Molecular genetics Ph.D. needs immigrations advice (LONG msg.!)

Bob Travis avoid at
Thu Aug 21 13:43:10 EST 1997

Please reply to: ofteng at

Dear Friends,

     This is a LONG message. I hope I am posting to an
appropriate newsgroup. If not, I apologize for posting
here; perhaps you could be kind enough to suggest a
more appropriate newsgroup.

     ===== ===== =====

     I have a problem which I have not been able to
resolve, so it is my hope to see if anyone on the
Internet (i.e., readers of newsgroups) can help me find
a way to resolve my difficulty negotiating the
intricacies of the U.S. Immigrations system. Ideally a
way whereby I can avoid the requirement of having to
leave the United States only to return soon thereafter,
in consideration of the fact that leaving the country
even for the briefest period will cause my family much
hardship and expense.

    I have detailed the specific facts of my situation
below, one by one, to enable you to understand my
particular situation as thoroughly as possible.
    Because the Immigrations authorities can be less
than understanding when reviewing the facts of any
given case file, I do not want to discuss my situation
with them again until I am confident I know what to say
to them so they will understand my plight as accurately
as possible.

    For this reason, knowing these newsgroups are a
*very public* forum, I have had a friend post this
message for me so I can remain as anonymous as possible
until the appropriate time. I hope you are
understanding of this need for anonymity.

    Below are all of the facts of my situation. Thank
you for reading them, then for sharing with me any
ideas you may have about how I can go about getting my
permanent visa in light of the veracity of these facts.

Thank you so much for your time and interest in helping


A Foreign Friend (F.F.) of Bob Travis

Write to me (F.F.) personally at: ofteng at


1.)  I received my Ph.D. in the field of Molecular
Genetics (also known as Genetic Engineering) in 1994
from an American university.

2.)  I received my Masters degree in the field of
Pathobiology and my Bachelor degree in the field of
Medical Technology from a university outside the United

3.)  I came to the United States in 1986 with my wife
and two children.

4.)  From 1986 until the end of August 1994, I was in
the United States on student "F1" visa which was
changed to a "Optional Practical Training" visa after I
my Ph.D.  This visa was valid from date of issue to
October 1995.

5.)  My wife is a general physician. She received her
degree from a foreign university.

6.)  In America, to date, my wife has recently both
parts (step I & II) of the U.S. Medical License
Examination (USMLE), these tests being are prerequisite
to starting a medical residency program in the United
States. Thus she has fulfilled the primary requirements
for entering a medical residency program in the United
States and she is hoping to begin a residency as soon
as the appropriate visa can be obtained.

7.)  We have five children: ages 16, 14, eight, six,
and one year. The youngest three were born in the
United States so they are American citizens.  My wife
and our two oldest children hold F2 (dependent) visas
and none of them are American citizens.

8.)  During the last three years I have held various
positions teaching microbiology and basic anatomy &
physiology at an American college.  For a while I
worked as a substitute teacher. I have also worked in
clinical laboratories and have created a company (at
least on paper) offering my services as a  consultant
in the field of molecular genetics.

9.)  Unfortunately, until very recently, none of my
employers had been willing to get involved with the
extensive paperwork necessary for the application for
the H1-B visa, a prerequisite for a green card (a
permanent residency visa).

10.)  During last three years although I have found
numerous suitable positions, I lost these opportunities
because they all required a permanent residency status.
These potential employers were unwilling to get
involved in the Immigration process.

11.)  In December 1996 I finally found a university
Professor who was ready to sponsor me, but just a few
days later this same Professor called me to report that
the international office of the university told him it
would take several months to get an H1B visa,
unfortunately the position had to be filled immediately
and they could not wait until the appropriate visa had
been obtained.

12.)  The university's "international" office (as well
as some lawyers) told me that the crux of the problem
had to do with the fact I remained in the United States
after my visa had expired. Consequentally I would need
to leave the U.S. and then return, doing so before they
could begin working on my visa application.

13.)  Recently this same professor sent me a new
letter, notice there will be another position available
this October (1997).  Evenso, the international office
of the university reiterated that because I did remain
in the U.S. after my visa expired I will still have to
leave the U.S. and then reenter in order to re-apply
for a new visa.

14.)  The hardship of the situation centers on the fact
my children are in school and they will suffer the most
if I have to withdraw them from their classes and make
the family pack up and leave the country in order to
comply with the Immigration laws. The very real
possibility also exists that if I return to my native
country they will not permit me and my family to return
to the U.S. -- they would want me and my wife to
practice our skills in their country, not the United

15.)  Some of my friends have said that for one or more
of the following reasons I may be eligible to receive
an H1B visa and then a green card IMMEDIATELY, without
the necessity of leaving the country and re-entering in
order to reapply for a visa:

The possibilities are:

a).  I earned my Ph.D. degree in the United States and
has submitted two scientific papers for publication,
one of which has already been accepted for publication.
I am presently working on two new research papers.

b.) My wife is a physician and has she has passed the
USMLE tests.

c.) With the recommendation letters from the professors
for whom I have worked, I can apply and receive a green
card pursuant to a laws written to protect knowledge
considered to be in the "national interest" (that
knowledge being my knowledge of molecular genetics).

d.) Because I have been in the U.S. for eleven years
there is a law which says something to the effect that:

        1. People who have been in the US for more than
seven years are automatically eligible to receive an
H1B and eventually a green card."

or      2. Eleven years here may, at least, serve to
waive the law which requires leaving the U.S. and then
returning in order to re-apply for visa.

e.) Because I have three children born in the United
States who are natural American citizens by birthright,
this alone may waive the "leave & return" law because
of the hardship that will be born by those children who
are American citizens.

f). Because my two oldest children came to the U.S.
when they were two and four years of age they are not
fluent in any language besides English, so it is
possible to waive the "leave & return" law to avoid
causing these oldest children an undue hardship.  Also,
these two children are doing excellent in school and
are both in "honors" (advanced) programs in their

Again, thank you greatly for any information you may be
able to provide, especially any possible "loopholes"
which will enable myself and my family to avoid the
hardships we would have to bear if we were forced to
leave the United States and then return just to be able
to apply for the appropriate visas.

Again, my personal e-mail address is:
ofteng at

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