F-1

 

SUCCESSFUL P1A & P1S Visa: FiGURE SKATER

 

o    Applicant: Amanda & Kristine

o    Nationality: Hong Kong  

o    Visa: P1A and P1S

o    Sport: Figure Skating

o    Challenges:

-Amanda’s mom, Kristine, wasn’t her trainer, coach, or agent, usually required for P1S visa.

            -They were on tight schedules with Amanda’s competitions

            -They had no connections or ties to the U.S.

            -They didn’t have letters from an agency to prove Amanda was renowned

   -Time was very limited. Needed to obtain visa in 3 months or else Amanda would miss her competition

-Amanda was warned that she can no longer come to the U.S. on a tourist visa because of her frequent visits and competitions.

 

Young Hong Kong resident Amanda Yang had a passion for figure skating. Amanda turned this passion into a successful competitive career that was supported and facilitated by her mother, Kristine. Amanda’s mom took care of all the necessities of being a successful competitive skater that don’t involve putting on a pair of skates and stepping on ice. Entering competitions, booking travel, booking accommodations, scheduling practices, Kristine did it all. As a result of their success, Amanda and Kristine found themselves frequently visiting one of the most competitive countries in the world for sports of almost any kind: the United States.

 

However, what initially was a sign of success became a source of trouble when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer warned them that their frequent travel without a visa made them suspicious in the eyes of U.S. immigration officials. This was an alarming development as Amanda had a major skating competition coming up in just a few months. As she always did, Kristine jumped in to figure out how to rectify the situation. Many attorneys she contacted suggested Amanda obtain a F-1 U.S. student visa, under which Kristine could be registered as an F-2 dependent. This didn’t satisfy them, as Amanda had no interest in being a student again. Skating was Amanda’s passion and that is to what she intended to dedicate herself.

 

Just when they were giving up hope, they were referred to Tsang and Associates by a fellow performer whom we assisted in a similar case and they quickly flew to the U.S. to meet with our team. It was unquestionable that the best alternative was to apply for a P-1A and P-1S visa for them as the child was an international athlete and the mother was her agent.

 

Keys to Success:

The requirements necessary to obtain a P-1A visa status from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are as follow:

·         Applicant must be coming to the United States to participate in a specific event, competition, or performance.

 

·         An explanation and itinerary of the event.

 

·         Two documents that show the applicant has high achievements and is renown in their field in more than one country.

·         A copy of a contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport.

·         An I-129 form and supporting documentation filed by a prospective employer establishing intent to work.

·         The U.S. employer must submit a consultation from an appropriate labor organization. The consultation must describe the work or services to be performed in the United States and the applicant’s qualifications for such work. If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused.

 

 

High Level of Achievement, Skill, and World Renown

Our first obstacle to tackle was compiling evidentiary documents that would establish Amanda’s high skill and achievement as a professional skater. After extensive research and communication with various skating organizations, we were able to obtain an endorsement for Amanda from the Professional Skaters Association, the largest figure skating coaches association in the world.

In concert with this accomplishment we needed to establish that Kristine was essential and relevant support to Amanda in order for her to qualify for the P-1S visa status that would allow Kristine to chaperone her trips. This was a more complicated task as the P-1S is primarily reserved for a trainer, coach or agent in some contractual form. We circumvented this issue by submitting documents that established that Kristine was involved in all facets of Amanda’s career from her training schedule to playing the role of agent when it came to entering her in competitions.

 

Consultation from Labor Organization

Finally, although Amanda had no ties to the U.S., we were able to secure her a consultation with a labor organization that helped establish that connection. Having worked diligently many hours, Tsang and Associates filed the case in October 2016 and was able to the gain approval for Amanda and Kristine’s visas by January 2017, right in time for her tournament and a new year of competition.

 

OUTCOME

Having gained visas allowing them three years to come and go freely, mother and daughter were elated to be able to pursue Amanda’s skating dreams without the worry of immigration issues. They came into us discouraged about their prospect for success in rectifying their immigration status, but we believed in our clients and our capacity to navigate the law for them and opened the door to the American dream. They were thrilled.

 

SUCCESSFUL E-2 CASE

·         Client: Mrs. Zheng Zheng

·         Applying for: E-2 Visa

·         Nationality: Taiwanese

·         Challenges:

·         E-2 change of status to F-1

·         Difficulty to prove non-immigrant intent with U.S. citizen children

·         Difficult to prove intent to study after owning a company

·         Difficult to prove sound finances to support their living and tuition after company closed down

 

Few people have experienced the conflict of choosing between one’s parents and children, but for Mrs. Zheng Zheng, that conflict was a stark reality. After her E-2 investment in a restraint failed she had to choose between staying the United States with her U.S. citizen children or go back to Taiwan to take care of her parents. If she chose to stay in the U.S. there was a high likelihood she would never be able to leave and come back. If she chose to go to Taiwan there was also a high likelihood they would not be able to come back.

 

With the help of Tsang & Associates, PLC they were able to make the courageous move to apply for a F-1 visa overseas taking on the huge risk that they may never enter the U.S. again to see their children—and their reward was an approval. Now they are able to free to travel to see their parents in Taiwan and also to take care of their children in the U.S.

 

BACKGROUND

 

After coming to California from Taiwan on an E-2 visa, the applicant invested nearly $200,000 in a small restaurant. However, within a year, Mrs. Zheng Zheng’s restaurant fell upon hard times and went out of business, with Mrs. Zheng Zheng being forced to sell her restaurant for $70,000 - less than half of what she paid for it.

However, that wasn’t the greatest obstacle she was facing. With the closure of her restaurant, Mrs. Zheng Zheng was left with a decision: stay in California and never go home again, or return to Taiwan permanently and never return to the United States. What would be an easy decision for some was infinitely more difficult for Mrs. Zheng Zheng. If she were to stay in the United States, not only would she be doing so illegally or applying for a change of status to a F-1 visa. In either case, most people who chose to do change of status end up not being able to leave the U.S. because they will not be granted a visa to enter the U.S. in the future. And if they chose this path they would not be unable to return to her home in Taiwan to care for their aging parents. However, if she chose to return to Taiwan, it was highly unlikely that someone with her background would be able to secure a regular F-1 visa to come to the U.S. to study. It would mean having to leave behind her two children, who were U.S. citizens, alone in the U.S. Feeling as though she was being pulled in opposite directions, Mrs. Zheng Zheng came to Tsang & Associates, for guidance.

 

It was a hard choice given the consequences she was facing, but the attorneys at Tsang & Associates believed that we were able to help Mrs. Zheng Zheng secure a F-1 visa in Taiwan—as hard as it may have been.

The attorneys advised on all contingency plans in case the visa were not approved but then prepared a strong package showing why she qualified for an F-1 visa.

 

KEY TO SUCCESS

We believed that a significant reason as to why her restaurant went out of business was due to her lack of English skills. We assisted her in being accepted to a 4-year intensive English program at a very reputable school in Santa Monica. We demonstrated the strong financials that they had that supported their schooling and life in the U.S. and that they did not have immigrant intent. We prepared the clients for weeks before the interview and practiced for many hours as their entire future depended on every word.

A few weeks before the beginning of her first semester, Mrs. Zheng Zheng was notified that she no longer had to make the difficult choice between her parents and her children: her application had been accepted, and she had been granted an F-1 visa to attend the college program. Relieved and elated, the Zheng Zhengs returned to California to care for their children, and Mrs. Zheng Zheng embarked on a new journey as an English student, while also being able to properly care for her children and parents.

 

OUTCOME

The clients were overjoyed and we were also relieved and thankful to be apart of another successful journey. Well done, team. 

       SUCCESSFUL F-1 ACADEMIC STUDENT VISA CASE    Applicant: Mr. Lee  Occupation: Graduate Student  Applying for: F-1 Academic Student Visa  Nationality: Chinese  Challenges:  Previously denied entry into the United States on a B1/B2 visa  Multiple entries into the United States in the past, including several with extended periods of stay     Mr. Lee* reached out to Tsang and Associates in an emergency situation. He had just been previously denied entry into the United States, having his B1/B2 visa revoked. When Mr. Lee tried to enter the United States, the local Customs and Border Protection officer determined Mr. Lee to be inadmissible on the belief that he was an intending immigrant. As Mr. Lee did not have any physical proof of his true intentions in his possession at the time, he was forced to fly back to Hong Kong where he was residing as a permanent resident. Extremely distressed and in need of a visa so that he would be able to study at a university in Los Angeles to pursue his MBA degree, Mr. Lee came to us hoping that we would be able to quickly help him obtain an F-1 visa in time for him to report to his summer term that year. As such, we acted swiftly in assisting Mr. Lee form his petition. We filed his petition on February 26, 2014 and Mr. Lee received his visa on April 9, 2014, entering the United States soon after.   Keys to Success    Justifying Prior Travel   When we were first notified of Mr. Lee’s circumstances, we strongly believed that we could help him. We were confident that Mr. Lee’s initial denial of entry and cancellation of B1/B2 visa was the unfortunate result of a misunderstanding and miscommunication. As such, we knew we had to act fast to get Mr. Lee an F-1 visa so that Mr. Lee would be able to meet the deadline of reporting for his summer classes.  We first had to prove that Mr. Lee’s previous entries into the United States were not for any unlawful or immigrant intentions. In order to do so, we first obtained certificates for his current and prior employment in Hong Kong along with his resume to show that he had not been engaged in any unauthorized employment in the United States. We then further detailed his previous travels. We showed that Mr. Lee had previously been in the United States on an F-1 student visa to attend the University of Southern California and following his graduation, he went back to Hong Kong and returned to the United States on a B1/B2 visa in order to take his CPA, GRE, and GMAT examinations. We obtained records confirming the examination histories to prove the examinations. Thus we proved that Mr. Lee’s prior history of entry to the United States was free on any immigration violations such as overstays or unauthorized employment, but rather was all for lawful, academic, and professional motivations; there was no motive for immigrant intent.   Proving F-1 Requirements   With this established, we had to fulfill the requirements for an F-1 visa, most notably that he was accepted and will be engaging in a full course of study, that he had sufficient funds to attend the school, and had intent to leave the United States at the conclusion of his studies.  We first were able to prove Mr. Lee’s acceptance into a local university by Los Angeles. We obtained a valid Form I-20 from the institution and explained that Mr. Lee’s immediate goal was to earn an MBA at the school and to achieve a professional level of proficiency in business and finance for future use in senior executive positions at multinational firms with a global reach. We demonstrated that he had indeed been accepted for a full course of study, a two-year program with more than 18 hours of study per week, ultimately meeting the requirement set.  Furthermore, we were required to show that Mr. Lee would have sufficient funds to undertake his program. We received an estimation from the school that a 12-month course of study would cost approximately $20,800 including tuition and living expenses. We explained that Mr. Lee would pay for the schooling with his personal savings as well as financial support from his mother and father. In order to prove this capability, we brought to attention both Mr. Lee’s and his parents’ financial statements indicating that Mr. Lee was in possession of assets totaling around $130,000 while his parents had assets totaling more than $500,000. In addition, we highlighted that Mr. Lee’s family was involved in several successful business ventures in Hong Kong such as a jewelry business that provides even greater funds. Subsequently, we proved that Mr. Lee would have more than enough funds in order to avoid becoming a public charge or being forced to resort to unauthorized United States employment for financial support.  Lastly, we had to prove that Mr. Lee intended to leave the United States at the conclusion of his studies. As such, we demonstrated that since “ties” are typical weak for student applicants due to their youth, the focus should be shifted to the students’ immediate intent. Thus as we proved that Mr. Lee was intending to enroll into a graduate level study program in order to fulfill his personal and professional desire to gain a solid understanding of business and finance, Mr. Lee’s intent was to grow as individual personally as well as professionally. Doing so would serve him exceptionally well in the future. In addition, we emphasized that Mr. Lee’s entire family, both immediate and extended, currently resided in China and Hong Kong. Thus, we proved that Mr. Lee had no intention to immigrate but to immediately return to Hong Kong at the conclusion of his studies.   Outcome   We filed the petition on February 26, 2014 and Mr. Lee received his visa on April 9, 2014 plenty of time before the deadline required to report to his summer session.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Student with long history of travel into the United States has his B1/B2 visa revoked and is forced to go back to China. We proved his lawful and non-immigrant intentions in the United States and helped him apply for and receive an F-1 academic student visa instead, in time for his summer session.

       SUCCESSFUL F-1 ACADEMIC STUDENT VISA REINSTATEMENT   • Petitioner: Mr. Wong • Occupation: Student • Nationality: Chinese • Applying for: Reinstatement of F-1 Academic Student Visa [Form I-539] • Challenges:  o Nearly five months between the notification of Mr. Wong of his student status termination  and his application for reinstatement  o Did not attend school for three quarters  o Did not have a stable income to support himself  o Reason for termination was because of failure to take a test  On November 14, 2014 Mr. Wong*, a student at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), received notice that he had his F-1 visa revoked as a result of not taking a written examination he was required to take and his student status was terminated. The university did not help Mr. Wong even though it was their procedural error. Distressed, Mr. Wong reached out to Tsang & Associates and drove up from San Diego to meet with our team. We assisted Mr. Wong in filing an I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status on April 4, 2015, proving that:   Termination of Mr. Wong’s student status was out of his control  Mr. Wong planned to pursue a full course of study  Mr. Wong had not been engaged in any unauthorized employment  Mr. Wong had no grounds for deportation   Ultimately, Mr. Wong’s reinstatement was approved on January 27, 2016.   Keys to Success   When Mr. Wong came to us at Tsang & Associates, we believed strongly in his case and worked hard to prove the basis for his reinstatement. According to USCIS regulations, in order to be considered for reinstatement, the student first has to prove that he or she applied for reinstatement within five months of being notified of the termination of student status. Mr. Wong received notification on November 14, 2014 and therefore had to apply prior to April 14, 2015. We helped him file his application on April 4, 2015 just before the deadline. In order to establish the basis for reinstatement, the law states that the applicant must:   • Show that the cause for termination of student status was out of his or her control   • Be currently or planning to pursue a full course of study   • Have not been engaged in any unauthorized work   • Possess no grounds for deportation under United States immigration laws  Above all, the most important requirement that we had to satisfy was that the situation enshrouding Mr. Wong was the result of circumstances outside of his control. This was extremely challenging because the basis for termination was his failure to take a specific test, not for example an illness or natural disaster. However, we were confident that this main point of contention would be met. We were able to show through first a personal affidavit by Mr. Wong that he missed the examination as a result of a procedural error of which he was not informed and that if he was informed of the proper procedure, he would have ensured that he would not have missed the examination. Thus we proved that the circumstances that resulted in Mr. Wong’s failure was out of his control.  Another challenge we faced in this case was showing that Mr. Wong was “currently pursuing, or intending to pursue, a full course of study in the immediate future”; this was difficult as Mr. Wong had missed three quarters of school at the university, and thus did not qualify for a full course of study, determined as being 12 quarter hours for the academic year. In order to prove that there was intent for Mr. Wong of pursuing a full course of study in the immediate future, we first pointed to Mr. Wong’s recent completion of the written examination for which his visa was terminated and also to the fact that Mr. Wong applied for readmission to the university and was then accepted for reinstatement in March; he even enrolled in summer courses for 2015 and received a Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status from UCSD. In addition, we also wrote a sample affidavit for Mr. Wong, explaining his situation and his own personal intent to continue studying.  Another requirement we had to prove according to law was that Mr. Wong had not engaged in any unauthorized employment during his time without student status. This was a concern, as Mr. Wong had spent about five months without his student status and needed to sustain himself. However, we brought forth Mr. Wong’s financial statements during this time period which indicated that he indeed had sufficient funds to sustain him during this time. We showed through bank statements, that his mother had provided for him enough money to survive during this time.  After compiling all the evidence to back Mr. Wong’s position, we submitted his application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, we received a Request for Evidence (RFE) on September 22, 2015, asking for a letter from a school official detailing the circumstances and also more information on his ability to pay during his time here. In response, we requested a letter from the designated school official and also submitted transcripts and attendance records in order to further provide details regarding Mr. Wong’s failure to maintain status up to his reinstatement. Furthermore, we even composed a statement for his mother that stated that she provided around 19,000 dollars for Mr. Wong, intended for college tuition, living expenses, and unforeseen events; this was the basis for Mr. Wong’s ability to sustain himself during his time without student status. We submitted our response shortly after the next month in October.   Outcome   Mr. Wong’s F-1 reinstatement was approved on January 27, 2016, seven months after our initial submission. Mr. Wong was overjoyed that he could continue his studies at UCSD and pursue his career.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

A university student applies for and is approved for reinstatement of his F-1 Academic Student status. We demonstrated that he was wrongly stripped of his F-1 status and stressed that the circumstances surrounding his failure to take an exam was out of his control.