Applying for a B1/B2 (Visitor) Visa as the Spouse of a U.S. Expat

I’ve been asked several times today about how the spouse of a U.S. citizen expat can apply for a B1/B2 (visitor for business or pleasure) visa. The question typically goes something like this:

I am a U.S. citizen. I have lived in China for 5 years. My wife has been denied a U.S. tourist visa twice, once before and once after we married. We rent an apartment here, she has her own business, and I am employed as an engineer for Ford. We don’t want to apply for a green card because we plan to continue to live in China for the foreseeable future. We just want to visit the U.S. For the first visa application, I wanted to introduce my then fiancée to my parents. (My father has since passed away). For the second visa application, I wanted to bring my wife to Boston to attend my brother’s wedding. Is there anything you can do to help?

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LPR Living with a Citizen Spouse Employed Abroad by an American Company: Any Risk of Abandonment?

Karen writes to ask:

I am a U.S. green card holder, but I live in Asia with my husband, who is a U.S. citizen employed here by an American company. Is there any risk that I may unintentionally lose my LPR status because I am spending too much time outside the U.S.?

Our law firm is often asked by lawful permanent residents (LPRs) about how to preserve their status while abroad for a variety of reasons, such as work, study, caring for an ill relative, etc. General information about this can be found here: Green Card Holders Staying Abroad Over 6 Months Risk Abandonment.

In cases similar to yours, Our firm has argued successfully to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at ports of entry and to Immigration Judges in deportation proceedings that even an indefinite stay abroad does not result in abandonment if for purposes of accompanying a U.S. citizen spouse employed abroad by an American company. Continue reading “LPR Living with a Citizen Spouse Employed Abroad by an American Company: Any Risk of Abandonment?”

Choosing Between U.S. and Chinese Citizenship: Pros and Cons

Are you in a position where you need to choose between U.S. and Chinese citizenship? For example, are you a U.S. green card holder from China considering applying for naturalization in the U.S.? Or are you a person who automatically acquired both Chinese and U.S. citizenship at birth but is now considering renouncing Chinese citizenship? The below table lists some specific factors to consider. Continue reading “Choosing Between U.S. and Chinese Citizenship: Pros and Cons”

U.S. Consulate in Shenyang on Pro Forma Visas for Dual Nationals

For a child born in China with dual U.S. and China nationality, there are various options for documents allowing departure from the country. The trick is that you need to show the immigration inspector in the airport both a travel document issued by the Chinese government and a visa or other document to enter your next destination. Continue reading “U.S. Consulate in Shenyang on Pro Forma Visas for Dual Nationals”

Death by a Thousand Cuts: Naturalization Backlogs

The Trump administration’s war on immigration has included an array of tactics. There have been full frontal assaults, such as the Muslim ban, cancellation of DACA, the border wall, and the RAISE Act. Simultaneously, the Trump administration is using the tactic of death by a thousand cuts: numerous assaults in the administrative agencies and courts intended to make immigration slower, more expensive, and painful. Here’s but one example. Continue reading “Death by a Thousand Cuts: Naturalization Backlogs”

Guide to Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad

Our newest publication is now available: Guide to Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad covers the legal requirements for a child born abroad to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship at birth, as well as the procedures to apply for a U.S. passport, consular report of birth abroad (CRBA), and/or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Certificate of Citizenship. Continue reading “Guide to Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad”

What Counts as an American Institution of Research or International Organization for Purposes of Expeditious Naturalization?

You may qualify for expeditious naturalization in the United States if your U.S. citizen spouse is employed abroad by a listed American research institution or international organization.

Check out the below lists to see if you may qualify. Then, for more on expeditious naturalization, see here. Continue reading “What Counts as an American Institution of Research or International Organization for Purposes of Expeditious Naturalization?”

Expeditious Naturalization under Section 319(b) for Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad

This article covers the requirements and procedures for spouses of U.S. citizens employed abroad by U.S. employers to apply for expeditious naturalization under section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.[1]

The main benefit of expeditious naturalization is that the applicant is exempt from the normal requirements that he or she (a) continuously reside in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for 3 or 5 years immediately prior to filing the naturalization application[2]; and (b) be physically present in the U.S. for one half of that time.[3] Continue reading “Expeditious Naturalization under Section 319(b) for Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad”

See if You Are Eligible for Expeditious Naturalization

Most applicants for naturalization must first reside in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for a continuous period of 5 years. However, that requirement can be waived if you are eligible for expeditious naturalization based on your U.S. citizen spouse’s employment abroad for one of the following types of employers: Continue reading “See if You Are Eligible for Expeditious Naturalization”

Trump’s Irresponsible Proposal: Deporting U.S. Citizens

President-Elect Trump last night tweeted a proposal that persons who burn the U.S. flag should “perhaps” lose their American citizenship. Regardless of one’s views on flag burning as protected free speech, the specter of the government depriving Americans of their citizenship is terrifying and unconstitutional. Continue reading “Trump’s Irresponsible Proposal: Deporting U.S. Citizens”

Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship

NPCDid you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes ineligible for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key issue for immigration lawyers representing Chinese clients.

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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”

CNN on Jeb Bush’s “Anchor Baby” Comments (Quoting Gary Chodorow)

anchor babyMJ Lee of CNN Politics has written “5 Things to Know about the Asian Anchor Baby Controversy,” quoting attorney Gary Chodorow.

Jeb Bush was trying to dig himself out from a pile of criticism for using the term “anchor babies.” But his comments at a press conference Monday only brought heaps of new outrage. Defending himself from charges that he had used a derogatory term stereotyping Hispanics, he told the cameras that “anchor babies” were “frankly more related to Asian people.”

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