Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times – 06/09/2017 1. Travel Document 2. Financial Sponsorship 3. Change of Status

1. Travel Document

I’m not a U.S. citizen. I’ve been here for 7 years, lost my father and now my mother is very ill. How can I obtain paperwork to travel to see my sick mom in Jamaica for a week? 

Mr. Lee answers:
Whether you can leave the US for a week to see your sick mother depends upon your immigration status. If you are a permanent resident, you can leave the US and return as long as you have a valid passport. If you are not yet a permanent resident, but have papers pending, you should consult with an immigration lawyer to see whether leaving the country would prejudice your application. If you have no status whatsoever and nothing pending, your trip to Jamaica would generally be one way as you would not be allowed to return. 

2. Financial Sponsorship

I marry a man who is on an F-1 visa.  He wants to change it to I-485 but he needs a sponsor. Is there another way? The thing is we don’t have a lot money. I’m in school as full time student. I have two children from a previous marriage, we are making ends meet by my SSI. He is on OPT now looking for a job but his time is almost up. I have no way of being his sponsor and I don’t have anyone that can do it. If he could get just a little more time maybe a month more then I will hopefully have a job and he could as well. He is a IT and I’m working on my associates degree for billing and coding.

Mr. Lee answers:
If your husband has a willing friend or relative who can be a cosponsor, that would suffice as long as it is a credible offer of sponsorship. Your husband probably knows friends and contacts through his schooling. If he wishes to remain legally past the time of his OPT, he could reregister as a student at his last institution or another one that is willing to accept him. With more time, he may be able to find a job or you may find one also. I also note that the law allows a person who is not in status like your husband to still obtain adjustment of status to permanent residence through a US citizen spouse as long as otherwise qualified. 

3. Change of Status

I married a US navy and I’m my J-1 status what would be need to do so I can change my status. My visa will expire at July 2017 but we gave a grace period for 30 days. What would be our next step because I already change my name on my social security?

Mr. Lee answers:
The question is whether your J-1 visa is bound by a two-year foreign residence requirement. If so, you would either have to satisfy it or waive it before you could apply for an adjustment of status to permanent residence. I suggest that if you are not subject to the two-year requirement, you and your husband can begin the process and you can file adjustment of status papers to the Chicago lockbox of U.S.C.I.S. If you are still subject to the two-year requirement, you would hold off on the adjustment of status paperwork until you have cleared yourself of it. I note that an individual who has been inspected and admitted and who is now out of status is still allowed to adjust status to permanent residence if married to a US citizen as long as otherwise qualified.