Visa Bulletin FAQs

Green Card holder stuck outside the US for more than a year

Authored on: Tue, 12/01/2020 - 23:08

Question

I am a US citizen who Sponsored my fathers green card in 2010. His green card is expiring oct 2020. He had to stay in India since Jan 2019 due to health conditions. With the Covid pandemic situation and his age (81) and health conditions, he is not able to travel back to the united States before the green card expiry. My father does not have any family in India to take care of him and will have to come here so that my brother and I can take care of him. What are our options for avoiding the expiry of the green card? Secondly, is there a 60 day extension on the expiry date due to Covid 19?

Answer

How to Read the Visa Bulletin

Authored on: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 05:47

Question

In the USCIS Visa bulletin along with the Dates of Filing chart for Employment-based Category the following there is a link to visa bulletin info
<br>
Purpose of this link:<br>
This page will tell if the Dates of Filing for Employment-based chart is valid or not. If it refers back to visa availability dates chart for Employment-based Category then Dates for Filing of Employment-based Category is no longer valid for the current month of publication of USCIS Visa bulletin.

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: How to read the visa bulletin?

Video Transcript:

Visa Bulletin is a statistical projection based upon rules of statistics as well the law. There are laws as to how many visas you can allocate each trimester or quarter. There are many things to be considered in a visa bulletin. Hence visa bulletin is merely a projection. It is not accurate. Normally you will use the dates for filing visa application chart, but USCIS will indicate on that page that sometimes you can use application final action dates. 

The way it works is let's say your date is current in December. Visa bulletin gets published 15 days into the month, so by November 10  to 15 you have got your dates for the next month. Remember your adjustment of status applications should not get there before December 1st. You have all of the month of November to file your application. Dates remain current for the whole month.

Regarding your question normally you will file according to the visa bulletin dates unless the USCIS website shows that the final action dates are different and those are the dates you can use.

 
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.

Visa Bulletin Final Action Dates and Date for Filing

Authored on: Fri, 06/23/2017 - 06:33

Question

The visa bulletin refers to two tables, dates for filing applications and final action dates. The latest Bulletin, June 2017, for category F2A, has 15AUG15 specified for final action dates and 08APR16 for dates for filing applications.Assuming that the dates move at the same pace, we might see the dates for filing applications move to 08JUN16 in a couple of months from now. If this happens, will my husband be eligible to apply for the next step (consular processing) or have to wait for the final action dates to become current? When will he be eligible to take action on the next step?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: What are Visa Bulletin Final Action Dates and Date for Filing

Video Transcript: 

Visa Bulletin is an estimate. It is not mathematically accurate. It is an estimate based upon certain rules, statistical as well as legal which is an estimation by the State Department of what visa numbers they will be taking in the following month. In other words, it is the projection of the availability of visas in the month following the announcement of the visa bulletin. Let's say if your date is currently according to the visa bulletin which means either from your date forward or before your date, priority date cases are going to be dealt with in the following month you can then if you are in the USA in legal status apply for Adjustment of Status. If you are in the USA you need to look at the USCIS website and see what the final action date is according to them. Sometimes they might allow you to file as earlier than suggested by the visa bulletin. 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.

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. 

How to Calculate Dates from Visa Bulletin

Authored on: Mon, 12/14/2015 - 03:21

Question

How can I calculate my sister's possible visa interview? I am confused with these changes on final action date etc.

Answer

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

https://youtu.be/1QbgUmUUJvc?t=80 

FAQ Transcript:

Priority Date (PD) is the date when your green card visa numbers are available. It means that you are entitled to get your green card. It doesn’t mean you can get it right away. But it means you are in a stage were you are about to get your green card. So Priority Date is usually the date on which your application was started. In case of family based petitions Priority Date is when I-130 was filed. In the case of Employment based cases it is based upon when PERM was filed. Employment based cases were PERM is not involved, direct I-140 is involved such as National Interest Waivers, EB-1s - Priority Date is the date you file the I-140. Your Priority Date depends upon the date your case was started. That’s one thing you got to worry about.

 When you go to Visas Bulletin which is a monthly publication of the US Department of State it tells you what visa dates are expected to be curbed or in other words where the queue is for the next month. So in December they will issue predictions for January, in January they will issue predictions for February, then on top of that you have to worry about processing times. Sometimes for e.g.: in US Citizen’s cases there is no Priority Date back up, dates are immediately current for e.g.: spouse of a US Citizen, parent of a US Citizen, minor unmarried child of a US Citizen, there are no Priority Date   issues here. In these cases, you have to worry only about the processing times. So when you file the form the form takes set amount of time to process. Now a new concept has been started a couple of months ago, if you go to the USCIS website it tells you if you are in the United States this is the date when you can file your last step of the green card process. If you are outside USA this is the date, you can expect to receive further paper work from the consulate. It doesn’t mean you are going to get your green card right away but you are eligible or close to getting it.

Here is another variable. How much time is it taking at that consulate to schedule interviews. Some consulates are heavily overworked. Some consulates are relatively less worked. So that’s the fourth variable. First variable was Priority Date, second variable is processing times, third variable is final action dates which is also the part of Visa Bulletin a slightly different table, and the fourth is the local processing times.

Question: How can I calculate my sister's possible visa interview? I am confused with these changes on final action date etc. Her PD is 1 Feb, 2011 visa category F2B. She has already submitted dox to NVC. When she was waiting for the visa date she turned 21 and moved to f2b cat.1. When do you think it will be? Which table to consider? At the Visa bulletin one, I mean. 

First of all, if her Priority Date is current normally within a few months, probably less than six months. At the Visa Bulletin the final action table tells you approximately when she can expect her final documents.

Question: Once the other parent becomes citizen in USA would it be helpful to submit another petition for her? Would you advise it to be in the safe side? 

You can. You can file multiple cases for the same individual. That is not a problem. As long as you see some gain in it depending upon the country she was born in, in filing through two separate categories you can certainly do that.

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.