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Barbara A Marcouiller
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Barbara Marcouiller’s Answers

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  • What happens to my ex wife`s status since i am going to convert to green card for marrying citizen will she be out of status?

    I have been married since last 2 years and my wife got h4 ead since i got my i-140 approved she is working now however I recently wanted to divorce her because of personal things and i am marrying a citizen here I am making sure my ex wife sta...

    Barbara’s Answer

    Yes, she will be out of status as soon as the divorce is final. Note that they will take a very close look at this relationship to see if you didn't marry the U.S. citizen only to skip the wait. The case will be scrutinized, and I echo my colleagues' comments about sham marriage.

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  • How can I get a green card replacement? And what documentation can I use in the meantime to travel with?

    I am a UK passport holder who has been a Permanent Resident since 2009. I am planning to vacation in Mexico in 18 days. I realized yesterday that I have misplaced my green card. How can I get a replacement? And how can I still ensure I ca...

    Barbara’s Answer

    File an I-90 right away. They do want a statement explaining how you lost it. They are concerned about people "replacing" cards and actually selling them. So if it had been stolen, for example, they'd want to see the police report. Attache a signed statement regarding the circumstances of where you kept it, when you realized it was lost, etc. When you have the receipt or some proof it was filed, in Seattle you can get an expedited biometrics appointment, and hopefully a stamp the same day.

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  • How many petitions (I-130) do I file and how much is the fee?

    I am a green card holder who wants to bring his wife, 12-year old step daughter of my wife and 20-month old daughter between us. A single petition costs $420. On the instruction, it seems just one I-130 and $420 would do, but I read somewhere I ha...

    Barbara’s Answer

    As a permanent resident you may include all 3 on one petition. Note there is a waiting line, though currently it isn't really terribly long, but if you become a citizen they jump to the front of the line. There's no line for spouses or minor children of an adult U.S. citizen. However, in that case you must have three separate petitions, because there are no derivative beneficiaries, either. For that reason, some people file three petitions from the beginning.

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  • Can I change my status from B1 to F1 while I am in the U.S?

    I am a tourist here. I want to study in the U.S. If I register at a school, can I change my status from a tourist visa to a student without leaving the U.S.? Does it matter what level the school is? High school, college, community college?

    Barbara’s Answer

    The government really doesn't like this change, and may make you go home to do it. The way to accomplish this change is to notify the consulate at the time you get the visitor visa that you are looking at school, evaluating the costs, maybe applying, and if it works out there is a chance you may change status to a student. They will actually annotate the visa as possible COS to F1, then there isn't a problem doing it. They try to make clear to people that they need the proper visa, so if they are a student they should get a student visa not a visitor visa. Letting them know upfront shows you are being honest about the purpose of your trip.

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  • What happens to my H1B that I got through lottery process, if unused and the employer cancel it? Can an employer cancel it?

    What happens to my H1B that I got through lottery process is unused and the employer cancel it? Can an employer cancel it and pick a other person for that slot? Will I loose my slot, preventing me to transfer to other employer? Please clarify.

    Barbara’s Answer

    The process is employer-driven. The purpose of the visa is to facilitate U.S. companies that have a temporary need to hire a foreign national with particular specialized knowledge, not to facilitate people just staying on in the country. Yes, the employer absolutely can withdraw the petition. The visa is both employer and job specific. If you change employers or if you change position within the current employer you need a new visa. Nothing "transfers." If you actually have H1B status, and you get a new employer, the new employer can file a new H-1B petition for you without you being subject to the cap. The new employer will need to show that you currently hold that status, including paycheck stubs to show you actually worked there according to the terms of the visa.

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  • I601a or i360? Which is better?

    I asked a question earlier but I needed to put more info so someone could help me out. I am a u.s. citizen, I am married for 3 years now &have two kids. I have the i130 approved. We want to see what we could do next. So an attorney suggested...

    Barbara’s Answer

    Never do anything that isn't true. It's fraud and there are serious punishments. You will need evidence of the abuse including any police report, medical reports, witness statements. Do not present false evidence! As an attorney in the Seattle area part of me would like you to contact me privately just to tell me what lawyer suggested that.

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  • How can my Dad work in US if I'm holding a US green card through marriage?

    Hello, I'm a Chinese citizen. I got married to an US citizen and got my temporary green card this January. It would be another 5 years before I can neutralize. I hope to bring my parents to US ASAP. However, my dad has a decent job in China, h...

    Barbara’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You should meet with an experienced immigration lawyer. There is a lot of information you need. Not only does your current status do nothing for your father, but you might be able to be a citizen in 3 years not 5. You should meet with an attorney for clarification for your specific personal case.

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  • Can my parents apply for advance parole?

    My parents came to the US back in 1989. My brother is a 21 year old US Citizen and applied for adjustment of status for them a month ago. Their application is pending. Can they apply for advance parole to see their ill parents?

    Barbara’s Answer

    Did they originally enter lawfully?

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  • Is this mean that this extension is valid until my petition approved? (while processing my petition?) Am I right? Thanks.

    Hello, I petitioned Form I-751 to remove conditions on residence one month before my conditional LPR card expiration date. I received Form I-797, Notice of Action, it says, USCIS received petition fees, and my conditional resident status is extend...

    Barbara’s Answer

    It means your residency is extended for one year. It does not mean until the case is approved, or otherwise denied, sent a request for additional evidence or other actions that may happen. If you do not have a final decision within 90 days of the one year extension expiration, you will need to get another extension.

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  • Effect of an I-130 on student visa?

    My father is the beneficiary of an approved family based immigrant petition from 11 years ago and I am a derivative beneficiary. I have been accepted to a top 20 US university and intend to study there. Would the approved I-130 from back when I wa...

    Barbara’s Answer

    I recommend you work with an experienced immigration lawyer to be prepared to respond to it if it comes up

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