> I've run into a bit of a nightmare scenario and have a few questions -
> before I ask them, here's a little background on my circumstances.
> I've been working in the US for 5 years on an H1-B visa and have ran
> into some trouble recently while tranferring to another employer. I'm
> originally from the UK.
> I left Company A (private) in April 2007 to work for Company B (state
> government). They filed the I-129 to transfer the employer, and so
> that original visa was good until January 2008 (when the I-94 expired
> also). They actually messed up the I-129 - the forgot the file the
> LCA, but USCIS overlooked it and allowed me to continue employment
> while they filed it.
> In November of 2007, I told me employers that they had to file another
> I-129 to extend my stay for another year. They were happy too, and
> tasked my supervisor (a software engineer with no HR/immigration
> experience) to fill out the I-129 and they (Human Resources) would
> sign it and send it in.
> In early December, they sent the I-129 for the first time. It was
> REJECTED because it didn't have some supplemental attachment. In mid-
> Decemember, they sent it in again. It was REJECTED AGAIN for missing
> signatures. They sent it in a THIRD time in late December (in the
> exact same state as it was rejected the second time), and AGAIN, it
> was REJECTED.
> When it was rejected the 3rd time, I was out of status. They advised
> me to speak with an immigration attorney - he advised them that I
> could continue working for them TOMORROW if they sent in the I-129
> today, but that he reviewed their I-129 and "found numerous errors
> some of which would led to the denial of the application or even
> resulted in liability on the part of Company B". I also spoke with our
> local senator's office in depth, and they agreed with the immigration
> Apparently, it's a "gray area" of the law - because the immigration
> attorney couldn't show my employer eveidence showing that it was legal
> to hire me while my petition was pending (or at least, "received" by
> USCIS) they weren't willing to keep me employed. They terminated me.
> The sob story: My fianc=E9e and I eloped (Las Vegas) and are out
> thousands of dollars in immigration attorney fees to file my green
> card application. My wife is 36 weeks preganant. Commutes 3 hours a
> day. Works full time. Is taking 3 classes per semester towards her
> MBA. I still can't work as I don't have my work authorization. There's
> quite a financial as well as emotional impact as I'm sure you can
> imagine. We have a $2k mortgage, 4 pets, a baby on the way and zero
> left in savings (a few thousand in C/C debt at the moment).
> 2 immigration attorneys, and two representatives from a Senator's
> Office have told me that I have a solid case against Company B, but
> "good luck finding an attorney who'll take the state to court.
I'm puzzled; what grounds do you or these attorneys believe you have=20
against the company? There's nothing obvious to me.
> Here are my questions:
> 1. My attorney advised me that I could file for unemployment benefits
> as soon as I received the receipt notice for my green card. The Dept.
> of Work Force Solutions say I need my alien registration card before
> they can approve the payment of benefits. Who is right?
Neither; I believe you need your Employment Authorization Document which =
you should be able to get before your Green Card (I'muming your wife =
is a USA citizen and you're applying for a Green Card through marriage).
> 2. When I first joined Company B, they told me that I had to fill out
> the I-129 and pay the fee (I don't have that in writing). They are a
> state agency (200-300 employees) and have never hired foreign
> nationals before. Do I have grounds for suing them? If not, is there
> anything I can do to get them heavily fined by USCIS? I do have a
> written letter from the Directory of the Agency addressed to the
> Senator stating that they wanted to keep me that I'm a valuable
> contributor, etc. and they (Company B) made errors on my I-129.
The law requires the employer to pay some of the feesociated with=20
filing an I-129, so it sounds like they've broken the law there. I'm not =
sure if it's the Department of Labor or the USCIS you'd have to persuade =
to act against them. Other than that, I don't see that they've done=20
anything illegal or in breach of any contract (though you didn't=20
describe any contracts you may have entered into with the company).
> I've spoke to several personnel/HR attorneys here about the case -
> most aren't interested in the case, can't take the case because they
> work with the State Government, or I find myself spending 2 hours
> trying to explain what I know about immigration law to them.
Again, I don't see that there's any case to take from the information=20
you've given here; but the USA is where you can successfully sue someone =
for giving you a hot drink when you ask for a hot drink, so who knows if =
I'm missing something.