02 Sep 2021

The U.S. Consulate in Chennai issued me an F-1 visa last week, but it does not contain an annotation verifying that I have an NIE. Do I need to go back to the consulate to get this corrected?

Answer This should not be a cause for concern. F-1 students now are generally eligible for blanket waivers. Therefore, no annotation is needed.  (02.Sep.2021)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more...

02 Sep 2021

My H1B was selected in the first lottery, and the petition was approved. During the second lottery, a registration filed for me by a different employer was selected. I would prefer to work for that employer. Can they file an H1B for me?

Answer Generally speaking, having an H1B cap case approved through one company would not prevent a second company with a selected registration from filing an H1B for the same individual.(02.Sep.2021)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE...

26 Aug 2021

I am an Indian citizen and was working in the U.S. in H1B status. In 2019, I was hired by the parent company in Toronto, and I have been working in Canada for the past 18 months. I now wish to return to work for the U.S. subsidiary in H1B status. Do I need to first apply for an NIE? If so, can I do that from Canada, or do I have to go to India?

Answer There is no specific COVID-related travel ban for people who are in Canada, regardless of the person's country of citizenship. Travel via the U.S./Canada land border is mainly restricted to essential travel, but travel by air from Canada to the U.S. is being treated the...

26 Aug 2021

Several months ago, the consulate approved my NIE. I was told that, if I travel again, I would need to apply for a new NIE. However, I recently read that NIEs are being issued for 12 months. Does that rule change apply to me?

Answer Yes, if you were granted an NIE for the COVID travel ban, it should be valid for 12 months from the date of issuance, as long as it is being used for the purposes under which it was granted.  (26.Aug.2021)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys...

19 Aug 2021

I filed my I-485 and, after 180 days, I started looking for a new job. Shortly before I was made an offer by a new employer, my I-485 was approved. Can I still port to the new position?

Answer Generally speaking, once the I-485 has been approved, it is no longer possible to port to a same / similar position pursuant to AC21. As discussed in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Changing Employers After Receiving Employment-Based Green Card (09.Aug.2021), there may be risks associated with leaving...

19 Aug 2021

I was in the U.S. in H1B status, but am now working from India. My H1B approval will expire in a few weeks, but I do not expect to return to the U.S. until around December. Does my employer need to file my H1B extension before the current one expires?

Answer No, if you are not in the U.S., the H1B extension does not need to be filed before the current one expires.  (19.Aug.2021)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more...

19 Aug 2021

I was in the U.S. working pursuant to STEM OPT. Two weeks ago, I needed to return to India for a family emergency. I have a valid F-1 visa, and now wish to return to the U.S. Do I need to first apply for an NIE?

Answer Initially, the guidance from the U.S. Department of State (DOS) regarding F-1 students returning to the U.S. was extremely vague. Fortunately, the DOS has recently clarified that F-1 students (including those on CPT or OPT) who will resume their programs on or after August 1,...

11 Aug 2021

My H1B petition was approved through September 30, 2022. However, I have been stuck in India since the start of the pandemic. Is there a limit on how long I can work for the U.S. company from India? Also, is there a limit on how long my H1B approval will remain valid?

Answer From a U.S. immigration law perspective, there is no limit on how long you can work for a U.S. employer while you are physically in India. Also, there is no limit on how long you can remain in India before returning in H1B status. As...

11 Aug 2021

I read that there is a new process to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) based on an I-485 application. I filed my I-485 a few weeks ago. Can I use that to get an SSN?

Answer It is true that the USCIS has now implemented a process so that one may apply for a Social Security Number as part of the I-485 application process. However, it appears this option is only available for I-485 applications that have not yet been filed....