Published on and the Epoch Times on December 30, 2016

Q & A.


Am I Eligible for Citizenship?

I've lived in the USA in Indiana from middle school to graduate school since 2002 and I became a permanent resident 2006. I've traveled outside the US about 5 times and 4 out of the 5 times were less than 6 months doing internships; However, last year after earning my masters I traveled to Liberia (home country) to volunteer in the Ebola response and I stayed up to 14 months. I have returned to the US and I am now in New Jersey with my family but I've only been here for two weeks. My question is can I apply for my citizenship now that I'm back in the US without having issues in my residency? Another question is can I use my New Jersey address now that I'm here?

Mr. Lee answers:

Unfortunately the law provides that your period of residence for naturalization purposes ended once you stayed outside the US for one year or more. The fact that you were volunteering for the Ebola response is not considered an exception to U.S.C.I.S. even though your action was highly commendable. The law only allows exceptions where you could not come back.  For example, if you were under some form of quarantine that would probably be such a circumstance.  (Even if you had a reentry permit, such would not preserve your residence for applying for citizenship).


O1-B Visa

Currently I'm working in U.S. under O1-B visa status. I applied for new O1-B visa to extend the stay in U.S. around July 20th 2016 and haven't got replied yet. My old visa's expiration date is soon Sep. 30th 2016. I heard when we apply O1-B to O1-B we can stay legally even we don't get reply. (If it's F1 to O1-B we have to go back to our country.) But I just want to double check with professional people if it's really OK.

Mr. Lee answers:

Persons who are extending status under the "O" category are allowed to remain during the time of the adjudication. That is the same with an individual changing from F-1 to O-1B. U.S.C.I.S. grants extensions or changes of status on pieces of paper, not visas. Thus although an individual may be given two years on an extension or change of status and may remain in the US for that period of time, he or she will require a visa to return to the US in most cases if he or she wants to travel outside the US.


I Am in H-1B Visa. Can I Hire Staff to be Registered LLC Startup?

My employer is ok with this outside activity.

Mr. Lee answers:

Although an H-1B can passively invest in a commercial enterprise, further participation such as hiring staff and participating in the life of the company may raise questions whether this is illegal work. You should have a manager in your company who does the hiring for you. 



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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