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Immigrants Seeking Visas, Asylum, and Green Cards

Migrating to the U.S. From a Country With No U.S. Embassy or Consulate

If you need to visit a U.S. consulate or embassy in order to apply for a visa or green card, but none exists in your country, what do you do?

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If J-1 visa says I'm exempt from two-year home residency requirement; can Skills List override this?

Question I'm a Turkish citizen and obtained my J-1 visa in Germany to pursue privately funded chemical engineering graduate studies in the United S...

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How to Qualify for Waiver of Inadmissibility as a U Visa Applicant

In order to qualify for U nonimmigrant status, typically referred to as a U visa, you must meet the basic eligibility requirements as outlined at “

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Can I Apply for Asylum If I'm From Guatemala?

If you came to the U.S. from Guatemala to get away from some type of mistreatment, it may be possible for you to apply for asylum.

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What Is Humanitarian Parole?

Foreign residents with an emergency situation requiring them to travel to the U.S. may be able to enter with a form of discretionary relief called hum...

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Recent Foreign Graduates: How to Come to the U.S. for an Internship

Foreign university students and recent graduates can come to the United States on a “J-1” visa for an internship in their field of academic study.

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When Significant Misdemeanors Bar DACA Eligibility

When applying for the deferred action for childhood arrivals program (DACA) you must answer questions about your criminal background.

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How to Read the Diversity Visa Lottery Cutoff Numbers on the DOS Visa Bulletin

Congratulations! You’ve won the Diversity Visa Lottery (“DV Lottery”) and are probably eager to apply for an immigrant visa (or a “green card...

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Immigration Detention Rules for an Undocumented Alien

Many undocumented immigrants live with the fear that one day they may be caught and held by immigration authorities (most likely, the agency called Im...

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When and How M-1 Vocational Students Can Work in the U.S.

As an M visa holder, you are not allowed to work on or off campus while you are still completing your study program. Your spouse and children are simi...

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How to Apply for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) Work Permit

Optional practical training (OPT) is work that is in a field related to your studies; and it is among the forms of off-campus work available to foreig...

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F-1 Students in Severe Economic Hardship: Applying for an Off-Campus Work Permit

As a foreign student in the U.S. in F-1 status, you are normally expected to support yourself.

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Applying for Permanent Residence as a Refugee

Refugee status is a special legal protection granted to people who have left their home country for their own safety and are afraid to return.

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What to Do If Your Student Visa Is Denied

The implications of having your application for an F-1 or M-1 visa or change of status denied depend in part upon where you applied; either at a U.S...

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When F-1 Students Can Work in the U.S.

Foreign students in the United States are expected to cover all their expenses without needing to accept paid employment.

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Filling Out Form I-601A to Request a Provisional Waiver

Form I-601A, titled "Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver," will be issued by U.S.

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How to Apply for Provisional Waiver of Three- or Ten-Year Time Bar

Starting March 4, 2013, green-card seekers who were not eligible to adjust status in the U.S.

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What’s an I-765 EAD/AP Combo Card?

It’s two cards in one! Sort of. Issued by U.S.

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After Your Student Visa Is Approved: What’s Next?

After you have applied for a student visa (F-1 or M-1) and attended an in-person interview at a U.S. consulate in your home country, the question beco...

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Getting a U.S. Visa for a Short, Recreational or Part-Time Study Course

If you are planning to take classes in the United States, the first type of visa you are likely to look into is a student visa.

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Application Process for an F-1 or M-1 Student Visa: Changing Status If Already in the U.S.

If you are presently in the U.S. on a valid visa, but want to enter school and switch your immigration status to “student,” submitting a “change...

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How Long It Takes to Get a Student Visa to the U.S.

Applying for an F-1 or M-1 student visa for study in the U.S. is not a lengthy process. Nevertheless, you will need to figure out two separate calen...

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For F-1 or M-1 Student Visa Eligibility, What’s a “Full Course of Study”?

Whether you are interested in an F-1 visa for study in an academic program or an M-1 visa for vocational study, your course of study will need to be...

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Documents Needed When Applying for a Student Visa (F-1 or M-1)

In addition to the forms and fees that you’ll need to submit in order to apply for an F-1 or M-1 student visa, you’ll also need to assemble copies...

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Bringing Family to the U.S. While on a Student Visa

Planning to study in the U.S. on an F-1 or M-1 visa? If so, your spouse and minor children (under 21 years of age and unmarried) may request visas t...

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Attending Your F-1 or M-1 Student Visa Interview

After all your preparation to apply for a student (F-1 or M-1) visa, you will have the chance to speak with an official at a U.S. consulate in your ...

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After F-1 or M-1 Student Visa Expires: Getting a Visitor Visa for a U.S. Vacation

If you have been studying in the United States, most likely on an F-1, M-1, or other temporary (nonimmigrant) visa, you may want to finish your stay w...

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How Same-Sex Partners Can Accompany Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Visa Holders to the U.S.

U.S. immigration law contains few benefits for same-sex partners. Nevertheless, if you are a foreign national who will be coming to the U.S.

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Visa Retrogression, or Why Your Priority Date Is No Longer Current

If you are being petitioned (sponsored) to immigrate to the U.S.

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Applying for a Refugee Travel Document

If you want to travel abroad, you will need a passport. A refugee travel document is basically the equivalent of a passport for asylees and refugees w...

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Waivers and Exceptions to Grounds of Inadmissibility for VAWA Applicants

U.S. immigration officials are allowed to deny a visa, green card or other forms of entry to certain categories of applicants.

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Proving Your VAWA Case: Evidence to Submit

When you file an application under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you must not only fill out and submit USCIS Form I-360, but also submit evid...

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Application Process for a VAWA Green Card

There are two steps to applying for a green card on your own, without relying on your abusive spouse or parent, as allowed under the Violence Against ...

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Filling Out Form I-589 Application for Asylum

If you are applying for asylum in the U.S., you will need to submit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-589 with any needed suppl...

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U Visas for Crime Victims Assisting Law Enforcement: Who Is Eligible

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 authorized two new visas: the “U” visa for immigrant victims of serious crimes and ...

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Filling Out Form I-918 Petition for a U Visa

The U visa is for immigrants who have been the victim of a serious crime and are assisting U.S. law enforcement with an investigation or prosecution. ...

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What's Needed for a U Visa Certification of Helpfulness

If you are the victim of a serious crime, you may be eligible to apply for a U visa, allowing you temporary and perhaps permanent legal status in the ...

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Should You Apply for a U Visa or for VAWA?

U.S. immigration law provides three possible visas allowing victims of crimes to stay in or even come to the U.S. and testify or otherwise assist in l...

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Rights and Available Benefits After a Grant of Asylum

After you receive your final approval of asylum, you can apply for certain immigration-related and other government benefits and services.

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Hiring International Students Recently Graduated From U.S. Schools

Every year, a fresh crop of graduates emerges from U.S. colleges and universities looking for work.

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Divorce and Your Conditional Residence Status: How to File a Divorce Waiver With Form I-751

If you received U.S. residence because of a recent marriage to a U.S. citizen, your first, “conditional” green card will be valid for only two yea...

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How Naturalizing Helps Your Foreign Spouse Immigrate

If you are a green card holder looking to bring your foreign-born spouse to the U.S. to live, you might want to consider becoming a U.S. citizen in or...

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Won the Diversity Visa Lottery: Filing for a Green Card in the U.S.

If you are in the U.S. and have learned that you were selected for the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery, there are many steps ahead before you can turn thi...

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How to Apply for Permanent Residence (a Green Card) as an Asylee

If you have lived in the U.S. for one year since your grant of asylum, you can apply for a green card and adjust” your status to a “lawful permane...

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F-1 Students and Work Violations

Studying in the U.S. as a foreign student can be expensive. Even with family support and perhaps a scholarship, you may face costs that you either nee...

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Green Card Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Who Is Eligible

One of the immigration benefits to the law known as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is that spouses and children who experience abuse by their U...

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DACA Applicants: How to Qualify as "Currently In School"

In August of 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for deferred action for childhood arrivals – a pro...

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How to Apply for a J-1 Visa From Overseas

The J-1 visa allows entry to the U.S.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Find answers to common questions about temporary protected status.

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Temporary Protected Status (TPS): How to Apply

From time to time, the Department of Homeland Security may designate certain foreign nations as too dangerous for its citizens to return to safely.

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K-1 Fiance Visa Interview Questions

One of the most nervewracking aspects of the fiancé visa application process is the interview at the U.S. consulate in your native country.

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Frequently Asked Questions About DACA

Because the opportunity to apply for deferred action based on childhood arrival to the U.S. is fairly new, it has raised numerous questions among pote...

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Temporary Protected Status (TPS): Who Is Eligible?

When certain emergencies arise in another country , the U.S.

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Nonimmigrant Work Visa as Stepping Stone to a Green Card

The path to an employment-based green card in the U.S. often begins with some sort of temporary, or, to use the technical term, “nonimmigrant” sta...

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Will Finding a Job in the U.S. Get You a Green Card?

One way to get a green card is through a job offer in the U.S., as most people who are interested in immigrating know.

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How Checking Citizen or National on Form I-9 Can Ruin Your Chance for a Green Card

If you have ever taken a salaried job in the U.S., you probably filled out a Form I-9.

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J-1 Student Loses Government Funding: What to Do

If you are a J-1 student in the U.S. and you suddenly lose funding from your government, don’t panic: Loss of funding alone will not affect your J-1...

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How Immigration Enforcement Authorities Decide Whether to Grant Prosecutorial Discretion

FIRST, AN IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are considering asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to exercise prosecutorial discretion as a means of h...

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Which Undocumented Persons Are Helped By Prosecutorial Discretion

An important warning before anything else: If you are an undocumented person in the U.S.

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How to Apply for Convention Against Torture Protection

If you are physically present in the U.S., and are applying for asylum, you should also apply for protection under the United Nations Convention Again...

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What Do You Win When You Win the Diversity Visa Lottery?

Popularly known as “the green card lottery,” the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program generates great excitement every fall when the annual registrati...

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Won the Diversity Visa Lottery and Living in the U.S.? Where to Process Your Green Card

When you win the diversity visa (DV) lottery, you do not win a green card. At best, you win a chance at a green card.

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EB-5 Investor Visa: Who Qualifies?

Like many countries, the U.S. provides a means of entry for wealthy people who will pump money into its economy. (See the Immigration and Nationalit...

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When $500,000 Is Enough to Get an Investment-Based Green Card (EB-5)

The normal requirement for getting a U.S. green card based on investment in a U.S. business is $1 million.

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Who Shouldn't Apply for DACA Deferred Action

If you meet the initial requirements for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) relief as outlined at “

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Differences Between Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Protection Under Convention Against Torture

If you are physically present in the U.S., and are applying for asylum, you should also apply for two alternative forms of relief if you fear persecut...

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Beating the Odds: Increase the Chances for You and Your Family to Win the Diversity Visa Lottery

The choice of winners of the U.S. diversity visa lottery is completely random.

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Do You Meet the Education or Work Experience Requirements of the Diversity Visa Program?

Although the Diversity Visa (DV) program has fewer eligibility requirements than many other U.S. visas or green cards, that doesn’t mean it’s open...

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Spouses and Children of Visa Lottery Applicants

Applicants who win the diversity visa lottery can extend that benefit to their spouses and children (who are under 21 years old and unmarried).

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Preparing for a Merits Hearing in Asylum Case

As an applicant for asylum who has been placed into removal proceedings, you will need to present your case at an Individual Merits Hearing.

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How to Prepare for an Asylum Interview

If you submitted an application for asylum in the U.S.

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What Happens During an Asylum Interview

When you apply for asylum affirmatively, within 21 days after you submit your asylum application to U.S.

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Employers' Five Most Common PERM Mistakes

When foreign workers seek a U.S. green card through employment, they must in most cases rely on the U.S.

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Form I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

Get line-by-line instructions to complete form I-485, application to register permanent residence or adjust status.

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