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Work visas Want to discuss about H1B and other work related visa regulations and latest updates?

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Old February 5th, 2009, 10:15 AM
Hong12 Hong12 is offline
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Questions about DS 156 and DS 157...pls help

I worked at the company A in US as an Electrical Engineer until May, 08 (the end of my 6 year H1). Then, I went back to Malaysia and worked on my family business as a store manager and business owner, selling electrical appliances. My PERM is currently pending over one year now. Accordingly, I got an approval for 1 year and 2 months on my H1 (1 year extension and 2 months recapture time). I will now come back to work at company A in US, starting March 5, 09 (the same US company that I worked until May, 08). I tried to fill out the forms DS 156 and DS 157 for my visa interview. However, there are some items that I am unsure as listed below:

Form DS 156
- Question 20 (Name and Address of Present Employer or School): I think this should be my current company. In this case, please advise if this should be Company A that I will be start working in March or my family business in Malaysia.
- Question 21 (Present Occupation): should this be Electrical Engineer or Store Manager (Business Owner) for my family business? I actually worked as an Electrical Engineer for over 8 years. I only worked on my family business as a Store manager (Business Owner) for one year. Please advise which one I should put.
- Question 25 (Name and Telephone Numbers of Person in US Who You Will Be Staying With or Visiting for Tourism or Business): I will go back to work at Company A in US, and my brother lives in the same area that I will be working. So, I’ll be staying at my brother’s place. In this case, should this Item be the company A’s address or my brother’s address? Otherwise, should I put “None”?
- Question 28 (Who Will Pay For Your Trip): should we put “self” or “Company A”? I’m not sure if there are any requirements that the US company has to pay for the plane ticket of H1B worker. Would it cause me any problems to pay for the plane ticket myself? Please advise.
- Question 29 (Have you ever been in US?):
For How long?: would this be (6 year – 2 months) since I spent 2 month vacation outside US during this past 6 year H1?
Enter Additional Visits to US here: I made 3 trips to Malaysia and 2 trips to Canada during this past 6 years of my H1B. I also made one trip to Canada during my F1 visa. In this case, I’m not sure if this should be the date I returned back to US from my trips to Malaysia and Canada. Should I mention only the trips during my 6 year H1 or mention all the trips, including the period of my F1 Visa?
- Question 30 (Enter additional visa issuances): should I mention the date that I got the visa at the consulate including the place that issued my visa?
- Question 36 (Has Anyone Ever Filed and Immigration Petition on Your Behalf?): My PERM was filed and still pending till now. Accordingly, my I-140 has never been filed. In this case, should I check “Yes” or “No”? I heard that we should check “No” if the I-140 has never been filed regardless of the PERM status. Please advise.

Form DS 157
- Question 8 (Full Name and Address of Contact Person or Organization in United States): should this be the Company A that I will start working in March or my brother’s address?
- Question 9, List All Countries You have Entered in the Last Ten Years (Give the Year of Each Visit): I went to US, Canada and Malaysia during these past ten years. I visited Canada twice: April 4, 08 for a week and April 17, 08 for a week. All my trips to Canada only last approximately one week. In this case, should I still put Canada in this item? If putting Canada in this item, should I put Canada (2008) and Canada (2008) or Canada (April 4, 08) and Canada (April 17, 08) for my two trips to Canada? Should I also list out the length of stay in each country?
- Question 12 (Not Including Current Employer, List Your Last Two Employers): I worked at company B in US till Jan, 07 and then moved to Company A in US until May, 08 (the end of my 6 year H1). Then, I came back to work on my family business till now. I will go back to work at Company A again in March, 09. I am not sure if my present company is my family business in Malaysia. My future company is Company A that I will start working in March, 09. My two previous companies are Company A that I worked from Jan, 07 to May, 08 and also Company B that I worked before Jan, 07. In this case, should I put Company A (Jan, 07 to May, 08) and Company B (before Jan, 07) as the last two companies? Please advise.

Another issue is that I worked on my family business as a Store Manager (Business Owner) for almost one year. This is not engineering work. Would this cause me any problems for my visa application because I will go back to work with company A as an electrical engineer? Note that I still get work from company A from time to time, but I just did not get pay during this time that I stay in Malaysia. Please advise.

- Question 18 (Have you made specific travel arrangement?): I currently have the H1 approval for 1 year and 2 months. I think that I have to buy the round trip ticket due to my H1 Visa that requires me to return home after the end of my H1 period. However, the ticket only valid for the maximum of one year, but my visa valid for 1 year and 2 months. In this case, should I buy a one way or two way ticket? Should I check Yes or No in the case of buying either one way or two way ticket? Do I have to bring the plane ticket with me during the interview? Please advise.

For the specific Location you will visit, should I put company A since I will be going to work there. Otherwise, should I put my brother’s home address?
For the point of contact at each location: should I put my boss’s name? Otherwise should I put my brother’s name?

For any questions that are not applicable, should I put N/A or none? Otherwise, should I just leave it blank? Anybody please help….Thank you very much.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 10:16 AM
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Re: Questions about DS 156 and DS 157...pls help

Thanks for sharing your questions with us. However please bear in mind that none of us here are immigration law experts. So my advise, as it has been in the past, is to consult a competent immigration attorney. I have seen experiences of friends who have screwed up because they wanted to save a few hundred dollars to consult an attorney.
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