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My Law,LLC Immigration Law Firm WebSite: E-mail: Phone: 1-(630) 903-9625

Thursday, April 28, 2011

H-1B Introduction

The H-1B visa is an employer sponsored nonimmigrant visa. This is the primary nonimmigrant visa for foreigners that want to work in the U.S. 

Basic Requirements 
The H-1B job must be a professional position that requires, at a minimum, a bachelor's degree in the field of specialization. The H-1B occupation must also normally require a bachelor's degree as a minimum for entry into the occupation. 

How Will I Know If I Meet the Requirements for H-1B? 

Monday, April 25, 2011

What should the H-1B visa holder do if they want to stay in the US after being laid off?

What should the H-1B visa holder do if they want to stay in the US after being laid off?

The employer is required to notify the USCIS that the H-1B visa holder was terminated so he will be out of status as soon as USCIS is notified. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What happens when an H-1B visa holder is laid off?

What happens when an H-1B visa holder is laid off?

If a company sponsors an H-1B visa employee, they are not obligated to retain him. 

US employment is usually "at will" which means they can fire an H-1B visa holder for any legal reason just as they can fire their regular employees.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Optional Practical Training - Unemployment

IRS Tax Audit

Generally, the IRS only audits about 1% of all individual tax returns annually. Certain factors can increase your audit risk such as omitting income, making math errors, and certain credits. Here is a list of 10 “red flags” that draw attention to your tax return and increase your risk of audit.

1.     Failing to report all taxable income. The IRS receives copies of all your W-2s and 1099s. You may not care about reporting a few dollars of bank interest from the 1099-INT but the IRS does. A mismatch increases your audit risk.

2.     Claiming large charitable deductions. If you claim charitable deductions that are disproportionate to your income, this raises a red flag. You need to retain receipts for your cash and property contributions. If your donate more than $500 of property, you must have an appraisal.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Part-time H-1B status

Part-time H-1B status -Mutually Beneficial Option for H-1B Employers and Workers

When most people think about H-1B visas, they think it is restricted to full time employment because most H-1B workers they know have full-time jobs. Petitioners and applicants for H-1B visas often overlook that employers can petition for part-time H-1B worker. 

There is no minimum number of weekly hours for an H1B petition and H-1B workers can have multiple part-time H-1B jobs. This provides some alternatives for those that already have H-1B status and also H-1B job seekers. 

Health insurance for nonimmigrants (F-1, J-1, etc)

Health insurance for nonimmigrants (F-1, J-1, etc)
When you are in the United States as a nonimmigrant it is important that you have health insurance since health care is costly in the United States. 

In fact, some visas such as F-1 and J-1 visas require you to have health care insurance. Generally, the school health insurance or J-1 sponsor health insurance will be one of the most costly options. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

H-1B transfer

H-1B transfer:
The H-1B visa is employer specific, position specific, and location specific. 

If you change employers, the new employer must file a new H-1B petition. If you meet the requirements for H-1B portability, you can start working for the new employer as soon as the new H-1B petition is filed. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

EB-5 Immigrant Investors

EB-5 Immigrant Investors:

The basic idea idea behind the EB-5 is if you invest enough money in a US commercial enterprise,  you may be eligible for an investment based visa. 

The general requirement is that you must invest $1 million and create at least 10 new jobs. The investment amount can be lowered to $500,000 if the investment is made in a "targeted employment area". 

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. 

OPT can be before you graduate (pre-completion) or after you graduate (post completion). Students are generally eligible for a total of 12 months of OPT but if you decide to pursue a higher degree, you are eligible for another 12 months. 

J-1 Trainee

J-1 Trainee:
a J-1 trainee must either have a degree from overseas plus one year of non-US work experience related to the proposed training, or have at least five years of non-US work experience related to the proposed training.  

So, OPT folks with just the US degree will not qualify for the J-1.

Things that F-1 students should know

Things that F-1 students should know
Here are some things that F-1 visa holders should know:

-An F-1 can be issued no earlier than 120 days from the program start date on the I-20

Sunday, April 10, 2011

H-3 Trainee visa

H-3 Trainee visa

A petition for temporary workers and for participants in a special education exchange visitor program.

The primary purpose of this petition is to receive instruction and training. It is not to provide productive employment, unless the employment is incidental and necessary to the training.

The H-3 visa allows a foreign national to receive training in a formal training program where the employer can prove that: 

(1) any productive employment will be incidental to the training; 
(2) the training is not available in the alien’s country; 
(3) the training will benefit the alien in pursuing a career outside of the United States; and
(4) no U.S. worker will be displaced. 

My Law, LLC
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
(630) 903-9625

Friday, April 8, 2011


March 31, 2010
Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council applauds a Supreme Court decision on the right to counsel for noncitizens charged with committing a crime. The Court held that criminal defense lawyers must advise their noncitizen clients about the risk of deportation if they accept a guilty plea.

The Court recognized that current immigration laws impose harsh and mandatory deportation consequences onto criminal convictions, and that Congress eliminated from these laws the Attorney General's discretionary authority to cancel removal in meritorious cases. The Court said, "These changes to our immigration law have dramatically raised the stakes of a noncitizen's criminal conviction. The importance of accurate legal advice for noncitizens accused of crimes has never been more important."

Overseas U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien Tax Filing

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien (green card holder), the rules for filing income tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside. If you reside overseas, you have until  June 15  to file your tax return but taxes due must be paid by April 15 to avoid interest charges.

Worldwide Income

If you are a US citizen, have a green card, or meet the substantial presence test, your US tax return must include your worldwide income. This isn't that bad for most people but could cause problems if you have substantial overseas income. The US has tax treaties with a number of foreign countries (there is currently no tax treaty with Taiwan) and you may be eligible for the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign tax credit.

Substantial Presence 

Do you need to file a tax return?

You should file a tax return if you expect a refund.  You are generally required to file if your income is above the amounts specified below:

Your filing status is Single and you're:
    * younger than 65 with gross income of $9,350 or more

Your filing status is Married Filing Jointly and:
    * you are both younger than 65 with a combined gross income of $18,700 or more

For Single Dependents (claimed on someone else’s tax return)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dependent Visas for Spouses of H-1B, L-1, and F-1 Visa Holders

Dependent Visas for Spouses of H-1B, L-1, and F-1 Visa Holders

H-4 visa

The H-4 visa is available for spouses of H-1B visa holders. The H-4 visa does not allow the visa holder to work. The H-4 visa can be converted to an H-1B or F-1 but there are many obstacles such as onerous requirements of the H-1B and the high cost of education in the US. This results in many spouses who were working and successful in their country being stuck at home in the US.  

L-2 visa

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The U.S. job market has looked bleak for some time and there are no definitive signs of improvement. With fewer job opportunities available, nonimmigrant visa holders should consider some alternatives to H-1B.
One alternative is to apply for a National Interest Waiver (NIW). This classification of immigrant worker does not require a job offer and the alien may self petition. The otherwise required job offer is waived for the sake of the United States’ “national interest.”  Upon approval of NIW, the alien will receive a green card.

NIW Requirements
The applicant must qualify as either an "Advanced Degree Professional" or an "Alien of Exceptional Ability."
In order to qualify for an NIW, an alien applicant must demonstrate the following"
1.   Alien seeks employment in an area the US has determined is important such as scientific research
2.   That the proposed benefit will be national in scope (e.g. publications, articles, letters of recommendation).

3.   The national interest would be adversely affected  if a labor certificate:ion were required for the alien (e.g. urgency, importance of research).