Hello everybody. This is Cyrus Mehta. Welcome to this week's edition of immigration matters.
As I told you last time, the employment-based second and third preferences for India and China have become current for August 1999. Therefore, all Chinese and Indian nationals who have approved immigrant visa petitions under the second and third employment-based preferences should file applications for permanent residence during the month of August 1999. Only those who have approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions are eligible. We do not know how long these two categories will remain current and it is likely that they may retrogress in a few months after August.
As a result, many young Indian professionals who are on temporary H-1B visas would like to marry before they obtain their green cards. If one marries before obtaining the green card, the spouse can obtain the green card derivatively with the principal applicant. If an individual marries after getting the green card, he or she would have to sponsor the spouse under the family-based second preference, which would involve a wait of five years.
Therefore, if possible, one should not postpone marriage plans until after obtaining the green card. The best time to unite with an overseas spouse is during the H-1B period or when one becomes a U.S. citizen. Consider the intermediate "green card" phase as purgatory - at least as far as sponsoring an overseas spouse is concerned.
If an H-1B holder who is now eligible to adjust status to permanent residence goes to India and marries, the spouse can enter the U.S. under the dependent H-4 visa. The fact that the H-1B spouse has sought permanent residency should not be a bar for the dependent spouse to obtain a nonimmigrant H-4 visa, enter the U.S., and apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence along with the principal adjustment applicant.
Many of you might ask: How is it that someone can enter the U.S. on a temporary H visa and still apply for permanent residency? Won't the consular officer turn down the newly wed's H-4 visa?
Unlike other nonimmigrant visas, the H-1B visa as well as the dependent H-4 visa allows "dual intent." This permits the H visa holder to harbor both a temporary intent as well as a permanent intent at the same time. Therefore, it is not unlawful for a spouse to obtain the H-4 visa to enter the U.S. with the intent of ultimately applying for permanent residency.
On the other hand, finding the right person could at times be one of the most difficult endeavors! Some may not be able to wait if they are running out of time on the H-1B visa. If they do, the employment-based categories may no longer remain current over the next few months and prospective immigrants might run out of luck in pursuit of true love! And if they file without waiting for it there remains the bleak prospect of not uniting for a long time if that love is ultimately found outside the United States.
I hope you found this segment informative and helpful. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Cyrus D. Mehta at 212-686-1581. The number once again is 212-686-1581. You could also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit our website at www.cyrusmehta.com
This is Cyrus Mehta wishing you a wonderful weekend. See you again in two weeks.