Pending I-140 travel on F1 or Advanced parole
Question: I got my OPT 17 months extension in May 2013, and last month I applied for I-140 (NIW). I’m planning to visit my country in near future, so I think it would be better to have H1 rather than F1-OPT. I have following questions:Q1: during the processing time of I-140, can I apply for H1 (academic by the University)?
Yes you can apply for a H1B, since the visa holder can posses immigration intent. However, you may not be able to extend an F1 or apply for a J1.
Q2: After obtaining H1 if I140 is still not approved can I go outside USA?
You can always travel outside the USA and reenter using a valid H1B visa. This will not affect your i-140 processing. However you should get a visa H1B visa stamp at the US consulate in your country.
Q3:After obtaining H1, if I-140 is approved before I travel outside, can I travel outside USA before applying for I-485?
Yes. Same as question 2.
Q4: After having H1, and if I-140 is approved , and if I applied for I-485 before I travel outside USA, do I have to apply for travel document while I-485 is processing?
In this situation you have two choices. You can apply for an Advanced Parole (travel document) and use it. This is safe since your i-140 is already approved. If you use the AP your legal status becomes “pending i-485” (parolee) and your non-immigrant H1B status is considered abandoned. For your work purpose you can apply for an EAD (in the pendingi-485 status) and use it as a work permit.
Second option is to use your H1B. If you want to use your H1B you should already have a stamp or get H1B stamped. In this case your status is still H1B.
Both are safe options. Most people prefer the former if their i-140 is already approved.Sincerely
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