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I am a US Citizen and my wife (we married in the US 3 months ago) is here on F1 OPT visa which expires on Nov 22 of this year.

We decided to use a lawyer, because the logical thinking goes that this would be the best way. Boy were we wrong.

We sent them most of our proofs of marriage, etc. - 3 weeks ago.

Then last week they sent us the I-765, I-485, g-28, I-131, and i-130 to sign.

Just yesterday, they asked us to pay the filing fee. I keep asking them when they will be sending our documents in, but I just keep hearing 'soon'.

We’ve been talking to our lawyer for the past month, getting all the necessary documents together, and not once did they mention that my fiancé will not be able to work when her OPT EAD expires on Nov 22 of this year. They told us ‘everything would be fine’ and that once the documents are sent in, she’ll be under adjusting status, and that she'll get a 180 day extension on her EAD.

After doing my own research, it looks like everything WON’T be fine, and my fiancé (who was just promoted at work), will have to stop working as soon as her EAD expires (since an OPT EAD is not an i-1765 EAD, and thus can't be extended for 180 days).

We are now scrambling to figure out the best course of action to keep her from missing months of work.

From what I can tell, our best course of action is to wait until we get our biometrics appointment set, and immediately walk in early. Right after that, we'll send in the request and paperwork for the expedited i-765. She works for a 10 person company, and she’s a pretty vital part of the team, so the founder of the company would have no problem putting together a letter stating that her leaving would cause financial harm to the business.

The most aggravating part of all of this is that we're one step ahead of the lawyers at this point, and I'm afraid that we're not going to be able to access our case online, since they didn't have us fill out the electronic access form. I've asked them about that, and got no response.

Is there anything else we should be doing to make sure that she gets back to work as soon as possible, without risking getting rejected for the i-485?

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1 minute ago, payxibka said:

Why would she be rejected for the i485?

I don't think she will. But being relatively new to this, and getting zero input/false advice from my lawyer, is making me skeptical that he had us doing our filing the 100% correct way.

 

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Have you considered removing the attny and if possible getting all or a portion of what you paid refunded (if they didnt actually file anything)? 

 

The only other input I have is sometimes if you have an attny and you 'go behind their back' and file expedites or forms w/o them they drop you as a client. Check your contract and be sure the attny does not have a problem with you attempting to expedite the EAD on your own. Also I am not super familiar with OPT stuff--- did your spouse do biometrics as part of the F OPT process? If so how long ago? Sometimes if there is a recent biometrics on file they do not ask for another set to be done. In order to get the EAD expedited she will need to have valid biometrics on file as you know. There is a thread titled something like expedite fax requests or something like that where people have been posting EAD expedite experiences. You can ask for an EAD expedite via phone, infopass or congressperson. Keep in mind which ever path you take will require you to follow up with the same. So you cant phone expedite and then follow up at infopass. Once you start with the phone process you have to complete it/all follow up on phone. Personally I feel infopass is the worst for EAD expedites, phone is OK and congressperson is best. But find that thread as it gives lots of examples on evidence needed for EAD expedite and what to expect. You can also check out the guides section on VJ to compare what your attny is sending to the list of what is needed. 

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5 minutes ago, the_crypto_ent said:

I don't think she will. But being relatively new to this, and getting zero input/false advice from my lawyer, is making me skeptical that he had us doing our filing the 100% correct way.

 

If you articulate any reasons or concerns for denial,  hopefully members here can get any myths or false advice answered


YMMV

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3 hours ago, the_crypto_ent said:

I am a US Citizen and my wife (we married in the US 3 months ago) is here on F1 OPT visa which expires on Nov 22 of this year.

We decided to use a lawyer, because the logical thinking goes that this would be the best way. Boy were we wrong.

We sent them most of our proofs of marriage, etc. - 3 weeks ago.

Then last week they sent us the I-765, I-485, g-28, I-131, and i-130 to sign.

Just yesterday, they asked us to pay the filing fee. I keep asking them when they will be sending our documents in, but I just keep hearing 'soon'.

We’ve been talking to our lawyer for the past month, getting all the necessary documents together, and not once did they mention that my fiancé will not be able to work when her OPT EAD expires on Nov 22 of this year. They told us ‘everything would be fine’ and that once the documents are sent in, she’ll be under adjusting status, and that she'll get a 180 day extension on her EAD.

After doing my own research, it looks like everything WON’T be fine, and my fiancé (who was just promoted at work), will have to stop working as soon as her EAD expires (since an OPT EAD is not an i-1765 EAD, and thus can't be extended for 180 days).

We are now scrambling to figure out the best course of action to keep her from missing months of work.

From what I can tell, our best course of action is to wait until we get our biometrics appointment set, and immediately walk in early. Right after that, we'll send in the request and paperwork for the expedited i-765. She works for a 10 person company, and she’s a pretty vital part of the team, so the founder of the company would have no problem putting together a letter stating that her leaving would cause financial harm to the business.

The most aggravating part of all of this is that we're one step ahead of the lawyers at this point, and I'm afraid that we're not going to be able to access our case online, since they didn't have us fill out the electronic access form. I've asked them about that, and got no response.

Is there anything else we should be doing to make sure that she gets back to work as soon as possible, without risking getting rejected for the i-485?

If your wife was a STEM student and this was her first OPT she is eligible for a 24 month extension of her OPT.

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17 hours ago, the_crypto_ent said:

I am a US Citizen and my wife (we married in the US 3 months ago) is here on F1 OPT visa which expires on Nov 22 of this year.

We decided to use a lawyer, because the logical thinking goes that this would be the best way. Boy were we wrong.

We sent them most of our proofs of marriage, etc. - 3 weeks ago.

Then last week they sent us the I-765, I-485, g-28, I-131, and i-130 to sign.

Just yesterday, they asked us to pay the filing fee. I keep asking them when they will be sending our documents in, but I just keep hearing 'soon'.

We’ve been talking to our lawyer for the past month, getting all the necessary documents together, and not once did they mention that my fiancé will not be able to work when her OPT EAD expires on Nov 22 of this year. They told us ‘everything would be fine’ and that once the documents are sent in, she’ll be under adjusting status, and that she'll get a 180 day extension on her EAD.

After doing my own research, it looks like everything WON’T be fine, and my fiancé (who was just promoted at work), will have to stop working as soon as her EAD expires (since an OPT EAD is not an i-1765 EAD, and thus can't be extended for 180 days).

We are now scrambling to figure out the best course of action to keep her from missing months of work.

From what I can tell, our best course of action is to wait until we get our biometrics appointment set, and immediately walk in early. Right after that, we'll send in the request and paperwork for the expedited i-765. She works for a 10 person company, and she’s a pretty vital part of the team, so the founder of the company would have no problem putting together a letter stating that her leaving would cause financial harm to the business.

The most aggravating part of all of this is that we're one step ahead of the lawyers at this point, and I'm afraid that we're not going to be able to access our case online, since they didn't have us fill out the electronic access form. I've asked them about that, and got no response.

Is there anything else we should be doing to make sure that she gets back to work as soon as possible, without risking getting rejected for the i-485?

Why did you wait so long to file? They won’t file your petition until you pay the filing fee.  Tick tock

If you married 3 months ago her EAD would be well under processing by now.

 

It was my understanding that OPT EAD was eligible for extension.  Had you not gotten married, what was her plan?

16 hours ago, risky_fox said:

I was terminated from my job the day my F1 OPT expired, now it's 3rd month sitting without my paycheck. Brace yourselves.

Yep

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Surprised you didn't file the second you had your marriage certificate in hand, 3 months ago I assume?

 

Also surprised you still call him "my lawyer" and not "my previous lawyer".


K-1: 12-22-2015 - 09-07-2016 (260 days)

AP: 12-20-2016 - 04-07-2017 (108 days)

EAD: 01-18-2017 - 05-30-2017 (132 days)

AOS: 12-20-2016 - 07-26-2017 (217 days)

 

ROC:

04-19-2019 - Earliest filing date

04-22-2019 - I-751 sent with USPS (AZ lockbox)

04-24-2019 - Delivered/Received date

04-30-2019 - Check cashed

04-30-2019 - NOA1 text/email (WAC)

05-03-2019 - NOA1 hardcopy/extension letter

11-09-2019 - Biometrics letter

11-12-2019 - Biometrics done, early walk-in

11-22-2019 - Biometrics, original appointment

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I agree with others. At this point, there's not much you can do, your wife will have to stop working when her OPT expires. Send the paperwork as soon as possible, and try to expedite EAD but accept the fact that she will have to stop working for a few months, even if expedite goes through.

 

20 hours ago, the_crypto_ent said:

The most aggravating part of all of this is that we're one step ahead of the lawyers at this point, and I'm afraid that we're not going to be able to access our case online, since they didn't have us fill out the electronic access form. I've asked them about that, and got no response.

Is there anything else we should be doing to make sure that she gets back to work as soon as possible, without risking getting rejected for the i-485?

There's no electronic access form, as far as I'm concerned. Once you get your case number (with the receipt that says they received your case), you will be able to punch in the number on USCIS website and you can track your case there. You will have one case number per form (130, 485, 765) https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do

 

And as someone else said, if you're still in time to drop the lawyer without losing too much money, do it! You can do the process on your own, as most people do on this forum.

 

20 hours ago, the_crypto_ent said:

Is there anything else we should be doing to make sure that she gets back to work as soon as possible, without risking getting rejected for the i-485?

Why do you think there's a risk of rejection?


J-1 212 Residency Requirement Waiver                                                                    Removal of Conditions

08/22/2016 Advisory opinion request                                                                      07/01/2019 Package sent (I-751)

09/30/2016 Finding letter sent *subject*                                                                 07/03/2019 Package received at Pheonix, AZ Lockbox

09/30/2016 Documents received by DOS                                                                07/10/2019 Text notification of Case received, WAC#

12/13/2016 NOS Letter received                                                                               07/12/2019 Received NOA, 18 month extension letter.

01/25/2017 Favorable Recommendation Sent

02/02/2017 Case received by USCIS

02/23/2017 Married!

05/17/2017 Approval notice received

 

Adjustment Of Status from J-1

05/08/2017 Package sent (I-130, I-485 and I-765)

05/11/2017 Package received at Chicago Lockbox

05/18/2017 NOA received with case numbers via mail

06/06/2017 Had biometrics appointment in Pomona, CA

08/07/2017 Sent an online service request on I-765

08/17/2017 Letter in the mail saying case still under review

08/23/2017 Scheduled for an interview

08/26/2017 Sent second SR on I-765

08/26/2017 EAD New Card is Being Produced

08/29/2017 EAD card was mailed to me

08/31/2017 EAD card received in the mail

09/25/2017  Interview at San Bernardino office/GC approved

09/25/2017 GC is being produced

09/28/2017 GC was mailed to me

09/30/2017 GC received in the mail

 

 

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I was also wondering what the plan was to carry on working if the marriage route had not become available.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/42-automatic-extensions-employment-authorization-documents-eads-certain-circumstances

 

I did just see this link above where the lawyers must have thought it applies to you. my husband came on K1 and applied for i765 so might be different but this says you just have to apply and have application received before your ead expires. Again,  I do not know anything about f1 opt Visa just found this link for myself.

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On 11/2/2019 at 8:42 PM, Akipog said:

https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/42-automatic-extensions-employment-authorization-documents-eads-certain-circumstances

 

I did just see this link above where the lawyers must have thought it applies to you. my husband came on K1 and applied for i765 so might be different but this says you just have to apply and have application received before your ead expires. Again,  I do not know anything about f1 opt Visa just found this link for myself.

The reason why automatic extension does NOT apply is because  F1 OPT eligibility category (c03, c03b, c03c - I don't exactly remember) is different from AOS (c09).

Even i765 form has to be submitted as "initial", not as "extension" when AOS package is initially sent.

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I can confirm that the automatic extension does not apply to F1 OPT EADs since the AOS EAD is under a different eligibility category (checked this with my company's immigration attorneys).

 

My company had to terminate me upon expiration of my OPT but luckily my expedite was approved shortly after and I was able to return to work. In my case, showing an email from my employer indicating that they have to terminate me upon my OPT expiration and an itemized summary of personal financial loss (lost wages + lost benefits) was enough to get the AOS EAD expedited. However, based on what I've seen on these forums, it's somewhat arbitrary whose expedite requests get approved.

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