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Drove back from Canada - new EAD AP card - No parole stamps or new I-94
Me and my wife went to Canada for a day and returned yesterday by road. We rented a car in Toronto and crossed the US border at Lewiston Bridge, New York near Niagara Falls. We gave only the passports and EAD/AP combo cards at the booth. We both have valid H1B documents but no visa stamps. So we used EAD AP cards.
We were told by our friends that immigration officers would ask us to park the car at some other building and ask more questions and then get the parole stamped because the officers at the booth donít have the parole stamp.
But it didnít happen in our case. It was very quick. The immigration officer only asked me few questions for couple of min. I didnít expect to be that quick. We stayed in the car itself. He only came out of the booth near our car. After scanning the passports and EAD AP card, he allowed us to cross the border. No parole stamp or new I-94s issued.
I spoke to one paralegal and she asked my wife to get the parole stamped and I donít need it because I am with the same employer from the beginning. Paralegal also mentioned that the officer might have forgotten o put a parole stamp on our documents. I need more clarity on this. I know they used to put the parole stamp on the travel document but now we combo EAD AP cards. Not sure if that process applies in our case too.
Here are the key points to note:
- Immigration officer did not put any stamps on our passports and also he did not issue any new I-94s.
- I still have my old I-94(White Card) which was expired in Oct 2009 and my wifeís I-94 is also there which she got when she came to USA on H4 visa and is still valid till Sep 2012.
- As per my knowledge when we drive to Canada, both Canadian and USA immigration people donít take or issue any new I-94s. I drove to Canada 4 years ago and they did not take the old I94 or issued any new I94 for me at that time too.
- I have been working on H1B visa from the beginning and with same employer but my wife had different statuses and also she changed her employers.
- My wife was on F1 visa and after that she worked for xxxxx company on H1B for some time. She went to India to get the H1B stamped but her H1B application went on hold at Chennai consulate. So she returned to USA on H4 visa. Then her client filed for another H1B in Jan 2012 on which she is currently working.
- My wife was on H4 dependent status when we filed for EAD. But her new H1B (H4 - H1B Change of status) was pending at that time.
- What if we just leave the status as is without getting the parole stamped on my wifeís passport? Where should we get the parole stamped in USA in case if we had to?
- Why should only my wife get it stamped and why not me? Can somebody please provide me any reference document from USCIS? My wife was on H4 status when we filed EAD and her new H1B was pending at that time. So she was not working when we filed for EAD. She was dependant on me.
- We both are planning to go to India in next couple of months and we might again go to Canada in few weeks. Would there be any issues while returning from India or Canada if we donít have the parole stamps on our passports or EAD cards?
- Would it affect our Green Card process if we donít have the parole stamps on our passports?
- Since we donít have any stamps on passports, what is the proof that we went to Canada and came back to USA?
- What is our current status? H1B or EAD?! I have a valid H1B I-797 until SEP 2012 and my wife has a valid H1B until 2015. But no H1B visa stamps for both of us. That is why we used AP at the border crossing. My wifeís paralegal told her that she doesnít have to fill any I9 form and they told her that she is still on H1B not EAD. So, I want to get a clarity on this.
Please let me know what we need to do now? I am more concerned about my Green Card process and traveling to India or Canada using AP/EAD combo card again.
Any help is greatly appreciated..
If you spent only one day in Canada, you my have qualified for what is known as "Automatic Revalidation". See below url for more information.
"All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian."
- Pat Paulsen
We did not give out H1B documents to the officer. So, I think AVR rule doesn't apply in our case. We only gave our passports and EAD cards. I just want to know if we are good to leave as is or do we need to get the AP stamped somewhere when returning to USA. Please let me know.
Please update your profile.
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