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NIW as a Current PhD student.

Published Feb 10,2020 By Anabel

To whom it may Concern,

Thank you for this opportunity. I am currently a PhD student, following my Masters program in the U.S which ended last year. I have 2 advanced degrees (MD and MPH).

I have been offered a Canadian PR through the Express Entry on the condition that I briefly visit Canada (called soft-landing) to complete my application in person before August 2020.

I plan on self-petitioning (concurrent filing) for an American Green card using NIW (I-140 and 1-485) in some few days. However, my last F1 visa, given to me on account of my Masters studies expired last summer but since I haven’t left the U.S, I did not need a new visa to get a new I-20 for my PhD program. I understand that once I submit my application I will have shown an intention to immigrate and that disqualifies me for an extension of my F1 visa.

Therefore, I am worried about some few issues:

1. With the average long waiting time for the Green card application, I may not have gotten it by August, by which time I need to briefly visit Canada to complete my Express Entry application. Will an advanced parole be sufficient to get me qualified for a new F1 visa to permit me entry back to the U.S?

2. I understand I may not be able to extend my F1 visa anymore but after I am back to the U.S will I be able to extend my current I-20 peradventure my PhD program demands more time than the current date of expiration of my current I-20?

3. Will my chances of entry back to the U.S from Canada be higher if I do not do concurrent filing but instead only submit form I-140 now?

4. Will my chances and duration of getting the American green card be affected if I submit the I-485  5 months after submitting the I-140 even without the I-140 been approved?

5. Will my chances of entry back into the States from Canada be increased since I will be coming back as a Canadian PR?

6.Will the duration of my EAD card processing based on my I-485 be longer if the USCIS officer sees that I am currently in a PhD program for another 2 years and may not see the need to hasten my application?

Thank you.

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4 years ago

Hello Anabel,

That is correct. Once you file I-140 or I-485, you may not be able for obtain F1 visa due to the conflict of interests. Let me answer your questions, one by one.

1. The advance parole is a document that should allow you to get back to the U.S. It cannot be used for obtaining visas.

2. You should be able to extend I-20 after I-140 is filed. You don’t need to extend I-20 after I-485 is filed, as you can stay legally in the U.S. with I-485 is pending. You can, in principle, extend I-20 while I-485 is pending, however, this is a gray area. It exploits the fact that different agencies are not communicating well with each other, but, strictly speaking, it contradicts the law and we cannot recommend it.

3. You will have to get F1 stamp in your passport in order to enter the U.S. If you filed I-140, then you will have to mention this in the F1 visa application and your F1 will likely be denied.

4. It is alright to file I-485 5 months after your file I-140, especially with all the waiting times taken into account

5. Having Canada’s PR will help you in getting F1, but not in entering U.S. by itself.

6. To my knowledge, the processing time does not depend on the applicant’s education status.

4 years ago
Reply to  BlogSupport

Thank you for your rapid response, I really appreciate.

Taking Q1 and Q5 into consideration and the fact that my current I-20 expires in another 2 years, will I be able to get a new F1 visa based on my Canadian PR status and current valid I-20? And peradventure, I am denied, will I be able to use the Advanced Parole to enter the U.S?

4 years ago
Reply to  Anabel

F1 and advance parole are not compatible. If you get the advance parole (i.e., your I-485 is pending), you won’t be able to get F1. The Canadian PR may help you to show that you want to enter the U.S. temporarily and get F1. However, if you already filed I-140 or I-485, your F1 will most probably be denied regardless of your status in Canada.

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