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Stay within your immigration status

Kumar Balani

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NEW YORK — Donald J. Trump campaigned on minimizing the illegal entry of aliens as one of his important objectives as President of the United States (US). He has successfully achieved it, as data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shows annual declines of illegal entrants through the still porous US-Mexico border. The numbers will continue to decline as more wall or a physical barrier is built on the nearly 2,000-mile non-physical demarcation line.

“Stay aware of all current news and announcements pertaining to your type visa, whether it be a business, clergy, family visit, investor, student, tourist, or other category of visa.

Much less is known (due to skimpy coverage by US media) about President Trump’s accomplishments in rightfully keeping legal entrants in check, preventing them from violating the lengths and terms of stay of their nonimmigrant visas.

People who work in the various units of the DHS have rightfully deported those individuals who had gone out of status, such as students who stayed beyond their visa expiry dates, without timely filings for change of status to H-1B visas once they received employment offers.

Some students who filed in 2018 for H1B visas with employment offers while their student visas had not expired, faced difficulties/delays in getting their applications accepted and/or reviewed.

David J. Bier points out in a 15 November 2018 New York Times Opinion piece that denials of not only H1B applications but others (for green cards, travel permits, work permits) submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services were 37 percent higher in 2018 than in 2016 during the Obama administration.

Other types of nonimmigrants besides students and H1B visa applicants are also experiencing closer examinations of their applications for conversion to other types of visas, be they for temporary or permanent stay, in today’s more vigilant immigration environment, as compared with a liberal Obama immigration policy.

There are 185 types of nonimmigrant US visas. My advice to existing or intending nonimmigrant holders of various types of US visas: know the terms of your visa, do not violate the terms and requirements of your visa status, and stay aware of all current news and announcements pertaining to your type visa, whether it be a business, clergy, family visit, investor, student, tourist, or other category of visa.

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