F-1 Change of Status

F-1 VISA APPROVAL DESPITE SPECULATED IMMIGRATION INTENT

  • Nationality: China
  • Case: B-2, F-1, I-539; Concurrent Filing for B-2 Extension of Stay and Change of Status to F-1
  • Processing Time: 1 month
  • Challenges:
    1. The client faces prohibition from any visa applications for 3 years.
    2. Tough Request for Evidence from USCIS. 
    3. The client’s application for EB-5 Investment Green Card raised questions regarding immigrant intent.

BACKGROUND

A troubled expression still shaped Ms. Yang’s face. She’d sent her daughter Ru Shi (known as Shi Shi) from China to study in the United States. Earlier that week, an official from the American school informed Ms. Yang that Shi Shi was being bullied in school. In response, Ms. Yang applied for a B1/B2 visa so she could visit her daughter for the summer. She thought it would be nice to have mother/daughter time to comfort Shi Shi and to tour the United States together. After their travels, it became clear Shi Shi needed her mother close by to smooth her transition to the U.S. and help with the bullying. Ms. Yang applied for a new visa through a Form I-539 Extension to Extend/Change Non-Immigrant Status.

Unfortunately, the reviewing officer from the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) raised some troubling issues and sent a tough Request for Evidence (RFE). The request frightened Ms. Yang because the consequence for rejection would be dire–the USCIS could prevent her from entering the U.S for three years. Fortunately, she turned to the immigration professionals at Tsang and Associates.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

After a thorough consultation with Ms. Yang, Tsang and Associates developed a two-pronged strategy to get approval for her Form I-539 visa. First, the firm drafted an attorney brief establishing Ms. Yang’s need to care for her daughter due to the bullying she was experiencing at school. The firm drafted a second attorney brief requesting Ms. Yang’s desire to become a student of English under an F-1 visa.

The first attorney brief provided documentation including affidavits from school officials confirming the bullying and advocating that Shi Shi’s mother be close at hand. The firm also helped Ms. Yang organize documents and receipts to show the USCIS officer that her initial visit had been for pleasure and not with the intent to give up her residence in China.

The second Attorney Brief provided documentation to support Ms. Yang staying in the U.S. as a student of English to further her business career. Ms. Yang was a Marketing Manager for the XinYung Group in China. The business thought it was a great opportunity for Ms. Yang to improve her English skills at a reputable school in the U.S. before returning home. The firm worked with management at XinYung Group to provide documentation outlining Ms. Yang’s responsibilities and how her improved English skills would be a service to their company, especially in international business. The Attorney Brief included a declaration from Ms. Yang that it is her intent to return to China upon completion of her English studies, proof she has bank accounts in China, a home she had no intention of abandoning, and extended family she would not want to leave. One further complication arose when the USCIS came across her application for an EB-5 Investment green card which implied immigrant intent. Ms. Yang explained in her affidavit she cancelled that application. 

OUTCOME

The professional bidder hired by Qian Call Center won the bid at “way under” the valuation. This was a huge win for the company. Outright ownership would reduce the company’s operating costs going forward and there would be no loss on the sunk $150,000 costs for infrastructure improvements. Additionally, the company would save the expense of a lawsuit and having to move offices. 

Within a month Ms. Yang received official notice from the USCIS that her F-1 visa status was approved. She is now improving her English through classroom study while being able to live with her teenage daughter and help her with the difficult adjustment to becoming a high school freshman in the U.S. Shi Shi is beyond thankful that Tsang & Associates helped her mother stay in the U.S. while she was adjusting to the transition.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity

Original Content

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