26 Mar 2020

I do not currently have health insurance. In my state, they are offering Coronavirus testing at no cost. If I get tested, will it create public charge issues for me?

Answer In order to encourage testing and treatment of COVID-19, the USCIS is waiving all public charge considerations directly related to this virus. Per the announcement, "USCIS will neither consider testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as...

26 Mar 2020

My employer’s business has closed because of the outbreak, and I have been laid off from my H1B position. I do not wish to return to India right now, because of health concerns. Do I have any options to remain in the U.S.?

Answer Assuming your I-94 is still valid, you likely are eligible for a 60-day grace period (or until the end of your I-94 period, whichever comes first). If you need to stay in the U.S. beyond that point, you may be able to apply for a...

19 Mar 2020

I heard that the USCIS shut down its field offices. Will this impact my pending H1B extension? What about my wife’s H-4 application?

Answer For the time being, the USCIS service centers are still in operation. This means that many types of applications and petitions, including H1B petitions, should continue to be processed. However, biometrics appointments are on hold. Therefore, if your wife has not yet had her biometrics...

19 Mar 2020

I am in H-4 status. I was working for a company, but was just laid off due to the Coronavirus. Am I eligible to collect unemployment? Would that make me a public charge?

Answer Unemployment benefits generally are not taken into consideration for public charge purposes. However, you would need to check with your state's unemployment agency to see if you qualify for this benefit. (18.Mar.2020)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information...

19 Mar 2020

My elderly father entered on a visitor visa about five months ago, and his I-94 is scheduled to expire in about 1 month. I do not think he should travel right now because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Can he extend his stay?

Answer Generally speaking, a person in valid B-1/B-2 status may apply for an extension of stay. Under normal circumstances, the USCIS is often reluctant to approve such applications, as this visa category is generally intended for relatively short trips for business and/or pleasure. However, the USCIS...

12 Mar 2020

I am in H1B status, but my wife is finishing school in India. She has a B-1/B-2 visa in her passport. Can she use this to visit me? Or does she need to get an H-4 visa?

Answer Normally, if a person has a valid B-1/B-2 visa, she could use this to request admission in order to visit her H1B spouse in the U.S. (11.Mar.2020)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services,...

12 Mar 2020

I own a consulting firm and am submitting several H1B registrations on my own. If any are selected, can I use an attorney to file the actual petitions?

Answer Yes, regardless of how the registrations were filed, you may use an attorney to file your H1B petitions. (11.Mar.2020)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here. Copyright © 2020,...

12 Mar 2020

My H1B I-94 is valid for another year, but I was unhappy with my job, so I quit. My employer told me he is going to send a withdrawal notice to the USCIS. Am I still eligible for the 60-day period?

Answer Yes, ordinarily, the fact that the employer has withdrawn the H1B petition would have no impact on your eligibility for the 60-day grace period. (11.Mar.2020)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here....