About student visas and opportunities to study in the U.S.

"Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. You must have a student visa to study in the United States." U.S. Department of State

“Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. You must have a student visa to study in the United States.” U.S. Department of State

High school students who grow up in prospering, yet still developing countries, have many choices to make when they consider their options for college. Many more of these students now consider colleges and universities in the U.S. Current social media enhances these families ability to explore what the United States has to offer, educationally.   The U.S. Department of State issues student visas, often known as F-1 and M-1 visas, allowing a citizen of a foreign country to enter the U.S. to study at an approved school. The F-1 visa is the most commonly issued visa covering most forms of study, most commonly high school, college, and private elementary schools (often used by the children of foreign workers living in the U.S.), while the M-1 visa is specifically reserved for vocational and technical schools[i]. There are several visa options that match the duration and type of education program involved.

Before applying for a visa, the student must first be accepted to an approved school.

If students first apply and are accepted to approved schools, they are then able to apply for the proper student visa through a U.S. embassy or consulate.  Some student visa applicants are already in the U.S. under other types of visas and applications to transfer to a student visa can be difficult and immigration attorneys help students and their families with the application processes.

Recipients of student visas often find that they have a need, during or at the conclusion of their tenure as a student, to transition to an employment-based visa or perhaps a family-based upon.  It is important that students know their legal options well ahead of graduation as these processes can often take a great deal of time and planning.

The process of obtaining a visa and transferring to a new visa is complex and it is best to work with an immigration attorney.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of KiKi M. Mosley work with student visa applicants and can explain the process and what a student visa applicant can expect. It is important to be careful and be aware of “notarios” and/or “immigration consultants” who are not attorneys and are not allowed to represent student visa applicants. Anyone considering applying for a student visa should ask many questions and be assured they and their families understand the process.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues and can help with the process of applying for and maintaining student visas.  Ms. Mosley can practice immigration law in any of the 50 United States, U.S. territories, and consulates abroad.   For more information about the law firm, please tap/click here to visit the rest of the website, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter or Google Plus.

Coming to study in the U.S. can be a big decision not to take lightly.

Finally, anyone considering coming to the U.S. to study should think about the impact on friends, families and employers. Some students come to the U.S. to study and intend to move back to their home country immediately after graduation. What happens if you come to the U.S. and fall in love and get married. Will you still return to your home country? Will you stay in the U.S. and get married? If so, will your mother, sister or brother want to come to the U.S. to share in adventure? There are so many questions we can all ask when thinking about student visas and immigration. Please feel free to contact the Law Offices of KiKi M. Mosley to ask any questions you may have about student visas and immigration.


[i] U.S. Department of State website: Student visas

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Decreases in deportation: less enforcement is not immigration reform, but appreciate the policy effort.

If ICE officials have more choices in enforcing immigration laws, who is not being deported?

If ICE officials have more choices in enforcing immigration laws, who is not being deported?

Under President Obama’s oversight, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) is deporting less undocumented immigrants in connection with its new policy limiting enforcement resources on, ““public safety, national security and border security,” said ICE spokeswoman Barbara Gonzales.[i]” “ICE has been vocal about the shift in our immigration-enforcement strategy,” she said. “Our removal numbers illustrate this.” The Center for Immigration Studies published their report in October 2013, titled, “Deportation Numbers Unwrapped. Raw Statistics Reveal the Real Story of ICE Enforcement in Decline,” and as to the source of information, CIS states, “This report examines data from a collection of mostly unpublished internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE statistics, to provide an alternative evaluation of the administration’s record on immigration enforcement that is based on raw statistics rather than pre-packaged press kits.[ii]

If ICE officials have more choices in enforcing immigration laws, who is not being deported?

Central to the disagreement among Democrats and Republican lawmakers are many of the approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants who may, for all intents and purposes, live among U.S. citizens day to day without any call to consider their immigration or citizenship status. As indicated in the CIS report, a 2011 ICE memorandum directed officers, “not to arrest certain broad categories of illegal aliens, including minor criminals, long-time residents, students, parents, caregivers, and a long list of other excepted categories for whom there was otherwise no statutory basis for special treatment.” Despite a policy decreasing the number of new arrests and detentions, there are still thousands of the same people stuck in the immigration court system, waiting for asylum hearings, waiting in detention facilities, and waiting to move forward with life.

How will ICE officers determine who should be targeted for arrest and detention?

A policy directive suggesting ICE officers not arrest and detain the less threatening illegal immigrants to the U.S. does not guarantee any sense of safety for undocumented residents living in fear. Imagine you are driving around on a suspended drivers license and fear all it would take is for another driver to hit you to expose your illegal presence to a law enforcement officer. No, you probably should not drive on a suspended drivers license, but many do, and have little choice. The necessity to get yourself and family members to work or school, for instance, can create fear in undocumented immigrants who may wonder when their luck may run out and they are arrested and detained for not being present in the U.S. with a lawful immigration status.

President Obama said during his (re)election campaign(s) that he would work to provide undocumented residents with a pathway to citizenship. The decrease in the number of ICE arrests and deportations must give some people a feeling of safety. Meanwhile, critics of immigration reform must argue that an effort to reduce enforcement of out-of-date laws does not cure the underlying problem that those old laws do not reflect the spirit of the will of the people in the United States.

In the event you, a friend or family member is arrested and detained by ICE officers, you should immediately contact an attorney to learn what, if any, rights you or the detained person has, and how the detention and removal processes work and how the attorney can help.

The Law Office of KiKi M. Mosley, works to counsel and represent detained immigrants and file the proper petitions with immigration courts necessary to protect an undocumented man, woman or child. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues. For more information about the law firm, please tap/click here to visit the rest of the website, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter or Google Plus.


[i] Bloomberg Businessweek: Deportations Drop as Obama Pushes for New Immigration Law. By Michael C. Bender, Dec. 17, 2013.

Immigration Detention: Why legal representation can be crucial to detainees

The American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) recently reported that the United States has a crisis situation managing almost half a million immigrants in more than 250 detention center facilities as reported in 2011 by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). What concerns people connected to the immigration system is the large percentage of detained immigrants who did not need to be locked up and were not charged with any crimes. This group includes undocumented people seeking asylum from torture, families with small children, elderly people and those with serious physical and mental health conditions. Also being kept in detention centers are “…lawful permanent residents with longstanding family and community ties who are facing deportation because of old or minor crimes.[i]

"ICE's primary mission is to promote homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. The agency has an annual budget of more than $5.7 billion dollars, primarily devoted to its two principal operating components - Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)." DHS Website.

“ICE’s primary mission is to promote homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. The agency has an annual budget of more than $5.7 billion dollars, primarily devoted to its two principal operating components – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).” DHS Website.

In 2012, ICE removed 409,849 individuals according to the DHS website page of removal statistics[ii].

In one example from several years ago, an unnamed undocumented California resident moved to Illinois for a job. Living in the suburbs of Chicago he met a woman to whom he became engaged. On his wedding day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) officers arrested the man and detained him in a nearby ICE holding facility. The couple later determined the application for marriage license sent the red flag triggering the arrest and detention. The detained man was transferred to an out of state county detention center which made it difficult for his fiancée and lawyer to travel the increased distance to meet. Conditions for the man’s release were troublesome, as his application for asylum indicated his original home country no longer existed and he would likely face corporal punishment for other reasons if sent to alternative locations.

What happens if you don’t agree to comply with the proposed conditions for release from detention? You could sit in your detention facility for a long time. A recent publication on the website Immigration Equality highlights that, “Due to a series of harsh immigration laws that were passed in the 1990s, persons with minor visa violations, even asylum seekers, often end up in detention for months or years.[iii]” While in detention, many immigrants file complaints to the office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at DHS. Immigrants who are LGBT and/or HIV-positive have additional concerns for their health and safety at detention centers and in general detainee populations. The Immigration Equality website has additional links to articles addressing these issues.

Humans rights lawyers and organizations created “Know Your Rights” a video published by the American Bar Association: ABA Know Your Rights.

The video first suggests that detained immigrants find and hire a licensed attorney and warns against something called a Notario because they are not allowed to represent you in immigration courts because notarios are not licensed attorneys. The video also discusses the Notice to Appear that might have been filed with the court and outlines a few of the situations where detention occurs. You may be able to stay in the United States even if you are arrested and detained by ICE officers. Even if you are ordered to be removed from the United States, an attorney can file motions with the immigration court seeking relief from removal for certain reasons.

The Law Office of KiKi M. Mosley, works to counsel and represent detained immigrants and file the proper petitions with immigration courts necessary to protect an undocumented man, woman or child. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues. For more information about the law firm, please tap/click here to visit the rest of the website, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter or Google Plus.


[i][i] American Civil Liberties Union Website: Immigrants Rights, Immigration Detention.

[iii] Immigration Equality Website: Detention.

Immigration reform: Will Speaker Boehner’s recently appointed Assistant, Rebecca Tallent produce results?

It is easy to get frustrated with immigration reform when so many people talk a good game but fail to follow up with action that can produce results. Introducing doomed bills in Congress gives all involved the hope that forward progress is occurring, but naysayers suggest these actions are simply political theater. Who is going to take real action in immigration reform to coordinate a bipartisan bill that can become law? One thing is certain – people are fed up!

“Becky Tallent, a well-known expert in this field of public policy, is a great addition to our team and that effort.”

“Becky Tallent, a well-known expert in this field of public policy, is a great addition to our team and that effort.”

Meet Ms. Rebecca Tallent, appointed to Speaker Boehner’s office on immigration reform. She comes from the Bipartisan Policy Center.

The Washington Post reports frequently on immigration reform as it is certainly a hot topic of discussion and claims of inaction. The WP article published this afternoon states, “If personnel is policy then House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is serious about immigration reform. In an otherwise ordinary list of new staffers, his office announced, “Rebecca Tallent will join the office as Assistant to the Speaker for Policy handling immigration issues,”[i]” said Speaker Boehner, “Rebecca comes to us from the Bipartisan Policy Center, where she is the director of immigration policy.”

Tallent is a high profile figure and she could be the best professional to help the Speaker craft a plan that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on in a bipartisan immigration reform effort. At the Bipartisan Policy Center, Tallent serves as the director of immigration policy. “Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a non-profit organization that drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation and respectful dialogue.[ii]

Prior to joining the Bipartisan Policy Center, Tallent started her career on Capitol Hill working for the office of Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) in 2001[iii].  In another recent article Tallent is praised by Speaker Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel who said, “Becky Tallent, a well-known expert in this field of public policy, is a great addition to our team and that effort.[iv]” The same article mentions what others have omitted: “The previous staffer in charge of immigration policy left Boehner’s office a few weeks ago for another job.”

As thousands of undocumented immigrants fear deportation on a daily basis, and as protesters in Washington D.C. continue fasting in protest, many are hopeful that as Speaker Boehner’s new Assistant on immigration reform, Tallent will get the job done. As news updates in immigration reform become available, the Law Offices of KiKi M. Mosley will share news and information to those who cannot wait for much needed immigration reform.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the States of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues. For more information about the law firm, please tap/click here to visit the rest of the website, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter or Google Plus.


[i] The Washington Post: John Boehner resurrects immigration reform. By Jennifer Rubin, Dec. 3, 2013.

[ii] Website for Bipartisan Policy Center: About.

[iii] Website for Bipartisan Policy Center: About/staff/Rebecca-Tallent.

[iv] National Journal: New Boehner Hire Supports Path to Citizenship. By Fawn Johnson and Elahe Izadi. Dec. 3, 2013.