GTHOMAS
Fri, Apr 20, 2018

Criminal Convictions

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

A lot of people worry that if they have a criminal conviction, they are not eligible for any sort of immigration benefit.  However, this is not the case.  There are certain types of crimes that will block you from ever receiving an immigration benefit, but not all convictions will.  Depending on the crime, it could be that the statute under which you were convicted in state court, is completely different than the federal regulation, which could give you a way around it.  If you have been avoiding trying to apply for status because you are worried about that old conviction, it is worth it to talk to an attorney who will be able to tell you if you can still get immigration benefits, despite that conviction.

Rude Judge

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Unfortunately, not all the Immigration Judges are going to maintain a professional demeanor on the bench all the time.  They are human, just like you and I.  However, just because you may feel that the Judge was rude to you in your case, that does not always mean that you can get their decision overturned.  Under a new Ninth Circuit case, Rizo v. Lynch, which just came out on January 14, 2016, a Judge's decision can not be overturned solely based on the fact that they were aggressive during proceedings.  You will have to be able to show that something in their words or actions caused "prejudice" against you, in order to have the decicion overturned for due process.  

The Government is Still Open...For Now

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

If you have been following the news in the United States, you will know that the government was on the verge of a shut down.  The last time the government shut down, the Immigration Courts, and other Immigration Offices closed and/or slowed down.  Fortunately, Congress passed the bill that was needed to keep the government open for two more months, so at least for now, pending cases and applications will go forward regularly.  However, we will dealing with this problem again in December, so stay tuned. 

Different State, Different Law

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Many people are not familiar with the fact that different areas of the United States have slightly different laws when it comes to immigration.  While immigration falls under the Federal jurisdiction, the Federal Court system is broken up into thirteen different groups called Circuits.  Each Circuit covers multiple states and each has a separate Court of Appeals.  Each of these Circuits can, and do, interpret the Federal laws regarding immigration, slightly differently.  That is why your case might be a slam dunk in California (Ninth Circuit), but have more problems if it was in Florida (Eleventh Circuit).  It is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with the laws of the state your case is presented in. 

N400 Fees Can Now be Paid by a Credit Card

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Do you know that USCIS has just announced that you could pay the fees for your Naturalization Application by a Credit Card. You may use Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. You may also use gift cards with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover logos.

If you choose to pay with a credit or gift card, you must pay the entire fee using a single card. Please ensure the credit card or gift card has enough money to cover the fee.

How to Pay with Credit Card

  1. Complete form G-1450.
  2. Place it on top of your N-400 application.
  3. Mail your application package to the correct address listed on the Form 400 WebPage

Refugee vs. Asylee

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Since the attacks in Paris, France a week ago, there has been a great deal of confusion regarding the difference between a refugee and an asylee.  

Under U.S. law, refugees are individuals who are outside of their country or origin, and who have been persecuted or fear persecution, on account of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.  Refugees are put through an intensive screening process, often performed by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, and, if they are classified as a refugee, they will be relocated to a safe third country that has agreed to accept them.  Where the refugee is able to go depends on numerous factors, such as family ties, and how many refugees different countries have agreed to accept.

Asylees must meet the definition of a refugee, in that they also must have been persecuted or fear persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.  However, the difference is that asylum seekers are either already in the United States, or have presented themselves at the U.S. border when they seek asylum.  They do not undergo the same screening process that refugees must go through before coming to the United States.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS AND ASSESSMENT OF CREDIBILITY

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Can you believe the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a decision yesterday, September 21, 2015 have held that an Immigration Judge can rely on background materials to conclude that the asylum seeker is credible or not. Singh v. Lynch. This means that your supporting documents of background information and country condition materials must be reviewed and presented very carefully to support your claim for asylum. To present your case in Court, please consult with an experienced Attorney.

Streamline request to DHS - Removal Proceedings

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

I want you to know that your Attorney can Streamline your case with DHS counsel, if your case is presented very thoroughly.  To present a case where DHS can consent to streamliine, the facts should not be in dipuste and your credibility is not an issue.  For example, cases with female genital mutilation (FGM), if confirmed, by a USCIS designated Civil Surgeon, showing the scientific diagnosis of the mutilation, and as we know,  the case law from the Ninth Circuit is clear on this issue that FGM does constitute past persecution that cannot be rebutted, you can vacate your hearing and your testimony, altogather.  For more information, please contact our office. 

Asylum Office Backlog

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Many asylum seekers are currently waiting years before receiving an interview at an Asylum Office, which can be frustrating.  Unfortunately, these delays exist at all of the Asylum Offices throughout the country.  The tremendous numbers of people applying for asylum, as well as the people who come across the border without proper documentation, have led to a large backlog which the Asylum Offices have to work through.  For example, the Anaheim Asylum Office is currently scheduling interviews for applications which were filed in 2011.  It is important to remain patient through this process. If you have questions about the status of your own application, please speak to an attorney.

Extreme and Unusual Hardship

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

If you are seeking a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility, or cancellation of removal, you have an extremely high bar that you need to meet, called "extreme hardship," or "extreme and unusual hardship," depending on the type of relief.  What this means is that you will need to show the Court, or USCIS, that the harm to your U.S. Citizen family members, if you cannot stay in the United States, is worse than the harm that could be suffered by any other family in the same situation.  It seems insurmountable, but with the help of the right attorney, you can demonstrate that your family will suffer more than anybody else. Make sure you explain to the attorney your situation, and they will work with you to get together all the documents to show why you should be allowed to stay in the United States.  These applications are very complicated, so please seek the assistance of a licensed representative to help you.

Divorced From a U.S. Citizen?

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Did you marry a United States Citizen, but due to various factors decide you needed a divorce? If you do not yet have your Green Card, or have a Conditional Green Card, your divorce can have serious immigration consequences.  However, there are options if you can demonstrate to the U.S. Government that you entered into your marriage in good faith.  Every case is different, so make sure that you consult with a licensed and experienced immigration attorney to determine what your choices are. 

Helpful U.S. Immigration Links

uscisLogo
Here you will find many helpful links to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Citizenship & Immigration Services.