Q. I want to extend my tourist visa, but I’ve heard that this is no longer possible. Is this true?
A. No. The regulations, which make it all but impossible to obtain an extension, are only proposed, not final. Apply as soon as possible!
Q. I am born in India. I understand that it will take longer for me to become a permanent resident than if I were born in another country. What can I do?
A. The State Department announced on July 11 that India was being removed from the list of oversubscribed countries as of August 1, 2002. Therefore, there is no longer an immigration disadvantage in being born in India.
Q. I am a physician completing a fellowship in a specialty. Am I eligible for a National Interest Waiver if I agree to work in an underserved area?
A. The law says that any physician is eligible while the INS limits eligibility to primary care physicians. Our law firm is preparing a class action lawsuit against the INS to challenge this policy. See http://shusterman.com/siu.html
Q. I am in H-1B status. My job was recently terminated by my employer. How long can I remain legally in the U.S. to look for another job?
A. As soon as you were terminated, your H-1B status ended. You need to apply to change your status immediately.
Q. If my asylum application is denied by the INS, will I be deported immediately?
A. No. You have a right to a hearing before an Immigration Judge. You may renew your asylum application before the Judge. If the Judge denies your application, you may appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and from there to the Federal Courts. In the meantime, you should explore other ways to remain in the U.S.
Q. Is there a way that I can see a copy of my INS file?
A. Yes. You can submit an application to obtain a copy of your file from the INS. There is usually no charge for doing so. For more information, see http://shusterman.com/foia.
Q. I am a permanent resident of the U.S. Is it true that I need to notify the INS every time that I change my address?
A. Yes, section 265 of the Immigration and Nationality Act makes all immigrants (green card holders) and non immigrants (holders of temporary visas) deportable if they fail to submit a change of address form to the INS within 10 days of changing their address. To do so, use form AR-11 which you can download for free from our web site. See http://shusterman.com/immforms.html
Carl Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney and a specialist in immigration and naturalization law. You can reach him at (213) 623-4592. www.shusterman.com