Published on and the Epoch Times on May 6, 2016

Q & A 1. 2. 3. 4.

Q&A 1.

Can I Extend My J-1 Visa While I-485 is Pending?

I am on J1 visa from Sep 2013. My J visa is valid by August 31, 2015. I filed my NIW and 485 concurrently in August 2014 and my case is still pending. I need a backup visa in case that my I-485 is denied. Can I extend my J1 visa right now? My understanding is that if J1 extension is not beyond the maximum program duration, it is only an "internal" process for the extension of J-1 visa and it can be done easily. Is it correct? Does J1 extension have any negative impact on my I-485 application? My employer does not sponsor H1B visa. What other options do I have?

Mr. Lee answers:

As long as the J-1 sponsoring organization is willing to extend your J-1 stay, such should not have any negative impact on your I-485 filing. If the subject ever comes up, you can always argue that you had every intention of leaving the country in accordance with your J status if your NIW/I-485 application was denied. A possible problem could arise if you are subject to a two-year foreign residence requirement by your J visa and obtained a waiver. Then if you extended your J status, you would likely have put yourself back under the two-year foreign residence requirement.

Q&A 2.

What Do I Need to File for My Wife and Her Daughter for Citizenship?

My wife and her daughter are here in the States on a B2 visa and I want to apply for citizenship for both. The daughter falls under the derivative status and does not require a separate I-130.

Mr. Lee answers:

If your wife and her daughter are both here on B-2 visas, the usual step if you are a U. S. citizen is for you to sponsor them for permanent residence. There are no derivatives for immediate relatives, and so you would have to file two separate I-130 petitions for your wife and her daughter. Once they obtain green cards, your wife may be able to obtain citizenship in 3 years if she is able to prove that you have been a U. S. citizen for 3 years, that you have both been living together continuously for the 3 years, and that she has held the green card for 3 years. With respect to the daughter, she would generally be able to naturalize in 5 years unless you expedite the process by adopting her. 

Q&A 3.

Am I Qualified for L-1 Visa?

I live in Brazil and own a restaurant with 30 employees for 15 years. Now I want to immigrate and start a new operation in the US. The Brazil one will still remain with my partner, who own 50%. My question is if I am qualified for a L-1 Visa and how long it usually takes to be conceded. 

Mr. Lee answers:

You may be qualified for an L-1 visa. In starting a new operation, U.S.C.I.S. would approve you for one year if it is satisfied that you fit all the requirements. After one year, you would have to show signs of growth in order to warrant an extension. The size of your restaurant in Brazil and your percentage ownership of 50% and ownership of a new operation in the U. S. are not negative factors. Current processing at the Vermont service center is approximately 5 months and at the California service center one month. Which service center has jurisdiction depends upon the location of your intended business. If these processing times do not suit you, you can ask U.S.C.I.S. for premium processing in which the agency will reach your case for processing within 15 calendar days upon payment of a premium processing fee of $1225. 


Q&A 4.

Will be Able to Return on my Valid H-1 Visa If I Have a J-1 Visa Stamped on My Passport too?

I had a question and need some advice regarding that. Currently I'm on an H1 visa which is valid till June 30. I'm transferring to a different program starting July 1 on a J1 visa. If I go to India to get my J1 visa stamped in May, would I be able to travel back after a week on my current H1 visa as I might have two visa stamped on my passport with the end date of H1 being June 30 and the start date of J1 being July 01. The expiry date of my current i94 is June 30th too.

Mr. Lee answers:

In your situation, you would likely be able to implement your plan as long as you are able to have your J-1 visa stamped in India in May. You could then explain your situation to the inspector at Customs and Border Protection and he or she would most likely attempt to accommodate you. But insofar as you will have entered the U. S. under H-1B visa status, you would have to leave the U. S. and reenter under the J-1 in order for you to be in proper status on July 1.



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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