B-2 EXTENSION APPROVAL PROVIDES CLIENT TIME TO SECURE F-1 STATUS
- Nationality: China
- Case: B-2 Extension
- Processing Time: 2 week
- Files urgently to stay with her sons
- Use of improper immigration attorney
- Files for many visas, showing lots of connections to the U.S
- An understanding that client would change immigration status quickly
- Concurrent filing
Not all cases can receive their designated visa, however there may be alternative visas that can accomplish the initial goal. Ms. Chen is a prime example of this. She came to us at the end of her B-2 visa, a visa designed for people to come to the United States on vacation. She had less than two weeks left on it, and she wanted to be able to stay in the United States. Once we began talking to Ms. Chen, we realized that what she actually wanted was to stay in the United States for a longer term than even the extension would allow. One of her sons was going to school here, one of her sons was born here, and she had not only attempted to come to come to the U.S. Originally via a F-1 student visa, but in the distant past she had previously gotten approved for the EB-5 investment program, meaning that she was already on track long-term to get a green card. All of this pointed to what is called “immigration intent.” The B-2 is not meant for people with immigration intent, it is supposed to be for temporary visitors. However, we knew that not only could we help Ms. Chen figure out a more realistic path towards staying in the U.S., so we took on her case.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
The first step was figuring out if Ms. Chen had a legitimate path towards staying here in the United States. We want to help all of our clients, but circumventing the law is not something that we do. So, we sat down with her and asked her what would she like to accomplish while she was here?
Eventually, she mentioned her first attempt to come to the U.S. in the past year was through a F-1 student visa. She had been denied while she was still in China, and thus, came here on a B-2 visa to visit her son instead. We asked if getting her education was still something that she was interested in, and she said yes. Then we asked about her previous attempt at a F-1 visa. It had gone poorly, she believed, because she had not used a proper immigration attorney. She had just used a cheaper, run of the mill attorney that gave her a cookie-cutter form to fill out. When it failed, they told her nothing could be done. Unfortunately, we see this a lot with clients who don’t use proper immigration firms for their immigration issues.
When we looked over her documentation, we found that she had a legitimate reason to be a student here in the United States; her employer wanted more employees with a strong command of the English language. While Ms. Chen did already speak English, her skills could be vastly improved by classes in an English-speaking country. And with the benefit to her employer, it was a legitimate reason to attempt to secure a F-1 visa. However, with less than two weeks until her B-2 visa expired, we knew we would have to do a concurrent filing for Ms. Chen, filing for both a B-2 extension and F-1 visa. She would not be getting a F-1 visa or any visa whatsoever if she fell out of status. Doing so would be a death knell to any immigration visa for Ms. Chen.
So while we walked Ms. Chen through the process of finding a school to apply for, we also began preparing her B-2 extension for her to remain in status during her time here in the U.S. Further, we prepared her F-1 application as well. The problems with extending the B-2 visa melted away, as we no longer had to prove that it was her intent to leave at the end of the B-2 extension. By filing concurrently and being upfront with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about Ms. Chen’s intentions, we were helping her achieve a career goal and allowing her to remain in the United States without her circumventing the law.
We filed concurrent requests with USCIS before the two-week deadline. We explained in our cover letter that the B-2 extension was purely on the basis of not falling out of status while other immigration options, namely the F-1 visa, were being pursued. USCIS responded quickly, approving the B-2 extension almost immediately. Ms. Chen was able to remain in the U.S. long enough to attempt to secure her F-1 visa with the help of Tsang & Associates. Not only was she able to further educate herself, but was able to be with her family while doing so. We strive to help clients achieve their dreams, and was pleased that Ms. Chen was able to achieve hers.
*Name has been changed to protect client identity
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