Law Office of Timur Edib

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Law Office of Timur Edib
An Ongoing Series of Informational Entries on Immigration

J-1 visa

Summer Is Ending, What Now After J1 Work And Travel

August 20, 2019-by Timur Edib, esq.

Over the next several weeks many university students from overseas will be ending their summers in America as Work & Travel (W&T) Exchange Students. Many serve as lifeguards, at amusement parks, and other locations that cater to the tourism industry. Most of the students come believing that they will be able to work a little and travel a lot during their summer stay, only to find out that they will work a lot, and travel very little-if at all. So now what are the options as the DS-2019 end date approaches for the foreign students?

While most people know the J-1 visa status usually means that the alien would need to return to their home country (it can’t be a third country so be careful) for two years after completion of their exchange program, the Work & Travel and the Au Pair J1 exchange students do not have the two year obligation, and are allowed to change to other status like the Tourist “B” or Student “F” status. Those J1 exchange visitors that do have the 2 year restriction can still change to another status, but they must do it at a U.S. consulate, not from within the U.S. In another discussion we will address J1 and greencards, since it is a complicated process. In short, the J1 (or J2) may not apply for a greencard (adjust status) until the 2 year residency in their home country is completed, and it must be their home country, not a third country. There is a waiver called the “no objection waiver” and we will discuss that in a separate post.

So historically W&T and Au Pair visitors often decide to apply to change their status to Tourist “B” and stay an extra six months to enjoy what they didn’t have time to do during their work experience. If you chose to stay longer by applying for a tourist visa you will need to explain the following to immigration: how will you support yourself and do you now have the means to return home (a ready return ticket)? What will happen to your home, family, and job while you stay in America? Why do you need to stay longer, what will you visit or do during your extended stay? They will also ask you to confirm that you have not violated the terms of your current stay while in the U.S.

On the other had if you decide to apply to American universities as F1 students to take either a semester of classes, or to finish their academic studies in the USA you will still need to file the form I539. For this option the first step is to contact a school that issues the I-20 so that you can demonstrate your financial ability and academic ability to attend, and if the school grants you the I-20 you can then file the form I-539. A future student would need to demonstrate the ability to afford a full year of studies. When switching from the J1 to the F1 the student must start classes (program start date) within 30 days of the end date of the J1 program as noted on the DS-2019. Another option is to switch from J1 to the tourist “B” status and then after B is approved to then apply to change to the student “F” status. The benefit of this option is that you can have time to enjoy visiting the country before you start your classes, the downside is that you can’t start your studies until the F status is approved, and while you are witing you must continue to extend your B status until it is approved. Currently, a person switching from B to F will typically need to file no less than 3 applications with USCIS.

Either way, the bottom line is that you must file the Form I-539 and the filing fee is now $370 for each form, and for each person on each form an additional $85 for biometrics (fingerprints). So if the request is just for you, it is $455.00, if for you and your spouse, it will be $540.00. You must also file the form while you are still in status, meaning the end date listed on your form I-94 (admission record) or if you are D/S (duration of status), the end date listed on your DS-2019. I hope this has helped explain the process, and if you are interested in changing your status from J1 to Tourist “B” or student “F1” we will be happy to help you prepare the forms and supporting documentation to file your application.

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Immigration

Trump Slams The Door Shut On Poor Immigrants

August 16, 2019-by Timur Edib, esq.

The new policy on determining “public charge” may affect Green Card holders and to be citizens if they have received certain public benefits. The failure to file additional forms may be a base for denials without notice or opportunity to provide new evidence.

Yesterday, the Trump Administration was scheduled to publish its final rules for denying admission to non-immigrants and immigrants on “Public Charge” grounds. The policy was first published October 10, 2018 and has been open for public comment for almost a year. This “new” policy is a really a refinement of a policy started by the Republicans back in 1994, when they established their complete overhaul of government with its “Contract with America” agenda. In short, it says that anyone that comes to America must not become a burden on the American Taxpayer. For the past 20 years those that have come to America to study as students and those coming to America as lawful permanent residents based on family petitions are well-aware of the “affidavit of support” obligations. Trump’s new rule clarifies the standards used to determine when a person becomes a “public charge” and also expands what “public benefits” will be considered in making its determination.

While it is true that the new rules are more restrictive than past policy, the important point is that the new policy will not start for another two (2) months, and when it does become policy, it will only look forward in time, it will not punish anyone for receiving benefits under programs not considered a public charge under the old policy. The new policy does not change the exemption and waivers given to many categories of immigrants such as refugees, asylees, U and T visa status, and applications filed under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Under the new policy This new policy will not apply to any petition or application filed and accepted prior to the start date.

To be clear, this policy is directed to those that are being “admitted” into the United States, it is not a policy that directly impacts those that have already been admitted or adjusted to lawful permanent resident status. It does expand the definition of “admitted” including those non-immigrants such as tourist and students that apply to USCIS for permission to extend or change their status while still in the United States. It also encompasses those in LPR (greencard) status that have traveled abroad and are returning to the United States. Everyone presenting themselves at a port of entry that are not U.S. Citizens are “admitted” upon each entry. While this new policy of “Public Charge” does not directly impact to those that are applying to naturalize as U.S. citizens, the acceptance of “public benefits” will be a consideration in evaluating the merits of the application.

There are two important considerations under the new policy. The first is that a consideration of “public charge” is to be made based on “ a consideration of the totality of the circumstances to include: person’s age, health, family status, financial status, education and skills, and the merits of the affidavit of support filed by their sponsor. In this “totality” test also considers English language proficiency, mental and physical health, and overall family income. The second is that “Public Charge” is defined as a person that accepts a public benefit from a listed program for twelve (12) months in the aggregate over the last 36 months. In the final rule, this standard applies to both non-immigrants and immigrants. Under the current policy “public benefit”: includes cash assistance programs: State and local cash assistance programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income, and long term care (Medicaid). The new policy will expand to the following programs: Health care coverage through Medicaid (except emergency medical conditions), SNAP (food stamps), Section 8 housing assistance. A clarification in the new policy is that the benefit must be to the alien, and benefits received by family members may not be attributed to the alien, unless the alien is expressly named as a beneficiary. The new rule exempts aliens under 21 and pregnant women (including 60 days beyond pregnancy) that have received Medicaid from being considered a public charge. Benefits received by aliens serving in the military and their families are exempt from being considered a public charge.

In short, the new policy now impacts everyone admitted to the United States, both non-immigrants and immigrants, and those that apply to extend or change their status in the United States, and Lawful Permanent Residents that travel abroad and present themselves for a subsequent admission at a port of entry. The policy does not penalize those already admitted, and does not directly impact those applying for citizenship. A change in preparing the adjustment packet for filing includes DHS now requiring that a form I-944 be completed in addition to the form I-864. Failure to properly complete these forms may cause the file to be denied without any request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.

I hope I have been able to clarify the new policy and how it impacts “poor immigrants,” but if there is any question about the “public charge” or “public benefit” as defined by this new rule, it is strongly urged that you contact an immigration lawyer for clarification.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice nor provides any guarantees. Processing times can change with or without our knowledge or prior notice. As each application is different, we highly recommend obtaining attorney advice before submitting an application. This office does not urge nor discourage recipients of this email to make an application. We cannot be held liable for any outcome of any application. Receipt or response to this email does not constitute an application or consultation. Receiving this email does not establish attorney-client relationship.

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Important Update on Diversity Visa

Important Update on Diversity Visa

November 01, 2017-by Tolga Ozek

Due to a technical issue, the DV-2019 entry period that began on October 3 has been closed. Entries submitted during October 3-10 are not valid and have been excluded from the system; they will not count as a duplicate entry. The technical issue has been resolved and a new full entry period will begin at noon, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday October 18, 2017 and will run until noon Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday November 22, 2017. Only entries submitted during this period will be accepted and considered for selection in the lottery. Please throw away any confirmation number or other documentation that you have if you submitted an entry during Oct. 3-10.

(https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/)

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US Suspends all non-immigrant visa services in Turkey

US Suspends all non-immigrant visa services in Turkey

September 27, 2017-by Tolga Ozek

Announcement made by the US Mission to Turkey on the suspension of all non-immigrant visa services in Turkey. If you have any non-immigrant visas pending, please contact us for more information.

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MATA & ATA DC Republic Day Reception

MATA & ATA DC Republic Day Reception

September 27, 2017-by Tolga Ozek

We are celebrating the 94th anniversary of Republic of Turkey. Proud to sponsor this amazing organization.

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Rafet El Roman is Coming to Virginia

Rafet El Roman is Coming to Virginia

September 27, 2017-by Tolga Ozek

In a series of fantastic concerts and to celebrate the 94th anniversary of Republic of Turkey, Rafet El Roman is coming to Virginia.

Us Production Organizes.

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Diversity Visa (DV Lottery) Applications Started

Rafet El Roman is Coming to Virginia

September 27, 2017-by Tolga Ozek

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The DV Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS).

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 2019 DIVERSITY 

IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM (DV-2019) 

OR

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Maryland American Turkish Association(Mata) Organizes A Turkish Republic Day Ball

Maryland American Turkish Association (Mata) Organizes A Turkish Republic Day Ball

September 27, 2017-by Tolga Ozek

MATA is commemorating 50 years of strengthening the Turkish American community with the celebration of the 94th Anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND RESERVE A SEAT PLEASE CLICK HERE


H1B Expedited Process Revived

H1B Expedited Process Revived

September 20, 2017-by Tolga Ozek

H-1B work visas will be eligible for fast processing again after the option was suspended in April to deal with a high number of new applications, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Companies can pay a $1,225 fee to process the skilled foreign worker visa within 15 days instead of the several months it would otherwise take, allowing companies to know early on if prospective employees are eligible. It’s particularly good news for tech firms, which rely heavily on the visa to hire overseas talent. • Share your thoughts: #H1BPremium


Turkish Festival in DC

Turkish Festival in DC

September 20, 2017-by Tolga Ozek

We will be joining and sponsoring a table at the annual Turkish festival this year.

Timur Edib

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