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Immigration Appeals Involving the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • a day ago
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If you have received a decision from the Board of Immigration Appeals that you disagree with, you may appeal it in a federal court of appeals. For those in California, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Alaska or Oregon, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has jurisdiction. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has the largest jurisdiction of any appeals court; in 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had a caseload of more than 11,000.

How to Appeal an Immigration Decision in California’s 9th Circuit Court

It is possible to get a new judgment in an immigration case. The first step in the appeals process is to take your case before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), a review board that has nationwide jurisdiction over all immigration courts. An appeal to the BIA usually produces a decision within 180 days but may take as long as 18 months. In most circumstances, you must file an appeal with the BIA prior to appealing to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

If you are not satisfied with the decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals, you may file an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court. In general, the Ninth Circuit Court will only hear appeals regarding denials of asylum or deportation orders following a criminal conviction.

The Immigration Appeal Process

The process to appeal a Board of Immigration Appeals decision is complex and rigid. Unless you have specialized legal training, your case is best served by hiring a very experienced immigration attorney like Eric Price.

You will have 30 days following the BIA decision to file a Notice of Appeal and pay the $505 filing fee.  If you miss this deadline, you will lose the ability to appeal your immigration judgment. Your attorney must detail in a brief the error that the lower court or BIA committed that supports the appeal. If the court chooses to hear the appeal, a panel of three judges will adjudicate the case and render opinions after hearing your attorney’s oral arguments. This process may take a long time—three years is normal—due to the backlog of cases.

It is important to understand that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will not hear every appeals case; that is why you will almost certainly need expert legal representation to draft a convincing appeal and argue the merits of the appeal before the panel. If your appeal is denied by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, your appeals process is effectively terminated (the U.S. Supreme Court almost never takes up immigration cases).

Does Every Immigration Case Present an Oral Argument?

Due to the large number of appeals cases, few appellants are chosen to make oral arguments. If you are selected, you will not need to appear in court, but your attorney will be expected to explain to the judges why they should reverse the lower court’s decision.  During oral arguments, your attorney may not present new facts but must demonstrate how the judicial process has been flawed up that point.

It often takes a highly experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to convince appellate judges that another immigration body has made a legal error. Because most immigration appeals decisions are based on legal briefs rather than oral arguments, it requires an extremely skilled lawyer to write a compelling brief and manage an appeals case. That is why it is in your best interests to hire an attorney like Eric Price who has expertise in many immigration law specialties.

Tips to Increase the Chances of Winning Your Immigration Appeal

If you are preparing to appeal your immigration, you should consider the following advice:

Check the 9th Circuit Rules

Failure to follow the court’s many rules and procedures may damage your case’s chances of success.

Use Acronyms Sparingly

Most judges appreciate the use of full words and phrases rather than acronyms which may be confusing.  If you do include acronyms, also include a key to explain their full meaning.

Use Quotes Instead of Paraphrasing

Whenever possible include the exact wording that someone spoke or wrote, instead of an inaccurate paraphrasing.

Explain Complicated Concepts to the Law Clerk

Law clerks manage many judicial procedures, but they may not possess as much legal expertise as lawyers or judges, so it is helpful to explain more complex legal concepts in the simplest terms possible.

Organize Your Brief

You should present your legal argument in the clearest manner possible.  This includes emphasizing key issues and delineating every step in your logic.

Be Specific About What You Want

It is essential that you describe exactly what outcome the court should produce in your brief.

Watch Your Tone

At all times, you want to maintain a respectful tone towards all involved parties. Any disparaging terms like “stupid”, “dishonest,” or “unethical” applied to legal bodies or officials are more likely to hurt your case than help it.

Be Patient

There are currently more than 800,000 immigrations cases pending the U.S., so it may take years for the 9th Circuit to render a decision.

How Long is the Appeal Process?

It usually takes months or years for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to come to a decision in an immigration appeal.  On average, you can expect a civil immigration appeal to take from 12 to 20 months between the date of the Notice of Appeal is filed until an oral argument is heard.  For a criminal appeal, the average time from filing the appeal brief until oral arguments is four to five months.  In most cases, the final decision is delivered within three to twelve months.

The Trump Administration and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

The 9th Circuit Court has a mixed record when it comes to supporting the immigration policies of the Trump administration. In late 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a stay in implementation of the administration’s asylum ban. The 9th Circuit also supported the rights of “sanctuary cities” to refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agencies. However, the 9th Circuit did support the administration policy of sending asylum-seekers to Mexico while they waited on a decision.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has had a reputation for favoring liberal positions, like blocking the shutdown of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program.  Although this does not guarantee success of a specific immigration appeal, it does make the 9th Circuit Court a preferred judiciary for immigration lawyers.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

If you require outstanding legal counsel for your immigration appeal case, you should discuss your case with Eric Price.  Eric Price has extensive experience with immigration appeals and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He previously served as the Assistant Chief Counsel for Immigration and Customs Enforcement under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. As the attorney in more than 1,000 cases in U.S. immigration court, Eric Price has a proven track record of success and client dedication. Contact LA’s best immigration attorney today for more help.

How Do Criminal Convictions Affect Immigration Cases?

  • last month
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Having a criminal background involving particular crimes makes a person ineligible for a green card or a visa even if they otherwise would have been eligible to receive one.  A criminal conviction can lead to a denied citizenship or permanent resident application.

A criminal conviction could also lead to deportation, detention, or being barred from coming to the U.S. If they were to leave. Crimes committed abroad are also taken into consideration. These could also bar someone from being able to enter the U.S. If you’re looking for an American visa with criminal convictions or wondering, “Does a misdemeanor affect immigration status?”, this article will help.

How Immigration Law Treats Crimes Differently Than Criminal Law

Criminal law uses different distinctions than immigration law. Under immigration law, there are two classes of crimes. These are crimes of moral turpitude and aggressive felonies. Crimes involving theft or dishonesty are usually categorized under crimes of moral turpitude.

Many crimes are included under the classification of aggravated felonies such as rape, drug trafficking, murder, money laundering, tax evasion, and violent crimes with a minimum sentence of one year.

What Can Be Done?

Not everyone is eligible for waivers, but a person with a criminal record from another country should first research whether or not their crime bars them from citizenship or entering the country.

A person who has been convicted of one of these crimes should speak with an immigration lawyer as a waiver form could be submitted to override immigration issues. Since the immigration consequences of criminal convictions are severe, a lawyer’s insight is helpful in filling out this form to completion. These waivers are the 212(h) waiver and the U visa waiver.

212(h) Waiver

This kind of waiver is viewed as a form of legal forgiveness only given to those applicants who are not a threat to national security. If the crime was a long time ago or involved prostitution, the matter falls to a judge’s determination about whether or not the applicant deserves the waiver.

If you were convicted of another crime, whether or not you can obtain this waiver has to do with the level of violence involved, proof that you were rehabilitated, and any other factors indicating that you might deserve a second chance through this program.

U-Visa Waiver

A U-visa waiver is another way to provide more information about your background in an effort to persuade the USCIS to enter the U.S. This is done through Form I-192, also known as the Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant. You would submit this form in advance of when you intend to come and must show that it is in the public or national interest for USCIS to allow you inside under a U-Visa waiver.

This means showing plenty of evidence that the reasons to allow you in far outweigh any inadmissibility issues in your case. Before applying for an American visa with a criminal record, make sure you understand that you’ll need to use Form 212(h).

Crime Convictions That Can Deem You Inadmissible

Beyond what is mentioned above, there are many other crimes that allow the U.S. government to deny a green card or visa application or even to take action to deport someone. These include espionage, domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, terrorist activity, stalking, drug crimes, and illegal firearms possession. A conviction of murder or an aggravated felony permanently bars a person from citizenship.

If you are curious, “Can you go to America with a criminal record?”, an immigration lawyer should be consulted in your individual case to determine whether you qualify for a waiver. If a USCIS officer discovers that a person has committed any of these crimes, they will have no option but to deny a citizenship application and initiate removal proceedings.

How Are Expunged Convictions Treated?

Immigration law does not recognize expungements in other countries. Even criminal convictions that were removed from state records can still count against you for the purposes of immigration in the U.S. Someone who wants to argue this special case should expect that the officers could discover evidence of their crime regardless and that this discovery could be used for deportation purposes.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

If you have any questions about Form I-212, reach out to Attorney Eric Price. He uses his extensive experience in the field to help people trying to fill out and submit Form I-212.

Contact LA’s top immigration lawyer now.

What is Form 212(h)?

  • last month
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Form 212(h) is used for those people who are otherwise classified as inadmissible due to criminal convictions. Inadmissibility means that the person is physically in the U.S. but hasn’t been admitted under any formal status.

This waiver, when approved, allows them to be pardoned of their criminal convictions. This waiver is used in connection with an adjustment of status. The 212(h) waiver can be used on its own or by someone who is a green card holder traveling into the U.S. Permanent residents and nonresidents can apply for this waiver.

You might also hear this process referred to as the 212(h)  waiver form, the 212(h)  waiver application, or the 212(h) waiver of inadmissibility, but all these terms are referring to the same process.

Crimes That Can Be Waived with a 212(h) Waiver

Not every crime is classified under the criminal grounds of inadmissibility, meaning that a person cannot be granted status into the U.S. There are two categories of crimes that can be waived with a 212(h) form: a crime involving moral turpitude or a violation of any law related to a controlled substance.

Crimes of moral turpitude include those that are viewed as intrinsically wrong or morally reprehensible. These crimes include spousal abuse, theft, fraud, aggravated assault, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit crimes of moral turpitude.

Crimes ineligible for the waiver include drug crimes other than an offense for simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, murder, torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, or significant trafficking of individuals.

When Can I Request a 212(h) Waiver?

There are only two situations in which a person can request a 212(h) waiver. The first circumstance involves when the offense rendering the alien inadmissible happened more than fifteen years prior to the adjustment of status, admission, or application for a visa.

The 212(h)  waiver form can also be used regardless of the date of the offense if the alien can show that the denial of his or her admission into the country would cause hardship to an eligible relative and that an adjustment of status, admission, or visa is warranted. The relative in question should be a spouse, parent, or children.

What They Look for in Your Application

To get the 212(h) waiver, you need to submit a completed Form I-601 to USCIS. This application must include documents about the hardship that the eligible relative would suffer if your application was denied.

This can include financial details, expert opinions, evidence of employment connections, medical records, affidavits, reports about conditions in your home country, and evidence of family ties. This is a discretionary matter, so the preparation of these application materials is very important.

In evaluating your application, the immigration judges look for things like how long you’ve already been in the U.S., the level of hardship that would be caused if you were not allowed to stay, your individual employment history, and whether or not you have been on good behavior since the conviction or have been rehabilitated.

Which Crimes Make You Ineligible for the Waiver?

Not every crime makes you eligible to fill out the waiver. Crimes such as acts of torture, murder, and aggravated felonies will always lead to a denial of your application. If you have questions about whether or not your case applies, it’s recommended that you speak with an attorney.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today

If you need help with your 212(h) waiver, Attorney Eric Price has been helping people just like you for years. He has years of experience on the other side of immigration applications and knows the common mistakes made in submission. He’s recognized as one of the most experienced and dedicated attorneys in immigration.

If you need assistance with your forms of evidence, contact LA’s top immigration lawyer today to approach this process as prepared as possible.

What’s a U-Visa Waiver of Inadmissibility?

  • a couple of months 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?

  • a few months ago
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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?

  • a few months ago
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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 few 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 few 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.

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