09 Sep 2021

I am currently in the U.S. and have an approved I-140. I also recently was granted permanent residency in Canada. I would like to work for the U.S. company from Canada, so that I may apply for Canadian citizenship in a few years. Will moving to Canada for a few years impact my I-140?

Answer Generally speaking, leaving the U.S. would have no direct impact on one's approved I-140.  (09.Sep.2021)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here. Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All...

02 Sep 2021

I am currently in the U.S. and have a valid H1B visa. I wish to travel to India, but I am worried I may get stuck there. Can I apply for a national interest exception (NIE) while I am still in the U.S.?

Answer Unfortunately, the answer appears to be no. Until very recently, it seemed possible to apply for an NIE before traveling abroad. However, the U.S. Embassy in India recently updated its webpage to indicate that "[w]e cannot pre-adjudicate NIEs for applicants not currently in India."  (02.Sep.2021)Sheela...

02 Sep 2021

The U.S. Consulate in Chennai issued me an F-1 visa last week, but it does not contain an annotation verifying that I have an NIE. Do I need to go back to the consulate to get this corrected?

Answer This should not be a cause for concern. F-1 students now are generally eligible for blanket waivers. Therefore, no annotation is needed.  (02.Sep.2021)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more...

26 Aug 2021

I am an Indian citizen and was working in the U.S. in H1B status. In 2019, I was hired by the parent company in Toronto, and I have been working in Canada for the past 18 months. I now wish to return to work for the U.S. subsidiary in H1B status. Do I need to first apply for an NIE? If so, can I do that from Canada, or do I have to go to India?

Answer There is no specific COVID-related travel ban for people who are in Canada, regardless of the person's country of citizenship. Travel via the U.S./Canada land border is mainly restricted to essential travel, but travel by air from Canada to the U.S. is being treated the...

26 Aug 2021

Several months ago, the consulate approved my NIE. I was told that, if I travel again, I would need to apply for a new NIE. However, I recently read that NIEs are being issued for 12 months. Does that rule change apply to me?

Answer Yes, if you were granted an NIE for the COVID travel ban, it should be valid for 12 months from the date of issuance, as long as it is being used for the purposes under which it was granted.  (26.Aug.2021)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys...

19 Aug 2021

I was in the U.S. working pursuant to STEM OPT. Two weeks ago, I needed to return to India for a family emergency. I have a valid F-1 visa, and now wish to return to the U.S. Do I need to first apply for an NIE?

Answer Initially, the guidance from the U.S. Department of State (DOS) regarding F-1 students returning to the U.S. was extremely vague. Fortunately, the DOS has recently clarified that F-1 students (including those on CPT or OPT) who will resume their programs on or after August 1,...

11 Aug 2021

My H1B petition was approved through September 30, 2022. However, I have been stuck in India since the start of the pandemic. Is there a limit on how long I can work for the U.S. company from India? Also, is there a limit on how long my H1B approval will remain valid?

Answer From a U.S. immigration law perspective, there is no limit on how long you can work for a U.S. employer while you are physically in India. Also, there is no limit on how long you can remain in India before returning in H1B status. As...

11 Aug 2021

I have a valid H1B visa stamp, but my wife’s H-4 visa has expired. We have to travel to India for an emergency. If we cannot get NIEs, I understand we can go to a different country for 2 weeks to get around the COVID travel ban. However, can my wife apply for a visa at a consulate somewhere other than India?

Answer Normally, most U.S. consulates allow third-country nationals to apply for visas. During the pandemic, however, many consulates have imposed additional restrictions. Prior to scheduling your trip, we recommend checking the particular consulate's website for instructions on eligibility to apply as a third-country national.  (11.Aug.2021)Sheela Murthy...