Attorney Eric Price
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What’s a U-Visa Waiver of Inadmissibility?

  • 3 weeks ago
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The U visa waiver of inadmissibility is a discretionary benefit. This means that aside from a few hard rules such as a history of genocide or participation in Nazi persecution, you could use a u visa waiver to help you overcome grounds of inadmissibility.

To get such a waiver, you must fill out Form I-192, also known as the Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant. This will be submitted with your U visa application. You have to also show how it is is the public’s best interest for this waiver to be granted. Ultimately, the USCIS has total say over whether or not your u visa waiver of
inadmissibility will be granted.

What Does it Mean to Be Inadmissible?

If you are classified as inadmissible, this means that regardless of whether or not you have a job waiting for you or other plans to enter the U.S., you cannot enter or applying for green cards or other immigration documents. This is largely due to problems in your past, such as criminal convictions.

What makes the U.S. unique is that for most circumstances, you still have the opportunity to appeal these grounds of inadmissibility by submitting a waiver known as form I-192. The USCIS reviews each of these cases individually and when the application is decided in your favor, this enables you to enter the country.

What Happens if You’re Deemed Inadmissible?

Common issues associated with inadmissibility that would prompt you to seek a waiver include failure to receive government-recommended vaccinations, multiple criminal convictions on your record, violations of immigration laws in the country, prostitution, drug abuse, or a communicable disease.

Applicants deemed inadmissible will not be allowed a green card, visa, or entry into the U.S. without a u visa waiver of inadmissibility.

How to Apply for a U-Visa Waiver

When preparing your application for a waiver of inadmissibility, you need to have your supporting evidence organized. The assistance of an immigration attorney is strongly recommended as you submit your application for a U visa waiver.

You must complete Form I-192 in order to apply for this waiver. You’ll need to provide information about yourself, your travel details, when you plan to enter and your approximate time in the country, and supporting documents. This information is reviewed by USCIS to see whether or not you qualify to be admitted into the country despite inadmissibility issues.

You file this application with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol prior to your intended travel into the U.S. The filing fee is $930 for an immigration waiver of inadmissibility.

Supporting Documents

Your U visa lawyer will help you determine what supporting documents are recommended for your individual case. Since it’s your responsibility to present a compelling picture for USCIS about why you deserve to enter despite inadmissibility issues, you need to ensure you have a strong package.

Criminal Records

Criminal record show that you were a victim of a crime. When this is the primary basis of your U visa waiver of inadmissibility application, you need to reference court records or police records to support your story.

Medical Records

Your medical records are the proof that you suffered harm because of a crime. Examples of medical records include letters from counselors or treating doctors. If you get continuous treatment in the U.S. for those issues that you cannot get at home, mention that as well.

Affidavit

A signed affidavit explains the crime against you and how you suffered serious harm and worked with law enforcement. This document goes into the details of the crime. However, it’s also your opportunity to show your ties to the U.S. and how you have been rehabilitated since then.

Letters of Support

Employers, clergy members, family, and friends can all help you with statements about your character traits. Consider asking for a letter from people who know your true character. These letters should discuss how you’re a hard worker, a good person, and a meaningful member of your community.

Evidence of Hardship

If you can show that you would suffer hardship if you had to return to your home country, provide details of this. You might also have suffered trauma as a victim of crime and sharing information about this could help to bolster your application.

How Does the USCIS Determine Who Gets a U-Visa Waiver?

Most experienced immigration lawyers consider the I-192 waiver form as way for you to present all documents and evidence in your favor in an effort to tip the scales. This is a way for you to show that all the positive factors mentioned in your favor on the applicable should be considered greater than inadmissibility concerns and will show that it’s in the best interest of the country to grant the waiver.

Examples of factors you should include here are ties to U.S. family members, community involvement, hardships you might face if you had to go back to your country of origin, assistance with law enforcement, or any problems you experienced as a victim of a crime. These kinds of materials are reviewed by the USCIS and could help your waiver application.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

Attorney Eric Price has years of experience helping clients with complex immigration concerns, including getting a waiver of inadmissibility. When it comes to preparing documents, he understands the importance of details and appropriate presentation in your inadmissibility application. Rely on his experience and knowledge in the field to help you with the u visa waiver of inadmissibility. Contact LA’s best immigration lawyer today for help with the u visa waiver application process.

How are Immigration Courts Affected by the Shutdown?

  • last month
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Immigration courts slowed to a halt during the shutdown.
Many were already backlogged and then closed for the shutdown. This has led to
major delays especially for deportations. Many court case hearings had to be
rescheduled, but might not be able to get back on the docket for a year or more
in busy courts.

Are EOIR Court Cases Being Rescheduled?

Detained docket cases proceeded as planned under the
government shutdown whereas non-detained docket cases will be rescheduled.

How has the USCIS Been Affected?

USCIS is largely funded by filing fees. However, some delays
were experienced with applications since USCIS had to rely on other closed
agencies and offices for information.

How About Other Immigration Departments and Services?

One of the most complicated aspects of a government shutdown
has to do with inter-agency cooperation. When agencies work together to process
or handle information and one is open while the other is closed, this can cause
problems. Examples include the fact that many government websites go down like
E-Verify, whereas other immigration functions might stay open.

ICE

Many ICE offices and functions stayed open during the
government shutdown, including most interviews that had previously been
scheduled.

U.S. Department of State

The State department still allowed issuing of visas and
passports, however, the agency was also able to halt this process if those
services were provided in other federal buildings that were shutdown.

U.S. Department of Labor

The Department of Labor was funded through fiscal year 2019
already, meaning that it was not directly affected by the shutdown except in
cases that involved interaction with other closed agencies.

Customs and Border Patrol

Customs and border patrol are considered essential and
therefore remain open in a government shutdown.

Filed Petitions

Many filed petitions were received during this time. USCIS
offices were open during the shutdown. Petitions for benefits and applications
were still processed.

Visa Interviews

Most scheduled interviews went forward as usual. The USCIS
issued an official statement that their offices and services would remain open
and active during that time.

Fingerprint Appointments

Fingerprint appointments are managed by biometric processing
centers run through USCIS. Cases could be delayed by a person who doesn’t show
up for a fingerprint appointment.

Why Did the Government Shut Down?

When the government is shut down, it’s usually due to lack
of agreement on certain funding issues. Congress has to periodically pass bills
to support federal government spending. These bills can last for a short period
of time or the entire year or can fund only portions of the government or all
of it. Any government agency that doesn’t have approved funding will shut down
until the issues are resolved as federal workers are asked to work without pay
or to be furloughed.

Funding for around 25 percent of the federal government
expired on Dec. 21, 2018, meaning that nine federal agencies didn’t have
funding.

Which Non-Immigration Departments Are Affected by it?

Usually only a part of the government shuts down when a
funding bill is halted in Congress. This is because of the way the legislature
funds portions of the government or for a short period of time.

IRS

Many IRS employees were asked to come to work with no pay.
The presidential administration has shared that IRS payments are still due and
must be sent in even though their communication lines were down and the offices
were closed.

State Department Services

The State Department kept most operations running even
though consular delays could have occurred.

Environmental Inspections

Most environmental and food inspections were put on hold
during the most recent government shutdown due to lack of funding. This had
many people concerned about safety and the possibility of foodborne illnesses
or problems.

National Parks

National parks were open to the public during the shutdown.
Many were trashed or misused during the period, however. Those that remained
open had some closures due to being defaced. In some places, volunteers stepped
in.

Museums

Most government museums remained closed. For example, the
National Zoo and the Smithsonian Museums were closed during the most recent
shutdown.

How Are Federal Employees Affected?

Some federal employees were asked to come into work whereas
others just stayed home. During the time of the shutdown, they did not receive
a paycheck. Many of them struggled to maintain their lives financially during
this period and picked up extra work where they could to make ends meet.

Even though they will be paid after funding is approved
again, many were struggling to pay for things during the shutdown since they
did not know when the government would reopen.

Which Programs Will Continue Running?

Many programs do continue running regardless of a government
shutdown. These include Medicare, Social Security, and the military since these
are classified as mandatory spending.

Food Stamps

Anyone who has been approved for food stamps will continue
to receive them. Most food stamp programs are run at the state level, meaning
that a federal shutdown does not affect them. Without funding, however, these
programs would run out of support after a couple of months.

US Postal Service

Mail services are still operational during a government
shutdown unless there is a notice otherwise. If you mailed in immigration
documents, they might be received but not opened during this time.

The Military

The military continues their at-home and overseas work when
the government is shut down. Even though the Coast Guard did not receive their
paychecks during this time, plenty of them were deployed and still active.

Border Patrol

Border patrol is a chief safety issue and, as such,
important border patrol services continue even when the government is shut
down.

TSA

Many workers in this most recent shutdown called in sick
even though basic TCA work had to continue. Some of these workers were seeking
a way to fill in their lost wages with other employment.

What Has Trump Been Saying

President Trump continued to say during the shutdown that he
was proud to shut it down for border security. He continued to state that he
would not support bills that did not include funding for his proposed border
wall. He has received increasing pressure from even his own party to come to
some form of compromise.

What Have Democrats Been Saying

The Democrats wanted equal airtime to be able to discuss
their perspective. Many of them do not support the funding for the wall at all,
but others have tried to come to a compromise. Although a temporary agreement
was reached with regard to the current funding, it is likely that more problems
will occur in the future due to lack of agreement.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

If you have needs for support with an immigration issue, you
need the dedicated help provided by an experienced immigration attorney. An
immigration lawyer can help you plan out your next steps. Attorney Eric Price
has years of experience in helping people with complicated immigration cases.

 What is Form N-600?

  • last month
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Form N-600 is an official USCIS document which is filed for the purposes of getting a Certificate of Citizenship. This form serves as proof of your child’s or your own U.S. citizenship. If you are trying to claim citizenship through your parents as you were born abroad, you can use Immigration Form N-600. Knowing how to approach your citizenship certificate application will help you with proof if you want to access other benefits for citizens. 

A parent of a minor can also file this form on behalf of the minor. If you need to obtain evidence of citizenship after you automatically became a U.S. citizen by an operation of law before you turned 18, Form N-600 should also be filed. Finally, an adopted child can obtain U.S. citizenship through his or her parent with current citizenship depending on the applicable laws. 

Many people get confused about Form N-400 vs. Form N-600. There is one key difference between these forms. If you are not yet a U.S. citizen and want to become one, you would use Form N-400. However, if you have already become a U.S. citizen and need proof of that, Form N-600 would be used for that evidence. 

What if I Have a Passport? 

If you already have a passport issues by the U.S. Department of State, you do not need to file Form N-600. Your passport will serve as your citizenship proof so long as it is valid. Your passport cannot serve as your citizenship proof if it’s revoked by the Department of State.

In order to obtain other benefits of citizenships, however, you may need to file a Form N-600 application. These include financial aid, employment, Social Security, passport renewal, or a state issued ID. 

How Long Does the N-600 Process Take?

You can expect that the Form N-600 processing time will take a few months. Any mistakes or omissions made in your application could delay this time period. Each USCIS field office has their own timeframe for processing the documents with a Form N-600. You can visit USCIS Processing Time Information and enter the details for your local office to learn more. Look for the “Field Office Processing Dates” and “N-600” so that you can view an estimate of your N-600 processing time.  

When you file Form N-600, you might be given a receipt with a tracking number on it. This information can be used to determine the current status of your case. You can check this at https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do. Entering your receipt number will provide you with more information about your individual case. 

Will I Be Interviewed? 

Not every person who submits a Form N-600 has to go through an interview. Each case is reviewed individually to determine whether or not an interview is required. You will be contacted by USCIS is your application requires further review and action with an interview. 

If you are asked to attend a From N-600 interview, you’ll need to bring all original documents of the copies sent in with your original Form N-600. If your documents are not already in English, a certified translation must be provided by you. Those applicants under age 18 must bring a parent with them to the Form N-600 interview unless the parent’s appearance was waived through USCIS. 

How Much is the Filing Fee?

Filing fees are not required with every application. If you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces filing for yourself, you do not need to submit a filing fee. Proof of service is required with this application. 

The non-refundable filing fee for any other Form N-600 application is $1,170. To determine that your filing fee is accurate upon submission, visit www.uscis.gov and select “FORMS” to review the appropriate fee before you submit your application. 

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today! 

If you need help determining if you qualify for U.S. citizenship through a citizen parent or if you have concerns about the N-600 Form, contact Attorney Eric Price today. He has been working in the field of immigration law for many years providing advanced and comprehensive support for a range of immigration issues. Attorney Eric Price is a former ICE prosecutor who now helps those in need of legal help for immigration purposes. Contact LA’s best immigration lawyer today. 

What is an Asylum Caravan?

  • a couple of months ago
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The Central American Asylum Caravan

Thousands of migrants arrived at the US-Mexico border after traveling thousands of miles from their homes in Central America. These migrants come from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

The migrant caravan includes people from numerous countries. All of them were hoping to flee the violence and poverty of their home countries. A main goal for many of the caravan migrants at the start of the trek was to reach the US and apply for asylum.

What Do They Want?

The caravan migrants state that they are fleeing poverty, violence, and persecution in their home locations. These migrants intend to settle in the United States. These migrants maintain this position despite knowing that they will face prosecution, arrest, and deportation if they enter the U.S. illegally.

Some of the migrants in the asylum caravan say they have been extorted or threatened with gang violence. These concerns prompted their caravan and many of the families brought their children in an effort to relocate. Other migrants hope to obtain jobs to send money back to their families in other countries.

How Have They Been Treated Along the Way?

Many of the migrants in the caravan have received a lot of support from Mexican natives. However, there have also been reports of violence and issues. Some women allege that they were raped as they approached the Mexican border.

The asylum caravan was also stopped by riot police at the border between Guatemala and Mexico.

Once in Mexico, many families stepped forward to offer water, shelter, and food. Volunteers also manned efforts to drop off meals and clothes to the migrants. In Tijuana, however, the caravan encountered protestors. Typically, migrant caravans are targets for violence or human trafficking, but the large size of this group of caravan migrants has afforded them some protection.

What Happened Once They Arrived at the Mexican Border?

When the caravan first arrived at the border, the US was only processing 40-100 asylum applications per day. The members of the caravan chose to protest peacefully because of this and lived in temporary shelters along border cities in Mexicali and Tijuana.

However, applying pressure via their mere presence did not appear to speed things up. As a result, the caravan members began rushing the border in large groups and even jumping the walls.

How Has Trump Responded?

From the moment he learned of the asylum caravan, President Trump has referred to this group as an “invasion.” He sent dozens of tweets prior to the most recent elections in the U.S. Some of the comments referenced in his tweets included that “our military is waiting for you” and “many gang members and some very bad people are mixed into the caravan headed for our southern border.”

He even referenced the caravan at a rally in November, stating that voters should vote Republican unless they wanted to be overrun by masses of illegal aliens and giant caravans.

In addition to making statements, Trump also deployed 5,800 troops to the region. Their primary job as been to add wire to certain portions of the fencing along the southern border. Finally, Trump attempted to issue an order that would deny asylum to those crossing the southern border illegally, but that was blocked by a federal judge.

What Are the Migrant’s Other Options?

Some of the migrants intend to stay in wait at the southern border. Many of them are currently considering their options and next steps with the asylum caravan. Many of them started with the goal of claiming asylum after reaching US territory and intend to pursue that goal.

Anyone seeking asylum must have fled due to serious fear of persecution in their home country. These individuals, if fitting the eligibility for asylum, are known as refugees. The US has a legal obligation to hear claims from those individuals who say they fear violence in their home countries, even if that migrant enters the US illegally.

However, those attempting to flee poverty do not get the same protections.

Those in the asylum caravan could also return home. At least 7,000 Hondurans have already turned back.

The other option for these asylum seekers in the asylum caravan is to stay in Mexico. The current Mexican president has offered this as a possibility and says the asylum seekers would be offered jobs if they comply with Mexico’s laws.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

Do you need help with your asylum application? Rely on the extensive experience and knowledge of attorney Eric Price. J. Eric Price previously served as the Assistant Chief Counsel for Immigration and Customs Enforcement under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He has represented more than 1,000 cases in U.S. immigration courts and brings compassion and talent to the table for those in need of immigration legal assistance. Contact LA’s best immigration attorney today for more help.

 

 

 

How to Get a Green Card Through Marriage

  • a couple of months ago
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Spouse are eligible to get a green card for a U.S. citizen’s immediate relative. This is referred to as a marriage based green card and enables the immigrant spouse permanent resident status in the U.S. Some of the benefits of this green card include enabling the immigrant spouse the chance to get a driver’s license, travel in and out of the U.S., and to apply for Social Security.

When attempting to get marriage based adjustment of status, you and your spouse need to be prepared for the consular processingstages. The right green card through marriage lawyer will help you understand what to do before, during, and after this important procedure. Given the importance of this interview, you cannot afford to make mistakes, even if these are honest omissions. Plenty of practice for and knowledge about the interview will help you approach the day of with ease.

In this post, you’ll learn what forms must be submitted, how to prove that you have a valid marriage, what questions will be asked during the interview, and tips for success in the interview for your green card after marriage.

There are three phases in this process: using Form I-130 to establish the relationship, applying for a green card, and waiting for the green card interview and approval.

Filing the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Form

You’ll need multiple resources in order to get marriage based adjustment of status. This includes:

  • Petition for Alien Relative (I-130 form)
  • Medical Examination Results (I-693 form)
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence (I-485)
  • Affidavit of Support (I-864 form)
  • Biographic Information (G-325A form)
  • All pieces of supporting evidence
  • Government filing fee

After the I-130 form is approved, the next step involves applying for a green card. A marriage based green card lawyer can help you to prepare for all of these phases and avoid common mistakes when seeking a green card after marriage.

Applying for Lawful Permanent Resident Status (Green Card)

The process does not end when conditional approval is provided. A conditional marriage-based green card is only valid for two years and cannot be renewed. An adjustment of status application must be filed through form 1-485, and the form that must be filled out depends on the spouse’s current location. Ask your adjustment of status lawyer for help.

Green Card Applicants That Live in the U.S.

If the spouse lives in the U.S., the next phase of the process is to file the I-485 Adjustment of Status Form.

Materials needed with this application for a green card through marriage include proof that the spouse entered on a valid visa, proof of the foreign spouse’s nationality, proof of the sponsor spouse’s financial ability to support the other spouse, a medical exam, and proof that no conviction occurred for any arrests for the spouse seeking a green card.

Items needed for this form include:

  • Government filing fees
  • Proof of nationality
  • Proof of lawful U.S. entry
  • Medical exam
  • Proof of sponsoring spouse’s financial ability to support

Green Card Applicants That Live Outside the U.S.

If the spouse lives outside the U.S., the process is different. The nest phase in this case is to file an application with the National Visa Center. During this stage, the spouse has to go through Consular Process with the NVC.

During this phase, the NVC organizes documents to determine whether or not the spouse is ready for an interview. Some of the important components of the filing package include:

  • Government filing fees
  • Form DS-260 (online green card application)
  • Nationality proof
  • Police clearance certificate

Proving a Legitimate Marriage

Unfortunately, during the marriage based green card process, couples will have to be on high alert for accusations of fraud. Getting a green card through marriage is often susceptible to fraud. This means that the USCIS investigates each case carefully. Being prepared with appropriate documentation helps to show the legitimacy of the marriage.

Certain documents will help to support that the marriage is not fraudulent. This can include photos together, joint bank account statements, mortgage documents, insurance policies, or a joint lease.

What Questions Will They Ask at the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview?

Many different questions can be asked during the interview process. Make sure to practice many times before coming to the interview, but not so much that each answer sounds prepared.

Some of the most common questions include:

  • How long did you date before deciding to get married?
  • Where did you get married?
  • What do you both enjoy for breakfast?
  • Who does what chores in the house?
  • Where do guests sleep in your house?
  • What color is your sofa?
  • Which door do you most commonly use to enter the home?
  • Who cooks most of the meals? What foods do you both enjoy?
  • Have you met one another’s families?
  • What did you spouse get you for your last birthday?
  • What hobbies do you share?
  • How long have you known each other?
  • Who pays what bills in the relationship?
  • How did you meet?

Tips for the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

The more prepared you feel for the interview, the easier it will be to speak comfortably and accurately in response to the questions. Interviewers are prepared to spot red flags that could indicate fraud. The following tips will help you and your spouse when interviewing for a green card through marriage:

  • Wear professional clothing, which helps to show that you take this process seriously
  • Show up at least 30 minutes early
  • Arrive with plenty of practice with the interview questions already completed beforehand
  • Remain calm even if a question is confusing of if you are separated from your spouse during the interview process
  • Be honest if you do not know the answer to a particular question
  • Do not recite memorized facts. Even if these statements are accurate, it appears that you have canned answers.
  • Act normally, and don’t try to be too affectionate with your spouse during the interview

Whether you need help with adjustment of statusthrough marriage or other assistance with a marriage based green card, hiring the right lawyer is important.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

Are you happily married and ready to make your spouse a permanent resident? If you’re interested in feeling prepared and confident for your marriage-based green card interview, schedule a consultation today. Attorney Eric Price has extensive experience with this process and can guide you through the next steps.

What is Consular Processing?

  • a few months ago
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Consular Processing is the process by which the beneficiary of an immigration petition, for example, a relative who is a foreign national and whom you are sponsoring to come to the United States, applies for a US immigrant visa at a US consulate or embassy in their country of residence.

Consular Processing vs. Adjustment of Status

An individual wishing to immigrate to the United States essentially has two paths to obtain a green card:

  1. An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition and who already has an immigrant visa number may apply for a green card at a United States consulate abroad. This is called consular processing.
  2. An eligible person who is already inside the United States can apply for a green card without having to return to their own country to complete the process. This is called adjustment of status.

The Consular Processing Process

Obtaining a green card through consular processing will involve the following steps:

Step #1 – Filing Form I-130

The first consular processing step is for the petitioner, such as the spouse of a US citizen, to visit a US embassy or consulate abroad and file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) with USCIS and wait for its approval. This can take 6 to 12 months, depending on many different factors, including the workload that the USCIS is experiencing at the time the petition is filed.

Step #2 – Preprocessing at the National Visa Center

Once the USCIS has approved Form I-130, it will be sent to the National Visa Center where it will be pre-processed. At this point, the petitioner will be required to send a number of supporting documents to the National Visa Center, including:

  • A Police report
  • Military records
  • Court and prison records
  • The confirmation page from Form DS 260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application)
  • A signed and completed Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) with supporting documentation
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce records, etc.

Preprocessing at the National Visa Center can take 90+ days to complete.

Step #3 – Interviewing at US Embassy or Consulate

Once preprocessing has been completed by the National Visa Center and a visa number is available, the petition will be transferred to the US consulate or embassy abroad, who will review it and schedule the petitioner for an interview. This process can take an additional 90 days or longer.

Step #4 – Receiving The Visa

If the interview goes well, all other consular processing steps have been completed, and the petition for immigrant visa has been approved, the petitioner will then be required to leave their passport with the embassy or consulate so that their visa can be placed inside of it. Finally, when the petitioner comes back to pick up his or her passport, they will be given a sealed envelope that must remain sealed and be given to the customs officer in order to gain admission to the United States.

Common Consular Process Questions

1. Who May Need Consular Processing?

Individuals who may need consular processing include:

  • Persons outside of the US; and
  • Individuals who are inside of the US, but who prefer processing at a US embassy or consulate for either:
  • Convenience;
  • Planned reasons; or
  • Because they are not able to adjust their status in the US due to inadmissibility issues, for example, because they enter the US illegally.

2. When Does Consular Processing Actually Begin?

Consular processing begins only after the underlying visa petition has been approved by the USCIS and a visa number becomes available. For example, after an I-130 Petition For Alien Relative has been approved by the USCIS and the visa bulletin shows that the priority date is current to obtain legal permanent residency, also known as green, status.

3. What is the Timeframe For Consular Processing?

Because there are three different entities involved in the consular process (the USCIS, the National Visa Center, the US consulate or embassy where the petitioner will have his or her interview) the processing will take an immediate relative, such as a spouse, minor child, or parent of a US citizen, 4 to 12 months to complete. However, a person immigrating via a family preference category, such as a spouse or minor child of a permanent resident, can expect much longer consular processing time. Other factors that will influence consular processing time included how quickly the necessary supporting documents are submitted by the petitioner and how heavy the current caseload is at the USCIS.

4. What Benefits Does Consular Processing Offer Over An Adjustment of Status?

Consular Processing may be the best option for foreign nationals who want to immigrate to the United States and do not have any other way to enter the country lawfully or who are not already in the United States on a valid visa.

Consular processing is also a great option for individuals who will need to travel outside of the United States frequently for business, work, or other reasons. One of the drawbacks of adjustment of status is that once you have filed a petition, you will not be able to travel outside of the United States while it is being processed unless you have obtained an advance parole documentfrom the USCIS.

Finally, adjustment of status takes a lot longer to complete than consular processing and has slightly higher processing fees. So, even though an adjustment of status may be less complicated, many petitioners still prefer applying for a green card through consular processing.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

If you have any additional questions regarding consular processing contact Attorney Eric Price today! You may have only one chance to get it right! So, find out all you need to know about obtaining a green card through consular processing before you file.

 

 

What is an Affidavit of Support?

  • a few months ago
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When sponsoring a family member or spouse for a US green card, the petitioner has to meet certain income requirements in order for the US government to be sure that the beneficiary of the petition will not need public assistance once they immigrate to the United States, and if so, that the sponsor will be able to repay the US government for any income-based assistance, such as cash welfare, that is given to the beneficiary.

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support(also referred to as an Affidavit of Financial Support, or an Affidavit of Support Letter for Immigration), is a document that is legally required to be prepared, signed, and submitted by an individual (the sponsor) when petitioning for a spouse or family member (the beneficiary) to receive a US green card. By signing an Affidavit of Support, the sponsor enters into an agreement with the United States government to be financially responsible for the beneficiary once they immigrate to the United States.

What Are The Requirements to Become a Sponsor?

In order to become a sponsor a person must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder)
  2. Be at least 18 years of age
  3. Reside in the United States

Income Requirements for Sponsors

An Affidavit of Support requires the sponsor to show that their annual income is at least 125% of that which is needed to support themselves, the beneficiary, and the rest of their household, as established by the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This requirement can be met by providing, for example, proof of:

  1. Income
  2. Cash
  3. Property
  4. Stocks and Bonds
  5. Other assets

The Federal Poverty Guidelines are adjusted each year. So, it is wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to find out the current financial requirements for filing an Affidavit of Support.

What if The Sponsor Can’t Meet The Income Requirements?

Often, if the sponsor is a younger person, or has just started working, they will not have enough income to meet the Affidavit of Support requirements. In this situations, US immigration allows the petitioner to rely on a joint sponsor or a household member.

A joint sponsor is an individual who was not involved in initiating the immigration petition, but who wants to pledge support for the beneficiary. The joint sponsor does not replace the petitioner in the family-based visa process but files a separate Form I-864 to help the petitioner qualify under the income requirements necessary for an affidavit for a green card.

Likewise, a household member, such as a spouse, adult child, parent, or sibling to may file Form I-864a to pledge additional financial support. Moreover, if the beneficiary is the sponsor’s spouse, he or she may use their own income to meet the financial requirements, provided that this income will continue after they have immigrated to the United States.

What Are The Obligations of The Sponsor?

By signing an affidavit of support, the sponsor, joint sponsor, or household member essentially makes three binding legal promises to the United States government:

  1. If the beneficiary of the visa petition becomes unable to maintain themselves financially, the sponsor will provide them with the necessary financial support.
  2. To reimburse the United States government for the cost of any means-tested benefits paid to the immigrant, such as cash welfare payments.
  3. To update the US government of any change in their address within 30 days of moving by filing form I-864W.

Failure to comply with either of the obligations listed above may result in profound legal consequences, for instance:

  1. If the beneficiary is entitled to support and the sponsor fails to provide this support, he or she can sue the sponsor. If sued, the sponsor will also be required to pay the full cost of the lawsuit, including the beneficiary’s attorney’s fees, which can easily exceed the actual financial liability for support.
  2. If the beneficiary receives any public benefits from a government agency, the sponsor can be sued by that government agency to recover the costs.
  3. If the sponsor moves and form I-864W is not filed properly, he or she can be fined up to $5000.

How Long Does The Sponsorship Last?

Once an Affidavit of Support has been signed, the sponsor’s obligation to the beneficiary and (and to the United States government) will last until the first of one of the following five events takes place:

  1. The beneficiary becomes a US citizen
  2. The beneficiary is credited with 40 quarters of work
  3. The beneficiary is no longer a public resident and has left the country
  4. The beneficiary has been deported and has returned to seek residence under a different I-864
  5. Either the beneficiary or the sponsor dies

What’s more, in cases where the affidavit of support was signed in relation to a marriage-based green card, the sponsor’s obligation of support for the beneficiary will continue even if the couple gets divorced.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

An Affidavit of Support is a binding legal contract between the person signing the document and the United States government. It is, therefore, extremely important that anyone thinking of signing an Affidavit of Support, as a sponsor, joint sponsor, or household member fully understand the consequences of doing so.

Many people sign Affidavits of Support to assist friends and family members without ever suffering financially for having done so. But, a potential sponsor needs to weigh his or her desire to help a friend or family member against the very real legal obligations that come with signing Form I-864.

If you are thinking about signing an Affidavit of Support for a spouse, family member, or friend first contact Attorney Eric Pricefor more details.

Can Permanent Residents Sponsor Family Members to the U.S.?

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You may have heard that some politicians are lobbying to stop or reduce family-based immigration to the United States so that green card holders and even U.S. citizens will no longer be able to sponsor foreign relatives for permanent residency or citizenship in the United States. This, however, is still only a proposal and the future of family-sponsored immigration to the United States is not set.

Only the U.S. Congress can change U.S. immigration law and, so far, both U.S. citizens and green card holders can still sponsor certain family members to receive green cards and non-immigrant visas to come to the United States. This article presents a short overview of U.S. immigration law as it pertains to a lawful permanent resident’s ability to sponsor a family member to come to the United States.

Green Card vs. Non-Immigrant Visa

At this point, it is very important to clarify the difference between a green card and a non-immigrant visa. The primary differences between the two are as follows:

A green card, often referred to as an immigrant visa, permits a foreign national to travel to the United States to live and work permanently.

A non-immigrant visa allows a foreign national to travel to the United States and stay for a temporary period of time only and for a specific purpose, in this case, to visit or reunite with family. Non-immigrant visas are also appropriate for people wishing to engage in:

  • U.S. trade
  • Tourism
  • Study at a U.S. institution of higher learning.
  • Work at a U.S. company
  • Or to pursue other goals in the United States for a temporary period of time.

In many cases, obtaining a non-immigrant visa is also the first step for a person who wants a green card and ultimately U.S. citizenship.

Who Can You Help Immigrate?

The U.S. Congress recognizes the importance of family reunification by allowing certain foreign nationals to qualify for a visa to come to the United States based on their relationships to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR). As such, an LPR, also known as a green card holder, may petition for certain family members to immigrate to the United States as permanent residents.

If you are an LPR, you may petition for the following members of your family to receive immigrant visas to come live and work in the United States as well:

  • A spouse.
  • Your unmarried children (under the age of 21).
  • Your unmarried children over the age of 21.
  • In addition, the immediate family members (i.e., spouses and minor children) of the qualifying family member are permitted to immigrate as well.

Unlike U.S. citizens, LPRs can neither sponsor parents for green cards nor their siblings. Furthermore, at this point in time, there are no family-based immigrant visa categories available for the family members of an LPR.

What’s the Family Based Visa/Green Card Process?

Whether you want to sponsor a spouse or child, and whether that person is already inside the U.S. or still in their home country, the first step in the family-based visa/green card process is to file INS Form I-130 (Petition For Alien Relative) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

This will also require you to submit certain supporting documents, such as proof of your status as a lawful permanent resident, as well as, your family member’s birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, photographs, and other documents needed to establish the relationship between you and the family member and their eligibility for a family-based visa. Furthermore, any document that is not in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Family Based Immigration Processing Times

The processing time for the I-130 petition will depend on the relationship between you and the family member you are sponsoring, whether or not the petition was prepared fully and accurately, and the USCIS’s current caseload. This can range from 12 months for spouses and minor children to several years for unmarried adult children of an LPR.

In addition, the number of visas available for family members of lawful permanent residents is subject to annual numerical limits, currently 114,200 per year. Because of this, even after your I-30 petition has been approved, the amount of time your sponsored family member will have to wait to receive a visa number to apply to come the United States can be very long.

These wait times are listed in the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin and will range from 18 months for the spouse of an LPR to 22 years for a sibling of an LPR who is from Mexico or the Philippines.

In some cases, a family member, such as a wife or child, who is already in the U.S. can remain in the country and wait for a visa or an adjustment of status. In other cases, they will need to remain in their home country and apply for an immigrant visa at a local U.S. embassy or consulate.

A Family Member of Mine Might Qualify. What Next?

If you have a family member that might qualify for a family-based green card, the first thing you should do is consult with an experienced immigration attorney. Immigration law can be very complex and confusing and it is very easy for an applicant to check the wrong box or submit the wrong information. But, any information you submit to the United States government needs to be honest, accurate, and correct, in order for your petition to succeed.

What’s more, every piece of information you submit to the government creates a record that can be very difficult or impossible to correct when mistakes have been made. Having an experienced attorney to assist you will help you avoid mistakes that can negatively affect your ability to sponsor the family member that you want to bring to the United States.

That being said, here are 3 things to keep in mind when selecting an immigration attorney to assist you:

  1. Don’t rush to find an immigration attorney. Unless you are nearing a statutory deadline, take the time to find the best immigration attorney for your case.
  2. Talk to several immigration attorneys. Most immigration attorneys offer a free consultation.
  3. Don’t base your selection on the attorney’s fee alone. It’s better to work with an attorney who charges a higher fee, but who has a proven track record and will keep you updated, than with one who will charge less, but has limited experience and will communicate with you poorly.

With these three things in mind, you will be better prepared to choose an immigration attorney that has the most expertise and will do the best job for you. Once you are ready to discuss your case with an expert immigration attorney, consider contacting Attorney Eric Price for a free consultation.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

Family-based immigrant visas are extremely useful for lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who want to reunite their families. The closeness of your relationship with the family member will determine if you can sponsor them to come to the United States and how long it will take for them to obtain a family-based immigrant visa.

Contact Attorney Eric Price to schedule a free consultation today! Learn how you can sponsor an eligible relative for permanent residence in the United States and exactly how he can assist you throughout the process.

How to Find a Good Immigration Attorney?

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How to Find a Good Immigration Lawyer

As anyone who has gone through the process will tell you, navigating any area of immigration law is not an endeavor that you will want to go through alone. There is extensive paperwork, and the requirements can often be very confusing. Many immigrants are not clear about everything required of them during the process, and this lack of information can become a barrier from being able to secure documentation. A good immigration attorney can make all the difference in a case, while a bad one can overcharge, make false promises, and affect your case negatively. Don’t let poor or insufficient legal representation be the reason you or your loved ones loses the chance to achieve their legal status in the United States. Read ahead on how to find a good immigration attorney.

Questions to Ask an Immigration Attorney

Q: What is your experience with immigration cases like mine?

A: Immigration Law covers a number of different types of cases, from those involving requests for visas and naturalization to cases related to deportation from the United States. Each of these instances requires extensive work based on the particular case. It is essential to have an attorney who understands and knows how to handle your specific case.

Q: How much is your practice dedicated to immigration cases?

A: Just because an attorney practices immigration law does not mean that it is their exclusive or primary focus. Knowing how much time an attorney commits to immigration cases can be an indication of whether or not they will prioritize your case.

Q: Will you be overseeing my case through to its resolution? Who else will be working on my case?

A: Knowing this upfront can help you figure out whether you should place your case and trust in a particular attorney’s hands. You don’t want your case to be passed off to another attorney or associate who does not understand your specific circumstances.

Q: What specifically will you do to help me? What is your strategy for my case?

A: Will the attorney complete and submit all of the paperwork on your behalf? Will they oversee the other administrative work essential to your case? Will they be available to attend interviews and court hearings with you? You want to make sure that the attorney will guide you through every step of the process.

Q: Do you have references or former clients I can talk to?

A: Talking to an attorney’s past clients can give you valuable insight into the attorney’s work and dedication.

Tips for Finding the Right Immigration Attorney for You

Look for Experience

The more experience an attorney has, the better they will know the immigration system and how it works. You want to find an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the field.

Build a Relationship with your Attorney

The better your attorney knows you, the better they will be able to help you. You need to be comfortable with their work style and build trust.

Check Credentials

There are many immigration attorneys who may not be qualified to take on your case. Be sure to research their background, as you will essentially be placing your future in their hands.

Do Not Bargain Hunt

Do not blindly choose an immigration lawyer based on low rates. It is better to spend extra money on a quality lawyer than to risk wasting months of a delayed or rejected application. Interview multiple immigration lawyers and compare their rates before you make a decision to see which one is the best fit.

Get a Trusted Referral

Word-of-mouth referrals are the best to consider, as you can learn firsthand about the kind of experience others have had when working with a particular immigration attorney.

How to Prepare to Meet with an Immigration Attorney

Prepare Relevant Information

The attorney may send you a questionnaire or form asking for basic information like your full name, address, phone number, and employer’s name. Fill it out to the best of your ability and bring it with you to the meeting.

Write Down Any Dates or Events Important to Your Case

Include as many facts and details as you can remember and the names of anyone who might have information that could help your case.

Make Copies of Important Immigration-Related Documents

For instance, your birth certificate, visa applications you’ve completed, letters from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and any documents you were given when you entered the United States are all likely to be relevant or required as part of a future application.

Organize Everything in a Folder or Envelope

This helps make sure you don’t lose or forget anything, and shows your attorney that you are serious about your case.

Do Some Research on your Own

This can help you and your lawyer have a meaningful discussion. It is effective to have a brief understanding of your case before your meeting, because then you will have a better idea of what to ask the immigration lawyer.

Red Flags to Look Out For

There are many red flags you should look out for when searching for an immigration attorney. Try to avoid attorneys who are too eager to take your case. If they accept your case over the phone without knowing any or all of the facts, that might be a sign that they are not dedicated to their practice. Also try to avoid attorneys who guarantee 100% success, because that can be a negative sign about their intentions, as they know that you might be getting desperate and are unfamiliar with the situation. If attorneys give unethical advice and make illegal offers, do not hire them. Getting into legal trouble is the last thing you need while you are trying to immigrate to the United States.

Contact Eric Price Today!

We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with us today! Contact Attorney Eric Price to get professional assistance in your immigration matters!

What is Family-Based Immigration & The Family Reunification Program?

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What is the Family Reunification Program?

The family reunification program is the visa program through which immigrants who are legal residents or green card holders can petition to have their relatives join them in the United States. Visas are granted according to the family tree, resulting in family-based migration. Some politicians refer to this process as the chain migration program, claiming that extended immigrant families can grow to the point where there is no regard for who is entering. However, there are restrictions in place to prevent the overflow that critics fear. The family reunification program is crucial in providing those separated from their loved ones with an opportunity to reunite and live together.

How Does the Family Reunification Program Work?

Immigration law offers two lanes for obtaining family based green cards. Both native-born and naturalized citizens can sponsor their immediate relatives including spouses, minor children, and parents without any annual caps. Citizens can also sponsor preference relatives or siblings and adult children (along with their spouses and grandchildren) under yearly limits. Current green card holders can sponsor their spouses, minor children, and unmarried adult children, but again, are subject to annual caps.

Sponsorship refers to the process during which the U.S. citizen or current green card holder must file a petition with Immigration Services on their relative’s behalf to document that there is a qualifying family relationship present. To obtain the family based green card, the relative must either apply outside of the U.S. for an immigration visa (which grants a green card after entry), or, if they are already in the country and eligible, they can apply to “adjust status” to a green card. This requires the family member who is the beneficiary of the petition to prove they are “admissible” to the United States as an immigrant. “Admissibility” is demonstrated through various criminal and background checks, proof of ability to support themselves, no disqualifying medical conditions, and no previous violations of immigration law.

Is the Family Reunification Program at Risk?

President Trump, since he took office, has voiced his stance on and acted upon cutting back on immigration. One of the reforms that he has championed most vigorously in recent months is switching from chain migration to a system of merit-based immigration. Under this proposed system, a team of elite economic experts would analyze the types of skilled laborers corporate America needs most of and then develop admissions criteria to select for such workers. This would replace the current process of ordinary Americans selecting immigrants based on familial ties.

What started from hateful words is becoming the harsh reality as seen through Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy and the separation of thousands of children from their parents at the border. The future of family reunification immigration is now more at risk and uncertain than ever. If you are hoping to reunite your family, you need to act as soon as possible before the window of opportunity closes and the law changes. Attorney Eric Price is here to support you through what may seem like a daunting task but can be tackled successfully with the right resources and attention.

A Family Member of Mine Might Qualify. What Next?

If you have a family member who you believe might qualify for family-based immigration, reach out to a licensed attorney to guide you. There are many people who run businesses based on filling out immigration applications, but they do not have knowledge of the law. It is crucial to hire someone who possesses expert legal knowledge, because the application process can be very confusing. You only get one chance to file for a family based green card, so it must be done correctly and thoroughly the first time. Get trusted referrals, ask for references, and remember to build a relationship with your attorney.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

Schedule a free consultation today! Contact Attorney Eric Price to ensure that your family won’t be adversely impacted by changes to chain migration law.