Published on the World Journal Weekly on December 27, 2015

Q&A 1

Will Spouse with Valid H-4 Visa Have It Canceled When She Applies for An H-1B Visa at the Consulate?

My wife who is in H-4 status applied for the H-1B case and the petition was approved, but the lawyer did not put in for the change of status and said that the petition was to go to the U. S. consulate back home. Now the lawyer says that he cannot do anything and that she will have to go home to get the valid H-1B visa put in her passport. She is now holding the H-4 visa, and we are afraid that the consul will cancel her H-4 visa even if he or she does not give my wife the H-1B visa. Please give us your thoughts.

Dear reader,

The choice of whether to cancel an existing visa while an applicant applies for another is in the discretion of the Consulate. If your dependent has her H-4 visa canceled and then is denied the H-1B visa stamping, she would have to reapply for the H-4 visa to return to the States. A consular officer could justify the action of canceling an H-4 visa before making an adjudication on the H-1B under the reasoning that your dependent has already indicated that she wishes to work in the US. An H-4 is only allowed to work under certain conditions such as your exceeding six years on the H-1B or having an I-140 preference petition approved.

Q&A 2.

PhD Student is Stuck Outside the U.S. on Consular Administrative Processing - What to Do?

I am in my PhD program in the U.S. and traveled back to the American consulate where I got my last F-1 visa 5 years ago. Now the officer says that I have to wait, and every time I inquire, I get the same answer that my case is undergoing routine administrative processing. It has now been over 3 months and I am very frustrated. The trip back home was only supposed to take 2-3 weeks and now my studies are interrupted. I have already sent many emails and asked help from the senator's office. How can I speed up my process? Would a lawyer help me?

Mr. Lee answers:

Your case illustrates the various things that can happen when people go back overseas for a U.S. non-immigrant visa, even for an extension of one. There is unfortunately no magical way to make a U.S. consulate produce the visa soon when it says that a person's case is undergoing administrative processing. Your making numerous requests through email and also through a U.S. senator's office is helpful. Hiring an attorney may help as he or she can attempt to exert more pressure on the consulate to make a decision. Hopefully you will obtain a result soon.


Q&A 3.

F-1 Student Wants to Know If Buying a House, Apartment or Store for Over $500,000 is the Road to U. S. Citizenship.

I am an F-1 international student in the field of business, and I have heard rumors over the years that the U. S. will allow people to become citizens if they invest over $500,000 to buy a house, apartment, or store. I last heard this from an uncle at a party last year. Are the rumors true?

Dear reader,

 Investing or buying a house, apartment, or store of over $500,000 USD will not allow an F-1 visa holder or any other non-immigrant visa holder the ability to gain U. S. citizenship. Presently the U. S. has the EB-5 immigrant investor program in which a person like you can either invest $500,000 in his or her own commercial enterprise and hire 10 U. S. workers in a targeted employment area (one having high rates of unemployment or being a distance away from a metropolitan area) or in a regional investment center in a targeted employment area which will take care of the hiring of the 10 workers. Perhaps your rumor has to do with an EB-5 regional center building houses, apartments or stores. Please note that the EB-5 rules including amount to be invested are expected to be soon changed by Congress and will likely be more restrictive with a higher investment amount required.


Copyright © 2003-2017 Alan Lee, Esq.
The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of the Law Office of Alan Lee or establish an attorney-client relationship.


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