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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rules for Visitors Who Want to Become Students

    Recently, the Citizenship and Immigration Service published a memo reminding foreign nationals about the regulations to become a student if they entered as a visitior in B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrant status.  If they would like to enroll in classes, they may apply for a change of status to academic (F-1) or vocational (M-1) student status if they: have not yet enrolled in classes, have unexpired status, and have not engaged in unauthorized employment

     Enrolling in classes while in B-1/B-2 status will result in a status violation. Foreign nationals who have violated their nonimmigrant status by enrolling in classes are not eligible to extend their B status or change to F-1 or M-1 status. These regulations provide no exceptions.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Deportation When Drug Conviction Vacated

    Foreign nationals can be removed from the United States when the Attorney General "knows or has reason to believe" that they have been trafficking in any controlled substance.  Unlike other reasons to have someone removed from the United States, this law allows foreign nationals to be removed based on conduct even when there was no criminal conviction.  In the past, Immigration has used the "reason to believe" law to remove foreign nationals even when the drug convictions were vacated.
     Fortunately, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled in Garces vs. Attorney General that when a foreign national has been convicted for trafficking in controlled substances and that conviction has been vacated, there is not enough evidence to justify a "reason to believe" removal.  This is true even though the arrest report describes the foreigner’s involvement in the drug trafficking.     
     So in several states including Florida, police reports even when coupled with a conviction that is later vacated, are not enough to have someone deported on these grounds. 
     This is not legal advice as your case may have the risks and benefits that are not apparent.  For the strategy to meet your immigration goals, contact (954) 385-0157.

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