FAQ

How do I get I-94 form online?
Go here: Department of Homeland Security ConsentThen fill out the information.Pretty straightforward.
Can we convert an H4 visa to an F1 visa?
In general, it is possible to change status from H-4 to F-1 provided that you have the appropriate (I-20) documentation from the school you intend to attend.Note that H-4 is a dual intent visa, but F-1 is not, as a result, you may be denied the change of status if USCIS concludes that you have immigrant intent.Note also that change of status only applies while you are in the United States. If you are not in the United States and have a currently valid H-4 visa, but wish to obtain an F-1 visa, you must simply apply for an (entirely new) F-1 visa. While you can reuse some of the documentary evidence you collected for the H-4 visa for the F-1 application, it will be a new application.
What is the best advice your father ever gave you?
I fell in true love in eighth grade or that's what my stupid brain told me back then.I was obsessed with this pretty girl! one grade below. Being a complete nerd, I only stole a few glances. But eventually we got to talking and I confessed my feelings for her, she did the same too.I was elated, I wrote cute notes for her and did a lot of other crap. Now word got around and people started teasing me. Eventually, people crossed a line.I'll skip the details, but I got into a very serious fight, that was blown out of proportion for all the right reasons. They were talking about getting me expelled. It was nasty.My dad was called. He was briefed about everything, I was the talk of the school, Every single teacher who thought of me highly now looked at me with disgust. How could one of the smartest kids in the school do this? I was being made an example of.My dad took me back home after spending an hour in the principal's office. I was expecting an earful and multiple slaps.We reached home, he asked me to get showered, have a good nap and told me he was taking me somewhere. I was scared. But I just listened to him.He took me on his bike in the evening. I had no idea where. But then we hit the market and we stopped at our favourite fried chicken stall. He got me a full plate.Dad: So you've hit the age haven't you, What did you like about her?Me: *silence*Dad: *smiles* You either answer me or you give up the chicken.Me: *Secures the plate* I liked her because she is pretty.Dad: Nothing else? *Chuckles* I figured it might be like that. Now listen here son, you're young, It's fine to have a few crushes, it's normal at this age, I had a phase too, but until you're in college don't act out on them. It rarely lasts. Take it to heart. You are a good kid, you're above all this.I won't stop you once you're in college, it's a good time to get into a relationship, you'll learn a lot about life and yourself.And the most important part. Don't chase women. You're a Man. Let them chase you. You're a good kid, you'll definitely have a girlfriend in college. If she wants to stick with you she'll stick with you. It's pointless to run behind someone. Someday you'll meet a fine Woman who is not just a pretty face. She'll treat you well. Don't hurt yourself in this vicious cycle. Let this girl in school go. If not her, someone better will come into your life when you least expect it. And it doesn't just apply to women :)Me: *mouth wide open*I always thought of my dad as strict, but I realised that day, His eyes glowed bright and warm, but with a twinge of sadness. I realised and learnt a lot that day from a man who has been through it all.Looking back on it, 8 years later, he was right. Sure I went back on his words a few times but it turned out as he said, never worked out. I wish I had realised sooner in life. I wasn't prepared to accept the bare truth. I thought being persistent would get me everything.No. He was right. Always.His predictions were spot on.Including the fact about a fine woman walking into my life when I least expected it. She stormed into mine. :)
Visiting the US: How can a person who speaks no English whatsoever enter the US through passport control? (The person speaks only German and French.)
This is a great question. First, for most (European) travelers, only basic English is usually needed to get through Customs. Does someone in 2015 who is fluent in French and German really not know any basic English? (I have to assume this person is elderly.)If they aren't traveling with anyone who knows any English and can help, then translation services can be provided. Depending on the airport in question, this may be quite a wait. At JFK or Newark, probably not such a huge wait. If arriving at another airport where most arrivals are from Asia, the wait could be longer. I am only guessing, but I would think the need for French and German translation services at, say, LAX is fairly low on the scale. Most travelers requiring language assistance don't come from Europe.If traveling alone, I would recommend befriending a bilingual seatmate or a flight attendant to ask for advice and assistance. As Tom Lewis says, learning a few phrases in English ("My name is..." "I am staying for ... days") would help. Most in-flight magazines have immigration forms translated into various languages, and using that translation as a guide could help. You could even tear that page out of the magazine and show the English version to the agent with your answers from the foreign-language version as a communicative guide.
What should I do if I don't have written records/recollection of when and how many times I crossed the US/Canada border via road (for weekend escapes) when I am filing US USCIS citizenship N-400 application?
CBP will have a record of your entries into the United States. You can only get this information by filing a FOIA request, which can be done here: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. My own experience with this is that is takes quite a while to get a response - my own request took just over a year.Canada also maintains a database with records of entries in CBSA’s ICES system. You can make a request for this information from CBSA here: Travel History Report. The processing time is much faster, typically less than a month.If you get the Canadian report, you will have the dates you entered Canada. Hopefully this will jog your memory enough to remember each trip and how long it was so as to complete your N-400. All USCIS will expect is that you make a good faith effort to be as accurate as possible. If you miss the odd day or weekend trip it will be no big deal. The trips that matter are the long ones that may break the period of continuous residence required for naturalization. USCIS will also make a judgement call if your trips, while frequent and short, constitute a pattern of being outside the U.S. more than in it. If you just like to visit Canada (and who doesn’t - the country is quite beautiful,) you shouldn’t have a problem.
What will happen if you provide your SSN for employment while on visa over stay in the I-9 form?
To answer your immediate concern, no, neither IRS nor the SSA will report your friend to immigration service. Both agencies get billions of dollars every year as taxes from unauthorized workers, and they don't have the knowledge of who's authorized or who is making an honest mistake (people misstype their SSNs all the time). On top of it, many if not the majority of immigrants do not inform SSA when their immigration status changes to that of a permanent resident or citizen (or any other status that allows employment), so these agencies truly would not know much beyond whether someone spelled their name/SSN correctly.Now let's address your friend's status. First of all, misrepresentation on the I-9. Had she checked the 'US citizen' box, she would most likely be totally screwed (i.e. permanent inadmissibility to the US without the possibility of a waiver, even if she marries a US citizen), but if she claimed to be a permanent resident, it would be much harder for the USCIS to ban her just for that. However, it is much safer for someone working without authorization to work as a contractor, not an employee. W-9 does not require you to disclose your immigration status, and this way both the contractor and the employer are safe. I know people who have worked for years as contractors without authorization, and have been able to get permanent residence (but only through marriage to a citizen).Second, there is an important distinction in the immigration code that your friend needs to understand, which may save her behind, after all. While her employment is unauthorized and she is out of status, it does not necessarily mean she is illegally present - yet. And there is a world of difference between being out of status and being illegally present. Once she is illegally present for 180 days, the 3 year admissibility bar kicks in, and she will be unable to legalize her status (unless, again, it's a marriage to USC). The date she needs to look at comes either from her work visa approval or the stamp she got when she last entered the country, whichever happened later. If that date has not passed or passed less than 180 days ago, she can still get a new work visa, but she will have to leave the country and come back (most likely will have to go to the consulate). It is called date on I-94, and she should definitely talk to an immigration lawyer about it.Third, yes, she needs to file her taxes. Being employed unauthorized does not mean you don't have to file a return. In fact, the IRS treats unauthorized workers the same way it treats legal immigrants - in the eyes of IRS they are all 'resident aliens'. In fact, not filing a return may present problems later if she ever gets to apply for citizenship.P.S. If you thought the US immigration system is punitive, then you need to know that your friend is one the few lucky ones who get to come to the US legally, a privilege not offered to the vast majority of would be immigrants. In other words, others have it worse.
How can I get my previous I-94 numbers? The I-94 site just gives me most recent I-94 number.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyerThe site has changed, so hopefully you have the latest:https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/This one should get you all I-94 for the last 10 years. The only caveat I have seen, is that you may have to provide old passport numbers for the prior ones, you may be seen just the most recent one because it is the only one with the current passport.I am not aware of any other tool to get them, and I am not aware of any reason to get prior I-94 numbers, the value I see from the tool is to have a quick summary of your trips which helps filling out visa forms, for example.
How do you change a B1/B2 visa to an F1 visa?
You can change your status. In order to do that, You need to submit an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a change of status. This option allows you to change your nonimmigrant status while remaining in the U.S. With this, you may gain a new status but you will not receive a new visa, visas are only issued outside the U.S.To change your status, you will need the following:Your I-94 card which lists you departures and arrival dates, along with the expiration date for your stayApply to an academic course of study at a college/university, once accepted, the school will issue an I-20 formUse the SEVIS ID number located on the top right corner of I-20, to fill out you SEVIS I-901 form and pay the required fee.Write a letter explaining why you want to change your status from B1 to F1.Fill out a form I-539 to change your nonimmigrant status from B1 to F1. Pay the filing fee.
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