Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on August 23, 2019 1. Tourist Visa While Awaiting for Green Card 2. Can I Apply for a Green Card Without Being Sponsored? 3. My Immigrant Visa Case Was Filed in 2005, Was Given a 221g At The Time of Interview.

1. Tourist Visa While Awaiting for Green Card

I am an Indian my wife is USA citizen. We married in India 4 years ago. She has Indian overseas Citizenship. She is staying in India on and off. My immigrant visa is already in progress. Is it possible for me to get tourist visa to go and visit my wife?

Mr. Lee answers:
Whether you are allowed to obtain a tourist visa to visit your wife is a decision of the US consular officer when you make an application. The question is whether you would be trustworthy enough upon your assurance that you would return to India once the period of visit is over. If you decide to apply for a visitor’s visa, you should certainly put down on the visa application that your wife is in the US and has applied for you on a visa petition.

2. Can I Apply for a Green Card Without Being Sponsored?

I recently got my PhD from a university in the US and is starting my OPT soon. Will I be able to apply for a green card without having an employer to sponsor me?

Mr. Lee answers:
Other than the family based cases, asylum, visa lottery, and EB-5 immigrant investor, I assume that your question is more attuned to whether you can self-sponsor yourself through employment. Presently individuals are able to do so only if they are extraordinary in the field of endeavor or their immigration would advance the national interest. It is good to have a PhD, but under present law, it would not entitle you to an automatic green card. I do note that the Trump administration keeps attempting to change the immigration system to allow educated individuals like you to self-sponsor upon the attainment of a certain number of factors related to education and experience. Whether any such legislation will be enacted is questionable as the proposals have unfavorable aspects to Democrats and other immigration proponents. But we will be keeping our eyes on them the same as you, I imagine.

3. My Immigrant Visa Case Was Filed in 2005, Was Given a 221g At The Time of Interview.

 The case been updated in 2018 and now has returned to NVC.  What to do now?

Mr. Lee answers:
When a case is returned to the NVC, it is usually thereafter transmitted to U.S.C.I.S. which looks over the basis for rejection at the US Embassy or Consulate. If it believes that the reason was wrong, it could reaffirm the approval and send the case back to the US Embassy or consulate for further processing. If it believes that the post may be or is correct, it will send the petitioner a notice of intent to revoke the petition. Since you are complaining of an NVC return in 2018, you may wish to check with the petitioner to see if anything was received. If nothing was received, the petitioner or you should check on the case with the NVC to see what happened.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on August 16, 2019 1. Marriage Fraud 2. Denied to Work 3. How to Apply for My Husband who is an Illegal Immigrant?

1. Marriage Fraud

How can I help my husband get back in the US? His I-130 was denied for marriage fraud, which he denies.

Mr. Lee answers:
If your husband has convincing evidence that he did not engage in marriage fraud, you can appeal the I-130 determination within 30 days with all proof of the bona fides of his marriage. If the evidence is not available in time for an appeal, you can file a new I-130 petition when he obtains the evidence, and include that in the I-130 submission.

2. Denied to Work

I am a Ph.D. F-1 visa student from India with a valid green card petition filed in 2009. I was given an assistantship at Wayne State University and the Office of International Student Services denied me to work because I did not have an EAD card. The last time I check the USCIS can only change my status or get work if my priority date in September 2009 comes up and they provide me an alien number, which they have not. Also, after I received my green card petition receipt notice in September 2009, I became out of status because the process took a long time. What can I do?

Mr. Lee answers:
If your F-1 visa status was never formally terminated by U.S.C.I.S. in a written decision or if you did not have the F-1 status terminated in the immigration court, you could possibly interview at the American consulate or embassy in your home country for an immigrant visa. You would not be barred from coming back unless either of the circumstances as described above occurred since the status of an F-1 student is duration of status without a fixed time limit.  At present, you are not considered under an unlawful presence bar if you leave and re-enter. The Trump Administration’s attempt to change the law of unlawful presence unfavorably in a memo in August 2018 was enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on 5/3/2019.

3. How to Apply for My Husband who is an Illegal Immigrant?

If I marry an illegal immigrant can I get his green card without getting deported. I am disabled and he helps me a lot and he is going to be my husband.

Mr. Lee answers:
U.S.C.I.S. looks to see whether a marriage is bona fide in the sense that two people are committing themselves to a marital relationship. A marriage to Immigration’s eyes is not one in which one party is a nursemaid to another only in exchange for a green card. Assuming that the marital relationship will be bona fide, the chances of the undocumented spouse being deported depends upon whether the individual has prior criminal acts or has been in immigration removal proceedings. If not, the chances of the spouse obtaining permanent residence without being deported are good.  If the undocumented immigrant entered the U.S. legally with a non-immigrant visa or parole, he may be eligible to adjust status to permanent resident without leaving the country.  Otherwise he may need a waiver (I-601A) before traveling back to his home country for a consular interview.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on August 9, 2019 1. How Long Does One Have to Wait for an Immigration Judge Decision on A Defensive Asylum Case? 2. My brother Married a Venezuelan Woman Who Originally Was Here On a Visa That Expired 2 Years Ago 3. How to Add One More Beneficiary in My National Visa Center Application?

1. How Long Does One Have to Wait for an Immigration Judge Decision on A Defensive Asylum Case?

I am an asylum applicant with a pending defensive asylum case. I have received a notice to appear in front of an immigration court. How long does the Immigration Judge take to give a decision? Is it the same day?

Mr. Lee answers:                   
Assuming that your appearance is for a master calendar hearing and not for a final merits hearing and depending upon whether your case is one of the “surge” cases that the government is interested in finishing immediately, your case could take anywhere from six months to four years for the immigration judge to hear the case and make a decision. I assume that you will be continuing your asylum claim in front of the court.

2. My brother Married a Venezuelan Woman Who Originally Was Here On a Visa That Expired 2 Years Ago

My brother is disabled and is currently on Medicaid, so he is not able to sponsor her and children. He has asked me to sign form I-864. I know this makes me legally obligated but can I also be held financially responsible if she or her children are admitted into a hospital without insurance and incur a bill? I want to know how far this financial responsibility goes.

Mr. Lee answers:
Your income and assets are deemed available to the person that you are supporting if that person is seeking means tested benefits on the federal, state, or local level. So any one of the three entities can request reimbursement from you to the extent of your income and assets that the immigrant has taken means tested benefits from them. However, that does not include individuals who obtain emergency Medicaid. While you would not be liable for emergencies, long-term care would be seen as a benefit recoverable by the federal, state, or local government branch which gave the benefit. I note that in the past, it has been unpopular for governmental entities to go after supporters of people who have taken means tested benefits, but this appears to be changing in the present political atmosphere as the Trump Administration is reportedly preparing regulations for governmental entities to enforce the I-864 support obligation.

3. How to Add One More Beneficiary in My National Visa Center Application?

I want to include my 10 year old son’s name in the NVC application.

Mr. Lee answers:
To include your 10-year-old son’s name in the NVC application, you can communicate by letter or email to the NVC expressing your desire to have your child included in the case. You can also include a copy of the child’s birth certificate and passport if one is available.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on August 2, 2019 1. When Should I Leave U.S. if My Extension of Stay Is Still Pending? 2. DACA Violation 3. Immigration Related Question

1. When Should I Leave U.S. if My Extension of Stay Is Still Pending?

Should I leave USA if my extension of stay is still pending? I am on a B1/B2 visa. At the end of September will be 1 year that I am in USA but I didn’t get yet an answer for my extension. Can I still stay in USA?

Mr. Lee answers:
If you wish to remain in the US legally, you have to file for another extension of your status even though the current application is still pending. Not only would you be considered technically illegal if you did not, but you might be in the unenviable position of having an approval which does not extend up to the date that you are still staying in the US, if the current extension request is ultimately approved.

2. DACA Violation

My fiancé violated her DACA program due to a very small amount of drugs.  Is it possible to marry someone who has violated the program? She is currently being held Louisiana pending hearing/deportation.

Mr. Lee answers:
It is always possible to marry persons who are single and of the right age to marry regardless of whether the person has criminal problems. The question is what you will be able to do for her immigration-wise when you are married, and that may depend upon your status, what kind of drugs were involved, and the amount in question. Also whether there was a “conviction” in the criminal court. Immigration law is very tough on drug offenders but does have a waiver provision for a conviction involving marijuana possession of 30 g and less.

3. Immigration Related Question

My sister and mother entered America on ESTA with British passport. They both overstayed their stay, my sister was minor at the time. For several years they entered America on ESTA until their ESTA was cancelled because US immigration found out the fact of their overstayed years ago. My sister now wants to marry an American citizen who is traveling to U.K. to marry her and they want to apply for green card for her. My mother wants to enter America as well through her other 3 children who are US citizens. What’s the likely hood of both to succeed?

Mr. Lee answers:
The likelihood that both will succeed is good so long as the marriage is bona fide. Having the ESTA canceled for an overstay may affect the individual’s ability to return to the US under ESTA or a nonimmigrant visa, but it should have no effect upon an immigrant visa petition based upon marriage or through a US citizen child so long as no misrepresentation was made at the time of ESTA entry.

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on July 28, 2019 1. Sneaked into U. S. and US-Born Child Now 21 – Can He Sponsor Me? 2. Late to File I-751 Application to Remove Conditions on The Green Card Through Marriage, What Can I Do As I Am Now in France? 3. Received H-1B Change of Status Beginning 10/1/19, OPT Expires in July, and I Want to Travel in August – Are There Any Risks? 4. Father Sponsored Me in July 2014 As Unmarried Son of a Permanent Resident And The Dates of Filing Chart Has Been Reached, But The Petition Is Not Approved. What Can I Do?

1. Sneaked into U. S. and US-Born Child Now 21 – Can He Sponsor Me?

 I came into the United States illegally in 1995 through the Mexican border and was not caught. I have no criminal record and no problems with Immigration. I got married in 1998, but my wife was ordered deported. Our son is now 21. Can he sponsor me for the green card? I also have 2 brothers who are U. S. citizens, a sister who lives in Thailand, and my mother in China.

Mr. Lee answers,
Unless you qualify under §245(i) under which you had to have a visa petition or labor certification filed on your behalf by January 14, 1998, or between January 15, 1998 – April 30, 2001 with the additional requirement of being physically present in the U. S. on December 21, 2000, you are not adjustable to permanent residence in the U. S. even though your son is a U. S. citizen. However, you may still be able to qualify under the I-601A program for a provisional unlawful presence waiver if your son sponsors you for permanent residence and your mother immigrates. That is because you can only obtain a waiver of the 10 year bar for staying illegally in the United States at least one year through a U. S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent. So in this case, one of your brothers would have to sponsor your mother, and she would have to immigrate. You would also have to demonstrate that it would cause her extreme hardship if you could not return to the United States. The steps are that your son would sponsor you through an I-130 petition for alien relative, and once approved, you would file for the I-601A waiver in the U. S. based on extreme hardship to your mother. Once that is approved, you would go through regular consular processing and be interviewed at the American consulate or Embassy in your home country where you would be treated like any other immigrant visa applicant. The usual time outside the U. S. is 1-2 months.

2. Late to File I-751 Application to Remove Conditions on The Green Card Through Marriage, What Can I Do As I Am Now in France?

I received my conditional green card through my husband and we have a good marriage. However, he has to work in San Francisco, and my job is in France. We communicate a lot together, and he sometimes visits me in Paris and I go to San Francisco. I just noticed that my conditional green card has expired for 2 months and I forgot to file the I-751 application. What should I do now? I still need to work in France, but would like to travel back and forth during the next year. How can I do that?

Mr. Lee answers,
It may be possible for you to file a late I-751 petition with good explanation to U.S.C.I.S. as to why the petition is late. It will be up to the agency whether to accept the excuse or not. You and your husband should attach all evidence of the bona fide marriage and why you are living apart at this time. You will be scheduled for biometrics and will have to return to the States to fulfill the appointment. Generally you would need a travel document since the green card is expired, but in looking at the special instructions for the I-131A Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will generally allow expired two-year green card holders to return to the U. S. if they have the form I-797 notice of action showing that they filed the I-751 application and have been outside of the U. S. for less than a year.

If you have no good excuse, and since you and your husband still have a good marriage, you and he may decide in the alternative to have him file a new case for you beginning with the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, and you would have to likely remain outside the U. S. until you pass your immigrant visa appointment at the U. S. consulate or embassy.

3. Received H-1B Change of Status Beginning 10/1/19, OPT Expires in July, and I Want to Travel in August – Are There Any Risks?

My employer-sponsored my H-1B petition in early April, and we were happy to have it approved this month. The approval says that it is good from October 1 for about 3 years. My optional practical training (OPT) runs until July 15, 2019. I am planning to return home to India in August for my cousin’s wedding for a week. Can I do that and come back immediately? If not, can I at least visit Canada in that month or early September just for a holiday before I begin to work?

Mr. Lee answers,
You are on cap-gap status which allows you to work in the U. S. until 9/30/19 since your H-1B petition was selected. However, that does not give you the right to travel by itself. You could possibly travel home prior to the time that your OPT expires with valid EAD and proof of employment, but not afterwards. If you travel home in August, you would have to stay overseas until you obtained the H-1B visa and return within the 10 day period prior to October 1. On your desire to take the trip to Canada in August or early September, I see your thinking that you should be able to do that as you are technically still in F-1 status and through automatic revalidation allowed to travel to Canada or Mexico or some Caribbean islands for up to 30 days and return without having a valid visa in the passport. However, you are in the grace period, and that period of time is regarded as one for departure, not reentry to the States. ICE instructions (ICE now manages the SEVIS program) are that reentry under those circumstances is not allowed. There is a chance that CBP may admit you with a waiver if you did not know that you could not travel during the grace period, but I do not recommend that you try that.

4. Father Sponsored Me in July 2014 As Unmarried Son of a Permanent Resident And The Dates of Filing Chart Has Been Reached, But The Petition Is Not Approved. What Can I Do?

I am a PhD student with F-1 status.

Mr. Lee answers,
The visa chart for dates of filing (Chart B) in July 2019 is available for those who filed petitions under the F-2 B category prior to 8/15/14. U.S.C.I.S. has stated that it will accept the dates of filing for the month. On or after July 1, 2019, you can file an I-485 application for adjustment of status to permanent residence with U.S.C.I.S. even though your petition is not yet approved. You should attach a copy of the I-797C notice of receipt along with all the other documentation and forms.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on July 26, 2019 1. I Am Being Sued in My Home Country 2. Do I Have to Register for Selective Service If I Have a Valid I-20 (F-1 Student) But My Visa Is Expired? 3. When Did I Start Accruing Unlawful Presence?

1. I Am Being Sued in My Home Country

I am being sued for bouncing checks in my home country. My family owns a business and I used to be a partner before I move here. Now the business is not going good and I’m being sued for bouncing checks.  Bouncing checks is felony crime in my home country but it’s from business matter..not a fraud or anything illegal. Will that be an issue when I renew my green card?

Mr. Lee Answers:
To be considered a crime for U. S. immigration purposes, there has to be an equivalent to the crime under U. S. criminal laws. However, that being said, you could very well spend a lot of time and energy in showing that there is no equivalent if it becomes an issue with U.S.C.I.S. when you renew your green card or with CBP when you return to the U. S. after a trip abroad.

2. Do I Have to Register for Selective Service If I Have a Valid I-20 (F-1 Student) But My Visa Is Expired?

I am an international student on F-1 visa in the U.S. and I have a valid I-20 until 2020.  But my visa has expired since I did not leave the country to get it renewed. Do I have to register for selective services?

Mr. Lee answers:
Individuals who are holding valid nonimmigrant status in the US are not required to register for selective service in the US. In your case, you would be maintaining legal nonimmigrant status if you had a valid I-20 and were still attending school on a full-time basis. Expiration of a visa is of no account as the visa is only good for traveling back and forth.

3. When Did I Start Accruing Unlawful Presence?

I was an F-1 student but I withdrew from school in November 2018 due to illness. I have stayed in the US ever since. In February 2019, I submitted a case with USCIS for reinstatement of my F-1 status but was denied in May 2019. I filed a motion within the time frame given. It’s been almost 3 months and I still have not heard back from them. I’m still staying in the US. I want to know whether or not I have accrued unlawful presence? If so, since when?

Mr. Lee answers:
Unlawful presence for you begin accruing in May 2019 when U.S.C.I.S. denied your F-1 reinstatement request. For an individual like you with a visa marked duration of status, unlawful presence only begins when you receive formal notice from U.S.C.I.S. of a denial or a negative decision by an immigration court.  If you win the motion, there is no unlawful presence. The Trump Administration’s attempt to change the law of unlawful presence unfavorably in a memo in August 2018 was enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on 5/3/2019.

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on July 21, 2019 1. Can I Change of Status From Tourist Visa to Student Visa? 2. I Am Worried About My Political Asylum Application That I Filed in December 2017 – Is It Lost? 3. A Company is Offering to Change My Visitor’s Visa to H-1B Specialty Worker – Can It Be Done Now?

1. Can I Change of Status From Tourist Visa to Student Visa?

I came from Hong Kong 3 months ago to visit friends in the U. S. and was just about to go back when I looked at this school and was interested in their arts program. My stay does not expire for another 3 months. If I obtain an I-20 school acceptance form from the school, can I change my status in the United States to F-1 student rather than going back to Hong Kong just to interview for the F-1 visa and come right back? It would seem like quite a waste of time and expense for me to go out and come back in.

Mr. Lee answers,
If you are fairly certain that you can obtain the F-1 visa at the American consulate overseas, that may be the better choice regardless of the extra time and expense. That is because U.S.C.I.S. processing times on change of status to F-1 student are uncertain, e.g. Vermont service center processing times are 6.5-8.5 months/California service center 2.5-4 months, and the agency many times does not adhere to these timelines. During the time of processing, U.S.C.I.S. insists that persons in the U. S. on B-1 or  B-2 statuses keep maintaining those statuses through extension until the agency makes a decision on the change of status request. In addition, you are not allowed to go to school until the time that the change of status is approved. Finally a change of status is not a visa, and if you leave the U. S. at any time in the future, you would have to interview and receive a F-1 visa in your passport even if you had a change of status with U.S.C.I.S. An exception to the requirement of obtaining a new visa for F-1 students who received a change of status would be those taking trips to Canada or Mexico or the Caribbean islands (not Cuba) for 30 days and less.

2. I Am Worried About My Political Asylum Application That I Filed in December 2017 – Is It Lost?

I filed my political asylum application with the Vermont service center of the U.S.C.I.S. in December 2017 and received a receipt. Soon after, I was asked to do fingerprints and photographs. Since that time, I have heard nothing, and am worried that my case is lost. What can I do?

Mr. Lee answers,
You can now check your case online with U.S.C.I.S. As of January 2019, the agency is allowing affirmative asylum applicants (those who apply for the first time at U.S.C.I.S. and not the immigration court) to check their cases online through the U.S.C.I.S. online status system – https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do.  You can input your asylum receipt number (it begins with 3 letters and the first letter is “Z” followed by 10 numbers). Although it may not give detailed information, it will generally give an idea of where your case is at in terms of action.

3. A Company is Offering to Change My Visitor’s Visa to H-1B Specialty Worker – Can It Be Done Now?

I came to the U. S. in February under a visiting visa and was given 6 months to stay. A friend of a friend recommended me to a company which said that they could get me an immediate H-1B visa status. I was surprised because I thought that companies could only do this in the first part of April every year under some type of selection process, and it is now June. The company said that they were exempt because I would be placed on the campus of a college to take care of some of the software development necessary for the school’s IT system. Is that possible?

Mr. Lee answers,
There is indeed an exception under the circumstances that you describe above. Under the rules, a college is an institution of higher education exempt from the requirement of having to file H-1B’s under the April selection process. A private employer can qualify for the institution’s exemption when it places workers on campus. The factors that U.S.C.I.S. looks at are that the majority of the worker’s duties must be performed at the qualifying institution, and the job duties must directly and predominantly further the essential purpose, mission objectives or functions of the qualifying institution. In your case, performing software development to improve the school’s information systems would appear to help the functions of the college. (I note that there are other issues that U.S.C.I.S. examines with reference to third-party placements, especially in the computer area, such as whether this is a specialty occupation and whether there is sufficient petitioner control over the worker who goes onto a third-party site – but I imagine that those are issues for another day).

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on July 19, 2019 1. Filing for My Brother And His Family, But One of Her Daughter Is U.S. Citizen. Should I Include Her in Application? 2. Fiancé(e) Visa 3.Petty Offense Exception

1. Filing for My Brother And His Family, But One of Her Daughter Is U.S. Citizen. Should I Include Her in Application?

Mr. Lee Answers:
On the I-130 petition, you are technically only applying for your brother. However, the I-130 petition does ask for information on all of his family members. So you should certainly include the U. S. citizen daughter on the I-130 form.

2. Fiancé(e) Visa

My fiancé lives is a Bulgarian citizen but lives in Spain. I want to bring him here so that my family can see us be married and because I already have a son from a previous relationship, I was hoping to have him live here with us. We were researching and came across the income requirements of a sponsor. This kind of destroys our hope because I am a single mom on state assistance and housing assistance. I have already traveled to see him in Spain and we plan to go again as soon as I can save up the money. Thankfully my family helped pay for it last time. What can we do? I read about joint sponsors however I am a bit confused with it. How does it all work? I currently live with my mom and son. However I support my son and we go joint with the bills and things.  Does that make my household 2 or 3 ? And when trying to figure out this number for the Poverty guideline, do I include my fiancé in this number? If I do, that would make it 3 or 4.

Mr. Lee Answers:
A joint sponsor is allowed to share income and assets with you if living in the same residence. The number of people in your household would be four – you, your son, fiancé and your mother. The income of both you and your mother should exceed the poverty guidelines for a family of 4. If not, assets can be counted at 1/5 value in addition to the income to meet the guidelines.

 3.Petty Offense Exception

 Plea “Not Guilty”. Offered deferred prosecution, and case dismissed 12 months later by city attorney (2012). I know this qualifies for the petty offense exception (no previous or subsequent contact with law enforcement). Under the current Administration, should there be any concerns for green card renewal? I am a legal permanent resident since 1980.

Mr. Lee Answers:
Who knows what the Trump administration will try next? However, that being said, your situation under current law should not preclude you from having your green card renewed.

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on July 14, 2019 1. Can My Sister’s Child Immigrate Under the Child Status Protection Act? 2. Failed the Marriage Interview – What Are My Chances of Appeal? 3. Applying for H-1B and Wanting to Get Into F-1 Higher Education Program, What Can I Do? 4. We Have the Choice of My Wife Applying for Labor Certification Green Card and Me Applying for Political Asylum – What Road Should We Take?

1. Can My Sister’s Child Immigrate Under the Child Status Protection Act?

I petitioned for my sister (U. S. citizen for sibling) with a priority date of March 31, 2006. That date just became available to immigrate, and she and her husband are scheduled for interview at the American consulate. However, the notice did not include their daughter who was born on January 2, 1995. She is 24 years old, and we understand that the time that the I-130 petition was pending is given as a credit to her age. The petition was approved on April 15, 2009. Looking at the Department of State visa bulletin, our priority date was reached under the dates of filing chart in January 2019. We went to a consultant who told us that the child should be able to immigrate, so we do not understand what is going on now. Can you explain?

Mr. Lee answers,
Unfortunately the Department of State and U.S.C.I.S. made a decision to only stop counting and “freeze” a child’s age when the priority date is reached on the final action chart (chart A), and not the dates of filing chart (chart B). The consultant was looking at chart B and not chart A which only became open to your sister’s priority date on June 1, 2019. Your sister’s daughter was over the age of 21 by 3 years and 149 days as of June 1, 2019. She is given credit for the period of time that the I-130 pended at U.S.C.I.S., which was 3 years and 103 days. Thus because the priority date became available 46 days after she turned 21 under CSPA counting, she is unfortunately not able to immigrate with her parents. Lacking any other way to come to the U. S., her parents can immigrate and then immediately file petition(s) for her under the F-2B category for an unmarried son or daughter of a lawful permanent resident. The waiting time is currently approximately 6 years.

2. Failed the Marriage Interview – What Are My Chances of Appeal?

I and my husband went through our marriage interview at U.S.C.I.S. with our lawyer, and we just received a denial. We think it was unfair because the immigration officer picked on small things that either I or my husband could not specifically remember. What are our chances if we appeal the decision?

Mr. Lee answers,
You should consult with the lawyer who was with you at the time of the marriage interview. Usually the attorney will have written down all the questions and answers that both you and your husband provided and can assess the effect of any differences in your answers and their significance. A long time U.S.C.I.S. section chief in charge of marriage interviews once spoke at an immigration lawyers’ meeting at which he cheerfully stated that he would be hard-pressed to pass a marriage interview with some of his officers. The rule of reason should apply, and if your attorney believes that the discrepancies were minor or explainable, you should go forward with the appeal.

3. Applying for H-1B and Wanting to Get Into F-1 Higher Education Program, What Can I Do?

I have optional practical training that ends on July 30, 2019. My company applied for my H-1B, and I received the word that I was selected, but I am not sure that it will be approved. I also want to take a higher degree program and want to transfer into that. What effect will that have if the H-1B papers are approved? Does that nullify my H-1B?

Mr. Lee answers,
In order for you to take the higher degree program, you do not have to take another action with U.S.C.I.S. as you are already in F-1 status under your optional practical training. U.S.C.I.S. operates under the last action rule, and if its last action is the approval of the H-1B petition, that would supersede the F-1 status and you would be automatically converted to H-1B.

4. We Have the Choice of My Wife Applying for Labor Certification Green Card and Me Applying for Political Asylum – What Road Should We Take?

I came into the U. S. under a H-4 visa from China and my wife is presently under H-1B and the company is offering to sponsor. But that is a long case according to the lawyer which may take 3 to 5 years because of the China quota on visas, and I am thinking of applying for political asylum. When I was 10 years old, I was in Beijing and a military truck ran over my leg near Tiananmen Square in June 1989. Also the local birth control authorities wrecked our house in 1995 because my sister would not come out of hiding when she was pregnant with the second child. Should I do that or ask my wife to do the labor case?

Mr. Lee answers,
Your wife should do the employment based case as long as the company is viable and capable of sponsoring her for the green card. The chances of the employment based case being approved as opposed to the asylum case are much greater. I doubt that the circumstances that you describe for your political asylum case would allow a grant of asylum as you were likely not an active protester at the age of 10 near Tiananmen Sq. and the target of the birth control authorities was your sister and not you. Under H-4 status, you are not allowed to work unless your wife has an I-140 employment preference classification approved or is eligible to file for time over the six-year limit on H-1B visas. If you are concerned about ability to work, you can try to apply for H-1B status if qualified and a sponsoring organization is available (next April if a cap employer or at any time if the employer is cap-exempt) or attempt to change your status to F-1 student under which you may be able to work part-time on campus, or at a later point request work authorization from the school (curricular practical training), or even optional practical training from U.S.C.I.S.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on July 12, 2019 1. International Student- Using TPS Work Permit to Do Paid Summer Internship, Is It Okay? 2. Do I Have A 60-Day Grace Period After My Job Ends Early? 3. Immigration – Two Cases

1. International Student- Using TPS Work Permit to Do Paid Summer Internship, Is It Okay?

My brother is an international student from Nepal. He recently got his TPS and he is trying to use the TPS work permit to do some paid Internship in Summer related with his studies. I have some concerns: a) Should he do that, what will be your recommendation? b) How it will impact him once the TPS expires next year. c) Just want to make sure with Legal professional that he is not doing something that can cause Immigration problem for him in future?

Mr. Lee Answers:
If your brother is an international student holding valid status as a student, his work under a TPS work permit would be violative of his student status even if authorized by U.S.C.I.S. in my opinion.  He could have another option to perhaps obtain curriculum practical training or pre-completion practical training from the institution to work in his paid internship as you say that it is related to his schooling. I encourage him to discuss the matter with the designated school official (DSO).

2. Do I Have A 60-Day Grace Period After My Job Ends Early?

I am an H1-B visa holder. My job here in the US was supposed to last three years but my employer informed me in April 2019 that my position will end on 30 July 2019 (a full two years early). Will I have until the end of September to leave the USA?

Mr. Lee Answers:
You would have a 60 day grace period to leave the United States given the fact that the employer would have ended your job a full 2 years before the ending date of your H-1B petition. U.S.C.I.S. believes that under the circumstances, you can use the time to find another position, change status, or leave the U. S.

3. Immigration – Two Cases

I came in US on J1 visa and applied for religious asylum, I got my work permit and I have SSN. But then I met my boyfriend and first we were friends but later on it became more than that. Day by day with him and I started to change my religious views. I realized that that religion is not good. We want to get married but we both don’t know what is the best option because I cannot be in two processes at the same time. What do you suggest to me?

Mr. Lee Answers:
At a 2017 meeting of the New York American Immigration Lawyers Association chapter with the New York City District Director and chief of staff, a member of the audience suggested a solution to a situation like yours – that you request the asylum office to put your case on hold while pursuing an adjustment of status application based upon marriage. You could also request the asylum office to cancel your case. I assume that your boyfriend is a U. S. citizen and that your religious asylum case is pending with U.S.C.I.S. and not in the immigration court. If either of these 2 situations exists, my answer may be different.