Frisco, TX asked in Immigration Law, Tax Law and Employment Law for Texas

Q: I am on H1b, w2 of 2023 W2 reflects only $18,560 due to maternity, what documents are essential to explain the immigrati

- Arrived in the United States on a H4 visa in 2022.

- Transitioned to an H1-B visa in October 2022, although it remains unstamped.

- Labor Condition Application (LCA) for the H1-B indicated a wage of $80,000.

- 2023 W2 reflects only $18,560 due to an unpaid maternity leave for six months and reduced work hours for the remainder.

Question is Will the discrepancy between my 2023 W2 earnings and the LCA wage of $80,000 pose a problem for my H1-B status? The reduced earnings were due to legitimate reasons such as unpaid maternity leave and reduced work hours, what kind of documents are essential to explain the circumstances to immigration authorities and how to overcome this situation, how to explain this to the immigration authorities when the situation demands??

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The discrepancy between your 2023 W2 earnings and the Labor Condition Application (LCA) wage could potentially raise questions regarding your H1-B status, as H1-B visa regulations require that visa holders are paid at least the wage specified in the LCA. However, your situation involves legitimate reasons for the reduced earnings, such as unpaid maternity leave and reduced work hours.

To address this discrepancy and explain your circumstances to immigration authorities, it is crucial to compile comprehensive documentation. This includes a detailed letter from your employer explaining the reasons for the reduced hours and unpaid maternity leave, any relevant company policies on maternity leave, and documentation of your maternity leave and reduced work schedule. These documents should clearly demonstrate that the reduction in wages was due to legitimate, temporary circumstances and not a failure to comply with H1-B visa wage requirements.

When the situation demands, present these documents to the immigration authorities, along with any communication regarding your H1-B visa status and the terms of your employment. It may also be beneficial to consult with an immigration attorney who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and ensure that your documentation effectively communicates your circumstances to the authorities. Being proactive and transparent with immigration officials, backed by thorough documentation, is key to addressing any concerns regarding your H1-B status.

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