How Non-Immigrant Visa Holders Maintain Their Legal Status In US?

Video Transcript

Welcome viewers to the legal segment of Sitaarre TV, this is Shweta Khandelwal an attorney specializing in immigration law and practicing right here in Santa Clara. Today we are going to talk about some issues and concerns regarding non-immigrant visas and how can such visa holders maintain and continue to maintain their legal status in the US. Now a non-immigrant visa is a visa which is temporary it is issued for a temporary period and it is issued for a specific purpose, for example, a visitor is issued a B-1 visa or a B-2 visa depending upon whether  the visit is for business or pleasure, a student is issued an F-1 or J-1 visa, a worker would be issued an H or an L visa. Now the first question that is relevant is how long can a person stay in the US on that particular visa that is issued to him or her. Now a common misconception is that a person can remain in the US for as long as the visa is stamped on the passport or for the period that is indicated in the I- 797 that is the approval notice that is often accompanied once a petition is approved, but this is not true the period of stay in the US is actually dependent upon the I-94 this is the document that is issued at the port of entry to every person who enters the US on a non-immigrant visa so it is a period that is indicated on the i-94 which will actually determine how long can a person remain in the US. Now the next question is about maintaining status and not violating the terms of the visa now for example, a student who is issued an F1 visa will fail to maintain his or her status if he or she does not comply with the terms of the visa ,now if the student does not attend university or college or fails to maintain the minimum number of grades or coursework or credits that he or she is required to maintain then that student would be in violation of his or her visa. A worker a temporary worker on an H or an L visa would be violating the terms of his or her visa if the person quits a job or his job or is maybe laid off by the employer. Now this is an extremely common situation in today’s economy people find themselves laid off from work and even though there I 94 may continue to be valid it is very important to remember that they lose their status the moment they lose their job, this visa was issued to them so that they could work in the US and when they lose your employment they will lose their visa status. So how how exactly can this situation be remedied, a student on an f1 visa should reinstate his or her visa status if you’re she falls out of status that means if you failed to maintain your F1 status you should contact your international student office at the University and they’ll help you reinstate your F1 visa. Now an employee or a worker who has been laid off finds him or herself unemployed should try to contact another employer and have his or her visa transfer to that employer as soon as possible. There should be as little a gap as possible between the two jobs. If you cannot find another job then the person must try to enroll himself or herself in a university or college change his visa status from an H or an L to that of an F1. If you do not want to study then you should change your visa status from the H or L to the B-1 visa and if nothing works then leave the US as soon as possible. It is very important that you do not stay in the US without a job or without being enrolled in a school or college. This is critical to preserve your right to enter the US and future. I hope you found the session info motive relevant and useful as usual if you have any comments suggestions or feedback, feel free to email me at [email protected], see you next week.