Visa Crunch

Can students on a visa application for a Green Card in the US?

When an application for an immigrant visa (Form I-140) is filed with the US Immigration and Citizenship (USCIS), a green card is deemed to have been filed. The majority of green cards require labor certification, often known as a PERM petition, from the US Department of Labor. 

Most nonimmigrant visas (temporary visas) require that the applicant has no intention of remaining in the US permanently. This type of intention is known as “nonimmigrant intent.” Filing for a teen card indicates a clear intention to immigrate. However, there are several circumstances under which such filing is allowed. It is critical to be aware of the appropriate legislation.

It is possible that entry into the US may be refused. If a student visa holder’s green card application is pending, their readmission into the US might possibly be rejected. In practice, the immigration officer who interviews the student at the airport or port of entry is in charge of making that choice. As a result, there is an unmistakable element of danger, which an individual student may or may not find acceptable.

Is it safe for a student to travel while their green card application is pending?

There are two points where a safe harbor is achieved, and the pending green card has no bearing on travel.

  • The first step is to petition for and get an H-1B, L-1, or O-1 visa or status. By law, both the H-1B and L-1 visas allow the visa/status holder to have a green card pending. Dual intent visas allow a nonimmigrant to have both immigrant and nonimmigrant intent. By implication and policy, the O-1 status or visa is deemed dual purpose. Other, less commonly used visas may also be able to give the dual purpose safe harbor.
  • When one applies for the last stage in the green card procedure, the second point at which it is safe to travel is achieved (adjustment of status).

What exactly is “adjustment of status?”

For persons who are already in the US in lawful statuses, such as student status, adjustment of status is the final stage in the green card process. AOS can only be submitted if the nation where a student was born does not have it. Along the line of persons who have applied for green cards in the past.

For students born in India, the waiting might be many years. It is important to note that the AOS waiting time is determined by the nation of birth, not the country of citizenship. A provision that allows an AOS applicant to use his or her spouse’s country of birth is an exemption to being bound by the country of birth. If the spouse was born in Nepal, for example, a person born in India might submit an AOS citing their spouse’s country of birth.

What are the benefits of filing a green card application early?

The apparent benefit of applying for a green card while still, a student is that it saves time. For nations like India, the green card application procedure might take many years. It is apparent that starting the procedure early would save time. Furthermore, if and when an H-1B is secured, a pending green card petition allows the H-1B status to be extended much beyond the standard six-year period.

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