Nonimmigrants: Who Can Study in the U.S.?

studyThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a handy chart showing which nonimmigrant classifications allow study in the U.S.

One common violation of status our firm sees is that  generally a B1/B2 visitor may only engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature, and if a B1/B2 visitor applies for change to F-1 student status, the student may not begin attending school until the change of status is approved by DHS. Continue reading “Nonimmigrants: Who Can Study in the U.S.?”

China’s Failure to Repatriate U.S. Deportees Jeopardizes 10-Year Visitor Visa Deal

return to senderThere is a backlog of nearly 39,000 Chinese nationals who have been ordered deported by the U.S. but who have not been removed because China is dragging its feet in issuing travel documents, according to a story by Mark Hosenball and Tim Reid of Reuters.

One aspect of the story that hasn’t been reported on is that Beijing’s lack of cooperation with repatriations could make Washington rethink its recent agreement to issue 10-year visas to Chinese business visitors and tourists. Continue reading “China’s Failure to Repatriate U.S. Deportees Jeopardizes 10-Year Visitor Visa Deal”

U.S. Visas for Medical Treatment

medicalMore Chinese patients are checking into travel abroad for healthcare needs, helped by a rising demand for better quality medical care and sophisticated treatments, according to a recent article by Caixin. Below, I look at the driving forces behind the increase in so-called medical tourism, some differences between the U.S. and Chinese health care systems, the doctor-patient relationship in the U.S., and the U.S. visa requirements for healthcare visits. Continue reading “U.S. Visas for Medical Treatment”

Employment Authorization for H-4 Spouses: USCIS Publishes Updated Form and FAQs

Rosie with H-4 EADOn May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for employment authorization from certain H-4 spouses of H-1B temporary work visa holders. The final rule is in place. And USCIS has now published updated an updated form with instructions (rev. Feb. 13, 2015), filing tips, and FAQs. Continue reading “Employment Authorization for H-4 Spouses: USCIS Publishes Updated Form and FAQs”

U.S., China Agree on Longer Visa Validity

crowded-air-space The U.S. and China have mutually agreed to increase business and tourist visa validity to 10 years and student and exchange visa validity to 5 years. That according to President Obama’s announcement (video)  on November 10 at the 2014 APEC summit in Beijing.

Both governments put the policy into effect immediately. But China hasn’t even fully implemented its prior 2005 agreement to increase visa validity to 1 year, creating a question as to whether most Americans will get the new long-term PRC visas. Continue reading “U.S., China Agree on Longer Visa Validity”

Webinar: The B-1 Business Visa—How to “B” Resourceful (Oct. 23)

cbpThis 90-minute web seminar will be recorded live on October 23, 2014, from 2:00 pm-3:30 pm eastern time.

The B-1 visa for business visitors provides short term business travelers with a unique opportunity. The B-1 option has its benefits, as well as its limitations. Exploring all the different ways that the B-1 can help a business visitor might surprise you: from individuals travelling to consult with business associates and prospective E-2 investors to certain athletes and professional entertainers. Join our experts for a discussion of all things B-1. Learn more.

Computer Crash Hobbles U.S. Visa, Passport Operations in China (Aug. 10 Update)

errorDue to technical problems, the U.S. State Department is experiencing delays worldwide in visa and passport issuance. Visa applicants should be prepared for delays between their interviews and visa issuance. The glitch is with the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD), which is used by the Department to ensure security checks are conducted prior to approving, recording, and printing visas and passports. Continue reading “Computer Crash Hobbles U.S. Visa, Passport Operations in China (Aug. 10 Update)”

Chinese Turning to American Surrogate Mothers

pregnant-womenChinese couples who are unable to have children are turning to a surprising place for help these days: America. By hiring American surrogates, Chinese couples get around a ban on surrogacy in China. Also, by having a child born abroad, parents skirt the one-child policy and get a U.S. passport for their child. These same factors drive so-called birth tourism. Continue reading “Chinese Turning to American Surrogate Mothers”

Snowden Incident May Sink Hong Kong Participation in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program

hong kong visa waiver snowdenA Senate bill would allow Hong Kong to be considered for the U.S. visa waiver program, facilitating entry for residents of this special administrative region of China.

But Congress may not be willing to pass the bill in light of Hong Kong’s 2013 decision to let NSA leaker Edward Snowden depart for Moscow despite a pending U.S. extradition request. Continue reading “Snowden Incident May Sink Hong Kong Participation in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program”