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J Thomas Smith Ph.D.
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J Smith’s Answers

3,447 total


  • Can US citizen sponsor illegal immigrant?

    my brother is over 21 years old and he initially came here as an international student. But in 2011 my mother got her green card and she filed for petition for my brother's green card. He did not keep his status since 2011 (which is a huge mistake...

    J’s Answer

    Possibly. “Immediate relatives” of a U.S. citizen (i.e., spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents) always have a visa number immediately available to them. However, if the family member of the U.S. citizen is not an immediate relative, in this case an unmarried son over the age of 21, the U.S. citizen may still be able to sponsor them by what is called a “family preference category.” The wait time can be many years, up to 10 or more. I would suggest that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can address the issues specific to your case.

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  • What my friend need to do if it works, thanks

    Good evening, my name is Mohamed Ali Salem, I'm 22 years old,from Tunisia. How can my us citizen friend sponsored me to bring me there. Thanks

    J’s Answer

    There are a number of ways to sponsor an alien. The term "sponsor" often means to bring to the United States or "petition for" someone, usually a spouse, relative, employee or orphan. There are no options to petition for a "friend." However, you may be able to obtain a visitor's visa. (B2) You would have to show that you have a compelling reason to return to your home country once your period of approved entry has ended. When one is the beneficiary of a petition that requires an Affidavit of Support, no special relationship is required of the one signing the affidavit.

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  • How long should i wait till i can re-apply for n-400

    i obtained permanent residency via marriage in 2011 (IR6) after getting married in 2009 ...in 2014 i applied for naturalization using n-400 .After review of documents from my previous country about the divorce, turns out i was still married to my ...

    J’s Answer

    Yes. It would seem logical that your green card obtained based on an invalid marriage would be void. Did you remarry your spouse, or someone else? Are you saying that YOU did not appeal the decision? Were you able to get the divorce decree corrected as to the date of your divorce? You would not be able to apply for naturalization until you have been in a valid marriage to a USC for three years or to a LPR for five years. I suggest that your next step would be to discuss this matter with an experienced immigration lawyer who could address the specifics of your situation.

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  • Can I go back to the US for a month, using my regular B1/B2 visa even if my AOS case has been previously denied?

    Dear friends, my petition got denied officially albeit my departure from the US without a travel parole due to serious family issues in my home country. However I am still having a valid multiple tourist visa. I just need to go to the US because m...

    J’s Answer

    As long as you have a valid visa, you should be able to enter. However, more information would be needed on the reason you AOS application was denied to determine whether the issue might render you inadmissible or otherwise affect your status.

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  • Will it hurt my chances of approval if I put down F-1 Overstay/Out-Of-Status?

    Came to the US with F-1 visa in 2012, lost my status Sept. 2014. Married to US Citizen since then. We are starting the process for my AOS, but on a few of the forms it asks for my current USCIS/Immigration status.

    J’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Clay. In the situation you describe, it has been the custom of USCIS to forgive an applicants's overstay.

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  • How to apply for US Tourist VISA

    Could you help me understand the process of applying for US B1/B2 Tourist VISA given that I am currently living in South Africa (not a citizen of SA) and being a citizen of India.

    J’s Answer

    The B-1/B-2 visa is for people who intend to travel to the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure (B-2). When you apply for a B-1/B-2 visa, you must demonstrate to the consular officer that you do qualify the visa for which you have applied. It is presumed that everyone who apples for a visa is an intends to be an immigrant.

    You can overcome the presumption that you intend to immigrate by demonstrating that: 1) your purpose for coming to the U.S. is for a temporary visit, such as business, pleasure, or medical treatment; 2) You plan to remain in the U. S.for a specified, limited period of time; 3) proof that you have money to cover your expenses while you are in the U.S.; and 4) you have a residence outside the U.S. with sufficient ties to guarantee that you will return when your visit ends.

    To begin the B1/B2 application process you must complete and file the DS-160 form on-line. You will be asked to apply to an Embassy/Consulate close to your residence. The Consulate or Embassy that you select at the beginning of the application must be the same place you plan to schedule your interview. On your confirmation page of the DS-160 form , you will get a ten-digit bar code. You will have to take that bar code confirmation to your interview appointment. You may be best served by consulting with an experienced immigration attorney.

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  • How much it will cost? What is the chances that they may denie my application of visa status change ? What forms to complete?

    How can I change status of my visa from b1/b2 to f1 if I would like to enroll in esl class. And how much it will cost me? My visa still okay and expire in 1 month.

    J’s Answer

    To change your status from B2 to F1, you would complete form I-539. You would include form I-20 from your school showing that you have been offered admission into an approved degree program of study. Other documents such as I-94, letter with documentation as to how you will support yourself financially; and proof of having paid the SEVIS fee. You will also need an explanation as to why you wish to change from B2 to F1 and when you arrived at that decision. Do discuss your situation with an experienced immigration attorney.

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  • Can I hire an Immigration Lawyer and pay a bond in order to get Him released? Thank you much!

    Hello, My brother came into US territory back in 2005 He was detained my Homeland Security at the Texas border but, later released under "Order Of Release On Recognizance" He needed to appear in court in the following months but failed to do so, ...

    J’s Answer

    It is unlikely that your brother will be offered a bond since he did not show up after being released own his OR. If your brother failed to show up for a scheduled removal hearing, he was probably ordered removed in absentia (without being present in court). When he left the country, he "self-deported." When he returned, without inspection, he began to accrue unlawful presence (ULP) again.

    If he had been ULP in the U.S. for more than one year and then reentered, or attempted to reenter, the U.S. without being admitted he is permanently inadmissible. He will most likely be removed without seeing an Immigration Judge. He prior ordered of removal will be enforced. As always, its a good idea to discuss the specifics of tour case with an experienced immigration attorney.

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  • Do I need to be worried

    On oct 20, i went for my i751 interview with my wife at dallas field office and we were asked random question about how we met and stuff. However, the officer asked questions about my wife past criminal record. (Cheques). And told us he will revie...

    J’s Answer

    There is no need to worry, if you have a bonafide marriage. Apparently, you were not convincing in your initial interview. So now, you will get a second chance.

    Your Stokes interview is a taped interview. The USCIS interviewer will separate you and your wife and ask you both questions -- very likely the same questions. The goal is to determine whether the marriage is real or a sham. To the extent your responses are consistent, you will have a favorable outcome. Good luck.

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  • If you are here illegal and immigration tells you to go to court and you do not show on the court date, what would happen?

    An if the court date was 3 years ago would it be in the person record?

    J’s Answer

    If you are a "no show" for a removal hearing and it is demonstrated that you received "notice", you will be removed in absentia. When, or if, you are apprehended by ICE, that removal order will be used to take you into custody and remove you from the U.S. You will not go before an IJ for a hearing.

    In addition, once you are ordered removed, you will become ineligible for several forms of relief from removal. Voluntary departure, cancellation of removal and adjustment or change of status, are all off the table for ten years after the date the IJ orders you removed.

    If you have in fact been ordered removed in absentia, you may be able file a Motion to Reopen your removal proceedings. Or, you might seek discretionary relief from ICE.

    However, it is advisable for you to consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance in this matter.

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