The U.S. government has always been mindful of the activities of certain foreign-nationals to make sure their activities are within the parameters of their immigration status. However, The Department of State recently issued a new rule that puts a renewed focus on this principle. Importantly, the new rule also expands the relevant period of focus from 60 days to 90 days following entry to the United States. The rule states that the government may also consider actions even beyond 90 days.
Specifically, the government will look to the actions of certain foreign-nationals during at least 90 days to draw an inference on whether the foreign-national made a misrepresentation to the US government about his/her intention for that specific immigration status. Foreign-nationals whom the government concludes made such a misrepresentation will have immigration difficulty in the future.
The Presumption is Against the Foreign-National
Under the new rule, the government will presume that foreign-nationals who act inconsistently with their status within 90 days of entry have willfully misrepresented their intentions for obtaining their immigration status. Fortunately, foreign-nationals are given a chance to rebut the presumption with their own evidence. If the government ultimately concludes there has been a misrepresentation, it will make obtaining future immigration benefits more difficult. If a foreign-national engages in conduct inconsistent with his/her status after 90 days of entry into the United States, there generally is no presumption of willful misrepresentation, though it can still be questioned.
As the law continues to change, Dayzad Law will monitor these developments and keep our clients informed. In the meantime, clients should be sure they understand the terms and limits of their specific visas, so as to avoid any potential violations, especially during the first 90 days of their arrival into the U.S.