Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times – 3/30/2018 1. Do I Have to Go to My Country to Get My Residence? 2. How Can I Change My Records at USCIS? 3. I Am in B-1/B-2 Visa Status, How Can I Change to The Other Visa?

1. Do I Have to Go to My Country to Get My Residence?

I been here for 16 yrs no criminal record I came here illegal.

Mr. Lee answers:
Generally speaking, an individual who is here for 16 years without more would have to go to his or her home country to obtain permanent residence. There are exceptions, such as those who are granted political asylum or who have the benefit of section 245(i), under which individuals who had a labor certification or immigrant visa petition filed by April 30, 2001, and are able to prove physical residence on December 21, 2000, are allowed to adjust status upon the payment of a fine amount of $1000 if they have a basis to immigrate. Persons here 10 years with good moral character may be allowed to stay through cancellation of removal, but would have to prove exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a U. S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child under the age of 21 and unmarried. That application is done before an immigration court and not U.S.C.I.S., which usually means that failure results in an order of removal. I note that a return to the home country where an individual has a basis to immigrate usually involves a 10 year bar against return, and the applicant would have to obtain a waiver of the bar to safely return. Such would involve the filing of an I-601 waiver of excludability after being rejected for the immigrant visa, or an advance filing of a provisional I-601A prior to consular processing for those who are eligible for it. The standard of both I-601 and I-601A waivers is the establishment of extreme hardship to the qualifying family member who must be a US citizen or LPR spouse or parent. As I-601A allows the individual’s application to be processed while waiting in the U.S., but an I-601A only waives the ground of being illegal in the U.S., not fraud or crimes, etc.

2. How Can I Change My Records at USCIS?

I want to add my wife and children to my status of permanent resident before applying for citizenship? I didn’t list them when applying for green card.

Mr. Lee answers:
The question is why you did not add them at the time that you were applying for the green card. If it had something to do with the way that you immigrated and would contradict the category under which you were eligible, such adding on might result in the revocation of your permanent residence. If not relevant to your immigration, you can add them onto the N-400 application for citizenship and explain the situation to the immigration examiner at your naturalization interview. Dependent upon whether you intended fraud or misrepresentation at the time that you applied for your immigration, you can answer in the affirmative or not on that question in the naturalization application. An affirmative answer could impact your permanent residence.

3. I Am in B-1/B-2 Visa Status, How Can I Change to The Other Visa?

Mr. Lee answers:
You would have to have an alternate status to which you could change in order to ask U.S.C.I.S. for a status change. Such would be requested on form I-539 application to change/extend status in the U. S. 

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