1. Can my parents leave and reenter the US on their current B2 visa while their I130 (filed while they were in the US) is pending?
My parents are currently in the US on a B2 (visitor) visa valid until 2024. I filed I-130s for them. Can they travel to China and reenter the US on the same B2 visa while their I-130 is being processed?
Mr. Lee answers,
Assuming that your parents have maintained their legal statuses while in the US and have the proper nonimmigrant intent to only visit and go back to the home country, they could still be allowed to reenter the country on their visitor visas even though they already have I-130 petitions filed on their behalf. They must of course tell the truth to the immigration officer at the port of entry if asked whether they are being sponsored for green cards.
We are permanent residents since December 2015, we traveled many time outside USA but every time we stayed less than 6 months. When can we submit to citizenship?
Mr. Lee answers:
The minimum stay in the US is at least half the time in the five years prior to the time that the naturalization application is filed. I note that even with the minimum, immigration officers may still give you a difficult time if they believe that you have not maintained residence in the US. The fact that you stay less than six months outside the US on your trips is only one factor. For example, a pattern of staying outside the US and only coming in for a few weeks or so between your trips outside could be seen as an abuse of your residence status.
3. Live in US while IR-1 visa application is in process
We applied for the IR-1 visa 6 months ago (I am American and my husband is Canadian) and still nothing. We are desperate to get to the USA. Is there any way for my husband to live in the US while this application is in process? We have property there already.
Mr. Lee answers,
As a Canadian, your husband may be able to visit the US for short trips during the time that his immigration case is pending. However, he is not entitled to live in the US at this time unless he has a visa that allows him to stay in the US for a longer period of time. If he decides to visit the US for short trips, he should be honest with US Customs and Border Protection officers if they ask whether he has taken steps to apply for his US immigration. In such case, the decision to admit him would depend upon whether they believe that he is only coming in on the occasion for a short trip.
4. Caught for shoplifting when I’m on H1b and now I am applying for H1b visa.
I had stamped H1b in 2007 but never utilized and came to US in 2011 on business visa(B1) & caught shoplifting. I have an arrest record with original charges of shoplifting and got arrested and agreed that I made a mistake knowingly, so judge asked me pay $336 as fine. I did pay that amount and got the paper as well which says that case got closed, then I left the US in 2011. Now I am planning to apply for H1B. Do I need to mention about shoplifting case now as it was 10 years old? My passport number got changed as previous one got expired. If i need to mention to USCIS then is there a chance my employer also gets to know about this? Because it will be a problematic if my employer gets to know about this. What are the chances of getting visa? I still feel sorry about what I have done :(. Thanks for all your suggestions.
Mr. Lee answers,
The H-1B petition does not ask about criminal history, so I assume that H-1B petition approvability by USCIS will depend upon the position and your qualifications. However, the visa application form, DS-160, does ask about any criminal conduct. You should of course answer truthfully.