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Showing posts from November, 2015

How to Prepare for a Fiancé Visa Interview

A visa interview at the U.S. consulate in an intending fiancé’s home country is the crucial step in an intimidating process. Many couples attempt to navigate the process on their own, however after a few years of experience I have come to realize that the fiancé petition and consular processing is one of the more complex immigration processes and is best handled by a seasoned immigration attorney (lest you turn completely grey before your fiancé can even get to the States - not very attractive for wedding photos).
Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for the interview process.
Make sure you are completely familiar with your I-129F visa petition. It’s been a few months since you’ve filed it. Review it and even bring it with you to your interview.Double check that all the requirements are met by the consulate and you bring everything you will need with you to the interview. Some consulates have their own unique requirements, so be sure to verify that you have checked all …

¿Puedo viajar fuera de Estados Unidos si mi solicitud de tarjeta verde está pendiente?

La respuesta corta es "depende". En general, viajar fuera de Estados Unidos mientras esté pendiente su solicitud de tarjeta verde se considera abandono de la solicitud. Esta regla general está sujeta a algunas excepciones claves.
En primer lugar, los solicitantes de tarjeta verde de los L-1 o H-1B (con visas válidas) pueden viajar mientras que su aplicación está pendiente de aprobación: (1) que están regresando a los Estados Unidos para reanudar el trabajo con el mismo empleador y (2) estar en posesión de un visado válido de L o H. Dependientes de la visa L-1 y H-1B los titulares también pueden viajar mientras sus solicitudes de residencia estén pendientes si los dos criterios antes mencionados se cumplan.
En segundo lugar, los titulares de visa K-3 y K-4, cónyuges de ciudadanos estadounidenses y sus hijos menores de edad, también pueden viajar si están en posesión de una visa K-3/K-4 vigente a su regreso a los Estados Unidos.
Finalmente, los solicitantes de la tarjeta verde en…

7 THINGS THAT SCARE ME MORE THAN SYRIAN REFUGEES

Despite attempts by media outlets and politicians to create mass hysteria and fear regarding the “flood of dangerous Syrian refugees” headed our way, I remain calm.  Mainly I am calm because I understand (at least in general terms) the vetting process that refugees must undergo before they ever set foot in the U.S.  I also understand that this is a slow trickle, not an unmanageable flood of refugees.  I am also comforted by the history of U.S. refugee resettlement, and that while no systems of checks is 100 percent perfect, that history shows that our system is exceptional at weeding out threats.  In fact, off the top of my head, I can think of seven things that scare me more than Syrian refugees. Hamburger Helper Hand.  I still have nightmares about that little bastard even as an adult.  Seriously, the thing can be hiding anywhere and jump out and grab you at any second.  When I had to use the bathroom at night when I was younger, I would jump from the second bunk and hit the ground r…

I Missed My Hearing in Immigration Court--Is Everything Over for Me Now?

No; but the reason you missed your hearing is important. Most of the time (at least in Atlanta, where our firm is), if a person does not show up to his or her hearing, the Immigration Judge will order this person removed (or deported). A person who is removed without having attended his hearing has an in absentia order and only exceptional circumstances will make the Immigration Judge reopen that person's case and continue proceedings. 
Examples of what can be considered "exceptional circumstances" are: lack of notice (the Court sent you a hearing notice in the mail but you did not get it and it is not your fault), ineffective assistance of counsel (your attorney at the time did not communicate to you the date of your hearing and as a result, you missed it), medical issues (for example, you happened to be in the hospital the day of your hearing and there was no way you were able to physically attend). 
How do you know if the Court did in fact mail you a copy of your hea…

FAQs on Syrian Refugees, From an Immigration Attorney's Perspective

On Monday, Georgia Governor Deal, as well as 30 other States, called for a moratorium on Syrian refugee resettlement into their States. And just moments ago, lawmakers in the House voted to essentially halt a program aimed at resettling Syrian refugees, a bill that President Obama has vowed to veto, stating on Monday that the U.S. is fully capable of vetting refugees, adding that the Syrian refugees are themselves the victims of terrorism and “slamming the door in their face would be a betrayal of our values.”
This news has sparked much debate and controversy, and needless to say has also fueled anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States.  Let’s take a moment to discuss. Here are some questions I get quite often:
·Question:What is a refugee? ·Answer: It is important to understand that refugees are a special category of immigrants, unlike any other. A refugee, as defined by the Refugee Act of 1980 (which was an amendment to the earlier Immigration and Nationality Act), is any person who …

Can I Travel Outside the U.S. if My Green Card Application Is Pending?

The short answer is “it depends”. Generally, traveling outside the United States while your green card application is pending is considered abandonment of the application. This general rule is subject to a few key exceptions.
First, green card applicants in valid L-1 or H-1B status (with valid visas) may travel while their application is pending if: (1) they are returning to the United States to resume employment with the same employer and (2) they are in possession of a valid L or H visa. Dependents of L-1 and H-1B visa holders may also travel while their green card applications are pending if the two above-mentioned criteria are met.
Second, K-3 and K-4 visa holders, spouses of United States citizens and their minor children, may also travel if they are in possession of a valid K-3/K-4 visa upon their return to the United States.
Lastly, green card applicants in possession of “advance parole” travel permission from USCIS, may travel while they await the adjudication of their green ca…

El soltero que podría FALLAR en una entrevista de inmigración

Si vives en América, entonces es probable que estes por lo menos vagamente familiarizado con el programa de televisión de la realidad americana popular, el soltero. La serie, que se estrenó primero en ABC en 2002, gira en torno a un soltero y una piscina de chicas disponibles para él. Durante el transcurso de la temporada, el soltero se supone que debe trabajar en la eliminación de posibles "candidatas" y proponerle matrimonio a su selección final. Y es un trabajo duro. El soltero somete a una serie de fechas y retos y mientras tanto él tiene que ganar no sólo una docena de señoritas y a los millones de espectadores, pero también tiene que centrarse en la elección de su "alma gemela". Y por supuesto el proceso de eliminación no estaría completo sin una cuota de drama y conflicto, cuanto más mejor (para la clasificación de ratings). Es toda diversión y juegos para los fanáticos del show que disfrutan de participar en el proceso, el Soltero que debe a quien y a quien…

The Bachelor Would FAIL At An Immigration Interview

If you live in America, then it’s likely you’re at least vaguely familiar with the popular American reality television show, The Bachelor. The series, which first debuted on ABC in 2002, revolves around an eligible bachelor and a pool of available bachelorettes. During the course of the season, the single bachelor is supposed to work on eliminating potential “candidates” and propose marriage to his final selection.  And it is hard work. The bachelor undergoes a series of dates and parties and in the meantime he has to win over not only a dozen young ladies and the millions of viewers, but he also has to focus on choosing his “soulmate”.  And of course the elimination process is not without a fair share of drama and conflict, the more the better (for the ratings). It’s all fun and games for fans of the show who enjoy getting involved in the process, weighing in on the bachelor and who he should and shouldn’t choose.  The final episode of the season typically ends with a “rose ceremony…

DAPA, Obama, la Corte Suprema de Justicia y la Política

En Noviembre de 2014, después de una derrota en las urnas y con la izquierda perdiendo poco a poco su legado político, Obama anunció una serie de memorandos de política DHS que, cuando se implementen, reorganizaran sus prioridades de deportación (después de convertirse en el Presidente de la deportación con deportados de más de 2,5 millones) y crear sistema formalizado de acción diferida a largo plazo residentes indocumentados (la columna vertebral de gran parte de nuestro sector de servicio) para obtener permisos de trabajo (DAPA). Obama al parecer prefirió hacer este cambio de política por memo, argumentando que no eran cambios "sustanciales" a la regulación y por lo tanto no necesitará pasar por el proceso de reglamentación de ley de procedimiento administrativo (APA) formal (que tarda aproximadamente 6 meses, o menos, hecho correctamente).
Abogado del estado general, dirigido por una demanda de Texas trajo una serie de teorías de la novela, argumentando que se no se trata…

DAPA, Obama, the Supreme Court, and Politics

November 2014, after a stinging defeat at the polls, and with little left to lose in his political legacy, Obama announced a series of DHS policy memos that, when implemented, would rearrange his deportation priorities (after becoming the Deportation President with more than 2.5 million people deported), and create formalized system of Deferred Action to help long term resident undocumented people (the backbone of much of our service sector) to obtain work permits (DAPA).  Obama apparently preferred to do this policy changes by memo, arguing that they were not "substantive" changes to regulation, and thus did not need to go through the formal Administrative Procedures Act (APA) rulemaking processing (which takes about 6 months, or less, done properly).

State Attorney Generals, led by Texas promptly brought suit, under a series of novel theories, arguing that this was no mere policy change, but rather a substantive fix with massive benefits and enormous costs to the states. …

The Four Rules to Live By in Immigration Interviews

When I meet with couples to prepare for an adjustment of status interview, I begin by explaining that there are four rules, that if followed will help the interview go off without a hitch.  Though I usually charge for this valuable information, I have decided against my better judgment to share the four rules (I call them the platinum rules) for adjustment interviews that all clients should live by at immigration interviews.
1.If you do not know the answer to a question the officer asks, or do not remember the answer, say that you do not know or remember – do not guess at the answer.  If you are wrong this could lead to trouble in that the officer may think you are lying if your answer contradicts a prior answer, or the truth.  Officers will not likely hold it against you if you simply can’t remember.  Having a bad memory is not a ground for denying your application. 2.Do not help each other answer the questions.  Without fail, one person in the relationship will forget an important da…
Does My Criminal Record Ever Go Away?

I get many questions about whether someone can erase their criminal record after completing probation or after the passage of a certain amount of time.

In the United States, your criminal convictions are never automatically taken off your record just due to the passage of time. If you have a conviction from 1999, that conviction will appear on your criminal record the same way in 1999 as in 2015. Nothing changes.

You may petition the court to withdraw a guilty plea or file a petition for habeas corpus to vacate your plea. These motions and petitions can be granted if there were constitutional or other issues with your plea. But there are strict time limits for these motion and petitions. A motion to withdraw a guilty plea almost always must be filed within the same "term of court." That could be two months or even one day after your plea. A petition for habeas corpus must be filed within 180 days after a conviction for a traffic offense inc…

¿Necesito un abogado en mi entrevista con Servicios de Inmigración (USCIS)?

Esto dependerá en su mayoría de si existiesen factores negativos en su caso (por ejemplo: un historial inmigratorio complicado, un record criminal, asuntos de fraude, múltiples matrimonios o peticiones, etc.). Un abogado de inmigración es como una póliza de aseguranza: usted puede necesitarlo o no, pero si llegara a necesitarlo a la hora de su entrevista, estará agradecido de haberlo tenido con usted.
¿Que es lo que SI hace un abogado a la hora de la entrevista? Un abogado prepara al cliente para la entrevista. En nuestra firma, nosotros usualmente hacemos una cita con nuestros clientes para explicarles el proceso, practicar series de preguntas hipotéticas que se les puedan preguntar en la entrevista, y verificamos que todos sus documentos estén en orden;Un abogado clarifica preguntas hechas por el oficial de inmigración durante la entrevista;Un abogado rectifica cualquier error o malentendido hecho en documentos sometidos anteriormente o hechos por algún abogado anterior;Un abogado se…

Do I really need an attorney for an interview with Immigration Services (USCIS)?

It will largely depend on whether negative factors exist in your case (for example: a complicated immigration history, a criminal record, issues with fraud, multiple marriages or petitions, etc.). An immigration attorney works like an insurance policy: you may or may not need one at the time of the interview, but when you do, you will be glad you hired one.
What does an immigration attorney DO at an interview? An attorney prepares the client(s) for the interview. In our firm, we usually meet with our clients to explain the process to them, go through a series of hypothetical questions that may be asked at the interview, and verify that all documents are in order;An attorney clarifies questions asked by the officer during the interview;An attorney rectifies any mistakes or misunderstandings from any previous filings done by the applicant or another attorney on behalf of the applicant;An attorney ensures that proper procedure is taking place at the time of the interview (for example, tha…

Una de las cosas que lo candidatos presidenciales del 2016 tienen en común sobre la inmigración corporativa — Tienen trabajo que hacer.

La inmigración es un tema caliente de la campaña, pero muchos de los candidatos presidenciales 2016 podrían pasar más tiempo de cepillar para arriba en la crítica cuestión de la inmigración corporativa.
1. Senador Bernie Sanders.a lo largo de su plan de inmigración, el senador Bernie Sanders constantemente enfrenta a los inmigrantes como un obstáculo para la lucha contra el desempleo. Dichas reclamaciones son sin méritos y contrario a los hechos reales.
En su plan de inmigración afirma que iba «substancialmente aumentar los salarios vigentes que los empleadores están obligados a pagar los trabajadores temporales.Si hay una escasez de cierto trabajo, los empleadores deberían estar ofreciendo salarios más altos, no inferiores. "
Esto es una simplificación de sonido que probablemente prueba bien con grupos de enfoque, pero no soporta a escrutinio fáctico. Un salario que prevalece es el salario medio ganado por los trabajadores con educación similar, experiencia, lugar de trabajo y obli…