I am coming to USA for an exchange visit on a J1 visa for the international visitors leadership program and the program is only for 15 days , How can I extend my visa and stay till the decision of my asylum case ?
Depends on the visa and you do not need to extend it to apply for asylum. Talk to an immigration attorney. Asylum is one of the most difficult areas of immigration law and one where many sharks operate and unauthorized practice of law happens. That is to say two things: 1. It is very difficult if not impossible to successfully present an asylum claim without competent assistance of an immigration attorney well experienced in asylum law. 2. Depending on a venue, there are manifold individuals out there, more numerous than in any other area of immigration law, who purport to offer services to potential refugees for a fee and either pose as attorneys and thus engage in outright fraud or try to convince applicants that the attorneys are two expensive and not necessary and often push applicants to commit fraud to “enforce” their claims. Beware of such personalities and try to seek out legal help from a licensed, experienced and competent immigration attorney. Remember: frivolous, that is deliberately fabricated asylum application may result in many troubles including complete ineligibility for life for any immigration benefits including immigrant status though bona fide marriage to USC or by petition of USC child over the ager of 21.
If you apply for asylum, you will be allowed to remain in the US until your asylum case is decided. Moreover, you can apply for a work pwrmit after 150 days. It typically takes USCIS 45-60 days to interview and decide on an asylum case. If USCIS does not grant you asylum, your case will be transferred to an immigration court.
I strongly recommend that you work with a lawyer. Many of us offer free initial consultation for asylum cases. A good lawyer will professionally prepare your case, present it to the USCIS and prove it to the officer at the interview.
Ismail T. Shahtakhtinski, Esq.
I.S. Law Firm, PLLC
1199 N Fairfax Street, Suite 702
Alexandria, VA 22314
If you, as an asylum applicant, are in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa, the act of applying for asylum itself will not extend the 15-day period that you are permitted to stay. If you are denied asylum and have overstayed you visa, you will trigger § 222(g) of the Act which means that the your visa will be immediately void.
To avoid this, you will need to obtain an extension of your stay by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change. If approved, this will protect your J-1 status and shield you from § 222(g) in case your asylum application is denied. However, you will likely have to overcome a presumption that you had prior intent is to remain in the United States permanently.
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