Mother Secures F-1 Status

Mother Secures F-1 Status

  • Applicant: Mrs. Zen
  • Country/Region: Taiwan, China
  • Applying For:  E-2 status change to F-1
  • Challenges:
    • E-2 change of status to F-1
    • Difficulty to prove non-immigrant intent with U.S. citizen children
    • Difficult to prove intent to study after owning a company
    • Difficult to prove sound finances to support their living and tuition after company closed down

Few people have experienced the conflict of choosing between one’s parents and children, but for Mrs. Zen, that conflict was a stark reality. After her E-2 investment in a restraint failed she had to choose between staying the United States with her U.S. citizen children or go back to Taiwan to take care of her parents. If she chose to stay in the U.S. there was a high likelihood she would never be able to leave and come back. If she chose to go to Taiwan there was also a high likelihood they would not be able to come back.




After coming to California from Taiwan on an E-2 visa, the applicant invested nearly $200,000 in a small restaurant. However, within a year, Mrs. Zen’s restaurant fell upon hard times and went out of business, with Mrs. Zen being forced to sell her restaurant for $70,000 – less than half of what she paid for it.

However, that wasn’t the greatest obstacle she was facing. With the closure of her restaurant, Mrs. Zen was left with a decision: stay in California and never go home again, or return to Taiwan permanently and never return to the United States. What would be an easy decision for some was infinitely more difficult for Mrs. Zen. If she were to stay in the United States, not only would she be doing so illegally or applying for a change of status to a F-1 visa. In either case, most people who chose to do change of status end up not being able to leave the U.S. because they will not be granted a visa to enter the U.S. in the future. And if they chose this path they would not be unable to return to her home in Taiwan to care for their aging parents. However, if she chose to return to Taiwan, it was highly unlikely that someone with her background would be able to secure a regular F-1 visa to come to the U.S. to study. It would mean having to leave behind her two children, who were U.S. citizens, alone in the U.S. Feeling as though she was being pulled in opposite directions, Mrs. Zen came to Tsang & Associates, for guidance.

It was a hard choice given the consequences she was facing, but the attorneys at Tsang & Associates believed that we were able to help Mrs. Zen secure a F-1 visa in Taiwan—as hard as it may have been.

The attorneys advised on all contingency plans in case the visa were not approved but then prepared a strong package showing why she qualified for an F-1 visa.




We believed that a significant reason as to why her restaurant went out of business was due to her lack of English skills. We assisted her in being accepted to a 4-year intensive English program at a very reputable school in Santa Monica. We demonstrated the strong financials that they had that supported their schooling and life in the U.S. and that they did not have immigrant intent. We prepared the clients for weeks before the interview and practiced for many hours as their entire future depended on every word.

A few weeks before the beginning of her first semester, Mrs. Zen was notified that she no longer had to make the difficult choice between her parents and her children: her application had been accepted, and she had been granted an F-1 visa to attend the college program. Relieved and elated, the Zen’s returned to California to care for their children, and Mrs. Zen embarked on a new journey as an English student, while also being able to properly care for her children and parents.




The clients were overjoyed and we were also relieved and thankful to be apart of another successful journey. Well done, team.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity


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