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Immigration Issues/Marriage and Immigration and H1B

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Question
QUESTION: Hello Ajay,

I am currently on H1B and as I am already married with a US Citizen, I thought of skipping the process of getting sponsored by my company and doing it through my marriage.  

I have read tons of articles about interviews not going well due to many reasons however, I am not concerned about any of the questions as our marriage is legitimate and we've known each other forever. However, we did get married civil w/o any witnesses and just a small party among friends (so not your typical big wedding). Does that raise any red flags?

ANSWER: Hi,

The size of the marriage ceremony, or that it is civil rather than religious, does not raise any red flags, since I am sure that you will be able to present evidence that you reside together, that you have commingled your assets (at least to some extent), that you are not keeping this marriage a secret from family/friends, that you have known each other for some time previous to marriage (unless there are cultural or other reasons for doing otherwise), etc.

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QUESTION: Do I really need to hire a lawyer for that? Our case is really simple and I really don't see the need for a lawyer. Are there any links you would recommend that I could use? what are the risks of not having a lawyer and do the process by myself?

thanks

ANSWER: The advantage of proceeding through an experienced immigration attorney is that you will not forfeit any immigration benefits that you may be eligible for, and the process is much more likely to go smoothly and expeditiously due to minimization of any errors in filing or violation of procedural rules.

The decision is entirely yours, of course. The following general information from our website may be helpful, or you can always use a search engine for more pointed inquiries: www.h1b1.com/Uscitizen.htm

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QUESTION: One more and I'm done :)

If I am currently on H1b does that affect my employment before I get my EAD thru the Green card process (I already have my H1b ead)?

If anything stopped the GC process in the middle (sponsor death, divorce, etc) , can I revert back to my H1b w/o having to leave the country?
thanks

Answer
H1B status is automatically considered to be employment authorization for the specific employer who has filed your H1B petition. You can maintain H1B status while I-485 is pending if you extend your status as required. You can also apply for EAD (employment authorization document) independently in connection with the I-485, and this EAD will allow you to work anywhere without any restrictions.

However, you will still be in H1B status (even if you also obtain EAD in connection with I-485) if you continue to work for the H1B employer for at least the agreed upon salary, do not work elsewhere, etc. Thus, if I-485 is denied for any reason, you will continue to maintain your underlying H1B status.

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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