13 May 2019

My H-4 extension was denied, and the denial notice say that I need to update USCIS within 33 days. I have a pending I-485 and a valid EAD/AP, so I no longer need the H-4 extension. Do I still need to respond to the denial notice?

Answer It is a common misunderstanding that the "33-day" period mentioned in a denial notice is a mandatory response deadline. In fact, this is the deadline to file an optional motion to reopen or to appeal a denial. It is not mandatory, does not provide any...

13 May 2019

My H-4 I-94 is valid for two more years, but my H-4 visa has expired. If I go to Canada for a few days, do I need to get a new visa “stamp” before I can return to the U.S.?

Answer Under the contiguous territory rule, one generally can go to Canada or Mexico using automatic visa revalidation ("AVR") for up to 30 days if one's I-94 is unexpired. A valid visa stamp is NOT required to reenter the U.S. However, one cannot use "AVR" if...

07 May 2019

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...

29 Apr 2019

I applied for an H-4 EAD renewal, and my current H-4 EAD is about to expire. Can I keep working while the renewal application is pending?

Answer Unfortunately, there is no automatic extension of work authorization upon filing the H-4 EAD extension. One must wait for the new EAD, if the existing one has expired, and is not permitted to work. (29.Apr.2019)In frequent sessions of our Chat, Sheela Murthy and other senior...

29 Apr 2019

I am in H-4 status, but do not have an H-4 EAD. Can I open an LLC and start an online business?

Answer One who is in H-4 status, without an EAD, is not permitted to be employed. Self-employment, or opening one's own business almost certainly would be considered unauthorized employment. (29.Apr.2019)In frequent sessions of our Chat, Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the...

15 Apr 2019

I am a U.S. citizen, and I filed an I-130 for my parents. However, they do not yet wish to apply for green cards. In the meantime, are they allowed to visit me on their B-2 visas?

Answer Someone who is the beneficiary of a pending or approved I-130 petition likely will be subject to a higher degree of scrutiny and questioning by CBP if they try to enter the U.S. as a visitor. (15.Apr.2019)In frequent sessions of our Chat, Sheela Murthy and...

01 Apr 2019

I was born in India, but moved to England at the age of 3 and became a British citizen. Is it possible to use my country of citizenship in applying for a green card?

Answer Generally, one is counted against the country of birth (or spouse's country of birth), not country of citizenship.There are limited circumstances in which one's country of citizenship can be used - typically, this occurs when the child is born in a country where neither parent...

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...