24 Jun 2019

I am currently in F-1 status, and we just received an RFE on my H1B petition, which was selected in this year’s lottery. Can I convert my pending H1B case to consular processing?

Answer In general, a petitioner may withdraw a request for "change of status" while replying to an RFE, and request approval only for consular notification (i.e., consular processing). (24.Jun.2019)In frequent sessions of our Chat, Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law...

01 Apr 2019

I am in H1B status and am in the process of applying for a green card. If a doctor gives me a prescription for medical marijuana, will that impact my green card case?

Answer One needs to be VERY careful with this. Although many states have legalized marijuana, it is still classified as a Schedule A drug under federal law (the same classification as drugs like heroin and cocaine). Even if state law allows the use of marijuana for...

18 Mar 2019

I filed an application to change status from H-4 to F-1. Can I file a change of status to H1B while the other application is still pending?

Answer Although it is possible to have more than one change-of-status application pending at the same time (seeking different visa classification), it is not possible to hold more than one nonimmigrant status at the same time. The USCIS follows the last-action rule, whereby the last action...

28 Jan 2019

When I was last admitted to the United States in nonimmigrant status, I was issued an I-94 validity that exceeded the validity of the visa foil in my passport. Am I authorized to stay and work in the United States pursuant to my I-94 validity or am I limited by the validity dates listed in my visa foil?

Answer The validity of the visa foil in your passport does not necessarily control the validity of your stay and authorized activities (work, travel) in the United States. It is possible that an I-94 can exceed the validity of a visa foil. Furthermore, different nonimmigrant status...

17 Dec 2018

I am in H-4 status, and am about to graduate with a master’s degree from an online university that is public and accredited. Can I qualify to file an H1B under the master’s cap?

Answer One who has received a master's degree or above from a nonprofit, accredited university normally would be eligible to file under the "master's cap." This applies, even if all the credits are taken through online courses. (There is a strict limit on the number of...