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I-539 Application For F-1 Student Status

I-539 Application For F-1 Student Status

Applicant: Ms. Chang
Nationality: China
Applying for: I-539 Application for F-1 Student Status
Time: 1 Month
Challenges:

  • The bureaucracy of the university system
  • The university was at fault with a clerical error, but the client was unaware of it until 6 months later
  • Hard to find lawyer to properly handle case

 

BACKGROUND

College can be a grueling experience for any student, especially when they overload themselves with classes, which had happened to Ms. Chang. Ms. Chang was a good student going to a prominent college in California, but was having a difficult semester. She had taken on a heavy course load, adding a few extension courses to her regular school work, and her grades began to slip. However, because Ms. Chang was studying in America on a Visa, her situation became complicated, and eventually dire.

As with many college students whose schedules are intense, she was unable to handle her schedule, and unfortunately failed two extension courses that she took at a different school. Because of this, her school’s twelve-credit requirement for the semester was not fulfilled. Ms. Chang had no idea that failing the extension courses would affect her overall school credits; she also did not know that this would hurt her ability to study in the U.S. She was informed of her termination of F-1 Student Status, and was told that she needed to leave the school, and possibly leave the country. Ms. Chang had no family in America and had no one to turn to. School meant everything to her; she was devastated by this turn of events.

However, when Chang explained her set of circumstances to the administration, they agreed that the situation was out of her control and said she could enter a Reinstatement Assistance Agreement (RAA). A month later, the school reviewed her RAA and assisted in her filing a I-539 form for student reinstatement. Her school agreed that she should not be blamed for the termination of her student status, because she was not informed of the systematic discrepancies between the two schools. Very relieved, she waited for the form to arrive, and applied to a four-year university. All she wanted was to remain in school. She paid her tuition to attend school, still waiting for the status of her I-539 form.

Six months later, Chang’s I-539 form was denied. She had not received a request for evidence or notice of intent to deny, nor denial decision from USCIS. These are normal steps for immigrants to go through if their application needs more information, but she had received none of those. The college told her that she hadn’t sent the form, but she knew this was a mistake.

Ms. Chang did not know where to turn. Because of this, she was now an illegal immigrant, and was very afraid. She knew she could easily be deported. The news on immigration that she watched on television and read in the paper only made things worse. Her days became dark, and she was afraid and depressed. Her only motivation to be in America was to study, and she was suddenly denied that, with no reason that she could understand. Her education had come to a halt, and there was nothing she could do but seek help, and wait.

 

KEYS TO SUCCESS

Ms. Chang contacted numerous attorneys but they all gave her all sorts of conflicting advice, (including assuming a fake marriage). When she read the Success Stories on the Tsang & Associates website, for the first time she felt a little hope. Perhaps she could stay in America after all, if an attorney understood her situation. After explaining her situation to us, we filed a Motion to Reopen. We found out that the university had made a clerical error, and had sent her I-539 form to the wrong address. A very simple mistake, which could have cost Ms. Chang her entire education, and completely changed the outcome of her life. Determined to help Ms. Chang, we devolved into exhaustive research to find documents to argue on Ms. Chang’s behalf. We informed her all that she needed to know about an I-539 application. All while doing this, we also provided her emotional support. Ms. Chang was in constant distress that she could get deported and was devastated that she may not be able to continue her studies here. We had to reassure her that with our experience, she could count on us to do everything possible to get her F-1 Student Status back. Her case was reopened, and she could now attend school.

 

OUTCOME

Ms. Chang was able to attend college again, and she was elated. A period of two years had passed where Ms. Chang could not do anything, because of her fear of deportation, and she had no idea where her life would go. We were overjoyed to help her go back to school and receive a good education. And we were happy to give her hope back, as well.