Chicago Immigration Attorneys
Chicago Immigration Work Visa Lawyer - H-1B Visas, L-1 Visas, E Treaty Visas
A nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is coming to the U.S. for a temporary visit. A nonimmigrant can engage only in permitted activities, which depend on the alien's nonimmigrant classification. There are approximately thirty types of nonimmigrant classifications. To obtain some classifications (H-1B, H-2B, etc.) the alien must be a beneficiary of a petition filed by an employer. The visa stamp itself can be obtained through a U.S. consulate abroad. The visa stamp only allows an alien to travel to the U.S. and apply for admission at the border. The CBP at the border will make an independent decision whether to admit the alien, in what status, and for what period of authorized stay. The authorized period of stay is indicated on form I-94, which should be kept stapled in the alien's passport.
Once an alien is admitted to the U.S., he or she must maintain the appropriate status consistent with the conditions of the alien's admission. If the alien needs to stay longer or wishes to engage in activity inconsistent with the initial admission (for example, employment), he or she may apply to the USCIS for extension of stay or a change of status even if the visa stamp in the passport has expired. Only the formal approval of the change of status application by USCIS constitutes authorization to engage in the new activities approved by the new status. Under certain conditions, an alien who is already in H-1B status may commence working for a new employer upon the filing of a new petition by that new employer. With few exceptions, a foreign national who, prior to approval of a change of status, engages in the new activities can be found to be in violation of status in the event the application is denied, although sometimes the USCIS may grant approval retroactively. In general, the mere filing of an application for a different status usually does not constitute permission to engage in the new activities.
There is a significant amount of information concerning what are permitted activities for a particular status. We can help you understand what are the limitations of your status and can help you change to a more appropriate status consistent and your personal or business needs.
Call us at 773-516-4100 or contact us online for a consultation to discuss your immigration issues or questions.