ImmiLETTER Vol. II – Issue 2: February 1, 2007

Getting A U.S. Student Visa?
Answers You Need to Know
Studying in the USA is the dream many of you cherish. Some of you might have started preparing yourself for it by appearing for TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination). In case, you have already gone through all that and gotten through to a University of your choice, then the only step left is – getting a US student visa.

Now, most sites can provide you with information such as necessary documents, where to apply and how to apply etc. However, this information does not necessarily cover the unique questions that pop up here and there.

We, at Immitips have compiled a few points that seem to confound many of our student readers.

Bypassing EB-3 Backlog
Our team has come up with a few strategies to bypass this backlog without jeopardizing an employee’s existing place in line.
As evident from the Visa Bulletins published on January 2007 and February 2007, the Employment Based Third Preference quota (EB-3) has become completely stagnant as backlogs continue to grow, fueled by increasing demand against the comparatively nominal cap allowed. For nationalities like Indians and Chinese, the waiting period might exceed five years, unless the US Congress acts soon.

Meanwhile, our team at Immitips has come up with a few strategies to bypass this backlog…

  • DOL Rule Prohibiting Substitution of Beneficiaries under Final Review
  • DHS to Launch Traveler Redress Inquiry Program
  • USCIS Introduces Change of Address Online Service
  • USCIS Issues New Guide to Naturalization
  • February 2007 Visa Bulletin
  • DOL Clears More Then Half of Backlogged Cases
Case studies
  • A person can not assume previously approved status with-out re-applying for a change of status with the USCIS..
Useful tips
  • If a person is counted towards the quota in the previous year, can he / she get back to the H1B status?
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Can this happen to me?

We devote this section to highlighting specific cases where you as an immigrant might find yourself in. If you have a related problem or feel the case study does not answer your question, you are welcome to post your question on our forum section.
The Case
  • Ms A entered the US on H4 visa.
  • While staying in the US, Company X sponsored her H1 and she changed her status from H4 to H1.
  • She applied for the social security number and it took more than 5 months for her to get the Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Company X did not pay her during the period and afraid of loosing the H1 status, she went to India and re entered the US on her previously valid H4 visa.
  • She received the SSN after she came back from India and knowing that, Company X asked her to start working and advised her that she is valid to do as she has a valid H1 through Company X.
The Rule
A person can not assume previously approved status with-out re-applying for a change of status with the USCIS.
Since Ms A re-entered the US on H4, she no longer has H1 status. And without her H1 status, she can not work for Company X. As of now, her employment with Company X is not authorized unless a request for change of status is applied and approved by the USCIS.
If Ms A worked with Company X after entering the US on H4, she would be considered taking unauthorized employment and is subject to deportation. The only option for her is to re-apply for her H1B status to the USCIS.

What lawyers aren’t telling you?

In this section, we will reveal the exceptions to the rules and the ambiguities in the law – information that most lawyers won’t reveal but that can save you a lot of time and headache.
The Rule:
If a person is counted towards the quota in the previous year, he / she can get back to the H1B status.
The Scenario:
  • Ms. A is living in US on H4 status.
  • Ms. A got her H1B approved and applied for Social Security Number (SSN).
  • It took 4 months to get the SSN and while her application for SSN is pending, she had to travel to her home country.
  • Ms. A re-entered the US on H4 visa. Her active status now is H4.
The Tip:
Ms. A can still re-apply for a H1 and get back to H1B status without falling under the H1B quota restrictions
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Disclaimer: The information provided on this newsletter is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney.

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