Browsing Category


Employment Immigration, F-1, Family Immigration, OPT, Student Visa

OPT is almost finished, what’s next?

Q: I’m on an F-1 OPT visa right now after completing my master’s degree. My OPT finishes in August and I’d like to stay longer. What options would I have?

A:Congratulations on completing your master’s degree, and I hope your OPT internship is going well.

Yes, this is a common situation for F-1 students. As you are likely aware, it does not sound like you would be eligible for a STEM OPT extension, even if you have stem-based OPT since your current program is not valid for an additional 150 days. You may have a few options, though.  Continue Reading
Asylum, EAD Work Permit, F-1, Student Visa, TPS

Can an F-1 student apply for asylum?

Q: I’m currently on an F-1 student visa studying in the US. I am afraid to go back to my home country. Can I apply for asylum?


A: Yes, immigrants present in the US may apply for asylum, as long as they have a true non-frivolous claim. Although applicants generally need to apply during their first year in the US, there are some exceptions, including maintaining another lawful immigration status (like your F-1 status.) However, you should still apply as soon as possible.

TPS: Some countries have been designated for Temporary protected Status, or TPS. You should check the list of current TPS countries, and talk with your international student advisor or an immigration attorney about this option as well.

Asylum: Asylum is not just based on being afraid. Your situation/fears need to meet 3 specific criteria, and need to be reasonable. For example, as part of the application, you would provide reports to show that harm you suffered, or are afraid of suffering is reasonable for your country. I’ll outline the general  3 criteria below: Continue Reading

Asylum, F-1, Family Immigration, TPS

I have a B1/B2 visa and fear going back to my country. What options do I have?

I originally come from Yemen and currently there is a civil war going on there. My brother is a US citizen and he is over 21. Can he petition for me?

Answer: While it is possible to change from a B visa to another visa type, you need to be first eligible for another visa.

TPS: The US will designate other countries for TPS, or temporary protected status for different reasons, including “ongoing armed conflict, such as civil war.” Yemen is not currently listed, but you can continue to check the TPS country list and read more about TPS here.

Asylum:  Asylum could possibly be an option, but it would depend on your specific story and facts. This is something an immigration attorney could help you with, after listening to your story in detail. A civil war in a country is not in itself reason for asylum. Check back soon, as I will be posting more details regarding asylum eligibility.

Adjustment through your brother:  It would take a long time for you to be able to obtain a green card based on your brother sponsoring you, and you would not have lawful status in the US while you waited. You can see the wait time by looking up the US Department of State’s most recent visa bulletin. A brother falls under the F-4 family sponsored category, and the priority date is October 2002, meaning those from Yemen in the F-4 category have been waiting 13 years.

Student visa: Another option is to apply to a University in the US. Do not enroll while in B1/B2 status, however, you can apply to a program, and have your school, or an attorney assist you with a change of status from B to F-1. A change of status can take 3-5 months, so be sure you have enough time before you B visa expires. Once the change of status is approved to F-1, you would be eligible to enroll.


F-1 Change of Status or travel?

Question: I have applied for change of status from h4 to f1. If I dont get an approval by November, I plan to travel to India for the F1 stamping. Can I travel to india when my application is still pending ? Are there any complications I need to be aware of ?

I think you have a good plan. Your change of status application will be deemed abandoned — but you won’t need the change of status since you’ll be returning to get a new F-1 visa stamp. Be sure you have your new I-20 from your school.

Another idea is to defer your admission and wait until your change of status is approved. You could do this if your H-4 visa has not expired. Talk with your international student adviser or international admissions representative about deferring.


Employment Immigration, F-1, Student Visa

I have an F-2 visa. How can I join a masters program or seek a job?

Question: I have an F-2 visa. How can I join a masters program or seek a job? I passed nursing License exam NCLEX but I am unable to get license because I don’t have a SSN.  I need a nursing license to get admitted into a Master’s of Nursing program.

You’re correct that you won’t be able to obtain a SSN and can’t work while in F-2 status. One idea is to try to explain your situation to admissions at the Nursing school. Maybe they will be able to admit you and issue a new I-20 first — either to the Masters program, or a different program that would help prepare you for the Masters. Then you can apply for the SSN after you’ve been admitted and reported to the school. Talk to the school – in fact, talk to several schools to see what they will do, then you could discuss the different options from the schools with an immigration attorney.