By Allison Posner
On May 8, 2014, the Nebraska Service center held a teleconference on school/student issues. The following are the minutes from that discussion in Q and A format.
Q. Please describe the process Nebraska undertakes when an I-824 is approved and the case is to be sent to the National Visa Center (“NVC”) for following-to-join immigrant processing. What customer service options are available when a significant time has passed between the I-824 approval and when the beneficiary is notified by the NVC that the case is ready for further processing? This file-transfer process causes considerable hardship to families who are unable to obtain redress from USCIS (which just confirms that the I-824 was approved) and the NVC (which just claims it doesn’t have the case).
A. When the NSC approves an I-824, it makes copies of documents related to the approval and mails copies of those documents to the NVC. Once you have received the approval notice, you must contact the NVC for information on the case. The NSC is working with the NVC to improve communication between the offices. You can contact the NVC at: email@example.com or 603-334-0700.
Q. If an F-1 student with duration of status (D/S) does unauthorized work what is the process of canceling his/her status? Can ISO cancel it without forwarding the case to an immigration judge? Does CBP have same authority to cancel an F1 visa for work violations?
A. Unauthorized employment automatically violates F-1 status. When ISO determines that an F-1s status has been violated, the case may be referred for removal proceedings. Contact SEVIS at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-603-3400. You would have to contact CBP for that agency’s process.
For F-1 students with approved OPT who intend to engage in self-employment, does the time that the student is setting up the business (forming a legal entity, getting a business license, taking professional exams, etc.) count as employment, or would NSC view these preparatory activities as unemployment and therefore count against the 90-day maximum unemployment period for maintaining F-1 status?
The SEVIS policy manual says that a student must prove that he or she has the proper business license, etc to be approved for self employment. NSC has approved requests in which the student has proven that the business has already been established.
Q. If a relative of F-1 student files an I-130 on behalf of the student, what are the risks of traveling for the F-1 because it is not a dual intent visa?
A. CBP makes the determination on admission requests. Consult with that agency. www.cbp.gov.
A. Other than a student being physically incapacitated, can NSC offer some examples of extraordinary circumstances that would be viable for allowing reinstatement for a student who has been out of status for more than five months?
B. NSC does not adjudicate student reinstatement applications. Those inquires should be directed to field office operations.