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Question About How To Apply For US Visa In China

James asks…

Work Visa vs Green Card?

This is a follow up question to a previous post. My friend is a Chinese Citizen. She has a valid visa, and has been in the United States for two years. I know the visa is valid because she travels in the US on the airlines. I don’t know what kind of visa she has. She has told me that if she returns to China, she could not return to the US. She is applying for a green card now. As I understand it, she was born and raised in China, at age 35 went to Europe and lived there for seven years, then returned to China for a short time, then got the visa to the US.

Here are my questions:

1. What is the typical time period a work visa is issued for? I am wondering how much longer she can stay in the US if she does not get her green card soon?

2. What type of visa was she most likely issued? Was the visa issued by China or by the European country? She is still a Chinese citizen.

3. If she has some type of work visa, how much flexibility does she have in the type of work she pursues?

4. How much are the legal fees to have an attorney help with a green card?

Any other comments?

Thanks!!
Well, I have personally dropped her off at the airport twice in the past few months. I assume that the security folks are reviewing her visa papers? Am I correct? Could she fly without a valid visa?

Does the fact that she spent seven years in Europe change the situation at all?

I will ask her what kind of Visa she has
The airline travel has been within the US
Once again, would it be possible for her to fly on the airlines here in the US without a valid visa??
Thanks to all for the additional comments! She told me she has a court date early next month to make an appearance to request a green card. She is being represented by an attorney. I dont know yet on what basis she is applying for a green card.

If its really impossible for her to get a green card, could there by any other immigration related reason she is going to court? I need to talk to her!!
She did show me a form of some type, but I didnt look at it closely.

I think her appearance is an interview with the agency that reviews green card applications, not with a court. My bad!! Things get misunderstood when translating!!

Here is an interesting question….if her visa is expired and not valid, and she goes to an interview to apply for a green card, I assume the agency that handles green cards would see that her visa is not valid and then what happens? She is asked to leave the country? Why would she apply for a green card if she risks leaving the country? This would be like turning yourself in!!
Raelyn….I will find and post her message to me about the appearance, interview, court date, or whatever it is!!
Here are some messages from here. Is this a court appearance or an apperance before the agency that handles green card applications?

我6月26号不能去你那里,因为我这里有很多事要做,我在和律师谈我的绿卡,我知道你很想我!

是的,我1点中去出庭。

我出庭回来,我7月 15号还要出庭,我非常心烦。

我没有说6 月去你那里,我7月15号还要出庭,我是问你父母很好吗?

Before I pick a best answer, I have a final question. If her current visa is expired, is it possible for her to apply for a green card and or political asylum? Logic would suggested that your visa needs to be in good standing to apply for either of those???
OK, I will ask her how her attorney intends to get her a green card. Could somebody type the exact questions I should ask? It seems that what I ask, and how I ask it, will be important:) Thanks to all for your ongoing help!

Best Answer:

Without knowing your friend’s background, I bet she’s applying for asylum, that’s the only way to acquire a green card except for marrying a US citizen. During the application process, applicants are allowed to remain in the US until a court decision because in principle, by applying asylum means returning to the home country could be dangerous to her life. In case it’s unsuccessful, she would be asked to leave the country. As far as I know many of the unsuccessful applicants still hang around in this country, the US government has been quite sympathetic to illegals until recently. Arizona and Alabama are a few states that have passed much stricter immigration laws recently.

A work visa has to be applied through an employer. The employer has to first prove that he is unable to find any qualified US residents to fill the position so that he has to look overseas, he has to show that he has advertised, searched and interviewed applicants for some time.

Additional:
Her message specifically mentions she needs to appear in a court of law on July 15. She is applying for a green card through a lawyer. Legal fees vary, a rough estimation is at least a few thousand US$.

Additional * :
I personally know a Chinese person who applied for political asylum 12-13 years ago but was not granted a green card so he married a US citizen (originally Chinese who applied for naturalization purely in the hope her husband could get a green card). In most cases the spouse of a US citizen automatically gets a green card, but in this case due to his past legal issues, he was not granted a green card, the judge made it clear he would never get one. Right now he is being granted asylum status on a yearly basis, and I understand he is still allowed to stay here because he has 3 young kids. He has to reapply every 12 months, that’s about 2 months before the current one expires.

Due to the bad US economy and China becoming a rising world power, it has become very difficult for Chinese nationals to obtain a green card simply through political asylum. In case your friend is denied a green card, the next best scenario should be like my friend who is allowed to remain in the US as an asylum seeker, but your friend will need a good reason to convince the judge to grant her this and such status will not be permanent, ie either get a green card or leave the US eventually.

Lawyers are not magicians or gods, they have to do everything within what is legally permissible. A question to consider asking a lawyer is : what is the best way to get her a status that could let her stay in the US permanently.

As long as someone enters the US legally with a passport and a visa, even the visa has expired, he/she can still apply for green card and asylum. This is different from people entering the US illegally, ie people who just walked across from Mexico and Canada without showing a visa to the US Immigration, these people can’t do anything and will be deported right away.

Posted From Yahoo! Answers (for informational purposes only)

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