This Week's Immigration News
December 17, 2012
New USCIS Immigrant Fee Imposed For U.S. Residency Applicants Abroad
Beginning February 1, 2013, Immigrants who are processed for U.S. Permanent Residency at U.S. Consulates abroad will be required to pay an additional USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165
THIS WEEK’S IMMIGRATION QUESTIONS
Question: I am a holder of an H-1B work visa which has expired but am still living in the U.S.. How would I be able to obtain a green card or permanent residency in the country?
Answer: Unfortunately, since your I-94 has expired, you are not eligible to change to any other type of non-immigrant visa like an F-1 student visa or another H-1B work visa in the U.S.. Similarly, you are not eligible to obtain U.S. Residency through employment-related sponsorship in most cases.
However, since you entered the U.S. legally, you have the option of obtaining a Green Card through marriage to a U.S. Citizen as long as your relationship is based upon real love. It takes about 3 months to obtain U.S. Residency once your application is submitted. If marriage to a U.S. Citizen is not an option, then you should be able to obtain legal status in the coming year through the anticipated Comprehensive Immigration Reform which is expected to be introduced in late January 2013. In all likelihood, the immigration reform will not provide immediate Green Cards, but will allow you to have legal immigration status, a work permit and after a specified period of time, apply for a Green Card. I will let you know more once the legislation is proposed and the details are clearly outlined. I hope this was helpful to you.
I have prepared an detailed explanation about general qualification and documentation required under any legalization program. To obtain a copy of the Immigration Reform explanation & Documentation List, you can call our office at: (954) 382-5378.
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