World Journal Weekly Q & A - April 22, 2012
Q & A 1. 2. 3.
EB-5 Investor Wants to Know How to Preserve His Green Card If He Does Not Stay in the U.S. Very Long.
An investor asks:
I just received my conditional green card through the EB-5 program last month, and I need to know how much time I must stay in the U.S. to keep up the green card. What are the risks if I only come into the United States once every six months?
Under U.S. immigration law, a permanent resident is supposed to spend the majority of the year in the United States. Lacking that, we suggest coming into the States every 4-5 months; paying income taxes without taking the income exception for income earned overseas; establishing ties and bonds with the country such as family members in the States, real property, personal property, driver's licenses, memberships in clubs and associations, etc. Finally immigration inspectors will usually say whether they are very concerned about your absences from the States and many will give the green card holder a chance and inform him/her to apply for a reentry permit before the next entry.
What Are the Options Now for B-2 Entrant Who Wants to Stay and Be Sponsored for H-1B Status?
A B-2 visitor asks:
I graduated with my master's degree in May 2011, couldn't get a job here, and so left the U.S. in August. I came back in the September on a B-2 visitor's visa to clean up my affairs and to visit friends. In November, a company offered me H-1B sponsorship, but it was too late because the H-1B quota ended before the lawyer could put in the paperwork. What are my options at this point?
That is an unfortunate circumstance as the next time for application for the H-1B cap is April 2012 for work to begin in October 2012. Your visitor's visa will normally not be able to extend your stay until October 2012. If you have a desire to go back to school, you could possibly change your status to F-1 student. There is also a possibility that you may be able to find another employer such as an institution of higher education which is not subject to the cap and could sponsor you for H-1B status at any time. Finally you could return home and so long as the company is willing to sponsor you in April, most likely return in October 2012 under H-1B status.
Reader Wonders Whether Criminal History Will Affect His Renewing of His 10 Year Green Card.
A green card holder asks:
My 10 year green card expires in September 2012, and I wish to renew it now. I had a criminal case against me in 2005 for shoplifting for which I had to pay a fine of $500 and spend three days in community service. Will this be a problem?
The I-90 application to replace permanent green card is not a re-adjudication of your right to permanent residence, but U.S.C.I.S. will see an individual's criminal record through a biometrics check which you must undergo. Your shoplifting episode should not be a hindrance to renewing the green card. I do note that U.S.C.I.S. will accept I-90 applications six months ahead of time, and so you may wish to wait until March 2012 to submit your application.