Common Questions from Change of Status to Green Card Sponsorship
Q. I am in the US on an F-1 visa. My practical training expires on June 15, 2000. My company filed papers for me with the INS last week for an H-1B visa.
Q. I am working for a company in Los Angeles and my H-1B visa expires in May 2001. I just married a US citizen. I was told it takes approximately 2 years to get a green card interview in Los Angeles. Can I apply for a green card interview in Tokyo while I work in the US?
A. Yes. The total processing time is approximately 6 months. You will be required to return to Japan a few days before the interview. On the day of the interview the Embassy will give you a "green card" visa to allow you to return to the US. Your US citizen husband does not need to attend that interview.
Q. My wife and I just had a baby in the United States. We are here on E visas. When can our baby sponsor us for green cards?
A. A US citizen (by birth or naturalization) can sponsor his parents for green cards once they are 21 years old. It then takes approximately 6 months to set up the interview in Tokyo, Japan.
Q. I have been working for 1 year as a manager or executive at a company in Japan. My company wants to establish a branch office in the US and transfer me here to manage it. Is it possible?
A. Yes. The L-1A visa for new offices is the visa you need. It is valid initially for 1 year. You can remain in L-1A status for up to 7 continuous years. You can also apply for a green card once your US company is at least 1 year old.
Q. Is it possible to get a visitor visa if I am Japanese?
A. Most Japanese nationals can visit the United States without a visa under the VISA WAIVER PROGRAM. This allows visitors to come for up to 90 days. If you need to remain longer you can apply for a B-1/2 visa, but you will have to convince the US Embassy that 90 days is not long enough.