FAQ: Can I get my Green Card Faster?

You have an approved I-140 application in either the EB2 or EB3 category. You are aware that the Priority date for immigrants from India in the EB3 category is a wait of over 10 years, and the EB2 category is over 5. You have become aware of an option called Cross Chargeability, which allows married applicants with a spouse from a different country of birth to use the country of birth of their spouse to apply for a green card, without having to wait in line for the India Priority date to become current.

1. I was born in India, and my spouse was also born in India. Can I get a green card using my spouse’s country of birth?

No, as your spouse’s country of birth is the same as yours, this does not apply to you.

2. Both I and my spouse are Indian nationals, but my spouse was born in the United Arab Emirates. Can I get a green card using my spouse’s country of birth?

Yes, as the country of birth is what controls which country you and your spouse fall under for your visa and Priority date, you would be able to use your spouse’s country of birth to get a green card. 

3. I have an approved I-140 in the EB3 category. I am from India, and my spouse is from Pakistan. Can I get a green card using my spouse’s country of birth?

Yes, as your spouse is from Pakistan, you could use your spouse’s country of birth to get your green card. If your Priority date is on or before the “All Chargeability Areas Except those Listed” Priority date on the Visa Bulletin, you should be able to adjust your status immediately. If your priority date falls after that, you will need to wait for the Priority date to become current.

4. I have an approved I-140 in the EB2 category. I am from India, and my husband is from Nepal. Can I get a green card using my husband’s country of birth?

Yes, as your husband is from Nepal, you could get a green card immediately. It does not matter what your priority date is.

A married man or women from India or China, with an approved I-140 in the EB2 category, with any priority date, and a spouse from any country other than India or China, can use the spouse’s country of birth to get a green card immediately, as the priority date is current in all other countries of birth.

5. I have an approved I-140 in the EB2 category. I am from India, and my wife is from China. Can I get a green card based on my wife’s country of birth?

If you priority date is on or before the China Priority date listed in the Visa Bulletin, then yes, you can get a green card.

A married man or woman from India with an approved I-140 in the EB2 category with a priority date on or before the China Priority date, with a spouse whose country of birth is China, could use the spouse’s country of birth to apply for a green card immediately, as the priority date would be current.

(All dates subject to change based on the current Visa Bulletin).

 

Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is highly experienced in working with employment-based visas, adjustment of status, green cards, and PERM labor certification. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.

What information can I obtain from the website?
The I-94 website provides you with the most recent I-94 admission record and limited travel history. The most recent I-94 admission record can be printed and used as evidence of a lawful admission. The website will provide arrival and departure date information for a
passport number for the past five years. Travel history will only be provided for the passport number entered for the search.

Where does the travel history come from?
CBP maintains arrival records in the Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS).

What records can I access?
NIIS maintains arrival and departure records. The I-94 website will provide the arrival/departure date and port of entry/exit for the passport entered into the query. The website will provide records for the past five years.

Can I obtain travel records for previous or expired passports?
Yes. The website will provide travel history going back five years. If you would like to obtain information on an older or expired passport, you must conduct a query on that passport.

Why do I need my travel history?
All information obtained from the website must be used for official purposes. You may need your travel history if you are trying to obtain benefits, whether with CIS or another agency.

What is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request?
A FOIA request is a written or electronic request received by CBP from any individual or entity requesting records including databases held or believed to be held by an agency. You can find additional information about FOIA and FOIA requests at http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia.

I have already filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for my travel history. What do I need to do?
If you have filed a request under FOIA with CBP and the information provided by the I-94 website satisfies that request, you can request a FOIA cancellation by submitting your FOIA number on the Get Travel History portion of the I-94 website.

What is a FOIA number?
CBP provides a case number to each FOIA request submitted. The case numbers begin with CBP and are followed by the year submitted and 6 alphanumeric characters (e.g. CBP-2014-XXXXXX).

What information must I provide?

FAQs for I941. Last/Surname - Enter your family name as it appears in the Last Name or Surname field on the travel document you used to enter the United States. If there is any concern about the name to use - please refer to the Machine Readable Zone on the passport. That is in most cases the name that will be used.
2. First (Given) Name - Enter your first (given) name as it appears in the First or Given Name field on the travel document you used to enter the United States. Do not include middle names, nicknames, or titles.
3. Birth Date - Enter the date of your birth.
4. Passport Number - Enter your passport number as it appears on your passport biographic page. The passport number may contain numbers and/or letters. Please closely distinguish between the two. Some commonly confused characters are the number zero (0) and letter 'O' and the number one (1), and the letters 'I'. When seeking travel history, you must enter the passport number you wish to obtain the history from. The website will only provide the history of the passport number entered.
5. Country of Issuance - The passport country of issuance is your country of citizenship as it appears on your passport. The country of citizenship on your passport is the passport issuing authority, regardless of the country the passport was physically obtained in.

Will CBP provide a traveler with any documentation or evidence showing status and time allowed in the U.S.?
Yes. CBP will provide each traveler with an admission stamp that is annotated with date of admission, class of admission and admitted until date. The CBP admission stamp is listed as an alien registration document found in 8 CFR. 264.1.

How long will my admission record be available on the I-94 website?
A traveler will have access to their most recent admission record on the I-94 website. The availability of the record does not convey legal authority to remain in the United States outside of the terms and conditions of admission. All travelers must comply with the terms of the classification granted and admitted until date.

Will the I-94 automation process help eliminate errors? If information on the I-94 is in error, how does the traveler correct mistakes?
The electronic version of the I-94 will help eliminate errors because the information will be obtained by official documents and officer input. If there is an error or mistake on the paper or electronic form I-94, the traveler can contact the Deferred Inspection office
closest to their location.

What should a traveler do if he or she was admitted incorrectly to the United States?
If a traveler was admitted incorrectly to the United States, the traveler should visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or Port of Entry (POE) to have his or her admission corrected. A list of Deferred Inspection Sites and POEs can be found on CBP's website, www.cbp.gov, under the "Ports" link at the bottom of the page. If a traveler was issued an incorrect I-94 by USCIS, the traveler should refer to the Form I-102, which can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/forms.

How do I report my departure if I enter via air and depart via land?
If you have a paper form I-94 and depart by land, you can turn the form into Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) upon entry into Canada or to CBP at the port of entry prior to entering Mexico. If you received an electronic I-94 upon arrival by air or sea and depart via land, your departure may not be recorded accurately. A departure will be recorded if you depart via land and re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped in your passport. If you are not a resident of Canada or Mexico and you receive an electronic I-94 and depart via land, but do not re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped on your passport, you may want to travel with evidence of your departure into Canada or Mexico. Evidence of departure can include, but is not limited to, entry stamps in a passport, transportation tickets, pay stubs and/or other receipts. A traveler can request an entry stamp from CBSA when entering Canada or from the InstitutoNacional de Migracion (INM) when entering Mexico.

How does a traveler revalidate a visa without their I-94?
The I-94 admission record is created electronically and maintained in CBP systems. CBP will verify the I-94 electronically to re-validate an expired visa if the traveler meets the conditions of automatic revalidation. In order to demonstrate eligibility for automatic
revalidation, a traveler may be required to present a copy of the website printout to the air or sea carrier prior to boarding. If entry occurred prior to automation, a paper form must be presented in order to comply with validation requirements. For more information
about automatic revalidation go to http://www.cbp.gov/document/bulletins/automatic-revalidation-visas.

How does CBP document SEVIS records?
CBP does not currently document or update SEVIS records. Upon automation, CBP Officers will provide the SEVIS number with the admission stamp.

How does CBP's automation of Form I-94 affect the Form I-9 process?
It does not affect the Form I-9 process. However, the public should be prepared to see I-94 Forms that will look differently than what they are used to seeing. Now, they will see both I-94 Forms that have original stamps and writing on a card as well as I-94 Forms that are printouts with no original writing or stamps on them. Both versions are acceptable for Form I-9 purposes. For more information on the I-9 form and process, visit www.uscis.gov.

Where do I go to get additional information?
If you have additional questions about I-94 Automation, arrival numbers or travel to the United States, please visit https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/list/kw/I-94%20Automation.

 

Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is highly experienced in working with employment-based visas, adjustment of status, green cards, and PERM labor certification. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.

USCIS received about 172,500 H-1B petitions during the filing period which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 10, 2014, USCIS completed a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All advanced degree petitions not selected then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

Please note that by the time recipts notices are processed it might be end of April 2014 and can be sent as late as July, 2014.

 

Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Our experienced team of immigration lawyers in Houston & Dallas advises clients throughout the H-1B visa application process, including responding to various requests for evidence and consular processing issues. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.

As part of efforts strengthen entrepreneurship domestically, the White House announced this week that DHS will soon publish regulations allowing the spouses of certain H-1B workers to apply for work authorization. This proposed rule has been undergoing regulatory review since 2012, but no concrete regulations have been issued thus far. The proposed rule would apply to H-4 visa holders whose H-1B spouses are in the process of applying for employment-based permanent residence, and whose H-1B status has been extended beyond the initial six-year limit based on the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21). Eligible H-4 applicants would who apply for work authorization would be issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card). Specific details concerning the application process, such as filing fees, processing times, and period of eligible authorization, have yet to be announced by DHS.

Given that the H-4 work authorization rule has been pending since 2012, this week’s announcement by the Obama administration is encouraging; however, the press release did not provide an expected timeframe for DHS’s final publication of the rule, beyond stating that it would be “soon.” Please continue checking this website for updates on progress of this matter.

 

Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Our experienced team of immigration lawyers in Houston & Dallas advises clients throughout the H-1B visa application process, including responding to various requests for evidence and consular processing issues. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.