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Immigration Issues/Student visa with parent PR app. pending

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Question
How difficult will it be for a Chinese student living in China to get a student visa for college in the USA when her father has a pending I-130 application?  The father is Chinese and living in China.  The father's sponsor is his US citizen sister so his visa process will, of course, take many years.

Answer
Hello Jonathan,

It will be difficult. The problem is immigrant intent.  US Immigration law prohibits issuance of nonimmigrant visa (like F-1) to foreign nationals who have an immigrant visa petition (I-130) pending with USCIS.  Filing form I-130 shows that you have the intent to immigrate to the United States.

It is not impossible to obtain an F-1 visa to study in the United States.  However, the Embassy will strongly suspect that you are coming to the United States to wait for your sister's petition to become current.  If you are above 21, you have an argument that you are no longer part of that petition because you have aged out.  Expect this issue if you are currently under 21.

In any event, when you apply through the Embassy, you must show above and beyond that (1) you have many families in China, (2) you will look for a job in China (or one is waiting for you there after you complete your education), (3) ownership of property, if any, (4) study plan (better if it's BA MA or PhD program), (5) sufficient money in the bank to finish the education program.

Immigration Issues

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Jack Sung

Expertise

Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else

Experience

Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Organizations
Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

Publications
Southwestern International Law Journal

Education/Credentials
J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

Awards and Honors
LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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