|Thursday, 08 March 2012 11:51|
Supreme Court rules on controversial immigration law in Arizona, likely to effect similar laws in Alabama and Georgia
After hearing arguments about the controversial Georgia and Alabama immigration laws recently, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta decided to wait until the Supreme Court issues its decision on Arizona's restrictive immigration law before making its own ruling. Following Arizona's controversial immigration reform, Alabama and Georgia passed two of the nation's toughest immigration laws last year. These laws required police to verify the immigration status of individuals who failed to immediately produce valid identification, whether or not they are suspected of a crime, and also criminalized the transportion or housing of undocumented immigrants. The Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision by June. You can read more about the immigration law controversy by visiting our website at: ImmigrateToday.com, clicking on the link to our Weekly Immigration Newsletter.
H-1-B Visa workers can add time spent outside the U.S. to exceed six-year limit
H-1B Work Visas allow professional workers with the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's Degree or higher, to work for a U.S. employer for a maximum of six-years. To obtain another six years upon expiration, the individual must leave the U.S. for a full 365 days to reapply for H-1B status again for another six years.
Under the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act ("AC-21"), H-1B workers can extend their H-1B Visas (in one year increments) beyond the 6-year limit, as long as a labor certification, I-140, or employment-based adjustment application, has been filed at least 365 days prior to the end of their sixth year. Once an I-140 is approved, the H-1B Visa can be extended in three year increments indefinitely, until the H-1B worker obtains U.S. residency.
In many cases however, H-1B workers do not have the chance for an employer to file a labor certification (called "PERM") or I-140 within the 365 day deadline, and risk losing the opportunity to extend their H-1B Work Visa. In such cases, workers can add additional time to their H-1B Visa by "recapturing" (adding) any time they spent outside the U.S. (for any reason) back onto their remaining H-1B stay, thus increasing the time H-1B workers can work in the U.S. This procedure also increases the time available for the PERM and/or I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition to be filed by their U.S. employer.
To take advantage of this opportunity, keep track of all travel outside the U.S., so that later, this time can be added to your H-1B stay if necessary.
For more information about Recapturing time on your H-1B Work Visa, Green Cards through employment, including Labor Certification (PERM), call us at: (954) 382-5378 or visit our website at: ImmigrateToday.com and clicking on the link in the far left corner to our Weekly Immigration Newsletter.
Question: My husband and I got married this month and want to file the I-130 and I-485 for my husband to get him his Green Card. However, we cannot locate the I-94 card that immigration gave him when he landed in Ft. Lauderdale on February 1, 2012. His passport is stamped showing he can stay until July 31, 2012 and his non-immigrant visa is good until 2017. We just cannot locate the actual I-94 card itself. Help!
Answer: That's a great question and very important to save you from having his case denied and losing your USCIS filing fees. In order to be eligible to obtain adjustment of status in the U.S., the spouse of a U.S. citizen must provide proof to the USCIS that he or she entered the U.S. legally. A copy of the I-94 is required in all cases (with some exceptions, including Canadians and those under 245(i)). A stamp in the passport will not qualify. If the case is filed without a copy of the I-94 (never send the original), you will receive a Request for Evidence directing you to provide it and usually gives you 87 days. If you are not able to provide a copy within that time, the case will be denied. Therefore, the I-94 replacement request must be filed before applying for residency. Once you receive the USCIS receipt, the residency case is filed. The replacement I-94 is usually issued by the USCIS before the residency interview. I hope this is helpful to you.
** Contributions to this column are made by Attorney Caroly Pedersen, Esq. of the American Immigration Law Center – Call 954-382-5378
|Last Updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012 17:05|