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Updated: 1 hour 43 min ago

Teleconference: Site Visits by ICE/FDNS

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 21:00

The latest trends and practical tips for when government agencies contact companies regarding compliance with H1B/L-1 petitions are discussed by Murthy Law Firm attorneys in this teleconference.

Employers and their representatives are invited to participate in the teleconference scheduled for September 01, 2021 – another in this series designed especially for them. Find out how to register here.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

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Teleconference: EB3 Downgrade and I-485 Filings

Tue, 08/03/2021 - 21:00

The pros and cons of filing EB3 “downgrade” I-140 petitions and documentation needed for I-485 Adjustment of Status filings are discussed by Murthy Law Firm attorneys in this teleconference.

Employers and their representatives are invited to participate in the teleconference scheduled for August 03, 2021 – another in this series designed especially for them. Find out how to register here.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post Teleconference: EB3 Downgrade and I-485 Filings appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Teleconference: Other Nonimmigrant Options

Wed, 07/07/2021 - 21:00

Strategies for filing nonimmigrant visas when H-1 and L-1 are not available options are discussed by Murthy Law Firm attorneys in this teleconference.

Employers and their representatives are invited to participate in the teleconference scheduled for July 07, 2021 – another in this series designed especially for them. Find out how to register here.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post Teleconference: Other Nonimmigrant Options appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Eligibility for U.S. Citizenship for Child Born Abroad to U.S. Citizen Parent

Mon, 06/07/2021 - 16:39

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has announced that it has reinterpreted the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to grant U.S. citizenship at birth to a child born abroad, as long as the parents were married at the time of the child’s birth and the child has a genetic or gestational tie to either parent. The prior rule requiring the relationship only with the U.S. citizen parent resulted in confusion and potentially separating families.

Background

Historically, children born abroad via the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as surrogacy, have only been granted U.S. citizenship at birth if there was a genetic or gestational relationship to the U.S. citizen parent. With the development and increased use of ART, there has been growing pressure to update the rule and make it consistent with today’s reality. The prior rule often resulted in confusion and concern that the family unit would be separated. There was no simple solution to the problem other than to reinterpret the INA.

Conclusion

The reinterpretation of the INA to embrace the latest changes in ART and the DOS decision to grant citizenship makes logical sense. The new guidelines from the DOS will allow more American families to transmit U.S. citizenship to their children born outside the country and promote family unity.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post Eligibility for U.S. Citizenship for Child Born Abroad to U.S. Citizen Parent appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

My wife has an H-4 visa, which was stamped with my previous employer. It is valid through 2022. Do I need to file the H-4 extension now, or can it wait until right before it expires?

Thu, 06/03/2021 - 14:50
Answer

First off, if a person is in the U.S., the expiration date of the H-4 visa “stamp” has no impact on one’s status. Status generally is determined by one’s I-94 expiration date.

Second, both H-4 status and the H-4 visa stamp are not tied to any particular employer. So, a change in employer by the principal H1B spouse typically would have no impact on the validity of the dependent family member’s H-4 visa stamp or status.  (03.Jun.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 Rights Reserved

The post My wife has an H-4 visa, which was stamped with my previous employer. It is valid through 2022. Do I need to file the H-4 extension now, or can it wait until right before it expires? appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

I am currently stuck in India. My PERM was recently approved. Does my employer need to wait until I return to the U.S. to file the I-140 petition?

Thu, 06/03/2021 - 14:46
Answer

No, there generally is no requirement that the beneficiary be in the U.S. at the time the I-140 is filed.  (03.Jun.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 Rights Reserved

The post I am currently stuck in India. My PERM was recently approved. Does my employer need to wait until I return to the U.S. to file the I-140 petition? appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Have there been any updates on when the travel ban from India might be lifted?

Thu, 06/03/2021 - 14:44
Answer

No, there have been no updates. The travel ban is based on the pandemic conditions in India. Presumably, once the pandemic comes under control there, the travel ban will be lifted.  (03.Jun.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 Rights Reserved

The post Have there been any updates on when the travel ban from India might be lifted? appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Murthy Law Firm’s Comments on Barriers to USCIS Benefits and Services

Thu, 06/03/2021 - 01:51

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a request for public input in April 2021, regarding “…how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can reduce administrative and other barriers and burdens within its regulations and policies, including those that prevent foreign citizens from easily obtaining access to immigration services and benefits.” The Murthy Law Firm responded to this request, asking the DHS to make a number of changes that would significantly improve the U.S. immigration system.

Summary of Suggested Improvements

Nearly everyone agrees that the U.S. immigration system needs a serious overhaul. However, many fundamental changes could only be made through an act of Congress. Still, there are important changes that can and should be made without the passage of new legislation. In our comments to the DHS, the Murthy Law Firm focused on five concrete changes that could be implemented in the relatively near future, which would improve the lives of foreign nationals seeking the American dream.

1. Expand Availability for Premium Processing, Especially for I-539 Application to Extend / Change Nonimmigrant Status and I-765 Application for Employment Authorization

In a perfect world, the USCIS would process all applications and petitions within a reasonable time period. But, in practice, this does not always happen. The extension of premium processing to forms I-539 and I-765 would help countless foreign nationals avoid status problems and gaps in employment authorization.

2. End the I-539 Biometrics Requirement Imposed by the Trump Administration

The biometrics requirement for I-539 applications has exacerbated processing delays and is an unnecessary expense for applicants. The USCIS has suspended biometrics temporarily for L-2, H-4, and E-2 dependents. This is a good start, but we recommend this requirement be eliminated for all I-539 applicants.

3. Reduce Backlogs in Oversubscribed Preference Categories by Only Counting the Principal Beneficiary

Backlogs in most of the green card categories are a tremendous hurdle in the U.S. immigration system. But there is a solution. Through regulation, the DHS can clarify that derivative family members issued immigrant visas are not to be individually counted against the immigrant visa quotas established by the Immigration and Nationality Act. Rather, only the principal beneficiary of the approved I-140 or I-130 should be counted against the immigrant visa caps. This would help tremendously in reducing the colossal backlogs.

4. Expand the Online Filing System

It is time that the USCIS finally move completely into the digital age and allow for the use of electronic filing for all or at least the majority of applications and petitions for immigration benefits. This would help streamline the U.S. immigration system. It would also reduce USCIS rejections for missing signatures, wrong place of filing, incorrect fee amounts, requests for additional evidence, and denials due to filing deficiencies.

5. Eliminate the Bridging B-2 Requirement

In 2017, the USCIS imposed a policy requiring that individuals applying for a change from B-1/B-2 to F-1 status maintain valid status until within 30 days of a deferred program start date, as opposed to the actual start date requested in the initial application. This “B-2 bridging” policy was expanded to encompass all applications for change of status to F-1 in 2018. This change has been both costly to applicants and a drain on USCIS resources. It is not based on any law or regulation and should be eliminated entirely.

Conclusion

These recommendations submitted by the Murthy Law Firm to the DHS would not solve all the problems with the U.S. immigration system. However, they would go a long way to creating a better, fairer system that meets the needs of our modern world. A copy of the full letter submitted to the DHS can be found on MurthyDotCom.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post Murthy Law Firm’s Comments on Barriers to USCIS Benefits and Services appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Teleconference: Litigation Trends

Wed, 06/02/2021 - 21:00

Recent immigration litigation trends, including how litigation strategies are changing with the Biden Administration, are the topic discussed by Murthy Law Firm attorneys in this teleconference.

Employers and their representatives are invited to participate in the teleconference scheduled for June 02, 2021 – another in this series designed especially for them. Find out how to register here.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post Teleconference: Litigation Trends appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Tips for Documents to Prepare in Anticipation of Priority Date Becoming Current

Mon, 05/31/2021 - 16:02

It can take years for a foreign national to be granted status as a lawful permanent resident (i.e., “green card” holder) through one of the employment-based categories. This is especially true for applicants born in one of the heavily oversubscribed countries, notably India and China. So, as one’s priority date draws closer to becoming current, the last thing that person wants is further delays caused by lack of documents necessary to file the application to adjust status (form I-485).

Original Birth Certificate for Adjustment of Status

To file for adjustment of status, submission of birth documentation is required. This birth documentation usually takes the form of an official birth certificate that, ideally, was issued shortly after the applicant was born. However, if an individual does not have a birth certificate, alternate documentation will be necessary. Similarly, if the person has a birth certificate, but it does not meet certain requirements, such as not containing the complete biographical information, or not having been registered within one year of the birth, additional evidence of one’s birth likely will be needed.

Alternate Birth Documentation Vary by Country

If the applicant does not have an original birth certificate that meets the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) criteria, alternate documentation should be obtained to satisfy the birth certificate requirement. It should be noted that the specific documents available may depend based on one’s country of birth. A country-by-country list of accepted civil documents is available on each respective country’s reciprocity page on the U.S. Department of State’s website.

If the no original birth certificate can be obtained, some countries, including India, typically allow the individual to apply for a certificate of nonavailability from the local authorities with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of birth.

Whether the person has no birth certificate or a birth certificate that does not meet USCIS requirements, the alternate evidence of birth recommended typically includes two birth affidavits as well as secondary birth evidence to satisfy the requirement for birth documentation. Birth affidavits may be provided by anybody who witnessed or had knowledge of the birth and was over 10 years old at the time of birth. Secondary birth evidence is required to be provided as well and includes but is not limited to the following: school leaving certificates, ration cards, church / baptismal records, hospital records and medical records. All documents must be translated into English, if not originally in English.

Marriage Documentation for Adjustment of Status

If the I-485 applicant is married, marriage documentation is also required. This usually takes the form of a marriage certificate. However, if an individual does not have a marriage certificate or if the marriage certificate does not include all the information required by the USCIS (e.g., full name of bride and groom, date of marriage) additional evidence of the valid marriage must be provided. As with the birth documents, each country’s reciprocity page details the specific marriage documents required based on the country where the marriage took place.

Marriage Certificate may be Obtained Well After Wedding Date

If the applicant does not have a proper, qualifying marriage certificate, the individual should submit two marriage affidavits as supplemental documentation. A marriage affidavit can be signed by any individual who was present at the marriage ceremony and was at least 10 years old at the time of marriage. In addition, in many countries, it is possible to obtain a valid marriage certificate long after the marriage took place. All documents must be translated into English, if not originally in English.

Additional Areas to Review Prior to Priority Date Becoming Current

Any past criminal violation must be disclosed on the I-485 application. It may be necessary to include an addendum to the I-485 at the time of filing to explain why the criminal matter does not make the individual ineligible for a green card. Preparing this addendum in advance of the priority date becoming current can help avoid delays. Further, the individual may need to obtain court records to submit with the I-485 application. Needless to say, any criminal matters should be discussed with the applicant’s immigration attorney well in advance of filing.

Conclusion

It can take time to gather certain documents, such as court records or official government documents. Documents, such as affidavits, do not expire. So, it makes sense to obtain certain records in advance, especially if one’s priority date is expected to become current in the near future.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post Tips for Documents to Prepare in Anticipation of Priority Date Becoming Current appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

I am in H1B status and have an approved I-140. My son, who is 15 years old, is in H-4 status. He would like to take a summer job. Is he able to obtain an H-4 EAD?

Thu, 05/27/2021 - 17:50
Answer

Unfortunately, no. The H-4 EAD program can only be used by H-4 spouses. H-4 children are not eligible to apply for the H-4 EAD.  (27.May.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 Rights Reserved

The post I am in H1B status and have an approved I-140. My son, who is 15 years old, is in H-4 status. He would like to take a summer job. Is he able to obtain an H-4 EAD? appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.