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H1-b 9th Year With Approved I140 And Lost Job

Discussion in 'AC 21 H-1B Issues' started by harshalrach@gmail.com, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. harshalrach@gmail.com

    harshalrach@gmail.com Junior Member

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    Hi Ron,

    Firstly big fan of yours for the personal attention you give to most queries!

    We have landed in a bit of a personal situation. My wife in her 9th year of H1-B was laid-off from her job this Monday. She has approved I-140 petition which her employer has promised will not cancel. She is frantically interviewing but as you finding a job within 30 days can be so difficult.

    My immigration state is exactly the same -> approved I-140 and 9th year of H1-B. We have the following options:

    1. My wife looks for a job for 3 weeks and if she can't find one at the end of 3 weeks, we will apply for my dependent H4 for her then.
    After this she can keep looking as an H4 and files for a COS H4-H1 once she has a new job.

    The basis for this is that she has up untill 30 days to get a new H1-B employer or change status.

    2. She converts to my dependent H4 rightaway. She keeps looking for a job and files for a COS H4-H1 once she has a new job

    We heard contrasting opinions from my company's attorney (strongly preferred option #2 above) and her company's attorney (strongly preferred option #1 above).

    Can you pls guide on what option is the safest to take? Any distinct advantage of one option over the other?
    I have seen some public forums strictly saying 30 day period does not really exist and change of status should be done immediately.

    Pls share your guidance and opinion. Will be very very helpful to us in this extremely difficult time for us.

    Thanks much in advance

    Harshal
     
  2. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    Contrary to popular myth, there is no "grace period." She has ten days, by regulation, to move to another employer or file an application to change nonimmigrant status. Personally, I'd file a change of status to H4 immediately. When she finds another job, she can go to work for them as soon as her new H1 petition is on file, even if the USCIS hasn't acted on her COS application yet.
     
  3. harshalrach@gmail.com

    harshalrach@gmail.com Junior Member

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    Dear Ron,

    Thank you very much for the detailed reply. We will do exactly as you say and file for her COS to my H4 dependent today itself.
    Very grateful for the insights you provide.

    Regards

    Harshal
     
  4. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    Keep in mind that you can file the COS to H4 electronically through the ELIS system if you want it on file today.
     
  5. harshalrach@gmail.com

    harshalrach@gmail.com Junior Member

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    Sure Ron!

    My company's attorney is doing exactly that (my company was kind enough to bear the expense and file through their attorney!).
    The attorney is renowned law firm in Atlanta but I trust your advice more than them or anyone else!

    I have been a silent follower of your opinions and advice for the last 3 years and value your feedback immensely. :)
     
  6. harshalrach@gmail.com

    harshalrach@gmail.com Junior Member

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    Hi Ron,

    Just a small info on something I learnt today:

    ELIS does not support I-539 applications to change status to H4. We had to manually file the I-539 COS form.
    I did not do it myself, the paralegal from our company pointed it out when she tried using ELIS.

    Not sure if this is something recent. Just wanted to post it out there for the benefit of others who might need to do this in the future.
     
  7. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    Good point. I don't file I-539s myself. I review the form and let a paralegal file it.
     

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