faq
faq

Frequently Asked Question

Find answers to your questions about US immigration, Naturalization, Green Card, Work Visa, Travel Visa, Student Visa, Family Visa and more.

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Yes you can travel on Advance Parole and still maintain your H-1b status.

Hello, you can file for a H-1 with 15 years of education, by combining that with your work experience. 3 yrs of work experience is equal to 1 year of study. A work experience evaluation can be obtained.

You might be able to use the petty offense exception if you are convicted of a misdemeanor and be okay in case you are placed in removal proceedings. Best to get your attorney to fight it and have the charges thrown out.

You have to file your H -1 from the same employer that has registered for the cap lottery and was picked.

I don’t see a problem, you and the children will still get the Green Card as your relationship with your sister will not change even if you get a divorce. If your spouse is not migrating with you, inform the uscis of the same.

The USCIS only accepts birth certificates from organizations that are required to issue these certificates under Indian Law. This would usually be the city municipal office or the registrar’s office of birth’s and death’s.

He can stay in the US for a total of 1 year on a visitors visa, they usually give for an initial period of 3-6 months at the port of entry and you can apply for an extension of upto 6 months. You have to have a good reason for asking for an extension, they might deny the request. In which case you have to leave. You cannot stay beyond the time that you requested even if you don’t get a response from them within that period.

You should apply for a Labor and I-140 for yourself, you still have sufficient time. This way you can continue to extend your H-1b for three years once your I-140 is approved or for 1 year once your labor cert or I-140 has been pending for 1 year. You also have the option of converting to H-4, but given the present scenario it might be risky to only depend on that option.

You cannot be on two status’s at the same time, if you want to move your status to I-485, you can start using your I-485 EAD and withdraw your L-2 application before it gets approved. If you want to keep your L-2 applicaiton active and change to L-2 status, you should start working only once you get your L-2 EAD, you should not start working on I-485 EAD. Travelling on I-485 AP does allow you to stay on L-2 when you come back, but working on I-485 EAD changes your status to pending I-485, you cannot get back on to a L-2. I hope this is clear, otherwise you can get a consult from our office.

In order to apply for a H-4 visa you will have to first withdraw your request for the H-1b visa, as you have correctly pointed out, it is hard to say how long administrative processing will take, it sometimes takes upto 6 months.

Yes you can file from the same company, as long as the offer of employment is bonafine.

If an Immigration Judge finds you to be illegally present in the United States, it does not necessarily follow that you will be deported. The laws provides you with many types of relief from deportation What follows is a brief explanation of how one becomes a US citizen by each of the above methods.
Chief among these are:
1. Waivers of excludability and deportability
2. Suspension of deportation
3. Adjustment of status to permanent residence
4. Asylum and withholding of deportation
5. Legalization and registry and, if all else fails
6. Voluntary departure
Waivers of Excludability and Deportability:
The immigration law enumerates various grounds by which an alien in the United States may be subject to deportation. A common ground of deportability provides that an alien may be subject to deportation if he was excludable when he entered the United States. There are many grounds of excludability found in the law.
Eligibility for waivers of deportability and excludability depend upon your ability to show “extreme hardship” to certain close family members who are US citizens or permanent residents if you are forced to leave the US. For example, if you have resided in the US for seven years, at least five of which were as a permanent resident, you may be able to qualify for a waiver of many grounds of deportability and excludability. However, recent laws severely limit your ability to obtain such a waiver if you were convicted of any wide range of crimes.
Cancellation of removal:
A deportable alien may apply for permanent residence from an Immigration Judge through Cancellation of Removal if he meets the following requirements:
1.He must have been continuously physically present in the US. for at least ten years before he is placed under removal proceedings. Absences of less than 90 days, or 180 days in the aggregate do not affect the continuity of one’s physical presence.
2. He must be a person of good moral character.
3. He must not have been convicted of certain designated offenses.
4. He must establish that his remove would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to his US citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent or child.
Adjustment of Status to permanent residence:
A deportable alien who is an “immediate relative” because he is the parent, spouse, widow or child of a US citizen may be eligible to apply to the Judge to adjust his status to that of a lawful permanent resident. Also qualified to apply for adjustment of status is any alien whose priority date for permanent residence is “current” Aliens who obtained conditional permanent residence based upon their marriage, or the marriage of their alien parent, to a US citizen or permanent resident may have their legal status terminated by the INS if they fail to meet certain requirements. However, once INS places them under deportation proceedings, they may renew their applications for permanent residence before an Immigration Judge. The same holds true for an alien who becomes a conditional permanent resident based on investment.
Asylum and withholding of deportation:
Those who have a well-founded fear of persecution if they return to their home country may apply for asylum if their fear is based on any of the following grounds:
1. Political opinion
2. Religious belief
3. Nationality
4. Race
5. Membership in a particular social group
If a person is granted asylum, after one year he may apply for permanent resident status.
Withholding of deportation is similar to asylum, with the following two exceptions
(1) It does not permit the alien to apply for permanent residence, and
(2) It only prohibits the INS from deporting the alien to the country where he fears persecution, not to third countries, which are willing to accept him.
Legalization and Registry:
Once an illegal alien has been found qualified for legalization or “amnesty” by the INS, the deportation hearing will typically be terminated since the alien will have attained the legal right to remain in the United States.
Registry is another means of attaining lawful permanent residence in the United States. It is available to aliens who have resided continuously in the US. Since prior to January 1, 1972, who are persons of good moral character, who are not deportable on certain aggravated grounds, and who are not ineligible for citizenship. Registry may be applied for affirmatively, not only as a defense to deportation.
Voluntary departure:
If you are ineligible for all of the above forms of relief from deportation, you should still consider applying for voluntary departure. Departing voluntarily from the US. avoids both the stigma and the legal impediments to return to the US imposed by deportation.
Voluntary departure is available to aliens who are not deportable on aggravated grounds, who have the means to pay for their departure from the US., who agree to depart within a period of time granted by the Immigration Judge, and who can establish good moral character during the previous five- year period.
All forms of relief from deportation, except withholding of deportation, may be granted at the discretion of an Immigration Judge. Final orders of an Immigration Judge may be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and from there to the appropriate US Court of Appeals.

There are a number of types of temporary visas, which allow you to be employed in the US What follows is a short list of some of the most common types of temporary work visas:
:: Treaty trader (E-1)
:: Treaty investor (E-2)
:: Specialty Occupation Visas (H-1B)
:: Exchange Visitor (J-1)
:: Intra company Transferee (L-1)
:: Persons of Extraordinary Ability (O)
:: Athletes and Entertainers (P)
:: Religious Worker (R-1)
:: Family member
Treaty trader (E-1) – An owner or a key employee of a business which conducts a substantial volume of trade between the US and your country of citizenship, you may be eligible for E-1 status.

To qualify, your country must have an appropriate treaty with the US Countries which have E-1 treaties with the US include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brunei, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia.

Treaty investors (E-2) – An owner or a key employee of a company where a substantial amount of capital has been invested in the US and jobs have been created for US workers, may be eligible for E-2 status.

To qualify, your country must have an appropriate treaty with the US Countries which have E-2 treaties with the US. include Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, the Congo, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyz Stan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Moldavia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia and Zaire. A number of other E-2 treaties have been signed, but are awaiting ratification by either the US. or the other country involved. To see what new E-2 countries have become effective since this was written, click here.
Specialty Occupations (H-1B) – Up to 65,000 professional employees may receive visas annually to work for US employers. The employer must certify to the government that you will be employed in an occupation for which the minimum entry requirement is a university degree. In addition, the employer must pay you at the average or “prevailing” wage rate for persons in your occupation and geographic location. Usually, H-1B status will be granted in three-year increments, with a maximum duration of six years. H-1B employees include, but are not limited to, accountants, architects, computer programmers/systems analysts, dentists, engineers, financial analysts, medical technologists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians, researchers, scientists and teachers.

Exchange Visitors (J-1) – The US. Information Agency (USIA) permits a wide variety of organizations and universities to sponsor persons as exchange visitors.

Some programs allow you to be employed while other programs are for students only.

Programs, which involve governmental funding, skills enumerated on the Asia’s Exchange Visitors Skills List, or graduate medical training subject you to a two-year foreign residency requirement. This means that upon completion of your program, you are obligated to return to your home country for a minimum of two years. “The foreign residency requirement may be overcome by (1) obtaining a “no objection” letter from your native country (not available to those pursuing medical residencies or fellowships in the US), (2) showing that your spouse or children who are either US citizens or permanent residents will suffer “exceptional hardship” if you are required to return to your home country for two years, (3) demonstrating that you have a well-founded fear of persecution if you return to your home country; or (4) sponsorship from certain interested governmental agencies. In each of these cases, approval from the USIA and/or the INS is required”.

Intra company Transferees (L-1) – If you are an executive, manager or a person with specialized knowledge who is employed by a company abroad, you may transfer to the US branch of the company (or to a parent, affiliate or subsidiary company in the US) to assume a similar position. To qualify, you must have been employed in a similar position for the foreign-based company during one of the past three years before you entered the US. The maximum duration of L-1 status is seven years for executives and managers and five years for persons with specialized knowledge.

Persons of Extraordinary Ability (O) – Persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics, you may be granted an O-1 visa. If you are accompanying an O-1 visa holder in an artistic or athletic performance, you may qualify for an O-2 visa.

Athletes and Entertainers (P) – An athlete who has performed individually, or as part of a group or team, at an internationally- recognized level of performance, may be issued a P-1 visa. P-1 visas are also available to entertainers who perform in a group, which has attained international recognition. Artists and entertainers who enter the US under a reciprocal exchange program may be granted P-2 visas while those entering in a culturally unique program may receive P-3 status.

Religious Workers (R-1) – Persons coming to the US as a minister or have a religious vocation or occupation, may qualify for an R-1 visa. The applicant must have been a member of the religious denomination for the previous two years and be coming to the US to work for a bona fide nonprofit religious organization. The maximum duration for R-1 status can be held for a maximum duration of five years.
Family members – In each of the above categories, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may accompany you to the US However, as a general rule, family members are not permitted to work in the US

You may become a US citizen in one of three ways.
· By Birth in the US
· By Naturalization
· Through Your Parents
What follows is a brief explanation of how one becomes a US citizen by each of the above methods:
By birth in the US
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides that anyone born in the US and “subject to US jurisdiction” is a citizen of the US. Therefore, children born in the US are citizens of the US whether their parents are US citizens, permanent residents, temporary visa holders or illegal aliens. The only children born in the US who are not “subject to US jurisdiction” are the children of foreign diplomats.
By Naturalization
In general, you must satisfy the five following requirements in order to become a citizen through naturalization.
(1) Residency/Physical Presence
(2) Loyalty
(3) Good Moral Character
(4) English
(5) History and Government
Residency:
Most persons must first attain permanent residence before applying for naturalization. The primary exception to this rule is persons who served in the US armed forces during a period of hostilities designated by the President.
You must be a permanent resident for five years before becoming naturalized although the law permits you to apply for naturalization 90 days prior to completing the residency period.
If you are married to a US citizen, you may be eligible for naturalization within three years if you meet each of the following conditions:
(1) You have been married to the citizen for three years;
(2) Your spouse has been a citizen for the entire three-year period;
(3) And you are living in “marital unity”.
If you are a member of the US armed forces (even if you have not served during a designated period of hostilities), you may be eligible to naturalize without any specific period of residence if
(1) You are a permanent resident,
(2) You have active duty service for a period of three years or more, and
(3) You are serving honorably, or were given an honorable discharge. If you have been discharged, you must apply for naturalization within six months to take advantage of this rule.
Also, if you are the spouse of a US citizen who is assigned to work abroad by the US government or by certain designated companies or organizations, you may not have to reside in the US for any specified period of time.
A departure from the US for six months creates a rebuttable presumption that you have abandoned your residency. A departure for one year or more creates a conclusive presumption that you have abandoned your residency. Some people who obtain Re-Entry Permits in order to exit the US for more than one year may preserve their residency but may still break their residency for naturalization purposes unless they take further steps to preserve it.
Physical presence:
You must demonstrate that you have been physically present in the US during at least half of the required period of residency. That is, you must actually reside in the US for two and one-half out of the five years immediately preceding your interview for naturalization, or one and one-half of the previous three years.
Loyalty:
You must renounce your allegiance to your home country and pledge loyalty to the US when you take the oath of allegiance to the US at your naturalization ceremony. Despite this renunciation, some countries continue to consider you as a citizen of your former country of citizenship. It is wise to check with the embassy of your country of citizenship prior to becoming a naturalized US. citizen.
Good moral character:
you must submit a completed fingerprint chart to the government as part of your application for naturalization. The chart is forwarded to the FBI, which notifies INS whether you have a criminal record. Applicants with serious criminal records and those who obtained their green cards through fraud may not be able to establish good moral character. Some may even be susceptible to deportation.
English:
You must be able to speak, read, write and understand simple words and phrases in the English language. Some elderly, longtime permanent residents and those with certain disabilities are exempt from the English requirement.
History and Government:
You are required to pass a short examination regarding the history and government of the US.
Here are a few of the history and government questions that you may be asked:
Can you name the 13 original states?
Who said, “Give me liberty or give me death”?
What is the Bill of Rights?
In what year was the Constitution written?
Who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner?
How many Supreme Court Justices are there? What are the three branches of the government?
Through your parents
You may become a US citizen “by acquisition” at birth if one or both of your parents were US citizens at the time of your birth. If only one of your parents was a citizen at the time of your birth, that parent (or grandparent in some cases) has to have lived a specified period of time in the US prior to your birth in order to transmit citizenship to you. You may also become a US citizen “by derivation” if
(1) You become a permanent resident and
(2) Your parent(s) naturalize while you are below a certain age.
To obtain proof of citizenship, you may apply for a US Passport or for a Certification of Citizenship or Naturalization at any time.

The law allocates 140,000 immigrant visas annually to employment- sponsored immigrants and their families. These visas are distributed as follows.
:: Priority workers
:: Professionals with advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability
:: Professionals, skilled and unskilled workers
:: Special Immigrants
:: Investors
:: Labor Certification
Priority workers – (28.6% of the worldwide level of visas, or approximately 40,000 visas PLUS unused special immigrant and investor visas, if any) Priority workers include.

(A) Persons of extraordinary ability,
(B) Outstanding professors and researchers, and certain executives and managers of multinational corporations.

A person’s extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics must be demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, at least three years of teaching or research in the academic area, and his achievements must have been recognized in his field through extensive documentation. He must be entering the US. to continue work in his area of extraordinary ability.
To qualify as an outstanding professor or researcher a person must :
1) Be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area.
(2) Have at least three years of teaching or research in the academic area and
(3) Seek to enter the US.
(a) A tenured or tenure-track position within a university or other institute of higher education to teach in the academic area.
(b) A comparable position with a university or other institute of higher education to conduct research in the area; or a comparable position to conduct research in an area with a department, division, or institute or a private employer, if the department, division, or institute employs at least three persons full-time in research activities and has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

A multinational executive or manager must have been employed abroad as such during at least one of the three years preceding his application for priority worker classification and admission into the US. as a priority worker. He must be entering the US to be employed as an executive or manager for the same firm, corporation or legal entity (or to a subsidiary or affiliate thereof) that employed him abroad.

Professionals with advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability (28.6% of the worldwide level of visas, or approximately 40,000 visas PLUS unused visas from priority worker category, if any) These visas are reserved for qualified immigrants who are,
1) Members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent.
(2) Those who are of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. It is required that such immigrants will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural or educational interests of the US. and that their services are sought by an employer in the US.

In determining whether a person is of exceptional ability, the possession of a degree or license does not, by itself, constitute sufficient evidence of such ability.

Unlike a priority worker, a person may immigrate to the US under this category only after his employer has obtained a labor certification for his job. However, where it is deemed to be in the national interest, the Immigration Service may waive the requirements of a job offer and labor certification.

A person holding a bachelor’s degree and five years of professional experience will be considered to possess the equivalent of an advanced degree for purposes of this section of law.

Professionals, skilled and unskilled workers.
(28.6% of the worldwide level of visas, or approximately 40,000 visas PLUS unused visas from the two preceding categories, if any)
A qualified skilled worker is a person capable of performing an occupation which requires at least two years of training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the US,
A qualified skilled worker is a person capable of performing an occupation which requires at least two years of training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the US
Other workers are those who are capable of performing unskilled labor, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the US
Skilled workers, professionals and other workers may immigrate to the US only after their employers obtain labor certifications for their jobs. Unskilled workers are limited to no more than 10,000 visas per year under this category. This limitation has resulted in dramatically increased waiting times for housekeepers and other unskilled workers.
Special Immigrants (7.1% of the worldwide level of visas, or approximately 10,000 visas)
A variety of immigrants in this category include religious ministers, long time employees of the US government employed abroad, certain investors and physicians who have resided in the US for a number of years and many other categories of persons.
The law imposes a ceiling of 10,000 visas annually for special immigrants. Two types of special immigrants (immigrants lawfully admitted for permanent residence who are returning from a temporary visit abroad, and immigrants who are former US citizens) are exempt from this limitation.
Religious workers for bona fide, tax-exempt, non-profit religious organizations in the US are considered special immigrants. No more than 5 ,000 of the 10, 000 annual numerical limitation for special immigrants may be allocated to religious workers. Investors (7.1% of the worldwide level of visas, or approximately 10,000 visas)

In order to qualify as an immigrant investor, a person must invest a minimum of $1 million in a new commercial enterprise which employs at least 10 US workers (exclusive of the immigrant, his spouse and his sons and daughters). However, if the investment is made in either a rural area or in an area experiencing high unemployment (at least 150% of the national average), the minimum amount required for the investment may be as little as $500,000. However, no more than 3,000 investor visas may be granted annually to persons investing in these “targeted employment areas”.

Due to the small number of applications received from persons seeking green cards through investment, the INS has issued regulations making it substantially easier for investors to qualify for permanent residence that a literal reading of the law would suggest.

In order to deter fraud, all alien registration cards issued by INS to immigrant investors are conditional, with a two-year expiration date. The condition is removed if, at the end of the period, the investor remains in full compliance with the law. Unlike the temporary treaty investor visa (“E-2” visa), which is limited to individuals who are citizens of countries having investment treaties with the US investors and entrepreneurs from all countries may qualify as immigrant investors

Labor Certification:
The law requires that employers obtain alien labor certifications for persons who immigrate under the 2nd (professionals with advanced degrees and persons with exceptional ability) and 3rd (skilled workers, professionals and other workers) employment-based categories. An alien labor certification will be not be valid unless, at the time of filing the application, the employer provides notice of the filing.
(1) To the bargaining representative of the employees in the occupational classification and area for which aliens are sought.
(2) If there is no such bargaining representative, to employees employed at the facility through posting in conspicuous locations.
Any person is permitted to submit to the Department of Labor documentary evidence bearing on or challenging the statements made in an application for certification on file with the Secretary of Labor. This evidence may include such items as information on available workers, information on wages and working conditions, and information on the employer’s failure to meet terms and conditions with respect to the employment of alien workers and co- workers.

Prior to the Immigration Act of 1990, approximately 440,000 individuals immigrated to the US. annually based upon petitions submitted on their behalf by close relatives who were US. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Of this total, 216,000 persons immigrated through four family preference categories (1st Preference – unmarried sons and daughters of US. citizens, 2nd Preference – spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents, 4th Preference – married sons and daughters of US. citizens, and 5th Preference – brothers and sisters of US. citizens). The rest immigrated as “immediate relatives” of US. citizens (parents, spouses, and children of US. citizens – children being unmarried and under 21 years of age, and, in the case of a parent of a US. citizen, the petitioning son or daughter being at least 21 years of age). The law placed no numerical restrictions on the immigration of immediate relatives.

The 1990 law retained and renumbered the four family preference categories. The number of visas allocated to family-sponsored immigrants, including immediate relatives, rose from 440,000 to 465,000 in fiscal year 1992, and increased to 480,000 on October 1, 1993. If there are any unused visas from the employment- based categories, they may be used in the family preference categories.

Immediate relatives remain exempt from numerical limitations, and have first claim on family preference visas. For the first time, however, the number of immediate relatives who obtain visas are subtracted from the total number of family-sponsored visas available.

The formula works as follows: Total number of family-sponsored visas less the number of immediate relatives who immigrated during the previous year equals the number of visas available to the four family preference categories. However, the law provides that no matter how many immediate relatives immigrate to the US. in a single year, a floor of at least 226, 000 visas will remain available to persons in the four family preference categories.

The definition of immediate relative has been expanded to include widows and widowers of US. citizens provided that the widow(er) was the spouse of the citizen for at least two years prior to the citizen’s death and was not legally separated from the citizen at the time of his or her death. To remain eligible for immediate relative status, the immigrant spouse is required to file a petition for permanent residence within two years after the citizen’s death and before remarriage.

Most of the increase in the number of family preference visas was allocated to individuals qualifying under the 2nd preference category. The number rose from 70,000 under prior law to at least 114,200 in fiscal year 1992. Of this number, 77% of the visas are specifically reserved for spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents. Also, 75% of the visas granted to them are distributed without regard to individual country quotas. Prior to October 1991, such quotas resulted in a 10-year wait for 2nd preference visas for persons born in Mexico and seven years for those born in the Philippines. These backlogs have been alleviated while the worldwide backlog has increased dramatically.

Most family and employment-based immigration is numerically limited. Each country and category has its own quota. Because the demand for green cards exceeds the supply in many cases, the State Department publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin to allow you to determine how long it takes to achieve permanent residence according to your country of birth and visa category. It is important to track the movement in a particular category over time to determine how long the backlog is. Often, the waiting time is longer than it appears in the Visa Bulletin. See the latest Visa Bulletin.

The phrase “Green Card” indicates permanent residence or “immigrant” status. The identifying alien registration card has not been green in color since the 1950’s, but as the card had virtually been in green color, the term commonly used ‘GC’ is still being used.

The Green Card accords have the right to live and work in the US for the rest of your life. The GC Holder must pay income taxes, contribute to social security, and register for the military draft if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26. However, it does not accords you may not vote or hold public office, and certain jobs are not open to you. GC Holder are restricted in the amount of time that may spend outside of the US and are limited as to which relatives could sponsor for permanent residence. If the GC Holder are convicted of a serious crime, or otherwise violate the immigration laws, he/she may be subject to expulsion from the US.

You may become a permanent resident by any of the following methods:
:: Through Relatives
:: Through Employment
:: Through Investment
:: Through Persecution
:: Through the Visa Lottery
:: Through Cancellation of Removal
Through Relatives – Amnesty of the 800,000 (approximately) persons who become permanent residents each year are sponsored by close relatives who are US. citizens or permanent residents. US. citizens may file immigration petitions for their spouses, parents, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters (whether they are married or single, and whether they are minors or adults). Permanent residents may only file immigration petition for their spouses and their unmarried sons and daughters.

Through Employment – Up to 140,000 persons are permitted to immigrate annually based upon their employment. They include “priority workers”.

(1) Persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics.
(2) Outstanding researchers and professors, and
(3) Certain executives and managers of multinational companies.

In addition, persons of exceptional ability and holders of advanced degrees may immigrate if they are able to demonstrate to the Labor Department that there are no US workers qualified and available to assume their jobs, or that their presence in the US is in the “national interest”. Professionals with bachelors degrees, skilled workers and a limited number of unskilled workers may immigrate if their employers can demonstrate the unavailability of qualified US workers to the Labor Department. Finally, a small number of “special immigrants”, primarily religious ministers and other religious workers, are permitted to immigrate through employment.
Through Investment – Up to 10,000 investors and their families may immigrate to the US annually. To qualify, you must invest a minimum of one million dollars ($500,000 if the investment is made in a rural or high- unemployment area) in a new commercial enterprise and employ a minimum of ten full-time US workers.

Through Persecution – The US accepts approximately 100,000 refugees and Asylums annually. Refugees apply abroad to immigrate to the US They must demonstrate that they have a “well-founded fear of persecution” in their home countries. Asylums are similar to refugees except that they are present in the US when they request Asylum.

Through the Visa Lottery – 55,000 people each year are chosen at random to immigrate from millions of applicants for the diversity visa lottery. Although the rules change from year to year, last year, nearly 45,000 of the winners were required to be born in either Europe or Africa. This is because most persons who immigrate to the US through relatives and employment are from Asia and Latin America. The aim of the visa lottery is to insure “diversity” in immigration. This year, subject to certain limited exceptions, persons born in the following “high-immigration” countries are ineligible to apply for the visa lottery: China (PRC and Taiwan), India, Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Poland, United Kingdom and dependent territories (except Hong Kong and Northern Ireland), Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, El Salvador, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
Through Cancellation of Removal – Even someone who is not legally present in the US, may under certain circumstances, be eligible for permanent residence: An alien in removal proceedings may apply for a green card from an Immigration Judge if he (1) has been in the US for at least ten years before being placed under removal proceedings; (2) is a person of good moral character; and (3) can demonstrate that it would be an “extreme and exceptionally unusual hardship” to his US citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent/s, child/ren if he were forced to leave the US. The Immigration Judge may grant permanent residence to such a person his discretion and subject certain numerical restrictions.

Yes you can, but you will have to withdraw one of them, you can file only one I-485 petition.

Pending labor certification application, this is the first stage of an employment based green card application.

You cannot file multiple PERM cases for the same alien and the same job offer. Which means that the same employer can file one case in EB-2 and the other in EB-3 category for the same alien, as the job offer is different, the DOL has been accepting these filings, until further clarification is given. No question about the fact that a different employer can file for the same alien.

If you have a criminal case against you it will effect your citizenship case, it might also effect your GC. Depends on what crime it is, if it is a crime against moral turpitude it will effect your immigration status.

The immigration laws allow persons born in foreign countries to enter the US temporarily as tourists, to do business, to attend school, to be employed, and to engage in a variety of other activities. Temporary visas that US Immigration grants are identified by a letter of the alphabet followed by a hyphen and a number. For example, several million people visit the US each year as “B-2” tourists. Thousands of “F-1” academic students and “M-1” vocational students attend schools and universities. Between 40,000 and 195,000 persons are granted temporary “H-1B” professional working visas annually. Temporary visas are also known as “nonimmigrant” visas. They are issued by US Embassies and Consulates located around the world. US consular officers presume that you intend to reside permanently in the US unless you can demonstrate through strong ties to your home country that you will not remain in the US after the expiration of your authorized stay. If your application is approved, the consular officer will affix a visa to your passport. The visa contains your photograph as well as other identifying information. Nonimmigrant visas expire after a certain period of time and may be valid for one or more entries into the US. The issuance of a visa does not guarantee that you will be admitted into the US The INS Immigration Inspector at the airport/port of entry decides whether to admit you into the US and for how long. If the Immigration Inspector denies you admission, you have the right to request a hearing before an Immigration Judge. The Judge has the authority to overrule the Immigration Inspector.

Yes you can switch you F-1 as long as you do it before your I-94 expires. You can be on an F-1 for as long as you are a student.

Yes.1st Preference – Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens 23,400 per year, PLUS unused visas from the 4th Preference category. 2nd Preference – Spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents 114,200 per year, PLUS the amount by which visas allocated to the family preference categories exceeds 226,000, PLUS unused visas from the 1st Preference category, if any. 77% of visas are reserved for spouses and children (defined as unmarried sons and daughters under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents. 3rd Preference – Married sons and daughters of US. citizens (formerly 4th Preference) 23,400 per year, PLUS unused visas from the 1st and 2nd Preference categories. 4th Preference – Brothers and sisters of US. citizens (formerly 5th Preference) 65,000 per year, PLUS unused visas from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Preference categories.

1st Preference – Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens 23,400 per year, PLUS unused visas from the 4th Preference category. 2nd Preference – Spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents 114,200 per year, PLUS the amount by which visas allocated to the family preference categories exceeds 226,000, PLUS unused visas from the 1st Preference category, if any. 77% of visas are reserved for spouses and children (defined as unmarried sons and daughters under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents. 3rd Preference – Married sons and daughters of US. citizens (formerly 4th Preference) 23,400 per year, PLUS unused visas from the 1st and 2nd Preference categories. 4th Preference – Brothers and sisters of US. citizens (formerly 5th Preference) 65,000 per year, PLUS unused visas from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Preference categories.

Most family and employment-based immigration is numerically limited. Each country and category has its own quota. Because the demand for green cards exceeds the supply in many cases, the State Department publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin to allow you to determine how long it takes to achieve permanent residence according to your country of birth and visa category. It is important to track the movement in a particular category over time to determine how long the backlog is. Often, the waiting time is longer than it appears in the Visa Bulletin. See the latest Visa Bulletin.

Marriage to a citizen of the US. is one of the fastest and easiest methods of obtaining permanent residence. Unfortunately, many persons engage in “sham” marriages merely to obtain green cards. If the government determines that a Marriage to a citizen of the US. is one of the fastest and easiest methods of obtaining permanent residence. Unfortunately, many persons engage in “sham” marriages merely to obtain green cards. If the government determines that a marriage is not bona fide, both criminal and civil immigration penalties may be imposed. If you marry a citizen in the US., you may submit an application for permanent residence to the INS office having jurisdiction over your residence. Typically, INS will issue you a work card and a travel permit (also known as an “advance parole”) while you wait to be interviewed. Depending on the INS office, waiting times for marriage interviews range from two months to over one year. INS will determine if you are residing together by examining your identification, wedding photographs, tax returns, insurance policies and by questioning you and your spouse. If INS has any doubts as to the bona fides of your marriage, they may question you and your spouse separately, and may conduct an investigation at your places of residence and employment. If your marriage occurs abroad, you must process the immigration paperwork at the US Embassy or Consulate in your country. The procedure is roughly the same as in the US except that the waiting time usually ranges from three to six months. If the marriage is less than two years old when you become a permanent resident, your green card will expire two years after you become a permanent resident. You and your spouse will be required to submit a joint petition to INS to remove this two-year condition within the 90-day period immediately preceding the expiration of your green card. If the marriage has terminated because of death or divorce, or if you are the victim of spousal abuse, you may apply to INS for a waiver of the joint petition requirement. marriage is not bona fide, both criminal and civil immigration penalties may be imposed. If you marry a citizen in the US., you may submit an application for permanent residence to the INS office having jurisdiction over your residence. Typically, INS will issue you a work card and a travel permit (also known as an “advance parole”) while you wait to be interviewed. Depending on the INS office, waiting times for marriage interviews range from two months to over one year. INS will determine if you are residing together by examining your identification, wedding photographs, tax returns, insurance policies and by questioning you and your spouse. If INS has any doubts as to the bona fides of your marriage, they may question you and your spouse separately, and may conduct an investigation at your places of residence and employment. If your marriage occurs abroad, you must process the immigration paperwork at the US Embassy or Consulate in your country. The procedure is roughly the same as in the US except that the waiting time usually ranges from three to six months. If the marriage is less than two years old when you become a permanent resident, your green card will expire two years after you become a permanent resident. You and your spouse will be required to submit a joint petition to INS to remove this two-year condition within the 90-day period immediately preceding the expiration of your green card. If the marriage has terminated because of death or divorce, or if you are the victim of spousal abuse, you may apply to INS for a waiver of the joint petition requirement.

You can stay out of the country for 11months and 29 days without having to apply for a re-entry permit.

Yes, but you need to work for the employer who filed your GC.

I am presently on H1-B and filed I-140 and I-485 under Exceptional Ability & National Interest Waiver category, I got EAD (I-765) approval also;, can I do any part time job by using EAD as well as maintaining my H1-B status?

Yes it is possible to file under EB-2 (Bach plus 5), you have more options under the current labor certification process to file under EB-2, under PERM the job titles that are approved for EB-2 are fewer.

Two ways of getting a GC, employment based or family based(need to have spouse or parents or siblings who are citizens) Employment based-file under PERM. This usually takes 60 days, then you file for the I-140 and then the I-485(when the visa number becomes available).

Pending labor certification application, this is the first stage of an employment based green card application.

Yes you can, you have worked for 6 months that is the required time.

You have to come back into the country every year to maintain your GC, you can apply for a return resident permit and stay outside the country for up to 2 years at a time.

Yes you can stay for less than a year, if you want to stay for over a year you have to file for a return resident permit before you leave the country, you can ask for permission to stay outside the country for 2 years by filing this form.

If you are not working on the H-1 the employer is obliged to withdraw that H-1b. So, they are following the correct procedure.

That’s an accounting question. But you should be able to incorporate a C corp.

No you cannot be on EAD and H-1 at the same time. You can move to EAD and then have two jobs on W-2 and 1099 on an EAD. Or you can stay on H-1 and file a concurrent H-1 for the second job but you have to be on a W-2 not a 1099.

You do have a grace period of 60 days to leave or find another job. But that is discretionary. You couid also leave and come back on a new I-797 approval and use the same visa if it has not expired.

If you file a COS, your status changes once your H-1 gets approved or upon the Start date of the petition. Which ever is later. If you start date was written as November in your H-1 then you can start on that date. Otherwise you will have to start on October 1 or the date the H-1 gets approved, whichever is later.

Not much you can do, other than reaching out to NVC, if your visa number has retrogressed you have to wait for it to be current again. The next step if your docs are complete at NVC is for the consulate to schedule your immigrant interview.