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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7290
Experience:  Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
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I am a South African on a 10 year B2 visa, my boyfriend is

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I am a South African on a 10 year B2 visa, my boyfriend is an American. I have been visiting him since February 2013 and I am due to go back in August 2013, He cannot come back with me at this time so we have decided I should extend my stay. I am registered at a South African University, I have employment lined up there for Feb. 2014, I have a car in my name, my boyfriend is my sponsor, and I have extended my airline ticket to Feb 2014.
Are these possessions enough to grant an extension?
What happens if it is pending/denied while I am in the States
What must my employer write on my employment letter- specifics?
How must I word my reason for extending?
What are the chances of an approval?
I was here previously- 2 years ago- on a J1 visa does this effect anything?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer/Pearl. Please note that I earn my living by helping customers like you. I only ask that once you've received your answers, you rate me positively based on the customer service I provide you, and not the outcome, for which the law sometimes does not have a good solution. If you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further.

QUESTION: Are these possessions enough to grant an extension?

ANSWER: There is no way to know, with any sort of accuracy, if this is enough to be granted an extension. While it is important to show you have strong ties to your home country, once you're in the US requesting an extension, it is more important to explain why you require an extension. So the possessions are helpful, but your reason or purpose for requesting the extension is even more important.

 

QUESTION: What happens if it is pending/denied while I am in the States

ANSWER: Then you must leave the US immediately. And if 6 months have passed since the expiration of your prior status (August 2013), then you would have acquired 6 months of unlawful presence, and will be subject to a 3-year ban from entering the US.

 

QUESTION: What must my employer write on my employment letter- specifics?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, I am not allowed to give specifics about or templates for what to write. This is for your protection. What I am permitted to say is that your employer should provide assurances that you still have an offer of employment and that you are expected to return to work on a date certain; describe the position of employment, including salary and rate or pay; describe your history of employment with the employer, if any; and describe the importance of having you employed.

 

QUESTION: How must I word my reason for extending?

ANSWER: There is no specific way that you must word it. The most important thing is not the format, but the reasons for requesting the extension. If you have not gotten a chance to do all of the things you wanted to do when you first came to the US, then explain this. If you've decided to tour places that you did not initially intend to tour, then explain this. Spending more time with your boyfriend is not going to work - in fact it would likely be harmful to your request, since the US does not issue B1/B2 visas for the purpose of visiting a loved one, especially where it would create a risk that you would end up overstaying your status.

 

QUESTION: What are the chances of an approval?

ANSWER: There are no published numbers about the chances or percentages of those who are approved. Each case is reviewed on a case by case basis, spending on the basis for the request. Requests seeking extensions for the purpose of further exploration and tourism of the US are generally approved at a high rate. But a request for an extension to spend more time with your boyfriend will likely not be approved, as those situations tend to indicate that you are at risk of overstaying your status, or otherwise being sponsored for a green card through marriage.


QUESTION: I was here previously- 2 years ago- on a J1 visa does this effect anything?

ANSWER: No, not necessarily. Unless the USCIS starts to grown concerned that you are using non-immigrant visa statuses to reside in the US.


If you intend to get married to this boyfriend in the future, and you did not enter the US with the B1/B2 visitor visa with the intent to get married and stay in the US, then you qualify for adjustment of status to permanent resident once you get married. You might consider this, if you think you will eventually immigrate anyway. While a visitor is not allowed to have this intent when they enter the US, if their intent changes once they are in the US, then they can do this. If that is something you are considering, I would not apply for an extension of status. That would be a sure way to be denied, if you use that reason for your request.

I hope I have answered your questions. Please reserve your rating for the very end of our conversation. If at that time you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. The bottom two negative ratings are reserved for pros who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to always be professional and truthful with you.

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Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much for you quick response, I appreciate it and your information has been helpful.


 


I just have some follow up questions:


 


 


 


1.So applying for an extension can only be for purposes of tourism, but is he allowed to sponsor me for my travels or is that a red flag to have my US boyfriend as my financial sponsor? I am on unpaid extended leave from my job, and my savings is almost dry.


 


2. Also Just so I understand, based on your last paragraph: If he does decide to ask me to marry him before I leave in August, would I have to go home and change from my B2 status there, or can I do it from here if it is before the expiration date on my I-94?

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Thandi,

 

QUESTION 1: So applying for an extension can only be for purposes of tourism, but is he allowed to sponsor me for my travels or is that a red flag to have my US boyfriend as my financial sponsor? I am on unpaid extended leave from my job, and my savings is almost dry.

ANSWER: No, that is not the only reason. But saying you want to stay with your boyfriend for more time is not a good thing. Presumably, you are here for tourism, travel, and to visit friends and meet new people, not to live with your boyfriend or spend more time with him. Your boyfriend sponsoring you while you are here is perfectly fine, but the purpose for being here is not to be with or live with your boyfriend. At least it shouldn't be.

Needing more time to visit family and friends is a legitimate reason for an extension; but because this "friend" is a potential sponsor for a green card, asking to remain in the US to stay with him, practically speaking, is asking for a denial. Note that this isn't written in the law, but my experience as an attorney has shown that this could be quite problematic.

QUESTION 2: Also Just so I understand, based on your last paragraph: If he does decide to ask me to marry him before I leave in August, would I have to go home and change from my B2 status there, or can I do it from here if it is before the expiration date on my I-94?

 

ANSWER: You would not have to go home. You would get married. Then he would submit form I-130 and you would submit form I-485. You can even do it after your I-94 has expired, but I would not suggest doing so. You risk being asked to leave. But if you've been int he US for 90 days or more, and then you get married and start the process for adjusting your status from a visitor to a permanent resident while in the US, then you can stay int he US and complete the process here, even if the I-94 has expired during that time.

 

I hope I have answered your questions. Please reserve your rating for the very end of our conversation. If at that time you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. The bottom two negative ratings are reserved for pros who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to always be professional and truthful with you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, you can write "FOR LONGHORN" at the beginning of your question, or go directly to my question page here: Ask Longhorn Lawyer

Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you very much.


 


I have talked it over with my boyfriend and I hope you don't mind- we have one final question before we decide what to do.


 


1. Hypothetically, If we applied for the extension now but thereafter got married while the extension is pending, would I still be able to apply for the change of status?


 


 


 

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

Thandi,

Sorry for the delay. I was logged out of the system when you asked your follow-up question.My apologies for any inconvenience this might have caused.

 

QUESTION: Hypothetically, If we applied for the extension now but thereafter got married while the extension is pending, would I still be able to apply for the change of status?

 

ANSWER: You can apply, but it is not a good idea. You would just have applied for a visitor status extension, which requires that you have non-immigrant, visitor intent. I you decide all of a sudden that you have immigrant intent, it could look like you used the extension to buy time to apply for adjustment. It could potentially lead to a denial of the extension, and a denial of the adjustment of status. In that case, you'd be asked to leave the US and process the immigrant visa from abroad, and that could mean you wouldn't be able to return for anywhere from 8 to 10 months.

 

If you think you are going to get married and apply for adjustment of status, I suggest you submit the documentation to do so, rather than applying for an extension.

 

I hope I have answered your questions. Keep in mind that I only get credit for my work if you rate me positively. If you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. Again, if you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further. Remember that the bottom two negative ratings are used for Experts or professionals who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to be professional and truthful with you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, you can write "FOR LONGHORN" at the beginning of your question, or go directly to my question page here: Ask Longhorn Lawyer

Thank you!

Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7290
Experience: Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
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