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.

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