On November 18, 2016, the USCIS announced its Final Rule for the proposed rule announced almost a year ago, affecting certain employment-based immigrants and high skilled non-immigrant workers. This Final Rule will become effective on January 17, 2017. For most parts, the new rules are beneficial for those affected. The followings are some of the highlights of the new rules. Continue reading
[Update]: The Final Rule of this proposed rule was announced on November 18, 2016. For details, please see “New Rule for High Skilled Worker“.
On the last day of 2015, the USCIS announced a “Proposed Rule Affecting Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs” and asked for public comments. These rules, if become law, will greatly benefit the high skilled non-immigrant workers as well as those applying for green card. The followings are some of the highlights of the proposed rules. Continue reading
The Visa Bulletin updated every month by the Department of State is an indication of how much longer a Green Card applicant must wait until he can get his green card. Starting from the October 2015 Visa Bulletin, the structure of the Visa Bulletin has changed in a few ways. These changes are great news for those who have a long waiting period, since they can now file I-485 much earlier, which potentially means that they can get their Employment Authorization Document (work permit) and Advance Parole (travel document) much earlier. The new changes will also enable some applicants to continue to stay and work in the U.S., who would have otherwise had to leave the U.S. and wait in their home countries. Continue reading
Some people say that if you want to apply for a green card under the EB-2 or EB-3 category, you need to have an H1B visa. This is not true for everyone. Even though H1B is preferable, it is not a prerequisite. Here is why…
Green card applications under EB-2 or EB-3 can mean many years of waiting for many people. The challenge is to keep a valid non-immigrant visa while you are waiting for your green card. The reason why H1B is popular is because it allows “dual intent.” This means you can have the intent to immigrate even though H1B is a non-immigrant visa. Practically, what this means is that you can apply for green card at any time, and can keep using your H1B visa to travel abroad until the very moment you become a permanent resident. Even if your green card application is denied, as long as you have a valid H1B, you can try again. This is the same case for people holding an L1 visa (intracompany transferee). Continue reading
If you currently hold an L1 visa and want to change your status to H1B visa, or if you are an employer who is planning to hire an L1 visa holder, these are the things you need to be aware of:
1. An L1 visa holder can change his/her status to H1B, but will still be subject to H1B CAP.
“Change of status” only means that the applicant does not need to travel to his/her home country to get a new H1B visa stamp. He/she can change status from L1 to H1B within the United States. But this is a different issue from H1B CAP. If the applicant never had an H1B before, he/she will still be subject to the CAP. So, what usually happens is that one currently works on L1B, on April 1, he/she files an H1B petition. If the petition is approved, the applicant will work on L1B until September 30, and switch to the H1B sponsor company on October 1. If the petition is denied or the applicant was not selected for the lottery, the L1 visa is still valid, provided that the applicant still works for the same employer. Therefore, he/she can try again next year for H1B or seek for alternatives to H1B. Continue reading