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Subject: Immigration (USA) FAQ: H visa questions and answers (part 3 of 6)

This article was archived around: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 14:00:50 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: us-visa-faq
All FAQs posted in: alt.visa.us, misc.immigration.usa
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Archive-name: us-visa-faq/part3 Last-Modified: 21 December 1998
The USA Immigration FAQ is maintained by Rajiv S. Khanna [rskhanna@immigration.com] If you have access to the Web you can access the FAQ from http://www.immigration.com Many FAQs, including this one, are available via FTP on the archive site rtfm.mit.edu in the directory pub/usenet/news.answers. The path for this faq is /pub/usenet/news.answers/us-visa-faq/part3. To get the FAQ by E-mail, you should send a message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with send usenet/news.answers/us-visa-faq/part3 in the body of the message. Please see part1 of this faq for standard disclaimers. Individuals are encouraged to submit corrections, questions and answers to rskhanna@immigration.com directly. In many answers below, submitters are noted in parentheses at the beginning of comments. (Comments may be slightly edited.) "WE CLAIM NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION. APPLICATION OF LAW CAN VARY DRASTICALLY ACCORDING TO THE FACTS OF A PARTICULAR CASE. THE FAQ IS NOT MEANT TO BE SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE. IT IS ONLY A STARTING POINT. MUCH OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE FAQ IS PROVIDED BY LAYPERSONS. PLEASE USE YOUR OWN JUDGMENT." Questions marked with a <<New>> indicate questions new to this issue; those with significant changes of content since the last issue are marked by <<Changed>>: H visa questions and answers ----------------------------- Q1:-Following question 2 can I become full-time employee at Y and then continue working for X part-time? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Certainly, but you will need to file a new H-1 even for X, because if the old H-1 were approved for full time employment, the change to part-time requires a new H-1, UNLESS the old H-1 (with X) was for a range of hours (10-40 hrs./week). Q2:-Hello Mr. Khanna. I have a question regarding LCA. Is the LCA specific to a state? For example, can I take an LCA form from one state and fill it and send the completed form to another state? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] The forms for LCA are federal (ETA 9035). Therefore, they are the same all over U.S. The certified LCA itself, however, is valid only in the region where it is certified and for the job location it is certified. Q3:-How many days/weeks/months does it take to get a H-1B? Ans:-[from B.G. Mahesh, mahesh@mahesh.com] [modified by rskhanna@immigration.com] This depends partly on the state you reside. Generally after your LCA, it should about 1-8 weeks to get your H-1B visa. Q4:-I have a H-1B visa and I want to change jobs. Is it possible for my new employer to file for my H-1B without my original H-1B document which is with my present employer? Ans:-[From many on the net] [modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Yes, you don't require the original H-1B document from your present employer to get a new H-1B. A xerox copy of the old H1 approval is sufficient (if at all needed) to file for a change of employer (Even though you have to go through the whole process of getting the first H1B approval). Q5:-How much is the fee for H-1B, H4. Ans:-[Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] H-1B : Correct fee IF you are changing status (e.g. from F-1 to H-1) and applying for H-1 is $155. If you are already in H-1, the fee is $125 (For people already in the U.S.). H4 : Many variables. Check with your lawyer or INS. Q6:-I did not get a "Blue" form with my H-1B visa approval notice. Why? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] INS has started using a new "Notice of Action" form. H approvals used to arrive on blue forms. They will now be arriving on white forms with a watermark of the statue of liberty and with the bottom portion being an I-94 to be cut and retained by the foreign worker in question. Incidentally, the new form is called an I-797A. Q7:-Could netters please provide some personal experiences of H-1 multiple entry visas from (Canada: Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver ---- Mexico: Juarez)?<<Changed>> Ans:----------- CANADA ---------- Halifax, Canada ---------------- 7 July 1997 Hi Mr.Khanna, Your FAQ was very useful for me. I am adding my experience in Halifax, Canada where I got my H1B visa on July 7,1997. I got the appointment through the 900 number. Actually, I could not get the apptmt anywhere else(Toronto, Quebec city etc.) so Halifax was the only place. Also a thing to note is that, I was asked to call on a particular day(June 17) to make the apptmt for July 7th, but when I called that early morning, they were are taken up in all places except Halifax. So I guess they do not necessarily give away apptmts two-three weeks in advance. The documents I had were LCA, I-797, the petition, I20s, I-94s, Apptmt letter, Degree Certificate, (I also had a letter showing my date of graduation just to show that I had finished my degree before my joining date), Pay stubs, EAD, Bank statement,Employement verification letter, OF-156 with photograph(on a light background), job offer letter, company ID, transcript from University. They took all originals from me and made a copy of them I think, before they returned them. The visa officer asked me the dates in USA, where I was, what I was doing etc, my work and my period of stay in US. Then they took $100 + $20(processing fee) and gave me my visa. The whole process took a few hours only, so I got the visa the SAME DAY. Halifax was a small consulate with few people, but were very particular about the documents. I was there at 8:30 am when they opened the office and the processing started immediately. They were pretty courteous and prompt. There is a garage for parking next to the Coxwell towers. There is a mall in the building, a hotel etc. etc. - the consulate is on the nineth floor. HALIFAX is a beautiful sea-side town, did a lot of site-seeing there. -- Ashok ashok@zko.dec.com [Various People on the net including Dip, NANDID@UCBEH.SAN.UC.EDU] [Modified by rskhanna@immigration.com] NOTE: ****** For all consulates in Canada, First obtain an appointment by calling 1-900-443-3131 [From Vijay Jagannath, srivij@nando.net] Halifax ---------- Hi Mr. Khanna! Your FAQs proved to be very useful when we prepared our list of documents to appear for a H1-B and H4 visa recently in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I am documenting my experience in Halifax 'because I didn't see anybody mentioning about appearing for any kind of Visas there. This US Consulate is located on the 9th floor of Chateau Halifax (a hotel) in downtown Halifax. The phone # is (902) 429-2480. The processing time for H1-B visas is 1 week. We appeared on 10th April 1996 and we submitted the following documents (may not be the same set for everybody!) as per the official's request: 1. Application form with the processing fee of US $20 each (H1-B & H4). 2. Letter from the employer 3. Passports 4. H1-B & H4 approval notice 5. Passport photos They asked us to return after a week 'because they needed 7 days to check on the background and stuff. We reappeared on 17th April. There was a wait of a couple of hours before we ere interviewed. The official just asked me for my EAD and asked my wife about the date of the marriage, the reason for visiting Canada,etc. That's it! Our visas were approved and we had to pay US $100 each as the reciprocity fee. This varies based on the nationality. I reiterate,the list of documents that I have provided may NOT be the same for EVERYBODY. It's better to be equipped with more documents rather than repenting on the spot. This is a small Consulate. It's just a suite on the 9th floor. They issue visas only on Mon.,Wed and Fri. between 8.30am-11.30am Atlantic Time (1 hr. ahead of EST). They are open to inquiries after 2pm on these days. So,if you have 10 days at your disposal,this is a beautiful place for vacationing also. Montreal<<New>> --------- Wed, 10 Dec 1997 16:35:21 -0500 (From a Netter) Hi Rajiv, Your FAQ site really helped me in preparing for my visit and interview .I successfully obtained my H-1B multiple entry visa in December of 1997.My experiences and observations are as follows. Case : H-1B multiple entry after converting from H-4 to H-1. I had entered the united states on an H-4 dependant visa and later my employer sponsored me for an H-1B. Pre Interview : 1. I had to call the 1-900... number for almost a month before I could reserve an appointment. The entire process is computerised and you have to make sure you call punctually in order to get through. You will get a reference number. Note this number carefully. 2. Interview Date is given 2-3 weeks from the date of fixing the appointment. The consulate will post you an appointment letter . 3. Now-a-days one requires a Canadian Visa to gain entry into Canada. So if you decide to go to Canada for the multiple entry make sure you have a canadian visa long before you are due in Canada. 4. If you are a married lady and entered the US on an H-4 stamped on your maiden name, and the H-1 petition is on your married name, make sure the name has been changed to your married name on your passport to reflect the same. Documentation : 1.Original I-797 .(or, approved petition) 2.Copy of I-129 ( petition filed for H-1B) 3.Copy of Labor Form 4.Copy of latest pay stubs.(Carry all of them to be on the safe side) 5.Copy of degree evaluation done by your employer when filing for your H-1. 6.All original transcripts with copies 7.Letter from Human Resource stating your designation, salary ,duration and nature of work. 8.Attested copy of marriage certificate (if Lady) .Take the original along with you too if you have it. 9.All your passports and I-94 along with the latest I-94. 10.Passport must be valid for atleast 6 months more than the date of expiry of H-1. 11. Letters of reference from your last job if any. 12.Offer Letter from your company. 13.completed application form 14.passport size photo 15.visa Fees. 16.Appointment Letter from Consulate. The consulate opens at 8:30 AM. There is no numbering system so no point standing in Queue. At the security check you will be asked to show if you have the $20 processing fee. Without that you can't proceed further. After the security check we were made to wait in a room. You have to pay the application fee here and then take the elevator to the 19th floor. It opens on the other side. You will be first directed to one window where your papers will be checked and your name will be announced to meet the counsular for the interview. He is the one who will give/deny your Visa. If the Visa is approved, you have to pay the fee of $100 dollars in denominations of $20 or less, no coins accepted. Questions asked : Q: What is the name of your company? Q: How many employees does it have? Q: What is your role here ? Q: What did you do for xyz company in xyz country before coming here ? Q: What was your role in that company? Note : The person interviewing you is highly qualified and knowledgeable. He/she will question you extensively about your field of work. Also asked to see all my original transcripts, original marriage certificate and pay stubs. India is famous for document fraud so the consular will make sure the transcripts are not faked. The entire interview process took 10-15 minutes and mine was approved, although 4 people before me were rejected. Passport had to be collected next working day between 2.00 & 3.00 pm. Suggestions : 1.Stay at the Travelodge in downtown Montreal on Rene Levesque. It's reasonable and takes less than 5 minutes to the consulate if you decide to walk down. 2.Take Some canadian exchange. Very often the American dollar is treated at par with the Canadian dollar you might end up losing some foreign exchange. 3.Dress formally.(Avoid chewing gum :). The lady before me was and she was rejected) 4.Answer crisply ,politely and to the point. 5.Brush up on your French. I hope the above information is helpful. June 20 1996 [From: Saqueb Ali saqueb@jeflin.tju.edu] ------------- Experience in getting H-1B from Montreal on June 20th, 1996 [by Saqueb Ali and Toufique Khan] Getting H-1B from Montreal was a pretty interesting experience. First one need to get a Canadian visa. They require - I-797 (original or copy) - I-94 (original) - Your appointment letter with the consulate - US$40 (single entry) or US$65(multiple entry) cash only!!! It is better to make appointment with the US consulate before taking the Canadian visa. For all consulates in Canada, First obtain an appointment by calling1- 900-443-3131 US consulate at Montreal address: 1155 St. Alexandria (Between St. Catherine and Rene Levesque. ) Paperworks usually asked for: 1. Original H1-B approval notice (I-797) 2. Petition for H1-B, I -129 (copy) 3. Approved ETA-9035 (Labor Condition Application) 4. Original Degree and transcripts 5. Letter from employer stating the title, salary, job description, why need to travel etc. (should address to the visa officer at the consulate). I got away with a letter from HR, stating just my status, title, salary and starting date. 6. Last I-20 (if applicable) 7. Employment Authorization Card (for F-1 practical training) 6. Pay stubs and ID 7. Completed application form (OF-156 which comes with the appointment letter) with one picture stapled 8. US$20 as visa application fee (cash only) 9. For Bangladesh nationals, no reciprocatory fee. Please verify though. 10. Job offer letter It is also a good idea to file a change in consulate location (if different from H-1B petition) with INS before going to that particular consulate. They might want to see that. No need to stand in the line as the appointment has already been made. We went there around 8:05 am. Around 8:15 we took the elevator to the 19the floor and paid the $20 application fee. Then we stood in another line gave the application form, passport, I-797 and whatever documents they asked for. They wanted to see the letter from HR, H-1B petition. Then me and my friend waited for an hour before our name was called. I was asked questions like where I work and what I do? The # of employees at my workplace. Wanted to see my degree, I-797, I-129, LCA, the letter from HR. He did not ask me any more questions. I was interviewed for only 2 minutes. The officer who took my friend's interview was pretty rude. My friend was asked, what is so special in him that he got the job right after graduation, and lots of questions regarding studies and work experience etc.......he was there for 10 minutes. One other person who was denied the H-1B was pleading to the officer that he was saying the truth. That only increases the suspicion of the INS officer. Be straight and concise. They also denied quite a few number of H-1B visas on the same day we went for the interview. The visa was given between 2-3 p.m. the next working day. We stayed at Travelodge which was only 5 minutes walk to US consulate. Travelodge: Reservations: 1-800-255-3050 Montreal Center; 50 Blvd. Rene-Levesque, Montreal Quebec. Ph: 514-874-9090 --------------------------XXXX--------------- Montreal: US consulate phone # 514-398-9695 [Addition From Raghu, rraman@kcc.com] Once the doors open at around 7:45am, people are made to sit in a room after security check. There is no numbering system in the room. Hence, it doesn't make much sense standing in line very early. After 8:30 am, you are allowed to take the elevator up to the 19th floor to the visa section. (Note: The elevator doors open on the other side when you get off!) Three counters operate simultaneously to check your paperwork. The officer I went to was quite rude and asked me a lot of questions. Some other people with me had a similar experience. One person was asked for his I-20 from school, EAD and all diplomas. Its best keep all the documents handy. However, some folks got off quite easy. The actual interview was quite simple. Just some questions about the kind of work I do etc. The passports are issued next business day between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. Overall, a good experience. Places to visit in Montreal: Biodome, Olympic stadium, Mont Royale, Casino, St. Catherine St., Old Montreal etc., lots French cafes, old churches and historical landmarks. Helpful hint when finding your way around : a little bit of French is very useful Accommodation : Travelodge in downtown Montreal is walking distance from the consulate. Approx. Can $55/day. Ottawa [OLD] -------- Ottawa: I decided to go to Ottawa, but you have to call and an appointment. Address: 85 Albert Street, suite 805. Tel: 613-238-4470 ext. 300. It is very difficult to get them to talk to you, so you have to keep trying. I got them on Tuesday in between 2-4 p.m. Once you have the appointment, the rest is easy. H-1 appointments are made on Tuesday mornings only (8:30 am to noon). You need: passport, H-1 approval form, Photo, Job letter, Labor certification, pay stubs, $ 100 cash. The above items will be mentioned to you when you call to make the appointment. The visa is given to you on Wednesday at 3 p.m. Place to stay: I stayed at the Butler Motor Hotel, 112 Montreal Road (tel : 613-746-4641). There are several Motels on the same street. The daily charge, including breakfast, is $ Canadian 44:50/day. Ottawa is a beautiful city and you will have enough time to check out the downtown which is pretty. Quebec City [OLD] ----------- Quebec City: US consulate phone # 418-692-2095. I believe that in For Quebec, starting from Nov. 1'94 anybody applying for visa needs prior appointment. Visa working days are Mon.,Wed and Fri. If you are granted visa, your passport will be given on next "visa working day". --------- Where to stay in Quebec? [from Kalpesh Sheth, ksheth@BBN.COM] US consulate is surrounded by number of hotels/motels (chateau in French). Consulate is in old Quebec city and be sure to make reservation in the hotel, which is nearby consulate. Any thing in old Quebec city is walking distance. Avoid taking car to consulate if possible, because parking is rare (or you can park in one of the paid garage and then walk for 2 min.). I stayed at Hotel Chateau Bellevue(1-800-463-2617). It was right in front of consulate. Price was CAN$59/night. Other which are nearby are Au Chateau Fleur De Lys(1-800-567-2106), Le Chateau De Pierre (1-418-694-0429). For more details refer to AAA tour book on Quebec. Consulate is loc. at 2,Terrasse Dufferin, in downtown Quebec. Once your apt. day is over you can look around for cheaper deals. ------ How is the experience of getting H1 Multiple from Quebec? from Kalpesh Sheth, ksheth@BBN.COM] Very very friendly. When you fill up the form, one person will ask you different questions about your case and charge you US$ 20 right away as visa processing fees. After that, you will be asked to sit down and wait for officer to call your name. He asked me different questions like how is it like to work with my company. What kind of products you have, what do you do etc. I gave him enough doze of buzzwords that he can't understand! Then he asked for my EAD card (may be just wanted to make sure my transition from F-1 to H-1 was without any holes :-)). That's it!! He told me to come back on Monday (as my apt. was on Friday) to pick up my visa. They will charge another US$ 100 for visa. (Total cost of visa is US$ 100 + US$ 20 = $120) Toronto --------- [From: Sharma, Lalit, Sharma@po9.bb.unisys.com] 19 June 1996 F1 to Multiple H-1B from Toronto ----------------------------------------------- I made an appointment through' the 900 number. got the date 2 weeks later on Friday, June 7, 1996 at 8a. Got this confirmation through' mail. Even though I had the the appointment, that was just the permission to stand in line. So reaching there at 7.45a made me wait behind 125 people. My turn finally came at 10.30a. The guy at the counter asked a few questions: whether I was legally authorized to work, Transcripts, Degree, I-797, I-129, LCA. This took about 10 minutes. After this I ( and all others) was asked to wait for the second interview. They called out names for this one. This time, I was only asked how was this job related to my academic qualifications. (Showed my transcript). I have a MS in EE and am working as a Systems Analyst/Programmer. For the second interview, one of the person behind the counter is highly knowledgeable in various fields. So If you are a programmer and have a degree in Mechanical engineering, he will ask you all types of questions to make contact between your Mechanical engineering thesis and the programmer job. Staying at Toronto: Executive Motor Hotel (Kings Ave.) which is about 15-20 minutes walk to the consulate. cost is $45.00 Canadian. Just outside the Consulate on Queens Ave. is an Indian restaurant Babur's Restaurant which provides lunch Buffet. The passport was returned the following Monday at 3p. So had two days to discover Toronto: CN Tower, space museum, Bata Shoe museum, Univ. of Toronto, Eaton Shopping Center etc. Toronto - 2 ---------------- From: neiko@ix.netcom.com (Daniel) [3 June 1996] (been there last week-end) 1) Directions: from Detroit-Windsor (by car) take 401East (to London), when close to Toronto, take 427 South, then QEW (Queen expressway) East and exit York St., go North (for about 1/2 mile) and ask someone for the U.S. Consulate (it's on University Ave, pretty close from York St.). It takes about 31/2 - 4hrs from Detroit (depending how fast you drive) 2) Be there between 8:00 - 10:30, no matter when you get there, you're still looking at about 3-4 hours waiting. They'll ask if you have an appointment, if you don't have one, they'll give you the numbers to call for future reference (in the U.S. is (900) 443-3131 and from Canada is (900) 451-2778) but they'll take you anyway. 3) Passports can be picked up the following working day, between 3:00 - 4:00pm. Take all the papers you have, just in case, and enjoy Toronto, it's a beautiful place with an awful traffic (at any time). Vancouver, Canada --------------------- Date: Fri., 16 Aug. 96 10:24:36 PDT [From: John Chung jen Hsu, johnhsu@eng.adaptec.com] Hi Mr. Rajiv, First let me thanks for your answer before I took off to Canada. The following is the experience I had for H1B and H4 visa application from Vancouver. We took off last Wednesday (8/16) afternoon, arrived Seattle and I rent a car driving to Vancouver. I felt good for the immigration officer in the Canada border. Next day, Thursday, my appointment was 8:00am. The consulate in Vancouver arrange applicant to come in the time order. We paid $20 US dollar then went up to 20th floor to interview. It took us around 1 and 1/2 hour to wait. The officer ask me for I-797, passport, and diploma. She ask me how many non American worker in my group, when did I came in USA last time, and how long I have been in my company. Over all the process was smooth. At last, she tore out my old I-94 and told us to pick up passport next day. Thanks for your help again, John Hsu ---------- MEXICO ---------- Juarez - [NEW] -------------- Vanishree Velichety 06/09/97 03:08 PM Hi Rajiv, Thanks a lot as I have benefited from your immigration web site and your help over the phone. I am sending in my experience in Juarez, Mexico on 23rd May. I will not be repeating the detailed process as it is already available on the FAQ web page. There are some different things which I would like others to know. Now a days one has to take appointment for Mexico and the appointment number is the same 900 number on the FAQ page. Now a days one needs an Mexican visa to enter Mexico, this is also taken care by Victor Garcia. The fees he charges now a days is $25.00(mexican visa)+$35.00 for the taxi. So, as soon as the appointment is taken one has to speed post the following to Victor Garcia's address, which one can get by calling his home (915) 564-3691 -- 1. copy of the main passport pages -- which has name and picture 2. copy of the current visa stamp on passport 3. copy of I-797 4. Notarised Spanish letter -- Victor will fax a sample letter to you, if you contact him. 5. Either ones appointment letter (with the consulate, which comes from Canada) or the appointment number which one gets as soon as appointment is fixed. 6. Date of your appointment, time does not matter as it is 10:00AM for everybody! The above documents helps him to get a Mexican visa for you. List of documents which you carry is the most important as everybody else has also mentioned. List is already available on FAQ page. Only one suggestion -- take all documents related to your present and all previous jobs, all documents related to your studies and anything connected by USA. Now a days i.e. since past 2 months, most of the people who have been there seemed to get visa. Yes, before that for a few months it was very strict. But now, not too many go there. The day I visited this place only 7 foreigners were there and out of which 5 were Indians. All of us got visa except one but he was rejected due to lack of proper documents. One nice thing about the present appointment system is that you do not have to go to the consulate at 4:00AM and wait, you can reach that place at 10:00 AM i.e. 9:00AM El Paso time -- no more long Que. In the beginning one person takes the following documents (may vary slightly in different cases) -- 1. I-797 -- original 2. Pay stub 3. Attorney certified copy of I-129 4. Attorney certified copy of LCA 5. Passport 6. Appointment letter 7. Application form + a passport size photograph 8. Letter from the company describing the purpose 9. W4 10. copy of degree certificate Then you are asked to wait -- could be an hour waiting also. Then another person comes with all your submitted documents and calls out your name and interviews you. Sometimes, you might be asked a lot of questions but if you have supporting documents -- you got it! I am writing in short my experience -- Q8:-I am full time employee at X on H1 visa. When I get new H1 for company Y, does the old H1 gets automatically canceled or is it valid till I actually resign from X? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] INS has recently given an opinion that unless the old H-1 is specifically canceled or invalidated, it continues to be valid. Q9:-How do you prove that you qualify for the job? Ans:-(As I have an Indian Eng. degree and Indian experience only) I just show him the "Education evaluators certificate" which says that my Indian Eng. degree is equivalent to US Eng. degree. Q10:-My H-1B is up for renewal after three years . It was received without the DOL Clearance that is required now a days. Will the renewal need such a clearance from DOL ? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Yes, you will now need clearance ("LCA"). Q11:-Is there any special requirement to get H-1B ? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Yes. Basically, You must have the U.S. equivalent of a Bachelor's degree in a specialized subject (such as computer science, economics etc.) and the job must require such specialization. There are many other requirements, but this is where you begin. Q12:-If my company is bought by another company is my H-1B visa still valid? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] According to INS, if the successor company undertakes all rights, liabilities, assets and privileges of the previous employer - the H visas are valid even after the takeover. In simple English, get an opinion from a lawyer in writing. Otherwise, all H visa holders could be out of status. Q13:-I am coming up on the second three year extension on my current H-1B visa. If I change employers 3 months into the extension, will I be able to use the remaining 2yrs 9 months with another employer on a new H-1B ? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Yes you will, but you do have to get a new H-1B classification. Q14:-Should I wait for my H-1B approval before I join the new job? Ans:-[this question is related to the previous question ] [from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] You must wait to get the second H-1B approved. H visas are employer specific. Q15:-During the process of H-1B visa, suppose if I get a better job what happens ? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Apply for a new H-1B Q16:-Having H-1B visa with one company, can I work some where else also, like part time job ? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] You will have to get another H visa for the second employers. Note, you can simultaneously hold more than one H visas. Q17:-Can I get a H-1B visa for a part time job? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Yes. Q18:-Say, if my employer in US has got H-1 visa approval from INS, does that ensure that I can get H-1 visa ?<<Changed>> Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Normally, yes. But there can be no guarantees. The problem most often encountered is that H-1 is approved for one job site, but the employee is working at another. Lately, we have been finding consulates creating many problems in addition to the above: - Prove the employer can pay the wages - Prove that the beneficiary is qualified for the job Q19:-What forms are needed for H-1B visa and where can I get it? Ans:-[from Philip.Tong] [Modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Form I-129 and H Supplement. You can get it from your INS office. Q20:-Does the lawyer need to reside in the same city/state where I live? Ans:-[from B.G. Mahesh, mahesh@mahesh.com] NO! Most of the work is done by phone/fax [and email in few cases :-) ] So it doesn't make a big difference where the lawyer resides unless you are expecting complications which may require you to meet the lawyer personally. Q21:-How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for a H-1B visa? Ans:-[from B.G. Mahesh, mahesh@mahesh.com] Anywhere between $700-$1500. I have known people hiring lawyers for just $700 and having a TOUGH time getting their H-1B visa because the lawyer was not very good. This doesn't mean all lawyers charging less than $1000 are bad and the ones charging > $1000 are good :-) Q22:-Do I need to hire a lawyer for H-1B/GC? Ans:-[from B.G. Mahesh, mahesh@mahesh.com] [Modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Getting your H-1B should be pretty straight forward but now a days things are getting tough. One needs to know the various rules/laws of immigration. One must be ready to devote a lot of their personal time to get a H-1B/GC on their own. In a nutshell, if you or your employer can afford a lawyer hire a lawyer. Most people who process their H-1 without legal help open their employers and themselves up to liability. Only 10% of H-1 processing is filing forms. Rest of the requirements exist in the background. The employer is required to maintain various items of documentation. These are not submitted to regulatory authorities, which is why most people do succeed in obtaining their H-1. If, however, there were an audit by the authorities, there could be major problems. Q23:-So what the heck is an "H-1B (or H-1)?" Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] I receive so many inquiries on this. So, here are some excerpts from our files for you folks: An H-1B classification is available, for a period not to exceed a total of six years, to a foreign employee: A. who will be incumbent in a temporary position ("temporary" is defined as that which is not permanent, or that which is for a definite term as opposed to an indefinite term); B. who will perform services in a specialty occupation (Most professional jobs are classified as "specialty occupations"); and C. on whose behalf the employer has obtained an approved Labor Condition Application (A Labor Condition Application serves, amongst other things, to ensure that the employer is not paying less than prevailing wages). H-1B Visa (Procedure) 1. Obtaining Labor Condition Application ("LCA") a. Obtaining Prevailing Wage Determination We first need to obtain a prevailing wage determination from the local employment office that has jurisdiction over the geographical area of employment. Having obtained the prevailing wage for the offered position we will then file an LCA with Department of Labor. b. Applying to the U.S. Department of Labor An LCA is an application to the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL"), whereby an employer assures the DOL that hiring of a foreign worker would not be detrimental to similarly situated U.S. workers. DOL will routinely approve the LCA if it is completed and signed. The approved LCA will then be sent back to us for filing with the Immigration & Naturalization Service along with the petition for H-1B classification. 2. Filing with the Immigration & Naturalization Service ("INS") Filing with the INS entails submitting proof of the employee's qualifications and of the offered job conforming to the criteria explained above in this letter. Additionally, certain forms will be submitted describing the job and providing certain basic information about the employer. Application to the INS is the last step in the H-1B classification process. On rare occasions INS may require further documentation to prove various elements of H-1B classification. What is Required of the Employer 1. Maintaining Documentation The LCA process requires that the employer maintain in its office a file containing documentation of various assertions that the employer will be making in the LCA application. One example of this documentation would be the prevailing wage determination that we obtain from the local employment office. Please note, we are not required to submit this documentation to the DOL, only to maintain it. I will describe this documentation in further detail before we file the LCA. I may add that the employer's failure to comply with these procedures could lead to, among other things, money penalties and imposition of a ban on the employer against hiring other H-1B workers. The DOL has indicated that it considers the entire process to be "complaint driven." That is, unless somebody complains, the DOL will routinely certify all LCAs. 2. Other Liabilities Under the regulations, if the employer were to dismiss the employee during H-1B classification status, the employer could be liable to pay the employee's return fair to his or her last place of foreign residence. Please note that this liability continues only during the H-1B status. Change of status to permanent residence or any other change of employee's status, absolves the employer of this liability. Q24:-How did you get the present job? Ans:-Through an newspaper ad. Q25:-Can you get fake degrees in India? Ans:-Not that I know of. Q26:-If my employer has got H-1 visa approval, can I apply for visa either in Korea or in Japan ? does that matter ? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] You are normally best advised to apply from the country of last residence or home country. But as a practical matter, a U.S. consulate in a third country may give you the visa. It depends upon whether or not that consulate accepts H-1 applications from persons not connected with their consulate. Under the 1996 immigration law, if you have ever been out of status, you will not be permitted to apply for a visa in a third country, unless you fall under certain limited exceptions. Some more details on http://www.immigration.com Q27:-If an individual starts processing an H1-B through one company while working for another through an H1-B and leaves the current company before the new H1-B is approved, how much time can individual stay in the US? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] 10 days. Q28:-Can I submit a LCA, then resign and then stay in US legally? or do I have to wait till I get LCA certified, file a petition for H1 and then resign to stay in US? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] You can resign whenever you want, as long as you have another legal status (such as an F-1 visa). No restriction. Q29:-Can someone on H4 take up an assistantship after being admitted to school based on the fact that he/she has applied for status change to F1 at INS? Ans:-[From Pramod S. Badjate, badjatep@agcs.com] *No*. Some of the people who had responded to this said that proof of application for status change (to F1) is sufficient to start working part-time at school. However, the ISO advisor at my school and Mr. Rajiv Khanna (a helpful lawyer on net who can be reached at rskhanna@immigration.com) said that while you are on H4, work is not permissible. You have to have your F1 to begin work at school. Q30:-I am already on H1 from X company and have an offer to work for Y company on parttime basis. My question is can I still obtain H1B for that company. And would it have any effect on My green card processing which has not yet begun. Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] You may do a part time H-1. For GC, there is no affect. Q31:-I've seen people who have two H1 visas due to a change in job - now, my friend has a problem - she is in India and has a H1 visa for company A. She however has not been able to come here due to personal problems. If she were to seek a job from some other company B in the US, is it required that she must have used her H1 for A before B can process a H1 for her? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] There is no such requirement. She can go forward with co. B. Q32:-I am currently on H1B for the past three years. Next year I plan to go to school full-time and hence will have my H1B converted to F1 student visa). It will probably take me a year and a half to get my degree. This means that I will have been on an H1B for 4 years and then on a F1 for 1.5 years. My question is, can I get another H1B after I come out of school? What will be the duration of that H1B? Since the maximum duration of a H1B is 6 years, will my earlier 4 years be counted, so that I might get a new H1B for 2 years? Or will I get a fresh H1B, unrelated to the the one I have currently? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] You will get an H-1B for two years. Q33:-How do I change my status from H4 to F1? Ans:-[From Pramod S. Badjate, badjatep@agcs.com] There are two ways: 1. You can file for a status change with INS by sending in your application through mail. You will have to check with your ISO or INS about the forms and fees, etc. But this process of late has been taking a few months. If you have to join school by then, consider option 2. 2. Fly over to Juarez or some such place outside US and apply for F1. We did that in the case of my wife successfully a few days back. They will need I20, proof of financial support, etc. - the normal stuff required for F1. It was not a problem at all. Q34:-What if my spouse has to go back on H4? (If I change a job, etc.) Ans:-[From Pramod S. Badjate, badjatep@agcs.com] You can use the same process again to change your status. Q35:-I obtained my bachelors in India and a masters in the US. If I have a masters from the US, do I still need to show that my bachelors is equivalent to a US bachelors? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] No. Not if you have a relevant masters degree. Q36:-My wife has an H-4 visa and she wants to work. She would like to obtain an H-1 visa. Is it the normal procedure or does she need to do anything different? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] It is the same procedure, no difference. Q37:-When employer fires an employee on H1-B visa for whatever reason, what will happen to the legal status of the person (employee)? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Period of stay regulation: [ 8 C.F.R. 214.2(h)(13)(i)(13)Admission(i)General(A) A beneficiary shall be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition, plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. The beneficiary may not work except during the validity period of the petition. As a matter of practice, INS has been questioning even one day's time out of status. Additionally, they can ask that the employer pay for their one way air ticket to the country of residence. Q38:-I am currently on an H1-B visa and in the process of getting my green card. Can I still apply for a DV-98 visa and if I do, will it affect my labor certification? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] You can apply for a DV-98 visa and there is no effect on the labor certification. Q39:-My H1-B expires in July 1997. When should I file for my visa extension? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] You should file your request no earlier than four-six months before the expiration. I would advise filing the request three months before the expiration. Q40:-What is the individual's status during this time? What is a spouse's status if on an H-4? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Both individuals will be in status for 10 days. Q41:-If a non-immigrant specialty occupation worker on an H1-B status gets another employment opportunity with another employer, what steps are required for the transition from one employer to another? What happens to the original H1-B petition? Is there a restriction on the employee not to start working with the next employer? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] A new H-1 is filed, except with a lower filing fee. The original H-1 stays in tact unless revoked by the INS or the employer. The employee cannot work with the new employer until the new H-1 is approved. Q42:-I am an H-1 wishing to start a company. Is it possible? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Yes. Incorporate (open a company) and then apply for either a full-time or a simultaneous H-1 for your own company. There are a few conditions applicable. First, you must be working in your own area of expertise. For example, a Software Engineer may NOT open a company selling shoes. Second, technically, your company must pay your wages even if the company is not making any money. Remember that you cannot use your own company to get a green card. Q43:-According to H1-B employment law, can an employer change the salary from the salary documented on H1 application? My employer is doing contracting business and paid me a lower amount the first month because it did not have any clients? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] It is illegal to do so unless the H-1 papers mention that the employee can be paid on a part-time basis. The employers are NOT permitted to bench employees in this manner. Q44:-How many H-1s can an individual obtain? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] There is no limit as to how many H-1s an individual obtains. Q45:-Does the number of H-1 visas obtained by one personeffect the green card application process? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] No. Q46:-Can you have simultaneous H1-B (One full time and one part time at the same time working for two different companies)? If so, is the six year period calculated for the multiple visas? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] It is permissible to hold many H-1's separately as long as the total period does not exceed six years. For instance, if you held one part time and one full time H-1 from 1/1/96-12/31/96, you have only spent ONE year on H-1. This is so even though you held two H-1 jobs simultaneously during this time. The jobs may be both part time or one full and one part time. The number of hours worked is irrelevant for this determination. Q47:-What documents do I need for H4 visa when applying at US consulate ?<<New>> Ans:-[from verma@iaol.com Tue Jan 13 1998] From: Deven Verma Dear Rajiv, The following are the documents that I took for My Wife's H4 visa from Calcutta, India:- 1. All my H-1 papers, including a copy of what you had sent to the INS 2. A copy of the H-1 stamp on my passport - they asked her for my passport, but the copy did the job 3. marriage certificate/ license (NOTE: a Marriage License in India takes about a month. I had an affidavit prepared which was signed by both my wife and me, and this worked) 4. Marriage photos - take all the photos of the important ceremonies 5. A letter from my employers stating my salary, my job title, and a general statement that I am very valuable to the company. 6. $20.00 application fee (in Calcutta, they need a draft for Rs 800.00 7. $100.00 fee after you get the Visa. Q48:-But I think one can get it? Ans:-I don't know. Q49:-If I get promoted do I need to get a new H-1B visa? Ans:-[modified by rskhanna@immigration.com] Technically, you do need a new H-1. In real life, if the jobs are sufficiently close in description and responsibilities, I recommend that your employer just send a letter to INS. Once again, do NOT make your own determinations. Seek an attorney's opinion. Q50:-Is filing for a visa extension the same as filing a new H-1? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] The filing process is the just like filing a new H-1. Q51:-But just having degree does not prove that you are eligible for the job. Ans:-I show him my previous company's 3 yrs experience letter of India. Q52:-How does these Education Evaluators evaluate the education? Ans:-I don't know, may be the syllabus. Q53:-Can we use the previous LCA in filing for an H-1 extension? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] No. Q54:-But I am sure they don't think about the fake degrees. Ans:-Silence. Q55:-What is the role of my academic degree in applying for the Labor Condition Application or Labor Certification? It is said that at present only advanced degree (Master, Ph.D.) can have good chance to get approval of the Labor Condition Application or Labor Certification. Is that true? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] For H-1B, a Bachelor's degree in a narrowly defined subject area is sufficient. Ph.D. has NO additional significance. For a labor cert., chances of success depend upon how many people can qualify for the job. If an ad is placed for a Bachelors degree, chances are a lot more people will apply than would for a job that require a Ph.D. degree. Please remember, it is not advisable to tailor a job to suit your own needs. If the employer asks for restrictive requirements for the job, the department of labor will object to it. Also, the higher the qualifications, the bigger the salary must be. It is NOT true that ONLY advanced degrees have a good chance of success. There are a lot of variables that need to be considered. Q56:-(sees it for sometime) Anybody can type it and sign. Ans:-(Keeping a cool face and ofcourse smiling)Anything can happen. I can only say that these are not fake, I cannot prove at this time that they are not fake but I have been working in USA for over an year without any problems which would have not happened if these were fake -- and if these are not fake then that proves that I am eligible for the job. Q57:-How much do they pay you? Ans:-I showed my HR's letter stating the salary. Q58:-Go to the cash counter and pay the money and get me the receipt right here. Ans:-That is it and I was called at 3:00PM to collect the passport. When I went at 3:00PM, it took around 4:30PM to come out. We walked to the consulate and there it took us 3 and half hour i.e around 7:30PM, I got my new I-94. After that you have to pay $6.00 and come out. It is better to book a flight back after 8:00PM as I missed mine. Best of luck and I hope this experience helps. -- Vanishree Juarez - NEW2 ----------- Experience 1997 [From Krishna Madakasira, krishna@3csoftware.com] Dear Mr.Khanna, Let me thank you profoundly for providing very vital and useful information at your web site. We benefitted a lot from the readings contained in H1-B questionaire. I want to share my experiences when I (Actually we, me and my wife) went to Ciudad Juareez in Mexico. We took the following documents. I have indicated in the brackets whether they asked for the document or not by saying "Asked for" or "Not asked". 1. Original I-797 ----- [Asked for] 2. Attorney certified copy of I-129 ----- [Asked for] 3. Attorney certified LCA ----- [Asked for] 4. Employer's letters about the offer and why we need multiple entry H1-B. ----- [Asked for] 5. Original Degree certificates ----- [Asked for] 6. Pay slips ----- [Asked for one slip] 7. Fee in cash ($100.00 ( for visa ) + $ 20.00 (for MRV)) [ A must ofcourse ] 8.Check book ( If there is any emergency ...) ---- [Not asked] 9. Federal and State Tax returns ---- [Not asked] 10. Company Brochure ----- [Asked for] 11. Telephone Bill ---- [Not asked] The interview process was a little bit thorough but cool. There were nearly 20 applicants ( 9 in Computer related fields and one Doctor). Everyone was granted multiple entry. But ... we witnessed some ragging. One of the consular officers was very rude and asked questions that are totally irrelavant. Here is the listing of the questions ( We could overhear) 1. Why did not you go back to your country after studies ? ( The most pestered question) ( Ans : want to gain some experience) 2. Why can not you gain the same in your country ? ( Ans : Want to get aquainted with the latest technology ) 3. Do not you have latest technology in your country ? ( Ans : Yes, But want to get some exposure here in US before going back ) 4. First question repeated . (Ans : As I said I wanted gain some experience ) 5. That is true. But still you could have gone back. Why did not you do that ? (Ans : Stood quiet) 6. Now the nerration started : I know why you did not go back. You want to settle here. Moreover you can not get a job in your country. Writr a letter to your government stating that they can not provide us jobs in India ; that is why we are sticking here . With some strong language this went on for some time. The response from the candidate's side was "Just be quiet and keep listening ". At last he said, "Take your stuff out ". ( He granted visa while saying so) The above interview was repeated to two more persons. Our conclusion : There is nothing to panic unless you have some missing documentation or were out of status. The consular officer knew that he would not be able to reject visa on legal grounds as all the needed documentation was on his desk. So we thought that he decided to harass just for the heck of it, alhough he granted visa eventually. Again, thanks for your tremendous help and wish you good luck. Juarez - [OLD] -------------- A little outdated [From Muralidhar Rangaswamy, RANGASWAMY@zircon.plh.af.mil] Ciudad Juarez (across the border from El Paso, Texas) I made a pilgrimage to Ciudad Juarez[July 1994], Mexico across the border from El Paso, Texas. I was graced and granted a multiple entry H-1B visa a couple of days back. Almost all the people who applied for H-1B visas that day were granted the visa. The interview with the consular officer was less than 2 minutes. Although I was carrying extensive documentation with me, the officer only wanted to see the H-1B approval notice and my Ph.D. diploma. Juarez - [OLD2] -------------- 17 July 1996 [From: shashi@silma.com (Shashi Mandagere)] Here is a brief summary of my experience in Juarez(17th July): I reached El Paso on 16th of July (night) and took a cab to La Playa Hotel in Juarez. The flat rate for cabs is $30.00. Checked into La Playa and ate dinner at Denny's, a block from the hotel. I would recommend everybody to carry a few (3/person) small water bottles from the US. I heard the H2O in Mexico is like the H2O in India(abundant in sand and micro-organisms). I committed the sin of keeping my water bottle on the table at the restaurant and I could see the waitress wasn't impressed. One can also buy water at a liquor store on the way to Denny's. Candy bars (heavy ones like PowerBars) are a good source of breakfast while waiting in the line. Stood in line around 4:30AM/after a dozen people got in line (Mondays and Fridays are pretty busy). Interview was routine and was out by 8:30AM. Questions asked: Where did you graduate from? Can I see your degree certificate? Can I see the letter from your employer? (even before I took my degree certificate out). All were brushed aside even without a look. You will be told to collect your visa at 3PM (if you are approved). There is no need to get in line early at 3PM as the order does not matter. Got together with a bunch of guys and took a cab to the border. Got a new I94 and was back home in time to celebrate. Tips: ------ I would strongly recommend checking the weather in El Paso and equipping accordingly. It rained cats and dogs on the day I went (even though it was summer!). Luckily the towels from La Playa came handy. Checking into La Playa is cool for the following reasons: - It is inexpensive (US$26.00). - Can see the line forming in front of the consulate from the room. - If traveling with companion, can swap standing in line. - Can rest (or watch Spanish TV) after submitting documents - A good refuge if told to come back the next day to get the visa (due to the computers going down or your passport being misplaced :-). - Could use the towels in case of rain (-; - Could use the restroom in case the Mexican dinner didn't agree with your system. The only disadvantage I see is that people tend to get adventurous and go out to check the night clubs around the area. I gather it is very embarrassing and risky if one gets caught (in case of a raid) without the right visa/documents. Make absolutely sure that everything is spelt right on your visa. Look for the M (Multiple) in the Entry area. One guy was issued a single- entry visa and he realized it only after it was canceled upon his entry into the US at the border. He had to go through' the whole process again(?) Book a flight leaving El Paso after 5:30PM so you have ample time to get a new I94 and rush back to the airport. Cameras and firearms are not allowed inside the consulate. It is a good idea to leave them in your hotel room. It is an even better idea to leave them home as there is nothing worthwhile to shoot around the consulate (pun intended). It is also recommended to present oneself in formal wear (No, not in a suit). Nobody sane would issue a visa to a person in tattered jeans and tank top carrying a letter stating he's a globe-trotting businessman. Last but not the least, make sure your attorney is not on vacation on the day of your trial. Good luck and have a fun trip. shashi (shashi@silma.com) Now some serious stuff. ----------------------------------------------------------- Documents I had on me: --------Absolutely necessary docs----without these, don't even dream of stepping out of the country. Legend: * --> Documents asked during my interview. - *I-797 (approval notice) in original. *DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE THE I94 ATTACHED TO IT* (The whole doc. is a letter of approval and an I94 in the bottom of the letter. Contact your lawyer in case you do not find the I94/bottom portion of letter). - *Valid Passport - I-129 copy (Attorney certified) - LCA copy also known as ETA9035 (Attorney certified) - *Visa Photo ( 37mm * 37 mm) - *Employment verification letter (from HR) saying what you do, how much you make and how imp. you are to the co., etc. - Letter from boss requesting the consulate to grant you *MULTIPLE-ENTRY* visa for future international travel - *Degree certificates (original preferred) - I-20s - Old I94 - VISA fees US$120.00 --------Supporting docs---these help if you have problems. - SSN card, drivers license - Latest bank statement - Latest telephone bill (to show India connection) - Transcripts (to prove you did take ballroom-I ;-) - Tax forms/W-2 copy (to say you have been a responsible person) - Pay stubs and company ID (like badge and B card) - Company literature ------------------------------------------------------------ Useful phone numbers: ------------------------------------------------------------ Your company HR, your attorney Cab driver Victor/Marco Garcia's number 915-588-4736 915-680-2941 Hotel La Playa, Juarez, Mexico. (Try a couple of times. Don't give up if you get Ms.Dontspeakenglish on line) (16) 13-71-87 (16) 13-71-88 US Consulate (To verify if they are open on the day of your visit. Try early hours) (16) 13-40-48 (16) 13-40-50 (16) 16-80-80 Q59:-Can I re-enter US if my multiple entry H-1B is denied in Jurez, Mexico or Canada? Ans:-[from Pramod S. Badjate, badjatep@agcs.com] [Modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Normally you can. But you should make sure that you don't turn in your I94 at the border while leaving US. Then you have to fill in a new I94 when you enter US by showing your VISA and old I94. With the passage of the 1996 law, it has become even more uncertain whether you will be allowed back. Please note, your reentry is NOT guaranteed. Q60:-I am current working for IBM on my Practical Training under my F-1 visa. The Practical Training expires in October. I have applied for my H-1 visa. I need to go back to India urgently for a short visit, however my lawyer says that I cannot go out of the US, once my H-1 processing has started. Is this true? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] I am not certain why your lawyer said that, but it is NOT TRUE. While many applications are considered abandoned if you leave the country during their pendency, that is not true of H-1. The reason: H-1 is NOT YOUR application/petition. It is your employer's petition. You can leave U.S. and upon obtaining approval of H-1, go to the U.S. consulate closest to your residence in India, take your approval notice and apply for an H-1 visa. Now, INS does not like it. I think there is a even a regulation that says you must inform iNS about the visit. In my humble opinion, there is nothing stopping you. Q61:-What is the phone number of US consulate in Juarez, Mexico? Ans:-[ From Rajesh Kumar Singh, raj@goliath.Stanford.EDU] Country code: 52 Area code: 16 Phone #: 13-40-48 Q62:-What documents are needed to get a multiple entry H-1B visa? Ans:-[from Pramod S. Badjate, badjatep@agcs.com and RANGASWAMY@zircon.plh.af.mil] [Modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] 1. Passport with current I-94 2. H-1B approval form (*ORIGINAL*) [Form I-797] 3. Copy of H-1B petition form. Ask your company for this. The consulate in Juarez have recently begun suggesting to prospective applicants to bring attorney certified copies of the H-1B petition. 4. Copy of Form ETA 9035 or the Labor condition application [LCA] that was filed by your company. Ask your company or lawyer if this was necessary in your case. If it was, take a copy of the document that was given to the INS. 5. Letter from my immediate supervisor stating that I work for him and may need to travel abroad for official purposes soon and hence be granted an H-1B visa. It was addressed to US consulate, Juarez. This was not asked for by the consulate official who interviewed me. 6. Company verification letter from Human resources giving details like job title, pay date of joining etc. 7. My appointment letter that I had got from Human resources. 8. Pay stubs or company ID. 9. Recently, U.S. consulates around the world have begun issuing machine readable visas (MRV) to protect against visa fraud. The cost of preparing these visas is $20 and is applied to nationals of all countries. In addition, the applicant is responsible for the reciprocity visa fee. For Indian nationals, the reciprocity visa fee is $100. Therefore, make sure to carry $120 in cash. 10. One Passport size photograph 11. Degree certificates [original + copy] 12. Make sure to take along with you copies of all documents filed with the INS on your behalf by your company. 13. Notarized or attorney certified copy of your entire passport including the page containing your H-1 visa. Q63:-What is a good place to stay at El Paso? Ans:-[From Muralidhar Rangaswamy, RANGASWAMY@zircon.plh.af.mil] I stayed at the EconLodge in El Paso. They charge $34/night. You get a 10% discount if you are a AAA member (which I got). Q64:-Are there any good eating places near the EconoLodge? Ans:-[From Muralidhar Rangaswamy, RANGASWAMY@zircon.plh.af.mil] There's a restaurant called Elmers next door to the Econolodge. Ask the manager of the Econolodge for a card which gives you a 10% discount at Elmers. There's a good Indian Restaurant (for those who like ethnic Indian food) within 3 miles of the Econolodge. The food is good and the price is reasonable. Q65:-Documents for H4 have been sent. If I change jobs should I resend a fresh proof of employment from my new employer? Ans:-[From Srinidhi Murthy, srinidhi@treasfs.sbi.com] In case of a new H1-B notification, it's better to submit the new H1-B notification and letter from new employer also as proof; there have been instances where the consulate has called the employer to verify claim of employment. In general, if the job switch over can wait, wait till the visa is issued Q66:-It is widely understood that a job ad is required for Labor Certification. Some one told me that a job ad is also required for Labor Condition Application but some others told me that it is not necessary. What is the truth? If LCA required a job ad, why is the job ad required one more time later on in Labor Certification? What is the difference? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] No job ad is required for LCA. Only internal notices need to be posted by the employer. Additionally, within 24 hours of filing an LCA, the employer is required to maintain certain documentation within their own premises. Q67:-Can I renew my multiple-entry visa stamp by mail?<<Changed>> Ans:-[Compiled by Michael Carroll, br.mjc@rlg.stanford.edu] [Modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Yes, but note that this is only for renewal or reissuance, not for obtaining the first visa, and note that this is for the visa stamp in your passport that relates to travel permission. Which types of visa can I have reissued in this way? The recording said E, H, I, L, O, and P. One netter said also A and G. First step: you have to obtain the form to fill out, by writing to: Department of State Visa Services Room L701 2401 E Street N.W. Washington, D.C. Phone : (202) 663-1225. You need to say that you want your visa (stamp) reissued, and would like copies (specify how many) of the appropriate form, which I believe is Form OF-156. You must also enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope for them to send you the forms & instructions in. Second step: You should receive instructions along with the form. In summary, the things that need to be sent back to the above address are: 1) Your passport containing the stamp that's to be renewed; 2) The form they sent you (OF-156); 3) The original of your I-94, not a copy; 4) A copy of your petition approval (I-171C or I-797); 5) Letter from employer; 6) Another stamped self-addressed envelope with enough postage for the return of your passport (courier service could also be used). 7) A check for the renewal fee [for H1B fee is $100 may have changed] Six weeks is the normal processing time, or to allow that long. Q68:-What is the difference between Labor Certification and Labor Condition Application? I do understand that one is for H-1B and the other is for Green Card. Beside this, there must be some other difference. What's it? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] An LCA is a very abbreviated procedure. It is merely a one page form that is routinely certified by the department of labor within 7-10 days. The labor cert. is a much more complicated procedure that is not "routine." It requires a lot more time and effort. Q69:-For how many months are the papers sent for H4 valid? Ans:-[From Srinidhi Murthy, srinidhi@treasfs.sbi.com] [Modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] The papers sent should be valid for 2 months. But, it is best to check with consulate where spouse/child will apply. Q70:-Is there a fee for the multiple entry H-1B visa? Ans:-[From Muralidhar Rangaswamy, RANGASWAMY@zircon.plh.af.mil] Recently, the consulate started issuing machine readable visas (MRV). Consequently, the visa fee for Indian nationals is $120 up $20 from the fee of $100. I am not sure about the fee for other countries. Q71:-What is the best means of transportation from the Econoldge to the U.S. Consulate and back? Ans:-[From Muralidhar Rangaswamy, RANGASWAMY@zircon.plh.af.mil] A taxi driver by the name of Jesse Esparza (915)598-0204 offers the cheapest fare for round trip transportation from your hotel to the U.S. consulate. He charges $35 for a party of 4 or less people. He will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the consulate in the morning. On your way back you must take a Mexican taxi from the Consulate to the border. Do not pay more than $10 for the Mexican taxi service to the border. You then walk across the bridge and enter the U.S. side, clear the immigration and customs and then call Jesse Esparza again. He picks you up in 5min. Try to use the cabs as a group of 3 or 4 people. You can save a considerable amount of money this way. Also make sure to leave for the consulate early in the morning (a 4.30 am start from your hotel is helpful). The line is usually long. Q72:-What is the best form of transportation from the El Paso airport to the Econolodge? Ans:-[From Muralidhar Rangaswamy, RANGASWAMY@zircon.plh.af.mil] The EconoLodge has a shuttle service that can pick you up and drop you off at the airport (915)-778-3311. Q73:-Any suggestions for dos and don'ts in Mexico? Ans:-[From Muralidhar Rangaswamy, RANGASWAMY@zircon.plh.af.mil] Do not drink the water in Juarez. Either carry spring water with you or sustain yourself with coke or fruit juices from the vending machines at the consulate and nearby restaurants. Eating food there is also not particularly advisable. Q74:-Do I need to have a Mexican Visa to go to Juarez? Ans:-[From Rajiv S Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] You do need a Mexican visa to go to the U.S. consulate in Juarez. Q75:-What are the different types of H-1 visas? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] An H-1B classification is temporary (three years, extendable for another three). People loosely refer to H-1B as H-1. So they are the same thing. The following variations exist within H-1: H-1A Registered Nurse H-1B1 Specialty Occupation (Professionals) H-1B2 U.S. Department of Defense special visas H-1B3 Artists, entertainers or fashion models of national or international acclaim H-1B4 Artists or Entertainers in unique or traditional art form H-1B5 Athletes H-1BS Essential support personnel for H-1B entertainer or athlete. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Law Offices of Rajiv S. Khanna 3440 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite D, Arlington, VA 22201 2120 L Sreet, N.W., Suite 210, Washington, D.C. 20037 Voice: (703) 908-4800 Xtn 110 rskhanna@immigration.com OR rskhanna@businesslaw.com