CLARITY AND STRENGTH IN IMMIGRATION LAW
Visa Options Post-Graduation and
Beyond
Overcoming Pitfalls & Obstacles on
the Road to Success
[email protected]
Sumner Immigration Law PLLC
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1
CLARITY AND STRENGTH IN IMMIGRATION LAW
INTRODUCTION
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Terminology
Passport
Visa
I-94 card
Immigrant (permanent residence)
Non-immigrant
US citizen
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CLARITY AND STRENGTH IN IMMIGRATION LAW
POST-GRADUATION VISA
OPTIONS
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Typical Post-Graduation
Progression
Optional Practical Training
Valid for up to 12 months
STEM Extension – 17 months
H-1B Petition
Valid for up to 6 years total
Can start green card
PERMANENT RESIDENCE
May take years!
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Multiple avenues
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Optional Practical Training
What is it?
Who is eligible?
How long can I have it?
STEM Extension – 17 months
E-Verify Employer
STEM Major
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CLARITY AND STRENGTH IN IMMIGRATION LAW
H-1B CLASSIFICATION
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H-1B: What you need to know
H-1B Cap!
65,000 + 20,000 for US master’s degree holders
April 1 filing date
What is the H-1B classification?
Eligibility
US employer willing to sponsor (pay fees)
Specialty occupation
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H-1B: What you need to know
Specialty occupation: professional position in
which a bachelor’s degree in a specific field of
study is the minimum requirement for entry
into the profession.
Examples:
Bookkeeper
Quality assurance analyst
Scientific researcher
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H-1B: What you need to know
Required wage – what the employer must pay
Prevailing wage
Actual wage
Timing of H-1B Petition Filing
File April 1
Start working in H-1B status October 1
Cap Gap!
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H-1B: What you need to know
H-1B Cap Gap:
Must have timely filed a change of status petition
while still in F-1/OPT
Petition must be accepted/approved
Can keep working until 10/1 even though OPT
expired
If petition denied/revoked/not selected, this does
not apply
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H-1B: What you need to know
H-1B Preparation
Labor Condition Application (LCA) – up to 7
business days for certification
Questionnaires, document checklists, forms
drafted
File April 1
Receipt in late April/May
Decision – make sure decided before 10/1
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H-1B: What you need to know
H-1B Approval:
Valid for up to 3 years; can extend for another 3
years
When travel, H-1B visa stamping
Can start green card process while in H-1B status
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ALL ROADS LEAD TO THE GREEN CARD
F-1 STUDENTF-1
OPT/STEM
Extension
J-1/O-1/H-1B
H-1B
PERM
OR
Fast Track (EB-1/NIW)
GREEN CARD!
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Pathways to Permanent
Residence
Employment-Based
Family-Based
Asylum
Diversity Visa
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Employment-Based Permanent
Residence Options
PERM Labor Certification
PERM Special Handling – for university
professors/instructors
Fast-Track Green Cards:
EB-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability
Outstanding Researcher/Professor
National Interest Waiver
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Permanent Residence Process
PERM Labor Certification
3-4 months to prep
8 + months in process
I-140 Petition
2-3 weeks to prep
4-5 months in process
I-485
Must wait for priority date to become current
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4 months + in process
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CLARITY AND STRENGTH IN IMMIGRATION LAW
WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE &
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
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What is the Visa Bulletin?
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PERM Labor Certification
Must show no US worker able, willing,
qualified, and available for the position
Specific recruitment process:
Job order
Newspaper ads
Notice of filing
Three of ten other steps (online, radio, TV, on
campus recruiting, etc.).
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I-140 Petition
Position available
Beneficiary meets requirements for position
Ability to pay
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I-485 Application for Permanent
Residence
Admissibility issues – medical exam,
maintained status, criminal issues, etc.
Can apply for work permit (EAD) and travel
permit at this stage
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Requirements for Fast-Track
Green Card
Nobel Prize (major international award)
Publications
Impact Factors
Citations
Presentations – national & international
Judging the work of others
Awards
Membership in associations
Published materials about your work
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Requirements Continued
Original contribution of major significance to
the field
Leading or critical role at distinguished
organization
Command high salary
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Obstacle # 1
I wasn’t selected in the
H-1B lottery!
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When does OPT end?
Eligible for STEM
Extension?
Change status to
another classification
Family-based options
Stay in F-1 status (start
new degree)
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Obstacle # 2
Does your current
immigration status
allow you to apply for
permanent residence?
H-1B – yes
O-1 – yes, generally
J-1 – maybe
Waiver
Timing – waiver and
petition
TN - maybe
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Obstacle # 3
My priority date may
never be current!
Cross-chargeability
Retain priority date
Two filings
Dr. K’s filings – example
of success
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Obstacle # 4
Help! I’m running out of
time in H-1B status (6
year limit)
Be proactive – plan
ahead!
Post-sixth year
extension
I-140 filing – 365 days
I-140 petition approved
Premium processing
Change of status (O-1?)
Family-based option?
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Elements for Success
What are your long-term goals?
Be willing to be flexible & think outside the
box
Find an experienced immigration attorney you
trust & feel comfortable with
[email protected]
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CLARITY AND STRENGTH IN IMMIGRATION LAW
QUESTIONS?
[email protected]
COM
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