1. I had worked on H1B visa and I am considering moving back to US, Do I need to again sit in lottery?
I currently live in India. In April 2018, I came to US on L1B Visa, and then got H1B visa in 2019 lottery (expiration date of H1B visa on passport is June 2022), and had worked on H1B visa from Oct-2019 – Feb 2020. After I left my job in Feb 2020, Due to Covid pandemic and health issues, we had filed for extended stay via I539A before the H1B grace period of two months end. We left US on Nov 7, 2020, which I realize could be overstay, not sure. Could you please clarify ? I am now considering moving back to the US. Do I again need to sit in lottery as worked couple months on H1B? implications and solution of potential overstay?
Mr. Lee answers:
As you previously worked under H-1B status in the US in 2019-2020, you do not have to go through another visa selection process. Under the conditions that you describe in which you timely filed an application to remain legally in the US after your H-1B job ended, and presumably left prior to the adjudication, there may be a valid question of overstay as the maximum period of initial time allotted for being a visitor is only six months and you would have exceeded that even if you had filed during the 60 day grace period. However, there is room for argument that you complied with the law and USCIS was supposed to have made a timely adjudication. Under the Foreign Affairs Manual guidance, I do not believe that your explanation of actions should prejudice you in a later application for a visa.
2. I am considered an alien relative. Can I file for I-485 and I-765 at the same time once I get my I-130 form approved?
My dad is a lawful permanent resident. I intend to file for I-30 soon, and I wanted to know if I could file for I-485 and I-765 once I get my I-130 form approved? Furthermore, what is the estimated time to get the two aforementioned forms approved?
Mr. Lee answers:
Whether you can file for I-485 and I-765 once you have your I-130 petition approved depends upon whether there is immediate visa availability. If you are a child under the age of 21 and unmarried of a lawful permanent resident, you would generally be able to file for I- 485/I-765 if inspected and admitted or paroled and in addition have maintained status under the LPR sponsorship. However, if you are in the other categories, you would have to check the visa charts to see whether your priority date has been passed and the visa available in order that you can file. In checking the visa charts, you would also have to look at the USCIS acceptance chart to see whether it will accept either the “final action dates” or “filing dates” chart on the monthly visa bulletin for purposes of allowing adjustment of status filings. If able to file both forms, current processing time for I-485’s is generally a little less than a year on a nationwide average and for I-765 3-6 months.
3. Can I expedite my DACA?
My DACA is expired. I already filed for a renewal but it is in process now. My employer asks me to resign due to my status, what can I do ?
Mr. Lee answers:
You can request an expedite from USCIS if you will suffer severe consequences from losing the job. USCIS will entertain such a request if the severe financial consequences are not the result of your failure to timely request the DACA renewal. It further says that, “Job loss may be sufficient to establish severe financial loss for a person, depending on the individual circumstances. For example, the inability to travel for work that would result in job loss might warrant expedited treatment. The need to obtain employment authorization by itself, without evidence of other compelling factors, does not warrant expedited treatment. In addition, severe financial loss may also be established where failure to expedite would result in a loss of critical public benefits or services.”
4. I hold a j1 visa for one year and work in a hotel as a chef. Can I convert the visa to H1 if the hotel gives me a work contract?
I would like to inquire. I hold a j1 visa for one year and work in a hotel as a chef. Can I convert the visa to H1 if the hotel gives me a work contract or what are the required procedures, knowing that it my visa does not apply to the two-year rules In addition, I would like to know what types of visa are available for transfer.
Mr. Lee answers:
For chefs, the H-1B visa is generally not a good choice as being a chef does not require a specialized degree. H-1B visas are given for specialized occupations requiring baccalaureate or higher related degrees in the occupational field. O-1 classification for extraordinary chefs is the more proper visa category. An option could be an organization sponsoring a cook or chef for permanent residence under a labor certification. For persons born in most countries of the world except China and India, the approximate time of such a case if everything goes well is approximately two years. I note that being sponsored for a labor certification alone does not entitle an individual to remain in the US during most of the time of processing. A further option may be changing status to go to school in the country under F-1 or M-1 status.
5. Can I re-enter the US with an arrest record on J-1 visa?
I’m a foreign exchange student on a J-1 visa, I was arrested in a misunderstanding in February 2022. I hired an attorney and my case was never filed to the court, but the arrest record should be available. I would love to travel home now but was wondering if it’s reasonable, or would I have problems re-entering the U.S. with the arrest record? Is there a chance they won’t let me cross the border?
Mr. Lee answers,
While one cannot discount Customs and Border Protection inspectors looking with interest in any arrest, the fact that your case was never filed with the court is very favorable towards allowing you reentry into the States. Kindly note that an admission of guilt to an immigration inspector has the same effect as a conviction when you are trying to be admitted as a nonimmigrant to the country. If the arrest was for an excludable act, and it was admitted, then you would have difficulties. You may wish to bring a copy of the proof that the case was never filed to court in the event that there are questions.