Website Q & A - April 23, 2007
Can Reader Use 245(i) to Extend H-1B Status in U.S. Although Now
Dear Mr. Lee,
I have a Masters degree from the U.S. and was previously in a job
on an H-1B visa. Unfortunately I lost the job in 2003. Since that
time, I have done nothing with my immigration status. However, I
now have an employer who is willing to sponsor me for another H-1B
visa. I believe that I am eligible because I had an approved labor
certification under section 245 (i) with my former employer with
a priority date of March 2001. As I understand, I am able to file
and obtain forgiveness from the U.S. government if I pay $1,000.
I visited another lawyer who told me that this could be done. I
am looking for a second opinion. Can I do this?
You are wise to seek a second opinion as you either misunderstood
what the lawyer was saying or the lawyer gave incorrect advice.
Section 245(i) only applies to immigrant and not nonimmigrant situations.
If you have another basis to immigrate, eg. second labor certification,
family petition, visa lottery, the U.S.C.I.S. will allow you to
interview in the U.S. upon payment of a fine amount of $1,000 because
you qualify under 245(i) as an individual who filed a labor certification
application or immigrant visa petition by April 30, 2001. I do note
that individuals qualifying in this category must also prove that
they were physically present in the U.S. on December 21, 2000.