H-1B visas are nonimmigrant visas that allow people from three categories to live and work in the U.S. for between three and six years:
Coming to the U.S. on a student or exchange visa comes with the responsibility to maintain your immigration status while you complete your program. You can violate your immigration status in several ways, but the primary ones include overstaying your visa, reducing your academic load below full time and exceeding your work authorization.
In August, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spoke at a Center for Immigration Studies event. The controversial think tank advocates for far less immigration being allowed in the U.S. At the event, the director said that a plan to end work authorizations for H-4 visa holders is still being worked on. Previously, the Department of Homeland Security had estimated it would stop offering the work authorizations in June.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced a significant policy change. In the past, when an application for a visa or lawful permanent resident status contained errors, the USCIS adjudicator would issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). This would notify the applicant of a deficiency in their application and give them a chance to address the problem before the application was officially denied.
It's an unfortunate reality that the wait to have a U.S. citizenship application processed can be long. In past years, applications were processed in about four to six months, according to one Bay Area citizenship class instructor. Since the Trump administration began, that wait has grown to between 10 months and a year -- and longer in other big cities with large immigrant populations.
If you have been affected by the California wildfires this year, you may need immigration help. You may have missed an appointment, lost documents or run into other problems that could affect your immigration status. Don't panic. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides some special immigration services for people affected by unforeseen circumstances, and the California wildfires have been added to the list of covered events.