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mch1234

Volunteer While Waiting for AOS

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Hello,

I really appreciate how helpful everyone is on VisaJourney! I have a question- is it legal to volunteer while waiting for your EAD? I entered on a K-1 Visa in November, and I got married & filed my documents for EAD/AP and AOS in December. There is a non-profit organization in my town that provides food and clothing to low-income families. They rely heavily on their volunteers, who do work there such as stocking shelves with food and sorting clothes. I would like to volunteer there to stay productive and help pass the time while I wait for my EAD, but I obviously don't want to do anything that could land me in serious trouble. I have read the threads on VisaJourney about volunteering, but most of them are at least a few years old and have mixed responses. Can anyone provide me with a definite answer on whether this type of volunteer work would be acceptable? Thanks!

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I'd be interested to know about this as well without getting the risk of such because I heard something like if working for a company for free is still considering working (If worked an hour or more) but they don't send any info to the IRS, questionable.

 

Another weird one is can't work overseas if the company is USA based because they'll still send some info through IRS.

 

My only guess is just observing around and networking, participating in classes or such.


K-1 Visa process (I'm the USC [F])
Sent packet: August 10, 2018

USCIS Received package: August 14, 2018
Notification in text/email: August 17, 2018
Mail received from USCIS: January 22, 2019
USCIS Approved I-129F Petition: January 17, 2019

NVC Received Case: February 14, 2019

NVC Case # Assigned: February 14, 2019

US Embassy Received: Not sure but got email reply - March 11, 2019
Instructions Received via e-mail: March 19, 2019

Interview: May 7, 2019 - Approved!
Arriving to US/POE: June 12, 2019

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My understanding is that it is legal to volunteer as long as it does not displace a paid worker (i.e. a company brings you in to work at no pay for a job that was recently paid).  I hope that makes sense.

 

Good Luck!


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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Volunteering itself is fine. When it becomes an issue is when you are potentially taking away an opportunity from a work-eligible individual.
Helping in a soup kitchen? Awesome.

Reading to children? Awesome.

Being an unpaid receptionist or assistant for a business? Likely crossing the line - that's something one normally does either for pay or for experience and/or networking in the field.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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You've gotten great advice already. Wanted to highlight that doing internships or similar that can later lead to paid work is also in the grey zone. So if you're looking to get hired by the non-profit later, then maybe reconsider. If not, you're good.

 

I volunteered for a non-profit before I got my EAD, it's a great way to meet people and increase one's sense of purpose. Highly recommend it.


Swedish/American couple, met at university, eventually filed the I-129F petition in 2017.

K1 NOA1: 9/12/2017. NOA2: 3/10/2018. Case # Assigned: 3/28/2018. Embassy Received: 3/29/2018. Medical: 4/18/2018. Interview: 5/3/2018. VOH: 5/8/2018. US Entry (POE JFK): 5/24/2018.

 

AOS Package Sent: 6/4/2018. NOA1/Received Date: 6/5/2018. e-Notified: 6/11/2018. NOA1 Hardcopy: 6/14/2018. Biometrics Appt: 6/28/2018. I-485 Ready to be Scheduled for Interview: 7/25/2018. I-765 Card in Production: 9/19/2018. I-765 Card Mailed: 9/21/2018. I-765/I-131 Combo Card Received: 9/25/2018. I-765/I-131 Renewal Sent: 4/2/2019. NOA1/Received Date: 4/3/2019.

GC Interview Scheduled: X/XX/2019. GC Interview: X/XX/2019.

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25 minutes ago, mch1234 said:

Thank you all for your replies! I won't be applying for an actual job there eventually or doing anything that someone would normally be paid to do. I'm just trying to give myself some purpose and meet people while I wait for the EAD...this wait is so long! 

Yes, as others mentioned, as long as the volunteer position is truly volunteer, in other words others people volunteer in the same position do not get paid, there is no problem. You are not allowed to work, but you are allowed to apply and interview for jobs. It take times to find a good job in your desired field so it's wise to start early. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, mch1234 said:

Hello,

I really appreciate how helpful everyone is on VisaJourney! I have a question- is it legal to volunteer while waiting for your EAD? I entered on a K-1 Visa in November, and I got married & filed my documents for EAD/AP and AOS in December. There is a non-profit organization in my town that provides food and clothing to low-income families. They rely heavily on their volunteers, who do work there such as stocking shelves with food and sorting clothes. I would like to volunteer there to stay productive and help pass the time while I wait for my EAD, but I obviously don't want to do anything that could land me in serious trouble. I have read the threads on VisaJourney about volunteering, but most of them are at least a few years old and have mixed responses. Can anyone provide me with a definite answer on whether this type of volunteer work would be acceptable? Thanks!

Per our attorney, yes volunteering for nonprofit is totally ok. We just filed AOS for my spouse, and he is volunteering as I write. He was here on a B2, and his I-94 has expired. Waiting for NOA-1. BUT, since his I-94 expired, our attorney advised him to not drive until he gets his EAD. Our attorney said that if he were to be stopped, police will see that he is out of status and call ICE to detain him. Now he walks or I give him a ride.


c9 AOS Concurrently filed I-130 & I-130A, I-485, I-131, I-765

 

2019-02-21 Package sent to Chicago Lockbox via FedEx

2019-02-27 Package received

2019-02-27 Priority Date

2019-03-04 Notice Date

2019-03-09 Notice received via USPS

2019-03-15 Biometrics Appointment Notice received

2019-03-26 Attended Biometrics Appointment

2019-04-01 Case is ready to to be scheduled for an interview

2019-04-22 Interview Notice received via USPS

2019-05-20 Interview: Approved after 82 days.

2019-05-21 Card in production

2019-05-22 Card was mailed to you (no tracking)

2019-05-23 Update that USPS picked up the card (included tracking number). Estimated arrival: May 28

2019-05-24 I-130 and I-485 Approval Letters received via USPS.

2019-05-29 Green Card in hand.

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