Waiver

J-1 Physician applying for following to join after waiver

Question details

I am a physician currently in H-1B undergoing 3 years of J-1 waiver program which is set to be completed on July end of this year. My husband got his greencard through E-B2 category (rest of the world) in early 2013 When I was still in J-1. My name was included in I-140 but could not file I-485 due to my J-1 visa. I have been married since 2006 and came to the US initially on H-4 visa before getting residency in J-1 visa. Is there a possibility of filing my I-485 directly without waiting for the long I-130 approval process? Or is there any exceptions for a situation like mine such that spouse happened to be in J1 and could not apply for a change of status at the time primary applicant applied for I-485?

FAQ Transcript





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Immigration implications of crime; petty offense exception; admissions and convictions; 212(d)(3) and other waivers

Question details

I am holding a Canadian student visa, now is my second year in Canada. I was issued a B-1/B-2 visa last year. Then I was charged of Theft under $5000 this June, and the charge goes withdrawn-diversion in July. When I went to US Embassy for visa renewal this October, the officer asked my about the charge, and I answered honestly that I did it on purpose and I really regret my behavior. He rejected my class B visa, gave me a pink paper, which says the denial is under Section 214(b), which says that alien doesn't show strong ties with home country. After I carefully searched online resources, I found that my admission of the offence will make me inadmissible to enter US, as a moral turpitude. But the officer didn't say that I need waiver to enter US.
1. So my question is:
does this mean that their denial is not based on the Crime of Moral Turpitude, but I really didn't show strong ties? Or they just don't reject me explicitly with the real reason? I will marry a Canadian citizen next year so it would be a strong tie then. Or do you suggest me to apply for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility like I-106 whatsoever?
2. Another question is:
I got an offer of a big well-known US company for summer internship, and I need to apply for J1 Visa. How will the charge affect me J-1 application?

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FAQ Transcript

FAQ Transcript:

First of all, not every crime leads to serious consequences in USA. There are two kinds of crimes. Misdemeanours which are small crimes, punishment is typically less than a year and the other felonies where the punishment is a year or more, those are more serious crimes. In immigration law we look if the crime is of moral turpitude or not. If a crime is not of moral turpitude, I believe it has absolutely no consequences, unless it is a drug offence. Moral turpitude simply means that you are doing something, which reflects on your poor moral character.

The next step: is it misdemeanour or felony. If it is a felony, we almost certainly have a problem. It could lead to deportation, non-admission, and then you will need a waiver of some kind. Waivers are usually available for green card only for family based reasons. You cannot get a waiver just because you want to come to USA. So in an employment based case, and you have a felony conviction for moral turpitude crime you will not be able to come to USA.

Remember the rules are different for deportation, what is called removal and admission. So when you try to enter you could be subject to different laws, sometimes you think you are in USA and I am safe, because your lawyer told you are not going to be deported, but when you come back they won’t let you in and now you have to go back, the reason is the rules for admission are different. This is a very complex area of the law. 

Question: What if I am convicted of misdemeanour involving moral turpitude?

First, how many misdemeanour convictions do you have. If you have multiple convictions, then that itself is ground for deportation removal as well as no admission. But if you have only one offence, a misdemeanour, and the actual punishment imposed was less than six months you are covered by something called petty offence exception. Which says we forgive you entirely as long as it was just a single misdemeanour.

The rules under immigration law and the rules under criminal law for conviction are very different. Sometimes you have a criminal defence counsel. He will tell you this is not a conviction. It may not be a conviction under criminal law but is a conviction under immigration law. Any kind of plea bargain you set up with the government where you are admitting directly that you committed the crime would be considered in all probability to be a conviction. So be careful when you discuss this with your immigration lawyer as well as criminal counsel.

Question: What is 212(d)(3) waiver?

Say if you got the kind of conviction where you cannot come back we can let you in on a temporary basis for a non-immigrant visa. 212(d)(3) applies only to non-immigrant visa and the situation has been a little uncertain, especially for Canadians. I think there is a certain timeframe where you can get it or for one visit you can get it.

Question: I am holding a Canadian student visa, now is my second year in Canada. I was issued a B-1/B-2 visa last year. Then I was charged of Theft under $5000 this June, and the charge goes withdrawn-diversion in July.

Normally diversion means some kind of a plea bargaining has been made.

Question: When I went to US Embassy for visa renewal this October, the officer asked my about the charge, and I answered honestly that I did it on purpose and I really regret my behaviour. He rejected my class B visa, gave me a pink paper, which says the denial is under Section 214(b), which says that alien doesn't show strong ties with home country. After I carefully searched online resources, I found that my admission of the offence will make me inadmissible to enter US, as a moral turpitude. But the officer didn't say that I need waiver to enter US. So does this mean that their denial is not based on the Crime of Moral Turpitude, but I really didn't show strong ties? 

That is correct because they denied it based upon their inability to verify that you will come back.

Question: I will marry a Canadian citizen next year so it would be a strong tie then. Or do you suggest me to apply for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility like I-106 whatsoever?

Definitely that will make it a much stronger tie and you can try again. You might be covered by a petty offence exception.

Question: I got an offer of a big well-known US company for summer internship, and I need to apply for J1 Visa. How will the charge affect me J-1 application? 

If you are covered by petty offence exception, then even J-1 is not affected but the 214(b) denial, affects your J-1. If you had a 214(b) denial, it will bar your entry for J-1, F-1, B-1, B-2.  It will not bar your entry for H-1 or L-1. I suspect the officer realised you were covered by petty offence exception.

Policy Memorandum on Adjudication of Adjustment of Status Applications for Individuals Admitted to the United States Under the Visa Waiver Program

This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance on the adjudication of Form I-485, Application to Register or Adjust Status, filed by immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who were last admitted under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This PM updates the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) by adding a new section (j) to Chapter 10.3 and 23.5 (AFM Update AD11-30).

For more details on the memorandum please click the attachment

Supplemental Guidance for Processing I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers

As announced in Ref A, 9 FAM 40.92 has been updated with information and guidance to consular officers related to a new final rule permitting certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for an I-601A provisional waiver of unlawful presence before leaving the United States for their immigrant visa appointments. This cable provides supplemental information for posts in processing these cases.

For more information on this please click the attachment.

J-1 Waiver Based on Exceptional Hardship Upon a U.S. Citizen Child

We filed an application seeking a waiver of the foreign residence requirement for our client based on exceptional hardship upon the client’s U.S. citizen child.  We argued that the minor child would suffer extreme hardship if he were forced to leave the U.S. with his mother to fulfill the two-year home residency requirement because of a serious medical condition, for which treatment was not readily available in the applicant’s home country.  We provided ample supporting documentation in this regard.

Immigration Law

DHS Proposes Updating Recordkeeping System On People Who Enter U.S. Through Visa Waiver Program

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 146 (Monday, July 30, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44642-44647]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-18552]

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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DHS-2012-0045]