USCIS Reminds Japanese Nationals Impacted by Recent Disaster Questions and Answers
Released: March 17, 2011
In light of the recent earthquakes and tsunami, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds Japanese nationals of certain U.S. immigration benefits available upon request.
USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to establish or maintain lawful immigration status. The following questions and answers address temporary relief measures available to nationals of Japan.
Questions and Answers
Q1. What are my options if I am a Japanese national who entered the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?
Q2. I am a Japanese national and cannot return to Japan at this time due to the disaster. I have a non-immigrant visa in my passport (and was not admitted under the VWP). My allowed time to stay in the United States has either expired or is about to expire. What are my options? Can I work during my stay in the United States?
Typically, an extension application must be filed before the authorized stay expires. However, USCIS may accept applications for change of status or extension of stay if your authorized admission has expired.
To change or extend your nonimmigrant status you must submit:
If you were in a lawful, nonimmigrant status on March 11, 2011, you will be excused for filing late until May 11, 2011. After May 11, 2011, eligibility for delayed filing will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Q3. I am a Japanese national granted parole to enter the United States temporarily. However, I am unable to return to Japan due to the disaster and my parole has expired or is about to expire. What are my options? Can I work during my stay in the United States?
Once your parole has been extended, you may apply for employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. For instructions on how to apply, please refer to the filing instructions on Form I-765.
Q4. I am a Japanese national granted advance parole to travel outside of the United States. I cannot return to the United States from Japan due to the disaster, and my allowed time is expiring or about to expire. What are my options?
Q5. I am a Japanese national F-1 student currently enrolled in school in the United States. Due to the disaster, I can no longer cover the cost of my education. What are my options? Can I work during my stay in the United States?
You will need to obtain a recommendation from your Designated School Official (DSO). If your DSO agrees that you should receive employment authorization based upon severe economic hardship, he or she will update your SEVIS record with a recommendation that will be reflected on your Form I-20. Your DSO will need to sign and date your new I-20. Once you obtain this recommendation you must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with your properly endorsed Form I-20, according to the filing instructions on the form. Although the filing fee for Form I-765 is $380, you may apply to have that fee waived due to your inability to pay. For guidance on how to file a fee waiver request, please visit www.uscis.gov/feewaiver.
Q6. I am a Japanese national whose case is pending with USCIS. I need my case expedited due to the recent disaster in Japan. What are my options?
If a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident requests expedited processing of a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, the case will be expedited where a visa number is readily available.
Japanese nationals with benefit applications pending in the United States who must travel quickly for emergent reasons will need to apply for advance authorization for parole to return to the United States. USCIS will expedite the processing of Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, in such cases, where we have been advised of the emergent need to travel.
Q7. Where can I find more information about immigration relief benefits?
Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/17/2011