Immigration FAQs

In an effort to begin your inquiry into any immigration issue or new immigration law, the attorneys at Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP invite you to consult the frequently asked questions below.  Despite the detailed information provided on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Labor, and Department of State websites, immigration matters are often complex and require experienced legal advice.  For assistance with your immigration matter, contact the firm today.

Can I rely on telephone information provided by USCIS?
Beyond the simplest of questions, it is impossible to present the full scope of your given circumstances to USCIS and obtain complete and accurate answers.

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Is the Immigration Lottery real?
Yes, absolutely.  It is NOT a ruse to locate those who are here illegally.  For more information about the lottery, visit the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program.

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Can my employee start working after I file the non-immigrant petition on the employee’s behalf?
Only if you are petitioning for an H-1B non-immigrant and the employee is already in the United States under H-1B classification.  In all other circumstances, you must wait for approval of the petition.

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What is “Premium Processing”?
Premium Processing is a special USCIS program that provides significantly faster processing in exchange for an additional processing fee. For an additional $1,225, USCIS guarantees either a decision or a request for additional evidence within 15 calendar days on the following types of visa petitions or applications: H-1B, H-2B, H-3, O, P, Q-1, E-1, E-2, L, TN, some R-1, and certain I-140 petitions.

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Is an employee allowed to reimburse the employer for immigration costs?
It depends on the type of visa status obtained and what is being recouped.

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Does marriage to a U.S. citizen automatically confer a green card on a foreign national?
No.  It may take from three months to two years to complete the green card process.

Do I need to register my address?
Yes.  All non-immigrants and lawful Permanent Residents must register any change of address using USCIS Form AR-11.

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Can a student work?
Only if the student has been authorized for curricular practical training, or has an employment authorization document.

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If I sponsor an employee for a green card, can he or she leave my employ before his or her case is finished, yet continue to use the benefits of my sponsorship?
Yes, once the I-140 petition is approved.

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Can my employee’s spouse work?
L-2 visa holders (spouses of L-1 visa holders) and spouses of E visa-holders, and some H-4 visa holders can apply for employment authorization.

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If my employee needs to travel, how easy is it to get a visa for return to the U.S.?
Each consulate or embassy has different local rules for obtaining visas.  Visit the Department of State to see the websites for American embassies and consulates around the world.

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Can a visa be obtained in the United States?
As of 2004, all foreign nationals requiring new visas must apply for their visas at a U.S embassy or consulate outside the United States.

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Can a visa be obtained in Canada?
In many circumstances, yes.  However, if the applicant is denied, he or she must proceed to his or her home country.

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Does a Canadian citizen need a visa?
No, unless applying for E-1 Treaty Trader or E-2 Treaty Investor classification.  However, it is important that the proper non-immigrant classification be requested and conferred at the time of entry to the U.S.

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How has 9/11 and related developments affected prospective employees?
Here is an unofficial list of countries whose nationals may be subject to additional clearances that may delay visa issuance: Bangladesh; Egypt; Indonesia; Jordan; Kuwait; Afghanistan; Algeria; Bahrain; Eritrea; Iran; Iraq; Lebanon; Libya; Morocco; North Korea; Oman; Pakistan; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; Sudan; Syria; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; and Yemen.

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