• Hours & Info

    (562) 495-0554
    M-F: 8:00am - 6:00 p.m.
    Sat: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Social

  • Past Blog Posts

The Trump administration will impose visa restrictions on pregnant women.

 The U.S. is preparing to impose restrictions that will make it more difficult for pregnant women to travel to the U.S. on tourist visas. Though consular officers cannot ask whether a woman is or plans to become pregnant, applicants will be denied if consular officers determine they are traveling to the U.S. primarily to give birth. The restrictions are aimed at restricting “birth tourism” and take effect today, January 24.

Will the war affect my application?

Question: I wish the best for the troops of the U.S. in Iraq. My concern is that I have an application going forward with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and am wondering if that will be affected. Also, I am having a friend coming into the U.S. for a visit. Will the war affect him?

Answer: It is hard to say what effect the war will have on the immigration processes. The reality is that if you or your friend are from a Muslim related country, you will most likely have to go through more security checks and will have more difficulty in obtaining the visa. Of course this is not always true, but a person whom wants a Visitor Visa from Syria will have a harder time obtaining that visa than one whom obtains a Visitor Visa through the Philippines.

As for an application you currently have, it should not be affected. For example, if you have a work permit petition through an employer, as long as you qualify for the petition and are not inadmissible under any grounds, there should not be a problem.

Question: This sounds like ‘profiling’ by the U.S. government. Is that legal?

Answer: In some respects you are correct. The U.S. government has targeted persons of Muslim countries to special register. They have deported many people who have specially registered, but are out of status. They have expelled diplomats from Iraq and have sought to detain persons from Muslim related countries who are seeking asylum.

The U.S. government does not seem to be targeting persons whom are not from Muslim related countries. However, as we are seeing, in wartime, many of the due process rights and constitutionally protected rights of certain persons are abrogated and diminished. That is why we have to constantly fight to keep the rights of those persons who are least able to fight for themselves. Yes, the U.S. government should do what it needs to do to protect its national security. However, in many cases, in the name of national security, measures are taken which end up violating certain civil liberties and constitutional protections. These violations unfortunately do nothing to protect the national security. Thus, we must fight for the rights of all immigrants in the U.S. Otherwise, what appears to be limited and small infractions of constitutionally protected rights on a few select people could eventually be directed to the more general population of the U.S.

Can I still Change my Status?

Question: I know that the immigration laws now only allow me to come into the U.S. on a Visitor Visa for only 30 days. I was planning to go to the U.S. to visit, and then later, if I found a good job offer, to change my status to some type of working status. Additionally, if I later decided, I was going to change my status to that of a student. Can I still do this?

 Answer: It appears that it will be much more difficult to change your status in this type of situation. Normally, when visitors came to the U.S. under the B1/B2 Visa, they had six months. At some later point after entering, they would be able to change their status. Please note that some rumors have been spreading that there is no more change of status applications being accepted. This is simply not true. Rather, it is the effect of applying for a change of status once you enter the U.S. that is the problem.

Question: Can you elaborate on what exactly is the problem?

Answer: Actually, when you come in on a Visitor Visa, you are supposed to be doing exactly that. VISITING! That means going to Disneyland, visiting relatives, and having a good time. It does not mean going to school, getting a job or applying for the Green Card. If you come to the U.S. and within 30 days apply for a change of status to some other type of status such as student or worker, the INS may not believe that you intended to ever really visit the U.S. They may assume that you used the Visitor Visa as a means to get into the U.S. so that you could do what you really wanted to do (such as work or go to school.)

 Question: What are the consequences of doing the change of status right after entering the U.S.?

Answer: First, they could deny your change of status application and you could go out of status. Next, the INS may very well assume that you committed fraud. That is, when you got the Visitor Visa and entered the U.S. that you did not really intend to visit, but rather, intended to go to school or to work in the United States. If that happens, you could be deported because you committed misrepresentation and fraud. The fraud will stay with you forever and never goes away. If you ever want to reenter the U.S., you will need to get a Fraud Waiver. Those are not easy waivers to obtain.

Question: What is the best way to avoid these drastic consequences?

 Answer: First, the way that people come into the U.S. is probably going to change. You must decide whether you want to go to school or work since these are the options you might be considering. If you are intending on going to school, then you should get the I-20 and apply for the Student Visa from your home country. Then, when you enter the U.S., you will be entering as a Student, not a Visitor. Alternatively, if you want to work in the U.S., you should have your sponsor file the petition prior to you getting to the U.S. Therefore, you will not have any allegations by INS that you committed fraud. You need to be very careful if you come to the U.S. with a Visitor Visa and then change your status right away. Obviously, since you only will be getting 30 days in the U.S., you must strongly consider not getting a change of status in the U.S.

%d bloggers like this: