Blog

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS MAY BE FORCED TO LEAVE THE UNITED STATES

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that if F1 or M1 visa holders’ institutions changed to a fully online format in the fall, these visa holders would need to leave the country or risk removal. ICE has offered that they could switch to an institution with in-person classes. If they are not currently in the country, they will be barred from entry. An F1 visa is issued to students who are attending a university…

Read MorePosted on

DRIVE-THRU NATURALIZATIONS

Naturalization is the way in which a person not born in the United States voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen. A person is eligible to apply for naturalization if he or she is at least 18 years old when filing the Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) and has been a legal permanent resident for at least 5 years (or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen). There are other eligibility requirements, such as good moral character.…

Read MorePosted on

PRIMER – UNLAWFUL PRESENCE

Unlawful presence under U.S. immigration law is defined as the period of time that a person is in the United States without being admitted or paroled, and are not in a “period of stay authorized by the Secretary [of Homeland Security].” A person accrues unlawful presence if they are in the United States without being admitted or paroled or if they have remained after the expiration of their authorized period of stay. The law provides exceptions…

Read MorePosted on

PRIMER – K-1 VISA

The K-1 visa, otherwise known as the fiancé(e) visa, allows U.S. Citizens to legally bring their foreign-born fiancé(e) to the United States to get married and eventually establish permanent legal residency. To obtain this visa, the marriage must take place within 90 days of the fiancé(e)’s arrival into the United States. Furthermore, the marriage must be of good faith, in order words, a bona fide marriage with the intent to spend the rest of their lives…

Read MorePosted on

PRIMER – DEPORTATION AND REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS

Under current U.S. immigration law, an important distinction in defining whether certain laws will apply to an alien in removal proceedings is if the person has ever been officially admitted to the United States. Admission is generally defined as “the lawful entry of [an] alien into the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.” In other words, if you arrived in the U.S. lawfully and were inspected by an officer, you have been…

Read MorePosted on

PRIMER – REMOVING THE CONDITIONS ON PERMANENT RESIDENCE

The immigration form I-751 is otherwise known as the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. If you have a conditional Green Card, you must file the I-751 form to request that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) remove the conditions on your Green Card. You receive a conditional Green Card if you have only been married to your U.S. citizen or legal resident spouse for less than 2 years when your petition for a Green Card…

Read MorePosted on

PRIMER – IMMEDIATE RELATIVES AND PREFERENCE RELATIVES

In U.S. immigration law, immigrants can gain legal resident status through relatives who are either green card holders or U.S. citizens. There are two classifications of relatives: immediate relatives and preference relatives. An immediate relative is the spouse of a U.S. citizen, the unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen, or the parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 or older). Therefore, if you are any of these…

Read MorePosted on

U.S. SUPREME COURT DECIDES TO CONTINUE DACA

The United States Supreme Court has decided that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA, will continue. DACA was an executive order President Obama put forth in 2012 to give temporary legal status and provide protection from deportation to many undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. There are currently around 700,000 DACA recipients. The program provides work permits and allows drivers licenses to people who qualify. It does not provide…

Read MorePosted on

SUPREME COURT HEARS IMPORTANT CHALLENGE TO REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS

Agusto Niz-Chavez, a citizen of Guatemala, arrived in the United States unlawfully in 2005. In 2013, he received a Notice to Appear (“NTA”). An NTA is a document an immigrant may receive placing him or her in Removal Proceedings.  The NTA instructs the intending immigrant to appear before an Immigration Judge at a certain place, date and time. When one receives this document, it commences removal proceedings. However, in Niz-Chavez’s NTA, no time or place for…

Read MorePosted on

HOW COVID-19 IS AFFECTING IMMIGRATION

COVID-19 has greatly impacted the immigrant community both legally and medically. Almost all immigration appointments and hearings have been postponed. The limited Immigration Court hearings that are proceeding are exclusively for immigrants that are detained and can only be conducted via teleconference. In addition, the State Department has canceled all routine immigrant visa appointments at the Consulates and Embassies, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had shut down all of its offices until June 4, 2020,…

Read MorePosted on