Published on the World Journal Weekly on June 25, 2017

Q&A 1 2 3 4

Can I Travel Outside the United States While My H-1B Extension is Pending?


I have an H-1B status that is valid until July 2017, and the visa in my passport is good to the same time. Should I file for an extension of H-1B status before or after my planned trip to China for 2 weeks in April? Does it make any difference? In addition, is it possible for me to take further trips during the time that my extension is pending with U.S.C.I.S.? Will I have any problems with reentering the U. S.?

Mr. Lee answers,

Whether you apply for an H-1B extension now or after you come back from your trip in April when your stamped visa is still valid is up to you. Either situation would likely be okay. On the other hand, if you travel outside the US while your extension is pending but at a time that your stamped visa has already expired, you would not have a legal visa by which to return to the US. A consular officer would most likely inform you that you should stay in the home country until your H-1B visa is approved at which time you could apply for a new H-1B visa stamp.

Q&A 2

H-1B Was Approved and In Administrative Processing at Consulate Can a New Employer File Without Me Going Through H-1B Lottery Again?

Employer A filed for my H-1B in April 2016, was selected, the petition approved, and forwarded to the American consulate in my home country where I am living. I went for the visa interview in November and the case is now under administrative review. I have heard nothing for the past 2 months, but an employer A’s lawyer thinks that my case will be sent back to Immigration to be reviewed. Employer B is now interested in sponsoring me under a new H-1B. Can he do this while the first case is under review? If he can, do I have to qualify again for the H-1B lottery?

Mr. Lee answers,

A new employer may be able to submit a new H-1B petition on your behalf, and it is extremely likely that you will not be asked to undergo the selection procedure again. However, the petition would have to be approved by U.S.C.I.S. and forwarded to the American consulate or embassy and you would have to interview for the visa again. Dependent upon the reasons for which your case from the employer A is under review, you may be queried on the same issues.


Q&A 3

Is There An Age that I Have to be to Marry My Boyfriend and Sponsor Him for the Green Card?

I am living in California, age 16, a U. S. citizen by birth, and my boyfriend from Taiwan is 20 years old and we want to be married. He came in with a legal visa and is still a student at a local college. When we are married, can I immediately sponsor him for the green card? What is the minimum age for me to do this? Do we need my parents’ consent to be married?

Mr. Lee answers,

To be married in California at your age, a quick perusal of the law indicates that you would need parental consent and a court order if under the age of 18. Some other  states will allow you to marry at 16 or 17 without parental consent. Under U. S. immigration law, there is no minimum age to be married and to fix your husband's papers assuming that you are a US citizen. However, you must also fill out the I-864 affidavit of support form for your spouse, and the law requires that you be at least 18 years of age in order to fill it out. Without your support paper, your husband would not be able to emigrate.



Q&A 4

Can I Still Do Reinstatement to F-1 Student After 5 Months for Emergency Reasons?

I had to stop going to school, the school notified me of my being out of status, but was not able to return to school within 5 months because of personal emergency reasons. I am now ready to return, but it is now 9 months since the school’s notification, and I’m wondering whether Immigration will accept a reinstatement application now. I know that the law says that reinstatement applications are to be given to Immigration within 5 months.

Mr. Lee answers,

While difficult, you may still be able to successfully request a reinstatement after 5 months. U.S.C.I.S. provides that if you have been out of status for more than 5 months at the time of filing the request for reinstatement, you must also provide evidence that your failure to file within the five-month period was the result of exceptional circumstances and that you filed your request for reinstatement as promptly as possible under those exceptional circumstances.


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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