Q If I qualify for an extension past the H-1B six-year limit based on my approved employment petition, may an extension be granted for a period of up to three years?
A Yes, provided all other H-1B statutory and regulatory requirements are met.
Q My six years in H-1B status are almost up. Under what circumstances can I extend my H-1B status beyond six years?
A The law provides two options for such extensions: 1) if you are a beneficiary of an employment-based petition and are eligible for permanent residence but for the per-country limits, and; 2) if you are a beneficiary of employment-based petition until adjustment processing is completed, as long as 365 days or more have elapsed since the labor certification application or immigrant petition was filed.
Q I am in the United States as an E-2 dependent. Do I need to change my status to F-1 in order to pursue a course of study in a U.S. institution?
A No. E2 nonimmigrants are not precluded from pursuing a course of study either full-time or part-time.
Q Am I eligible for the two-year employment authorization document (EAD) if I have filed the adjustment of status application?
A The two-year EAD is only available to pending adjustment of status applicants who are currently unable to adjust status because an immigrant visa number is not currently available.
Q I applied for a Family-Based Immigration Visa in August 2006. How can I check the status of my application Online?
A Immigrant Visa processing is comprised of three separate stages. Family-based petition (Form I-130) is first filed at the USCIS. After Form I-130 is approved (see USCIS Case Status Online) and the priority date in the visa category you are seeking is current (see Current Visa Bulletin), you will receive a visa packet form the DOS National Visa Center. Once your visa packet is processed, your file will be transferred to the U.S. Consulate in your country of origin and a visa interview scheduled shortly thereafter.
Visit http://www.rootlaw.com/links/us-immigration-website-links.html to check the processing dates of these applications.
Q I am an F-1 student. Can I lawfully remain in the United States if I am eligible for a change of status to H-1B nonimmigrant, with an effective date of October 1, 2008?
A Yes, provided that your status was still within the 60-day grace period at the time of filing the request for change of status to H-1B effective October 1, 2008. The request for change of status is considered timely filed.
James E. Root is the principal immigration attorney at Root Law Group, an immigration law firm with offices in L.A., Orange, San Bernardino and San Fernando counties. Contact (888) ROOT-LAW or visit www.RootLaw.com