29 Aug 2022

DOS Update on U.S. Visa Services at Embassies and U.S. Consular Posts

On August 10, 2022, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) shared a briefing where Ms. Julie M. Stufft, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, discussed the status of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates around...

10 Aug 2022

When I entered the U.S. in L-2 status in 2020, I applied for an EAD. Now that I am authorized to work based on being in L2S status, is there any benefit to applying to extend my EAD?

Answer There does not seem to be much benefit to having an EAD based on one's L2S status. When the policy was announced, granting work authorization to L-2 dependent spouses incident to their status, the EAD was useful while waiting to obtain an I-94 updated with...

04 Aug 2022

If I get a U.S. master’s degree while in H-4 status, would that make me eligible for next year’s H1B master’s cap, or do I have to be in F-1 status to qualify?

Answer If you earn a U.S. master's degree from a qualifying university, you normally would qualify for the master's cap. There is no requirement that a person be in F-1 status while attending the school in order to qualify for the master's cap. (03.Aug.2022)Sheela Murthy and...

04 Aug 2022

USCIS Extends Flexibilities Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced two accommodations being made related to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the USCIS again has extended the response time flexibility, initially announced on March 20, 2020. Second, the USCIS has made permanent the policy that allows all...

13 Jul 2022

I filed an application to extend my H-4 status shortly before my I-94 expired. However, the USCIS rejected the package because I forgot to include the filing fee check. The rejection noticed indicated that I am allowed to reapply. If I refile now, does that mean the new filing will be considered as having been filed on time?

Answer No, if the refiling is done after one's I-94 has expired, that application will not be considered to have been timely filed. When the USCIS rejects a package, they typically include a form notice that indicates the person may be eligible to reapply. However, this...

07 Jul 2022

I need to file to extend my H-4 status and the H-4 status of my son. My son is turning 21 next year, so he is only eligible for about 10 months of H-4 time. Is it ok to file his application as an I-539A supplement with my I-539 application?

Answer It is normally possible to file a dependent child's H-4 extension as an I-539A, along with the parent's I-539. However, the USCIS typically will issue the same I-94 expiration date for all the H-4 applicants, included in the I-539 and I-539A/s. So, in a case...

07 Jul 2022

I am doing various freelance jobs based on an H-4 EAD, which is valid through 2023. My H1B registration was selected in the lottery, and that H1B change-of-status request is pending. If the case is approved, do I have to stop using the H-4 EAD immediately?

Answer For an H1B case that was selected in this year's lottery, the petition should have requested a start date of October 1, 2022 or later. If the petition and change-of-status request are approved prior to the requested start date, you should be able to continue...