Published on the World Journal Weekly on July 26, 2015


Q&A 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

How Can I Get a Permanent Green Card When My I-751 Was Just Denied and I Am Being Served to Go To the Immigration Court?

A temporary green card holder asks:
I was married to a U. S. citizen who sponsored me for my temporary green card. At the end of the 2 years, I file for my I-751 application to get the 10 year green card, but failed at the interview when my wife failed two times to come with me (I rescheduled the first time). Now I’m being served with papers to go to the immigration court. How can I get my 10 year green card?

Mr. Lee answers:

In the immigration court, you are given an opportunity to convince an immigration judge that your marriage is or was bona fide. If you are still married with your wife, you may present documents and witnesses and even your wife's testimony. If you are already divorced, you are also able to submit documentation and witnesses concerning the bona fide character of your former marriage.

Q&A 2.

Should I Admit that I Worked Illegally in Sending in My Paperwork for Immigration Based on Marriage to a U. S. Citizen?

A spouse asks:

During the time that I’ve been here, I’ve set up my own company and been working in it although I have also gone to school since I have an F-1 student visa. I recently married an American who is sponsoring me for the green card. When filling out the papers, should I tell the authorities that I worked illegally? What happens if I do?

Mr. Lee answers:

Having worked illegally in the country is not an impediment to being approved for immigration based upon marriage to a US citizen. You should certainly put down the fact of your employment, especially as not admitting it could be seen as an attempted misrepresentation on your part. Such could complicate your immigration to the country.


Q&A 3.

As a Permanent Resident, Are There Restrictions on Traveling Multiple Times During a Calendar Year With the Majority of Time Being Spent Overseas?

A green card holder asks:

I have the green card and I have already traveled outside the U. S. in 2015 from January until May, and wish to travel again from July until November. Will this cause any legal issue if I travel like this?

Mr. Lee answers:

If you have a valid reason for traveling outside the country from July to November and are able to convey it to the immigration inspector, you would likely not have a problem when you come back to the US. However, if you make it a constant pattern of staying outside the US for most of the year, a Customs and Border Protection inspector may give you a problem on one of your trips.


Q&A 4.

Overstay Has US-born Child About to be 21 Can Child Sponsor and If So How?

An illegal alien asks:

I am a Malaysian and I came to the U.S. in 1998.  I am now overstaying here.  My daughter is born here and she will be 21 years old in July.  Can she apply for me for green card?  Do I need to hire an attorney or can I apply directly by going to the USCIS?  If I go, what papers do I need to bring with me and how long will it take to get a green card?

Mr Lee answers:

In the situation that you describe, your daughter can most likely apply for your green card when she turns 21. You would then be in the category of immediate relative of a U. S. citizen in which you would be eligible for adjustment even if you overstayed your visa status. Whether you wish to hire an attorney is your personal choice. This type of case is usually not one of the more complicated ones that U.S.C.I.S. sees. You and your daughter would generally have to fill out the I-130 petition for alien relative/I-485 adjustment of status to permanent residence package with your daughter showing financial support on form I-864 affidavit of support. If she is unable to support you financially, you would have to have a cosponsor.

General documents that are needed are birth certificates for both you and your daughter, her U. S. passport or driver’s license, your passport and proof of legal entry, medical examination and proof of financial support. Cases in your category can take upwards of a year and may or may not involve an interview at the end.

Q&A 5.

What Will Happen to Me When I Overstay My Visa in This Country?

An overstay alien asks:

I have been here since last year and my visa is expired. I don’t have the money yet for the ticket to go back home, and wonder what will happen to me and if I can avoid any problems.

Mr. Lee answers:

Even if you have an expired visa, the Department of Homeland Security will generally not give you a hard time in leaving the country. You may, however, be questioned about your overstay when you attempt to return in the future. Insofar as your lack of finances is concerned, I would suggest that you borrow some money from a friend or friends or relatives to assist you on your way.


Q&A 6.

What Happens If I Change Employers After My I-140 Petition Is Approved?

An employee asks:

My present employer has already sponsored me for labor certification and I-140 petition approval. My question is whether I can change the job after the I-140 approval and keep my same priority date. This is important to me since I am from China and I am applying under the EB 2 category. If my employer cancels the I-140 approval, what will then happen to my priority date?

Mr. Lee answers:

 The law allows you to retain the priority date of an earlier I-140 petition if that petition was approved. If that same employer cancels the I-140, that should not have any effect upon your ability to retain the priority date of the approval.

Q&A 7.

H-1B Questions

An employee asks:

H-1B valid until 9/30/15 and company will transfer me to a different company in March 2016. When should company apply for my extension? Will they have to do another extension for me in March for me to go to another company?

Mr. Lee answers:

If you will be remaining with your same employer, an H-1B extension can be filed at any time from six months prior to expiration up until the day before the H-1B petition expires. If you are being transferred to a different company in March, the company should apply for a transfer and extension prior to you moving on to the next company. You are allowed to work for the new company during the time that the transfer process is ongoing.


Q&A 8.

As a Crewman, What Happens If I Decide Not to Join the Ship?

In my passport, I have a valid B-1/B2 visa good for 5 years. I also have a C-1 and a D1 visa for me to travel to the U. S. and join my ship in Florida. What happens if I decide not to join my ship? What is my status? Can I ever get the green card?

Dear reader,

If you do not join the ship, the question of what happens to you depends upon what status you entered the United States on. If you effected a B entry, you might be allowed to change status to some other nonimmigrant category if you are still maintaining status. If you entered under the C-1 visa to join the ship, you would not be allowed to change status. Neither would you be allowed to adjust status to permanent residence at a later point even if you gained eligibility for doing so. There are a number of ways in which a person may become eligible for the green card, and the process would probably be easier with a B entry.


Copyright © 2003-2017 Alan Lee, Esq.
The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of the Law Office of Alan Lee or establish an attorney-client relationship.


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