I am a international student who has been out of status for more than 1 year. I am currently in removal proceedings. I want to know if I can be issued a reinstated I-20 to restart my college education? Is it possible to get a new I-20 while in removal proceedings. I have my first court appearance on April 13th, 2010.Thanks.
State/Country relating to question: Washington
I have already been approved to re-enroll in my college by my international advisor but I don't know if I can be issued a reinstated I-20 while in removal proceedings.
No, it is not, regardless of your removal proceedings. You would have had to have been out of status for less than 5 months. So at this point it is too late. I am truly sorry. Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
Hi, Thanks for the quick answer. I want to know what other options do I have. My international advisor told me that she can enroll me for spring quarter. Is there a way to appeal to the judge that I had a lot of problems and I really want to restart my education. Are there any exceptions? I read somewhere that if I can tell them that I was ill or had other hardship, I can get reinstated after the 5 month period.Also if everything fails, is there any way to avoid the 10 yr bar?Last q, during voluntary departure how long do I get to leave the country?
Forget about school. That is no longer an option to help you stay in the U.S. I don't care what the advisors say. I almost always defer to advisors on must F-1 issues, but now this has become a removal issue and the advisors are not Immigration attorneys. The law is very clear that for reinstatement, there is a 5 month limit. There are no exceptions to that. And since you have been out of status for a year or more, if you left voluntarily and tried to come back in with a new student visa, you would be denied for 10 years.
So your options to stay are the following:
1) Apply for Asylum (you had to have done this within the 1st year be being in the U.S. unless there are changed country conditions), Withholding of Removal, Convention Against Torture, or Cancellation of Removal. The first three things are if you fear to return to your home country because you believe that you will be specifically targeted due to your race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion and that you run a high risk of great bodily injury, torture, or death as a result. The last, Cancellation, you would have to prove that you have been at least 10 years in the U.S. AND you must also prove that if you are deported, a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident that depends upon you will suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. This hardship must be something more than emotional separation hardship or financial hardship, so it is difficult to get.
2) If you marry a U.S. Citizen, you can get Residency like that.
I am truly sorry, but you don't have many options at the moment under the current law.
Thanks for a great answer. I had one last question about asylum. My court date is in less than 2 weeks, first can I get more time to prepare myself(I mean ask the judge for an extension)? Second, if I file for asylum what kind of documentation/proof do I need. Will this be a strong case if I tell them that I changed my religion while in the US and if I go back I will face lot of problem from my community and may be a outcast? Also how long can remain in the US if I opt for voluntary departure?
Yes, absolutely! You go in and you ask the Immigration Judge for time to prepare an answer to the charges against you or for time to find an attorney to respond to the charges. They are not criminal charges, just things that say that you entered on such and such status on such and such date, you had until such and such time to stay, you violated the terms of your stay on such and such date, you are a citizen of such and such country and you are not a U.S. Citizen. I would not respond to the charges until you have an attorney or until after you get the extension of time. If you opt for Voluntary Departure, the max is 120 days. But VD only saves you from the 10 year bar for Deportation. There is still the other 10 year bar for the Overstay of 1 year.
10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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