Adjustment of Status through Advance Parole: An Alternative to Provisional Waivers

By W. John Yahya Vandenberg, Esq.

Hogan & Vandenberg LLC

This is the third of three articles on obtaining U.S. Lawful Permanent Residence (“the greencard”) for persons who entered the United States without inspection, also known as “EWI.”  The first article explored Provisional Waivers.  The second article explored what “Extreme Hardship” means in relation to the “waiver” in Provisional Waiver.  This article is about a third option: seeking Adjustment of Status and using Advance Parole to visit family members in the home country and at the same time to cure entry without inspection.  Once the immigrant has entered using Advance Parole, they would be eligible to adjust their status without requiring a waiver.

Curing unlawful entry by entering with Advance Parole is not a new concept or practice.  Many lawyers who have dealt with immigrants on Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) already have experience.

Allow me to introduce, for the purpose of example, Juan and Lisa.  Juan is an immigrant from El Salvador.  He entered the United States in 1998, walking across the border from Mexico into Texas.  He, like many others, was never caught by the Border Patrol.  When the United States designated El Salvador for TPS on March 9, 2001, Juan applied for and was granted TPS.  He remained in the United States ever since.

Juan met Lisa, a U.S. citizen.  They fell in love, and married.  They had two children together, ages 3 and 7, both U.S. citizens.  Juan wanted to become a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident through his wife, Lisa.

Historically, their choices were stark.  They were:

a)      Wait it out, and see if the law changed.  This meant some type of amnesty or       immigration reform.  And it has not happened yet.

b)     Lisa could have petitioned for Juan as her spouse, and once approved he would travel to El Salvador, have a visa appointment at the Embassy, and wait 6-9 months for an answer to his unlawful presence waiver application;

c)      Lisa could have petitioned for Juan as her spouse, seeking to Adjust his Status in the United States.  Adjustment of Status essentially means that a person gets their greencard in the United States, usually after an interview at the local U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (“USCIS“) office.  However, the law for Adjustment of Status requires that an applicant be “admitted” or “paroled” into the United States.  So Juan had a problem: he entered the United States without inspection – walking across the border – so he was never “admitted” or “paroled.”

For Choice “C”, there was an answer, but it had a drawback.  Immigration attorneys reasoned that if a person has TPS, then they were considered to be maintaining lawful status.  As early as 1991, the then-INS Acting General Counsel Paul W. Virtue, opined that a person with TPS would be eligible for Adjustment of Status, so long as they utilized Advance Parole to leave and re-enter the United States and they were an “Immediate Relative.”  Whenever a person applies for Adjustment of Status, they can also apply for an Employment Authorization Document (a work card) and Advance Parole.  The Advance Parole allows a person to leave the United States and resume their Adjustment of Status process.  Sort of like keeping one’s place in line.  So the good news was that Juan would be eligible for Adjustment of Status once Lisa petitioned for him, so long as he left and returned to the United States using his Advance Parole.

But here was the drawback at that time.  Once Juan went on his brief, casual, and innocent trip abroad to visit family and returned using Advance Parole, that departure triggered “Unlawful Presence,” since Juan was here more than a year without permission.  Unlawful presence is a part of the Immigration Law known as the Immigration and Nationality Act that punishes immigrants who remain in the United States without permission, such as overstaying a visa or entering without permission. If the immigrant is here for more than 6 months but less than a year, and they depart, they are barred from returning for 3 years.  If they are here a year or more without permission, and they depart, they are barred from returning for 10 years.

Notice that I said “and they depart.”  This is because unlawful presence only hurts the immigrant when and if they “depart.”  Until the plane’s landing gear comes up, or the bus tires roll across the borderline, there is no bar to coming back to the USA due to unlawful presence (because the immigrant never left).  Apparently, Congress had the misguided notion that if they penalized unlawful presence, immigrants would “self deport” to avoid it.  Instead, because of the draconian consequences of departing after unlawful presence, history has shown it forced immigrants to fight like heck to avoid leaving.  But that’s a topic for a future article.

Now, in our example, if Juan and Lisa wanted to try to Adjust his status, they were going to trade one problem for another – Juan would fix his unlawful entry using the Advance Parole.  But once he departed, he triggered the Unlawful Presence bar.  Therefore, he could not get the greencard unless he was able to show that it would cause Lisa “extreme hardship” if he was forced to stay in El Salvador for 10 years, and/or if Lisa was forced to join him in El Salvador.  Still, this solution at least allowed Juan and Lisa to remain together while USCIS made a decision on the waiver.  Though if the waiver was not granted, it could take years to win an appeal.  For an example of one appeal we won involving exactly this situation, the decision is here.  We waited almost two years for this decision!

Things were indeed difficult for the Juan’s and Lisa’s who were trying to do everything right.

Then, in April 2012, something wonderful happened.  The U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals (the “BIA”) issued a precedential decision, Matter of Arrabally and YerrabellyThere, the BIA set out, to the contrary of how everyone understood Advance Parole and Unlawful Presence, that leaving the USA on Advance Parole was not really a “departure” for the purposes of the Unlawful Presence bar, and therefore Unlawful Presence was not triggered.  This shook the earth, from an immigration law perspective.

So you remember Juan and Lisa’s problem?  And how we had to show extreme hardship to Lisa when he triggered the Unlawful Presence bar?  Well, in Matter of Arrabally, the BIA said, essentially, that it doesn’t make sense for a brief, casual, and innocent visit using Advance Parole to trigger the Unlawful Presence Bar since the USCIS gave it to the immigrant in the first place, knowing full well that they would like to travel for a legitimate purpose.

Therefore, after April 2012, Juan could re-enter using Advance Parole, which would cure his unlawful entry, and seek to adjust status without a waiver.  He would adjust his status just like anyone else who was lawfully admitted.  We know this is the case, because in August 2012, the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO“) issued a decision based on Matter of Arrabally.  In the decision, the AAO considered the case of a man from El Salvador, who had departed the United States using Advance Parole, and when he re-entered tried to Adjust Status.  Unfortunately for him, the USCIS District Office didn’t find extreme hardship, so they denied the waiver and denied his Adjustment of Status.  He appealed.  And then, the AAO granted his Adjustment of Status.  They did so because after Arrabally the waiver was no longer necessary.  This is supportive of our position that Adjustment of Status using Advance Parole is a proper means of obtaining Lawful Permanent Residence.

What does using Advance Parole and Adjustment of Status mean to immigrants and their families, and why should they consider this process?  First, it’s faster than Provisional Waivers, which can still take a year or more.  The Provisional Waiver program is a three step process: a) File I-130 Immigrant Petition, b) upon approval, file I-601A Provisional Waiver, c) upon approval, complete consular processing in the immigrant’s home country.  That process can take a year or more (though at least the immigrant is in the United States with their family for most of it!).  Adjustment of Status/Advance Parole is generally taking about four months.

Second, it’s more likely to be successful.  Remember, in order to qualify for the Provisional Waiver, there has to be extreme hardship.  In some cases, there just may not be “extreme hardship.”  For example, if the immigrant is married to someone from his/her own home country, who speaks the language fluently, is financially independent, has no children or elderly relatives, and has a job that is lucrative in the United States and the foreign country.  No extreme hardship, no provisional waiver.  Yet for the Adjustment/Advance Parole process, no hardship of any kind is necessary.  Once entry is cured, since there is no longer a trigger for Unlawful Presence, the immigrant adjusts their status as any other immigrant who entered lawfully.

Third, it’s less expensive.  The I-601A Provisional Waiver form requires payment of a $585 USCIS filing fee.  And that’s not counting the attorneys’ fees to prepare a strong argument for granting the waiver.  But if we use Advance Parole and seek Adjustment of Status, once the immigrant has been paroled into the United States, their entry is cured.  No waiver necessary.  And the fee for the Advance Parole is already part of the filing fee for the I-485.

The next question we usually get is what are the guarantees that the immigrant will be admitted back to the USA using the Advance Parole.  This has been answered as far back as 1997.  There, the INS General Counsel stated that parole is not admission, therefore it doesn’t matter if the person would be subject to a bar of removal, they can still be paroled in.  And even if Customs & Border Patrol (“CBP”) made a finding that the Advance Parole is revoked or doesn’t want to parole them in for some reason, Section 16.1 of the CBP Inspector’s Field Manual makes it clear that they must allow them to remain in the United States and allow them to make their case to the Immigration Judge.  So, barring a serious criminal record or a previous deportation/removal order, the immigrant should be allowed into the United States on the Advance Parole.

Finally, what happens if it is not successful?  At this time, all of our clients in this situation have successfully adjusted status.  And we feel that this is consistent both with the purpose of the Advance Parole and the Virtue Legal Opinion above.

However, since March 2013, USCIS has been denying the initial I-485, since at the time of filing the immigrant had not yet been admitted on Advance Parole.  However, if a subsequent I-485 is filed afterwards, these have been approved.

Even if the adjustment were not successful, it is unlikely that the immigrant would be put into removal proceedings due to Prosecutorial Discretion.  As the Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum sets out, ICE is seeking to remove criminals, terrorists, and persons who have been ordered removed and either never left or returned illegally.  And since removal proceedings are unlikely, the immigrant could still seek a Provisional Waiver. Or, alternatively, wait and see if the law changes.

Of course, we have to emphasize that every person’s case is different.  None of our blog articles are legal advice – for legal advice you must consult with us, or an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in immigration law.  Immigrants who have a previous removal order or have a criminal record would likely not be good candidates for Advance Parole adjustment.  In addition, USCIS revises its guidance constantly, and updates its understanding of the laws and regulations; Adjustment of Status using Advance Parole to cure entry may not be accepted in the future.  If you are considering adjusting status, please contact our office and set up a consultation so that we can learn more about you and advise you properly.  We look forward to speaking with you!

UPDATE, March 5, 2015: USCIS has made it much, much harder to obtain Advance Parole, and this has been the case since approximately August 2014.  Persons who have DACA or TPS are still able to obtain it, so long as they can show they have a legitimate humanitarian ground for traveling.  And make no mistake — USCIS is requesting documentation to prove it.  It has become more rare, however, to obtain advance parole if the applicant does not have DACA or TPS.  While we may disagree with USCIS’ reasoning on not granting Advance Parole, it is a factor that must be addressed in considering whether to apply for Adjustment of Status or not.

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37 thoughts on “Adjustment of Status through Advance Parole: An Alternative to Provisional Waivers

  1. Thanks for this information. Could a person who was granted DACA and is approved Advanced Parole be deny re-entry to the country? I know I had unlawful presence from the time I turned 18 to the time my DACA was approve, so almost 3 years, but I am currently in the process of applying for Advance Parole to attend the World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil. But I have been doing my homework and everything just seems so inconsistent. In the USCIS website it says that once you’ve been granted DACA you can apply for Advance Parole but the under travel and unlawful presence, it says that even with Advance Parole the person can be denied re-entry into the country if they have a history of unlawful presence. How can it be that one is approved Advance Parole yet the immigration officer can deny one re-entry into the US?

    • Boy. I sure am late replying to this. I apologize. Frankly, while nothing’s impossible with immigration (or guaranteed), you will likely be able to get back in. However, USCIS has stated that it will grant Parole in “humanitarian” cases, not for vacations. Which one World Youth Day falls into is not clear. I hope you went!

      John

  2. This is great news! I had been considering doing something like this because I’m in a unique situation at the moment. Do you guys service clients in other states? I live in Los Angeles, CA.
    I EWI when i was 3 years old so i’ve accumulated a lot of unlawful presence (I’m 25 now) but back in 2008 my current employer helped me file for i-140 for work, it was approved but my priority date was Feb ’09 to adjust status. Well it turns out my priority date is going to become current next month (for category E3, the current date is Jan ’09 for Mexico) so i can file my I-485 but of course i can’t adjust from here because i am EWI. But luckily last year I got my work permit and protected status under Obamas Defferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, this now enables me to apply for advance parole. So I’m wondering if this would work, leave under advance parole, come back being “lawfully admitted” will i then be able to apply for my I-485?

    • Hi, Carlos:

      Immigration is a federal administrative practice. So we frequently travel to other states. Call the office to set a consultation. I believe the I-140 is in all likelihood not useful to you; since in order to obtain U.S. Lawful Permanent Residence (the “greencard”) you either need to consular process — in which case you trigger the Unlawful Presence Bar — or be maintaining lawful status to adjust — which is just not the case from what you stated. DACA isn’t considered maintaining lawful status. However, do you have any greencard or US citizen parents, or a spouse? That may provide a way around it.

      Please do set up a consultation by calling the office, we can do it by skype.

      John

  3. I actually have applied for daca I have been married for 4 yrs to a us citizen and have 3 kids …. Never been deported or had contact with police and I did enter us illegally …
    I want to know how many people have done this wih your help and if there have been any complications with anybody thanks

    • Hi, Sandra. Thanks for your email. Every office is different; we have so far only done this with the Philadelphia office. So far we have done this for 5 clients. The only complication thus far is in one instance, where the I-130 was previously approved, USCIS denied the I-485 application. When it did so, the Advance Parole died as well.

      I’d suggest setting up an in-person or skype consultation so we can discuss your particulars in more detail.

      John

      • So are you saying that the person that was denied the adjustment of status was because of the previously approved i130 application …. ? Meaning that everything should be filed altogether rather than piece by piece ? Or what was the mistake please explain

  4. Hello, I EWI when I was 9 years old, I’m currently 17 and I am currently under DACA. I tried seeking for help with a couple of lawyers and they have suggested:
    File for and advance parole to re-entry to the country and cure my unlawful status.
    After that marry my U.S Citizen boyfriend.
    I need urgent help!

    • Hi, Priscila: thanks for your message. I am not going to give you legal advice because I don’t know you or anything about your immigration history or personal circumstances. Nothing I am telling you should be taken as legal advice; if you want that, set up an in-person, phone, or skype consultation with me.

      That said, while a lot of lawyers could give you advice on immigration, no lawyer should be giving you advice on marriage. Let’s get one thing straight: immigration status is one thing, marriage is another. Marriage is a life decision that is separate and apart from immigration. If you are in love, and want to get married, then marry. That is your right. Remember that you are in deferred action right now. So unless you go on a drunk driving or robbery spree, you’re about as deportation-proof as an undocumented immigrant can get. So if you marry or not, that is a decision you take that is un-related to immigration. Marry for love, and marry a person who loves and respects you. If you decide to get married, then immigration options are on the table.

      What I’m trying to say is that I’m not sure you need urgent help. You’ve got time to think this one out, and make a reasoned decision as to your next steps. Heck, with a little luck, there may be a new law and this whole strategy you’re thinking of wouldn’t be necessary, or even advisable.

      From an immigration viewpoint, you are stable. So take your time, and think about it. If you want to set up an in-person, phone, or skype consultation, let us know.

    • My husband got caught in Arizona 2008 he was bared for five years.he came back in 2011 we got married in 2013 .we plan on going to Salvador in may 2014.What can we do for him to come back legally? He was my soul provided. My knees prevent me from working.Sceduel for surgery.

      • Tonia: For the love of God, don’t make any travel plans until you both go talk to a real good immigration lawyer. Or two. See, unlawful presence is triggered when the person LEAVES. And the permanent bar (well, not quite permanent since he could apply to return after 10 YEARS have passed, but that’s darn near as good), kicks in once he leaves after having re-entered unlawful subsequent to a deportation. I can tell you want to do the right thing. So take a moment and plan it out with good advice. Just the way if you had a medical problem you’d go to a doctor, please seek out good immigration law advice before you take any actions. Planning is crucial. Give us a call, we can do a consultation in person, on the phone, or by skype.

  5. I applied for DACA when I turned 17 years old. I am now 18 and married to a u.s citizen. I have read on immigration laws in the uscis website that you do not start accumulating unlawful prescence until you are 18. But since I was granted deffered action and I have read that when you are granted deffered action you do not accumulate unlawful presence. Is this correct or have I misunderstood? And if so, when my husband petitions me would I have to provide a waiver?

    • Hi, Karen: You are right – you do not accumulate unlawful presence until you turn 18. And you are also right that DACA tolls (stops) unlawful presence upon approval. We know – one of our clients returned from Malawi not too long ago, and didn’t need a waiver, all thanks to obtaining DACA before she had accrued 18 years and 180 days of age (less than 180 days of unlawful presence is not a ground of inadmissibility). Whether or not you require a waiver is something that you’re going to have to speak with a good lawyer to find out. Really, immigration is so important to you right now, there are serious consequences, positive and negative. Before you go further, you need expert advice. You can reach out to us for an in-person, phone, or skype consultation. But on something this important to your life, you need a guide. I am particularly concerned about your waiver question, because if you need one, you’d better have a really good idea on how you’re going to demonstrate extreme hardship. And if you don’t need one – well, that would be a $585 mistake. So it will pay you to figure this out ahead of time. Good luck!

  6. Hi HVlawgroup,

    My fiance and I recently returned from Mexico. He is on DACA and received advance parole based on his grandmother’s death. CBP paroled him into the US based on his AP, but the parole status was valid for one day (it expired the day after we reentered the US). Thus, the parole fixed his EWI, his DACA is still valid, but his parole status is expired. I am curious what I should list his ‘current status’ as on the I-485 application. Parolee, DACA, overstay, a combination such as DACA Parolee, or something else entirely (this may not even be very important for the application’s success)? I used to work as a paralegal for an immigration firm, so I have very comfortable filing the applications; but this question stumped me based on the complex nature of his legal situation.

    In summary, what is a DACA recipient’s ‘status’ once paroled back into the US?

    Thanks,

    Luke

    • I should note that we have been engaged for some time, and will tie the Knot on May 3rd. Thus, the I-130/I-485 will be filed shortly after the wedding. (Just for some background on our situation).

      -Luke

    • Hi, Luke:

      Thanks for your email. I’m sorry, but I’m just not comfortable answering a specific question where i don’t know all the parameters. If you’re around us, come see us. With your fiance, of course. If you are far from us, either call to set up a skype consult, or go see a good immigration lawyer in your area. If you used to work as a paralegal at an immigration firm and you liked them, go back and ask for help or even better just go ahead and retain them to do it for you. Just make sure you do this right, because immigration law is awfully unforgiving, and often you discover mistakes months or even years down the road.

      Good luck!

      John

  7. I just received DACA and I had no idea I was able to apply for advance parole… Anyway I was thinking of applying and I saw that parole can cure EWI. Is that true? If so can I adjust my status through my husband? We have been married for 2 years now and I would like to know if there is a way to adjust my status. Any offices in NYC?

    • Hi, Jessica: We’re actually in Philadelphia. Call the office and let’s see what we can do. The answer is likely “yes.” I’d want to meet with you both, or skype with you both if that’s preferable.

      John

  8. […] Wednesday was also a good day because I got a chance to give a presentation on Temporary Protected Status, which of course got into adjustment based on Matter of Arrabally.  Different USCIS District Offices are adjudicating these in different manners.  But regardless, it is clear that DACA and TPS recipients are benefitting greatly from advance parole as a way to visit their families and loved ones.  And, upon return, seek Adjustment of Status. […]

  9. I came to America on a Regular Tourist Visa, but I overstayed 6 years. However, during that period of 6 years, I married a U.S Citizen and filed for Adjustment of Status. Meanwhile, I was charged with Shoplifting, but the Judge with held the charge, pending I comply with certain Court Requirements, which indeed I did successfully. Thus I was denied Adjustment of Status after a Second Interview; wherefore I then filed for a Divorce, which was granted in less than 3 weeks. Thus a week after my divorce, I remarried and again filed for Adjustment of Status. I too petitioned for Advance Parole, and received it soon after. I then flew out of the country to travel on pleasure throughout Europe. I’ve now been away for 52 days and am about to return to the U.S in a few days. However, while I was away, I missed my interview for Adjustment of Status, but my awesome husband rescheduled us for next month. My question is: will I have any problems at the Port of Entry, for I am returning alone, without my husband? And, if I do renter, will I have any type of problems to Adjust my Status? Thank you!

    • I’ll bet you already returned. I don’t foresee that you had a problem. Always just be up-front with USCIS, and have a good immigration lawyer. Those two items are very important for getting through the immigration process quickly. A good lawyer can spot issues, and prepare for them or avoid them altogether. Hope you got your greencard!

      John

  10. I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your content.
    This article has truly peaked my interest. I
    am going to take a note of your website and keep checking for
    new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  11. Hi I’m a us citizen and my husband came to usa as c1/d visa and my lawyer say we can adjust status here by file I485 and apply for AP. So we went for a trip outside US and he was paroled to US. At the interview my lawyer gave newI94 as parole to the IO and the interview went fast last only 5 minutes. It took almost 6 months to get the decision and the decision on my i485 got denied on July 19 , 2014 . In the denial letter there’s the line mention as of your last entry when you file i485 was c1 and you did’t show any other entry other than C1 so your petition denied! and my lawyer filed motion to reopen/reconsider on Aug 22,2014 with the brief and supporting document that my husband was parole to US on Jan 7,2014 . I just got denial letter on Oct28 ,2014 ” Your adjustment of status application was properly denied. Service record indicates that at the time of filing Form I485, you entered the United States as an alien crewman;  therefore you are exempted from adjustment of status, see IN A Section 245 (a) and (c). Your parole was issued to you after filing form I485; therefore,  you did not meet the requirements at the time of filing under Section 245 (a) or 245 (i).”
    Question : What would be my option ? Should I refile i485? Or should I go for i601a?

    • Great question. Please set up a consultation with me. We have a crewman (C/D visa) right now processing through Newark in a similar situation. It seems that he’ll be able to adjust since his last entry was on parole. But there are decisions from the Board of Immigration Appeals that finds “a crewman is always a crewman.”

      • Hello hvlawgroup,
        I am in exactly same situation like “Im” , only I got first denial letter and trying to figure it out what to do?? I was very positive about whole process because I’ve heard for people with C1 visa after marrying USC and got parole, successfully adjusting status!! So it is not easy like that, obviously!! My question is.., is there any chance to get a green card here on the end or it is just spending more and more money and more and more frustrations trying to apealing and refiling..,etc. etc. Please let me know if there is any HOPE or I am waisting my time!! THANKS a LOT!!!!

      • Zdravo, Marko:

        Yes, my client did adjust status. If you haven’t already taken care of this, please contact my office and let’s see if there is a good solution for you. If you’re not in the Philadelphia area, we can consult by skype or phone. Thanks for writing!

        John

  12. Hi HVlawgroup,

    I am a 20 year old DACA recipient. There is a lot written about advanced parole in cases of immediate relatives that need an adjustment of status. Can a beneficiary in the F2A category take advantage of advanced parole to attend consular proceedings and not trigger the unlawful presence ban?

    To give some more information, I am the beneficiary requested by my father – a permanent resident. I accumulated about 8 months of unlawful presence before receiving DACA. My visa has been approved and now I am just waiting for the interview date at the Bolivian Consulate. Am I able to leave the U.S. with advanced parole and then return with my visa? Will leaving with advanced parole trigger my ban? If my visa is denied, can I still return through advanced parole?

    • Hi,

      Contact my office and let’s talk. there are some factors here that are helpful, and others that may not be so helpful. I think it is still an arguable question on if you go to the Embassy for the appointment using Humanitarian Parole does it mean you didn’t trigger, and don’t need a 601 waiver. Also, as you probably know, the Executive Action would seem to make you eligible for the 601A Provisional Waiver Program. http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction#3 My best advice would be do NOT leave the USA for your appointment without speaking with me, or another good immigration lawyer. It’s important.

  13. Hi HVlawgroup,

    My girlfriend’s mother is a US Citizen. She petitioned for her several years ago and her F1 family preference priority date will be available in about a year. We have been together for more than five years. We want to get married before that time but have been holding off because we are afraid if we do that, we will have to update the family preference to F3 family preference which is too lengthy. Can she still marry me and remain in F1 status so by the time her priority date is available, both of us can have a green card? What if we had a child a few months before her priority date, would this be classified as extreme hardship for her having to relocate to the US without having her significant other present?

    When she gets her green card, she has to file for me in F2a family preference, i’ll have to wait an additional several years approx 2-3 years for my priority date. Is there any way, that I can mitigate this issue because I truly cannot have her going to the US especially if i’m the bread winner and we have a baby.

    Will I qualify for any of the above mentioned statuses i.e. Advanced Parole, TPS, Extreme Hardship?

    Currently she is in university in the US as a F1 visa student.

    Thanks

    • Hi, Craig:

      Thanks for writing! So what we have here is a difficult situation if this continues as an F1 family preference visa. Here’s what I suggest: set up a consultation with me, and let’s all talk. We can do it by Skype or phone; if your girlfriend is in the Philadelphia area have her come see me, and we can bring you in by Skype or phone. Because family is just one way to get US Lawful Permanent Residence (the “green card”). Another way is employment. I’m curious what she’s studying and when she’ll graduate. Because if she’s in a field with good job prospects, it might not be a problem to be married, or have a child. There may be other means of immigrating as well, without using the F1 petition.

      Please, reach out to the office, and set a date for a consultation. We’ll do our best to find an alternative that makes immigration work for everyone.

      John

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