15 Nov 2022

Serious Immigration Consequences for Marijuana, Despite State Law Changes

Legalization or decriminalization of marijuana at the state level can mislead noncitizens into thinking using marijuana in accordance with state law is legal. Marijuana, however, is a controlled substance under federal law. Therefore, the use, sale, purchase, or even the mere possession of marijuana, in...

10 Nov 2022

My H1B extension was approved, but my wife’s H-4 extension is still pending. We are getting ready to file our I-485 applications. Does she have to wait for her H-4 extension to be approved before applying?

Answer The general requirement is that a foreign national must be in valid status at the time an I-485 application is filed. If an H-4 dependent timely applies for an extension of status, once the I-94 expires, she remains in a period of authorized stay while...

10 Nov 2022

Over the past year, I have worked for three different H1B employers. There were a few reasons for these job changes, but it mainly came down to finding better opportunities for better pay. Are there any immigration risks with multiple job changes while on H1B?

Answer As a general rule, there is no direct, inherent risk in moving between multiple H1B employers. In fact, there have been numerous changes implemented to the H1B program over the years specifically to better ensure that H1B workers are able to change employers as needed....

10 Nov 2022

My employer filed my H1B petition as a Level 1 software developer. However, I have a master’s degree and four years of IT experience. Will this cause my H1B to be denied?

Answer When filing an LCA for an H1B position, the wage level is determined based on the minimum requirements for the position. So, it typically is possible to file an H1B petition for an entry level position, even if the beneficiary has more education and/or experience...

03 Nov 2022

I am in H1B status with an I-94 valid until 2024, but I soon will be laid off. My employer said that, instead of officially laying me off now, they will let me take a voluntary, unpaid leave for 3 months. If I have not found a new employer by then, I can keep searching for another 60 days based on the grace period. Is that correct?

Answer The 60-day grace period for an H1B worker normally begins following the last day of actual employment. While there are situations in which an H1B worker may be granted unpaid leave and still maintain in valid status, this generally is allowed only if it is...