Assure's Weekly H-1B queries

Hi I was offered a consulting assignment with company A and they applied for my H1B in 2004. I got my H1B approved in Jan 2005 but that time I was working with an Indian company and was doing well in my Job and did not take up the offer with Company A. I got my H1B stamped in Nov 2006 and it is valid till Sept 2007. Now I have a fabulous offer with company B. A. Can I transfer my H1B without working for company A? B. I can ask company A to declare I was working in their India office and produce documentation to that behalf. C. What is the best way for me to start working with company B? D. Is it better to apply for a new H1B with company B which may take time or E. Immigrate and start working with company A apply for an extension of visa also try to convince company B to hire services of company A and me thereof?

  1. You cannot transfer H1 without entering the US or working for the company which applied for your visa in the US.
  2. You will need 3 salary stubs or pay slips before you apply for H1 transfer.
  3. You will need 3 salary stubs or pay slips before you apply for H1 transfer.
  4. We recommend that you join Company A in the US and then transfer your visa.
  5. It is also advisable to apply for a new H1 and start working for Company B in October.

Hi I was offered a consulting assignment with company A and they applied for my H1B in 2004. I got my H1B approved in Jan 2005 but that time I was working with an Indian company and was doing well in my Job and did not take up the offer with Company A. I got my H1B stamped in Nov 2006 and it is valid till Sept 2007. Now I have a fabulous offer with company B. A. Can I transfer my H1B without working for company A? B. I can ask company A to declare I was working in their India office and produce documentation to that behalf. C. What is the best way for me to start working with company B? D. Is it better to apply for a new H1B with company B which may take time or E. Immigrate and start working with company A apply for an extension of visa also try to convince company B to hire services of company A and me thereof?

  1. You cannot transfer H1 without entering the US or working for the company which applied for your visa in the US.
  2. You will need 3 salary stubs or pay slips before you apply for H1 transfer.
  3. We recommend that you join Company A in the US and then transfer your visa.
  4. It is also advisable to apply for a new H1 and start working for Company B in October.

I worked on H1B till July 2006, after which I have been in India to date (February 2007). Now, I will be joining the same company for the same job in March 2007.

  1. Since my H1B is valid till February 2008 and my company has not proactively cancelled it, will I face any problems at immigration?
  2. Should I be carrying any additional documents or letters from the company explaining my long absence from work (since I don't have any pay stubs after July 2006)?
  3. Would it be simpler if the company said that I was "away" from work for 8-9 months, stating that I had to go for personal family matters, instead of saying that I quit my job and I am rejoining work?
  4. My passport expires in May 2007 and I intend to renew it through the consulate after I get to the US. Will that be an issue?
  1. You will have to have a fresh offer letter from the company which has applied for your H1 stating that they are offering you employment based on the H-1B visa.
  2. Please also carry a letter certifying that the company has approved your leave of absence for 8-9 months.
  3. Please talk to your company attorney before traveling back to the US. You can get your passport renewed at the US Consulate.
  4. It is better you carry old pay stubs, tax filings, a new offer letter and a clear letter from your company certifying your absence.
  5. It is better you carry old pay stubs, tax filings, a new offer letter and a clear letter from your company certifying your absence.

I am Indian. My first entry to US will be on 25Jan on H1B to join company X. After 3 months if I get a new job in company Y and Y applies for H1B transfer and gets the receipt from INS - at this stage while actual transfer is pending, can company X write to INS for canceling my H1B? After completion of H1B transfer, who can cancel H1B - "X" or "Y" or both?

  1. You can start to work for Company Y as soon as they get a receipt from the INS regarding your transfer application.
  2. Company X cannot apply for cancellation of H1 once your new employer has lodged an application for transfer of H1.
  3. After completion of transfer it means that you are an employee of Company Y, your H1B is in favor of Company Y and hence can be canceled only by them.
  4. You can rest assured that employers generally do not cancel H1B as the process requires additional effort and expense.

  I recently graduated from University of Pennsylvania with a Ph.D. in Insurance and Risk Management. I started working for a consulting company in Chicago. I am currently on OPT, and my OPT will expire on July 06, 2007. Unfortunately, this year's quota for H1B was already met when I tried to apply for H1B in August. So the earliest that I can apply is April next year. My employer is very supportive. They are willing to submit my application for the premium processing next April. My company's immigration lawyer told me that I would have no problem getting the H1B approval. However, the company will have to terminate me as of July 6, 2007, and re-employ me on Oct 1, 2007.

Since my OPT is expiring on July 6, 2007, I will not be able to work after that. But I can stay in the US until 60 days after July 6, 2007. Then, I was told by the lawyer that I have to leave the U.S. and return to my home country (P.R. China) to get the H1B visa stamp.

I have a few questions for you:

  1. Is there any way to remain in the U.S. during the gap between my OPT and H1B? Or do I have to leave the U.S. after 60 days from the expiration for my OPT?
  2. If I have the H1B approval, how risky is it to go back to China to get the visa stamp? Several of my Chinese friends have recently visited China and got their H1B visa stamp there, with no problem at all. But they didn't have the gap. They went back home on vacation. Since I have this gap, if I go back to China during this gap, then I am not actually employed anymore. Would that make it easier for the consulate to reject my H1B stamping?
  3. What are the reasonable grounds for rejection of a H1B visa application at the consulate? Are there legal documents from the government that state these reasons for rejection? If yes, where can I go to obtain such documents?
  4. Since I have this gap, would it be sufficient to present my last paycheck before July 06, 2007 for the interview with the Consulate in China if I have to go back?
  5. I know that H1B visa allow for "dual intent". Can they reject my H1B visa application based on possible immigration intention?
  6. Do I need to provide pictures of my company for the interview for H1B visa?

  1. All people traveling to the US need a passport and thereby a visa. Your wife will need to go to the Consulate to obtain a visa for your second child.
  2. We recommend that you stay with Company A till your family comes back.
  3. There have been many cases where a person has changed jobs while their dependants are out of the country. There is a bit of documentation that needs to be done incase you change jobs.
  4. Technically, re-stamping needs to be done based on your H1 transfer since there is a change in status while outside the country.
  5. Please talk to your company lawyer before you take any action.

  I was refused for H1B visa by Visa Officer after submitting project details. When I first attended they gave me 221G for In-house Project details. He says that the project is not satisfactory and I donít have job in US. How can a visa officer decide without enquiring anything? My employer is paying $.... tax for US government and had 80 People working globally. Presently I am working in an MNC which has good position globally and had 1000+ employees. He did not ask any questions and was also not interested in listening to anything from me. What do I have to do to re apply again for the same papers with USCIS? Please help me with detail information. I think that luck and Visa Officers mood plays a major role in getting visas to US. My employer was also very serious about my issue that how can he reject without enquiring anything. He said that he will resolve my issue within 3 months. Is it possible to do so? If so, can you please tell me the process he would have to follow and the chances of getting my visa.

  1. Please check about how your employer's credit standing is, there in USA.
  2. The US consulate doesn't accept or reject any visas based on moods or luck. Please ensure that your employer submits tax returns for past 3 years, photos of office, copies of contracts the employer has, detailed description of projects that you are supposed to do.
  3. If your employer is very serious then he has to ask for a hearing or file a suit against BCIS for rejecting your visa.
  4. Please tell your employer to get his attorney to talk to US Consulate as to why it is important that you come to US.

Please understand that generally H1B visas are issued to people with engineering degree in computer science or electronics or who has worked in software projects for last couple of years.
Please also understand that the US Consulate tries to find out whether your employer is bodyshopper or a general development company.
Please also ask you employer to submit brochures/ documents to show that they are a development company in US and they need you to do development work on site.

  I came to US by company A and my Visa on passport is through October 2007. Now I changed job and got it transferred to Company B. I am planning to travel to India. It has been 4 months I am working with new company. Is it required for me to again go to US consulate in India for getting a new Visa stamped for company B before coming to US. Please let me know since presently the stamping dates are very late after February and I need to travel now.

  1. If your transfer petition has been approved from Company A to Company B, you can travel to India.
  2. It is clear that you have started to work for Company B. This logically means that if you go out of US, you have to get your new transferred H1 visa stamped before coming to US.
  3. If you don't stamp your new H1 visa, you will be held back at immigration counter.
Once you reach India, you can always apply for emergency travel or constantly watch for dates which might come early due to cancellations.
Please talk to your company attorney before your travel.

 I have few queries regarding H4 visa and my H1 transfer. Here is a brief description of the situation followed by queries. Company A is my original H1B sponsor and I have been working with Company A, since I entered US. Now, I got a very good offer from another Company B, who is ready to do my H1 transfer, but the process has not started yet. On the other hand, I have taken a H4 visa appointment for my wife who is currently in India. The appointment is at Chennai consulate and is about 20 days from now. a) Is it safe to send my H4 visa interview, while I am undergoing this transition. What do you suggest? Should I send her to interview while I am still with Company A, or send her after my transition to the Company B. What is the advantage of either approach? b) Can I travel to India, while my H1 transfer is in process? What are the documents I need to show at the port of entry, if I had to really travel in such period? c) How much time does a H1B premium transfer processing usually take and what is the fee for it? d) Are there any other complexities, subtle issues you see in the above scenario. Basically I want to bring my wife here as soon as possible. But two other situations which has cropped up are a) my interest to transfer to another company b) a possible travel to India, after or in between the transfer process. Your suggestion is really crucial to me.

  1. Please ensure your wife goes for the H4 stamping only after your transfer process is fully complete
  2. Please note US consulate verifies the result of the transfer application before stamping of dependant visas
  3. The reason for saying this is that, there a lot of queries being asked during the transfer due a lot of scams and scandals which have come up recently
  4. We advise you not to travel while the transfer process is under process since technically your case is under process unless it is an emergency
In short, please finish your transfer process before you do anything i.e., sending your wife for H-4 or travelling to India. Please talk to your attorney before doing anything.

 My friend has a peculiar situation here. He recently got married and came back. He is on H1 on company A then. He sent his papers to his wife on the company A. After coming back he got a new job in Company B. So he applied for a new H1. He still didnít get a receipt. He is still with company A and yet to move to company B. His wife went to consulate on Feb11th 2006. They asked her for a original 797 and 2005 w2 form(she actually took copy of 797 & 2004 w2form) and ask her to come back on March 1st. What does she need to do in this situation? Can my friend sent her company A's original 797 as he is still with them and he is going to join the new one may be end of February? I would greatly appreciate your immediate response.

  1. Please note that whenever you go for H4 stamping, you need to carry all originals. She can go for stamping in March with original 797, original 2005 w2 and other documents which are required in March when she goes for stamping.
  2. It is advisable that your friend's husband remains with Company A till his wife's visa is stamped. This means that he shouldn't join Company B till his wife's H4 is stamped.
    Please ask him to talk to the lawyer of Company B before he takes any further steps.

 I am presently working for company A which will apply for my L1A petition sometime in March 2006. I am scheduled to go to US on L1A for company A sometime in Sepí 2006, once my L1A visa is stamped. Meanwhile another company B has shown interest in me and has offered to apply for my H1B sometime in Oct2006. But I am interested in joining company B only in May 2007 and they are ok with this. Now I am in a dilemma because I am faced with the following questions: 1) Is it legal for me to allow company B to apply for my H1B in the background in Oct2006 when I am actually in the US at that time through company A? Can I hide this fact from Company A? Can they know it at all? 2) If in case my H1B for company B gets approved in Octí 2006, then will my current employer i.e. Company A get a notice from the consulate that my L1A has been revoked? In other words will my L1A for company A get revoked if my H1B for company B comes through in Octí 2006? 3) If my H1B is approved in Octí 2006, then can I continue to be in US on L1A for company A till May 2007 and then come back to India and quit company A, get my H1B Visa stamped for company B and then go to US? Will the consulate in India have a problem with this when I go for my H1B visa stamping in May 2007?

  1. It is allowed under the law to allow Company B to apply for a H1B while you are in US on L1.
  2. We recommend that you use your discretion whether to tell Company A or not for there is no way they will know about it from BCIS for your Company A will not get any notice from BCIS or US Consulate when your H1B is approved.
  3. Please note L1 and H1 are two different visa programs. You can continue to work for Company A on your L1 even if your H1 for Company B is approved.
  4. You can start to work for Company B on H1 from May 2007 without coming back to India.
  5. You can get your new H1 stamped whenever you come to India.

 I am currently on L1 with a status end date (date on I-94) of 26th Aug, 2006. My employer instead of doing a L1 extension plans to process a new H1B for me (I never had a H1B and am on L1 for 3 years). It seems the start date for new H1B can only be 1st Oct 2006. So do I have to stay out of US from Aug 26 to Oct 1st or is there any way to avoid that? Note: The visa is processed by the same employer.

  1. Legally you will be out of status if your L-1 expires on 26th August, 2006.
  2. It makes a lot of sense for your employer to apply for L-1 extension and at the same time process your H1.
  3. We think this is the only legal way you can stay back in the US.
  4. If you are out of status for more than 1 month, there are chances of many problems cropping up at the time of stamping of your H1B visa.
We strongly recommend that you talk to your employer to get your L-1 extended for a year and at the same time get your H1 processed. Please talk to your company lawyer too.

 I worked for a company X from August 05, 2004 till December 30, 2004 then I moved to company Y where I worked from Jan 3, 2005 but this company filled my H1B transfer on Feb 14, 2005 and now they say that their records say I am employed with them from Feb 14, 2005 and they can issue the exp. Certificate from Feb 14, 2005 as starting date. Thou in the mean time I was working at the Client side in Jan and Feb, 2005 for this company Y for which they never paid me salary, they paid me advance, which they deducted on my resignation, my concern is 1) Was it legal from company side to hire me and make me work at the client side without filling the H1B transfer, and then eventually not paying for that period. 2) For a gap of 1 month 14 days how can I justify USICS during GC processing.3) Where should I go to register my case. 4) Is H1B transfer companies responsibility or consultant responsibility?

  1. It is your mistake to have started to work with Company Y before getting the receipt number for the H1B transfer.

  2. If you have worked for Company Y from January 3rd to February 14th without filing for H1 transfer, it is illegal. The gap of 1 month 14days can be justified as leavewithout pay or travel or medical leave.

  3. It is advisable that you do not try to file a case since action will be taken against you as well as the Company. The company can get away by paying fine fornon-conformance.

  4. H1 transfer is the joint responsibility of the company and the individual.

 My L1A extension has been denied which is in appeal since August 2004. My I 140 is also in appeal since 2004 April. I am in USA and waiting for answer of appeal. Is there any other way to get status, by F1 or H1 or E visa. I had invested about $300000 in USA.

  1. Please find a way by which you can get admission in some university, so that you can get F1 visa and thereby you become legal.

  2. Please talk to some consulting company wherein you can apply for H1. Please take an opinion of an immigration attorney on the status of your case since you can be in big trouble if your extension petition is denied.

  3. As regards E visa, we think the money which needs to be invested is substantially higher. We recommend that you talk to an investment specialist/persons who advise foreign nationals on investments in the US.

 I am currently employed with a company A. A few months back, I received an offer from a US based company which filed for my H1-B.Since then I had no updates from this company B. In the meanwhile, my company A has decided to send me on a new assignment on L1-Blanket. I have already received the approved petition & confirmed interview dates with the consulate. However, I got a call from the company B, asking me to provide a sworn affidavit, so that my petition could be processed further. Given the situation, I declined the offer from company B & clearly informed them of my inability to provide them with a sworn affidavit for current employment details. Do you foresee any problems I might face during the L1-Interview process?

  1. You will face no problem during your L1 interview process. Please do have with you the copy of the mail, wherein you clearly told that you do not want to take the process for the H1 further.

  2. Please do not give the mail which says that the H1 process need not be taken forward without being asked for it by the consulate.

  3. Please ensure that you have all the documentation as listed in the US consulate website when you go for L1B stamping.

 I am on H1 which expires in April, 2006 and my wife was on H4 till now. My wife applied for and got H1 last month. Now my company is applying for my H1 extension. My question is - do I need to send my wifeís H4 also for extension ? Since she is yet to find a job and if a situation arises where she fails to get a job and may have to revert back to H4. Can her H4 be extended separately then?

  1. It is advisable to send your H1 and your wife's H4 visa for extension simultaneously.

  2. Whenever your wife gets a job, she can start working on the basis of the approved H1 visa.

  3. Once she starts working on that H1, technically her H4 visa, whether under process for extension or not, is deemed cancelled.

  4. If she has to apply for H4 because of being laid off or for other reasons, she has to apply afresh for a change in status. Please talk to your attorney in this matter.

  5. To answer your last query, her H4 visa can be extended separately also, but it will result in a lot of queries.

 In INS forms while applying for H1, my employer mentioned that I need to work at ABC Company (i.e. my work location will be at ABC Company). My employer also sent me a letter addressing to consulate that I need to work at ABC Company. Then I attended the Visa interview with these documents. I got a query, consulate asked me to produce a document from client it self (ABC company) stating that they have contract with my employer. But now instead of letter from ABC company, my employer is sending me a document stating that I need to work for my employer company in house project it self (i.e. not at ABC company). My employer said, since there is no more contract with ABC company, I am sending document like this and it will be okay at consulate. Can I proceed with these documents or I should have to have a document from ABC company exactly as consulate people asked me? If okay to attend with this document, how to defend this document? What should I tell consulate officer?

  1. We believe there could be an issue with the consulate since the circumstances under which your visa was approved have changed, ie., the visa was issued because your employer had a contract with the client(ABC)

  2. The circumstances have changed and so there is a fair chance that the consulate may deny the stamping.

  3. Please ensure that your employer's attorney sends a letter directly to the US consulate explaining the change of circumstances and requesting the US consulate to issue the visa, since there is an in house project.

  4. You will also have to apply for a fresh LCA( Labour Certification) since your place of work has changed.

  5. Before you go for stamping it is advisable that your client's attorney talks to the US consulate to clarify issues.

 Can I enter US on H4 visa, when my H1 is under processing? Mean while if my H1 visa gets approved will my H1 be automatically cancelled, if I enter US on H4 visa?

  1. You can enter the US on a H4 visa as long as your H4 visa is valid.

  2. If your H1 visa gets approved, neither your H1 nor your H4 will get cancelled.

  3. You can start working on the basis of your H1 visa as and when it is approved.

  4. You can get your H1 visa stamped in India, next time you come to India.

  5. Please also talk to your employer's attorney before you make arrangements for your travel.

 You have a wonderful website. Can a spouse with H-4 visa visit back home on a short trip when her husband has applied for green card. She is told her husband and she cannot travel back home as he has applied for green card. He has a valid H-1 visa. Please oblige with your answer.

The person with H4 visa can travel outside USA as long as the H1 visa is valid, ie., the date of the beginning and end of the travel should be within H1 visa's expiry date. For instance, if the H1 visa expires on 11 June,2006, it means she has to come back to USA within 11 June, 2006.

 I have B1 visa and plan to visit the US on a business visit for a couple of weeks. And I would like my wife to accompany me. And she has H1B visa. Is it possible for her to come with me on H1b? I understand that if she takes a B1 visa her H1B gets cancelled which is not what we want.

Your wife can travel to US on her H1B visa, provided her employer allows her to do so. If her employer says she cannot travel now, it is advisable not to travel.Please not that the H1B visa is not a short term travel visa. Although lot of people misuse it to their own risk. By law, if she applies for B1 visa her H1B visa gets cancelled automatically.

 I am a doctor from India who came into the U.S. in Dec 2004 on B1 visa. A very reputable hospital filed my H1 in April, 2005 which got approved in May 2005.COS was approved and I was never out of status. I have since worked for that hospital till the present time. Now, I am getting into a residency (post-graduate training) for which a new H1 will have to be sponsored. I also plan to go to India to get married and bring my wife on a H4 visa. I have the following questions:

1) Do I need any additional paperwork (besides that mentioned) on your website should I take for stamping?

2) Can you please advise me regarding whether I should get the new H1 stamped in Canada ( as suggested by a lawyer I consulted) or go back to Calcutta (my hometown) for stamping ?

3) What are my options if in case the H1 stamping is refused?

  1. Please visit the website of Chennai US Consulate : will give you the most updated list of documents required for stamping.

  2. If holding an Indian passport, you have to go to India to get it stamped. There is a very good possibility that your stamping will be not be done in Canada since your passport was issued in India. If your visa is not stamped or refused in Canada, you cannot enter US again. You will have to come to India from Canada.

  3. We recommend that you start working on your new H1 before you come back to India. If you start working on new H1 and have at least 3 salary slips, there is very little possibility that your stamping would be refused in India.

  4. We recommend that you first do your H1 stamping and then only your wife should go for stamping.
Please talk to your employer's attorney or attorney who applied for your H1 before you take any decision of where to stamp and how.

 I was working for an MNC in India. I came through them to US in May 2005. My visa status was L1. After coming here another employer was willing to file my H1B and I got through this in Oct 05. My current status is I have switched over my employer. My I-94 is valid till April 2008, which I got it issued when I entered US in May 05 at the port of entry. Now I have got couple of questions:

1) Should I go ahead and get my H1B stamped in Canada or Mexico, since the wait time is less and the chances of rejection are minimal rather than going back to India, which I do intend to in the near future.

2) Should I wait for my stamping for some more time, since anyhow I do have my I-94 valid till April 08. Reason being, if I go to Canada or Mexico at this point of time for my H1B stamping and for some reason I don't get the visa, I believe I donít have any other alternative than returning to India, am I right? Or is there any other alternative that you can suggest?

3) I have my name in the passport as First Name : xxxx Surname : Blank field. Reason being, that is how my name is in my Degree certificates. My name on L1 visa as stamped in the passport appears as below: First Name: FNU Last Name : xxxx(Which is actually my first name as mentioned in the passport) The same format appears even on my I-797 paper (H1B)... Now, with this said and since its a problem in the US without last name in the passport, I intend to get it changed. Do, you know, what are the documents that they look for a change? What would be the appropriate time to do this? Should I be getting it done once I get my H1B stamped or would it be fine if I get it done before I go for my H1B stamping?

What would be your call on this? Since am married, I believe, I need to get my wife's name in the passport changed accordingly which I believe would be based on the marriage certificate.

  1. Since you are an Indian passport holder, you have to get your H1B stamped only in India.Under the new laws after 9/11, H1B is stamped in the country in which the passport was issued.

  2. You can wait for your stamping for some more time as you can legally work in the US, since you have a valid H1 visa. There is a very good chance that stamping will not be done in Canada or Mexico and you have to go to India for stamping and you will not be allowed to re-enter US from Canada or Mexico.

  3. Please get a Notary Public issue you a certificate, stating that both the names belong to the same person. This can be done when you come to India for stamping. BCIS is fully aware of the first and last name confusion that happens in India and a notary certificate would be sufficient.

According to the US laws a wife can carry her maiden name even after marriage. It is not necessary to change her name after marriage. Only issue will be that you should have all the documents which is required to prove that you are married, like marriage certificate, wedding photographs, marriage video, wedding invitation.

Please talk to your current employer before you take any further steps.

 I have a very strange case please help with valuable suggestions:
I have a Master's degree from a US University. I got my H1b in July 2004. I got a new job offer on May 5, 2004.They started the H1b transfer process immediately. Meanwhile I was still working for the old employer. I quit my old job on 2nd June 2005 and started working for the new employer. But unfortunately my H1B transfer was denied on July 28, 2005. My visa transfer was denied on July 28, 2005.

My attorney filed for a new H1 under Masterís quota (Since I have Masters degree from US) and sent the application to Vermont center on August 16, 2005. But the USCIS said that it was not a new H1 B but it was transfer and sent it to Nebraska center and issued receipt of notice on September 7, 2005. I got a RFE from Nebraska center on Dec 30 2005 asking. We have the Fedex delivery receipt that the file reached them on Aug 17 2005. Now they have come back to us for my legal status between April 9, 2005 and September 7, 2005. My attorney says that I was in perfect standing and he is submitting my denied application along with paystubs from the first employer, paystubs from the second (rejected employer) and paystubs from the third employer to validate my status. Meanwhile the H1 application for my wife was approved on September 12, 2005.

I am in kind of worried. Was I out of status? That's my only worry.

  1. If you have all your salary slips for the period of 9th April, 2005 to 7th September, 2005, you need not worry at all.

  2. To be on the safer side please ask your attorney to ask your current and your past employer for the tax paid proof/receipt. Please also submit bank statements which show salary credit.

  3. Please ensure that your wife is currently working from 12th September, 2005. This means even if your H1 approval process gets delayed you can technically stay in US on H4 visa.

From our past experience we think, if you have your pay slips then you are considered as being in status.

 I have a valid H1B which is valid till 9-Jun-2006. I have been asked by my employer to travel to US in Feb 2006. I have few concerns as below:

1) As said above, I have a valid H1B and my wife has a valid H4 which is both valid till 9-Jun-2006. However my daughter, 6 months old and born in India does not have a visa .I am told if I apply for H4 for my daughter, I might get the PA dates only on May. In that case is it worth applying for my daughter now?

2) I will travel to US on Feb 2006, but my wife and daughter will not travel with me now, as my daughter does not have H4 yet. Is it possible to apply for extension of H1B for me (when I am in US) and extension of H4 for my wife (who will be in India) simultaneously.

3) Please do advice the best way, I can proceed to bring my family with me as soon as possible. Kindly do advice on the above.

  1. As far as we know it is imperative that you apply for H4 visa for your daughter. You can try to get stamping dates on an emergency basis also.
  2. It is possible for you to apply for extension of H1B visa while in US and if your H1B extension gets approved, automatically same will apply to your wife and daughter.
  3. We recommend you to travel to US first, start working and get the extension of your H1 visa, then you can get your wife and daughter to US. We are recommending this assuming that you cannot get emergency stamping date for your daughter.

Please talk to your employer's attorney before you decide.

 A company has filed for my H-1B and it is currently getting processed, I have received the tracking number as well. I am working in India now. Meanwhile another company has shown interest in me and they are ready to take me as their employee. But they are interested in H-1B transfer only. Also they cannot file for fresh H-1B since the quota has already expired for this year, and also they do not want to wait till October 2006. So my question is once my H-1B gets processed is it possible to transfer it, sitting in India only? Or do I have to go to the USA for my original company and then transfer, showing 2 months salary stub? If possible then I am interested in the H-1B transfer sitting in India only, since the second company is a better one and I am willing to join it directly. Also please let me know the procedures for H-1B transfer, either sitting in India (if possible at all) or after going to USA.

Under the laws for the transfer of H1B visa, one has to enter USA, be in USA and work for the employer who first applied for H1 for a period of 2-3 months before one can file a transfer application. It is not possible to do a H1B transfer sitting in India. Once you enter the US, you will have to work for the employer for 2-3 months and then your new employer has to file for a transfer of H1. Once the transfer application is accepted and you get a receipt no., you can start working for your new employer. It is dangerous to enter on H1B of one employer and try to start working for second employer immediately. Please talk to second employer's lawyer before you take any steps and please get your H1B stamped before you get it transferred.

  I am currently in OPT status after a PhD. I got into a somewhat low paying job and they have filed for my H1B on Nov 29,2005 in the advanced degree quota. I don't have a receipt number, but am very sure I will get one in this quota in couple of weeks. This was done in normal processing procedure and I have not yet started working for this company. Now I have an offer from a very good company and they have agreed to do H1B processing and everything but they can start only after Dec 25,2005. By this time, I am sure the advanced degree quota will also get over. So my only option seems to be to transfer my H1B, but it has been just filed. Once I get a receipt number, can I ask my new company lawyer to file for a H1B transfer based on this receipt number (which he will do after Dec 25). Please advice me if the above is possible and anything else you can suggest. I will greatly appreciate your time and advice and will be indebted if you can help me in this matter.
PS: BTW I have let the bad company to file for my H1b (instead of working on OPT) because I am planning on visiting India in March/April and my F1 Visa has expired.

  1. Your H1B visa can be transferred only after it has been formally approved by BCIS/INS.

  2. You will have to work for the company that filed for your H1B visa for a period of atleast 3 months before you can fill a H1B transfer.

  3. We recommend you check the possibility of continuing to work on your OPT and apply for new H1B in the premium visa processing quota, ie., you will have to pay extra for faster processing of your visa.

  1. I would like to travel to USA by/around 10th Dec 2005 and will have current I- 94 valid till 11th Jan 2006, then my new employer will file for H1b. Will this be a new application or a transfer application?

2. If application is filed by say 20th Dec 2005, can I start working for them from 1st Jan 2006 even though approval is still awaited?

3. If fresh applications are closed will they accept my case treating it as a transfer or will they ask me to wait till 1st April 2006?

4. Is having a leave of absence (without pay) granted by current H1b sponsor enough to explain non-availability of w2/pay stubs?

  1. We assume that you have come back to India and still hold a valid H1B visa.

  2. BCIS is extremely strict as regards W2/Paystubs. Please see if you can have a medical leave of absence supported by documents.

  3. If your current sponsor agrees to take you back to the US and confirms to BCIS/INS that you are still in employment, you can enter US without any problem.

  4. Transfer of existing H1 visas is not treated as a new application. Technically if the transfer application is filed on 20th Dec, 2005 and a receipt no. is obtained, you can start working for your new employer.

  5. We recommend that you talk to your current and new companyís attorney before making any decision.

  I finished my Master degree in the U.S. in May 2005 and I got my OPT which started in July 2005 and ends in July 2006. I joined a consulting company A in May 2005. The company was unable to find me a job. So they sub-contracted me to a company B which found me a job in August 2005. I started working for company B using my OPT and my payroll was being processed by company B. Meanwhile, Company A had filed a H1B petition for me in Aug 2005 and it's been approved now (in Nov 2005). My query is whether I can get pay checks from company B even after the H1B petition filed by company A is approved ? I was told by company B that I can work for them in OPT status and get pay checks from them until the expiration of my OPT (till July 2006), even though my H1B is being held by company A. Will it create any problem if I keep getting pay checks from company B, particularly when I go for stamping my visa ? Please clarify my doubts.

You can get your pay cheques from Company-B till the expiry of your OPT. Even if your H1 is approved, you can continue to work for Company-B and please note there will be no problems when you go for stamping in India at a later day. Please talk to the attorney of Company-A also, in this matter.

 Hi, I am currently in US on H1B VISA. My visa is already stamped on my passport. I am getting married in January and want to change my last name to my husband's last name. I know it's not mandatory but I want to still do it. I understand that I need to get my passport changed to reflect the new name. But what happens to my H1b Stamping since it's in my maiden name. Do I have to again go for whole stamping procedure? Please advise.

  1. In the US, it is not mandatory to have your husband's name as part of your name as long as you have a valid marriage certificate.

  2. You can send your passport to the nearest Indian consulate after checking with them whether they would do a name change in the original passport itself and not issue a new passport.

  3. Whenever you are coming to India you can get your name changed in the passport itself by submitting it to the passport office it was issued at.

  4. There is a process in the US wherein you can get your H1B visas stamped again, when you send it to the BCIS /INS offices . This process can be done by yourself or through an immigration attorney. We recommend that you talk to the immigration attorney who applied for your H1 to help you do this .
    From our past experience, we believe that you need not go for stamping in India. Please talk to your attorney who applied for your H1 before you take any other steps.

 I have H1B visa stamped in my passport and it is valid till Oct 2007. Recently I changed my company by doing an H1B Transfer. I have got H1B papers from INS for the current company. I am planning to visit India this month. Is it necessary to get my passport stamped with my current company. If so is it possible to get it stamped from Mexico or Canada.

  1. If you leave the country, you are legally bound to get your new H1 /Transferred H1 stamped in your passport. This is because you are no longer an employee of the company which originally applied for your H1.

  2. Under the Patriot Act: all alien nationals / non - immigrant workers on H1 / L1 have to get their re - stamping done in the country where the passport was issued. In your case, it is India.

  3. The documents which you used for the initial stamping in terms of educational qualification , work experience , tax papers , bank statements , letter from your current employer , original H1 transfer approvals etc. have to be submitted for stamping in India.

  I got married on Aug 28th 2005 and I came back to US on Sep4th. I am on H1B visa and I wish to bring my wife to US to live with me. My wife applied for her passport and hope she will get it within a week. I have some queries related to her visa(H4) processing:
1) Can we book the slot for Personal Interview without her passport?
2) I checked the TTServices website and found that the next available date is in February only. What is the procedure to get an emergency appointment?
3) What all are the documents she has to produce at the time of her personal interview?
4) Does US consulate will allow the marriage certificate from the christian church? (I tried to register my marriage in government registrar office, but they will do the registration only after two months)

It is advisable to apply in the country of origin (India) irrespective of your domicile given in the application as UK.

Hello sir,
I got H1B visa papers.I am going to stamping on 22ne February.I have two douts.Please clarify. 1.I have a 3 years old Kid.Are they going to ask me any thing about my kid.what type of questions they may ask?
2.In my passport and in my visa papers my surname is my parents surname.If my husband go for H4 it makes any problem for him?

Have birth certificate of the child.
Surname has no problem.
Get notary certificate to certify regd surname.

Hi, I'm from India, presently working in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) since 6 months. Lately my H1B petion got approved which was filed on Sep 22nd,2004.
I was already holding h1B and B1 before they were expired, I had worked in USA for 2.8 years and came back in Dec 2002.
I was on H1B from Feb-00 till May-2002 and B1 from Sep2002 till Dec 2002. All this visa's were stamped at US Counsulate Chennai, INDIA.
I got this visa's thru a Major IT company which was in INDIA and they have very good client base in USA. I was sent on Project assigments to USA.
I had paid taxes promplty during my stay in U.S and i have W2 forms with me.
Now again a US based company has filed a H1B petion which got approved. I need to appear for h1b visa interview at US Counsulate Dubia, Can I appear for the interview along with my wife and 15 months old kid so that i can get h1b visa and they can get h4 visa's.
The concern which i have is that my wife appeared with me for B1 in sep 2002 at US consulate, chennai India, Though US-consulate chennai issued B1 to me but denied my wife reason (214b).
Now almost 2.5 yrs have passed since that rejection has happend. Will their be any problem at Dubia consulate if we apply for h1b and h4 visa jointly. Please let me know the pro's and con's. I thought of finishing the Visa Stamping for my family here in Dubai itself bcoz if I do it in INDIA then it might take a while to get an Visa appointment, it's taking 2-3months to get appointment slot it seems.
Please give your kind advise in this regard. One more thing which is bothering me is that Since my service with the present employer is 6 months , will this be an issue at the time of interview at the consulate office in dubai?
Thanks So Much !!!! and Have a Great Day!!!!
Best Regards

You have to come to India for stamping.

I have my H1b visa issue by Company A. But the current company B wants me to process a L1 blanket visa. My question is
1. When i go for L1 stamping will my h1b visa get rejetced?
Thanks, John

If you go for L1 stamping then H1 B will get cancelled.

I am holding a valid H1-B visa. Recently my father has expired and now my mother is completly dependent on me. Can i get a H4 stamped for her? . I want to now all the possiblities of getting US Visa for my Mother.

No, you can't have H4 for your mother, only visitor visa is possible. Get Green card & then go for H4 stamping for your mother.

I am in US on H1B Visa. Unfortunately, I Lost my passport and I-94 sometime back. I applied for that and I am abt to receive both the documents from the concerned authorities. Obviously my new passport won't be having any stamping on it. Can I shift job/employer in such case? And how can I get visa stamping done on my new passport? Thanks Nick ?

U can work in US, once u get all the duplicate copies.

I work in florida and I got my H1B visa last september(09/03).Is it possibe for me to get H1B stamped in either Mexico or Canada? What risk am I taking?

Under the new law you need to get the same stamped in India only.

I lost my H1 papers. Could you tell me th eprocedure for applying a duplicate h1? also the approximate time for obtaining duplicate h1.

1. Please the services of yourcompany lawyer in this matter.

2. It takes anything between 4-16 week for your duplicate papers to come from BCIS or INS. In certain it has been longer too !!!!!!!!!

Thanks in advance for your help. My OPT started from Jan. 2004 and ends on Jan. 2005. I was employed with Company A and they applied for my H1-B visa on May 2004. My H1-B petition is still under processing (I have the receipt number of the petition with me currently). I got a job offer from Company B in October 2004, and Company B has filed a new H1-B petition (though, they expect it to be declined due to the H1-B cap being met). Can I transfer my H1-B which is under processing from company A to company B? What would happen if company A were to cancel the H1-B petition?

Your help in this regard is highly appreciated.

1. Unless your h1 is approved and you have atleast 2-4 salary slips or pay stubs your h1 from Company A cannot be transferred to Company B.

2. If your company comes to know about your attempts to find a job while their h1 is under process, they can stop the processing or not give the approved h1 to you or apply for cancellation of the H1 even after it is approved.

3. Donot do anything rash so soon as you should atleast allow the company which applied for your h1 to recover its costs.

4. If company A were to cancel the H1, you are out of status immediately.

I am in USA on h1-b visa since Aug-02. During this period I changed my employer and got my visa transferred. My previous visa expired on Dec-03 and I do not have my new visa stamped in the passport. My new approved petition is from Mar-02. I have a valid I-94 till Mar-2005. I am planning to go on vacation to India in Jun-2004. Since it is over an year since my previous visa is expired will it be an issue to get my new visa stamped in India.

I am sure you have got your visa stamped in India by now. It not it is high time you did the same.

I have a question hare, my employer about to file an H1B in premium processing, I have been given two months time to join the company. if they apply, Shell I need to go only October? But my employer wants to get me some training before start the work in October, so my question is, is it possible to go before October means in August? after getting stamped, from same company which H1 files, I have already attend interview for B1 visa and got refused.
And one more is that can I have eligible to apply for a visa( I am native of Andhra Pradesh) in Bangalore and in the drop box facility.

1. Since your visa application for b-1 has been rejected once, it better to go for the H1 stamping only.

2. You need to get an appointment for visa stamping.

I have applied for H-1 visa with company A.Right now I am under OPT which will be over on mid H-1 processing so far I have information may take more 3/4 weeks to approve.I got an offer from company B just two days back.They are agree to sponsor H-1 to me.So can I transfer my H-1 after getting approval for company A or it is better to file new H-1 premier process for company B?

You need to have salary slips from Company A to apply for the transfer to Company B.

Me & my son r on H4 visa & my wife is on H1. We came here in March, 2002.My wife's & ours visa was going to expire in November, 2003 but before that my wife applied for H1 transfer. INS denied the transfer but again before that denial she transferred her H1 and INS approved that H1 but denied to give I-94. INS gave this reply in August, 2004. Still we r in USA & planning to go back to India. Sir, my questions r..

(1)What should we do ?

(2) R we out of status now ?

(3) If yes then from when we r considered out of status.. from NOV., 2003 or from AUGUST, 2004 ?

(4) After going back to India can she get H1 visa at Indian Consulate ? or will She be banned to enter USA for 3 years ?

(5) My immigration file is already running so when my immigration priority date will become current and I go for immigration visa to US consulate then will my currents situation create any problem to me in getting immigration visa ?

1. If your wife has a valid H1 transfer your can stay on in the USA.

2. If you travel outside the country, you will need to get your h1 / h4 stamped.

3. Technically you are not out of status. But since I-94 is not changes, you can be construed to be out of status. But I donot think this is a major hassle.

4. Please talk a legal attorney in this matter also.

I have a question about OPT and H1-B. Would you kindly give me a reply?

My company will file for H1B premium processing on May for me to be able to work from October 1st as an H1B[As CAP was reached!]. My OPT expires on Sep 15th. Can I be associated with my company during that 15 days[Sep 15th to Sep 30th] period in legal terms as this is a mere wait period between 2 work permits?

Because i have already worked in this company now, can I use my annual leaves for that 15 days which i have earned before? (and because i use my annual leave, i will still get paid, is that possible?)

Your help would be highly appreciated!!!

Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you!

1. We are sure you would have got your h1 visa by now.

2. You can travel to you native country, but you must get the visa stamped in your native country.

My employer file for my H1 extension and forgot to file for H4 extension for my wife. My H1 extension got approved and found out that they did not file for H4 extension. Now they are filing (i-539) for H4 extension. My wife's I-94 expired 3 months ago. My doubts are-

  1. Can she stay here while her H4 extension is under process. And also can she stay over 180 days while here extension is under process.
  2. Will there be any problems for her H4 extension.
  3. Once her H4 extension is approved can she get her H4 VISA re-validated in US
  4. Is it safe to go back to India with in 180 days(after I-94 expiration) and get H4 stamping in her home country.

As long as your H1 is valid your wife can stay in the USA.

Please talk to your lawyer and we think her extension stamping can be done in USA itself. For her re validation in the USA it is possible and it is advisable to do it thru a lawyer.

I have come to Vtech to do my MS in Mech Engg. I have an admit to UTAustin for Phd. I want to go to Austin. Can I change the Visa and join the university in this semester? I have no aid in Vtech and well as UT Austin.

You need to get a revised F1 visa issued and your university should inform CIS of this change.

I am an international student at UCI. In this January, I will get my OPT. My F1 visa's expire date is at the end of this January. After getting OPT, my F1 visa will have been expired. Is it still possible to get H1B status in that case?

Please ask your potential employer to apply for your H1 asap.

I am a full-time graduate student on an H-4 visa. Can I apply for a merit-based financial aid for the next academic year?

You will get the same only if you have a F1 visa.

I have employed by an company A(L1b employee), Company B processed my H1B I am going to join by January 1. My A company L1 visa is valid till Jan 31,2004 (I-94 is valid still Jan1,2006). If I get my H1b using company B I want to get it stamped in Canada or other country, since H1b rejection in Chennai, India is higher.

  • Whether it is legal to go to Canada to get stamped with my H1b papers ?
  • What is the procedure to do that?

After 9/11, you will have to get your H1 stamped only in whenever you come to India.

I got married last March. My husband is in USA. He is in adjustment of status. Can I get dependent visa? Please let me know possibilities of getting visa.

You can get the visa as long as your husband's visa is stamped in his passport.

I am currently employed by company A. I have been working with them for the past 9 months on OPT. They recently sponsored an H-1B visa for me using Premium processing. I just received an e-mail from BCIS saying that my visa has been approved. Today, I also received a job offer with company B. They would like me to start work there as soon as possible. I intend to accept their offer. Company B is willing to transfer my H-1B visa. I understand that I can work at company B as soon as they file for H-1B transfer.

  1. What is the most effective way for me to begin working at Company B? Should I transfer my H-1B or should company B apply for a new H-1B? This is in view of my very recent approval for H-1B visa.
  2. I have read that it is necessary to work for company A for atleast three months on the H-1B before attempting to transfer the visa. Is this true? If 'yes', then do the 9 months that I have already put in on OPT count towards that?
  3. I have read that company B will need the last three months of my pay stubs with company A when applying for H-1B transfer. Can I use the last three months which were obtained while on OPT for this purpose?
  4. Given that company B applies for a H-1B transfer the day after H-1B commences, can I quit company A soon after? If 'yes', can company A cancel my H-1B before it is approved for company B?

  1. I think it does not make sense to transfer the visa since you have not yet got the visa and also you do not have stubs for 3 months
  2. The best way is to get company b to apply for your h1 visa in a premium processing route

I came to the US on an L1 and recently obtain a H1 visa along with the I (4 attached to the bottom of my H1 approval notice. I have been working for over 2 months now and hence have my paystubs. Can I transfer my H1 to another employer without exiting the US for stamping i.e would the INS expect that I re-enter US with a H1 stamping to work with my new employer? (I don't have a H1 stamping now since I came to the US on a L1 visa)

You can transfer the H1. But it is safer for your new employer to apply for a new H1 under the premium-processing scheme.

Please also talk to your company lawyer in this matter.

I have sent my passport for stamping. I got a call from India saying that there is an emergency and I have to fly back immediately. Is there any way I can expedite the stamping process, if so whom should I call?

Please get your lawyer to talk to BCIS.

My F1 visa is expiring in July next year. I am coming to India in January. Can I get my visa extended in January even though the visa has not expired till then. My I-20 is valid for much longer.

Your visa validity dates is the important issue and not your I-120. But please talk to a lawyer.

I'm currently on an H1-B sponsored by my employer. I'm also marrying a US citizen in a few months. Can I apply for a change in status and change jobs while my conditional permanent residency is pending?

Conditional permanent residency and H1 are two separate issues.

I am in India currently. I have 2 offers from US based companies (A,B) and both of the companies are filing for my H1B. Suppose, I receive H1B approvals I-797 from both the companies and get one of the H1B stamped (company A) and travel to US. Since, I would also be having approval from company B, can I simply work for company B also without any other paperwork.

For you work with Company B, your H1 need to be transferred or the transfer of your visa needs to be done.

L1 and H1 visa cannot be converted or transferred. You can start to work for an employer on H1. If your H1 visa papers are approved. You can get the same stamped while u are in India.

Yes, you can apply for a new H1 through employer B.

A friend of mine recently got his visa stamped along with his wife and kid. The H1 was sponsored for his wife, and he and his daughter have H4 visa's. Will he have problems if he being a H4 enters the US before his wife who holds the H1. The reason he plans to give at the port of entry if asked is that he just had a daughter (which is true) and the mother and the baby will fly in once he has taken care of medical insurance, house and other needs.

Our exp shows the H-4 visa holder should enter the USA for the first time along with the H-1 visa holder or after the h-1 visa holder has already entered USA.

Legally the H-4 holder and in the case the husband cannot enter into any agreement or get any insurance. Since he is only a dependant, only the h1 visa holder can do anything in this matter.

I am here doing my masters joined in Fall-2003 term. I have a F1 visa stamp on my passport.

I lost my passport while traveling and could not retrieve it back. I tried my level best. I contacted Indian Consulate at SanFransisco for getting a duplicate passport. I am now worried about the visa. Could you kindly guide me how to get the Visa stamp on my duplicate passport. Its very hard to go back to India for doing so as if I don't get back the visa then I wont be able to return.

Please get the duplicate papers for your visa (F-1) and get your visa stamped in USA if possible.

If you have xerox copies of the original passport, then it would be easy. Please talk to a immigration lawyer in this matter.

I am working as software company in Hyderabad, I am trying for H1b visa as I am called by Michigan based company, I have 8 months of practical experience ,if I include my industrial experience I have total of 1 year practical experience will this effect in getting H1b visa.

Industrial experienced is not counted as real experienced now.

I have been rejected twice for F1. Is there any chance of me getting an H1b visa.

As long as your H1 documentation is in order there would be no issues.

I am having a Diploma in Industrial Electronics and Post Diploma in Medical Electronics with 4years experience in India. Are Diplomas considered a valid qualification in US, Canada and with what level of theirs it can be compared. Also please let me know which kind of visas will I fall under.

Diplomas are not considered on par with degree in USA.

(Disclaimer: We claim no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. Application of the law can vary drastically according to the facts of a particular case, judge or State in USA. The FAQs are not meant to be specific legal advice. The answers must be viewed as general information and are no substitute for the services of a lawyer.)


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