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F-1 Visas; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
April 2014
F-1 Visas; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

• I have changed my status to an F-1 student, but I entered the U.S. on a visit visa. Can I travel and return safely to the U.S.?
This is a very common scenario and there is no clear answer. First, it is important to note that a legal status is very different from a visa. A legal status just means that you are staying legally in the U.S. and are complying with the terms of your legal status. A visa, however, is stamped in your passport and allows you to travel. You cannot travel out of the country and then re-enter without a legal visa stamped in your passport. In order to get the visa stamped, you must make an appointment with a U.S. consulate abroad and in most cases, go through a visa interview.

For a student visa, you would need to present the following documents:
• A Form I-20, endorsed for travel and signed by your Designated School Official (DSO) (see your DSO before you travel),
• Original evidence showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses,
• Evidence showing your intention to return to your home country upon program completion, including evidence of compelling social and economic ties to your home country (i.e. property, investments you own, family who lives in the home country, potential job offers, etc.),
• If you have applied for or had optional practical training (OPT) approved, bring a copy of your Form I-20 endorsed for OPT and your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Although you should be technically approved with the listed documents, the reason it may not be safe is that the consulate officer decides whether or not he/she believes that you will return upon completion of your studies. In many cases, the officer decides this based on such factors as your course of study, family ties, etc. It is always advisable to see your DSO and/or immigration attorney before deciding to travel when you are trying to obtain an intention-based visa.

• I received my Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), but it is expiring this year. What do I need to do?
USCIS has released the guidelines in February on how some undocumented youth who are benefiting from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program can renew their two-year deportation reprieve and work permit. However, the newly released DACA renewal guidelines apply only to those who were granted DACA through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement before August 15, 2012, while they were in detention or in removal proceedings. The process for those who were granted DACA through USCIS after August 15, 2012, has not yet been released.

The renewal process for those who were granted DACA by ICE consists of submitting three forms: Form I-821D for consideration of deferred action as well as Form I-765 and Form I-765WS to renew the work permit. In addition to those forms, applicants must also submit a payment of $465 to cover the filing fees. USCIS encourages ICE-granted DACA recipients to submit these forms 120 days before their two-year period of deferred action under DACA expires.

For those who were not in detention or removal proceedings, it is good to prepare by having a copy of your initial application, proof of current enrollment or graduation from the school or GED program that was listed on your initial application, and if you have been arrested or cited, get a court-certified disposition for the case/s. The guidelines will be posted in Khabar as soon as they are released.

**Disclaimer: These questions are answered in a general manner. You should always consult an immigration lawyer to explain the details of your case before making any immigration-related decision.


VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR April 2014

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

22Feb07

22Feb07

2A

08Sep13

08Sep13

2B

22Oct06

22Oct06

3rd

15Jul03

15Jul03

4th

22Nov01

22Nov01

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

15Nov04

Current

3rd

15Sep03

01Oct12

Other

15Sep03

01Oct12

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 



 

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