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metwa

What should I do? Please help me

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Posted (edited)

Hi, 

 

First of all, I want to say any help would be appreciated. Here’s my situation. In 2016, I came to the US as an international student and attended a private school. In 2017, my mom (who is still in my home country) got married to a USC (my step dad). I then was moved to my step dad’s city to live with him. Here I attended a public school, which is legal because I was allowed to attend a public institution for 1 year if my parents/guardian is a USC. But since it was a public institution, it didn’t have the authority to issue me my I-20 form. Back then, I didn’t know much so I did not inform any government officials about my change. I am also not sure if my public school did.

 

Fast forward to now, I have received my EAD and SS# but I have not used my benefits for anything except applying for a drivers permit/ license. I am going to college next fall, my new college issued my my new I-20 with a new SEVIS ID on it and asked me to pay the I-901 fee. 

 

I do not know if I have been out of status or not, nor do I know how to check my status. I used the SEVIS website but that did not work. I want to maintain my F-1 status because that’s what got me here and also if my AOS did not go through, I can still stay in the US and finish my education. 

 

If anyone has been in my situation before, do you guys have any experiences? Also, what steps should I take now, should I pay the I-901 fee and would that be all I need to do? Are there any ways I can check my status? If I am to be out of status, should I apply for reinstatement and would that be considered immigration fraud since I’m having a pending I-485? Should I seek help from lawyers? Thank you so so much for reading, please give me any advices if possible :) Have a nice day!

Edited by metwa

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Under F1 you can attend a public school for a maximum of one year. You don’t need a parent to be a USC or LPR, however, on F1 you do need to pay the full unsubsidized cost of the public school. Do you know if this was done? Only some public schools can admit internationals and issue I20s, it sounds like yours may not have been one of those. You can use this page to check if your school is on the list https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/school-search

 

 

On what basis have you received an EAD and SSN? Has your stepfather filed an i130 for you? Why would you think it might “not go through”? If the petition is an immediate relative (IR) petition, any out of status would be forgiven. I’m not sure why you want to pursue the F1 avenue with all its potential problems when you seem to have a slam dunk ahead of you (if it is indeed an IR petition)?

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, SusieQQQ said:

Under F1 you can attend a public school for a maximum of one year. You don’t need a parent to be a USC or LPR, however, on F1 you do need to pay the full unsubsidized cost of the public school. Do you know if this was done? Only some public schools can admit internationals and issue I20s, it sounds like yours may not have been one of those. You can use this page to check if your school is on the list https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/school-search

 

 

On what basis have you received an EAD and SSN? Has your stepfather filed an i130 for you? Why would you think it might “not go through”? If the petition is an immediate relative (IR) petition, any out of status would be forgiven. I’m not sure why you want to pursue the F1 avenue with all its potential problems when you seem to have a slam dunk ahead of you (if it is indeed an IR petition)?

My public high school is not on the list, however there’s a Rotary Club exchange student that goes to my school by J-1 Visa. I do not know if it’s gonna make it any clearer for you. :( 

 

My stepdad did fill out the I-130 form for me and that’s how I got my EAD, SSN. I just want to have a backup plan in case things go the way I don’t want them to. Also, I still have to pay my college tuition at the rate of an international student plus the issuance of my I-20 and my SEVIS fee, they make me feel like I still have to maintain my F-1 status. I live in a suburban area with not a lot of diversity so my counselors couldn’t do much to help so thank you so much kind stranger!  I hope I didn’t confuse you. Again, thank you!!

Edited by metwa

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Posted (edited)

I still don’t understand why you are worried about the i130. From your timeline it seems your stepfather must have married your mom before you turned 18, and all that is required for the petition to be successful  is to establish the family relationship (and have your stepfather be financially able to meet the sponsorship requirements). Is there something about the relationship between your mother and stepfather that makes you think it is not genuine and will lead to a denial? If not, what is it that you are worried about?

 

If you want to proceed with F1 I suggest you get a lawyer because it’s filled with complications in your case. It seems to me that you were definitely out of status at your public high school (having an exchange student there is not relevant to your visa type), and F1 requires non immigrant intent but you have an i485 filed which is clearly immigrant intent. So there are at least two pathways that could easily lead to denial for you. Again, this seems an incredibly risky path for you to follow when you have a clear cut route to a green card.

 

As for your college not understanding your current status, that’s not that surprising. They don’t usually deal with people adjusting. They are used to people either being USCs or LPRs, or needing a visa. I’m not clear when you talk about paying international fees - there is usually an instate or out of state fee for publics, and private colleges charge everyone the same. Are you instate or out of state at a public? If instate, what is the requirement for proving residence?

Edited by SusieQQQ

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4 hours ago, SusieQQQ said:

I still don’t understand why you are worried about the i130. From your timeline it seems your stepfather must have married your mom before you turned 18, and all that is required for the petition to be successful  is to establish the family relationship (and have your stepfather be financially able to meet the sponsorship requirements). Is there something about the relationship between your mother and stepfather that makes you think it is not genuine and will lead to a denial? If not, what is it that you are worried about?

 

If you want to proceed with F1 I suggest you get a lawyer because it’s filled with complications in your case. It seems to me that you were definitely out of status at your public high school (having an exchange student there is not relevant to your visa type), and F1 requires non immigrant intent but you have an i485 filed which is clearly immigrant intent. So there are at least two pathways that could easily lead to denial for you. Again, this seems an incredibly risky path for you to follow when you have a clear cut route to a green card.

 

As for your college not understanding your current status, that’s not that surprising. They don’t usually deal with people adjusting. They are used to people either being USCs or LPRs, or needing a visa. I’m not clear when you talk about paying international fees - there is usually an instate or out of state fee for publics, and private colleges charge everyone the same. Are you instate or out of state at a public? If instate, what is the requirement for proving residence?

The marriage is genuine and I’m also living with my stepdad. I think I just have the tendency to worry. Sorry for my lack of knowledge, yes, I have to pay an out of state tuition, and I haven’t met the requirements to be instate yet. I’m just confused as I was accepted to the school as an international student, and now the school wants me to pay the I-901 fee which is the SEVIS fee , I included a photo of who has to pay it and why. I just don’t know if it’s gonna affect me in anyway if I pay it. Thank you so much for your help!

 

9F6BCBEB-BE69-43CB-B0F6-BD2803307D5F.jpeg

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14 minutes ago, metwa said:

The marriage is genuine and I’m also living with my stepdad. I think I just have the tendency to worry. Sorry for my lack of knowledge, yes, I have to pay an out of state tuition, and I haven’t met the requirements to be instate yet. I’m just confused as I was accepted to the school as an international student, and now the school wants me to pay the I-901 fee which is the SEVIS fee , I included a photo of who has to pay it and why. I just don’t know if it’s gonna affect me in anyway if I pay it. Thank you so much for your help!

 

9F6BCBEB-BE69-43CB-B0F6-BD2803307D5F.jpeg

Everyone on that list is in non-immigrant status or changing to a different non-immigrant status. You are adjusting to immigrant status. Tell your bursar's office that you are in adjustment of status to permanent resident (show them the i485 receipt notice), this means you do not need an F1 to study (and therefore would not need to pay the SEVIS fee). 

Also, a lawyer site says that an EAD can be used as proof of residence to get in-state tuition. Now - I don't know if that is true, or if it is true at all colleges, but it's certainly worth a try.

 

 

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3 hours ago, SusieQQQ said:

Everyone on that list is in non-immigrant status or changing to a different non-immigrant status. You are adjusting to immigrant status. Tell your bursar's office that you are in adjustment of status to permanent resident (show them the i485 receipt notice), this means you do not need an F1 to study (and therefore would not need to pay the SEVIS fee). 

Also, a lawyer site says that an EAD can be used as proof of residence to get in-state tuition. Now - I don't know if that is true, or if it is true at all colleges, but it's certainly worth a try.

 

 

I’ve spoken to my counselor at my college and she said that she would look into it and asked me to send her my I-130 and I-485. I’ll keep you posted. Thank you so much, you’ve been a great help! 

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