Believe it or not – someone you know (including you!) may be unaware that he or she is a U.S. citizen by operation of law. Every year many people waste hundreds of dollars applying for green cards and/or citizenship via naturalization when they are already a U.S. citizen by law. Even worse, [Read more…] about [VIDEO] You May Be A U.S. Citizen Through Your Parent and Don’t Know It!
I recently watched a video on How to Pass the K-1 Fiance(e) and Marriage Interviews and I must say I am impressed. The video is full of excellent information for international couples seeking a U.S. fiance visa, immigrant visa, or [Read more…] about Must See Immigration Video – How to Pass the Fiance and Marriage Interviews
Your Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI fingerprint record contains information about your criminal history (if any). Additionally, it may also include documented immigration violations.
When to Obtain Your FBI Fingerprint Record
Obtaining this record is critical [Read more…] about Caution: Check Your FBI Fingerprint Record Before Applying for Citizenship or a Green Card
Strong support letters can be very helpful in immigration, particularly when seeking naturalization (citizenship), a waiver of something that prevents you from obtaining a visa to enter the country, or when fighting removal (deportation). Strong support letters are critical if there is anything in your background that may lead to discretionary denial of the benefit or relief you are seeking. A number of solid support letters may favorably influence the consular or immigration officer or judge, and are well worth your time to arrange.
Consider asking your current and any past employers, family members who are U.S.citizens or legal permanent residents, the elected officers of any organizations to which you belong, friends and neighbors– in short, anyone who can provide a good character reference for you.
What makes strong support letters?
Immigration is one of the hottest topics in the news today, particularly as it relates to politics and elections. The idea of practicing immigration law, particularly with the lure of loads of potential clients if/when Comprehensive Immigration Reform is passed by Congress, may appeal to many attorneys seeking to diversity or change their practice area, or law students exploring practice areas. But what is it really like to practice immigration and nationality law? What are the highlights and lowlights? In this free one-hour webinar, Immigration Attorney Tanya M. Lee introduces you to the practice of immigration law, and offers you insights into the Good, the Not So Bad, and the Downright Ugly aspects of this hot legal practice area.
- What is Immigration Law? What is Nationality Law?
- Sub-practice areas/niche opportunities
- Key Introductory Immigration Legal Terms and Concepts
- What Do Individuals/Companies Hire an Immigration Attorney to Do?
- Litigation vs. Transactional Opportunities
- Politics and the Impact on Your Immigration Practice
- Opportunities for criminal, family, employment, and business lawyers
- …..and More
To Access This Training, Go here.
President Obama and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that certain foreign nationals who were brought to the U.S. before the age of 16, and who were under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, can apply for protection for two years from deportation and work authorization. This new policy and process is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published the following tips to assist applicants:
Filing your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals involves several steps. You need to submit multiple forms, evidence and fees. Small mistakes in preparing your request could lead to it being rejected. Please read these tips to avoid having your request rejected or delayed because of common filing errors.
1. Mail all forms together – You must mail the following forms in one package:
a. For Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Click here.
b. For Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, Click here.
c. For Form I-765WS, Worksheet, Click here.
***Be sure to read these mailing instructions to see where to mail the forms based on the state you live in. Remember to send it to the P.O. Box address if mailing through the U.S. Postal Service. All forms are available at www.uscis.gov/forms for free. Do not pay for blank USCIS forms either in person or over the Internet.
2. Sign your forms – You must sign both your Form I-821D and Form I-765. If someone helps you fill out the forms, that person must also sign both Form I-812D and Form I-765 in the designated box below your signature.
3. Write your name and date of birth the same way on each form – Variations in the way information is written can cause delays. For example, you should not write Jane Doe on one form and Jane E. Doe on another form. It is important to read all instructions on the forms carefully.
4. Use the correct version of Form I-765 – Always make sure you have the most recent form when submitting your request with USCIS. to download the most recent version. You can download all USCIS forms and instructions for free on www.uscis.gov/forms.
5. Use Form I-821D NOT Form I-821 – Form I-821D is used to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. Form I-821 is a different form used to apply for Temporary Protected Status, an entirely different process.
6. Do NOT e-file Form I-765 – Requests for consideration of deferred action cannot be e-filed. You must mail your package (Forms I-821D, I-765, I-765WS, evidence and fees) to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox listed here.
7. Submit correct fees –The fee to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals is $465 and cannot be waived. There are fee exemptions (click for instructions) available only in limited circumstances. You may submit separate checks of $380 and $85, or one single check of $465.
8. Answer all questions completely and accurately – If an item is not applicable or the answer is “none,” leave the space blank. To ensure your request is accepted for processing, be sure to complete these required form fields:
Form I-821D: Name, Address, Date of Birth
Form I-765: Name, Address, Date of Birth, Eligibility Category
9. Provide all required supporting documentation and evidence – You must submit all required evidence and supporting documentation. These documents are required for USCIS to make a decision on your request. Please organize and label your evidence by the guideline it meets.
10. If you make an error on a form, start over with a clean form – USCIS prefers that you type your answers into the form and then print it. If you are filling out your form by hand, use black ink. If you make a mistake, please start over with a new form. Scanners will see through white out or correction tape and this could lead to the form being processed as incorrect, and lead to processing delays or denial.
11. Carefully review age guidelines before filing – If you have never been in removal (deportation) proceedings, or your proceedings have been terminated, you must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing.
You cannot be the age of 31 or older as of June 15, 2012, to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
To ensure that your request is accepted for processing, it is important that you review your entire request package before you file with USCIS. A consultation with an experienced immigration attorney is highly recommended to confirm your eligibility, inform you of risks and watchouts, and advise you regarding future potential options to legalize your status and of the best evidence to submit (and not to submit) to increase your chances of approval of your Deferred Action request. Contact The Law Office of Tanya M. Lee today at 480-559-9529 for a confidential consultation.
President Obama and Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano recently announced the availability of “deferred action,” or temporary protection from removal (deportation), and eligibility for work authorization, for certain people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The government has up to 60 days from June 15, 2012 – the date the policy was announced – to provide guidance for the application procedure. No applications will be accepted until the process has been defined and announced by the government.
Naturally, many people who believe they may qualify are wondering, “what can I do now in order to be able to apply as soon as the government begins accepting requests?” Here are three suggestions.
Three Things You Can Do Now to Prepare
- Stay out of trouble. To be eligible for the relief under this new policy, you must not have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offense, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. If you do not have any prior criminal offenses, that’s great – be sure to keep it that way.
- Save money. The government has not indicated whether there will be filing fees associated with this request, but it has already indicated the following:
- A background check (including biometrics/fingerprinting) will be required,
- A person eligible for this relief will be eligible for a work permit.
Currently, the fee for biometrics is $85, and the fee for a standalone work permit application currently is $380. It remains to be seen whether these fees will apply for this policy, and whether or not additional filing fees will apply, but you can bet there will be some fees charged by the government to review your request. In addition, you may want or need to hire an experienced immigration attorney, such as The Law Office of Tanya M. Lee, to confirm your eligibility, advise you on the documents you need to submit to prove your eligibility, prepare the forms and letter advocating why you should be granted the relief, and to correspond and negotiate with the government on your behalf. This means you should budget for legal fees as well. In sum, start saving money for this investment in your future – you will be able to pay yourself back through your legitimate earnings after you receive your work permit.
- Start gathering documents to prove you qualify. There will be many documents you will need to provide to the government to prove you are eligible for relief and the work permit under this new policy. Don’t wait until the government announces it is ready to accept applications – get started now on gathering your documents. Below are the eligibility criteria followed by a checklist of documents that you can begin to gather now to prove your eligibility.
Eligibility for Deferred Action (Temporary Protection from Removal/Deportation)
According to Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary Janet Napolitano’s memo issued June 15, 2012, in order to be eligible for deferred action for a period of two years (renewable), individuals must:
- Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- Have continuously resided in the United States in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and have been present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or be honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
- Not be above the age of thirty.
Preferred Documents to Submit as Proof of Eligibility – Begin Gathering Now!
1. To prove you came to the U.S. under age 16 …
… collect financial/bank records, medical records, school records, employment records, military records.
2a. To prove you have continuously resided in the U.S. for the last 5 years prior to June 15, 2012 …
… collect financial/bank, medical, school, employment, and military records.
2b. To prove you were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012…
… collect financial/bank, medical, school, employment, and military records.
3a. To prove you are currently in school, have graduated, or obtained your GED certificate…
… collect diplomas, GED certificate, report cards, and school transcripts.
3b. To prove you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces
… collect your report of separation form, military personnel records, military health records.
4. To prove you have not been convicted of certain disqualifying criminal offenses …
… gather court records and police reports for an analysis by an attorney to determine your eligibility prior to application; be prepared for the government’s background check including fingerprinting
5. To prove you are not older than thirty…
… obtain the original or certified copy of your birth certificate listing your parent(s); if not in English, get a certified English translation
CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY BEFORE APPLYING
Before submitting a request for deferred action under this new policy, it is important for you to understand what the new policy can and cannot offer you, what the risks are of applying, the eligibility requirements and the supporting documents needed to prove you qualify, and the process, timing, and fees involved in making the request.
To have an experienced attorney assess your eligibility, or if you have any further questions including which documents you should submit to prove eligibility in your specific case, please fill out our contact form or contact The Law Office of Tanya M. Lee, PLLC at firstname.lastname@example.org, (480) 559-9529 (English) and (623) 349-1351 (English and Español). The firm is authorized under federal law to assist clients located in all 50 U.S. states and abroad with matters of immigration and nationality law.