I applied earlier this year for the April draw of H1-B visas. However, I did not receive it in April. My lawyer said he refiled it for the October draw. He told me I'm allowed to stay in the country until the October visa draw. Is this true? Can I go back to my home country (New Zealand) while I'm waiting to get a Visa? For financial reasons, I don't know if I'll be able to stay in the USA until October. And if I don't get my visa in October, I'd have to stay until April next year, which, without working is not really a good option. So while I wait for my work visa, can I go back to New Zealand or will that cancel my visa request process?
The H1b quota has not been met. If your H1b was denied, you can re-file, but processing may go to NZ if you have no other underlying status to stay and file with.
Generally speaking, you must be in status during the entire time that you are waiting for the October approval of your H-1B. If you are a student or in another nonimmigrant visa classification, this satisfies that requirement.
The answer depends on whether you filed for a change of status or extension of your already current H-1B status. In either case, the H-1B can be approved, but if you filed the H-1B together with a change of status request from a different visa then the travel outside the U.S would void the change of status request and you would have to wait outside the U.S. until the H-1B is approved, go do a consulate and then obtain an H-1B visa before entering the U.S. If you were already in H-1B status and are simply seeking an extension of H-1B status, then travel outside the U.S. would not void the extension of status and you could leave and reenter on your current H-1B with a current employer letter. You would receive a new I-94 on entry and when the case is approved, the I-94 you get from USCIS would supercede the one you received on entry.
You may return to New Zealand without canceling your H-1B visa petition. You need to do so if your status is ending, such as if you are on B-2.
I would need additional information about your current immigration status to determine if you could return to New Zealand or not. You should be able to return to New Zealand and process your H1B visa through the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. However, I would need to discuss the matter in more depth to give a definitive answer.
First, there is no "draw" for H visas in a given month. Your departure will not affect the visa petition itself but a request to change your status to H-1B status. You would need to apply for an H-1B visa in order to return and be granted that status.
You can apply for H-1B visa after 4/1/11 with an October 1, 2011 effective date. If you did that in April, you should have received your approval long time ago. If for some reason your case is still pending at the USCIS, just pay $1225 premium processing fee and you can get it in two weeks. If you have requested change of status from other status(such as B or F visa) to H-1B, your departure from the US will be considered to abandon your change of status application. You can still receive your H-1B approval, though, and you can take the approval to the US consulate to apply for H-1B visa.
Leaving the US will not act to withdraw a properly filed an otherwise H-1B petition that can be approved.
First you need to analyze whether or not you are currently in status. If you are, and you timely filed your H petition, then you should be able to remain in the US to change status to an H. If you are not, then you need to see if you have triggered a 3/10 year bar. If you leave the US, then your attorney can alter your H to consular processing. You will then not enter the US until the H is approved and you have obtained an H visa from the US consulate. Be careful in making your decision that you have maintained your status in the US as that can cause later complications if not addressed.
To answer your question I would need to know what your status was before filing for your H-1B . If you leave while the change of status is pending then the H could be approved; but the change of status would not and you will need a visa interview after your H is approved. I am confused about the "April draw" though as filing in April was for an October 1 star date and you would need to maintain your status until that date. There wasn't a new draw in October - same fiscal year - you were just allowed to file up to 6 months ahead.
Ask a local attorney a question for FREE.
FREE answer from a local attorney.
Your email is only used to send answers to you.