Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times – 04/21/2017 1. Can You Change Visa While Being in USA? 2. Do I Have a Criminal Record in the USA? 3. When Can An Asylee Naturalize?

1. Can You Change Visa While Being in USA?

My son was on F-1. After finishing his Masters’ he applied for OPT which was denied on March 13, 2017 since he had applied earlier but never utilized his OPT since he went on to do another Masters’ and never informed INS about it. Now another University is willing to give him J1 visa. So is it possible for him to change status without leaving USA? What is his status now? He is afraid that he might get denied at US embassy in India if he was to leave US for stamping. He is Indian citizen. 

Mr. Lee answers:
From our understanding, an F-1 student can change status even after the OPT is denied in 2 situations – denial before completion of studies and an applicant would then have a full 60 day grace period; and after completion of studies but before the 60 day grace period ends, and an applicant would have 60 days from the date of the decision. If the OPT is denied after the 60 day grace period, there would be no additional period of time. If out of status, your son can request a late change of status from U.S.C.I.S., but if denied would have to leave the U. S. for consular processing if he wanted to be in legal nonimmigrant status.

 2. Do I Have a Criminal Record in the USA?

I recently travel to the USA with a tourist visa, but my visa was revoked after admitting I was seeking employment. I signed a withdrawal of application for admission, my phone was search and was at the airport till it closed. Was then taken to a correctional facility where I was cavity search and locked up for the night. I asked if I was been arrested or if I was suspected of any crime was told no. But I believe I was suspected of some crime after being locked up in that manner.

Mr. Lee answers:
It appears that you encountered a rude coming to the US, but you do not have a criminal record. As you signed a withdrawal of application for admission, your visa was canceled. For you to reenter the US, you would have to convince an American consular officer to issue you another one.

3. When Can An Asylee Naturalize?

I was granted asylum in March 2012. So I applied green card on March 2014 and got green card on October 2014. The date on my green card is October 1014. I had heard that I will be eligible for citizen after 5 years after the day I was granted asylum but now date on my green card is October 2014. So I got confused really. What date should I follow for to apply citizenship? If I fallow green card I will have to wait more about 9 month. Could you please suggest me better. 

Mr. Lee answers:
As an asylum seeker granted permanent residence, you are entitled to a one-year rollback on your green card. The date on the card should be October 2013. You can request a replacement card from U.S.C.I.S. through form I-90 application to replace permanent residence card.