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All Things Immigration [blog]

An ongoing series of informational entries


Perks of Becoming a United States 

January 15, 2019

  1. Voting: Only U.S. citizens can vote in Federal elections. Most States also restrict the right to vote, in most elections, to U.S. citizens.
  2. Bringing family members to the U.S.: Citizens generally get priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country.
  3. Traveling with a U.S. passport: A U.S. passport allows you to get assistance from the U.S. government when outside the United States.
  4. Becoming eligible for Federal jobs: Most jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.
  5. Becoming an elected official:Many elected offices in this country require U.S. citizenship.
#immigration #uscis #usciziten #greencard #lpr

Visiting the United States

February 14, 2019

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to visit the United States must first obtain a visitor visa. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).


To consult an immigration lawyer regarding the visitor visa, please call us at (703) 763-5695 or e-mail us at [email protected]

#immigration #uscis #usa #tourist #business

How to Get a Green Card

March 15, 2019

Having a green card, or permanent residence status, gives you the ability to legally live & work in the United States, and it's a step toward becoming a United States citizen.

Three ways to get a green card are:

  1. Family-Based Green Card;
  2. Employment-Based Greend Card; and
  3. Diversity-Visa Lottery (commonly referred to as the “Green-Card Lottery”).

The process is lengthy, but the reward is great. Call us at 703-763-5695 & find out what you need to do to obtain a green card.


www.ghaderilaw.com

Visa Waiver Program 

April 9, 2019

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables most citizens or nationals of 38 countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa. The list of countries that participate in the VWP can be found at: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/frequently-asked-questions-about-visa-waiver-program-vwp-and-electronic-system-travel

#immigration #visas #tourism #business #usa

Change of Address with USCIS 

April 2019

Most non-U.S. citizens, must report a change of address within 10 days of moving.


You can submit your change of address online*, or call USCIS's customer service number, 800-375-5283, to change your address. You can also complete Form AR-11 (available at www.uscis.gov/ar-11) and mail it to the address listed on the form.


Failure to report a change of address may result in a fine, imprisonment and/or removal, as well as jeopardize your ability to obtain a future visa or other immigration benefits.


*Please note that to update your address online, you'll need:

(1) Receipt # (only for pending case); and

(2) Old & New Address


More information available at: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/F2en.pdf

#USCIS #Immigration

What it Form I-94? 

April 2019

The Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record,” is the document issued to nonimmigrant aliens at the time of lawful entry into the United States at an air or sea port of entry. The I-94 is evidence of a nonimmigrant’s term of admission and used to document legal status in the United States, including length of stay and departure.


Nonimmigrant aliens can retrieve their I-94 admission record, as well as a limited travel history of their U.S. arrivals and departures online at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home


#immigration

Asylum Applicants Work Eligibility 

April 2019

Asylum applicants are eligible to apply for a work permit (“Employment Authorization Document” (EAD)) if:

  • 150 days have passed since initial filing for asylum (excluding any delays caused by applicant); AND
  • There has been no decision on the case from USCIS or the Immigration Judge (IJ).

Have questions? We are here to help! Call us at 703-763-5695

www.ghaderilaw.com

#immigration #asylum #ead #workpermit #ghaderilaw

Check Your USCIS Case Status Online

April 2019

If you have applied or petitioned for an immigration benefit, you can check the status of your case online at: https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) My Case Status webpage makes it easy to view current updates and actions about your case allowing you to see how far along your case is in the application process.


My Case Status is available in Spanish as well (en Español - estatus de mi caso).


Have questions? We are here to help! Call us at 703-763-5695

#immigration #uscis #ghaderilaw

Guest Speaker at Bennington College 

April 2019

I was so honored & excited to be at Bennington College to discuss the challenges & hardships encountered by Kurdish immigrant youth seeking safety and protection in the U.S.  


The faculty and students were so welcoming, and I was so impressed by their eagerness and curiosity, not just about U.S. immigration law, but also the difficult circumstances that often force Kurdish youth to flee their homes and seek refuge in the U.S. in the first place.  During the talk, I highlighted how some Kurdish youth arrive in the U.S. through a safe and swift process, while many others arrive after harrowing journeys involving weeks, if not months or years, of violence and upheaval. And after arriving to the U.S., the Kurdish youth 


The students were actively engaged, and some students were able to relate to the challenges and hardship that the Kurdish youth face as a result of the very difficult and confusing immigration process in the U.S. 


#asylum #immigration #uscis #vermont #bennington 

Travel Ban Waiver 

April 2019

The most recent Travel Ban imposes country specific restrictions on nationals for all immigrants & certain nonimmigrants from 6 countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also imposes restrictions on certain visitors from Venezuela.


The entry restrictions of the Travel Ban may be waived on a case-by-case basis. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate all of the following:

  1. Undue hardship to the applicant would be caused if U.S. entry is denied. In other words, some unusual situation other than difficulty in the home country compels immediate travel and delaying issuance of the visa would defeat the purpose of the applicant's trip;
  2. The applicant's entry to the U.S. would be in the U.S. national interest. This means that some U.S.-based person or entity would suffer hardship if the applicant could not travel until the travel ban is lifted; and
  3. The applicant's entry to the U.S. would not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety.

Note, however, that as of late 2018, out of nearly 38,000 visa applications from the targeted countries, only 6% received a waiver.


#travelban #Iran #Syria #Libya #Yemen #Somalia #Venezuela #NorthKorea #immigration #uscis

Why Is Your Case Taking So Long? USCIS Processing Delays Have Now Hit Crisis Levels

April 2019

  • Why Hasn’t Your Case Been Decided Yet? Nationwide, you and millions of families, businesses, and people applying for humanitarian relief are waiting longer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process and approve your applications and petitions. Five years ago, an average case was taking about five months to process. By Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, that same applicant waited nearly 10 months. Those extra months of waiting halt business operations, keep families separated, and jeopardize people’s lives.
  • Who is Affected? You & other people applying for family-based benefits, employment-based benefits, naturalization, travel documents, and employment authorization are all experiencing delays. In FY2018, a staggering 94 percent of all immigration petitions and application form types took longer to process when compared to FY2014.
  • Why Are Cases Taking Longer? Many factors can slow down your case. New policies at USCIS are restricting legal immigration. For example, one policy requires USCIS officers to conduct duplicate reviews of past decisions, adding unnecessary work to each case. Such inefficient policies help explain why processing times are increasing even as USCIS application rates are decreasing. Recent USCIS data shows that USCIS’s average processing time rose by 19 percent from FY2017 to FY2018, even while overall numbers of case receipts declined by 13 percent during that same period. Congress intended USCIS to function as a service-oriented agency on behalf of the American people. But the agency is failing its mission with unacceptably and increasingly slow case processing.

Three Types of Student Visas 

April 2019

For those looking to study abroad in the U.S., you will need to have student visas. The three types of students visas you can apply for are:

  1. F Visa: For international students wanting to pursue an academic degree at an accredited U.S. college or university. This also includes those who are studying English at a university or intensive English language institute.
  2.  M Visa: For international students that are engaging in non-academic studies or training at an institution in the U.S.

  3. J Visa: For research scholars, professors and exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the U.S.


#immigration #greencard #attorney #immigrationlawyer #immigrationattorney #ghaderilaw #usa #UnitedStates #F1Visa #J1Visa #M1Visa #StudentLife #inspire

ARE YOU A WINNER? 

MAY 2019

Starting May 7, 2019, Diversity Visa (“Green Card Lottery”) applicants for 2020 can check the results of their entries on the Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) website: https://dvlottery.state.gov/


Note that the E-DV website is the ONLY means by which applicants are notified of their selection.


#DiversityVisa #GreenCardLottery

How Can I find someone who is in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Custody? 

MAY 2019

The ICE Online Detainee Locator System (https://locator.ice.gov/odls/) can locate immigration detainees in ICE custody that are 18 years or older. 

You can locate your family member or friend in two ways: 


(1) Search by A-Number: You can search by the Alien Registration Number. The A-Number is a unique eight- or nine-digit number assigned to a noncitizen at the time their A-File is created. An A-Number is the letter “A” followed by eight or nine numbers (such as A012345678). If they are a permanent resident (green card holder), the number will be on their green card.

(2) Search by Biological Information: To search by name, a detainee's first and last names are required and must be an exact match (e.g., John Doe will not find Jon Doe or John Doe-Smith). If you cannot find them, try various misspellings, versions, reversed names or adding/removing a hypen “-” if appropriate for their name (i.e. “Jose Ignacio Gonzalez” vs “Jose Ignacio-Gonzalez”). You are required to provide the detainee's Country of Birth.


The Online Detainee Locator will indicate that a detainee is “Not in Custody” if that person has been either released to the community, or deported from the United States within the past 60 days. The Online Detainee Locator System cannot search for records of persons under the age of 18.


#immigration #ICE #Detention