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Current Law Students / Re: practicing law as a non-U.S. citizen
« on: April 11, 2007, 06:56:09 PM »

I have been admitted by a great program -- the thing is that I need a student visa and I was told I may face difficulties to get it given the fact that a family member of mine has already filed a petition to get me a green card (immigration considers it proof of intent to remain in the U.S.) Do I go back to my native country to apply for the student visa as per the standard procedure, or do I apply for the visa from within the U.S., no matter what? Also, will it make a difference that I have been accepted at a well-known, brand name school?



From outside or inside the US you're gonna have a hard time getting a student visa because of the petition your relative has filed on your behalf. The standard of review is the same in both cases (consular processing or CIS processing), the only difference is that if you apply from within the US you can stay here even if your student visa application gets denied.

It is more likely than not that you will not be granted the student visa, I had a friend of mine in the same situation and he was compelled to stay illegally in the country for years before he adjusted status to permanent resident after his relative petition became current and he could actually file for AOS (adjustment of status). He couldn't go back to his native country as he was already illegally in the US for close to a year and he would trigger the 10-year reentry bar had he gone back to his country and process the green card from there.

All in all, you can give the student visa a try (you've nothing to lose) but unfortunately the CIS does not really care you may have been accepted by a recognized school.

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