Published on the World Journal Weekly on August 27, 2017
Q&A 1 2
Reader Wants Legal Services Quote for Naturalization Case
I have been in the U. S. for over 10 years, the last 5 with a green card. Because of all the talk against immigration with this administration, I have decided to go for U. S. citizenship to be safe. Please give me a ballpark figure on what it would cost me if I went through a lawyer.
Most naturalization cases without complications and without requiring interview appearances by attorneys are less than $1000. U.S.C.I.S. charges $725 unless there is a request for fee waiver or fee reduction.
Came to U. S. As a Visitor, Applied for F-1 Student Change of Status, Now 6 Months Without Decision – Anything to Do?
I came here in September 2016 as a B-2 visitor, and made an application to change my status to F-1 student in January 2017. I received a receipt, but so far that is all. I was given 6 months to stay, and that expired in March, but I’m still waiting at this time. What can I do?
According to recent U.S.C.I.S. policy, B-1/B-2 holders wishing to change status to F-1 student must maintain status through extension of B-2 until the time that U.S.C.I.S. makes the decision on the F-1 change of status application (U.S.C.I.S. notice, “Special Instructions for B-1/B-2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School” dated 4/5/17). You would have to file for a late extension at this time, but such can be excused and favorable discretion exercised where the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or petitioner and the Service finds the delay commensurate with the circumstances; the alien has not otherwise violated his or her nonimmigrant status; the alien remains a bona fide nonimmigrant; and the alien is not subject to deportation proceedings or removal proceedings. Here the extraordinary circumstances may be that the change of policy by U.S.C.I.S. came about after your status expired; the delay may be commensurate with the circumstances if you did not know of the new policy until now and put in a quick request for extension; and you have hopefully not otherwise violated your nonimmigrant status; and are not the subject of deportation or removal proceedings.