20 Jul 2020

NewsFlash! Some Consulates Demanding I-20s Showing In-Person Classes, Despite Reversal of Executive Order

As previously reported, on July 14, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reinstated the March 2020 policy, allowing F-1 and M-1 students to temporarily take all courses online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following this announcement, however, numerous designated school officials (DSOs) have reported hearing...

15 Jul 2020

My H1B cap case was filed for consular processing, and it was approved last week. My F-1 OPT expires next month. Is there a way to move to H1B status without having to leave the U.S.?

Answer One in this situation could attempt to have the company file an H1B petition, requesting a change of status to H1B. However, there are some legal issues to this strategy that first should be discussed with a qualified attorney. (13.Jul.2020)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys...

13 Jul 2020

NewsFlash! Consulates May Begin Phased Resumption of Visa Services, Effective July 15th

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has announced via Twitter that "[b]eginning July 15, US Embassies and Consulates may begin the phased resumption of routine visa services depending on local conditions." No further details have been provided.As previously reported, the consulates are not expected to...

01 Jul 2020

Now that Trump has signed an executive order to suspend approval of green cards for those outside of the U.S., can we still apply for I-130 for parents who are in India?

Answer The Executive Order only prohibits the issuance of visas at consulates. It does not prevent the adjudication of I-130 petitions, and these should progress normally, as far as we know. (01.Jul.2020)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on...

01 Jul 2020

Prior to issuance of the executive order, I scheduled an appointment to get my H1B visa stamp at a consulate in September. Can I still proceed to the appointment?

Answer If one was outside of the U.S. as of June 24th and does not presently have a valid H1B visa or travel document (e.g., advance parole), then the executive order likely prevents one in this situation from being issued an H1B visa. (01.Jul.2020)Sheela Murthy and...

17 Jun 2020

I am a U.S. citizen, and my parents are currently visiting from India. They had planned on going home in May, but that has not been possible. Can I sponsor them for a green card now? Does President Trump’s executive order prohibit that?

Answer U.S. citizens normally can apply for their parents' "green cards" if they are physically present in the U.S. and have been legally admitted. This is done by filing an application for adjustment of status. The rules from the Trump administration, thus far, have had no...

09 Jun 2020

I am in India and have an approved H1B petition with a new employer. I was scheduled to get my H1B visa “stamp” in March, but the consulates were closed. Can the employer start a PERM case for me now? Or, do I have to wait until I come to the U.S.?

Answer Ordinarily, a U.S. company can initiate the PERM process at any time, even if the beneficiary has not yet joined the company and/or is not in the United States. (09.Jun.2020)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our...