Expansion of Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers to family sponsored, employment based, certain special immigrants and Diversity Visa selectees Here and is available! Plus new Extreme Hardship guidance effective December 5, 2016
We continuously monitor development of the implementation of a provisional waivers. You are welcome to contact Law Offices of Tsirina Goroshit if you, your loved ones or people you care for are in need of immigration attorney.
New Procedures concerning I-601A Waiver
At the AILA DOS Liaison Committee’s December 12, 2013 meeting with the Department of State (DOS), representatives from the National Visa Center (NVC) commented on the evolution of the process for notifying the NVC of an applicant’s intent to file an I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver. When the process was announced in January and rolled out in March, applicants were instructed to notify the NVC or consular post of their intent to file an I-601A. USCIS would notify the NVC when the application had been received, and the NVC would hold the case until the waiver application had been adjudicated. At present, however, the NVC only accepts notification of I-601A filings from USCIS. NVC also stated that if a practitioner or applicant notified the NVC of his or her intent to file an I-601A but failed to do so within 6 months, the NVC will forward the case to the consular post and proceed with scheduling the interview even though no I-601A has been filed. If you receive a notification that your case has been scheduled for interview and you have not yet filed an I-601A waiver application, you must contact the post directly, inform them of your intent to file an I-601A, and ask for the interview to be cancelled.
Did You Pay $165 Immigrant Fee?
As of February 1, 2013, a new Immigrant Visa Fee is implement, accordingly new Immigrants who had received an immigrant visa from the Department of State need to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee online before departing for the United States. If failed to pay, will not receive a Permanent Resident Card also known as a Green Card until required US$165 USCIS Immigrant Fee is paid. Failure to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee does not affect a lawful permanent resident status, but it does affect when USCIS will be able to issue a Green Card. An immigrant should pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee after receipt of an immigrant visa package from the Department of State and before departure for the United States. A payment must be done online using USCIS ELIS. A payment may be done only by the immigrant and not by attorneys. An immigrant may pay for himself and for any family members who will reside with an immigrant in the USA.
People such as Children who enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague adoption programs, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants, returning residents (SB-1s), and those issued K visas, are the only categories exempt from paying the fee.
If an immigrant is unable to pay the fee before his/her departure, he/she must pay this fee after arrival in the United States. If there is no record of payment in USCIS ELIS following an admission to the United States, USCIS will send a Request for Payment, which will include instructions on paying the fee. Please note that USCIS will not issue a Permanent Resident Card until the fee is paid to the USCIS.
Do You need an Immigration Help?
Be Smart, Don’t let an unauthorized practitioner to assist you. It is against the law and too many of them are out to rip you off. Ask yourself if you are not feeling well, will you go to a medical doctor or to a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge? Seeking legal assistance from the wrong people can hurt you, it can: 1.Delay or cause rejection of your application and/or petition; 2.Actually, cost you more, as you may be required to pay unnecessary fees and an extra legal fees to restore your case; 3.Lead to removal proceedings; 4.Cause a separation from a loved ones; 5.Cause an emotional stress. It is always recommended to find an experienced immigration attorney, a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association. When choosing an attorney, learn about his or her practice, read reviews, ask how many years he/she is in immigration law practice. Only an experienced immigration lawyer may properly evaluate your case and find the most efficient way to assist you. If you are facing a financial difficulty. Talk to your lawyer. Many immigration lawyers provide convenient payment plans. If you are absolutely, unable to afford a private practice attorney, look for authorized nonprofit immigration legal service organizations, there are pro bono attorneys that may assist to those who qualify. Protect Yourself and loved ones. Avoid immigration scams and unauthorized practitioners. You case is your present and your future, start your success with the right people.
By Tsirina Goroshit.
Be Safe, Protect Yourself from Scam Calls
Immigration Scam has reached a new level. In recent weeks a new telephone scam is targeting Immigration applicants and petitioners. Scammers are using a technique called “Caller ID spoofing” to display a misleading or inaccurate phone number in a recipient’s Caller ID. The scammer poses as an Immigration official and requests personal information such as Social Security number, passport number etc., identifies supposed issues in the recipient’s immigration records, and asks for PAYMENT to correct these records. If you receive a call like that, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service urges you to hang up immediately. A victim of this telephone scam may report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
International travel, why wait on line? Meet a new Global International Entry
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has established the Global Entry international trusted traveler program at most major U.S. airports. Global Entry allows pre-approved, low-risk participants expedited entry into the United States using Global Entry kiosks located at designated airports. Currently, eligibility for participation in Global Entry is limited to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and citizen of certain other countries. Though intended for frequent international travelers, there is no minimum number of trips necessary to qualify for the program. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports. At airports, program participants proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit. Travelers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and interview before enrollment. While Global Entry's goal is to speed travelers through the process, members may be selected for further examination when entering the United States. Any violation of the program's terms and conditions will result in appropriate enforcement action and revocation of the traveler's membership privileges.
On June 27, 2013, U.S. Senate passes Immigration Reform Bill
The Change is in the air, first in June, 2012 we had DACA that gave a glimpse of happiness to young Dreamers, then in March of 2013, a provisional waiver went into effect, assisting to preserve a family unity. On June 26, 2013, U.S. Supreme Court ended discrimination, striking down DOMA and paving way to equal rights of marital couples, to the equal rights to apply to Immigration benefits . Today, June 27, 2013, U.S. Senate passes Immigration Reform Bill With Strong Majority, however, the real challenge is ahead of us, as it heads to the House. Immigration Law Offices of Tsirina Goroshit is watching closely the developments and changes in Immigration arena, stay tuned, the land of opportunities-America that was built by Immigrants, prosperous and successful due to talents and hard work of Immigrants, merits the real change.
CBP to Begin Rollout of Automated Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that the automation of Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record is now effective which will streamline the admissions process for individuals lawfully visiting the United States. Form I-94 provides international visitors evidence they have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. which is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status, and employment authorization.
The automation means that affected visitors will no longer need to fill out a paper form when arriving to the U.S. by air or sea, improving procedures and reducing costs. As part of CBP’s work to bring advances in technology and automation to the passenger processing environment, records of admission will now be generated using traveler information already transmitted through electronic means.
The change will be implemented at air and sea ports beginning April 30, 2013 and will include Charlotte- Douglas International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Las Vegas Airport, Chicago O’Hare, Miami International Airport and Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport that week, continuing across the nation through May 21.
Travelers wanting a hard copy or other evidence of admission can access this information online using the website if they did not receive a hard copy attached to their passport. www.cbp.gov/I94 Individuals can print a copy of an I-94 based on the electronically submitted data, including the I-94 number from the form, to provide as necessary to benefits providers or as evidence of lawful admission.
Same sex-marriage green card? Yes, you may, because we are born equal
Long expected change is here due to Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor ending gay marriage discrimination. Now legally married same sex couples may be eligible to apply for the U.S. nonimmigrant visas and for green cards based on the marriage. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she was pleased to see the justices strike down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act. She said her agency, which oversees the visa application process for all foreigners, will now allow U.S. citizens to petition for their same-sex couples just like other married couples. "This discriminatory law denied thousands of legally married same-sex couples many important federal benefits, including immigration benefits," Napolitano said in a statement. "Working with our federal partners, including the Department of Justice, we will implement today's decision so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of our immigration laws." Same sex married couples must be legally married and proof their bona fide marriage. They would be eligible for non immigrant visas to follow their spouse and to apply for immigrant visas if their spouse is a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident, however many couples may be required to present heavy proof of bona fide marriage.
“After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to
ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples
are implemented swiftly and smoothly. To that end, effective immediately, I have directed U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on
behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex
spouse.” Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: I am a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign
national. Can I now sponsor my spouse for a family-based immigrant visa?
A1: Yes, you can file the petition. You may file a Form I-130 (and any applicable accompanying
application). Your eligibility to petition for your spouse, and your spouse’s admissibility as an
immigrant at the immigration visa application or adjustment of status stage, will be determined
according to applicable immigration law and will not be automatically denied as a result of the
same-sex nature of your marriage.
Q2: My spouse and I were married in a U.S. state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but
we live in a state that does not. Can I file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse?
A2: Yes, you can file the petition. In evaluating the petition, as a general matter, USCIS looks to
the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for
immigration law purposes. That general rule is subject to some limited exceptions under which
federal immigration agencies historically have considered the law of the state of residence in
addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage. Whether those exceptions apply
may depend on individual, fact-specific circumstances.
Never Miss a Day at Court
There are severe consequences for missing a day at court. If you need to find if your case was referred to Immigration Court or want to find your next hearing date? Secure Toll-Free Number 1-800-898-7180 or 240-314-1500 will provide you with required information. Have your Alien number with you when you inquire about a hearing date.
Provisional Waiver is in Effect.
Beginning March 4, 2013, immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens, can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers prior to leaving the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States and before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
Immigrants that are in removal proceedings, are ineligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver unless, at the time of filing of you’re a waiver, proceedings are administratively closed and have not been put back on the Immigration Court calendar to continue removal proceedings.
Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
The new bill contains fixes including the survival of the VAWA petition for children of deceased self-petitioners and the extension of protections under the U visa in regards to children who age-out while waiting for applications to be processed.
It also provides for training for law enforcement officers on U and T visas which grant critical protections for immigrant survivors of crime and human trafficking.
Safe Travel on Advance Parole
Good News for adjustment of status travelers on advance parole.
A new BIA decision in the Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly, decided on April 17, 2012, provides an interesting and favorable interpretation of a section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. According to this case an alien who has left and returned to the United States under a grant of advance parole has not made a “departure . . . from the United States” an thus is Not inadmissible pursuant to section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the Act.
Hotline for Detained persons that belief they may be a U.S. citizens or victims of a crime.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has established a toll-free hotline – (855) 448-6903. Detained individuals can call this hotline if they believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime. The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center. Translation services will be available in several languages from 7 a.m. to midnight (Eastern). ICE personnel will collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office for immediate action.
Litigation over long delayed applications for immigration benefits. The long delays associated with Adjustment of status application and Citizenship must stop. Despite USCIS announcements, there is still a great number of applicants who are waiting for many years.
If you applied for a citizenship and 120 days have passed since the naturalization interview or If you applied for a green card and 180 days passed since your adjustment of status interview without adjudication of you case, call us for a free evaluation of your case.
Law makes a difference!
What could be done If your case is denied?
If you have received an unfavorable decision from USCIS or Immigration Court, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office, or the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Also you have the right to appeal a decision to a federal court.
Certain cases are not qualified for an appeal, for those cases, you have the right to file a motion to reopen or reconsider or submit a waiver.
Waivers under INA for unlawful presence and other waivers. Who needs a waiver?
If you unlawfully presented in the U.S. for ONE YEAR or more, and left or was removed from the country, you are not admissible for 10 years from the date of departure, however INA under section 212(a)9 B (v) provides for a waiver of unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility.
Also, if you have ever been convicted of a crime, committed immigration fraud, been deported, entered the US illegally or overstayed for more than 180 days you may need a waiver.
We are constantly challenging delayed adjustment and naturalization applications in federal district court and are successful in various waivers such as I-601 waivers and applications for cancellation of removal.
Battered Spouse, Children & Parents.
Have you been abused?
As a battered spouse, child or parent, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA allows certain spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) to file a petition for themselves without the abusers’ knowledge. This will allow you to seek both safety and independence from the abuser. The provisions of VAWA apply equally to women and men. Your abuser will not be notified that you have filed for immigration benefits under VAWA.