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Immigration Issues/A converted status requirements


Hi. I am presently in Chicago.
I came in to the country as a tourist(H1B1 i think), and then I had it converted into a F1 student visa beacause i liked the schools here. I am 18 years old by the way.
My question is, i am on summer break and would like to go back to my home country for vacation (kenya) then return in time for my semester (fall). Since I converted my status here in the US, I dont have anything on my passport.Is it risky to go back home-will they denie me entry into the US? Also, what docs do i need(signed I20...etc?)? Should i not take the chance? I really want to go hoe and see my family, but if the risk is too much should i just stay? I paid for my tuition for the fall semester and have transcripts, letter from school, and bank stats sponsoring me. I also have the conversion status papers i.e- F1 and I94 (they are just pieces of papers the immigration gave me)
PS: my status does not expire until i complete my edu here as stated in my F1 paper...
Need some intellectual advice-Thanks!!  

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Rameez,

There are always risks when a person travels home to get a new visa stamp in their passport.  If you are not clear on what status you initially came here on, then you really need to figure that out before you travel.  The Embassy in Kenya will want to review your immigration status and of course, has the discretion to deny the visa if they believe you don't have what is called "non-immigrant intent."

You should talk to an attorney who can help you review your entire status history in the US and give you a better assessment of your chances.  But remember, there is no right to an attorney during your visa interview in Kenya and despite what an American attorney thinks will happen, you will be at the mercy of the interviewing officer at the Consulate or Embassy.

It does sound like you are in status in the US while you are here, but getting a visa stamp is an entire other process.  the Embassy could easily try to deny your case if they believed that you were not a true tourist when you initially entered and that you switched over to your F-1 too quickly.  I do not know the facts of your case, so I can't really comment, but those are typical reasons why F-1 visa applicants are usually denied.

Good luck,
Eileen Chun-Fruto

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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