US Immigration Questions

Can I do two STEM OPTs, one after bachelor's and the other after Master's degree?

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I am in the 1st year of my 2-year STEM OPT after completing Bachelors Degree. Can I do another set of OPT + 2 year STEM OPT if I complete my Masters Degree? Does the Masters also have to be in STEM field to utilize the post Masters OPT+2 year STEM OPT?

ANSWER
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You can get a STEM OPT extension twice in one academic life cycle. Even if you did a STEM degree  and never used stem opt extension you should be able to reuse it. 

 

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Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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How can I maintain my H-1B while working outside the USA?

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I would  highly appreciate it if you could share any insights for my case. I hold H-1B working for MNC in Seattle, USA. I applied for Canada PR and it was confirmed. I will travel by car to Vancouver Canada and work in Canada remotely with a Canadian house address. At the same time I want to maintain my H1B visa. Is that possible and how? I got to know H1B is valid as long as we work on US soil. 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

Sure, but maintaining an H-1B simply means that your H-1B is not destroyed just because you are not working here all the time. Also remember that you can recapture the time spent outside.
For more on this topic please visit my author page.
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/etreporter/author-rajiv-khanna-479254772.cms
 

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Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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Options if employment-based I-485 is denied?

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1. My I-485 was filed in August 2022. Priority Date: 2014. Lost a job. H-1B withdrawn and offer is canceled. Current H-1B remaining till January 2023. If I-485 is denied do I have to leave the country? Can I work for the remaining 5 months?

2. After retrogression, can I transfer H-1B?
 

ANSWER
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1. You can finish your H-1B term.
2. I don't see why not.
 

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Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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Parents who are GC holders, applied for reentry permits, left USA; do they need to return to the USA or can they wait till I-131 is processed?

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My parents who are green card holders applied for the i-131 travel document in Sept 2021. They finished their biometrics in Oct 2021 and left the USA on Nov,14th 2021.
There has not been an update to the case after the biometrics. Do they need to return to the US by Nov 14th, 2022? Or can they wait till the I-131 application is processed before returning to the US?
 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

If they can come back before November I think that would be a good idea just to be safe.There is no guarantee that the reentry permit will be approved, although it is very rare for reentry permits to be denied at least for the first two years.

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Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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STEM extension expiring, options to stay in USA, Is Day 1 CPT safe and legal?

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I am currently on STEM Extension and my visa expires in July 2023. I also have a masters degree here in the states. I wanted to know what my options are..
If the suggestion is Day-1 CPT, I wanted to know how safe/legit it is! I have heard that going on Day-1 CPT can cause some issues when your H1 gets picked and may lead to RFE?
 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

It is legal and so far it has been safe. You know that the rule for Day 1 CPT requires that when you join, you are associating with a graduate program otherwise you cannot get a Day 1 CPT. The Curricular Practical Training is an integral part of your degree. You cannot finish the degree without the practical training. The other thing is the employer signs the cooperative agreement with the university. The only additional suggestion I have is if you are going to do Curricular Practical Training make it as an adjunct to your profession.

For more information please check my blog.
https://immigration.com/blogs/curricular-practical-training-cpt
 

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Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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Concerns and issues while parents are traveling to India with Advance Parole while waiting for the Green Card

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I am a U.S. citizen and I had applied for a green card for my parents and they were in the USA and now they have received their Advance Parole.

1. When our parents have Advance Parole, is there any special process to leave the U.S.?

2. Do we need to inform the airline staff during their check in process?

3. Even though Advance Parole documents specify that parole is valid for one year, is there any advisable timeline they could stay in India on Advance Parole?

4. What is the process for entering the USA on Advance Parole besides showing their parole documents to the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officer at the airport?

5. Any instructions or guidelines for using Advance Parole?

6. What if their Green card gets approved while they are in India?

ANSWER

1. The answer is No.

2. No. There is no special procedure for leaving the United States.

3. There is no limit to their time. The only limitation is if they are scheduled for an interview they should plan on returning on a short notice.

4. You just need to show your Advance Parole and passport.

5. There are no  instructions, other than the fact they should be ready to come back when needed. If they schedule an interview we try to get the interview waived. If they do not waive the interview, the interview can be rescheduled and it is a valid ground for rescheduling if they are outside the United States.

6. If somebody is on Advance Parole and their Green card gets approved, they should board the flight using the Advance Parole. When they arrive at the airport in the United States the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officer should admit them as Green card holders. If that does not happen then they usually let them in on Advance Parole.

Nóte:

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Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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Entry into the U.S. using the Advance Parole after green card approval during a trip abroad

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Background: Applied I-485 application under EB3 after downgrade from EB2 in 2020. Refiled another I- 485 application under EB2 in 2021. Received EAD/ AP combo card from EB3 application in Jan 2022. Used it to travel out of country in July 2022. Green card approved in EB2 category while out of country. Entered USA using the Advance Parole from EB3 in August 2022 as the green card was in mailbox in USA. At Port of Entry, I informed them about the approval of I-485. However, they paroled me in for 1 year until August 2023 and stamped Advance pare in my passport. I collected my physical card from the mailbox after reaching my home.

Question

What is my status now- Green card or Advance parole?  Any impact on my green card status with that AP stamp as I used AP from EB3 after approval of green card from EB2?  I did not receive any notice form USCIS about withdrawing EB3 application after they granted green card under EB2. Should I ask USCIS to cancel the EB3 application or assume that it is automatically canceled by USCIS?

 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

You can contact the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and go to one of their offices which is usually at the airport. They are called Deferred Inspection. As a green card holder, they might be able to change your I-94 or your admission to a green card holder. I would also like you to double check first with the CBP and then with the congressman.
 

Nóte:

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Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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Was the Green Card approved in error? Time taken by the USCIS to respond to an E request for correction, travel?

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Background:

1) PD - Initial Filing - EB2 MAR 2014 (Two Different EB2 filings with two different employers A and B)
3) Downgraded to EB3 with Employer B (New Petition but using the same EB2 PERM with Employer B) In Nov 2020, Filed I-485 Concurrently
3) Change to a different Full-Time AC21 - Same or Similar Role (Employer C) - Using AOS EAD
4) I-485 Got Approved in E26 Category (EB-2) before any I-485J submission whatsoever.
4) Initiated an inquiry with the Congressman to confirm this card is legitimate for usage and no errors / issues; still waiting on USCIS Response.
5) Spouse's I-485 also Got Approved about 2 weeks AFTER this inquiry was already sent over to USCIS (E27 Category).

Questions:

1) Suppose that a congressman's written response from USCIS comes back affirmative for legitimacy of the approvals quoting USCIS discretionary authority. There is also a recent trend of many such approved cases where the applicant had at least one prior approved EB-2 petition with PD current - so this situation does not seem to be unique any more.
Should we still then pursue USCIS E-Request / I-90 submission avenues from our side - would it really be worth to continue stretching this any further at that point ?

2) You had indicated that until notified otherwise, this LPR card can be used for Travel Purposes. Can it also be used to say take up a second week-end / part time job, renewal of driver's licenses etc. ?

3) If you use this card for any of the above purposes, and unfortunately USCIS response were to be negative, do you lose your status - have to do any reinstatement etc. particularly in the travel situation usage of LPR Card ?

4) Can you continue using your AOS EAD / AP instead during this seemingly weird time window, since that also is a USCIS-issued valid non-expired travel and work authorization ? In general, can you continue its usage until the expiry date, regardless of your I-485 status ?
 

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

1. I would suggest that you submit the E-request with an I-90 saying this green card appears to have been approved with an error.

2. My advice would be to avoid it if you can. But if you have to I think you can argue quite successfully that  travel was valid and it does not affect your pending green card.

3. I do not think so because you have an EAD/Advance Parole. 

4. I think you have  a pretty strong argument. You can definitely continue using your EAD, but do not use your Advance Parole if you can.

 

Nóte:

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Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Agency

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H-1B visa holder travels abroad (Canada) for work sometimes; is an H-1B amendment required for change of address or location abroad?

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H-1B visa holder travels abroad (Canada) for work sometimes; is an H-1B amendment required for change of address or location abroad?

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

The bottom line is there is no law that requires you to have an H-1B if you are working from a country other than the USA. Now if you go to Canada and you are a citizen of India and you do not have any work visa in Canada you will probably need a work visa in Canada. But sitting in Canada you could work for a U.S. company. Also the intermittent H-1B allows you to visit the U.S. for a few days as well as months. This is even allowed under the law. I therefore do not see any problem in working from abroad and coming to the USA intermittently.

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Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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What are the chances of an H-1B visa (STEM OPT) after completing Masters in the U.S?

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What are the chances of an H-1B visa (STEM OPT) after completing Masters in the U.S?

ANSWER
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FAQ Transcript

One is not sure what the laws are going to be or what the procedures are going to be in another few years. Congress is keenly aware of the perceived shortcomings in the H-1B process. Things might change by that time. It appears to me that having three tries through STEM and having a Master's degree improves your chances.
Please see my blogs and articles for more information.

https://www.immigration.com/blogs

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/migrate/can-student-visa-holders-apply-for-a-green-card/articleshow/83976519.cms
 

 

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Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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