F-1 Visa For Thai Student Whose School Closed

F-1 Visa For Thai Student Whose School Closed

  • Petitioner: Ms. Ira Sha
  • Year: 2019
  • Applying for: F-1 Student Visa
  • Nationality: Thai
  • Challenges:
    • Ms. Sha had applied to a secondary ESL school after finishing a semester of English, but while she waited for her application to be approved, the school closed permanently
    • Ms. Sha applied to other schools but because of her stalled paperwork with the USCIS, she was stuck in perpetual limbo
    • Her case has been moved between departments and she is unable to work or attend school until the USCIS approves her status
    • Took over a year and multiple filings to get approved


Ira was trapped in a bureaucratic mess. Back in 2015, she was approved to come into the U.S. on an I-20 visa so she could study English as a second language. Ira is an architect and with her expertise comes a precise and calculated view of the world. Ira saw the world as a series of grids and numbers; she saw her life as a well-executed plan and her actions as purposeful exertions destined for the fulfillment of self. She spoke with a rhythmic gate and during conversations; she would stare directly into your eyes with a predator-like focus. She was constantly analyzing, drawing in information and delivering back concrete affirmatives packed with assertive precision. She was a perfect architect but back in her homeland, she felt unfulfilled. Her contracts were not very lucrative and she wanted to create a better future for herself. Being the tactician she is, she saw herself with more opportunities in the future if she could speak English fluently. It was pretty obvious that Ira was not someone who tolerates inefficiency and while in the U.S., she was being trapped between two inefficient bureaucracies. She needed help, so she came to Tsang and Associates.

At first, her time in the United States was profitable for her. She studied English at a small school and immersed herself in California’s culture. While in school, she researched graduate programs that she could attend and found another school with an advanced English program she could pursue once her semester was over. She applied for the English class and submitted the necessary paperwork to the USCIS that would allow her to continue her schooling. This is when things fall apart and we delve into a hellish level of bureaucratic madness.



From July 2017 to January 2018, Ms. Sha is told that she’s been approved to attend school but not the school she can go to, but the school that was shut down. She tries to get it transferred but is unable to get any notification from the USCIS at all.

In January 2018, she went to the USCIS office in person to make an appointment, attended her appointment and then was later denied her application because “she failed to respond to an Evidence Request” which she never received.

In February, she sought legal assistance and filed for an appeal. When she attends her appointment with the officers of the USCIS LA office, they are unable to reach the California Service Center and she’s advised to simply appeal again. By the end of the month, she files her appeal and all necessary paperwork.

Four months go by without hearing a word from the USCIS and this is when Ms. Sha started feeling doubts she would ever get her case approved. So, it was our job to give her hope by showing her we were trying to do everything we could to get her case approved. In June, she was admitted into multiple MBA programs in California. In July, she applied for admission deferral at Claremont University and was approved. She delivers all of the information needed and her I-290B to the USCIS.

In September of 2018, the ELS school that Ms. Sha had originally applied for reinstatement, closed down permanently. Since she’s no longer able to attend this school, she tries to have her application changed from this school to Claremont but this apparently was a lot to ask of the USCIS. In December of 2018, she sent yet another Request for Evidence from the USCIS. By early 2019, we compiled and sent all evidence.



By the end of January 2019, a full year and a half after her original application, Ms. Sha was approved to return to school. Unfortunately for her, while they sent her approval, her school told her they had not yet received the necessary paperwork from the USCIS which would mean she could not enroll in the spring semester. Thankfully, due to a bit more persistence, in April of 2019, Ms. Sha’s SEVIS record was reactivated. She is now moving to Claremont to attend their graduate program and finally, she’s able to continue the life that she had planned so perfectly. Although this process was challenging and upsetting she was glad to have an experienced law firm represent her. All thanks to persistence, diligence and Tsang & Associates she gets to further her education.

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