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« Newbie in CA Part 2 | Main | Kudos to Miss Loi »

Newbie in CA Part 1

My major reservations of moving to california have, fortunately, not been realized. However, this makes for terrible blogging inspiration, but I will try. As always.

The Non-Form

I arrived in California an hour early for a reason. This occurred for a reason. I mean, there must be a reason why tail winds were really pushing hard that day such that we would arrive at 11am instead of 12:30pm.

See, this extra hour gave me ample time to get stuck at immigration puzzling why I did not present an I-797 petition.

Me: "I'm sorry. What?" (Dazed look you give after 18 hours of flying)

Officer #1: "An I-797 petition - you must always bring it along with you everytime you travel as a H-1B visa holder"

Me: "??? - That's all I have." (Pointing to H-1B1 visa in passport)

Officer #1: "Go to secondary."

Me: "???" (yeah, I'm going to know that refers to a secondary interview, and that I have to walk to the end of the hallway)

So I trot down hastily to a separate office and got interviewed by another border officer, who kept grilling me about my non-existent I-797 form. Images of me getting hurled back to Singapore in handcuffs flashed by my eyes - all because I did not bring this piece of paper. Sheeesh. As the interview continued, I felt quite of bad, because, frankly, I just had no idea what an I-797 form even looks like. I get a sense the border officer was half-expecting me to be an illegal immigrant, but got stuck with ... well, me.

I must have worn him down, either that or because a queue of people needing to undergo secondary interviews was forming. This "must have" document all of a sudden became not completely essential - I managed to get my visa approved after receiving a warning to always carry my I-797 form with me. I was extremely curious at this time in point what a "I-797" petition is, and the first thing I did after getting internet connection was to search for images relating to "I-797" on Google. That got me to this page - which, if you enlarge the photo, is a I-797 for a H-1B1.

No. I do not have that. What the heck is that?

As I was freaking out, I searched for "i797 h1b1" and got this, which states, "Unlike a traditional H-1B visa, the employer does not have to submit Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (Department of Homeland Security) and you do not need to obtain a Notice of Action, Form I-797."

...

bah.

So yeah, I arrived early so that my schedule would not be disturbed by this non-form.

Reader Comments (1)

great fun with bureaucracy. yay!

October 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterffooll

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