Highlights from MurthyChat Session: 15.Apr.2013

In frequent sessions of our Chat, Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law in real time. For details on chat participation, click here.

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Question:  Can a person on H-4 travel to India and come back to U.S. with stamping while s/he has an approved H-1?

Senior Attorney:

Yes, a person on H-4 could travel abroad and return as an H-4, even after getting an H1B approved. The question would be the person's status after returning. If the departure was AFTER the H-1 approval and the return was BEFORE the H-1 start date - October 1 for cap cases - the person would be an H-4 upon her/his return, but would get the COS to H-1 on October 1st. Otherwise, if returning to the U.S. AFTER the H-1 start date as an H-4, the person would hold H-4 status.

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Question:  I applied for H1B in general category. When can I expect to get the lottery result?

Senior Attorney:

We have an article on MurthyDotCom about this exact subject. We have not yet received any of the rejected filings. We HAVE received receipt notices from premium processing cases AND even a few approvals for premium processing cases. It is likely to take just a bit longer - maybe another week or two - to start getting the regular receipt notices.

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Question:  If I change my status from H1B to H-4, does it make any impact on my green card process with approved I-140?

Senior Attorney:

The GC process can continue as long as the employer continues to offer the job that forms the basis of the PERM/I-140 approval. So, even if one changes status to H-4, the GC case can continue PROVIDED the employer is willing to continue the case and continue with the job offer for a person who is not employed with the company.

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Question:  If a person is not disabled, does not know English, but has a green card, what are the options for obtaining citizenship?

Senior Attorney:

Unless there is a medical inability to learn a new language (which sometimes can be proven with older people), the only other exceptions from having to be fully tested in civics / English are based upon the length of the GC status and age of the individual. Individuals over 50 years old, who have been LPRs living in the U.S. for 20 or more years, are exempt from the English test. The same is true for people over 55 who have been LPRs living in the U.S. for 15 years. Otherwise, the person has to learn enough English to meet the requirements.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.

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