Published on the World Journal Weekly on August 6, 2017

Q&A 1 2 3 4

Will Cosigning a Lease Agreement for an Undocumented Immigrant Cause Me Problems?


I have a good friend who is an undocumented immigrant, and wants to lease a house near me. He does not have good credit, however, and the landlord is asking for him to have someone cosign on the lease. I am happy to do it, but I’m afraid that that will get me into trouble with the immigration authorities as helping someone who is undocumented to stay here. Can I really get in trouble for cosigning a lease.

Dear reader,

 In the current atmosphere of fear brought on by the Trump administration’s attack on immigration, it is difficult to state whether a harboring charge would be brought for putting someone’s name on an undocumented immigrant’s house or apartment lease. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently released a memorandum on April 11 that aims to make it a felony for anyone including a U. S. citizen to “assist” someone who is remaining in the U. S. without permission. He is encouraging federal prosecutors to bring charges against a whole variety of people and situations. The question is how far the administration wants to go, the effect of activist resistance, and the reaction of the courts.

Q&A 2

Do I Have to File for H-4 Extension for My Wife When I File for My H-1B Extension?

My H-1B petition with my first employer expires in September 2019 and both me and my wife received H-1B/H-4 visas good until that date. I am parting with my first employer and the prospective employer will file for my H-1B transfer and extension very soon. For some reason, my wife’s electronic I-94 only appears to have been valid until February 2017. At this point, should we ask for an extension for her at the same time that I am asking for the transfer and extension? Can you tell me what happened to my wife’s I-94 and what is the best solution at this time?

Dear reader,

Most individuals receive a “short”I-94 when they enter the airport with a passport with less validity time than the H-1B visa. If your wife has a passport with validity date of 6 months past the date of the H-1B visa, perhaps the best solution is that she can go outside the country and reenter and obtain an electronic I-94 valid to September 2019. Her status is dependent upon her relationship with you and not with whatever company or other organization you are with. As such, you would not necessarily have to request an extension for her, although many do it in order to maintain consistency with the spouse’s status.


Q&A 3

Green Card Holder Marrying U. S. Citizen Wants to Know What to Look Out For

I got my green card close to 10 years ago through marriage to a U. S. citizen. We got divorced last year and I now wish to marry my current fiancé, a U. S. citizen. What procedures do we have to go through? What do I have to do vis-à-vis Immigration? Will there be another interview? We plan to get married in July and my green card expires in September.

Dear reader,

As you already have a green card by yourself, your marriage to a US citizen has nothing to do with the immigration laws. For renewing your green card, you can file an I-90 application at this time for a replacement card. You may also wish to consider filing for naturalization if you are eligible and there are no bars to your becoming a citizen, e.g. crimes.


Q&A 4

Mother of U. S. Marine Wants to Know If Eligible for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Residence If Sneaked Into the Country.

I was smuggled into the country 15 years ago and left my 8-year-old child behind who was later able to immigrate with his father to the U. S., become a U. S. citizen, and then joined the U. S. Marines. Since coming to the U. S., I have remarried and had 2 more children, ages 10 and 8. My son is willing to help me become a legal resident and has heard that I may be eligible to adjust status in the country without leaving. Do you think that it is true?

Dear reader,

It may be possible for you to be paroled in place since your child is a U. S. Marine. Parole in place is a device for allowing deserving individuals to complete their cases for permanent residence in the U. S. without having to consular process. It is largely confined to the families of U. S. servicemen. The application would first go to the U.S.C.I.S. office with jurisdiction over your place of residence and if recommended by the field office director, be sent to the regional director of U.S.C.I.S. who would then make a final decision on the application. If parole in place is approved, you would be counted as having been paroled into the U. S., which would give you the ability to adjust status assuming that you are not subject to any of the usual bars on people immigrating to the U. S., e.g. crime, membership in disfavored organizations, etc.


Q&A 5

“I” visa holder wants to know the procedure to apply for a green card.

I am a reporter for a television station in Hong Kong which has sent me to the U. S. under the “I” visa to report the news of the United States. I have already been in California for the past year, and am now interested in obtaining the green card. Is there a special procedure involved?

Dear reader,

The “I” visa is only a temporary nonimmigrant visa, and does not directly lead to a green card. If your information media employer overseas has a branch here in the U. S. that wishes to sponsor you for permanent residence, it would likely do so through PERM labor certification. In doing so, the organization would undergo a recruitment process for a U. S. worker able, willing, qualified, and available to fill the position. If a qualifying candidate cannot be found, the organization would file the labor certification application for you with the U. S. Department of Labor. You may wish to speak with your organization to discern the level of its interest in sponsoring you.


Q&A 6

How to Get Girlfriend Back Her Green Card After Being Deported for Drug Conviction?

My girlfriend had the green card through coming to the States with her parents when she was young. She never naturalized, is now 33 and 4 years ago got herself into a situation with drugs for which she was sent to prison for 2 years and then deported back to China last month. Her family is still here, I am a U. S. citizen, and we have a 5-year-old son. Can she renew her green card? What can we do to get her back to the U. S.?

Dear reader,

Your girlfriend in China would find it very difficult if not impossible to come back to the US with a green card. There is no expiration time for a deportable criminal conviction involving drugs. If for drugs involving anything other than 30 g possession of marijuana or less, US immigration laws are tremendously strict against allowing people to come back. If your girlfriend wishes, she could forward her entire criminal and immigration file to an immigration lawyer who could give an opinion as to whether anything could be done.


Q&A 7

Will I Be Deported for Selling Liquor to a Minor?

I am living in Texas and did a favor for a minor and his buddies by going into a liquor store and buying 2 6 packs of beer for them. The police came and I had to give them my information including proper name, address, and visa status. My visa expired last year. I think it’s a class A misdemeanor and the question is whether I will be deported. What am I facing ? I know it says $4000 fine and one year in jail. Please give me some advice.

Dear reader,

As your visa has already expired, you are already removable for having overstayed your legal period of stay in this country. The fact that you have committed a misdemeanor may impact upon any exercise of discretion by DHS or an immigration judge if you are given a notice to appear (NTA) in an immigration court. By itself, the offense does not appear to be a crime involving moral turpitude, but may nevertheless be considered as showing your lack of good moral character.


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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