Skip to main content
William John Vandenberg
Avvo
Pro

William Vandenberg’s Answers

15 total


  • Can a Canadian visiting the United States stay 6 months each visit or 6 months a calendar year?

    I'm getting different answers from attorneys.

    William’s Answer

    Go see a good immigration attorney. As a Canadian, you generally get 6 months. And you could probably get a 6 month extension after that. But frankly, the more time out of a year you spend here, the more likely the CBP guys are going to question whether you are a true "visitor." "Visiting" more than 6 months a calendar year will often get you stopped, and hard questions asked about where you actually live and what you do here.

    Good luck!

    John

    See question 
  • Can i apply for extension of H4 visa and then apply for change of status to F1 while extension application is still pending?

    i am currently in US on H4 visa and H4 visa status expires on june 17,2013. I have already applied for extension of H4 which is still in review condition and hence pending. I intend to join a school with F1 visa this fall, so can i apply ...

    William’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Great question! You can, though it's quite possible your H-4 extension will be granted by the fall.

    Remember, in order to change status to F-1, you need to be in lawful status, like H-4. So your F-1 change of status will depend on the H-4 extension being granted. If you are not in lawful status (like H-4) when the school starts, the F-1 change of status will likely be denied.

    Generally, barring unforeseen circumstances regarding the H-1B (lost job, divorce, etc.), the H-4 extension should be granted. So as long as that is the case, in the meantime you can file the F-1 change of status and have it pending at the same time. USCIS should adjudicate the H-4 first, then the F-1, if they are alerted that you have both pending.

    But honestly, do yourself a favor, and retain an attorney to assist you. If this bridge you are constructing fails, you're going to have a problem that is more costly to fix than to prepare for. Please also understand that this email does not constitute legal advice. Immigration, as you know, has serious consequences if a wrong step is made, so you should reach out to a good attorney and at least have a consultation where your documents and situation can be reviewed.

    Good luck!

    John

    See question 
  • If my sb-1 visa got denied will i be able to apply for student visa?my husband is a green card holder there.if not what visas?

    hi iam going for sb-1 visa.but now iam in india for 5 and half years.i got my greencard in 2012.my husband also on greencard from lastyear only. 1.if my sb-1 got denied is there possibility that i could apply for student visa or any training ...

    William’s Answer

    Hi,

    If you only got your green card last year, why would you ever file an sb-1? SB is typically only in extreme overstay cases, most often when the green card has expired.

    You need to reach out to me or another good lawyer and get good advice, before you waste your time and money.

    Sincerely,

    John

    See question 
  • Help please

    Have Green Card Interview in 5 hours husband forgot the envelope with the pictures.He pickup the wrong pictures from the countertop.We live 3hours away so we decided to stay overnight in a hotel close to the immigration office no way we can go get...

    William’s Answer

    Relax! Answer the IO's questions truthfully. In all likelihood you will be fine. If the officer needs more documents he'll let you mail them later.

    Have a great interview!

    John

    See question 
  • What is the best reasons for a request for hearing under form N-336?

    My citizen application was rejected because of having violated my probation terms between October 2006 and sentenced in October 2007 for possession of marijuana under 50 grams within a school zone . However , on November 15 , 2010 was charged w...

    William’s Answer

    Great question. Not enough answers, though. I'd have to see the decision to decide whether or not it's worth your time or money to appeal the denial. The positives of appealing it is the reviewing officer may view it differently, and in addition we could add positive proof of your good moral character to try to balance out the DUI.

    On the other hand, there may be wisdom in waiting. I am concerned about the marijuana issue and I think at a minimum you need to sit with a good immigration lawyer to discuss whether or not you want to be traveling outside the USA ( NOT advisable ). You also have to decide if it's worth it to pay about the same amount of money for an N-336 that you'd pay for a whole new naturalization application.

    Bottom line: you need to see a good attorney and go over your naturalization and your contact with the criminal justice system. Your biggest problem may not be the lack of naturalization.

    Sincerely,

    John

    See question 
  • What to expect from appointment? Received Immigration and Customs Enforcement form G-56

    Before our marriage , my husband was stopped in 1996 ( before 1997 changes in deportation proceedings ) by the NY border patrol . As he had overstayed his visa he was told to leave the country by the officers but they did not forward the case ...

    William’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues: you really need a good immigration lawyer at this point. Do you have any attorney now? If so, did they know of this issue in 1996?

    It appears that he is back in the USA; how did he come back? Did he use a visitor visa, and not disclose the previous removal? Or did he sneak back in?

    In any event, your husband MUST go to see ICE; it's an offer you can't refuse. But it doesn't necessarily have to end badly; a good attorney can probably work out a deal that your husband gets time to try to seek relief. Since the previous event happened so long ago, it is POSSIBLE that they could exercise their discretion and allow him to remain for the time being, because of you, and perhaps other family issues I am unaware of.

    Bottom line: you have options, but they are narrowing rapidly. You will need good legal assistance. You can learn more about our firm at www.hvlawgroup.com, and we have a Bala Cynwyd/Philadelphia office.

    Good luck!

    John

    See question 
  • My husband has L 1 visa valid till March 2013,Can he apply for my L 2 extension while i am in India.

    My husband has L 1 visa valid till Mar2013 . I am currently in US on L 2 valid till March 2013 and is planning to go to India for delivery which is due in December . Can he apply for my L 2 extension while i am in India . Is there a way that i ...

    William’s Answer

    I agree with Charles that the proper step, if you must travel to India, would be to apply for a new L-2 visa stamp at the nearest U.S. embassy. Even if your husband filed for an extension of your L-2 visa while you're still here, it would be abandoned the moment you left. That would be a waste of time and money.

    You may be worried about "administrative processing," meaning you might be stuck in India waiting for your visa stamping to be approved. This is always a possibility, especially in India. You should make sure that your husband's visa is in order, that his company is valid, and that everything in his L-1A application is true and correct. If not, indeed you could get stuck. I have seen instances where the Embassy seems to be skeptical about the spouse's visa (often an H-1B where they are working on contract), and it sure feels like they are trying to apply pressure on the spouse to return for a review of their visa, too. If this happens, I would certainly get your husband's company and local congressperson(s) involved. That has been successful for us and our clients in the past.

    I also noticed you are leaving to give birth to your baby in India. That's unusual. Why wouldn't you want to have the child in the United States?

    In any event, since you're traveling, and this is really important, don't trust everything you read on the internet. Your research will certainly turn up conflicting advice, some of it probably good, most of it probably worthless or dangerous. You and your husband should consult with a good immigration attorney in your area. By doing so, instead of speaking to the company's immigration attorney, you ensure that what you discuss is confidential. And an attorney whose only duty is to you may give you advice that is in your best long-term interest, rather in the company's best interest. Our firm (www.hvlawgroup.com) has a Wilmington, DE as well as a Philadelphia office. Feel free to come see us if you have any questions.

    Good luck!

    John

    See question 
  • HOB stamping questions

    I have a valid stamped HOB visa till some time next year ( 2014 ) from company A . I have changed to company B last year and they have applied for a visa transfer . Before a month company A has revoked the HOB . Now the transfer to company B ...

    William’s Answer

    No. But maybe it would be a good idea to avoid any unnecessary hassle from CBP at the airport.

    In 2007, USCIS issued a memorandum setting out that so long as the applicant has a facially valid H-1B visa and an I-797 Approval Notice form the new employer, he should be allowed to enter on the visa from the previous employer. (you may Google the Aytes Memorandum, Validity of Certain Nonimmigrant Visas, July 8, 1997, to read it). So as long as you follow these steps, you should be fine.

    However, I have also seen persons have trouble on re-entry despite the memo. You have to weigh out the benefits of waiting to get a new stamp at the embassy or relying on the memo.

    Unless you think you would have significant "administrative processing" time, the prudent approach would be to get a new visa stamp for the new company. But pursuant to the above memo, from the facts you gave, so long as you have the approval notice and your visa is valid, you should be fine as well. If you choose the latter, it would be smart to have a copy of the memo with you when you de-plane.

    Since your company should have an immigration attorney already, have you asked them this question? As you know, this is not legal advice; before you travel you should sit with a knowledgeable immigration attorney, show her or him your documents, and get advice you can rely on before you travel. And it's nice to have their cell number so if you have a problem you may be able to call them.

    Good luck!

    John

    See question 
  • I came from cross the Mexico border and now i got a work permit and my case still pending at NY . can i work different state

    but i don't wanna change my NY address is that possible

    William’s Answer

    Wow. What a question. The facts you gave are a little confusing, since most persons who "cross the Mexico border" aren't authorized to work. I am concerned that you have been scammed by somebody.

    I'm also wondering why are you worried about changing your address? Are you concerned that your case will be moved to another office outside of New York? If it is a marriage case, just because you work in a different state doesn't necessarily mean your residence is in a different state. You may commute to return to your family on the weekend or even nightly.

    Whether you can work in a "different state:" well, depends what kind of a work permit you have. If you got an EAD card by filing for a marriage-based greencard, for example, it is valid throughout the United States. However, if you have an H-2 seasonal worker visa, or an H-1B visa, for example, that would be only for one employer, the employer who petitioned for you. You can't work anywhere else unless the new employer files a petition for you.

    Overall, something doesn't sound right. Reach out to a good attorney to make sure you are on the right track!

    Good luck!

    John

    See question 
  • I-130 petition

    It has been 10 days since LUSCIOUS Chicago lock box received our petition and until now we did not receive any email from them . Is this normal ? If not , how much time does it take to receive an email from them ?

    William’s Answer

    Eh, I'd give it another 5-10 days. See if your check was cashed; if it was, your Receipt Number will usually be printed on the back, and constitutes proof the I-130 was accepted for processing. Since you are expecting an email I assume you included a G-1145; if you didn't get a response it is possible you (or your attorney) made a mistake. If so, USCIS will mail the packet back to you and tell you what was done incorrectly.

    Good luck!

    John

    See question