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Q. I currently have a H-1 B visa but have lost my job; am I eligible for unemployment?
A. H-1B visa holders are authorized to work in the United States for one specific employer. If you are permanently separated from that employer and your alien status has not changed, you cannot legally work for another employer and you would be ineligible for benefits. This is also applicable to all other non-immigrant visas such as: TN, O-1, L-1, etc.
Also, collecting unemployment will raise issue with a green card application because 1) you have collected a “public benefit;” and 2) it demonstrates that you could become a public charge.
Accordingly, these FAQs should be viewed as general information on the subjects they address, and not as specific legal advice. Immigration law is very complex and the existence of certain facts in individual cases may significantly impact the eligibility for an immigration benefit.
Green Cards fall into four categories:
- Family Based: Family based green cards require a direct relationship to a United States citizen or in some cases a legal permanent residence.
- Investment Based: Green cards in this classifications are for business investors who want to migrate the United States. Contact us for more information.
- Exceptional Achievement: This type of green card is available for individual with outstanding, noteworthy and significant achievements in their field.
- Employment Based: This type of green card requires an employer to act as a sponsor and the individual and job must meet minimum requirements depending on the classification.
Q. When can I file my green card? This depends first on whether it is family or employment based. For employment cases the time frame typically depends on the employer sponsoring the petition. Family based petitions can be filed at any time provide the appropriate family relationship is in place.
Q. How long will the process take? This depends on the type of process for most green cards the process will take a minimum of 10-12 months, but typically takes 15-18 months.
Q. What classification am I eligible for? This depends on many factors including: your skill and expertise, education level, family relationship to US citizens or Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs, also referred to as Green Card holders.) Contact us for a consultation and we can discuss it in detail.
Q. If I change to a new H-1b employer, do I need to file my H4 also?
No, the H4 is linked to the H-1b holder and not to any particular employer.
Q. Can I file an H4 EAD for my spouse?
Yes, if the following basic requirements are met:
1) you currently hold and approved h1b.
2) you have an approved I-140 petition.