General Immigration FAQS
Q: My husband and I got married while he was here on a tourist visa. He returned to his home country before the tourist visa expired. I turned in form I-130, and it is in process. Can he visit me while we’re waiting for the I-130 to be approved?
He uses a passport when he comes to visit, so he doesn’t need a visa. We want to be together for a little while, but then he would leave before his permission to stay ends. He’ll apply for an immigrant visa in his home country.
Ans: Yes, he can visit while he’s waiting for the I-130 to be approved. But, he needs to show he still is coming as a visitor. In other words, that he isn’t trying to move to the U.S. permanently on this visit. He needs to prove social and economic ties in his home country, like family relationships and a job.
He should also tell the immigration officer about the pending I-130 when he enters the U.S. again. The immigration officer will know about it already, so if he doesn’t say anything about it, or if he denies it, it will be considered misrepresentation. If that happens, he might not be allowed to come into the country.
Ans: There is an option called humanitarian parole. It’s for someone who needs to enter or stay in the U.S. for a little while because of an extreme emergency. It’s not approved very often, but it is possible.
Ans: No, you shouldn’t apply for a green card. You won’t be approved if you apply. Instead, you should apply for a student visa (F-1) even if you aren’t sure you will stay in the U.S. after graduation. If you later decide you want to stay, you can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) right before or after you graduate. This allows you to stay and work in the U.S. temporarily if the job is related to your college degree.
How long you’re able to stay in the OPT program depends on what you study in college. Studying some areas in science, technology, engineering or math can mean up to 24 months in the program.
While in the OPT program, your employer can apply for an H-1B visa for you. This usually allows you to stay and work for up to six years. At that point, you can start the process of applying for a green card.
Disclaimer: Whatever you read in the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) is for your information only and is not legal advice. You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice because each person’s situation is different.
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