FAQs - US Immigration Law

In an effort to help you find as much information as possible, we have compiled some of our clients' most frequently asked questions. Feel free to browse through them and visit related pages for more detailed information.

Please note that some of the topics are closely related, so you might want to check different categories while looking for answers.


Adjustment Of Status

My I-485 is pending and my EAD (work permit) card is expiring in a week. I applied for the renewal a bit too late, so it is not going to come by the time the old one expires. My driver’s license also expires in a week. Will I be able to renew my driver’s license?

Each state has their own guidelines for issuing driver's licenses. It is most likely you will need to wait for the new EAD However, if your application is based on an already approved I-130 for example, you may be ok. Check your State's acceptable documents table. The link for Florida’s acceptable documents is here. www.dmvflorida.org.   Back to Immigration FAQs

My I-485 is pending and I need to renew my EAD. Do I have to pay the fee for renewal?

No fee is required, so long as the application for adjustment of status was filed after July 30, 2007.   Back to Immigration FAQs


Family Petitions

I recently became a U.S. citizen. My only brother lives in the country where I came from. I want to bring my brother with a green card. I checked the Visa Bulletin. According to the Bulletin, my brother has to wait on some kind of line for about 11 years (to be "current"). I was shocked! Is this understanding of the Bulletin the right one? If it is right, then is there any way to shorten this long period?

There is no way to speed up the process. Please keep in mind there are other visa options such as employment, investor, etc., which may be applicable to your brother. You would want to consult with an attorney to verify if there is any other option. Although he will not be an immediate relative upon entry, he may be able to obtain some other status while he awaits your petition.   Back to Immigration FAQs

My mom has a tourist visa, she visited me several times. I'm a citizen. Should I wait for her to visit me and apply for a green card? Or should I start applying from here first? Which option is better?

As a U.S. citizen, your mother is considered an immediate relative. This means she can pursue adjustment of status within the United States or an immigrant visa through consular processing. PLEASE NOTE, your mother cannot enter the U.S. on her tourist visa solely to pursue adjustment of status within the United States. This would mean she has entered with immigrant intent on a nonimmigrant visa, which can lead to accusations of fraud. If you are to pursue adjustment within the U.S. for your mother, I would suggest consulting with an attorney.   Back to Immigration FAQs


H-1B Visas

How can I get a copy of I-797 for my previously filed H1-B when I have a case receipt number? I filed my H1-B in June 2008 through a company here in India. It got approved in the lottery, but I never got my I-797 from them. I only have my receipt number with which I can track the status on USCIS website. Now my current employer wants to do my H1B for which they need the old I-797. Can you help me get a copy of my I-797? My H1-B was filed from VT center.

You can make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. I would suggest filing a FOIA request with the USCIS and the DOS. It may be worthwhile to contact the previous petitioning company as well.  Back to Immigration FAQs


K-1 Visas

How long will it take to process the application?

USCIS is currently reporting an estimated time range of 5 to 7 months for K-1/K-2 Visas. Please note that this does not include the time needed for the visa application in the home country of the Alien Fiancé(e). This varies greatly from country to country.  An experienced immigration attorney will be able to provide an estimated processing time for the applicable home country.   Back to Immigration FAQs

For how long is the Fiancé(e) visa valid?

A K-1 visa is valid for a period of six months. This means that the Alien Fiancé(e) can travel to the U.S. within six months from when the visa is issued. However, once they have entered the U.S., they can only remain for 90 days. If they have not been married within that time frame, they should leave the U.S.   Back to Immigration FAQs

Will the Alien Fiancé(e) be allowed to work?

The Alien Fiancé(e) may apply immediately for work authorization for a non-extendable period of 90 days after their entry to the U.S. Alternatively, they may also apply for work authorization when they apply for their Green Card. That authorization is valid for one year and may be extended.   Back to Immigration FAQs

What if the Alien Fiancé(e) has children?

If the Alien Fiancé(e) has unmarried children under the age of 21 living with them abroad, they may be eligible for K-2 visas to enter the U.S. with their parent. They must be included in the original petition to USCIS and must travel at the same time or after the K-1 visa holder.    Back to Immigration FAQs

What happens after we get married?

Once the couple is married, applications for a Green Card may be filed for all K-1 and K-2 visa holders associated with the original petition.    Back to Immigration FAQs

What if we decide not to get married within the 90 days?

If you fail to get married within the 90 days, the Alien Fiancé(e) and any children included in the original petition must leave the U.S. Failure to depart is a violation of U.S. immigration law and can lead to deportation. Any future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits may also be negatively affected. Please note that the K-1 visa holder may only apply for a Green Card based on their marriage to the petitioner. If they are married after the 90 days, other options may be available.   Back to Immigration FAQs



I would like to know when is the right time to reapply citizenship again because my first application was denied due to lack of good moral character. I was given a letter that I may apply for an appeal, but I don't have money for the application. How long should I wait to reapply?

One of the requirements of naturalization is a demonstration of good moral character. If the denial was based on criminal history which occurred prior to your application, but within 5 years of your application, you would need to wait 5 years from the date of your conviction. If the denial was based on a misrepresentation which occurred during the interview, you would need to wait 5 years from the interview date. It would be wise to consult with an attorney, to avoid any additional time or money waste. Also, please be advised some criminal history may make you removable. You would also want to have the attorney review this as well, prior to any application for citizenship. Best of luck next time! Back to Immigration FAQs



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Immigration Law