Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on September 18, 2020 1. Overstay. 2. Mother Applies Married Daughter. 3. My Overseas Girlfriend is Pregnant but I have No Insurance.

1. Overstay

I was on L-1 visa and my last working day was on May 2, 2015. I stayed until 31 may as I was doing exams and selling my furniture and car etc. I-94 expiry was July 2016. Did I accrue unlawful presence from 3 may to 31 may? Do I need to report it if I am applying for immigration visa?

Mr. Lee answers:
The period of time that you are talking about is only 28-29 days according to your fact situation. Since the I-94 expiration date was July 2016, over a year later, you did not accrue unlawful presence. Even if you had, it would take 180 days of unlawful presence to bar you from the United States for three years. When applying for an immigrant visa, you can put down that you were unlawfully present for the 28 or 29 days, and it would make no difference in a consular interview for an immigrant visa. If you were adjusting status in the US, it might make a difference, but that would depend upon the category under which you were seeking immigration.

2. Mother Applies Married Daughter

My mother is a resident. She petitioned 2 of her daughters back in 2004. One of her daughters is now married. If mother was to become a citizen would that help the married daughter?

Mr. Lee answers:
If your mother becomes a citizen at this time, she can petition for her married daughter again under the F-3 category for married sons and daughters of US citizens. However, this would be a new petition with a new priority date, and the F-3 category is backed up about 13 years. If there is another way for the daughter to immigrate, perhaps she should choose that instead. If not, the mother should file the petition as soon as possible

3. My Overseas Girlfriend is Pregnant but I have No Insurance.

My girlfriend and I have been dating 8 mo. 50% her time in U.S. & China on her Biz visa. She’s pregnant. My baby. What visa now? How to we marry for the baby?

I have a job but no insurance. Should I have her come out to the U.S. on a tourist visa right away? Can she stay with me in the U.S. somehow so we can have the baby here? Should we get married right after the baby is born since we have no insurance and she is not a citizen? Would it be better for her and the baby if we get married in the U.S. right away? But then how do we manage the pre-natal, and delivery of a baby $$$$ costs without insurance?

Mr. Lee answers:
You appear to be very concerned about the money that will be involved with the baby being born in the US without insurance. That being the case, and unless you are dead set on having the baby born here, perhaps it is better that the baby be born in China. I assume that you can marry at any time, perhaps even now, and then begin the I-130 petition process with the idea of a final interview at the American consulate in Guangzhou.  Such would probably take about a year. That would likely give enough time for your wife to give birth and recover so that she would be able to gather the documentation and appear for an immigrant visa interview overseas. The timing should also give you time to prepare for a life with your wife and the child.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on September 4, 2020 1. How Can I Expedite Process to Obtain Green Card as a Spouse of U.S. Citizen? 2. Can I Change B-1 Visa into H-1B or Permanent Residency in USA? 3. If I Have a Green Card for 2 Years, Can I Divorce Before This Times Expire Without Losing it?

1. How Can I Expedite Process to Obtain Green Card as a Spouse of U.S. Citizen?

My husband is a US citizen, I am Swiss, married in 1995. I have applied in Phoenix I am told it takes 20 months! We have recently moved to Scottsdale as a permanent residence. Currently I have a B-2 visa. I need to have a social security number asap for a number of formalities here and in Switzerland and I understand I cannot get it without a resident status.

Mr. Lee answers:
The processing times of U.S.C.I.S. are an approximation, and many cases are called to interview before the end of the stated processing periods. That being said, even if the true processing time in your case is 20 months, U.S.C.I.S. would not expedite your case unless it was emergent. Obtaining a Social Security number can be done without having an approved case. If you file for employment authorization on form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization at the same time that you file the I-485 Adjustment of Status Application To Permanent Residence, the agency will normally process a work authorization within 3-6 months. With a work authorization card, you can apply for and obtain a Social Security card within a month. 

2. Can I Change B-1 Visa into H-1B or Permanent Residency in USA?

I travel to USA every two years because my brother family is in New York so my whole family is on B-1 Visa. Actually, I applied 2 times for H-1B visa but unfortunately my name was not been selected due to random selection process. Last time for H-1B I applied on 2016. My brother has own company is New York and few other companies from family. They want to hire as IT Professional in their office but due to random selection process in H-1B I am unsuccessful. Is there any way to get employed over there on my brother’s company without going to random selection process OR if I am been in USA , can I change my status from B-1 to H-1B directly.

Mr. Lee answers:
Unknown factors in your question make it difficult to give good advice. Where were you born? What is the nature of your brother’s company? What is the setup of his company? Is it profitable? What other options might you have? I suggest that you make an appointment with an immigration lawyer who can go over all of your circumstances. Insofar as your question of whether you can change status from B-1 to H-1B directly, you would likely not be able to do so with your brother’s company because of timing issues, but might be able to do it with a cap exempt organization such as an institution of higher education, an organization affiliated with an institution of higher education, a government research Institute, or a nonprofit research institute. Companies like your brother’s are subject to the annual cap on H-1B visas, and can only file H-1B visa petitions during the first five business days of each April. 

3. If I Have a Green Card for 2 Years, Can I Divorce Before This Times Expire Without Losing it?

I applied for a green card but my situation with my wife is not good anymore. I am thinking about getting divorce but don’t know if I will lose all my process and my green card.

Mr. Lee answers:
I assume that you are a conditional resident through your wife and then you will have to file an I-751 application to remove the conditional basis on resident status within the 90 day period before the second anniversary of the conditional resident grant. If you are divorced or have a legal separation, you are prohibited from filing a joint petition with your wife to remove the conditional basis. However, with a divorce, you can file a petition by yourself on the basis that the marriage was bona fide at the beginning and attach all evidence showing such in the I-751 petition. You can also remove the condition by showing that you are a battered spouse or that you would suffer extreme hardship if you return to the home country, such hardship having occurred during the period of conditional residence. 

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on August 30, 2020 1. Petitioning for My Parents in China.  How Difficult Will It Be for Them to Pass the Public charge Requirement? 2. What Will Happen to My Labor Certification Green Card Case Since I Was Born in Hong Kong and How Long Will it Take for Me to Immigrate? 3. Can I Apply for DACA Now That the Supreme Court Ruled That the Program Could Continue? 4. Can You Tell Me if It Will be Safe to Go Into USCIS Offices for Interviews When They Are Scheduled?

1. Petitioning for My Parents in China.  How Difficult Will It Be for Them to Pass the Public charge Requirement?

I just became a US citizen and want to apply for my parents in China. I am really concerned because I heard that the Trump administration is making it very hard for persons who do not have much income or assets to immigrate. Currently I am married with two children, and our income level (combined) for the past three years has been around $60,000 annually. We have a house with very little mortgage left on it, and about $25,000 in savings.

Mr. Lee answers,
Under normal circumstances, you would appear to have a good chance of immigrating your parents in the absence of outstanding disabilities on the part of your parents that would require much medical assistance by the government. The public charge rule which went into effect on February 24, 2020, places an onerous burden on petitioners and the people that they sponsor to show more and count a number of factors in deciding the admissibility of people under the rule. This rule during the time of pandemic has been dropped by the government after its recent loss in the District Court in New York. The Department of Homeland Security has issued a memorandum that as long as the ruling is in effect, USCIS will apply the old public charge guidance to any adjustment of status application adjudicated on or after July 29, 2020.  The Department of State is also complying with the court’s order and in the process of updating its guidance to consular officers on how to proceed. The situation, however, remains volatile. It remains to be seen whether the court’s ruling will stand and if so, how the public charge law will proceed after the time of pandemic. (I note that under the new public charge rule, you may still be able to immigrate your parents, but would likely have to show much more documentation to do it).

2. What Will Happen to My Labor Certification Green Card Case Since I Was Born in Hong Kong and How Long Will it Take for Me to Immigrate?

I work as a market research analyst under H-1B visa and I took up my employer’s offer to sponsor me for the green card last year because I am from Hong Kong and the company lawyer said that my case would take less than two years if everything went well. Now we hear that because Pres. Trump is mad at China, I am now assigned to China. What does that mean for my case? My priority date is November 2019 and my labor certification application was approved in May 2020. My I-140 petition is now pending with USCIS.

Mr. Lee answers,
On July 14, 2020, Pres. Trump issued Executive Order 13936, “Pres. Trump’s Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization” which among other things would no longer treat Hong Kong as an area having its own immigration quota under US law and instead assign it under China’s immigration visa quota. The State Department is still reviewing the question of whether Hong Kong born individuals can be chargeable to mainland China legally, but that may very well be swept under the rug given the politics of the State Department and that the Secretary is very much in the president’s corner. Currently for the month of August 2020, the visa bulletin final action dates show that China EB-2 for cases requiring an advanced degree or a bachelor’s +5 years experience is only up to cases filed before January 15, 2016, and for cases under EB-3 requiring a baccalaureate degree or two years experience up to February 15, 2017, one year more advanced. It is difficult to know how long it will take for your case under the China quota to become current given the vagaries of immigrant visa counting and the underuse of the numbers in this fiscal year, but given the more advanced state of EB-3, you may wish to file a petition under that category if you have not already done so.

3. Can I Apply for DACA Now That the Supreme Court Ruled That the Program Could Continue?

I qualified in all respects for DACA except that I was not yet 15, the minimum age for applying, when they stopped accepting new applications. I have been continuously in the US since June 15, 2007; was physically present in the country on June 15, 2012; had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; have not committed any crimes; and am still in high school. If I put in a new application at this time, what will happen to it?

Mr. Lee answers,
The Supreme Court decision preserved DACA a in a 5-4 decision in June 2020 as Chief Justice Roberts did not believe that the government had followed legal procedure in trying to stop the program. Although Pres. Trump said in a TV interview on the Hispanic channel Telemundo that he could give a path to citizenship for the Dreamers, his administration has done exactly the opposite in a pending case, Casa de Maryland v. US DHS in which it said last week that new applications would neither be granted nor rejected, and instead held in a bucket pending a policy consideration by DHS; and the last word was a July 28, 2020, memorandum in which DHS said that it would reject all pending and future initial requests, reject all pending and future applications for advance parole for DACA members absent exceptional circumstances, and shorten DACA renewals from two years to one year. This is likely not the final answer, but you may wish to wait and see what happens before putting in a new application at this time.

4. Can You Tell Me if It Will be Safe to Go Into USCIS Offices for Interviews When They Are Scheduled?

I am being petitioned for by my US citizen mother for the green card. I, my wife, and our two kids are here under my H-1B visa. Our priority date finally cleared, and we were scheduled for an adjustment of status interview at the immigration office in April that was canceled because of the pandemic. Now I hear that Immigration will begin to reschedule all the canceled interviews beginning in August. We are very nervous because I and my wife have medical conditions and are scared of catching the coronavirus. Will we be safe in going to the interview?

Mr. Lee answers,
One of the discouraging things that one hears about USCIS these days is its constant complaint that it is running out of money, needs to raise fees, and obtain funding from Congress. The latest is that it will furlough up to 70% of its workforce at the end of August if it has not received relief from Congress. That being the case, the agency probably does not have adequate funding to maintain complete office safety. I doubt that the agency has the ability to wipe down surfaces including chairs and bathrooms every couple hours or the personnel to enforce social distancing in elevators, escalators, hallways, and waiting rooms. You can do a few things to protect yourself such as maintaining your family’s social distance from others; bringing sanitary wipes to clean your own seats; wearing masks and gloves; bringing your own pens, etc. The agency has said that it will space out interviews, mark off seats to maintain distancing, put plexiglass barriers between officers and the public, provide face coverings from people who come without face coverings, and be flexible on rescheduling missed appointments. Hopefully that and other improvements that it may make before your interview along with your own safety precautions will protect you and everyone else with whom you come into contact.

 

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on August 21, 2020 1. Can I Request I-485 to be Joint? 2. If I Get Paid $12.50/hr with 40 Hours a Week, Is This Enough to Bring My Girlfriend to the USA from Philippines? 3. Can You Get Married in the US Even If You Are Still Legally Married in the Philippines? 

1. Can I Request I-485 to be Joint?

We file I-130 a week ago for my wife. We get the I-797c notices I have been reading around and it state it most case the I-485 can be requested to joint to the I-130. I just want to know if I can go ahead and send I-485 even thou I 130 is pending.

Mr. Lee answers:
As you have the I-797C receipt notice, you are able to use that to file an I-485 adjustment of status application to permanent residence for your wife at this time if you are a US citizen and she entered the country legally. You would attach a copy of the I-797C receipt in the I-485 filing to show that the I-130 petition is pending. U.S.C.I.S. will process the I-485 and usually link the I-130 petition with the I-485 filing in time for the interview. 

2. If I Get Paid $12.50/hr with 40 Hours a Week, Is This Enough to Bring My Girlfriend to the USA from Philippines?

Mr. Lee answers:
$12.50 an hour with 40 hours a week or $26,000 per year may not be enough to convince a skeptical consular officer to issue a B-2 visiting visa. American consular officers like to be convinced that a visa applicant has enough support to visit the US without having to work. If your girlfriend or her family have monies of their own, she could show that to the consular officer as proof that she would not have to work in the US. Also if you have close relatives who are capable of giving an I-134 affidavit of support, that might help. She will also have to convince the consular officer that she intends to just visit and will return at the end of her stay.  

3. Can You Get Married in the US Even If You Are Still Legally Married in the Philippines? 

I knew somebody who came here as a J1 intern for a year. He is married legally in the Philippines and has a kid with that marriage. Now he is married to an American. Is it even legal? How can he get a permanent residency card in that situation?

Mr. Lee answers:
If a person is still legally married regardless of wherever that person was married, he or she would be committing bigamy by marrying another without having the marriage annulled or otherwise dissolved. U.S.C.I.S. would not approve a permanent residence application if it knew that the applicant was not free to marry the petitioner. 

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on August 7, 2020 1. What is The Fastest Way to Move From F-1 to H-4/H4-EAD? 2. Asylum Denied and Placed in Removal Preceding. I Married a US Citizen and Had I-130 Interview. Can I Travel Abroad and Return Back? 3. If a Person Was Charged with Embezzlement and Served Jail Time Before Being Deported in 2008, Can He Return to the United States?

1. What is The Fastest Way to Move From F-1 to H-4/H4-EAD?

I am currently working on F1 STEM OPT extension which is expiring on 5th July, 2020 and my husband is on H1-B with an approved I-140 for green card. My H1-B was filed this year in premium but I haven’t heard if my application was picked in the lottery. If my application is not picked in the lottery this year, I will have to move to H4 and H4-EAD to continue working in the US. So, in my case, what will be the best and the fastest way to get converted to H4 and obtain a H4-EAD. I know I can file both together and go on a leave of absence at my job till I receive my EAD. And the estimated timeline for this might be 5-6 months. So is there any better way to move to H4 and H4-EAD with the least period of absence from my work. I was suggested to just re-enter US with a fresh H4 and then apply for EAD once I am in the country. But I don’t know if this will be faster and if it will work.

Mr. Lee answers: 
From our experience, we do not see too much benefit from your idea that you can receive a quicker adjudication of the H-4 EAD if you go outside to interview for the H-4 visa, enter the US, and then apply for the EAD alone instead of applying for both the change of status to H-4 and an employment authorization. U.S.C.I.S. accepts concurrent filings of both, and usually adjudicates the EAD application as soon as the H-4 is approved.  Also with the amount of time spent in applying for and receiving the H-4 visa overseas, there would likely not be much of a savings in time if any.

2. Asylum Denied and Placed in Removal Preceding. I Married a US Citizen and Had I-130 Interview. Can I Travel Abroad and Return Back?

I was denied asylum and placed in removal preceding, recently I married US Citizen and had my I-130 interview. Can I travel abroad and return back to my husband in US ( I mean if I apply for advanced parole)?

Mr. Lee answers: 
U.S.C.I.S. has a rule of not giving advance paroles to individuals in removal proceedings. Although the Board of Immigration Appeals had a ruling that departures under advance parole do not count as “entries”, that ruling did not touch upon persons under removal proceedings.  There is the danger that you would be seen as having removed yourself by leaving the US and face a bar on reentry to the country even if you somehow managed to obtain advance parole. 

3. If a Person Was Charged with Embezzlement and Served Jail Time Before Being Deported in 2008, Can He Return to the United States?

A family member was charged with embezzlement back in 2006 in CA. The said person then served time in prison and was deported either in 2008 or 2009. since it has been some years since then, if I was to start the process on applying for a green card on their behalf would it be worth it or would I be wasting my time

Mr. Lee answers:
Embezzlement is a crime involving moral turpitude at the very least and an aggravated felony at the worst if the amount embezzled exceeded $10,000 or the individual was sentenced to at least 1 year imprisonment. If there is to be a chance, there must be a petitioner capable of providing the basis upon which he can immigrate to the US, e.g. US citizen or permanent resident wife or child over the age of 21. He would also have to apply for a waiver of the crime, and so would have to have a spouse, parent, son or daughter who would suffer extreme hardship if the waiver application was turned down. Lacking those circumstances, you should not go forward.  Even with the elements in place, the chances of success are problematic.  

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on July 24, 2020 1. Either I Can Apply for H4 EAD Now or Shift to F1 Visa from H4. Which is Better in Current Situation in USA? 2. If Someone Else Becomes an I-864 Sponsor, Can My Sponsorship Be Dissolved? 3. Can I Study While My I-485 is Pending?

1. Either I Can Apply for H4 EAD Now or Shift to F1 Visa from H4. Which is Better in Current Situation in USA?

I am joining a graduate school this fall. In order to work in USA, either I can apply for H4 EAD now or shift to F1 visa from H4. which is better in current situation in USA

Mr. Lee answers:
The choice of whether to apply for H-4 EAD or to shift to F-1 visa is up to you at this point. The H-4 EAD situation is still valid at present although it is one of the targets of the Trump administration for elimination. Under F-1, you would generally have to attend schooling for a year before being allowed to work under curriculum practical training unless that was a part of the program that requires internship or fieldwork.

2. If Someone Else Becomes an I-864 Sponsor, Can My Sponsorship Be Dissolved?

Divorced but am still my EX’S sponsor (form I-864). If she remarries am I still responsible? What if her new husband files for sponsorship?

Mr. Lee answers:
If your ex-wife remarries and if the new husband files for sponsorship, you would still be on the hook if your ex-wife attained conditional residence through your sponsorship. On the other hand, if her case through you was denied, you would not be responsible as the I-864 is a contract between you and the government under which the obligation begins when your ex-wife received the benefit. 

3. Can I Study While My I-485 is Pending?

I am going to marry my fiancée after I am done with my associates degree, I however want to start my bachelor degree right after. So I have a gap of a couple of weeks between my AA and my BA. My question is, can I start studying again as soon as the I-485 is pending, or do I have to wait for the temporary work permission to arrive?

Mr. Lee answers:

If you are marrying a U. S. citizen, any gap in status will generally be disregarded at the time of your interview for the green card. If you are marrying a lawful permanent resident and adjusting status by filing form I-485, you must be in valid status at the time of filing form I-485. In addition, you cannot violate your status even after filing the I-485 by taking on unauthorized employment. That being said, a gap in schooling after marrying and filing the I-485 application would have no effect upon your ability to adjust status. In your situation, if you are holding F-1 status for both your associates degree and your bachelor’s degree programs, you would not be violating status by having a gap of a couple of weeks as the law provides for gaps of time between 2 levels of schooling. Even if you were not choosing to advance to a bachelor’s degree program, you would still be in legal status as an F-1 student for 60 days after completing studies during the grace period for you to change or extend status or depart the United States. 

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on July 10, 2020 1. How Do I Change Visa Type? 2. I Think My Husband Married Me to Get to the U.S. Because After He Got His Green Card His Actions Toward Me Has Changed. 3. What Kind of Visa Can I be Eligible If My Brother Has a US Green Card?

1. How Do I Change Visa Type?

My friend from Brazil is here on a B1/B2 visa. He wants to do freelance video production. Is it possible to apply for a change of status (COS) to some type of work visa?

Mr. Lee answers,
I cannot think of an appropriate visa for your friend from Brazil to change status to in order to do freelance video production unless he is good enough to qualify for O-1 extraordinary alien status. If not, he may wish to consult with an immigration lawyer to go over his options and what compromises he is willing to make with his goals if he is eligible to obtain some other type of visa status to remain in the country for a longer period of time. 

2. I Think My Husband Married Me to Get to the U.S. Because After He Got His Green Card His Actions Toward Me Has Changed.

My husband has been here for one year and three months. After four months here I caught him on a dating site seeking a relationship. I have also found pictures in his phone of a woman with a baby sent to him back in his country. I have found a Mexican lady in his phone as well. When I asked him about these he would say the woman with the baby is his friend’s wife. However, its several pictures. He also deliberately picks fights with me I think to try to ruin the relationship. He wants to be looked at as a good guy by his friends and family. He has opened his own bank account he used to deposit money into our joint account but now he don’t. I feel like he is planning things behind my back. If I feel like he used me to get here and want a divorce what can I do?

Mr. Lee answers,
If your husband is a conditional resident, you can decide whether to assist him in removing the conditional basis of residence status by signing the I-751 form and cooperating throughout the adjudication process. If he is already a permanent resident (marriage was at least two years old prior to him coming to the US), you have less hold over his actions. At present, you have suspicions, but there is likely nothing that you can do with them vis-a-vis U.S.C.I.S. Even in the event that he eventually initiates divorce proceedings, you would probably not interest the agency into going after his green card since it appears that he has been living with you for the duration of time that he has been in the US. 

3. What Kind of Visa Can I be Eligible If My Brother Has a US Green Card?

My brother(26 years old) won the green card lottery and I – sister (25) want to learn the important steps of the application process as well as I want to know if I can also benefit that opportunity: residential visa, working permit, etc. He lives in Europe and I have been living in the US for the last 3 years with an F-1 visa.

Mr. Lee answers,
Unfortunately there is no benefit to be received from a brother or sister who obtains a green card under US immigration law. You would have to keep maintaining your independent legal status in the US. 

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on June 26, 2020 1. Child with Documented Immigration 2. Can I Ask for Asylum? I am Illegal for Nearly 20 Years. 3. I Have DACA, Can I Apply for a Green Card?

1. Child with Documented Immigration

I have a child with a documented immigrant and she’s trying to go back to her homeland to visit.  What are the laws concerning that?

Mr. Lee answers,
The documented immigrant must check with the consulate or embassy of the home country to determine what the requirements are for the child to enter the country. I will assume for purposes of your question that the child was born in the U. S. and is a U. S. citizen. The documented immigrant should obtain a U. S. passport for the child and then check with the home government as to whether there are other requirements for the entry of the child. Coming back to the U. S., the documented immigrant’s passport and green card and the child’s U. S. passport would be sufficient for entry. 

2. Can I Ask for Asylum? I am Illegal for Nearly 20 Years.

I have court approaching, if I am reported to ICE can I request for Asylum? I have court for driving unlicensed. I live in GA.

Mr. Lee answers,
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, an individual can only ask for political asylum within one year of coming to the U. S. illegally, or if the individual came to the U. S. under a nonimmigrant visa, within a reasonable period of time (usually less than 6 months) after the ending of the status. You can, however, request protection under withholding of removal which requires over a 50% probability that you will be persecuted upon return to the home country or protection under the Convention against Torture (CAT), under which you would have to prove by over 50% probability that you would be subject to an extreme form of cruel and inhuman punishment that must cause severe pain or suffering. For the Convention against Torture, even aggravated felons are eligible to apply. I note that asylum differs from the 2 other reliefs as the burden of proof is lower (applicants must show only a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, political opinion, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or past persecution) and a grant of asylum can lead to the green card whereas grants of withholding or CAT do not. 

3. I Have DACA, Can I Apply for a Green Card?

I came from Mexico when I was 3 with my mother who had a short term working visa for both of us.  We overstayed.  What can I do to get a green card?

Mr. Lee answers,
Being under DACA means that you are allowed to stay, but without legislation providing a path to the green card, there is not much that can be done at present. For purposes of your question, I will assume that you are at least 18 years of age. As you came in legally with your mother, you could possibly adjust status to permanent residence if you marry with a U. S. citizen in a bona fide marriage. If you marry with a permanent resident who is a long way from citizenship or is ineligible or cannot pass the naturalization test, you could possibly take advantage of the I-601A program to obtain a waiver of the 10 year bar for staying in the U. S. for one year or more. The waiver application would be based upon your spouse suffering extreme hardship if you had to leave the U. S. If the I-601A application is approved, you could then return to Mexico for an immigrant visa appointment at the American consulate. Assuming that you are approved at the time of interview, you could return to the U. S. under residence status almost immediately. If the above is not an option, you can wait with all other members of the DACA class until your DACA situation is solved politically.  

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on June 21, 2020 1. The Trump Ban on Chinese Graduate and Postgraduate Students – Am I Affected? 2. Having a Tough Time Leaving the Country After Obtaining Voluntary Departure – How Can I Leave on Time to China? 3. What is the Notice of Filing and Why is my Lawyer Telling Me that She Cannot File my Labor Certification Application Because my Company is Closed and Cannot Post the Notice? 4. Besides the Ban on Chinese Graduate and Post graduate Students, What Other Bans are There by Pres. Trump on People from China?

1. The Trump Ban on Chinese Graduate and Postgraduate Students – Am I Affected?

I am from China and on an F-1 visa. I heard that Pres. Trump last week declared that Chinese students who study in graduate or postgraduate programs can no longer come to the United States, and that those already here could have their visas revoked. Should I be alarmed since I am here in a graduate program on F-1 visa?

Dear reader,
Pres. Trump signed a presidential proclamation on May 29, 2020 taking effect on June 1, 2020, barring the entry of F-1 and J-1 students from China in graduate and postgraduate programs who will be studying or conducting research in a field involving information that could contribute to China’s military-civil fusion strategy who either receives funding or has been or is currently employed by, studied or studies at, or conducted or conducts research on behalf of an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy, such being defined as actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities. There are a list of exceptions with probably the most relevant being that the bar does not apply to a person studying or conducting research in a field that would not contribute to the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy. The New York Times said in an article that the People’s liberation Army has ties to military Institutes and defense research schools as well as seven more traditional universities which were identified in another website as Beijing Institute of Technology, Beihang University, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, and Northwestern Polytechnical University.

So unless you fall within one of these categories, you should not worry about this ban.

2. Having a Tough Time Leaving the Country After Obtaining Voluntary Departure – How Can I Leave on Time to China?

I had a deportation hearing and I through my lawyer was given involuntary departure by the immigration judge until June 22, 2020. The problem is that I am finding it very difficult to find a flight that goes to China. I did get a reservation on one the other day, but that flight was canceled. If I do not leave on time, I will have an order of removal against me. What can I do?

Dear reader,
There appear to be twin difficulties here, one being the coronavirus which has limited the number of flights coming and going to the United States, and Pres. Trump’s announcement on June 3, 2020, that he will ban all commercial passenger flights by Chinese carriers. That certainly limits the available number of flights even further. The ban is to take effect on June 16. Assuming that you and your lawyer are intent upon you leaving the US on time, you may also immediately begin exploring airlines of other countries that can take you out of the country and hopefully will not cancel the flights. Please understand also that you do not necessarily have to go to China. You can go to any other country in which you have permission to land. As a last resort, you and your attorney can request an extension of voluntary departure by ICE, but you should recognize that government services have been hit and miss during the coronavirus. You would have good cause to request an extension, but that would be leaving it up to an ICE officer’s discretion.

3. What is the Notice of Filing and Why is my Lawyer Telling Me that She Cannot File my Labor Certification Application Because my Company is Closed and Cannot Post the Notice?

I have a labor certification case for the green card stuck with my lawyer who has not filed my labor certification application up to this date. I spoke with her recently and she said that all of the pre-recruitment had been done, but she could not file because the company could not post something called a notice of filing in its office which is presently closed because of the coronavirus. Is this true or is my lawyer just giving excuses because she does not want to work?

Dear reader,
It appears that your attorney is giving you correct counsel. Required notices of filing inform people in the office and in the occupation that an organization is sponsoring someone for immigration purposes  who may wish to inquire about the position or to complain to the Department of Labor. Unlike notices of filing in nonimmigrant H-1B cases which can be done electronically, PERM labor certification applications for the green card require a physical posting at the workplace for 10 business days. The Department of Labor has given an exception to the time rules because of the coronavirus in saying that it will accept notices of filing posted within 60 days after the 180 day period of recruitment has passed as long as the employer started the recruitment within 180 days before March 13, 2020. As your attorney has already informed you that all of the other recruitment was finished, I assume that your case is only being held up because of the problem caused by the coronavirus.

4. Besides the Ban on Chinese Graduate and Post graduate Students, What Other Bans are There by Pres. Trump on People from China?

I heard about Pres. Trump’s new ban on Chinese graduate and post-graduate students. How many other bans does he have for people from China? I would like to know since I’m planning to come to the US on a working visa in the future.

Dear reader,
Currently there appear to be two other travel bans affecting persons coming from China. The first is a presidential proclamation in April that suspends persons coming to the United States to immigrate for 60 days and any extensions thereafter, but does not apply to nonimmigrant visa holders along with a number of other exceptions. A second ban prevents persons from China who have been in China, Hong Kong or Macau during the 14 day period before their attempt to travel to the US. For purposes of the latter ban, it does not apply to US citizens, LPR’s, spouses of US citizens or permanent residents, parents or legal guardians of US citizens or LPRs who are unmarried and under the age of 21, and siblings of US citizens or permanent residents if they are unmarried and under the age of 21. Those who are exempt from the second ban and coming in from the affected areas must land at one of 13 airports around the country.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on June 12, 2020 1. My Married Sister is in the US Legally. How Long Will it Take If I Am a US Citizen to Sponsor Her? 2. I Submitted the I-130 in Nov 2019.  On April 2020 I Got a Notice to Provide More Evidence.  Does it Mean that my Previous Fee/Evidence is Lost? 3. I Signed an I-864 for My Husband As His Sole Sponsor a Year Ago.  Can I Apply for Medicaid Now?

1. My Married Sister is in the US Legally. How Long Will it Take If I Am a US Citizen to Sponsor Her?

I’m a us citizen, my married sister is in the states under a student visa, she is doing a major, so i was wondering if I decide to sponsor, how long will it take.  I’m aware of that when the relatives are in the US, LEGALLY the waiting period it’s supposed to be less than (10 years in this case). Was I correct?

Mr. Lee answers,
Even if your married sister is in the U. S. legally, it will generally take the same amount of time for her to obtain permanent residence inside or outside the country. Currently for the month of May 2020, those siblings who filed I-130 petitions before 07/22/06 are eligible for their final immigration, so the waiting time is now about 14 years. Whether inside or outside the United States, the final action date on the visa chart must be current before a person can be adjusted to permanent residence in the U. S. or given an immigrant visa at the home consulate or embassy. 

2. I Submitted the I-130 in Nov 2019.  On April 2020 I Got a Notice to Provide More Evidence.  Does it Mean that my Previous Fee/Evidence is Lost?

I was asked to provide more evidence… which initially I had provided with my application on 11/23/19… all evidence on the checklist was submitted and yet I had a notice of more evidence on 4/15/20 or face being denied.  Does it mean that my previous fees and evidences have been lost?

Mr. Lee answers,
If you received a notice to provide more evidence, that means that U.S.C.I.S. has already received your case and is only asking for the additional evidence at this time. Your fee has certainly not been lost, and you should check carefully to see what U.S.C.I.S. is requesting to ensure that the evidence that you initially provided was sufficient. If you believe that it was, you can send it again, but I note that U.S.C.I.S. usually asks for evidence because it is not satisfied with what was originally submitted. 

3. I Signed an I-864 for My Husband As His Sole Sponsor a Year Ago.  Can I Apply for Medicaid Now?

I just had a baby and I’m trying to get financial assistance through the hospital but they need me to apply for Medicaid first before they can go through with the assistance. I signed the I-864 for my husband last year and still make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but the hospital requires a denial from them. Can I get in trouble for applying for Medicaid since I signed for him as his sponsor?

Mr. Lee answers,

Under U. S. immigration laws, the issue is not whether a person applies for Medicaid, but whether the person receives Medicaid benefits. If you are not receiving means tested benefits from federal, state, or city, the Medicaid question is inapplicable. Even if you were receiving Medicaid, you would not get into trouble for having signed for your husband’s financial affidavit support as there is no indication of fraud in your case and the prohibition would be against him receiving means tested benefits.