Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on November 30, 2018 1. How Does a Student in Haiti Qualify for US Visa? 2. Deportation During Entry into U.S. 3. Do I Need to File Green Card Application Again for the Same Person?

1. How Does a Student in Haiti Qualify for US Visa?

I am a U.S. citizen and we apply online D160 visa application and my sister went to the interview today and they told her she does not qualify.

Mr. Lee answers:
I will assume that your sister applied for a visitors visa to the US. Such visas are given in the discretion of US consular officers taking into account the circumstances of the applicant including age, job, resources, property and other ties in the home country. Your being a US citizen could be seen as a negative factor on the question of whether your sister has nonimmigrant intent. I suggest that your sister strengthen her application by having more ties to the home country and be prepared to show those ties to the US consular officer the next time that she applies for the US visa.

2. Deportation During Entry into U.S.

My friend from Singapore was coming to visit me and see his American born son and while going thru immigration he was pulled aside, they did a review of his records and found that before he left 8 yrs ago after his divorce from an american citizen he had overstayed his previous visa. He has been back twice during this year already and had no issues and returned according to his visa guidelines. Is this going to be a huge issue going forward?

Mr. Lee answers:
In your summary, you said, “Deportation during entry into US,” and by that, I assume that Customs and Border Protection actually deported him back to Singapore. In that case, he has a five-year bar against returning to the US. If he believes that the judgment was unfair, he can request a review of the decision from the port director of the port of entry. Otherwise if he has very good reason for returning to the US before the five years, he can request advance permission to return on form I-212 after visa interview and denial to the Admissibility Review Office of U.S.C.I.S. if applying for a nonimmigrant visa, or to the Phoenix lockbox of U.S.C.I.S. if applying for an immigrant visa. It is indeed a huge issue returning to the US if an individual has been given an order of removal at the port of entry.

3. Do I Need to File Green Card Application Again for the Same Person?

I was filing for my husband to become resident; we got divorced and stopped the case. We are engaged and I want to file again.  Do I have to start a new case or go back to the old case? The old case was done in 2002.

Mr. Lee answers:
As you stopped the case so long ago, you would have to start all over again to make your husband a resident. The law does not allow you to get two bites at the apple with the same coin.


Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on November 25, 2018 1. I Applied H-1B in April, But Still No Decision Is Made and It Is November – What Can I Do? 2. Is EB-5 for China Still Open? If Not What Are The Alternatives? 3. U. S. Citizen Residing in Hong Kong Wants to Immigrate Mother – Any Problems?

1. I Applied H-1B in April, But Still No Decision Is Made and It Is November – What Can I Do?

I graduated with a Masters degree in computer science from Purdue University in 2017 and was given optional practical training (OPT) until August 2018. In early April, I and my company filed for an H-1B visa for me and I was selected. We received a request for evidence, which we responded to in late July. Since then it has been three months and we have heard nothing. Am I still legal since I hear that the H-1B cap-gap status only lasted until September 30?

Dear reader,
This is unfortunately a common situation that you are encountering as U.S.C.I.S. has not finished adjudicating many of the H-1B petitions that it was given in April. It has further perversely stopped premium processing, saying that the freeze will remain in effect until February. Thus the ability to pay U.S.C.I.S. an additional $1410 to expedite an already delayed application is lost consigning H-1B companies and beneficiaries to a limbo status. Persons having cap-gap status until September 30 (a device wherein U.S.C.I.S. allows those who have OPT past the H-1B filing date in April to remain and work until September 30 if they are selected and their petitions are still pending) are no longer authorized to work after that date until and unless the H-1B petition is approved. Without premium processing, they remain in limbo unless they leave the country or become F-1 students again or have some other viable option. Under U.S.C.I.S. regulations, they are allowed to remain in the US awaiting adjudication of their timely filed petitions. If the petitions are ultimately denied, they should hopefully be considered to still be in a grace period until 60 days after September 30 under the reasoning that cap-gap is part of F-1 status and the ending of F-1 status automatically invokes a 60 day grace period. Hopefully you will receive an adjudication before that time, and that it will be favorable.

2. Is EB-5 for China Still Open? If Not What Are The Alternatives?

I am fairly wealthy in China and looking to emigrate to the United States. I do not have any relatives here, and am mainly interested in immigrating through the EB-5 investor visa. However, I have heard from people lately that it will take a long time. Is this true? If that is so, what are some other options? 

Dear reader, 
Because of the high demand by natives of China in past years for EB-5 investor visas and the limited numbers which are available under the law, U.S.C.I.S.’s Ombudsman has estimated that a person born in China starting a new EB-5 case now would have to wait approximately 14 years to obtain a conditional green card. For that reason, some individuals from China who have started EB-5 cases have recently asked to have their cases stopped and for a return of their money. For individuals from China who either own or are managers or executives of decent sized companies (50-100 or more employees), the acquisition of a company in the US (15-25 or more employees) could provide a path to an L-1 intracompany transferee visa and ultimately a transfer to the green card through the EB-1C multinational executive/manager route which would take approximately 2 years at present. In addition, a manager or executive in China who wishes to become a manager or executive in a US company which is unrelated to the individual’s present employer may be able to have the US company sponsor him or her for the green card through a PERM labor certification under either the EB-3 category for those with bachelor’s degrees or two years of required working experience, or under the EB-2 category for those with advanced degrees or who have exceptional ability. Immigrating under EB-2 or EB-3 would take approximately 3-5 years.

3. U. S. Citizen Residing in Hong Kong Wants to Immigrate Mother – Any Problems?

I am a U. S. citizen through my wife 10 years ago, and we both went to Hong Kong 4 years ago to live. We are both comfortable there with jobs and children and no plans to return to America to live in the near future. The problem is that my mother wants to join my older brother in the U. S. as our father recently passed away, and he has only been a permanent resident of the country for 2 years. He says that he needs to be a citizen to apply for our mother. I would like to help out, but just wonder what my obligations would be.

Dear reader,
You are right to be concerned. Under the immigration laws, you will have to provide an I-864 affidavit of support for your mother to guarantee that she does not become a public burden. Because your income is not US-based, there may be difficulty with the U. S. Consulate accepting your support affidavit alone. You may have to have a financial joint sponsor file a separate I-864 affidavit of support – perhaps your brother. However, that does not end the matter as a valid I-864 requires that the petitioner demonstrate that he or she has or will have a domicile in the U. S. You will have the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you will establish a domicile in the U. S. on or before the date of your mother’s admission under an immigrant visa. The Foreign Affairs Manual which is used as instruction by U. S. consuls gives examples of possible evidence such as opening a U. S. bank account; transferring funds to the U. S.; making investments in the U. S.; seeking employment in the U. S.; voting in a U. S. election, etc. Without such a showing on your part, there could be a problem with your mother’s ability to become an immigrant. I also note that the window of time to sponsor your mother for U. S. immigration may be closing as the Trump administration wishes to do away with the parent category altogether.


Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on November 23, 2018 1. K-1 Petition & Police Report 2. Can I Change my Current H-1B Visa to OPT Status? 3. H-1B Visa Fraud

1. K-1 Petition & Police Report

My K-1 petition for my fiancé to join me in the U.S. has been approved. We are in the interview process. Noticed a document required for interview is police report.  Are police records for each country he has lived in for 6 months or more over the age of 18. He is a refugee an unable to obtain these records. Are there any alternatives?

Mr. Lee answers:
Although no guarantee of success, your fiancé can show proof that he has attempted to obtain police records from the countries in which he has resided for six months and more since the age of 16. A good-faith effort such as giving all pertinent data about himself including addresses in each country and the specific period of time spent there may be helpful. Proof of delivery to the appropriate organ in the countries would be part of the good-faith effort. The appropriate agencies in each country for police records are contained in the Foreign Affairs Manual of the US Department of State.

2. Can I Change my Current H-1B Visa to OPT Status?

I entered US on F1 to do PhD degree in computer engineering. After I finished all the degree requirements except the dissertation, I have been employed as a visiting instructor and my employer changed my F1 visa status to H-1B for one year only, which is the actual duration of the contract. After that my school informed me that my SEVIS F1 record has been Terminated. As my contract is now approaching its expiry date, can I apply for an OPT visa instead? 

Mr. Lee answers: 
Optional practical training (OPT) is only allowed for those who are in F-1 status. Unless you are back in F-1 status, there is no authority to allow you to change from your present H-1B to OPT.

3. H-1B Visa Fraud

I had filed my H1B visa through some consultant called iLogic 8:53 pm. My application got picked in lottery but then consultant had to withdraw since he had filed one LCA for 4 applicants 8:54 pm I had paid him 5K dollar, he said if visa doesn’t happen he will return back $3.5K  but now he is refusing. Is there a way where I can get justice?

Mr. Lee answers:
Probably the best suggestion is to initially contact local agencies such as the Better Business Bureau or Consumer Affairs to see whether they can be effective in having your money refunded. There may also be other resources available, such as the immigrant affairs unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office which attempts to resolve situations for victims of immigration fraud.  Failing that, you could go to local law enforcement and file a complaint against the consultant for fraud if the facts are as you state. 


Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on November 16, 2018 1. How to Add A New Born to a Pending I-130 Petition? 2. US Green Card Holder Imprisoned in Canada. Green Card is Expired And Have Served in Canada. Can He Come Back to US? 3. In USA on B1/B2 Visa, How to Stay Permanently?

1. How to Add A New Born to a Pending I-130 Petition?

I’m U.S. citizen. My wife’s I-130 is pending in NVC now. We just had a newborn baby in India. I have not been “physically present” in US for 5years – because although I have resided in US for 5 years, I have taken 2months trip each year to India. Now, how do I proceed for my newborn baby’s case? Can I join him to my wife’s petition or do I have to file a new I-130 for him? If a new I-130 is required, what happens if my wife’s case finalized before my son’s case?

Mr. Lee answers:
As you are a US citizen, you filed a non-quota immediate relative petition for your wife which has no allowance for dependents. Your best action at this point is probably to file an I-130 petition for your newborn baby and the two cases can hopefully be joined together at the NVC or at the US consulate or embassy. This is not an uncommon situation, and you or your attorney can slow down your wife’s case in the consular processing stage to allow your newborn baby’s case to join up.

2. US Green Card Holder Imprisoned in Canada. Green Card is Expired And Have Served in Canada. Can He Come Back to US?

I am a Hong Kong citizen with now an expired green card. My family are all U.S. citizens. I have traveled aboard to Canada many years ago, and was wrongfully convicted for a drug related offense. I am nearly finished with my sentence in Canada, and will be deported back to US. I would like know what is going to happen once I am back to U.S.? Would I be allowed to renew my green card, or would I be deported to Hong Kong? Also, would U.S. detente me for a crime which I did not commit in Canada?

Mr. Lee answers:
If you are deported back to the US by Canadian authorities, the US Department of Homeland Security would know and would likely begin proceedings to challenge your right to remain in the US with the green card. Whether or not to detain you would likely be a joint decision of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

3. In USA on B1/B2 Visa, How to Stay Permanently?

Approved till Feb. 2017. Citizen of Bosnia & Herzegovina. 33 years old, Male, Master degree in agriculture.

Mr. Lee answers:  
With a Masters degree in agriculture, a likely way to stay permanently may be through the employment based categories which require sponsorship from a US organization. There may also be other options available. I suggest that you make an appointment with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer who can go over all options with you.


Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on November 9, 2018 1. Does My Boyfriend Need a Fiancé Visa If He Has a 10-year Tourist Visa? 2. C-1D Illegal Immigrant Wants to Apply Any Visa 3. G-1 Visa to B-1 Visa

1. Does My Boyfriend Need a Fiancé Visa If He Has a 10-year Tourist Visa?

My boyfriend and I have known each other since April 2016. He came to visit his best friend in the states in January 2018 and we met. We started dating. He stayed for three weeks. Went back to Jerusalem and he came back to visit me after 30 days. The second time he stayed for two months. He left in April. Then he visited me again in June and stayed for 3 months. He left on September 9th. He has a 10 year tourist visa. From my understanding he can only stay here 6 months total out of the calendar year. Do we have to get a fiancé visa for him to come back so we can get married? Or is it okay if he comes back in a few months and we get married and adjust status. What is the best option?

Mr. Lee answers:
A visitor to the US makes an assertion that he or she only plans to stay here for a visit and then go back to the home country. An individual intent upon marrying when coming to the States is best advised to obtain a K-1 fiancée visa. U.S.C.I.S. discourages individuals from using the tourist visa to get married and adjust status in the US as that is an abuse of the visa.

2. C-1D Illegal Immigrant Wants to Apply Any Visa

I was an illegal immigrant who stayed with C-1d Visa in the USA from Sep 2009-May 2014. I am now in India for the past 4.5 years. Can I apply to USA anytime soon for any visas?

Mr. Lee answers:
If you were in the US under a C-1/D visa for the period of time that you state, you would be barred from reentering the US for 10 years from May 2014. If you have good reason to return to the US on a temporary basis and are eligible for a non-immigrant visa, the US consulate or embassy may allow you to apply for a temporary waiver of the 10 year bar. (If a Canadian citizen, such an application would be made to U.S. Customs and Border Protection). The request for waiver would then be forwarded to The Admissibility Review Office of U.S.C.I.S. which would make the final decision on whether to grant you a waiver. Additionally if you have a basis to immigrate and are at the immigrant visa interview stage, you might be able to seek a waiver of the 10 year bar if you have a spouse or parent who is a US citizen or permanent resident and would experience extreme hardship if the waiver was not granted. The request for waiver would be made to U.S.C.I.S.’s lockbox in Phoenix Arizona, and the expected time to decision would be approximately 12-16 months.

3. G-1 Visa to B-1 Visa

I’m actually on a G-1 visa (my father works in an international organization).  He retired and will no longer be on that status. I would like to change my status. And I’m looking for a college to apply for an LLM/JD program for the January 2019 semester. I wanted to know what I should write on my letter explaining the reasons why I would like to change the status. 

Mr. Lee answers:
B-1 is a business visa and not appropriate in your case. A common reason which individuals in your situation of dependent whose status is ending give is to spend more time taking care of arrangements before having to leave the country.


Article “The Dwindling Migrant Caravan Marches On As Trump Glowers And Threatens”

As published in the Immigration Daily on November 6, 2018.

In our article last week, ” Why the Migrant Caravan of 7000 (Whoops! 5000) Is Not Concerning ,” we laid out hypothetical numbers that even if 4000 came in, only approximately 668 would be left at the end of six months under the Trump no-tolerance policy, and asked what was the crisis. This week we have more statistics on this Trump-made crisis from the military itself which on October 27th made an estimate that only 20% of the 7000 would even reach the border. That would mean only 1400, and under the no-tolerance policy in which only 16.7% of the previous migrant caravan were left in the US after six months, only approximately 234 would remain after that time. So again, what crisis? Currently the caravan is still about 500 miles away from the border and already down to about 3500. Over 3000 have already applied for asylum in Mexico and many others have gone home. The migrants are now strung out between the city of Córdoba in Veracruz and Mexico City, and the remnants are not expected to arrive for at least 2 weeks traveling between 20-30 miles per day. Such would also be the fate of 2 smaller caravans of 1000-1500 just entering Mexico.

Yet in the face of the dwindling numbers, Mr. Trump continues to pour on the rhetoric saying that he would send up to 15,000 troops to the border. At that rate, there would be more than 10 soldiers to greet each of the 1400 who finally made it to the nearest point on the Southwest border. How long would he keep our troops there? A 6000 troop deployment in the Bush administration between 2006-2008 cost the American taxpayers $1.2 billion. A conservative estimate of the cost of deployment from now to December 31st is $200 million. While the numbers are mind-numbing, $200 million recently supported more than 13,000 transitional housing beds for homeless veterans under the VA’s grant and per diem program. $200 million was also the funding amount by the Federal Railroad Administration for 28 projects in 15 states to implement positive train control (PTC) systems to automatically brake or slow down speeding trains.

In addition to the number of troops at the border, Mr. Trump’s call to arms has resonated with militia groups, who are preparing to mobilize to the border to defend against the migrants and further increasing the chances of confrontation and innocent lives being lost. The Trump vitriol has also not been lost on the Border Patrol, which feels more free to use intimidation, substandard conditions of confinement and violence in dealing with migrants on the border than at any time during the Obama years.

To the idea that migrants might throw rocks at the American troops, Mr. Trump initially said that if US troops faced rock-throwing migrants, they should react as though the rocks were “rifles.” The Nigerian Army used his words last week as justification for its estimated killing of more than 40 people and wounding of 100 by rock-throwing protester by posting the Trump video including his words, “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back.” On November 2d, Mr. Trump reluctantly took back the words saying that migrants would not be shot if they threw rocks. However, the tone has been set.

Words are dangerous, especially coming from the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Yet Mr. Trump and his Republican Party seemingly have no regard for the truth or for the consequences of their lies. The Washington Post estimated that President Trump has made 6,420 false or misleading claims since he took office through October 30, 2018. Mr. Trump has been responsible for inflaming and encouraging the actions of all of the fringe right, including neo-Nazis, white nationalists, white supremacists, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, conspiracy theorists, and the Ku Klux Klan. His party is terrified of offending him and his base for fear that congressmen and senators running for election will be turned out of office. The actions of Mr. Trump and the inaction or collusion of the Republican leaders in not repudiating him are responsible for what happened in Charlottesville, the synagogue attack in Pittsburgh 10 days ago, and mailing of 15 pipe bombs to prominent Democrats including ex-presidents Obama and Clinton by an ardent Trump supporter. Mr. Trump’s foreign-policy record of divisiveness is no better in driving away long time allies and cozying up to some of the worst leaders in the world. His actions have unilaterally made the world less safe, and unleashed the worst acts of foreign leaders who believe that there will be no consequences or material rebuke from America.

Is there no further reason to get out and vote tomorrow for an entire Democratic slate? The old measure of trying to figure out whether this candidate is a little bit better than that candidate no longer applies in this fractured country with an abomination of a president holding his party in pocket.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on November 2, 2018 1. I Am From India and I Am Living and Working As Caregiver Since 6 Years in Israel. I Want to Visit to USA for Meet My Younger Brother. 2. Can F2 Visa Holder Start a Partnership Company As An Investor? 3. I’m On the Process of Getting a Divorce From My Spouse Who Has a Conditional Visa For 2 Years

1. I Am From India and I Am Living and Working As Caregiver Since 6 Years in Israel. I Want to Visit to USA for Meet My Younger Brother.

Mr. Lee answers:
If you have been living and working as a caretaker in Israel for six years, you could apply for a B-2 visiting visa from Tel Aviv or the American Embassy consulate in Jerusalem. Visitors visas are given in the discretion of American consular officers and you would have the burden of proof that you do not intend to remain in the US past the time that you are requesting for visiting in the States. The fact that you are a third country national in Israel will be taken into account, but also the fact that you have spent the last six years in the country. Your brother’s presence in the US would be taken as a negative factor if he did not hold legal status. If holding legal status, that would be a good factor as he could also guarantee financial support if capable. Even if he is a US citizen, the fact that he could also sponsor you for permanent residence is not much of a factor since the waiting time (now approximately 13 years) is so long as to almost negate any semblance of immigrant intent.

2. Can F2 Visa Holder Start a Partnership Company As An Investor?

My wife is currently holding F2 visa. We have already filed I-526 petition for our EB-5 program. Her friend who is a green card holder likes to start a partnership company with my wife. To establish the company, my wife’s SSN and ITIN are required. (She had a job during her OPT so she has ITIN). My wife will be a passive investor/owner without operating company and drawing income. Is there any violation which would sabotage our I526 petition or even future I-829 petition? Is there anything else we should pay attention?

Mr. Lee answers:
As long as your wife is a passive investor, there is nothing in the law that prevents your wife from establishing a company in partnership with anyone else. Such an act does not constitute unauthorized employment.

3. I’m On the Process of Getting a Divorce From My Spouse Who Has a Conditional Visa For 2 Years

He wants to use our daughter to have his conditional visa removed. His lawyer is saying that if he has a shared legal custody, he will be able to have his green card. But I don’t want that. He doesn’t care about our daughter when we are still together and all of a sudden, he cares so dang much. I feel like he is using our daughter to only get his green card. He always talk about how soon he can get his permanent card and now I realized that he was all about that.

Mr. Lee answers:
It would be fairly difficult for U.S.C.I.S. to deny your spouse’s removal of the conditional basis of his residence status since you have a common child. U.S.C.I.S. is mainly concerned with whether there was a bona fide marriage and not one done for favor or profit. A child together is strong evidence of a bona fide marriage.