Margaret W. Wong & Associates - Immigration Lawyers
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FIRM OVERVIEW

Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC is a full-service immigration law practice that provides legal advice and representation to people and companies in the United States. The firm has over 200 years of combined legal experience among its attorneys and serves its clients from offices in Cleveland, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Columbus, Minneapolis, and Raleigh. Contact us here to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs. 

 

“OUTSTANDING RESEARCHER” FROM CHINA LANDS SCHOLARLY JOB AND PURSUES GREEN CARD

Dr. F, Ph.D., came to the U.S from China in 2007 on an H-1B visa (Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker) because an American university had hired him as an assistant professor and “outstanding researcher” in the field of electrical and computer engineering. Dr. F’s ultimate goal was to become a permanent resident of the United States.

In April of 2016, he consulted with us because he had received a letter of non-recommendation for reappointment from his employer. He was worried this meant he would lose his job the following month. He asked us to file an I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) for him before that happened. His employer had already filed an I-140 (Immigration Petition for Alien Worker) under EB1-B (Employment-Based Immigration) and that had been approved.

Time is always of the essence for immigration cases. Our highly skilled attorneys know the intricate details of immigration law and therefore feel obligated to let clients know what can be done to help them achieve their goals as efficiently—and quickly—as possible. His attorney, Marisela Marquez, advised Dr. F that Premium Processing (expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications) would be wise. Because he thought he was going to lose his job, she also discussed filing an EB1-A/EB1-1.

After a few weeks, Ms. Marquez contacted Dr. F because she hadn’t heard from him. He told her his employer had extended his job for another year. Upon that news, she discussed the possibility of filing a writ of mandamus in Federal Court to push the I-485 along. Dr. F told her he wanted to wait a few months to see if it was approved on its own. He also told us that, to be on the safe side, he was going to begin searching for a job at another university, as he wasn’t confident his employer would keep him on after the next year.

Dr. F consulted Ms. Marquez every few months when he had a question or update. In May of 2017, he contacted her to tell her he would be starting a new job at another university in August—very similar to his current position.

Ms. Marquez heard from Dr. F again in June of 2018 after he received a Request for Evidence (RFE) on his I-485 and a Supplement J from USCIS. The Supplement J is a Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j)s. He wanted our help, so we prepared the evidence and Supplement J and filed on behalf of the client. Our hope was that USCIS would decide that his new employer would not have to file an I-140 for him since his previous employer had—and it had been approved. On July 31, we were happy to receive an approval notice. This meant it wouldn’t be necessary for Dr. F’s new employer to file an I-140; it had been established that his current position was of a similar occupational classification as the previous one.

Now, Dr. F, along with Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC, anxiously await the approval of his pending I-485, which will enable Dr. F to get his green card and become a permanent resident of the United States. We are hopeful this will happen, eventually.

At Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC, we recognize that each client maintains the right to make his or her own decisions regarding how to proceed with his or her case, but we—as their advisors—feel compelled to inform them of all their options so they are best equipped to make these decisions. When we recommend certain filings or procedures in order to expedite a process, it’s because we are acting with their best interests in mind. If they do not wish to pursue such options, then it is also with their best interests in mind that we respect their wishes.  

 

MAN finally RECEIVES I-751 APPROVAL (petition to remove conditions on status) DESPITE previoUS DENIAL

Mr. L came to the U.S. when his mother married a U.S. citizen. The new marriage granted them conditional status, which allowed them to move from China to the U.S. In the U.S., when a marriage is less than 2 years old, conditional status must be granted before a longer-term visa can be obtained. These laws labeled Mr. L a conditional resident in the U.S. 

Alongside challenges in transitioning from China to the U.S., Mr. L’s stepfather started abusing his mother and him. The domestic violence continued until finally Mr. L’s mother—for his own safety—instructed him to pack up his belongings and leave. This meant that Mr. L would face the challenges of living alone at a young age without a support system. Fortunately, however, he was able to move in with his uncle.  

Eventually the time came for Mr. L to reapply for his visa. He filed an I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence) without any guidance, which resulted in his application being denied. Not to mention that his original application for conditional status had been petitioned for on behalf of his stepfather, who no longer was a part of his life. To complicate the matter even further, he found out his mother and stepfather had divorced.

After some years had passed, Mr. L, no longer a minor, contacted Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC in the hope of adjusting his status despite past trial and error. Although Mr. L’s case was complex, due to his status and complicated family history, attorney Joseph Fungsang readily took on the case. He thoroughly prepared, ensuring Mr. L’s previous statements aligned with the new forms he would file. He determined the best route for Mr. L and filed an I-751 on his behalf. The I-751 would allow someone with conditional status to remove those conditions using a valid reason, such as being subject to abuse. Mr. Fungsang understood that Mr. L’s prior I-751 was rejected due to a lack of evidence, so he provided extensive research and support for this I-751. Additionally, he noted the reasons Mr. L hadn’t filed earlier when he was a minor.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. L was greeted by an approval notice on his I-751, granting him status. Overall, Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC had helped Mr. L move forward toward a brighter future, freeing him of the status difficulties incurred in the past.

 

REOPEN AND TERMINATE REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS MEANS MAN FROM INDIA CAN APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP

S.P. a citizen of India, hired our office to reopen and terminate his removal order. He was ordered removed by an immigration Judge in 2002. He was granted conditional resident status by USCIS in 2012 based on an approved I-130 filed by his US Citizen spouse. He was an Arriving Alien who was paroled pending removal proceedings and ordered removed by an Immigration Judge on December 20, 2002. He was able to adjust his status to conditional resident with USCIS despite his removal order due to the fact that he was an arriving alien. Our office successfully reopened and terminated his removal proceedings in late 2015 and our client can now apply for citizenship.

 

AMBITIOUS SOUTH KOREAN COUPLE MAKES LEAP FROM STUDENT VISAS TO WORK PERMITS AND GREEN CARDS

Mr. and Mrs. Y travelled from South Korea to the United States in pursuit of enhancing their education. They each earned a Bachelor’s Degree from a university in Georgia. Upon graduation, they became aware their student visas were about to expire. Fortunately, the couple used their qualifications to apply for jobs in the U.S. They were hired soon after the application process; however, to be able to go through with these job opportunities, their current visa statuses would need to be adjusted.

Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC assisted Mr. and Mrs. Y through the process of changing their visa status. To switch them from student visas to work permits, attorney Beryl Farris and paralegal Brian Marek—both with extensive knowledge and experience working on these types of cases—prepared and filed an I-765 (Application for Employment), along with an I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Non-Immigrant Status). Both forms were approved. Now, not only could Mr. and Mrs. Y stay in the U.S., but they would have the opportunity to explore careers.

Shortly after receiving the approval notices, the firm advised the couple that as a next step they should register as early as possible for their I-485s (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) or green cards. This would help them avoid future visa issues and give them more freedom with selecting jobs in the future. Mr. and Mrs. Y registered as they were advised, and the firm wasted no time in filing an
I-485 for each of them. The applications were ultimately approved, and Mr. and Mrs. Y now have green cards and are permanent residents of the United States.

At Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC we realize the necessities in reaching our clients’ goals beyond what is merely sufficient.

 

DESPITE FAILED ENTRY ATTEMPTS AT U.S. BORDER, MEXICAN MAN FINALLY ARRIVES AND WORKS TO GAIN EMPLOYMENT AND LEGAL STATUS

Mr. M came to the U.S. from Mexico, having crossed the border on 3 separate occasions. His first attempt at entry was successful; however, during his second attempt, he was caught twice. His last attempt was successful, but it also meant he was now staying in the U.S. illegally. Facing threats of gang violence back in Mexico, Mr. M felt he wouldn’t be able to return and successfully build a life back home. For these reasons, he chose to stay in the U.S. illegally. He married and later had three children, all of whom are U.S. citizens.

Although Mr. M didn’t face unsafe conditions in the U.S. that were of any comparison to those in Mexico, he still worried about his illegal alien status, which prevented him from leading a normal life. Therefore, Mr. M came to Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC with the intention of gaining status. The firm filed several forms on his behalf, including an I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), I-131 (Application for Travel Document), and I-589 (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal). The firm—through careful work—quickly received approval for the I-765, which will allow him to become employed and support his family during this process. Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC had liberated Mr. M from his restrictive illegal status and continues to fight ambitiously for his case.

 

Successful I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) Approval in the Face of E2 Visa Rejection

Mr. Q and his family initially arrived in the U.S. using an E2 visa to invest in the computer business. After a problematic economy devastated their prior investment funds, Mr. Q and his family found themselves fighting to maintain status in the U.S. They applied for an E2 visa renewal only to be faced with rejection and a removal proceeding.

Although Mr. Q had previously hired another attorney to assist him in retaining status, he sought out the specific capabilities of Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. With the help of attorney Scott Bratton, our firm filed an I-765 (Application for Employment), commonly referred to as a work permit. Mr. Bratton prepared his case and countered several questions asked by the Immigration Court to successfully achieve the I-765 approval. With much success, Mr. Q may now continue to work as an entrepreneur in the U.S. without being threatened by the possibility of removal. Ultimately, Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC was able to help Mr. Q take his first steps toward achieving the American Dream.

BROTHER IN U.S. HELPS BRING SIBLINGS AND FAMILIES HERE

Mr. G requested our services in 2015 to help retrieve his brother and sister from China and bring them to the U.S. The case was much more complicated, however, considering his siblings weren’t just single individuals—they both had their own families in China they didn’t want to leave behind.

Our firm decided to file a DS-260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application), which is an application used to collect needed information about a person seeking an immigration visa. We did this to see if Mr. G’s siblings qualified for a visa hearing.

In 2018, Mr. G’s siblings each received notice that their DS-260 application was approved, allowing them to schedule a visa hearing. This notice gave Mr. G and his family hope that they will soon be reunited and able to live the best life possible together in the U.S.

Chinese Scientist Able to Come to U.S. to Work on Important Technology

Dr. Y was invited to come to the U.S. to help with an agriculture technology startup in Silicon Valley, California. However, she didn’t have a work visa and therefore wasn’t permitted. The startup petitioned her to come through an I-129, after which, she was eligible to apply for an O-1A visa because of her very strong academic and work-related background.

Due to premium processing, Dr. Y was able to get approved very quickly to come to the U.S. and begin working for her start-up company. She thereafter continued to work on potentially very important technology for many companies and businesses alike. Our attorney Marisela Marquez worked with Dr. Y on her case.

Premium Processing Makes for Faster Results—and Happy Clients

One of our corporate clients contacted us regarding the extension of the L-1A status for one of their employees, Mr. C. An L-1A visa allows a U.S. company to transfer one of its executives from a foreign office to its office in the U.S. We had successfully helped him win his first L-1A back in 2015, and it was time to file for a two-year extension. For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.

We filed Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker), with fee and supporting documents on April 18, 2018. We received Receipt Notice confirming USCIS received the Petition on the same day. The case was approved on April 26, 2018. How was it processed so quickly? We filed a request for premium processing—Form I-907. Premium Processing allows the customer to pay an additional fee in exchange for faster case processing. Under the Premium Processing Program, USCIS guarantees 15-day processing of certain employment-based petitions and applications. The result: very happy clients.

AFTER DEPORTATION FOR MINOR CRIMINAL ACTIONS, MAN RETURNS TO U.S., BUILDS LIFE WITH FAMILY

In 2008, our client, Mr. S, was deported to Mexico after being detained for several traffic violations, DUIs and minor criminal actions. He returned to the U.S. shortly after this incident and lived here for several years without police intervention. At the end of 2015, he was stopped for speeding and driving without a license. He requested our services to ensure he wouldn’t make the same mistakes and be deported again.

Mr. S absolutely did not want to return to Mexico considering he had two children and a wife living in the U.S. One of his daughters suffers from asthma and an unusual skin disorder that wouldn’t be properly treated if his family were to relocate to Mexico. Our firm fought that he qualified for a (Cancellation for Removal) COR in 2008, considering that prior to the incident, he lived here for ten years and had two children who were born here. He had not been properly informed that this was an option he had. In 2017 the motion to reopen his removal proceedings was granted. Currently, our team is helping Mr. S acclimate to life in the U.S. by applying for an employment authorization permit.

VICTIM OF CRIME GRANTED U VISA AFTER COURAGEOUSLY REPORTING ATTACK

Mr. Z immigrated from China to the U.S. in 1993 seeking a better life for himself and his family. However, in 1999, while on the job delivering food in Brooklyn, New York, he was approached by five unidentified males, one of whom later shot him twice in the chest. Following the attack, Mr. Z was hospitalized for months, suffering from immense pain and severe liver damage. As a result of the gunshot wounds, he lacked a properly functioning immune system. This caused him to frequently become ill. He also was unable to receive adequate healthcare for his different illnesses because he didn’t have insurance.

In 2014, Mr. Z requested our services to help file for a U visa, which helps victims of certain crimes currently suffering from physical or mental abuse to aid law enforcement or government officials with their investigations of certain criminal activity. He was a victim of a felonious assault and, despite his vulnerability, still helped the New York Police Department by reporting the crime and cooperating with the investigation. Because of his cooperation and extensive correspondence with the police, along with the hours of preparation by attorney Chela Marquez and paralegal John Pang, Mr. Z’s petition for a U visa was approved in 2018.

 

Citizen of China Proves Various Spellings of His Name Valid

Mr. Zh, a citizen of China, entered the U.S. in early ‘90s when he was still a minor. He had lost the I-94, the arrival record, and had no other evidence to prove that he was admitted and inspected into the United States pursuant to a valid visa. Mr. Zh remembered that the I-94 was issued under a misspelled name and a different date of birth. Prior to retaining our office, Mr. Zh had been unsuccessful in trying to obtain an I-102, Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure, due to different name and date of birth in his arrival record.

USCIS had declined to issue him I-94 replacement because he could not prove that he was the same person due to inconsistent biographic data. Our office refiled the I-102 application arguing that Mr. Zh’s name was differently spelled in Cantonese and Mandarin dialects which explained the different spellings of his name in his official identity documents and his prior arrival record. We had a competent Chinese interpreter sign an affidavit explaining how Mr. Zh’s name is spelled in Cantonese and Mandarin. We also prepared an affidavit for our client explaining that his initial I-94 contained wrong biographic data such as his date of birth and incorrect spelling of his name. His I-102 was approved.

Our office has also filed an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and I-485, application to adjust status to permanent resident that are expected to be approved soon now that Mr. Zh can prove his admission into the U.S. He will become a Permanent Resident. This case was handled by our attorney Fabiola Cini. 

H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee Approval in Less than Two Weeks with Premium Processing

Our client is a manufacturing company headquartered in the U.S., with branches in France and Singapore. It needed to bring an employee over from France to receive specialized training in the U.S. This training wasn’t available in France. Margaret W. Wong and Associates recommended an H-3 Trainee visa, and worked with the company to show that: • The proposed training is not available in the beneficiary’s home country • The employee would not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business, and in which citizens and resident alien workers are regularly employed • The employee would not be productively employed except as incidental to training • The training would benefit the employee in pursuing a career outside the U.S. The H-3 visa is good for up to 2 years. Francis Fungsang in our Cleveland office prepared the H-3 petition. It was filed via Premium Processing, and an approval was received in less than two weeks.

EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Petition Approved in Three Business Days through Premium Processing

Our client, Mr. P, is a Mechanical Engineer from India. For years, he’s worked for a famous international corporation developing innovative bathroom and kitchen fixtures. We can’t say which ones he’s invented, but trust us, if you’ve ever watched television or paged through a home and garden magazine, you’ve seen his work.

Mr. P has an old third-preference case pending that has been pending for many years, waiting for his priority date to become current. No longer willing to wait, he decided to hire Margaret W. Wong and Associates to process his EB-1 case. We filed the case and it was receipted by the USCIS Premium Processing team on Thursday. The following Monday morning, we received notice that it was approved.

You might not look at a showerhead and think “this is good for an EB-1 Extraordinary Ability.” But in Mr. P’s case, it was. He is truly one of the few who has risen to the very top of his field of endeavor. We congratulate Mr. P on his approval, and look forward to receiving his Green Card soon.

10-Year Cancellation of Removal Approved for Chinese National in New York

Mr. X, from China, spent ten years living in a Central American country before crossing the border into the U.S. in the early 1990’s. In 2011 he decided to file for asylum. His claim for asylum wasn’t very strong. It was denied by USCIS, and his case was referred to immigration court.

Ending up in front of an immigration judge like this may seem like jumping into the fire, but in reality there are certain types of relief from removal that only immigration judges can grant. Our Mr. X happened to have a good claim for cancellation of removal. He had been in the U.S. for more than ten years, he had qualifying relatives who would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” if he was removed, he had good moral character, and he had no criminal issues.

The New York office of Margaret Wong and Associates carefully compiled an EOIR 42-B (cancellation of removal) application to present to the judge on Mr. X’s behalf. It contained proof that Mr. X qualified for the benefit, including documentation of his lengthy residence in the U.S., proof of good moral character in the form of taxes and letters from members of his community, and evidence that his wife (who was a widow before marrying Mr. X) and her son (who considered Mr. X his only father from a very young age) would suffer many hardships if Mr. X’s petition was not granted.

Mr. X’s case was indeed granted, and the judge approved his EOIR 42-B. Only 4,000 green cards can be issued per year based on such approvals. Fortunately one was available almost immediately for Mr. X. He stopped by our New York office recently to show off his new green card and to thank the staff for their dedication to his case.

Accomplished Jordanian Doctor Wins Work Authorization, Soon to be Approved for EB-1A

Our client came to us while on an H1B visa in his second year of surgical residency training in Orthopedics at a top rated hospital. After reviewing his CV, we determined that he was highly accomplished and recommend he pursue an EB1-1 or EB1-A immigrant visa as an alien with extraordinary ability in orthopedic research.

A native and citizen of Jordan, our client graduated from the medical program at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and obtained his M.D. in 2011. He accepted a Clinical Research Fellowship at a top-ranked hospital in New York in 2011. His fellowship research focused on metabolic bone disease, particularly vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis, and fragility fractures.

He then began a highly competitive Clinical Research Fellowship at another top-ranked hospital in Ohio. A few of his research projects during this fellowship focused on clinical trials assessing the efficacy of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation device (TENS) in reducing postoperative pain after total knee replacement, and the effect of blood transfusions on patients undergoing total knee replacements.

After two successful fellowships, he applied for a spot in the highly competitive Orthopedic Surgery specialty. He was one of only seven foreign medical graduates to match in an orthopedics that year and obtained a coveted position at another high-ranked hospital. As a resident, he has continued his orthopedics research.

Over the course of his short but impressive career, he has published over 20 scholarly articles in leading, peer-reviewed scientific journals, has accrued over 100 citations to his publications from all over the world, presented his research at 19 national and international conferences, received of 7 awards, been featured in major media, and participated as peer-reviewer for a scientific journal.

We collected extensive evidence documenting his achievements and filed his I-140 petition using premium processing. In less than two weeks, his petition was approved without an RFE. Based on his I-140 approval, he and his wife will soon have their I-485 permanent residency applications approved.

Visitor Sought Student Visa for Online University Without Success - Extended Visa While Seeking Entrance to "Brick and Mortar" University

Mr. M came to Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. looking to adjust his J-1 (exchange visitor) visa to a F-1 (international student) visa. However, his enrollment at the University of Phoenix wasn’t deemed to be enough qualification to get the F-1 visa. With time running out, MWW managed to get Mr. M a B-2 (temporary visitor) visa. He needed to apply to a brick and mortar University to qualify, and is waiting to hear back from some universities now. Good luck to you, Mr. M!

Turkish Scientist in Michigan Wins EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Visa

Our client, O.K., a Turkish Citizen, was working on a H-1B visa status as a Research Investigator at the Department of Biological Chemistry at prominent Medical School of a University in Michigan when he hired our office to assist him with his green card application. His prior experience included research studying characterization of enzymes responsible for endogenous production and clearance of hydrogen sulfide in cells and tissues; involvement of sulfur metabolism in the mechanism of lifespan extension by dietary restriction; protein modifications and signaling in prostate cancer cells; regulation of cystathionine beta synthase and the transsulfuration pathway. His recent research funded by American Heart Association was directed to provide a molecular level understanding of H2S production (a recently recognized member of sulfur metabolism, hydrogen sulfide), biochemical mechanism of H2S signaling, characterization of its cellular targets and its role in regulation of pathways to dictate cellular fate and ultimately apply this knowledge for the development of strategies to modulate H2S levels in cells for the treatment of cardiovascular and neurogenerative diseases. Our office filed on his behalf an I-140 Immigration Visa Petition – EB-1A Alien of Extraordinary Ability- which was approved in less than 2 weeks followed by approval of his Green Card application in less than 5 months.Granting our client a visa as an alien of extraordinary ability will allow him to continue his biochemical research contributions that will benefit the United States and the world.

TN Visa for Mexican Engineer in a Matter of Days

With all of the H-1B cap headaches going around, employers and employees are looking into different options.

Mr. B is an Engineer from Mexico.  His employer came to Margaret Wong and Associates for help bringing him to the U.S.  We advised that they sponsor him for a TN visa, rather than an H-1B.  The TN can sometimes be a faster, easier option.  Best of all, there is no numerical limit (unlike the H-1B).

We knew a TN could be fast, but Mr. B’s case was processed at lightning speed.  We were able to secure an appointment at the consulate in Nuevo Laredo within a week or so.  We prepared Mr. B with a letter from his employer, proof of his degree and qualifications, and information about the company and job duties here in the U.S.

Mr. B reported that the appointment went smoothly… he was in and out in less than half an hour.  Even better, the consulate returned his passport THE SAME DAY, with his new TN visa inside.  Mr. B is able to enter the U.S. and report to work, while many H-1B applicants are still waiting to hear if they’ve even been selected for visa processing.

Attorney Rebecca Tseng handled the TN visa process from our California office, outside of Los Angeles.

TN Visa for Canadian / Indian Citizen

Mr. S, an Indian national with Canadian citizenship, had a job offer as a Software/Computer Engineer for a small company in the U.S.  He approached Margaret Wong & Associates for assistance obtaining a TN NAFTA visa.

As you may know, in order to receive a TN visa under the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA), an individual must be a citizen of a NAFTA country (Mexico and Canada), be coming to the U.S. to work in a profession on the NAFTA list, be coming to the U.S. to work in a position that requires such a professional worker, and possess the required education or experience. A TN applicant also requires an offer of full or part-time employment in the U.S., and cannot petition for himself or herself.

Normally, a Canadian citizen can go straight to the border and apply for entry to the U.S. in TN status with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), but sometimes it’s advisable to file the case first with the USCIS. In Mr. S’s case, his employer was relatively small and had few employees.  It could be tough to prove to CBP “on the spot” that the employer was a legitimate business entity with a need for a computer professional.  With USCIS, there is a little bit more leeway and more of a chance to present initial and supplemental evidence. Attorney Francis Fungsang of our Cleveland office assisted Mr. S with an I-129 petition filed through the USCIS. The petition was quickly approved, enabling Mr. S to apply for TN admission at the U.S. border with a USCIS-issued approval notice in his hand.

EB-1 “Extraordinary Ability” Green Card Approval for Chinese Researcher

Margaret W. Wong & Associates' client, Dr. X of China, is an incredible researcher of rare, degenerative neurological diseases.  These diseases are as yet poorly-understood and devastating to affected animals and people (think “mad cow disease”).  Dr. X is one of the top researchers today struggling with these deadly diseases.  He has made huge advances in the scientific and medical community’s understanding of these diseases.

Last year Margaret W. Wong & Associates helped Dr. X apply for permanent residence as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability, or EB-1.  We presented the USCIS with evidence that Dr. X had published dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles of his research, garnering hundreds and hundreds of citations.  He had given scores of presentations here and abroad regarding his work, which had also been highly publicized in the press.  He authored an encyclopedia entry on the subject of his research, won notable awards, was a member of various societies that required excellence of their members, and served as a judge of the work of others by reviewing the research and journal submissions of other scientists in his field.

USCIS agreed with Margaret W. Wong & Associates' opinion (and our well-organized, clearly written brief) – that Dr. X is an individual who has risen to the very top of his field of endeavor.  Dr. X’s I-140 Immigrant Petition was filed in May of 2014 using the Premium Processing Service, and was approved in less than two weeks.  A little over three months later, Dr. X and his family received their Green Cards.

This case was handled by Attorney Marisela Marquez in our Cleveland, Ohio office. Margaret W. Wong & Associates is honored to have assisted this amazing researcher, and look forward to seeing more groundbreaking achievements from him in the future.  We also congratulate Attorney Marquez on this smooth, rapid approval.

Canadian Citizen on B-2 Visa Receives TN

The visa category "Professionals Under the North American Free Trade Agreement" (also known as a TN Visa) is available to citizens of Canada and Mexico, under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  There is so much focus on H-1B visas that many Mexican and Canadian workers don’t even realize that they may qualify for a TN.

Mr. T, a citizen of Canada, was visiting the U.S. on a B-2 visa when he received an offer of employment at a small engineering firm.  Mr. T had a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, but the H-1B visa cap had already been reached.  Our office quickly processed his change of status from a visitor to a TN worker, and he received his new status and was able to begin working without having to leave the country.

When you are looking into visa options, be sure to consider each and every visa category you might qualify for.  Sometimes there will be more than one.  A good attorney can help you narrow down your options and select the best visa for you.

Be Persistent and Fight the Government's Allegations

Our client came to us after she was denied naturalization and placed in removal proceedings. She had previously come to the US based on an immigrant visa petition filed by her husband who she believed was a United States citizen. However, after coming to the United States and obtaining her green card, an investigation revealed her husband was never a United States citizen and that the US passport he had was fake. The government alleged that our client knew that her husband was not really a US citizen and that she was not entitled to entry to the US because the I-130 was invalid as her husband never had any status in the US.

We first had a hearing on the fraud allegation. After considering the testimony, the Immigration Judge ruled that our client did not knowing commit fraud or misrepresent her husband’s status. However, since she was inadmissible at the time of entry, he ruled that she was removable on that ground. We then filed an application for a 212(k) waiver based on her lack of knowledge of the circumstances surrounding her husband. The Court had a hearing on that application and denied the waiver claiming that although our client did not know her husband’s lack of status when she came to the US, she did know when she applied for citizenship and lied at that interview. We appealed the Judge’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Board agreed with our position that a waiver was warranted. The case was remanded and in November 2014, the Immigration Judge granted the 212(k) waiver. The waiver cures the prior improper entry and allows her to maintain her permanent resident status. This case shows how important it is to be persistent and to fight the government’s allegations. Scott Bratton handled the case.

Chinese Visitor's B-2 Visa Expiration Thwarted with Swift Work

A national and citizen of China, Y.G., retained our office in September 2014 to extend her visitor’s visa that was expiring within 2 weeks. Our experienced staff diligently worked on the case complying with the all USCIS requirements for a B-2 visitor visa extension and submitting the application in a timely manner. The visa extension was approved extending our client’s stay in the U.S.

Work Authorization Approved, I-131 and I-485 Pending

F.Q., a citizen and national of China, retained our New York office in July 2014 to help him obtain his work permit based on a long pending I-485, Application to register permanent residency that was filed by a different attorney. The application for residency was based on an approved I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The application for employment authorization was approved in early October 2014. Our client was also in needed to travel abroad and our office advised him to file an I-131, Application for Travel Document. The application was filed immediately and our client is awaiting approval of both the I-131 and his I-485 Applications.

F-1 Visa Reinstatement Saves Student Who Missed Class Registration

It’s tough being a college student. Registration and class schedules are confusing for U.S. students. For international students who are still getting used to the language and culture, it can be overwhelming. On top of that, U.S. colleges are cutting classes that many students (international and U.S. alike) need to graduate.

Mr. C, a young man from China, is a student at a U.S. university. In 2013 he took a vacation and maybe let his mind slip a bit. When he came back to school, he found that he could not register for the classes he needed, and no other classes were available. Now, if you are a student who fails to maintain full-time status as listed on your I-20 (in some cases I-20s can list part-time study) you are violating the terms of your F-1 status! Normally the school’s International Student Supervisor (ISS) should help students who fall out of status, but for some reason the school’s ISS wouldn’t help Mr. C.

So Mr. C came to us for help. Our solution was to request a reinstatement of his F-1 student visa by applying to the USCIS here, in the U.S., without leaving the country. We immediately set to work gathering documents to show that he hadn’t been out of status long, that this request was a one-time occurrence, that he was still intending to continue his schooling, and that the lapse in status had been due to circumstances beyond his control (this isn’t an exhaustive list, but you get the idea). We had a hard time getting a new I-20 from the school’s ISS, but we finally did get it.

Mr. C’s F-1 reinstatement request was filed and approved in October of 2013. He is now continuing his schooling, and will likely never take class registration lightly again.

Cancellation of Removal, I-485, and I-130 for Chinese Family

Our clients, a Chinese man in his early 40s, came to our New York office seeking help in 2010. We decided that the best strategy was to pursue what’s known as cancellation of removal. The first step of this process was to file an I-589 asylum application. It’s important when filing an asylum application to have all the correct documents in order with translations. We spent months communicating with our client and helping them gather the correct documents. After we translated the documents we filed the I-589 application. Within a month of filing, we received an interview notice to meet with an asylum officer. We prepared our client before and attended the interview with him, which went well. He was put into court proceedings. The Immigration Judge granted cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1). Our client was then eligible to adjust status and we filed an I-485 application for permanent residence for him, which was approved. We then filed an I-130 immigrant relative petition for his daughter, which was also approved. Our client is grateful for Margaret W. Wong & Associates steadfast commitment and diligent work over the past four years.

U-Visa for Indian National

Our client, Mr. P, came to the U.S. from India as a child with his family.  In 2003 he was a 23-year old college student working alone in his family’s grocery store when every shop owner’s worst nightmare came true.  Two armed men entered the store and ordered him onto the ground, threatening to kill him.  They pointed guns at his head and robbed him of several thousands of dollars.  Badly shaken, Mr. P called 911 after the armed robbers left.  He continued to provide assistance to the police department, enabling them to arrest and charge the men.  But it didn’t end there.  Mr. P continued to suffer from the event.  He had difficulty sleeping.  He had nightmares, and shook and sweated when remembering the events of that night.  He was unable to return to work at his family’s store, and eventually they decided to move away from the area.

Mr. P had had been in the U.S. for quite some time without any valid status.  His experience with the robbery had shaken him to the core.  He came to us for assistance in gaining a valid status in the U.S.  Fortunately, the U.S. provides the U visa for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

In September of 2012 we submitted a petition for Mr. P’s U visa, along with police reports and news articles about the robbery and a psychological evaluation detailing Mr. P’s post-traumatic stress.  Mr. P’s U visa was approved in late 2013 and he received work authorization.  His wife’s was approved just recently.  After the hardships Mr. P endured as a victim of this violent crime, his new visa status gives him some measure of relief.  After three years in U visa status he will be eligible to apply for his permanent residence.

After I-730 Pending for 5 Years, Client Receives Visa

Our client, a native of China in his 40s, retained our office when his I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition was pending with USCIS for five years. We contacted USCIS several times to inquire about the status of the petition and the cause for the delay. The agency informed us that there was a delay in processing times. We filed a FOIA with the Department of Homeland Security. We were finally able to get in contact with the US Attorney and received a request for further evidence (RFE) for the I-730. Soon after submitting the RFE we received an approval notice. Once the I-730 was approved, we were able to file for a work authorization for the client. Our client and his family are very grateful for Margaret W. Wong & Associates’ dedication and commitment to getting to the bottom of this case.

Citizenship and I-130 Petition for Spouse after Motion to Vacate

Our client, a native of Romania, was a legal permanent resident and wanted to apply for citizenship in the United States. However, a few years earlier, he had plead guilty to domestic violence, which is a deportable offense. At the time, though, he was unaware that a guilty plea would negatively affect his application for naturalization. Our first step was to file a motion to vacate the guilty plea with the court. After the judge granted the motion, we immediately began preparing our client’s N-400, or naturalization application. Scott Bratton, partner at Margaret Wong & Associates, accompanied the client to his interview with USCIS and his application was approved soon after.

About a month later, our client decided to file an I-130 petition and I-485 application for adjustment of status for his wife, who was also from Romania. We prepared the forms for our clients and prepared them for their interview with USCIS. We also attended the interview with the couple. Within four months of filing the petition, our client’s wife was approved for a green card.

U Visa for Mexican woman with abusive husband

Our client, a young woman from Mexico, was in the United States with lawful status when she met her soon-to-be husband. The couple married and the woman’s husband filed I-130 petition for alien relative for her and she filed I-485 Application to Adjust Status, and successfully received her green card but soon the relationship began to experience significant turmoil. The husband began to exhibit alcoholism, a gambling habit, and was diagnosed with PTSD. He was occasionally physically abusive and often emotionally abusive towards her. Because the woman loved her husband she stayed with him for quite a while but eventually had to leave. She came to us very fearful and in tears. We were able to file to remove conditions on her green card with a Form I-751 accompanied by a plethora of supporting documents, including the woman’s own affidavit with which we helped her. Her case was approved without an interview, removing the conditions on her green card and she can now put her painful past behind her.

10 year cancellation pending, EAD approved

On 01/19/2011, a Mexican national came to the Cleveland office for a consultation, she’s been in the US for 10 years, crossed the border illegally. The client came to see Mrs. Wong to file an I-589 for 10 yr. cancellation purposes. We filed the I-589 on 06/05/12 and her 1st Work Permit was filed on 11/01/12 and it was approved on 12/17/12. The client received her approval notice and is able to work legally in the United States and also she was able to receive her social security and her Driver license. After a year we renewed the work permit that was filed on 09/14/13 and it was approved on 11/01/13. Every year we will be renewing her work permit while the case is pending in the Cleveland Immigration Court. The client currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.

Salvadoran gets EAD and has pending Immigration Court case

On 07/9/2012, a Salvadoran national came to the Columbus office for a consultation, he came to the US in November of 2000, crossed the border illegally from Mexico. The client came to see Mrs. Wong to file an I-589 for 10 yr. cancellation purposes. We filed the I-589 on 07/25/12 and his 1st Work Permit was filed on 11/09/2012 and it was approved on 12/24/12. The client received her approval notice and is able to work legally in the United States. After a year they renew the work permit that was filed on 09/05/2013 and it was approved on 11/02/2013. Their case is pending in the Cleveland Immigration Court. The client currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.

E-3 approved for financial services professional in NYC

An Australian financial services professional in his mid 20s hired us in October 2013 to apply for an E-3 visa. This visa applies only to Australians who have Bachelor’s degrees and work in a specialty occupation. Our client met these requirements and we filed his application in November. Despite the fact that our client had switched employers, making the case more complicated, his application was approved in January 2014, only two months after we filed.

E-3 approved for Australian Marketing Specialist

At about the same time, in November 2013, our office was retained by another Australian professional, this one a marketing specialist in his late 20s, to help him obtain a temporary work visa. We filed for an E-3 visa, a unique visa category that is reserved for Australians working in specialty professional occupations that require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. In January 2014 his application was approved. Two months from start to finish! Truly remarkable and possible because of the hard work and dedication of all those who worked on this case at Margaret Wong & Associates.

Once priority date became current green card approved for this South Korean and wife

In 2006, our office was retained by a South Korean realtor and his wife. We originally filed for an employment based visa which was quickly approved. We then began the process to obtain green cards for the client and his wife. Because of significant backlog, our clients had to wait until 2012 to be approved for permanent residency! They are very happy to have their green cards and to be settled in the US.

 Chinese nurse approved under EB2

A Chinese nurse and her husband, a PhD student, came to us in 2008 seeking help with an employment based visa. At the time the clients were taking out a loan for their house and wanted to be sure of their status. They were approved for their loan and in 2009 the wife began a Master’s program in nursing. After she completed her Master’s we filed for permanent residency under the EB2 category, which is for immigrants with advanced degrees. In October, 2013 the client and her husband were approved and received their green cards.

 Hardship waiver based on battery/extreme cruelty

We were retained by a foreign national to help file a petition to remove conditions on his permanent resident status based on a hardship waiver based on battery and/or extreme cruelty by his US citizen spouse. We filed the application along with numerous supporting documents. USCIS issued a request for more evidence which we responded to immediately. Shortly thereafter, our client was approved and received his lawful permanent resident card, good for 10 years. He was pleased with our representation happy to receive his new green card.

H-1B Brings Healthcare Organization Master's Degree Employee from Hong Kong

We were retained to work on an H-1B visa Master’s Degree Cap case for a beneficiary from Hong Kong working in the behavioral healthcare profession for a nonprofit healthcare organization. We filed the H-1B application on March 29, 2013, due to the H-1B cap lottery requiring all H-1B’s to be filed by April 5, 2013. We received an RFE and responded to the RFE. We subsequently received an approval of the H-1B visa for the employer and employee to begin working October 1, 2013 with a validity for 3 years.

Taiwan Business Owner Wins Approval Operate in US

An alien from Taiwan retained us to work on his E-2 non immigrant visa based on his ownership of a fastener (used in cars) company. He entered the US on a B-1 visa and needed to get work authorization to permit him to operate and control the business he owned with his family. We filed the E-2 on April 18, 2013 and then received a request for evidence on May 16, 2013. We worked diligently to ensure that USCIS receives the proper documents in order for the applicant to receive a favorable decision. USCIS approved the case on August 16, 2013 after finding that the applicant qualifies for the E-2 classification. The alien was very happy to get the approval and looks forward to his work here in his business.

Woman Overcomes Naturalization Cancellation

A naturalized United States Citizen came to Margaret W. Wong & Associates with troubling news.  The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notified her that they will be cancelling her certificate of naturalization!  She needed fast help and so the firm took the case.   A brief with supporting documents was filed. The naturalized United States Citizen was then scheduled for a hearing known as an INA §342 hearing where her case would be heard by an Immigration Officer.  The firm, through hardworking staff and attorneys came together and provided her with important preparation.  Thus she was ecstatic when she received a letter in the mail from USCIS stating that they will not be cancelling her certificate of naturalization.  She felt at peace.  The attorneys and staff at Margaret W. Wong & Associates were glad to help her maintain her hard earned status in the United States as a citizen.

Chinese National's Green Card Restored

A Chinese National came to Margaret W. Wong & Associates after a problem arose during her Green Card interview.  The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said she would not be able to get her Green Card because she was a member of the Communist Party!  The firm filed a motion to reopen or reconsider with USCIS explaining that the Immigration Officer's decision was incorrect based on the law and cases.  The hard working attorneys and staff at the firm put together a brief explaining her defense and supporting evidence.  USCIS then acknowledged that the first decision not giving her a green card was wrong.  The Chinese National is very happy because she obtained her \Green card without having to wrongfully state that she was inadmissible for her membership in a Communist party.  The attorneys and staff at Margaret W. Wong & Associates were just glad to help her achieve her goal.

Man from China Becomes Legal Permanent Resident After NOID Issued Based on Discrepancies

Mr. L, a Chinese national, filed his I-485 Application to Adjust Status in November 2012 based on his approved asylum status. He used the law office of another attorney (prior attorney) to prepare his I-485 application and his I-589 application. Mr. L is not fluent in English. His primary language is Chinese, Mandarin dialect. Due to discrepancies on the forms previously submitted in this case by other offices, USCIS issued a notice of intent to deny (NOID) his I-485 application and our office was hired to respond to NOID. Our office prepared a detailed statement in the case explaining the discrepancies that Mr. L’s prior applications contained. These inconsistencies had to do with his prior work and residence addresses. USCIS considered the detailed explanation and the evidence that our office submitted on behalf of Mr. L, and his case was approved. Mr. L is now a Legal Permanent Resident.

Man from China Only Achieves Legal Permanent Residence through Mandamus Compelling USCIS to Complete Their Work

Mr. X, a citizen of China, came to our office to assist him with the I-485, Application for adjustment of status that had been pending with USCIS since early 2014. Mr. X had an approved I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker 1st preference that he filed in March 2014 with USCIS with the assistance of another attorney. However, USCIS failed to take any actions on the I-485 application for more than 2 years. Our office filed a mandamus action with the U.S. District court to compel USCIS make a decision. The I-485 application was were approved within a short period of time and now our client is Legal Permanent Resident.

Family in Midst of Fight to Stay in the USA Wins Administrative Closure

Our client wrote us a letter:

I write to express our deep felt thanks to Chela Marquez the lead attorney, Margaret Wong, and the entire Margaret W. Wong and Associates law firm. Over the years I have been privileged to meet and talk to many in the firm who have been nothing short of terrific. I wish to name Allison, Albion, Ariana, Azaadjeet, Fabiola, Scott and of course Leo, who can forget Leo. Similar thanks goes to all others whom I also know worked as hard in various ways.

I have seen hope exemplified, care exercised, consideration granted and, most importantly, excellence in industry at its best in your law firm.

The pause provided by administrative closure provides a sigh of relief and is also a reminder that the fight is not over yet. With the Margaret W. Wong and Associates law firm at my corner, I am happy and confident that we have a partner who will fight hard with us and try to get to the finish line.

Taiwan Man Lied on Visa Application, Won Waiver, Can Expect Green Card

Our client came to us in 2014 after he was placed in removal proceedings for having committed fraud on his entry to the United States. He claimed on his immigrant visa application that he was single when he actually was married.  Had he stated he was married, he would not have been admitted to the United States because his father was only a permanent resident and there is no visa category for a married adult child of a lawful permanent resident.  Therefore, he was charged with fraud/misrepresentation and improper entry as a lawful permanent resident since he was not entitled to that status. We appeared in court earlier this year and requested a waiver pursuant to INA Section 237(a)(1)(H). We filed a great deal of supporting documentation to show that a waiver is warranted as a matter of discretion. In September 2016, our client testified in support of his waiver application.  After hearing the testimony, the Court granted the 237(a)(1)(H) waiver.  Our client will now be able to stay in the United States as a lawful permanent resident. He can also apply for U.S. citizenship and can petition for his wife to come to the United States.  Scott Bratton handled the case.

REUNITING HUSBAND AND WIFE

An Indian woman immigrated to the United States, leaving her husband behind in India. She became our client in April of 2016, so we filed an I-130 (petition for an alien relative) form on her behalf with the sponsorship of one of her family members. Because her husband remained abroad in the India, we filed a I-864, an Affidavit of Support form, to the National Visa Center (NVC), proving that our client could financially support her husband. We successfully obtained a visa for her husband, even though her I-130 is pending approval.

SIMPLE DOCUMENTS TO TRAVEL

A Chinese man and his wife came to our firm in December of 2016 seeking travel documents as refugees. We filed I-131 (application for travel document) forms for the couple on the same day, and four months later, the couple each received approved travel documents.

Our office was hired by a senior green card holder that was in need to rapidly obtain an I-131 Travel Document. She was truly concerned because she was in the necessity of urgently traveling to her native country to stay there for more than 6 months. We filed her application and successfully in two months we obtain her approval. 

LIBERIAN IMMIGRANT FATHER SENDS HIS SON TO STUDY ABROAD

Our firm filed for a Liberian father’s permanent residency to be adjusted to citizenship with a N-400 (naturalization) form. Even though the decision is still pending, we helped our client file to adjust his son’s status with the I-130 (petition for alien relative) by having our client sponsor his son’s petition to be a permanent resident. After filing the sponsorship form (I-130), we filed the I-485 (adjustment of status or permanent residency) form to finalize his son’s status and earn him a Green Card. The father also expressed concerns of his son’s travelling outside the United States for college and studying purposes. In response, we filed an I-131 (application for travel document) for a re-entry permit and an I-765 (work authorization) form for work. Three months later, the I-131 was approved as well as his I-765, so the son can continue his college studies and working.

SON SPONSORS PARENTS FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY

A Mexican couple came to our firm in September 2016. The woman middle-aged and came to the United States with a B-2 visitor’s visa. She and her husband were married in August of 1991, and they have three children: two born in Mexico who currently living there and a third who was born in the United States and lives in the United State with his uncle. The wife is our client, and she came to the United States for the first time as EWI (entry without inspection) when had her U.S. citizen baby. The couple often used their border crossing card to travel back and forth from the United States to Mexico to shop.

Our firm recommended that their child, who is a United States citizen, petition for them, so we filed an I-130 (petition for alien relative) using the son as a sponsor and an I-485 (application for adjustment of status or permanent residency) form for a follow-up to become a permanent resident. Even though the I-485s were initially denied, our firm reanalyzed the case and provided more evidence to make an appeal. In addition, we filed I-765 (work authorization) forms and I-131 (application for travel document) forms for the couple, and they both were approved, allowing them to work in the United States and have re-entry to and from Mexico while their I-485s and I-130s are pending approval.

FINISHING WHAT HE STARTED

With an already-approved I-130 form, a Chinese man came to our firm in February of 2013. His I-130 (petition for an alien relative) was sponsored by his wife who is a United States citizen. We filed an I-485 (adjustment of status or permanent residency application) as a follow-up to his I-130 approval. While the I-485 status is pending, we filed an I-131 (application for travel documents) for re-entry travel documents, allowing our client to travel outside the United States and an I-765 document, allowing our client to work in the United States. Both his I-765 and I-131 were granted on the same day. We have also advised our client on obtaining Social Security and continue to ensure his Green Card application is approved.

REOPENING A FILE TO WORK AND TRAVEL

Originally coming to us in 2015, a Colombian client was seeking status in the United States. After analyzing our client’s case, we filed for asylum (I-589 form) but decided to wait until he married his girlfriend who is a USC (U.S. citizen) before filing a I-130 (petition for alien relative, including spouse). Because of the delay in marriage and the client’s decision to eventually close his asylum case, we closed his file; then, in October of 2016, we reopened the client’s file a week before his marriage to his girlfriend. We filed his I-765 (work authorization) form, I-131 (application for travel documents), and I-130. Because of our client’s sponsorship, he was eligible for a Green Card (permanent residency with an I-485 form). We filed his I-485 for permanent residency along with his I-130, and six months later, our client’s work authorization and travel documentation were approved.

TRAVELLING FAMILY SUCCEED IN SPONSORSHIP

We became representatives for our client in September of 2016. She was an immigrant from Mexico who came with her Guatemalan husband and their daughter. The family found a petitioner in the United States to sponsor their permanent residency, so we filed I-130s (petition for alien relative) for the wife and husband under the same sponsor. We also filed for our client’s asylum with her husband as the riding applicant using the I-589 form. Because our client expressed desire to be able to travel outside the country while their file was pending, we filed an I-131 (application for advanced parole or travel documentation) for the wife with her husband, again, as the riding applicant. We succeeded in having their petitions and travel documentation approved, so our client and her family could travel to Guatemala. During their time travelling, we began preparations to file for our client and her husband and daughter’s Green Cards (I-485 form) with the sponsorship approval and work permits (I-765 form). We will finalize the rest of our client’s case after they return from Guatemala.

GERMAN CLIENT's QUICK B-2 VISA RENEWAL

A client from Germany sought our firm’s help to renew his B-2 visitor’s visa, so we filed an I-539 (application to extend nonimmigrant status). The USCIS sent our offices a RFE (request for more evidence), so we added our client’s financial records as well as letters of support. The visa extension was approved shortly after we submitted the information, so our client can now legally remain in the United States for six more months. We are now helping advise our client on the best way to adjust his status from a visitor’s visa to a student visa (F visa) or an exchange visa (J visa).