Visa Documents and Determinations

Q I have an H-1B visa and work in Pasadena, Calif. My parents, who live in Bhopal, are planning to visit me for the first time. They will apply for tourist visas. What documents should they take for the visa interview?

A You will need to send a letter of invitation, an affidavit of support (Form I-134) with a letter from your employer, and proof of your H-1B status.

Q I am a research scholar in microbiology in Bangalore. I have been invited to present a paper at a conference in Denver. What kind of visa should I apply for to attend the conference?

A I suggest that you consider applying for a B-1 visa. You can use a B-1 visa for a variety of business-related activities, including attending a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention. This also includes activities like giving a lecture at a conference.

Q Our non-profit arts organization is planning to invite a recognized master craftsman to teach as an artist-in-residence in California for a one-year period. What kind of visa will he be eligible for? What documentation will be required?

A Depending on the specific circumstances, you may want to consider the O, P, and/or H Visas. The O-1 visa classification applies to persons who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, etc. The P-3 visa is reserved for individuals who seek to enter the United States temporarily to either perform, teach, or coach in a culturally unique program. Finally, the H-1B visa is designed for individuals who will be working in “specialty occupations,” that is, those occupations which require a high degree of specialized knowledge.

I recommend that you speak to an experienced immigration attorney to explore your options.

Q I filed my I-485 application to adjust status last month. I am currently in H-1B (or H-4, L-1, or L-2) status. Do I need Advance Parole (AP) to travel?

A In most cases, a person who is in valid H-1B or L-1 status (or H-4 or L-2 dependent status), who has a valid visa in the appropriate category stamped in the passport, does not need Advance Parole to return to the U.S. The H-1B and L-1 allow for dual intent, so there is no abandonment of the pending I-485 by departing before the Advance Parole is issued. However, my office generally recommends filing for Advance Parole and waiting until it is approved before departing from the United States.


Immigration and business attorney Indu Liladhar-Hathi has an office in San Jose. (408) 453-5335. Email

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