Surrender is Not an Option. AZTech, Integra Technologies, Andwill, and Wireclass Update II
Thank you for all of your questions related to AZTech, Integra, Andwill, and Wireclass. The dramatic upsurge in questions corresponds to the mass issuance of Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID) by USCIS to I-765 STEM extension applicants and H-1B petitioners. The texts of the NOIDs and RFEs are relatively standard. For example, one of the RFEs states:
Provide your complete employment history (including start and end dates) and proof of employment for your initial grant of Optional Practical Training (OPT). Evidence of employment may include but is not limited to:
- Letters for employer(s) establishing jot title(s), duties, location, pay rate, and number of hours worked per week.
- Copies of your earning statements/pay stubs.
- Copies of your W-2s.
If you worked for an employment agency or consultancy, you must provide evidence of the jobs you worked on and dates worked. Additionally, if you worked remotely (telework, assigned to a client site, etc..) notate such in your employment history.
One of the most frequently asked questions we have received relates to how to respond to the RFE or NOID. Many I-765 STEM Extension applicants in particular seem resigned to take the “path of least resistance” in their minds. Instead of replying, they are considering withdrawing their applications or not responding and just leaving the US. They believe that somehow someway, at some point down the road, this nightmare will just go away, that their name will magically disappear from the government database and they will have no problem receiving a visa. They could not be more wrong.
Information does not “magically disappear” from a government database. There is no statute of limitations in immigration law. In these cases, the consequences may be permanent. If there is a Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) finding of a willful, material misrepresentation – and many associated with AzTech, Integra, Aandwill, and Wireclass have already been subject to such a draconian finding – the consequences are a lifetime ban from the United States. This means that in order to return to the US, you would need a waiver. Immigrant waivers, in particular, are difficult to obtain.
Realistically, “surrender” should not be an option here. Instead of giving up, it is imperative to use the opportunity that the RFE or NOID presents to respond. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. One of the few positive concessions that USCIS has made to the pandemic is the allowance of an additional 60 days to respond to the RFE or NOID. This time should be maximized – used diligently and effectively in preparing a comprehensive response based on the facts in your case and the law.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss your situation.