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Margaret D. Stock
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Margaret Stock’s Answers

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  • I am interested in the MAVNI program exclusively for citizenship purposes. Is there an office position I can hold as language pr

    I have no interest in actually fighting for the country, but would serve for as long as the contract require me to. What is the minimum number of years I have to stay in the Army as MAVNI language specialist before leaving? Is there a position wh...

    Margaret’s Answer

    If you have "no interest" in fighting for the United States, do not attempt to enlist through the MAVNI program. Everyone who joins the US Armed Forces is trained to fight in combat, and there are no jobs that have any guarantee that you will not be in combat. If you are not mentally prepared to fight, it's foolish to join the US Military. Even jobs like "supply specialist" or "dental technician" could send you to combat zone. And no, there's no job in the US military that allows you to "only attend training." All jobs require you to sign a contract that you will go where you are ordered to go. Finally, everyone who enlists in the US Army today signs an eight year contract. Not all of those eight years are "active" years where you perform duty and get paid, but at any time during that eight year period, the Army could call on you to be deployed, and you might be deployed to a combat zone. The MAVNI program is not for people who are interested "exclusively for citizenship purposes." It's a program for people who are interested in serving in the US Armed Forces. I highly recommend that you find some other path to citizenship, such as getting a green card through a civilian employer. Someone who joins the Army "only" for citizenship is likely to fail Basic Combat Training. And yes, you will be sent to Basic Combat Training. Everyone who enlists in the Army attends BCT. There's a reason why every enlisted Soldier must attend BCT: Every enlisted Soldier is expect to fight in combat, if necessary. No exceptions.

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  • Do I still get the citizenship through MAVNI if I get MED Board or Medical discharged while I am still in the basic training?

    Hi, I join the Army through the MAVNI program to acquire the citizenship. However, I get a significant injury during the Basic Training, and the military provider said I am qualified to apply for the MED Board. Usually it only takes 4-6 months to ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    To be eligible for citizenship through military service, if you have been discharged, you must be discharged with an "honorable" or "general under honorable" discharge. If you were injured during basic training, you may not receive one of these types of discharges--instead, you may receive an "entry level" discharge that is "uncharacterized" (it's neither "honorable" nor dishonorable). If your discharge is "uncharacterized," you cannot naturalize through military service. Please see your local JAG Legal Assistance office to find out what type of discharge you will be receiving and what the "character" of your service will be.

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  • How is an H1B worker's status effected while undergoing basic training under the MAVNI program?

    Hi All, I presently work for a tech (software/IT) firm and under the MAVNI program I'd enlisted as an army reserve. I'm soon scheduled to depart for basic training. I wanted to know how is my H1B status effected while being on military leave. To ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    If you are a MAVNI, and you have enlisted in the US Armed Forces, the first thing you should do is look at your employer's handbook or bulletin board to see what the employer's USERRA policy is. USERRA is a complex law, but many employers have a USERRA policy. If the employer does not have its own policy, then the "default" provisions of USERRA will apply. USERRA does not cover every job, but it may cover yours. You can figure that out by reviewing the US Department of Labor website USERRA pages. Contrary to what some people think, MAVNI enlistees are covered by USERRA if a similarly situated US citizen would be covered by USERRA. Most smart employers will at the very least give an H-1B MAVNI a "personal leave of absence" (unpaid time off) to attend military training and then will offer the job back to the person when the person returns from training. Doing so will prevent the returning employee from making a claim under USERRA. But again, USERRA is complex so you should make an appointment to talk to an attorney who is familiar with USERRA if you have questions about how it applies to you.

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  • Marriage based green card interview was done in Jan 2016 and I have not yet got any approval or feed back, is there a problem?

    Hi my name is martins. I filed for marriage based green card in October 2015. I did my interview in January 2016 (I did not use a lawyer). I did the info pass around end of March 2016 and I was told my case has not yet been approved . This is no...

    Margaret’s Answer

    The Anchorage USCIS office usually approves cases the same day that you are interviewed, if everything is in order. If your case has not yet been approved. there are likely several possible reasons. (1) Something is missing from the file such that the officer cannot approve the case (perhaps your medical exam is out of date). If this is the case, you will get an RFE (Request for Evidence). (2) The officer who interviewed you has left the Anchorage USCIS office and no one else there has looked at the case due to staffing problems. (3) Your case has been referred for a fraud investigation. Anchorage USCIS seems to refer cases for fraud investigations with little or no reason to do so, but if your case is referred for one. it will take a long time before you will receive an approval. It's unlikely that your background checks have not cleared because usually Anchorage USCIS does not do interviews unless the background checks have cleared, at least in the case of people who live in Anchorage. See an experienced lawyer if you would like more information on why your case has been delayed, and what you might do about it.

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  • MAVNI and J1 waiver - Feasibility? - Is it possible to do both of them together? US Army -Reserve or Active - Will it matter?

    I am a physician on a J1 visa doing my fellowship. I am interested in joining MAVNI program from US Army as a US army reserve. One of the advantages is expedited citizenship.How will this play into the situation if I take up a J1 waiver job ; w...

    Margaret’s Answer

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    The MAVNI program is currently scheduled to end on September 30, 2016, but if it is renewed, it may be possible for you to enlist as a MAVNI Health Care Professional in three years. As far as how the MAVNI program and J-1 physicians go . . . MAVNI J-1 doctors do not need a J-1 waiver, because the MAVNI porgram allows them to naturalize as US citizens. The requirement for a waiver comes into play when J-1s apply for a green card or certain non-immigrant visas; since MAVNI J-1s are applying for US citizenship, they don't need a waiver. If you take a J-1 waiver job, and you join the Army Reserve, you will be performing part-time Army Reserve duty, so you can still fulfill your commitment to the job if you like (you will work a civilian job fulltime, and perform Army Reserve duty on a part-time basis).

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  • If I'm placed under removal in immigration what should I do

    immigration

    Margaret’s Answer

    You should take the "charging document" (called a "Notice to Appear") and go see an expert immigration lawyer right away.

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  • Will it possible to legally appeal a decision by the Army Board on a MAVNI application?

    Hello, I am a foreign trained dentist who went through two years of residency training (General Practice, hospital dentistry) to secure my unrestricted licenses in a few states in the US. When I found out about the MAVNI program for the Army De...

    Margaret’s Answer

    It's not clear from this posting what degree the applicant has. I am not sure what "General Practice, hospital dentistry" is. If the person can send me his or her CV, I might be able to answer this question.

    Medical Corps MAVNI applicants must have the Standard ECFMG Certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and have a US Residency. They also must have a valid US license to practice medicine.

    There's no formal appeal process regarding a credential dispute, but if a recruiter made a mistake regarding credentials, a person can send an email message up to the Army Medical Department recruiting section at US Army Recruiting Command for an informal opinion.

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  • Can MAVNI Army Reserve H1B Applicant with VALID H1B visa travel freely outside US between enlistment and shipping to BCT?

    H1B MAVNI Army Reserve Applicant here. My actual H1B visa (one glued on my passport) expires at year end. MAVNI travel advisory is against travel outside US between enlistment and BCT due to non-immigrant vs immigrant intent, which I fully unders...

    Margaret’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If you have a valid, unexpired H-1B visa in your valid, unexpired foreign passport, and you continue to work for the US employer who sponsored you for your H-1B, you should be able to travel internationally without much trouble--as long as you are otherwise admissible to the United States. But if you choose to travel and you cannot get back into the United States, the Army will cancel your enlistment contract. The Army cannot get you back into the United States. The risk is yours.

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  • What are the consenquences for H1B holder?

    I know someone who is currently a H1B holder from Thailand and working for her employer for at least 1 month now in New York. She flew to another state to stay with her cousin on her days off and does not want to return to work for her employer. H...

    Margaret’s Answer

    If an H-1B worker stops working for the sponsoring employer, the employer will typically withdraw the Labor Condition Application and notify USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) that the worker is no longer employed. The worker will then be out of status and will be required to leave the United States (or potentially face removal/deportation). Please have your friend go speak to a competent immigration attorney about her options. Your friend may not understand that the expiration date on her visa is not important; what is important is whether she is maintaining her status. If she violates her status, she can be deported even if her visa has not expired yet.

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  • It is 38 days since GC interview, I have not got any response or been contacted. Is it normal? should I call or infopass or wait

    My name is Memphis, I did a marriage bases green card interview on Jan 18, 2016. Interview went well, she took our documents and the uscis interviewer lady asked us questions and after the interview, the uscis interviewer said she will review the ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    This situation can be "normal" in Anchorage--there is one officer there (a woman) who is very slow with finishing her cases, and the cases sometimes do not get approved for several months after the interview.

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