ready you can go outside, get your visa stamped and come back or apply for change of status within USA to H-1, which is like doing H-1 all over again but you are not subject to the quota. So that's how you do.  

H-4 EAD Rule

Authored on: Tue, 02/17/2015 - 01:23

Question

My spouse and I are living in different sates due to obvious work reasons. I am currently on H-1B Visa with my I-140 approved. My wife is on H-1b working as a full time employee to XYZ company. Now, with Obama's executive action particularly with H-4 EAD my wife is planning to change her visa status from H-1B to H-4 so that she can get opportunities at the place where I live (at this point of time all the companies at my place are asking her for Either Green Card or Proper Work permit without any sponsorship in order to hire her). In this regards I have 2 questions <br>
1. Would you suggest us to get H-4 approval in advance before H-4-EAD rule comes into effect or would you suggest we can file them concurrently?<br>
2. If she applies for H-4 when can she quit the job - Is it on the day of notice of application receipt from USCIS or from the day of H-4 approval?<br>

P.S: I am aware that no rule has been published yet but just wanted to get your thoughts/suggestions on this issue.

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv_vI7O0d4U#t=110

FAQ Transcript

As you folks know there is a regulation that is pending for a long time and we were expecting in December that it will get finalized, published and H-4 people whose spouses are at the I-140 stage would have the right to work with an EAD. So far that is still pending; there is no news on that. Last week USCIS said that they are very close to finalizing but knowing the government I do not know what very close means. 

There is a difference between Executive action of Obama and the pending regulation for H-1 EAD. These are two different things. Right now we are waiting for the regulation that was pending to be published.  

So the answer to the question is she can quit the job on the date USCIS receives the H-1 application. If she does the H-1 application online then she can quit the same day. I would want you to wait and see what the rule looks like before you start making changes in the work authorization. if you’re ok with the idea that your wife could end up not working at all for many months then go ahead and apply for H-1 but if you do not  want to take that chance then wait until the regulations become finalized and then you can decide how you want to go about. 

H-4 and I-140

Authored on: Tue, 11/18/2014 - 00:06

Question

Currently I am on H-1B and my wife in H-4, my company had recently filed for Green Card. It has been 6 months since the petition has been filed. My wife has about 5 years of work experience back in India. She is interested to work here now. What are the possibilities of her getting a job here in US. As my GC is in progress, can she start looking for a job once my I-140 is approved?

Answer

Until the pending H-4 EAD regulations are promulgated, the only obvious option for her is to obtain her H-1 through employment.

Volunteer work on H-4 visa

Authored on: Thu, 10/02/2014 - 14:02

Question

Hello Sir,
I am H4 visa holder and want to blog for hobby. If I get any money from blogging due to advertisements or page hits, I want to take all of that money and donate it to charitable organization. I want to know is this legal while in H4 status and if so I want to know the correct procedure to do what I have mentioned, so that I am still following the rules for the H4 visa.

Answer

See clip from video recording by Rajiv for the answer to this question regarding volunteer work on H-4 visa status.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&list=UUm4s1qwOS…

H-4 Visa Holder Applying for Canada PR

Authored on: Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:39

Question

As a H-4 visa holder in the USA (my husband is on H-1B), and an Indian citizen, I plan on applying for Canadian PR via the federal skilled worker program, to eventually start working there. The question I have is if my PR does come through within a year, will my H-4 visa in the USA get affected or be void immediately? Provided I don't get a job in Canada by then, how long will my H-4 be valid after I get my PR in Canada? Can I choose to live in either country in that case?
Also, while applying for the PR, they asked for sufficient funds. Since I am a H-4 dependent, can I show my husband's funds and income as a source? Because I am not earning here, I will have to have his money transferred. Will that be a problem?

Answer

Your H-4 visa does not get affected by PR in Canada, and whether or not you stay in the USA or Canada. The visa stays valid through the date of its stamping, as long as your husband is maintaining status. US immigration laws also should not create any issues with a funds transfer, but check Canadian laws and US Tax Laws.

Your H-4 visa does not get affected by PR in Canada, and whether or not you stay in the USA or Canada. The visa stays valid through the date of its stamping, as long as your husband is maintaining status. US immigration laws also should not create any issues with a funds transfer, but check Canadian laws and US Tax Laws. - See more at: http://www.immigration.com/comment/14325#comment-14325

H-4 visa employment

Authored on: Wed, 07/23/2014 - 04:45

Question

When do you think the H-4 regulations giving EAD will become in operation? Will they be changed or will they remain the same?

Answer

Timing is impossible to predict. It could be as early as September or so, or as late as the government wants it to be. Also, government CAN and often does change or modify regulations after comments from the public are reviewed. 

H-4 for Canadian Citizen

Authored on: Thu, 05/22/2014 - 06:06

Question

Can a Canadian citizen get H-4 stamping at the border? What is the procedure and what documents are required for the process? What are the risks involved to get H-4 at border, opposed to filing for adjustment of status?

Answer

Canadian citizens can apply for H-4 at the border. Typically, CBP would require proof of relationship like marriage cert and evidence of H-1 approval and status. In my experience, CBP does help people over the phone. Try calling the port field office, for instance, Buffalo: http://www.cbp.gov/contact/ports/field-office/buffalo

The above link can be used to locate the office that will have jurisdiction over your entry.

Maternity Leave and Pay Stubs

Authored on: Thu, 01/02/2014 - 02:53

Question

I am on H-1B & my wife also on H-1B. After three months pregnancy leave my wife is planning not to work and to transfer from H-1B to H-4. She will not have last paychecks copy for three months so will it be an issue during transfer? Will she need to start the job again to get three paychecks copy ?

Answer

Reasonable maternity leave should be considered "in status" period, so pay stubs should not be needed.

H-1 to H-4

Authored on: Wed, 07/24/2013 - 08:31

Question

My spouse and I work for the same IT company. My spouse who is on H-1B visa is already in the US and my H-1B is under process, hoping to get it stamped latest by October 13th. I plan to quit my current job after stamping is over(may be in Oct13) and join my spouse on dependent visa (H-4).

1) When I apply for H-4, will my H-1B be valid or my company will cancel my H-1B?

2) Assuming H-1B still remains valid after my H-4, can I apply for change of status to H-1 later and search for jobs while on H-4?

3) How long does it take for change of status from H-4 to H-1?

Answer

1. H-1 cancellation (revocation) is not automatic, but the company would have to be extremely ill-informed not to revoke the H-1. They must.
2. You can revert back to H-1 from H-4. You will not be subject to quota.
3. The same time as a new H-1. Apply premium if in a hurry.

Status of H-4 Dependents When H-1B is Denied

Authored on: Mon, 07/22/2013 - 07:18

Question

If my H-1B petition is denied by USCIS, or withdrawn by my employer, what happens to my H-4 dependents?

Answer

If you are no longer in valid H-1B status, your dependents’ H-4 petitions will no longer be valid either.

Applying for Spouse after H-1B Approval

Authored on: Tue, 05/14/2013 - 04:00

Question

I am planning to come to the U.S. to work. The company that is going to file the H-1 petition for me tells me that they will not need to file any petition for my wife. I want her to accompany me to the U.S. What do we need to do?

Answer

The company will file your H-1B petition and, after you receive your H-1B approval, your wife should accompany you to the consulate to apply for her H-4 stamping in order to come with you to the U.S. as your dependent.

Exploring Other Options During H-1 Transition

Authored on: Fri, 04/05/2013 - 09:03

Question

As my husband's H-1 expires, we are moving back to India around August/September. I am exploring options to quit my job (also on H1) in the last 2-3 months, but since this is a short period, I'm looking for the most convenient and economical transition. Can you please advise:
- Convert to H4: What is the expense incurred and how much in advance would I have to apply for this?
- I have a tourist visa that is valid till 2016- can I take advantage of this?
- Is there a grace period after leaving a job here (giving up your H1) that I can take advantage of if I time it properly?

Answer

You will need to figure out the filing fees for Form I-539 (used for H-4). You can convert to tourist visa (status) if you leave USA and reenter using the tourist visa. To let you back in or not would be at the discretion of the CBP officer who interviews you. There is no grace period under these circumstances.

Applying H-4 Visa for Spouse During H-1 Processing

Authored on: Fri, 03/22/2013 - 03:05

Question

My company is processing my H-1B application. Is there any information regarding dependents that will be accompanying H-1B applicant to US at the of filing petition ? What is the process to apply for dependent visa (H-4) for my spouse?

Answer

If you are outside USA, only H-1 is processed here. H-4 is done at the consulate when you go apply for H-1 visa.

Last Name Change for H-4 Visa

Authored on: Thu, 02/14/2013 - 09:09

Question

My passport is getting expired shortly and I need to renew it as my visa has the maiden name. I wish to change the last name in visa. What is the procedure to change the last name?

Answer

As far as I know, you will have to apply for a visa again. To change the name on a U.S. visa that has already been issued requires a new application. But if you carry your old passport (which has the old visa), with the new passport and your marriage certificate, you should be allowed entry. I think you should reapply on the new passport. 

SSN for Non-working Purposes

Authored on: Fri, 02/01/2013 - 11:16

Question

I am on H-1B visa and my wife just received her H-4B. She is not allowed to get SSN as this is only for people who allowed to work. I need to get her TIN (TAX Identification Number) but not sure where to start as I have been told she needs TIN for Driver licensing and open Bank account.

Answer

You contact IRS for tax identification. Also, SSN can be given for non-work purposes if the law requires you to provide a non-work Social Security number to get a federal benefit or state general assistance benefit that you are otherwise qualified for.


See this info TIN: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Taxpayer-Identification-Numbers-(TIN)


This for SSN: http://ssa-custhelp.ssa

H-4 Dependent Visa

Authored on: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 02:20

Question

Is it possible for an H-1B holder to apply for H-4 dependent visas for a fiancée and/or parents?

Answer

For an H-4 dependent visa, qualifying family members include only the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old.

H-4 to H-1 status

Authored on: Wed, 12/19/2012 - 03:06

Question

I was in H-1B status for three years, then changed to H-4 status. If I want to change back to H-1, will I need to wait to file under the new quota?

Answer

If your previous H-1B petition was counted against the cap, you should not be subject to the quota and should be able to file an H-1B petition at any time. However, if your prior H-1B employer was cap-exempt, you will be subject to the quota.

Adjustment of Status from H-4 to H-1

Authored on: Wed, 11/28/2012 - 06:31

Question

I may be travelling US on H-1B next year with my spouse on H-4. Is there any possibility to find a job in US for my husband through H-1B sponsor by some consultants and how much risk is involved in this?

Answer

As long as there is quota remaining on the H-1B, the law permits change of status from H-4 to H-1. And, if the H-1 is denied, that does not affect the existing H-4. So, no legal risk that I can see.

Electronic Immigration System Eligibility

Authored on: Mon, 11/19/2012 - 10:40

Question

Can I use ELIS (Electronic Immigration System) to file an extension of status for my H-4 dependents?

Answer

Please refer to the following for classifications that are eligible to use ELIS: http://www.uscis.gov/uscis-elis

H-4 TO H-1B

Authored on: Wed, 09/12/2012 - 01:45

Question

I have H-1B visa and my husband has H-4 visa. If my husband is going to file H-1B from US, will it be a COS. If so, is there a timeline before he has to come to India to get his Visa stamped? I heard many H-4 to H-1B petitions are getting denied. Is that true?

Answer

It can be a COS. If a successful COS is obtained, there is no deadline on getting a visa stamp. H-1 petition denial rate is higher if the documentation is insufficient.

F-2 to H-4 Visa

Authored on: Thu, 05/10/2012 - 05:28

Question

I am on F-2 visa and it is valid up to 1 July 2012. My wife already filed H-1B in Apr 1st week.I am also planning to file my H-1B. So can I directly apply H-1B or fist apply H-4 and then after apply H-1B. How will it work?

Answer

If you are subject to H-1 quota, to get status within USA, you must maintain status till September 30. So, it appears you may have to apply for H-4 as well as H-1. Your lawyers can help you figure out the timing. Applying for H-4 now should not be an issue. But move quickly. You can file for H-4 online. Fairly easy.

H-4 extension for spouse and child

Authored on: Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:21

Question

We had applied for H-4 extension for my wife and child (1 year) in same I-539 form. We received an approved 797 form for dependents. Applicant's name is my wife's name and beneficiary's name is my daughter’s name. The I-94 in the form contains only my daughter’s number and not my wife's I-94 number. My wife's name is mentioned as a petitioner. Should my wife also have a separate I-94 in the approved 797 form?

Answer

She must have a separate I-94.

H-1B to B-2

Authored on: Tue, 07/05/2011 - 05:20

Question

I am working in USA on my H-1B right now and my wife is on H-4B. My H1 is valid until 2013. I am planning to leave my job within next few months. After that, we want to visit entire USA for few months before I go back home. Can I change from H-1B(for myself)+ H-4B(for my wife)or B-2 Visitor for both?

Answer

You can and should apply for B2 for both.

Can I apply for H4 visa for spouse while on EAD?

Authored on: Fri, 07/01/2011 - 04:34

Question

My I -485 is pending since 2007, on EB3. My I-140 approved in Nov 2007. I did not for I-485 for my spouse and dependents as they were not in USA. I am working on EAD and I do not have H1B. My Question is can I apply for H4 visa for my spouse, as I am legally working on EAD? I heard that people on student visa can bring their spouse on dependent visa.

Answer

You can have them apply for H-4 only if you go to an H-1 (you can). An F-1 is difficult if you have an AOS pending.

H-4 Visa and Status Validity

Authored on: Thu, 05/19/2011 - 00:05

Question

My husband has changed his job and his H1-B is being transferred. I am on H4 visa with valid stamp till 04/30/2012

My questions :
1. Do I have to also apply with him for H4 transfer ? Or should I be able to contd on valid status as my current H4 visa is valid ?
2. If I have to travel out of the country , can I travel with my current H4 visa stamp ? or should I have to re-stamp it with my husband's new I-797 for new company ?

Answer

Your current H-4 status and visa remains valid and can be used for travel. Each time, your husband changes jobs, you do not have to apply for H-4 until the time the H-4 is about to expire.

OPT - H4 - H1

Authored on: Mon, 04/18/2011 - 15:48

Question

I am currently on OPT, expiring on 23 May 11. I am currently working but my current employer is not willing to file for my visa and I am unable to find an employer who can file for H1B. I have following questions:
1) If I am not able to find a company-how much time ahead of my visa expiration I will have to file for H4?
2) How difficult it is for an employer file for H1 from H1 and what is the process?
3) If I have to travel out of country before the OPT expiration-do I need to have another visa approved to re enter before my OPT expiration?

Answer

1. Your H-4 application must reach USCIS before expiration of your OPT (although it could be argued that you have an extra 60 days, but I stay away from having to argue).
2. No different than filing a new H-1.
3. You could have a difficult time entering if cutting too close the end, although, legally you are entitled to it as long as you have a job in your field that you have been performing on your OPT.


 

COS from H-4 to F-1 visa

Authored on: Wed, 03/16/2011 - 04:17

Question

I want to change my status from H4 to F1 and assuming that it would take approx 3-4 months. If I apply for COS today, I make a trip to France (I am French citizen) next week, can I re-enter US on my valid H4 visa? Or do I have to wait until F1 is approved, get it stamped in Paris and then re-enter US?

Answer

You do NOT need USCIS approval to apply for F-1 visa. Just apply for F-1 visa during your visit to France. Ask the school to explain the formalities to you. By the way, if you leave USA during a COS request, the COS is deemed abandoned.


 

H-4 Visa Stay in US

Authored on: Fri, 01/28/2011 - 02:57

Question

My husband is on H4 with an I94 valid till June 17, 2011 and I am a H1B visa holder with a valid petition document. I am planning to go for a vacation. Will it be a problem if I leave my husband (dependent) in US and go for a vacation and come back in 3 to 4 weeks?

Answer

A few weeks absence should create no problems for your dependents.

H-4 rejected under 214(b)

Authored on: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 06:03

Question

My wife's H-4 got rejected under section 214(b) recently and interview went for less than minute. Should I apply again ?

Answer

In my view, H-4 cannot be denied under Section 214(b). This is an error. Apply again.

Advance Parole

Authored on: Tue, 12/07/2010 - 02:38

Question

Right now my wife and I am on advance parole, In 2005 what happened was, when my H-1 and my wife’s H-4 came to renew ,the attorney forgot to renew my wife’s H-4 so she was out of status for about two months later he filed it everything was alright.So my question is can she go to India with advance parole and come back, will there be any problem?

Answer

If her I-485 was pending, she would not be out of status.

H-4 visa and age

Authored on: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 04:42

Question

I am currently on H-4 (my visa expires 31st sept, 2010). I am 23 yrs old. I understand that the laws states that over 21 you are no longer on H4 visa. But in my case the immigration has issued me the visa for the date mentioned above. How do I go about ?

Answer

The general rule is - we should not try to take advantage of an error made by the govt.

H4

Authored on: Sun, 08/29/2010 - 22:52

Question

Just would like to know that how soon can a spouse and children apply for a H4?

Answer

There is no time limit. As soon as you get an H-1.

H4 Visa Stamping

Authored on: Tue, 08/03/2010 - 08:59

Question

I recently switched jobs and had my H1-B transferred from Company A to Company B. I have all the H1-B sponsorship documents in place from Company B.
I am married and my wife is on H4 visa. My wife is currently in India and she has a valid visa and I-94 based on my Company A H1. My wife’s visa and I-94 are valid thru Sept. 30, 2010.
My question is, although I have the all the approved papers for my wife’s new H4 visa based on Company B, instead of having her go for a re-stamping can she fly back on her old but valid visa and I-94?

Answer

She should be able to enter with her existing H-4 visa as long as she enters USA before the visa expires. But note that her H-4 I-94 given upon entry would be valid only till the visa stamp validity, so you may have to eventually get the visa restamped, or PERHAPS get the H-4 extended again.

H4 inquiry - Dubai resident holding Indian passport

Authored on: Wed, 06/09/2010 - 16:05

Question

I am on an H1b visa working in the usa. My wife currently has a residence visa from Dubai (UAE) and she is an indian citizen holding an indian passport.She has lived for 27 years in Dubai and for the last six to 12 months she has also been living in Dubai. Could you guide me on the process of getting her into the USA on a dependends visa please.

Answer

Easy. She needs to apply for H-4 visa at the US Consulate in Dubai. Contact them (you can check their web site http://dubai.usconsulate.gov/dubai/gvi.html) for what documents she must bring.

H-4 visa to H-1B

Authored on: Mon, 06/07/2010 - 07:21

Question

My Wife is on H4 visa.How can she convert her status to H1B Visa.What are the various ways out to attain work visa.

Answer

She can. For Indian citizens, H-1 and L-1 are two obvious choices.

Travel during H4 processing

Authored on: Fri, 04/16/2010 - 07:18

Question

I am on J-2 visa. This is likely to expire soon due to my spouse changing her visa from J-1 to H1.I want to apply for H4 if I can travel outside USA during the application(processing) period.

Answer

If you travel during change of status, the request for COS is deemed to be abandoned.

H1B-H4-H1B

Authored on: Tue, 01/26/2010 - 05:03

Question

Recently (2009), I changed my status from H1B to H4. My Employer cancelled the H1B after I changed the status to H4 Visa. I have H1B petition document(I-797) with me.

1)Now Can I use existing H1B with the new employer?
2)Do I fall under quota or I need to file new H1B in this Year quota?

Answer

You will be exempt from the quota (assuming your previous employer was a private employer - NOT exempt from quota). The new employer will need to apply for an H-1 again.

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).

H4 to H-1

Authored on: Thu, 11/26/2009 - 04:58

Question

I came on H4, got H1b, worked for few months, again changed to H4.Could somebody tell me how much would it cost to amend from H4 to H1.

Answer

I am not sure what you mean by "cost," but I can refer you to what we charge. See if this answers your question: http://www.immigration.com/services-fees/h-visa/h-visa-services-and-fees

Are H-1 holders being turned back at the airport?

Authored on: Fri, 04/03/2009 - 01:00

Question

This is the buzz going around in techie town. If you have already heard it then pl. ignore if not this is interesting.

A techie based of Jersey goes to India to visit his family recently. Techie is assumed have lived in the US for quite some time. He is currently working on his work permit as an alien worker. Techie also has a temporary un-approved/un-guaranteed green card called the EAD.

While re entering an immi-officer that if they can call his manager. Techie then hands all the contact information. Officer gives him a call and asks if they really need a H1B worker for his position. Officer also ensures if the H1B possesses exceptional skills. Manager replies back with a YES!

Officer then calls an office that could tell how many citizens posses the same skill and are unemployed. Officer is told numerous unemployed. Officer now decides to send the techie back. Techie then pleads that he has a house on mortage, a car out of a loan. He needs time to return. Officer then grants him a month on a visiting visa. Techie once again pleads and successfully bargains a 3 month on a visitor visa to return back.

Answer

If this is all what happened, then the govt. has acted illegally. There is no question in my mind about it.