B-2 EXTENSION APPROVAL ALLOWS MOTHER TO HELP COLLEGE SON ACCLIMATE INTO NEW COUNTRY
- Nationality: China
- Case: B-2 Extension
- Processing Time: 6 Months
- Weak ties to Canada, the place of residence
- All extended family lives in China
- Son is on an F-1 student visa, a tie keeping her here
Any good parent will do what they believe is necessary to help their child succeed, even when those steps may seem difficult. Such was the case with our client, Ms. Liu. Ms. Liu was a Canadian and Chinese national living in Canada, and she obtained a B-1 visa to be with her only child, her son, in the United States. Her son was here on an F-1 student visa to get his education. The early parts of college can be a truly difficult transition period for many students, and that effect is only amplified by moving to a different country to go to school. Ms. Liu wanted her son to have some semblance of a support system during the early parts of his college education. She was worried about him being alone in a new country, at a new school, facing the challenges of adult life and adult responsibilities for the first time without any parental help whatsoever.
However, a B-1 visa only covers six months of stay here in the United States, and she needed to file for an extension to stay longer. Ms. Liu needed to make sure she was filing the B-2 visa diligently and accurately she could so she had a higher chance of getting approved.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Case officers are particularly scrupulous on B-2 visa extensions. Most people don’t use even the full six months of the original B-2 visa, and the B-2 is not designed for immigration. B-2 visas are typically for people who want to come to the United States to sightsee, and most people use far less than their allotted six months. So, when a person does want to extend their B-2 beyond six months, case officers look very closely at the person to make sure that they aren’t abusing the B-2 visa and trying to implement it as some sort of immigration visa.
This factor makes the standard of proof for a B-2 extension even higher than the original B-2. In addition, Ms. Liu had a somewhat weak case. The primary problem was that although she lived in Canada, her ties to Canada were minimal. When looking at a B-2 extension application, case officers want the applicants to have strong ties to the country in which they live, showing strong extrinsic reasons for why the person would want to go back to their home country when their visa runs out. While her husband still lived in Canada, her parents, his parents, and all of their extended family did not.
“Ms. Liu did not want to leave her son in the position of being alone in a foreign country when he decided which university he would attend. We wanted to help her because of that, and we knew that could be a good enough reason for why she needed to stay here in the United States.” – Amy Chen, office attorney
Without any sort of extended family in Canada, we went searched for alternate argument. In the affidavit we wrote for Ms. Liu, we cited assets as her primary reason for wanting to return to Canada when her B-1 extension was up. She and her husband still had a home in Canada, and the vast majority of their wealth was tied to Canadian assets.
We also argued in the affidavit that her primary reason for wanting to stay was to help her son select a college to attend. She was even willing to attest to the affidavit that her son was not the best at making big choices. Once that decision had been made and finalized, she could return home to Canada with the knowledge that she had helped her son make a good decision and hopefully set him up for success for the next couple of years. It was a great reason to make the case for why she needed to stay and also gave the case officer an idea of why she would end up leaving the United States. If we had argued that she wanted to stay with her son while he was in school, the case officer would have questioned the amount of time she was intending to stay, and possibly deny her application thinking that she was using the B-1 extension as some sort of pseudo-immigration visa. With the decision of what college her son was going to attend, she had a clear goal and deadline.
What we were hoping to avoid was a Request for Evidence (RFE). RFE’s don’t sink cases, especially with our firm, but they do extend them, costing our clients time and money. Some offices have their clients fill out cookie-cutter forms and simply wait for an RFE to come back before truly digging into a case. We avoid this method at all costs. We didn’t want to leave Ms. Liu waiting for a solution to her needs that long, nor did we want to cost her undue money. In an effort to avoid an RFE, we created a customized solution including the previously mentioned affidavit and a list of supporting documents. We tried to imagine every question the case officer might have an answer to those questions in the affidavit and documentation, thus leaving them clear to approve Ms. Liu’s case.
Ms. Liu’s B-2 extension was approved without the need for an RFE or any extra communication from the United States Citizen and Immigration Services. Ms. Liu was overjoyed and relieved with the decision. She is free to remain in the U.S. and help her son choose his new school.
*Name has been changed to protect client identity
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