Posted on: April 20th, 2017
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In our section of the SIB, attorney Ari Sauer answers immigration law questions sent in by our readers. If you enjoy reading this section, we encourage you to visit Ari’s blog, The Immigration Answer Man, where he provides more answers to your immigration questions. You can also follow The Immigration Answer Man on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have a question on immigration matters, write We can’t answer every question, but if you ask a short question that can be answered concisely, we’ll consider it for publication. Remember, these questions are only intended to provide general information. You should consult with your own attorney before acting on information you see here.


QUESTION: I am in H-1B status. I just found out that I am pregnant. Will I lose my status when I stop working to have my baby? Am I able to take time off from work after I give birth? If I lose my H-1B status, will I be able to get a green card through my child?

ANSWER:  Foreign nationals in H-1B status are entitled to receive the same benefits from their employers as similarly situated US employees of the company. This includes maternity leave. You are allowed to go on maternity leave in H-1B status without losing your H-1B status. Talk to your company’s HR manager about what their maternity leave policy is. How much paid leave and/or unpaid leave you are allowed to take without jeopardizing your H-1B status will depend upon your eligibility for maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), your state labor laws, and your company’s establish policies.

You will not be able to apply to receive a green card through your child. At least not any time soon. A US citizen child must be at least 21 years old before their can file a petition for their parent to sponsor the parent for US permanent residence.


QUESTION: If a green card holder living outside the US no longer wishes to pursue getting his/her American citizenship – can he/she let go of the green card and apply for a simple travel visa without being adversely affected?

ANSWER: I have previously posted about giving up a green card (also known as abandoning permanent residence).

Someone who abandons their permanent residence can later apply for a visitor visa. As with all applicants for a visitor visa to the US, they will need to show that their ties to their home country are stronger than their ties to the US, and that they are unlikely to remain in the US. This can sometimes be tougher for foreign nationals who have been living in the US as permanent residents. So giving up permanent residence does not guarantee that the person will be able to obtain a visitor visa soon afterwards, but it is an option.


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Disclaimer: This newsletter is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney client relationship. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk.