Adjustment of Status FAQs

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Answer: After 180 days, you can extend H-1 even if 140 is withdrawn.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 One, the I-140 can be used to extend your H-1 through ANY employer, if it is not withdrawn within 180 days of approval.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. 

Applying for green card while visiting the USA

Authored on: Wed, 11/25/2015 - 07:27

Question

I am contemplating marriage to a GC holder and I have a question regarding I-130 and AOS. My prospective spouse got GC in Jan 2015. I currently hold a valid visitors visa to USA and I have visited USA many times on this visa.Is it possible to get married, enter USA on the existing visitors visa and then immediately apply for I-130 and Adjustment of Status. What are the risks/implications with this approach. What is the best procedure in these circumstances?

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/H_VV9kV_lOg?t=2303

FAQ Transcript:

It will be wrong if you entered USA for a visit visa and had a preconceived intention of getting married. I think that would be considered as a fraud by the government. On the other hand, you entered USA wanting to visit and fell head over heels in love with somebody, I think in a case like this we can definitely go and do a green card if you can demonstrate that you had no preconceived intention then I think you are ok. 

My advice to people is don’t get married till you apply for a K-1 (fiancé visa) which would be a smart thing to do in a situation like this. It takes a few months or maybe more than a year.

October 2015 Visa Bulletin Confusion FAQ's

Authored on: Thu, 10/08/2015 - 01:23

Question

FAQ's Updated on 21 September 2015

Answer

FAQ's Updated on 21 September 2015 

FAQ 1. I am on the H-1B visa and my spouse on F-1. When my Priority date is eligible is it ok to apply for I-485 for me and my wife given she is on F1 or she has to be on H4 before we can apply for i485? If it is ok to apply with her F1 status, are there any possibilities that she can have issues in the future if she wants to get back to H-4 with a ending I-485?

Answer: The law does NOT require that the spouse be on a derivative visa (like H-4 or L-2, if you are on H-1 or L-1) to file AOS through you. BUT, F-1 presents some potential issues that should be discussed with the school. 

FAQ 2. My sincere thanks for your service. I had one quick question. I am on consular processing currently outside USA. My priority date is July 2010. My application is with NVC (National Visa Center). Do I need to submit my paper work for EAD, will I be eligible EAD ?

Answer: You need to wait till NVC asks for papers, and no EAD, sorry.

 FAQ 3. Do you anticipate any date movement of the new date for I-485 eligibility for EB2 India? Also, are there any chances that this date will also retrogress?

Answer: I think dates are likely to move in both directions: retrogression as well as advancement.

FAQ 4. I filed for my 1-485 concurrently before I got married, now as per the new set of dates. In the October visa bulletin, I am eligible for filing Employment based visa application. Can I add my wife (who is currently on H4) to my application, after 1st Oct,15? Or do I need to wait for a notification before doing so?

Answer: Ideally, wait till receipt. You have all of October to file AOS.

FAQ  5. I have been waiting last 6 yrs and recently I booked h1b stamping interview at Hyderabad thinking that dates won’t move for next few years. My priority date is Jun 2010. If I start initiating process for EAD, AD, AP how long does it take? Not sure should I go for stamping or should i wait for few months. 

Asnwer: Your first priority must be to file and maintain the AOS. I would suggest you file AOS and plan your trip only AFTER you get AP.

 


 

  

 

FAQ's Updated on 14 September 2015 

FAQ 1. My PD is December 2010. Will file for I-485 next month. My wife is travelling to India on Sept 26. Is it OK to add her while she is travelling (technically she will be in India next month). If not, she will come back March 2016. Can I file for her later and file only mine next month? 

Answer: She has to be in the USA when 485 is received by USCIS.

FAQ 2. From the USCIS point it seems that this bulletin was the last action item on Obama executive order for Empl based immigration,please let us know what do you think?

Answer: I think there should be more. An explanation of promotion not being fatal to an employment-based green card, etc.

FAQ 3. My priority date is April 2013. I left the previous employer and he revocked my approved I-140 . I got copy of approved I-140 and revocation letter from USCIS . When my current company will file I -140 , will I able to retain my old priority date ?

Answer: No. The current thinking of the USCIS is that you will lose your PD. I am sorry. 

FAQ 4. My Priority date is Jan2011 (EB2) and it is current now and it is with company A. Now I have moved to company B and they are in the process of filing Perm. And my previous I-140 is not withdrawn by company A. So my question is can we apply for I-485 based on company A's I-140 approval without even involving company A and then after 180 days can we use AC21 and port to company B. At this point i cant leave job at Company B since it is Fulltime. Please advice.

Answer: You must not file I-485 without a genuine job offer from the I-140 sponsoring employer.

FAQ 5. My Priority date under EB2 is June 9, 2011 with my Old Employer and my I-140 was approved on March 7, 2012 and stayed with that company till Nov 2014 and in dec 2014 moved to a new company, Can I file for I-1485, EAD and AP on October 1, 2015 and my Old Employer is ready to give offer letter and here I see you have mentioned to Mr. Pavan that you can only apply AOS, does it mean Adjustment of Status which Includes filing of I-1485 along with EAD and AP or only I485 ? 

Answer: If you are entitled to file I-485, you are ALSO entitled to file AP and EAD.

FAQ 6. Perhaps a mute point - but promised myself I will have this clarified by you. My priority date is in May 2011 - but that PERM and I140 are from previous employer. Current employer hasn't filed PERM yet (it's a non-profit org and things move slow I guess). My spouse has her PERM and i140 (priority date in 2014) from her current employer.

1) Can I use my previous employers i140 to file i485?

2) Can my wife use my PD and file for i485? 

Answer: 1. Only if you have a genuine job offer letter from previous employer.

2. No. 

FAQ 7. Hi, my priority date is April'2011 in EB2 and based on recent employee based priority date for EAD, my date is become current. I am going to India on October 29th. I am planning to file 485 and then leave for vacation. Will that be a problem, kindly sugget.

Answer: Travel after filing I-485 is a problem only if you do not have a valid H-1 visa stamp.

FAQ 8. Can new employer re capture OLB priority date in case old employer revocked approved I 140 ? 

Answer: A revoked I-140 takes away the PD.

FAQ 9. There is I-140 EAD petition blog(regradless of any categories) is going on through out many website. Is it going to get approved this year that all approved I-140 folks are eligible for EAD? Do you have any insight on this? may be this could be scam? 

Answer: That was the original plan of Obama Admin: when you file 140 (or 140 is already approved), you can filed 485 without waiting for PD. But that plan has not been implemented so far. 

FAQ 10. What I understand from the news on the Visa Bulletin is that we (Indians) can only file for AOS under EB2 category if the PD is before 1st July 2011. But even if the PD is before 1st July 2011, the I-485 will ONLY be processed/approved until the Priority date becomes current (which is May 2005). Am I right? 

Answer: A green card will be approved only if a visa number is available. EVERYTHING you see in the visa bulletin is an estimate.




 

FAQ'S as of September 10, 2015 

FAQ 1. My husband has his priority date Dec 2012. As per the new changes in VB , which might have progressive dates every month, Any idea how long it might take to reach to Dec 2012 ? 

Answer: I am not sure if this will be repeated every month and how will the movement continue.

FAQ 2. I have been waiting last 6 yrs and recently I booked H-1B stamping interview at Hyderabad thinking that dates wont move for next few years. My priority date is Jun 2010. If I start initiating process for EAD, AP how long does it take? I am sure should I go for stamping or should I wait for few months.

Answer: Your first priority must be to file and maintain the AOS. I would suggest you file AOS and plan your trip only AFTER you get AP.

FAQ 3. I have prior approved valid I-140 with previous employers with Sep-2010 as PD and my current employer has applied LC and waiting for approval. Can I apply for EAD with the previous employer I-140.

Answer: You can only apply for AOS if the old employer, in good faith, can provide you an offer of employment.

 

 

 

 

Priority date port and multiple I-485/AOS petitions

Authored on: Wed, 09/23/2015 - 07:33

Question

I have my old Priority date as Dec 2009 in EB-3 and when I changed the company they filed the Labor and I-140 in EB-2 and my old Priority date is not ported on my new I-140 and I see the new I-140 in EB-2 with the Priority Date as Jan 2013. Now with the revised USCIS VISA Bulletin can I apply my I-485 with old PD ( EB-3) and simultaneously to be safer side can I apply I-485 from my wife's side and her PD is July 2010.

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/OMuYdzLJ2qQ?t=1436

FAQ Transcript:

Current thinking of USCIS is if the old employer revokes I-140 or USCIS revokes I-140 it will take away your Priority Date.  Second thing is in a situation when one files the second I-140, USCIS has already given the date from the old I-140 and now if the old I-140 is already revoked why keep the date and the answer is not necessarily. Just because the date has been put on your I-140 does not mean you get to keep it at least that’s the way I see it.

Let’s say husband and wife both have their  I- 485 going. Because she had her I-140, you had your Priority Date and might be a few months ahead of the other one should we be filing I-485s? One Primary and the other one Derivative and the answer is ...USCIS does not like it. On the other hand Is it legal to have multiple I- 485s the answer is "yes"... can it cause confusion and delays..."yes" but it also protects a bunch of very important rights.

The interesting this is ...let’s say husband and wife both filed I-485 one each but wife’s case got approved first what USCIS  does these days is they take husbands case and convert it to derivative  and approve him also. So they automatically convert pending I-485s from derivative to primary...from primary to derivative which is very good. So bottom line  - can you file multiple I-485's? " yes"...should you do it ?..get your lawyers check with the USCIS. I probably would where there is an advantage and where there is no advantage ...both jobs are secured nothing to worry about let’s say I would probably file one each and then wait. Chances are USCIS will convert when the approved primary and they will  convert  the derivatives case also . The second primary case also as a derivative and approved.

 

 

I-485/AOS/AC21 issues in job through future employer - I-485/AOS

Authored on: Tue, 09/22/2015 - 05:12

Question

Situation -
1. I am working with employer A on L visa.
2. Employer B has filed my future employment based GC under EB2 category. My I-140 is approved. (I have not worked for employer B until now)
3. My I-485 filed by employer B is pending for more than 180 days.
4. I certainly want to join employer B as soon as I get a project prior to getting green card OR when I get my green card.
Questions - (in case point # 4 is not MET and I get an RFE on employment verification letter)
1. During I-1485 adjudication if I get EVL RFE and I decide to respond to it using another job offer from employer C, then - How do I prove that I certainly had intention to join employer B at the time of filing I-140 and I-1485?
How to prove that my employer B also had intentions to hire me on a permanent Job offer at the time of filing I-140 and I-485?
2. If we want to respond to EVL RFE using Employer C's offer then - How do we prove that this offer was extended prior to I-485 adjudication (with joining date after getting green card)?
What should be the offer extended date and
What should be the joining date to comply by AC21?
3. If I respond to this EVL RFE using employer B's job offer letter then - What are the chances of getting "Ability to pay RFE" subsequent to my RFE response using Employer B's offer letter (Not using AC21 at all)? (FYI - as far as I know so far none of the GC applications are denied for "Ability to Pay" RFE for employer B)

Answer

Video URL

Using Obama's Immigration Action to Apply for AOS/EAD

Authored on: Fri, 01/09/2015 - 15:56

Question

I am in L-2 Visa with an approved I-140 from my employer with a priority date of August 2012. My H-1B applications never got picked up in the lottery. My husband's 7 years of L-1A comes to an end in March 2015. So we have to go back to India. My question is, if with Obama's immigration action develops and a possibility occurs for allowing approved I-140 petitioners to apply for I-485 and EAD, what is the process for me to get an EAD while I am in India and how can I come back to US using the approved I-140?

Answer

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvnIAm0nQJ8#t=808

FAQ Transcript

Yes you can apply for I-485 and EAD. Couple of things. You will have to be in USA on a legal status, probably on H-1. So if you are outside USA don't stop try to get H-1 because you can't enter on tourist visa. Let's get a step back and say Obama implements this plan, it gets implemented in few months down the line. We will actually have a guideline what to do for these cases. What will happen is most likely you will have to be in the United States in the legal status and apply for Adjustment of Status.  You can't do from outside USA. 

Can you enter on something like tourist visa and the answer is probably no because probably it is unacceptable to use tourist visa to come into the United States to do the Adjustment of Status . So H-1, L-1 are the best options. So, somewhere down the line you probably need a H-1, if Obama action kicks in and you want to apply for AOS.

J-1 Physician in Waiver Job Applying for AOS/1-485

Authored on: Fri, 12/05/2014 - 16:49

Question

I am a physician completing my J-1 waiver ( on H-1B now in US, waiver will finish by June 2015). My wife became a U.S. citizen few months ago and she has filed I-130 for me. If I-130 is approved, do I have to wait till June 2015 to apply for adjustment of status or can I apply sooner ? If I have to wait till June to apply for I-485, will I be able to get EAD right away or will I need to be on H-1 for a while I-485 is accepted ?

Answer

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YV-qIlAEpI#t=1320

 

FAQ Transcript

The way it works is physicians when they have J-1 they get a waiver job like Conrad 30 program or through veteran's administration any one of these things. They are working on completing their waiver job typically 3 years. So the question is when can I file I-485?  This comes up very frequently in the context of physician, both when they are trying to do EB-1 or National Interest Waiver. In this case applying for his wife.  The answer is you cannot file I-485 until your 3 years of waiver is complete. Even if you file 1 day early your I-485 will be rejected. So until your waiver is complete you cannot file I-485.

Concurrent AOS filing for EB-2 Physical Therapist

Authored on: Mon, 11/24/2014 - 00:59

Question

Is this true ? - "If the ‘Schedule A’ application falls into the “EB-2” or Employment Based Second Preference category (the employer requires a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy or a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy + 5 years of experience), then the Adjustment of Status application can be submitted simultaneously with the Form I-140".

Answer

Concurrent filing is possible ONLY if your priority date for EB-2 is current, and not backlogged.

Consular Processing

Authored on: Mon, 11/25/2013 - 01:26

Question

What is consular processing?

Answer

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) offers an individual two primary paths to permanent resident status (a green card). An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition and has an immigrant visa number immediately available may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This pathway is referred to as “consular processing.” 

Adjustment of status is an alternate process by which an eligible person, who is already in the United States, can apply for permanent resident status without having to return to his/her home country to complete processing. For more information, see our Adjustment of Status page .

Steps for Consular Processing

1. Determine Your Basis to Immigrate

The first step in consular processing is to determine if you fit into a specific immigrant category. Most immigrants become eligible for a green card (permanent residence) through a petition filed on your behalf by a family member or employer.  Others become permanent residents through first obtaining refugee or asylum status, or through a number of other special provisions.  To see the many different ways to get a green card, see the links to the left. 

2. File the Immigrant Petition

When you know what category you believe best fits your situation, in most cases, you will need to have an immigrant petition filed on your behalf.

  • Family Based

Family based categories require that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you. For more information, see our Family page.

  • Employment Based

Employment based categories most often require the intending U.S. employer to file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, for you.  Entrepreneurs who intend to invest significant amounts of capital into a business venture in the United States may file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur” on their own behalf. For more information, see Working in the U.S. page.

  • Special Classes of Immigrants

In some cases, certain immigrants may file a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant, or have one filed on their behalf.

  • Humanitarian Programs

Most humanitarian programs do not require an underlying petition, although individuals may need to meet additional requirements before they can adjust status. For more information, see Humanitarian page.

Although immigrant petitions are filed with USCIS, In some cases, an I-130 petition may be filed for an immediate relative (spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen) with a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Situations where this may be applicable include:

  • If the U.S. citizen has been authorized to be continuously residing within the jurisdiction of the consular office for at least the previous 6 months
  • Members of the military
  • Emergency situations
  • Situations involving the health or safety of the petitioner
  • When in the national interests of the United States

Please check with the consulate before submitting a petition.  For more information, see the U.S. Department of State website.  

3. Wait for a Decision on Your Petition

USCIS notifies the petitioner of a decision.  If the petition is denied, the notice will include the reasons for denying the petition and any rights to appeal the decision.  If the petition is approved and if you are the beneficiary of the petition and living outside the United States or living in the United States, but choose to apply for your immigrant visa abroad, USCIS will then send the approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is available. See Visa Availability & Priority Dates pages for more information. 

4. Wait for Notification from the National Visa Center

The National Visa Center, which is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and supporting documentation, will notify the petitioner and beneficiary when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is about to become available. They will also notify the petitioner and beneficiary of when they must submit immigrant visa processing fees (commonly referred to as “fee bills”) and when supporting documentation must be submitted. 

5. Go to Your Appointment

Once a visa is available or a beneficiary’s priority date is current (earlier than the cut-off date listed in the monthly Visa Bulletin),the consular office will schedule the applicant for an interview. The consular office will complete processing of the applicant’s case and decide if the beneficiary is eligible for an immigrant visa.

6. Notify the National Visa Center of Any Changes

You do not need to contact the National Visa Center about your petition, they will contact you for the information they need.  You should, however, contact the NVC if there is a change in your personal situation or if you change your address. For NVC contact information, see the “NVC Contact Information” link to the right. It is important to notify the NVC if you reach the age of 21 for a child or have a change in your marital status, as this may affect your eligibility or visa availability.

7. After Your Visa is Granted

If you are granted an immigrant visa, the consular officer will give you a packet of information.  This packet is known as a “Visa Packet.”  You should not open this packet. 

Upon your arrival to the United States, you should give your Visa Packet to the Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry. You will be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection officer and if found admissible, will be admitted as a permanent resident of the United States, which gives you the authority to live and work in the United States permanently. 

8. Receive Your Green Card

You will be mailed your green card.  If you do not receive your green card within 30 days of your arrival, please call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or visit your local office by making an InfoPass appointment.  Make an appointment by visiting the Infopass page.

I-485 Filed While Applicant is Outside United States

Authored on: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 23:34

Question

Can an I-485 (Adjustment of Status) application be filed while the applicant is outside the United States?

Answer

No. It is required that the applicant be on U.S. soil when the application is submitted. For those applying from outside the United States, Consular Processing would be in order.