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. 

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on May 29, 2020 1. Effect of Divorce on Green Card? 2. Can I Travel on B1 (Initial Training) While L-1B Blanket Petition is on the Way? 3. Can I Send my Fiance Appeal Application With a Note that Say We Have Kids and I Am Pregnant?

1. Effect of Divorce on Green Card?

I have a 10-year green card obtained through a 4-year marriage with my USC husband. We are now peacefully heading to get a divorce. I obtained my green card Oct of 2018. Will I lose my green card? Can I still naturalize in 5 years?

Mr. Lee answers,
Many people divorce in the United States every year. The fact that you are now heading to the divorce after obtaining your green card in 2018 would not necessarily raise flags with U.S.C.I.S. You would not lose your green card based on that circumstance. You can also still naturalize in five years. At the naturalization interview, you may be asked questions to verify that the marriage was bona fide, but just on the circumstances that you present, there is nothing alarming. 

2. Can I Travel on B1 (Initial Training) While L-1B Blanket Petition is on the Way?

I am having valid B1 Visa till 2027 , My employer has already filed L1B for me and I will be receiving petition in next week, but visa interview date is after 50 days and my employer want me to come early , can I travel on B1 (for initial training) now and later on come back to my home country for visa interview ? Will it increase my chance of rejection during L1B visa interview ? can I give visa interview in 3rd country near to USA because my home country is far away (18 hours flight) from USA , will it increase chance of rejection of L-1B?

Mr. Lee answers,
There is a possibility that you may encounter a problem at the time of interview if the consular officer believes that the employer and you were trying to jump start your date of employment.  There is a risk if your employer takes this path. Interviewing in a third country near the USA increases the chances of rejection as many consular officers believe that the persons best able to handle initial cases are consular officers in the person’s home country. You may be asked to go back to your home country for interview by a third country consulate if you decide to take that path. 

3. Can I Send my Fiance Appeal Application With a Note that Say We Have Kids and I Am Pregnant?

I am a USA permanent resident. The judge denied my fiance case and he made an Oder to remove him to leave USA in 30 days. I am pregnant I have 2 kids.

Mr. Lee answers,
Unfortunately your fiancé will not be able to appeal the judge’s order successfully on the basis that he has U. S. citizen children and that you are now pregnant. If he has other grounds for appeal, he may bring those out before the Board of Immigration Appeals. As you are a green card holder, you and your fiancé may wish for a consultation with an immigration lawyer to explore any other options that you may have. 

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on May 24, 2020 – Not Selected for H-1B Registration, What Should I Do Now?

I am on OPT until 7/20/20, and my employer filed for my H-1B registration, but I just learned that I was not selected. What can I do at this point?

Mr. Lee answers,
I note that because of the present coronavirus situation, the unemployment figures have risen rapidly as employers are furloughing or laying off many staff members. There is a distinct possibility that many H-1B registrants will not be able to go forward with petitions and U.S.C.I.S. may be forced to either conduct another draw or go further down the list of the draw that has already taken place to select more applicants. Other than that possibility, you can check with your school to see whether you are eligible for a STEM extension if you are unsure; continue your F-1 education and try again next year; return to school and request CPT (better at a higher level of education), explore the possibilities of L-1 intracompany transferee visa, E visa if from a treaty country, O-1 visa especially those on the PhD level, or possibly gaining H-1B visa status through working with or working at a cap-exempt organization such as an institute of higher education, nonprofit affiliated with such Institute, a nonprofit research organization, or governmental research organization.

 

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on May 17, 2020 1. Filed I-485s for Self and Daughter in Early February, Mine Accepted, Daughter Rejected – What to Do? 2. Holding Green Card Status and Poor, What Chances to Sponsor My Other Children for Green Card?

1. Filed I-485s for Self and Daughter in Early February, Mine Accepted, Daughter Rejected – What to Do?

I filed I-485 adjustment of status application forms for myself and my 9 year old daughter in early February which also included two I-130 forms and I received the receipts in March for myself, but the whole package of my daughter came back because I did not sign her form. Should I sign the form and send it back in at this time? Also other questions – I know that the forms have changed and that there is a new one, I-944. Do I have to send that one in? I paid a lesser fee for her before because we were filing together. Her I-485 fee was $750 since she was filing with me. Now do I pay that or do I have to pay the $1140 filing for her filing alone? Finally do I have to say that she is not legally here on the form now since our visas expired in early March? When I filed for the first time, we were still legal. Can I still say the same now because it was only a technical error?

Mr. Lee Answers,
I will assume that you are married and that your US citizen spouse filed I-130 petitions for both you and your daughter in conjunction with your I-485 applications –otherwise there would be no need for the double l-130s.  if so, your daughter is still eligible to file an I-485 application as  she qualifies as an immediate relative of your spouse and immediate relatives can adjust status if they entered the US legally even if they have overstayed. Given the situation that there is nothing to lose in terms of statutory eligibility for you to begin again with your daughter, the best course is probably to refile for her using all the new forms that U.S.C.I.S. has mandated since February 24, 2020. You should also check off the box that she is not lawfully here at this time, and if you wish, explain the situation on the last page of the form. As a new filing, you would fill out the I-944 form for her and pay the additional fee.

2. Holding Green Card Status and Poor, What Chances to Sponsor My Other Children for Green Card?

I immigrated through my parents’ petition for me and am still a permanent resident. I have two children 10 and 12 years old by a former girlfriend in Hong Kong and now she wants me to petition for them to live with me rather than her. I married in the United States and have a child, but I do not make much money and have government assistance with my rent and my kid here has food stamps. What are my chances of having the two children successfully come to the US?

Mr. Lee answers,
Under the present state of US law including the new public charge provision that came into effect on February 24, 2020, the difficulty level of having your children come to the country if they do not have good prospects and assets is significantly raised in a situation like yours. Hopefully you will be able to find a joint sponsor who is related to you and making high income as that might help. Although these are trying times economically, it would truly be helpful if you got yourself a good job so that you could show proof of steady income at a level of at least125% of the federal poverty guidelines.to support your present household and the children you intend to bring over.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on May 15, 2020 1. Would a Civil Case (Owing 2 Months Rent) Affect Me in the Future from Getting a Visa? 2. My OPT STEM Case is Processing Right Now. Am I Eligible to Work Right Now? 3. Would an Economics Degree + 1 Financial Accounting Course+ 1 Year Accounting Experience be Enough for a TN Visa Accountant Position?

1. Would a Civil Case (Owing 2 Months Rent) Affect Me in the Future from Getting a Visa?

I’m a Mexican student in Boston. I have been renting an apartment in Cambridge, MA. My landlord is planning on retaining my security deposit because 2 years ago we retained 2000 USD of the rent because we did not had A/C for 2 months. We are planning on not paying our last month and then go back to Mexico. Does a civil case (housing case) would affect my possibilities of getting a visitor’s visa in the future?

Mr. Lee answers:
A civil dispute is largely not relevant in the decision of whether to issue a US visa. The only relevance would be whether a consular officer on somehow finding out from you the details of the dispute over rent might come to a different conclusion that you did not pay because you did not have the resources to do so and might be a danger to either become a public charge or take up unauthorized employment.

2. My OPT STEM Case is Processing Right Now. Am I Eligible to Work Right Now?

I applied my OPT STEM two month ago. They return my materials twice because my form was outdated. I sent them the third time, then they receive it and processing right now. The first time I sent my application was on time. The third time my EAD card already expired. Am I eligible to work since they are processing my case right now?

Mr. Lee answers:
Although those applying for a STEM extension have the right to continue working during the time of extension, that is predicated upon the application for extension being filed on time. Your application appears to have been rejected 2 times by U.S.C.I.S., and you state that on the 3rd occasion, your EAD card was already expired. Under the circumstances, it would not appear that you have employment authorization at this time.

3. Would an Economics Degree + 1 Financial Accounting Course+ 1 Year Accounting Experience be Enough for a TN Visa Accountant Position?

I am a Canadian citizen working for a nonprofit in San Francisco. I’m currently on OPT as an accounting assistant and my employer would like to extend my employment and promote me to a full accountant position when my OPT expires in June. Would having an economics BA + financial accounting college course + 1 year accounting training and experience be sufficient credentials for a TN visa accountant position?

Mr. Lee answers:
An applicant for a TN professional position is adjudged eligible by degree, CPA, CA, CGA, or CMA, and not a combination of education and working experience. In your case, an immigration officer or inspector would look at your economics degree to determine whether it is closely related to an accounting degree. Economics would appear to be more related to marketing than to accounting, but the decision would be up to the adjudicating officer.

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on May 10, 2020 1. Thinking About Changing from L-1A to H-1B and Have I-140 EB-13 Approval Already. Should I?

1. Thinking about Changing from L-1A to H-1B and Have I-140 EB-13 Approval Already. Should I?

I am here as an intracompany transferee under L-1A manager status in my fourth year and am thinking about changing my status to H-1B specialized worker. My I-140 petition as a multinational manager under EB-13 has already been approved. I am doing this because I am born in India (very long waiting time) and I  know that I have a chance to continue my legal nonimmigrant status even when the maximum time for my H-1B expires which I would not have under L-1A status. What is your opinion of my thinking?

Mr. Lee answers,
I do not see any negative impact with your plan to switch from L-1A to H-1B if you are able to do so successfully. I note that you would have to be selected under the new H-1B registration process of U.S.C.I.S. and the company would have to prove that your position is a specialized occupation if you are selected. If you stay with your present company for the long duration, you may under current law still receive your permanent residence through the approved I-140 petition as long as the job is the same, or the job changes but is in the same or similar occupation six months after filing your I-485 application for adjustment of status. If your job changes fundamentally with your present organization, you would have to go through a labor certification application  process or another EB-1C petition even though you would be entitled to maintain the priority date of your I-140 approval. If you move to another company,  you would only be able to continue your entire case if you were in the I-485 stage, the I-485 was pending for six months, and the new position is in the same or similar occupation you had in the approved I-140 petition.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on May 1, 2020 1. Passport Application Needed Custody Papers 2. Wish to Change Status 3. Fiancé didn’t file Taxes, Will that be an Issue When I Sponsor Him for a Green Card?

1. Passport Application Needed Custody Papers

I’m in the process of getting a US Passport, but need custody papers to prove my US Citizen father had custody over me when I was a child. My parents are unmarried and I’m currently 22. What should I do?

Mr. Lee answers:
In looking at the law where a child is born out of wedlock to a US citizen, I assume that your father fulfilled the physical presence requirement in the US prior to your birth, and that a blood relationship has already been established. Other parts of the law appear to require that your father agreed in writing to support you until 18 years of age, and while you were under 18, you were either legitimated, your father acknowledged paternity, or paternity was established by court adjudication. You may wish to focus on those other aspects of the citizenship law.

2. Wish to Change Status

Girlfriend and child moved here from Ireland in January 2016. We married in March 2018. I wish to file for green cards.

Mr. Lee answers:
I assume that you are a US citizen and the child was under 18 on the date of your marriage. If so, you could file for them with a concurrent I-130 petition for alien relative and I-485 application to adjust status to permanent residence. Other paperwork would also have to be supplied such as your affidavit of support on form I-864 with proof of financial viability, their birth papers, your marriage paper, proof of US citizenship, and dissolutions of all prior unions on either side. Required medical examinations can be done now or presented at the interview. Generally speaking, you could expect an interview in approximately 10 months to a year.

3. Fiancé didn’t file Taxes, Will that be an Issue When I Sponsor Him for a Green Card?

I am a US citizen getting married to a Mexican national in Mexico. He came to the United States twice on work visas each for about 6 months. The first time he filed taxes but the second time he did not.

Mr. Lee answers:
I do not see your fiancé’s tax filings being the focus of his marriage based green card application. The focus is usually upon the bona fides of the marital relationship and other grounds of inadmissibility.

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on April 26, 2020 1. Selected for H-1B Registration, but I Do Not Know How Long the Job Will Last – How to Prepare? 2. In Light of the Changes for H-1B This Year, What Should We (The Company) Look Out For? 3. I have My I-601A Approved and Voluntary Departure Until July 1, 2020. When Should I Leave?

1. Selected for H-1B Registration, but I Do Not Know How Long the Job Will Last – How to Prepare?

I was selected for the H-1B registration last week, but do not know if the job will last because of the present Covid-19 pandemic and my employer is uncertain also. I am presently on my OPT until June 25, 2020. How can I best protect myself?

Mr. Lee answers,
Congratulations on your selection and sorry about the uncertainty of your situation. The best way to protect yourself is to be on your employer’s good side and hopefully not be laid off. Other than that, please note that even if your employer goes forward with filing the petition and the H-1B petition is approved prior to the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1, the H-1B status will only vest on that date. Assuming approval before the date, you can continue to work under your cap-gap status and change over to H-1B automatically on October 1. Hopefully you will continue to work for the employer past that date and have proof of doing so – payslips – in the event that you are laid off. You are then eligible for a 60 day grace period to find new H-1B employment, change status to another category, or prepare to depart the country. Best of luck to you!

2. In Light of the Changes for H-1B This Year, What Should We (The Company) Look Out For?

We are a company that sponsored 13 H-1B candidates for registration and had four selections. We are more wary of the process this year and would like some tips on what we should look out for because of the changed procedures.

Mr. Lee answers,
New changes to be aware of are that the jurisdiction of cases has changed and whereas previous location filings were dictated by the organization’s headquarters location, each H-1B registration now has the address of the U.S.C.I.S. service center to which the petition must be delivered. A copy of the H-1B registration notice must be placed in the application itself, preferably on top. Because of the coronavirus, U.S.C.I.S. is not insisting upon a “wet” signature and will instead accept one that is not original although it reserves the right to later request the original “wet” one. There is no indication thus far that U.S.C.I.S. will extend the deadline of 6/30/20 for organizations to submit the H-1B petitions, and so those should be filed in by that date. In point of fact, petitions should be sent in as quickly as possible (they must of course be thoroughly documented and completed with care) as such could allow organizations the opportunity to correct errors if petitions are rejected by U.S.C.I.S. and there is sufficient time prior to 6/30/20 to correct and resubmit the petitions. (In previous years with the H-1B selection occurring in a five business day window with full petitions, any technical errors causing rejection were fatal).

3. I have My I-601A Approved and Voluntary Departure Until July 1, 2020. When Should I Leave?

I entered the United States from Mexico in 2001 by sneaking in after flying there from China and am married to a green card holder and we have two children. She petitioned for me and my I-130 petition was approved and I-601A waiver application also approved last year. I was in deportation proceedings, and with my lawyer I got my voluntary departure until July 1, 2020. Now my lawyer tells me that the US Consulate in Guangzhou China is closed for visa appointments and he does not know when my appointment can be scheduled for the immigration interview. Should I leave around June 26-July 1?

Mr. Lee answers,
The choices would appear to be trying to get an extension of the voluntary departure from ICE or leaving on time. There is no telling what the state of ICE will be in June to entertain extension requests because of the present pandemic. The consulate in China may also be up and running by that date for visa interviews. I further note that an extension request is not automatically granted and may be denied. On the other hand, you have the certainty of leaving without an order of removal if you leave by July 1, 2020. Under present-day circumstances in which there are fewer and fewer flights to China, you should think seriously about leaving and booking your passage in the early part of June so that you have a chance to recover if there is a flight cancellation or other mishap which prevents you from taking the flight. I also note that upon your return, you may find that time will have to be consumed in quarantine and internal travel within China to the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou.