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...

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...

25 Mar 2019

I applied for an H1B visa at the consulate, but was issued a 221(g) several months ago. The U.S. employer grew tired of waiting and fired me. My wife is in the U.S. in H1B status. Can I now apply for an H-4 visa?

Answer There is nothing preventing one in this situation from scheduling another interview and applying for an H-4 visa. You likely will be asked to withdraw the pending H1B, which is of little impact, as the job is no longer available anyway. (25.Mar.2019)In frequent sessions of...

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...

11 Mar 2019

USCIS Revises Policy on Travel While AP is Pending

The policy regarding overseas travel, while an I-131 application for advance parole (AP) is pending, has been updated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Effective immediately, the USCIS will not deny a pending I-131 renewal based on overseas travel by the applicant, as...

11 Mar 2019

I applied for my H-4 EAD last month, and now I need to fly back to India for a short trip. Will that impact my pending EAD?

Answer One needs to be in the U.S. to file for H-4 EAD. However, travel after filing should not affect the processing. (11.Mar.2019)In frequent sessions of our Chat, Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law in real time. For details on...

21 Feb 2019

NewsFlash! Rule Proposing End of H-4 EAD Program Moving Forward

Yesterday, the proposed regulation to terminate the program that allows certain H-4 spouses to obtain employment authorization was submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This is one of the required steps in the formal rulemaking process, and signals that the...