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Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: J-1 visa to I-94 tourist visa

  1. #1
    Guest
    My issue deals with the immigration law. I am a U.S. citizen living in Michigan, but this does not really concern me, but my friend (limited romantic interest) whom I have been helping who was refused admittance into the U.S. based on J-1 violation. This particular case involves a J-1 visa and an I-94 Tourist visa. She is a South Korean citizen, who obtained a J-1 visa through Aupair of America, an organization that sponsors females for nanny services in the U.S. in exchange for some foreign exchange benefits and support for studying at community universities. She could have just as easily applied for and received a tourist visa (I-94), or student visa (F-1), but felt this was the best opportunity to immerse herself in the culture of America. She had already acquired the 10 year tourist visa stamp in her passport (a full page visa), but decided to use the J-1 visa. Now, she has had a bit of that exposure, but perhaps an unfortunate aftertaste. I have no doubt if she would have applied for the other visas, she would be in a much better place.

    Needless to say, while she had a wonderful time with her host family in Michigan, she did not feel that it offered her the experience that she was looking for. This apparently was her independent overstep, but she decided to quit the Aupair program, and change to or revert to a tourist visa. She participated in the Aupair program from October 22, 2001 (when she arrived) to March, and the J-1 visa was good up until that point for one year. She went to Canada in March to change her visa status, which she was unable to do because she did not have a flight ticket returning home to Korea. She was able to gain admittance back into the U.S. at the border, through a grandfather who just happened to know the border inspector at the time. She does have a stamp in her passport indicating this trip crossing the border.

    From then, she was here presumably illegally. She obtained a Korea bound flight ticket departing on October 13, from LA to Korea, and a connection flight from Detroit to LA on October 9, 2002. She then took a vacation to the Bahamas, where we were able to change her status to a I-94 tourist visa on admittance back to the States on September 30, 2002. They had presumed that she had been working on her J-1 visa up until that point. The immigration officer indicated that we knew what we were doing by providing the flight ticket, and the officer crossed out the expiration date on the I-94 form, saying that she really doesn't have the full 6 months, but that since she had a flight ticket out, it didn't matter.

    Feeling relatively comfortable at this point, we took a lunch to Canada across the bridge border. However, upon readmittance, the border officer misread the I-94 form to indicate that it expired on September 30 and also asked us where she was living. She said in Korea, but this border patrol asked us in emphasis, where was she living. I had interpretted that the question meant, "staying", such as in a hotel. I said at my house.

    One side bar point is that she is a friend from a church I am a member in. She needed a place to stay after ending her nanny service, and she continued to attend a community college in the area. Many people in our church help foriegn students in this same manner, and there was no romantic interest for her to stay in the U.S. She in fact did intend to return, as evidence by the flight ticket, but other plans for graduate school as well.

    I was unaware of the intentions of the border control agents, who were trying to prevent her from coming back to across the border. I was innocent to this thought, and also, the concept that she might be trying to overstay her visa, and did not try to defend what we thought was the truth. We were referred to the immigration office, who then interrogated her for information about her status. She also indicated that she had no job at home, and they ignored the flight ticket to Korea which we provided to them. They were very uncooperative, with this kind of attitude which I didn't perceive at the time, and normally, I envisioned them to be people oriented and helpful, but I think there is pressure from above to change this. Anyway, a mostly innocent victim of this process was prevented admittance using the excuse that she had no status between the March and September date while in the U.S. She did not have to admit to them about "quitting", I wanted to term it as expiring her term and continuing with her foreign exchange phase. I believe if they were to investigate further, this information would be made available to them.

    They proceeded to cancel her J-1 visa, and her I-94 and her 10 year U.S. visa on her passport for violation of the J-1 visa. They also made her sign a form which she could not completely understand and I was not allowed to assist her after the first 2 hours of waiting, where she requested to withdraw her visa.

    My questions are the following:
    1. What recourse do I have to help her in obtaining her visa if she were to apply 1, 5, or 10 years from now?

    2. What can she do from Korea to obtain a visa if she were ever to try to return?

    3. Does any of this fall under discriminatory or prejudicial category for stopping us at the border because I am a U.S. citizen and she a Korean and the misconceived notion that she was trying to overstay?

    4. Can I recoup any of the damages from this experience, i.e. cost for a new flight ticket, travel, hotel stays, meals, luggage delivery and personal anguish? She is in Toronto now, but will be flying out soon, within a week.

  2. #2
    Guest
    My issue deals with the immigration law. I am a U.S. citizen living in Michigan, but this does not really concern me, but my friend (limited romantic interest) whom I have been helping who was refused admittance into the U.S. based on J-1 violation. This particular case involves a J-1 visa and an I-94 Tourist visa. She is a South Korean citizen, who obtained a J-1 visa through Aupair of America, an organization that sponsors females for nanny services in the U.S. in exchange for some foreign exchange benefits and support for studying at community universities. She could have just as easily applied for and received a tourist visa (I-94), or student visa (F-1), but felt this was the best opportunity to immerse herself in the culture of America. She had already acquired the 10 year tourist visa stamp in her passport (a full page visa), but decided to use the J-1 visa. Now, she has had a bit of that exposure, but perhaps an unfortunate aftertaste. I have no doubt if she would have applied for the other visas, she would be in a much better place.

    Needless to say, while she had a wonderful time with her host family in Michigan, she did not feel that it offered her the experience that she was looking for. This apparently was her independent overstep, but she decided to quit the Aupair program, and change to or revert to a tourist visa. She participated in the Aupair program from October 22, 2001 (when she arrived) to March, and the J-1 visa was good up until that point for one year. She went to Canada in March to change her visa status, which she was unable to do because she did not have a flight ticket returning home to Korea. She was able to gain admittance back into the U.S. at the border, through a grandfather who just happened to know the border inspector at the time. She does have a stamp in her passport indicating this trip crossing the border.

    From then, she was here presumably illegally. She obtained a Korea bound flight ticket departing on October 13, from LA to Korea, and a connection flight from Detroit to LA on October 9, 2002. She then took a vacation to the Bahamas, where we were able to change her status to a I-94 tourist visa on admittance back to the States on September 30, 2002. They had presumed that she had been working on her J-1 visa up until that point. The immigration officer indicated that we knew what we were doing by providing the flight ticket, and the officer crossed out the expiration date on the I-94 form, saying that she really doesn't have the full 6 months, but that since she had a flight ticket out, it didn't matter.

    Feeling relatively comfortable at this point, we took a lunch to Canada across the bridge border. However, upon readmittance, the border officer misread the I-94 form to indicate that it expired on September 30 and also asked us where she was living. She said in Korea, but this border patrol asked us in emphasis, where was she living. I had interpretted that the question meant, "staying", such as in a hotel. I said at my house.

    One side bar point is that she is a friend from a church I am a member in. She needed a place to stay after ending her nanny service, and she continued to attend a community college in the area. Many people in our church help foriegn students in this same manner, and there was no romantic interest for her to stay in the U.S. She in fact did intend to return, as evidence by the flight ticket, but other plans for graduate school as well.

    I was unaware of the intentions of the border control agents, who were trying to prevent her from coming back to across the border. I was innocent to this thought, and also, the concept that she might be trying to overstay her visa, and did not try to defend what we thought was the truth. We were referred to the immigration office, who then interrogated her for information about her status. She also indicated that she had no job at home, and they ignored the flight ticket to Korea which we provided to them. They were very uncooperative, with this kind of attitude which I didn't perceive at the time, and normally, I envisioned them to be people oriented and helpful, but I think there is pressure from above to change this. Anyway, a mostly innocent victim of this process was prevented admittance using the excuse that she had no status between the March and September date while in the U.S. She did not have to admit to them about "quitting", I wanted to term it as expiring her term and continuing with her foreign exchange phase. I believe if they were to investigate further, this information would be made available to them.

    They proceeded to cancel her J-1 visa, and her I-94 and her 10 year U.S. visa on her passport for violation of the J-1 visa. They also made her sign a form which she could not completely understand and I was not allowed to assist her after the first 2 hours of waiting, where she requested to withdraw her visa.

    My questions are the following:
    1. What recourse do I have to help her in obtaining her visa if she were to apply 1, 5, or 10 years from now?

    2. What can she do from Korea to obtain a visa if she were ever to try to return?

    3. Does any of this fall under discriminatory or prejudicial category for stopping us at the border because I am a U.S. citizen and she a Korean and the misconceived notion that she was trying to overstay?

    4. Can I recoup any of the damages from this experience, i.e. cost for a new flight ticket, travel, hotel stays, meals, luggage delivery and personal anguish? She is in Toronto now, but will be flying out soon, within a week.

  3. #3
    Guest
    Hi,
    First of all I think you've mixed up the tourist visa (B2) and I-94, which are completely different things. I-94 is the white arrival-departure card they give you upon entrance that shows your status and the expiration date. Anyhow.. to answer some of your questions.. unfortunately the INS officers at the border (same as the airport) has the discretion and every bit of right to stop any person from entering the U.S. (even for those who have valid visa!) So there isn't really anything you can do about it now. In the future, she can try and apply for the visa (tourist or student) visa again.. though she might encounter difficulty and they might want to know why her visa was cancelled.

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