B-2 Extends Mother’s Visit

B-2 EXTENSION APPROVAL DISPLAYS TOURIST CRITERIA

  • Nationality: China
  • Case: B-2 Extension
  • Processing Time: 7 Months
  • Challenges:
    1. Previously applied for an immigration visa in 2015
    2. Divorced, weak family ties to China
    3. Her only daughter was F-1 student in the United States
    4. RFE requesting an entire list of her activities 
  • BACKGROUND

    No parent is keen to the idea that their child is being bullied in school. It is a terrible feeling, almost as if you’ve failed them somehow. Now imagine your child is being bullied in a school that isn’t in your home country and primarily speaks a different language. On top of that, you are legally required to return home halfway around the world and leave them behind. That was, unfortunately, the situation our client Ms. Yang found herself in this past year. 

    Ms. Yang’s daughter was being bullied in school, partially because she was not from the United States. Her daughter was here on an F-1 student visa, and it was clear that her differentness from the usual United States student had made her a target for immature bullies. However, as Ms. Yang was here on a B-1 tourist visa, her visa was set to expire much faster than her daughter’s visa. Can a parent reasonably be asked to leave their child halfway around the world when they know the child is hurting? We didn’t believe so, and we took up Ms. Yang’s case. 

    KEYS TO SUCCESS

    While a story that appeals to emotion can be helpful to immigration cases, it cannot be the only leg that the case has to stand on. There are rules and regulations that case officers must follow when looking at B-2 extensions. It was clear from the beginning Ms. Yang’s case would pose difficulties. The first problem was that she had weak ties to her home country of China. Case officers always want strong ties, usually familial, to your home country because they want important, extrinsic reasons for you to eventually want to leave. The B-2 isn’t designed as an immigration visa, and they want to make sure you have good reasons to want to leave when the visa expires. Ms. Yang did not have strong ties to China. She was divorced, so there was no husband or family to return to. Her only daughter was here in the United States. We had established her reason to stay in the United States, to support her bullied daughter, but the second half of the equation still evaded us. 

    While we usually wish to avoid Requests for Evidence (RFE), in this case, we knew it could be helpful. Sometimes when a case officer sends us an RFE, we get a better understanding of exactly what information the case officer wants to see with this specific case. If our response is properly tailored to the RFE, then the likelihood of approval goes way up. And in this case, with Ms. Yang’s weak ties to her home country of China, it was unsurprising to see that we did end up getting an RFE. The RFE stated that the case officer wanted to know more about what Ms. Yang did in the United States for her first six months. Case officers have to be on the lookout for illegal activity when awarding visas. When you’re here on a B-2 visa, you cannot go to work or school, and we felt certain that the case officer was looking to see if Ms. Yang had violated the provisions around the B-2 visa she currently held. 

    We responded to the RFE with an exhaustive affidavit that listed out Ms. Yang’s activities in full. Ms. Yang knew the rules around the B-2 visa and did not violate any of them, so it was quite easy to completely list her activities while here in the United States. Beyond that, we also provided proof of her connection to China; her job. Her job back in China was the reason why she could afford to come to the U.S. for an extended period of time in the first place. Her job even paid for her daughter’s College of Languages classes and had extended her salary to one year while she was away. This was a boon both to our efforts to provide proof of her ties to China and to set a deadline as to when she would leave. 

    Ms. Yang’s income from her job in China meant it was easy to show how she was supporting herself without illegally working here in the United States. It also gave the case officer a reason to believe she would return home – while her job did agree to extend her salary to an entire year while she was overseas, eventually that extension would run out, and Ms. Yang would have to return home to continue making money. Such a job, one that is willing not only give you a salary while you are not working but also pay for your daughter’s education, is extremely valuable, so the case officer could see why that would provide a strong connection to China. We submitted all that information in the documentation along with the response to the RFE and waited for the response from the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

    OUTCOME

    We waited about a month for USCIS to respond, and when they did, it was with approval for Ms. Yang’s extension. She was free to provide support for her daughter in the United States. Both were overjoyed. We were glad we could help Ms. Yang be there for her daughter during such a crucial time.

    *Name has been changed to protect client identity

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