H Visa FAQs

Is there a problem listing one location in a PERM application while living and working remotely in a different location?

Authored on: Mon, 10/25/2021 - 05:39


Was just wondering if there could be any issues with my prospective PERM application if I am living and working remotely in Minneapolis (consistent with my H-1Blocation) and my employer in Dallas files the PERM application using Dallas as the work location. I am open to eventually relocating to Dallas, so just wondering if this could cause any delays or RFEs for the PERM. Do you think it would be a better option to file an H-1B amendment with Dallas as the work location, and then go through with the PERM or it doesn't matter?



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Doing Business While on H-1B

Authored on: Fri, 03/01/2019 - 03:35


I saw your video on doing business on H1b and understood most of the things such as applying concurrent H1b if I want to be actively involved in the business. I have 3 questions related to the topic. I will open an LLC or any other type of entity that my CPA will suggest but <br>
1- I plan to start with a simple e-commerce business (selling online on a website and other platforms such as Amazon). How tricky is it to get approved for a Concurrent H1b for managing this type of business? I work in IT but I do have MBA and MS degrees from USA. I will be managing both the Technical and Management side.<br>
2- I remember that Concurrent H1b will have to abide by all rules of H1b. Will this means that I have to have start-up capital of more than yearly prevailing wage of CEO in the bank to qualify? I plan to start with 10-20K.<br>
3- Will this Concurrent H1b will be cap-exempt or I have to go through the lottery for this?


 Listen to the Audio on this FAQ: Doing business while on H-1B

Audio Transcript

I think the problem here is I don't think we can prove that your job requires the Bachelors Degree, so unless the job requires the Bachelors Degree in a specific subject, we cannot get an H-1B for that job. There is no start up capital requirement for an H-1B. Directly there is no such thing, but of course indirectly the government can say that we want to be assured of the veracity of the company we want to know that you have enough money or start up money to secure the job. They usually don't ask.

Concurrent H-1B is cap exempt. It is not subject to the cap. If your main H-1B is already capped you have gone through the quota once concurrent H-1B will not be under the cap. The difficulty I see is that your job is not specialty occupation. Other than that, I think it can be done. 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.

Status of Off-site Placed STEM OPT Extension Students

Authored on: Thu, 05/31/2018 - 07:21


USCIS now interprets the 24-month STEM OPT extension rule from 2016 to require a STEM OPT worker to be placed only at a worksite of the employer. In other words, the USCIS now says that any offsite placement, including at a third-party worksite, is prohibited. Will this affect the H1B petitions filed by employers for such opt students, where they are working at an end client location (not employer location) and the H1B petition was filed with end client details.


Watch the Video for this FAQ: Status of off-site placed STEM OPT extension students

Video Transcript

First of all to say that USCIS has changed its regulations and they do not allow off-site placements of STEM OPT extensions students is incorrect, because USCIS has said this from a very long time that they are not going to allow these placements. If you are in a situation, what can happen is you could be considered to be out of status for no fault of your own. So if you file an H-1B and if the government says well we think you're out of status hopefully that's all they can do, they can make you go outside the USA for a visa stamping. 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.

When Does One Become H-1B Cap Exempt?

Authored on: Wed, 12/13/2017 - 02:56


I have read that in some cases of H1B as follows "They had H1 petition and H1B visa was stamped in 2012 but they never traveled to the US on that. And when a new employer applied for a cap-exempt H1B petition in 2017 they got it approved with change of status to H1 in May 2017...Whereas in my case I also didn't use this H1B visa and I even didn't travel to US i.e. My employer filed H1B in 2016 which got approved in Sep 2016 and after my resignation, they revoked H1B in Nov 2016 (which is > OCt, 1 2016), but I got a Denial. When contacted few attorneys they said I may get "Approvals" Or "Deny" in such cases, nowadays its more of details saying I am NOT cap exempt?


Watch the Video on this FAQ: When does one become H-1B cap exempt?

Video Transcript

The first principle is if you are in the United States and you do not get a change of status you are not exempt from the quota. The second principle is if you are outside the USA and you don't get a visa stamp you are not exempt from the quota. Now in both these cases whether you join the job or not is irrelevant. So the third principle is whether you are joining the job or not is irrelevant.

If you are in your home country you must get a visa stamp if you don't, you are not exempt from the quota. If you are in the USA you must get a change of status otherwise you are not exempt from the quota. Hence principal number four is that if your approved H-1 is revoked before October 1st then you are still subject to the quota and the last principle is if your H-1 is revoked for error or for fraud or misrepresentation you are still subject to the quota. 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.

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

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


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?


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.  

What is new regulations for H-1 grace period, revocation of I-140 ?

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


My I 140 is approved in 2013 and H1-B 5 year and 3 months are completed.
I have important question , after 17 Jan 2016 , my any chance I loose my job and my employer revoke my H1-B and I 140.
1. Will I get some time to find new job and new employee to transfer my H1-B ?
2. after my employer revoke my H1-B what is time line I can still transfer my H1-B visa with new employer?


Government will sympathetically consider unexpected layoffs and should give you consideration up to 60 days each H-1 period. So one 60 day period let say you have taken and then changed your employer another 60 day period kind of like that and there is little more to it but each time there is new validity to H-1 . You will be able to get 60 more days.

Converting from another work status (such as H-1) to H-4 EAD

Authored on: Tue, 11/15/2016 - 02:34


My spouse is currently working on F-1 OPT or H-1 status. How can he/she change to H-4 status and obtain H-4 EAD without a gap in the ability to work?


We have received several requests about how to ensure there are no gaps in a spouse’s ability to work when converting from another work status (such as H-1) to H-4 EAD.

The short answer, as of now (November 2016) is that here is no way to guarantee that there will not be any gap in a spouse’s ability to work.  The problems arise from the fact that there can be a gap between change of status to H-4 and receipt of EAD.  The law requires that EAD must be approved and the EAD card must be in hand for the H4 holder to work. 

To illustrate some of the scenarios we have been asked to comment upon:

Question: My spouse is currently working on F1 OPT or H1 status.  How can he/she change to H4 status and obtain H4 EAD without a gap in the ability to work?

Answer: There is no way to ensure there will be no gap between the current employment authorization and the H4 EAD approval.  The H4 and H4 EAD petitions can be filed concurrently, but USCIS has not been adjudicating them at the same time.  First, USCIS adjudicates the H4 petition, after which they start working on the H4 EAD petition.  As the H4 EAD generally takes about 90 days to be adjudicated, it is best to anticipate H4 EAD approval about 90 days after the H4 approval.

It is possible to request a future start date for the H4 status.  The hope would be that by the time the H4 status becomes effective, the H4 EAD is also approved.  But again, there is no way to guarantee the time frame. 

Question: My spouse entered the US on H4 status.  How soon can the H4 EAD be filed and how long will it take before he/she can work?

Answer: The H4 EAD can be filed as soon as the spouse has arrived in the US on H4 status.  Because, the USCIS is taking about 90 days to adjudicate the H4 EAD petition, your spouse is likely to be able to start working in about 3 months after the EAD petition is filed. 

Question: We need to renew my H1 and my spouse’s H4 and H4 EAD.  Would it help the EAD to be issued faster if we file the H1 petition through Premium Processing?

Answer: Possibly.  There is no Premium Processing option for H4 or H4 EAD, but as a courtesy, the USCIS often tries to adjudicate H4 and H4 EAD petitions at the same time as the Premium Processing H1 petition.  There is no guarantee that the USCIS will adjudicate the H1, H4 and H4 EAD at the same time.  It is possible that only the H1 will be adjudicated under Premium Processing, and the H4 and H4 EAD will be adjudicated in the normal queue.

Question:  My H1 does not need to be extended, but my spouse’s H4 and/or H4 EAD do need to be renewed.  How can the petitions be filed so there is no gap in the H4 EAD authorization to work? 

Answer: It is critical to file these petitions early.  The H4 renewal can be filed 6 months before the current H4 expires, and the H4 EAD can be filed 120 days before the current H4 EAD expires.  While it is not a guarantee that there will be no interruption in the work, early filing is the best option to provide the USCIS with enough time to process the petitions.

 Click here for Rajiv's blog entry on H-4 EAD Rule

Changing Jobs After I-140 Approval

Authored on: Mon, 05/30/2016 - 08:39


I have PERM approved and I-140 filed in regular processing by my current employer "A". I have got an opportunity from employer "B" and then told they will process my GC as fresh application. I have 17 months left on my H-1B visa.
1. In pending approval of I-140. will I get the extension of 3 years from USCIS when employer "B" initiate the transfer ? OR Will I get the H-1B transfer extension till max out ?
2. Is it recommendable to switch now in between of pending approval process of I-140?
3. Will leaving in between of pending process impact me in future when employer "B" files my GC once again ?


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Exempt from the H-1B Quota

Authored on: Sat, 05/02/2015 - 11:44


I got my H-1B petition approved last year, it got extended as well. I have never used any of these visas to work in the U.S. though I have travelled few times to U.S. but on B-1 visa for meetings with the customers. So the question is when do I become exempt from the H-1 quota?


In your situation when you are outside the USA, you become  exempt from the H-1 quota  when you get your visa stamped. So I think USCIS interpretation of law is faulty and  incorrect, because in my view as soon as H-1 is approved you should be exempt from the quota but USCIS has taken the position that unless you get the visa stamped from the consulate we will not consider you exempt if you are outside the USA. So it appears to me that  you should be exempt from the quota.

H-1 Receiving Payments for Past Work/Bonus (1099)

Authored on: Thu, 04/16/2015 - 10:15


I worked for ABC Company for last 3 years. They extended my H-1B at the end of 3rd year. But during my 4th year (this year) I changed my employer and updated my H-1B too. At the same year, ABC Company was sold to another company. ABC Company decided to give bonus to its current and formal employees. I got a bonus

check from ABC Company. Since, I was not on their payroll they issued me a 1099

misc form for tax purposes for this tax year. My understanding is H-1B employee

can file only W-2 form with current employee. If I file my tax with this 1099 misc

form from ABC Company? Am I violating the H-1B rules?


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

FAQ Transcript:
I don't see any problem. The reason being, that payment even though they are paying you after you left the company is not the violation of your status. It is reflective of the amount already earned.  While you have H-1 with these folks you earned these amounts. Now, 1099 usually a bad idea but in your circumstances I don't see it as problem. Usually you can only do W-2 but in this particular case I am not quite sure how USCIS is going to look at it. What questions  they are going to ask you.
But I can tell you this  in the ultimate analysis  after you have responded and made clear that , the money given as part of a bonus which  was earned  by you , you had a H-1 with that company . So it's not a new work. I don't think you will have any problem. So, legally you are in good position.