Elaine Martin’s Answers

Elaine Martin

Coppell Immigration Attorney.

Contributor Level 15
  1. Immigration question - Minimum wage for H1-B filling

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    1 lawyer answer

    Every employer must show that it is paying the "prevailing wage" to the foreign national when it files a H-1B petition. This prevailing wage is obtained from a salary survey, and DOL has one of these surveys at : http://www.flcdatacenter.com/. The employer does not have to use DOL's survey, however; it can use another one that complies with DOL requirements. Once the salary offered meets prevailing wage, it doesn't matter if it is lower than the salary on a prior H-1B filing.

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  2. How long does it take to renew H1B visa and can i travel while it's renewing

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    1 lawyer answer

    The H-1B processing time depends on where you are working. Assuming you are in Maryland, the petition is filed at Vermont Service Center. Processing times are listed here: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/jsps/ptimes.jsp;jsessionid=acbL_QZGptL4VhpFeDXgs. You can travel while the extension is pending, however there could be some complications if you return on the old visa after the extension has been approved. If you don't show the extension approval notice (maybe because you didn't know the...

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  3. With B1/B2 visa, can I apply for a Social Security Number?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    1 lawyer answer

    You cannot legally work in B-1/B-2 status, and it is extremely unlikely that any Social Security Office will give you an SSN. You normally need to show that your immigration status allows you to work before you can get an SSN. I advise you to try to get a status that allows work rather than work here in visitor status.

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  4. How to cancel my spouse green card

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    1 lawyer answer

    There really is no way for you to cancel your spouse's green card. Assuming that s/he got permanent residence honestly and legitimately, there is no basis for CIS to revoke that permanent residence now. It is regrettable that you are having marital problems, however this does not affect your spouse's eligibility for permanent residence.

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  5. Where can I get my first H1-b stamping? :(

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    2. Renee Juanita Tello
    2 lawyer answers

    You may be able to get the visa stamped in Canada or Mexico if you have a clear immigration record. Consulates vary in their procedures, so you need to contact the consulate directly to see if they will take your application. Good luck.

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  6. Permanent Residency revoked?

    Answered almost 5 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    2. Kevin Lawrence Dixler
    2 lawyer answers

    The answer depends a lot on the immigration officer that the permanent resident (PR) meets at each entry. Some officer will let a person in without questions, others will question intently and might revoke the PR if they feel that the person abandoned PR. I strongly recommend getting a re-entry permit for anyone living outside the US for over 6 months. See blog link below for details.

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  7. Convert from H1 to F1 Visa

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    2. Norma Lorenzo
    2 lawyer answers

    You should be able to change from H-1B to F-1, although CIS might question your nonimmigrant intent since you have been here for 6+ years and are going through the permanent residence process. However, I have done a few H-1B to F-1 applications and CIS never raised questions, just approved the change. See the blog post linked below for more details. Good luck.

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  8. Can a citizen get married to an immigrant who entered the us illegally? What would we need to get married?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    2. Lamar Peckham
    3. Norma Lorenzo
    3 lawyer answers

    Did your boyfriend enter legally and overstay, or did he enter without inspection? If he entered legally, you should be able to file for his permanent residence and he can get it in the US, assuming he is otherwise eligible. If he entered without inspection, the process is more difficult. He needs to apply at a consulate in his home country. He needs to show that it would cause "extreme hardship" if he were not allowed back to the US. "Extreme hardship" is a very high standard - it needs...

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  9. After 5 1/2 years on H4 visa, change to F1 and change to H1 thereafter. How much time on H1 will be available - 6 years ?

    Answered almost 5 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    2. Karin Wolman
    2 lawyer answers

    Actually, USCIS published a memo in December 2006 that stated that H-4 time did not count towards H-1B time. Before this memo, we all worked on the basis that a person got 6 years of any combined H/L time, whether it was H-4 or H-1B, or even L-2. This means that you would get your fill 6 years in H-1B status once you are eligible for this status.

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  10. H1B Renewal

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Elaine Martin
    1 lawyer answer

    1. The employer doesn't need to use premium processing, unless you must have an approval before 9/30, e.g. for travel. Otherwise, filing the extension before 9/30 allows you to continue working for that employer. 2. 3-4 months now in Texas. 3. Yes, see answer #1.

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