Immigration Lawyer Explains Affidavit of Support

Immigration Lawyer Explains Affidavit of Support

An affidavit of support is a document that must be completed by all petitioners for family-based and some employment based sponsorship. In the affidavit of support, the petitioner or sponsor sign to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently. Since the requirements are so stringent and an incorrect affidavit of support can lead to a denial of an immigrant visa petitions, it is recommended to seek legal assistance from an immigration lawyer. (more…)

Orlando Immigration Lawyer explains Removal Proceedings

Orlando Immigration Lawyer Gail Seeram explains that removal proceedings (or “deportation”) can be initiated against a lawful permanent resident or undocumented noncitizen (collectively referred to as “noncitizens”) at any time. Removal & deportation proceedings can be initiated when a noncitizen (including a lawful permanent resident) is seeking admission to the United States, filing an application for an immigration benefit (such as U.S. Citizenship or renewing/replacing a “green card”), serving a sentence for a criminal conviction (such as probation, community service or prison), or detained by local police for a criminal matter. (more…)

Prosecutorial Discretion – Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Prosecutorial discretion is a discretionary relief where Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), the agency that initiates and executes removal/deportation from the United States, can choose to temporarily pause removal/deportation or release an individual from detention based on certain factors.  A request for prosecutorial discretion is best prepared and presented to ICE by an immigration lawyer.

In exercising prosecutorial discretion, Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) may administratively close a pending removal case (removal proceedings delayed), grant voluntary departure, grant deferred action (defer a pending removal), reissue or cancel a Notice to Appear, or release a detained individual on bond or an order of supervision. Note, in exercising prosecutorial discretion, it is unlikely that a pending removal case would be terminated unless there are extenuating factors present. In order to request prosecutorial discretion in a pending removal case or detention case, an immigration lawyer would submit the request to Immigration Custom and Enforcement (ICE).

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Prosecutorial Discretion in Removal – Deportation – Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Prosecutorial discretion is a discretionary relief where Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), the agency that initiates and executes removal/deportation from the United States, can choose to temporarily pause removal/deportation or release an individual from detention based on certain factors.

In exercising prosecutorial discretion, Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) may administratively close a pending removal case (removal proceedings delayed), grant voluntary departure, grant deferred action (defer a pending removal), reissue or cancel a Notice to Appear, or release a detained individual on bond or an order of supervision. Note, in exercising prosecutorial discretion, it is unlikely that a pending removal case would be terminated unless there are extenuating factors present. In order to request prosecutorial discretion in a pending removal case or detention case, an immigration lawyer would submit the request to Immigration Custom and Enforcement (ICE).

However, in cases where the immigrant has a criminal history these types of cases are deemed enforcement priorities and prosecutorial discretion will not be exercised in these types of cases. ICE will consider the following factors in deciding whether to grant or exercise prosecutorial discretion:

  1. the person’s length of presence in the United States, with particular consideration given to presence while in lawful status;
  2. the circumstances of the person’s arrival in the United States and the manner of his or her entry, particularly if the alien came to the United States as a young child;
  3. the person’s pursuit of education in the United States, with particular consideration given to those who have graduated from a U.S. high school or have successfully pursued or are pursuing a college or advanced degrees at a legitimate institution of higher education in the United States;
  4. whether the person, or the person’s immediate relative, has served in the U.S. military, reserves, or national guard, with particular consideration given to those who served in combat;
  5. the person’s criminal history, including arrests, prior convictions, or outstanding arrest warrants;
  6. the person’s immigration history, including any prior removal, outstanding order of removal, prior denial of status, or evidence of fraud;
  7. whether the person poses a national security or public safety concern;
  8. the person’s ties and contributions to the community, including family relationships;
  9. the person’s ties to the home country and condition in the country;
  10. the person’s age, with particular consideration given to minors and the elderly;
  11. whether the person has a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, child, or parent;
  12. whether the person is the primary caretaker of a person with a mental or physical disability, minor, or seriously ill relative; ;
  13. whether the person or the person’s spouse is pregnant or nursing;
  14. whether the person or the person’s spouse suffers from severe mental or physical illness;
  15. whether the person is likely to be granted temporary or permanent status or other relief from removal, including as an asylum seeker, or a victim of domestic violence, human trafficking, or other crime; .and .
  16. whether the person is currently cooperating or has cooperated with federal, state or local law enforcement authorities, such as ICE, the U.S Attorneys or Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, or National Labor Relations Board, among others.

A formal written request for prosecutorial discretion must be submitted to the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) office with jurisdiction over the pending case. The request must also contain supporting evidence of the above favorable factors. A request for prosecutorial discretion is best prepared and presented to ICE by an immigration lawyer. In most cases, a follow-up phone conversation is needed between the immigration lawyer submitting the request and the ICE official making the decision on whether to grant prosecutorial discretion.  Our office has been very successful in obtaining prosecutorial discretion on behalf of our clients in removal proceedings.  Contact our office for a free initial in-office consultation.

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Illegal Children Immigration – Crisis at Border – Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Mi casa es tu casa – My house is your house.  This is the courtesy we extend to guess in our home (whether family or a first-time visitor).  At least this was a strong Guyanese valuable instilled in me as a child and observed while living in the United States of America my entire life.  Americans are thought to be the most welcoming and laid back people in the world.

So, why all the political rhetoric about deporting the thousands of unaccompanied illegal children immigration officials stated that have recently flooded the southern U.S. border.  A long-standing principle of the U.S. Government has been to demonstrate global leadership by providing humanitarian options to immigrants who are in the most vulnerable and desperate of situations. One such immigrant group is children who find themselves in this country without parental care due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or another similar situation.

In the form of Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) status, the U.S. immigration law provides a method for abused, abandoned or neglected children without legal immigration status to obtain permission to remain lawfully in the United States.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Illegal Children Immigration – Special Immigrant Juvenile

Mi casa es tu casa – My house is your house.  This is the courtesy we extend to guess in our home (whether family or a first-time visitor).  At least this was a strong Guyanese valuable instilled in me as a child and observed while living in the United States of America my entire life.  Americans are thought to be the most welcoming and laid back people in the world.

So, why all the political rhetoric about deporting the thousands of unaccompanied illegal children immigration officials stated that have recently flooded the southern U.S. border.  A long-standing principle of the U.S. Government has been to demonstrate global leadership by providing humanitarian options to immigrants who are in the most vulnerable and desperate of situations. One such immigrant group is children who find themselves in this country without parental care due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or another similar situation.

In the form of Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) status, the U.S. immigration law provides a method for abused, abandoned or neglected children without legal immigration status to obtain permission to remain lawfully in the United States.

Processing of unaccompanied minors typically progresses, as follows: within 72 hours of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detaining unaccompanied foreign children, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement places them in federally-staffed facilities with varying levels of security and services. The children are given “Know Your Rights” presentations, provided by non-profit organizations and pro bono attorneys, wherein they learn about a variety of immigration benefits. Those children who appear to meet no criteria for a benefit may elect “Voluntary Departure” and return to their country of origin.

However, the SIJ provisions allow qualifying foreign children to obtain relief from removal, and other important immigration benefits, such as employment authorization. Qualifying foreign children may self-petition for SIJ status by filing Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. SIJ petitioners may also apply concurrently to remain permanently in the United States by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Just think about the sense of urgency and difficult reality that these children are facing – leaving their family and home to enter a country where they know no one, don’t speak the language and don’t have a home.  Where is the American hospitality and humanitarian arm?

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Immigration Lawyer for Children Facing Deportation

President Obama to start program to provide lawyers to children facing deportation –  since October, more than 47,000 children traveling without parents (unaccompanied minor) have been caught trying to cross the southwest border.  There are a few options available for an immigration lawyer for children facing deportation:

Immigration Options for Unaccompanied Minor Immigrant Child – Asylum

You may apply for asylum as an unaccompanied minor if you:

  • Are under 18 years old;
  • Have no parent or legal guardian in the United States available to provide care and physical custody.

Asylum officers will decide your case if you are in immigration court proceedings or filed your application with an asylum office. You must attend your immigration court hearings and should follow the Immigration Judge’s instructions.

Immigration Options for Unaccompanied Minor Immigrant Child – Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status

To be eligible for SIJ status:

  • You must be under 21 years old on the filing date of the Special Immigrant Juvenile Application
  • Your state court order must be in effect on the filing date of the Special Immigrant Juvenile Application and when USCIS makes a decision on your application, unless you “aged out” of the state court’s jurisdiction due to no fault of your own
  • You cannot be married, both when you file your application and when USCIS makes a decision on your application

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Medical Exam (Form I-693) & Immigration Laws

Effective June 1, 2014, certain Forms I-693 or medical exams required under the immigration laws that are submitted to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) in connection with adjustment of status applications more than one year prior will no longer be valid.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

FL Senate & Illegal Immigration: Florida college tuition break for illegal students?

This week, the Florida Senate will consider the Post Secondary Tuition bill and decide whether to grant a tuition break for illegal students who are living in the country illegal.  This issue relating to illegal immigration and college students has greatly divided the Republicans in the Florida Senate.

Democrats, many Republicans, Gov. Rick Scott, several former governors including Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist and many news media outlets have piled on — Scott and Crist once opposed the idea, but now support it.

Some Florida colleges and universities already allow in-state tuition for students in the US illegally. Florida International University, for example, was the first to do so. But the University of Florida doesn’t allow in-state tuition for illegal immigrants because it’s against federal law.

READ MORE….

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Widow of American Citizen can Self-Petition for Green Card

In 2010, a change in the law allows the widow of American citizen married any length of time to self-petition for immediate relative status as a lawful permanent resident, but must still file within two years of the death of the U.S. citizen spouse. Additionally, if the U.S. citizen spouse filed an I-130 prior to the death, the I-130 is automatically converted to an I-360 upon the death of the petitioner. The requirement that the widow(er) not have remarried was not changed.

Requirements to Qualify as a “Widow(er):

The following requirements must be meet for a widow(er)s to self-petition for lawful permanent resident status (or green card) after the death of their U.S. citizen spouse:

  1. He or she was the citizen’s legal spouse;
  2. The marriage was bona fide and not an arrangement solely to confer immigration benefits to the beneficiary;
  3. He or she has not remarried;
  4. He or she is admissible as an immigrant; and
  5. In an adjustment of status case, that he or she meets all other adjustment eligibility requirements and merits a favorable exercise of discretion.

Children of Widow(er)s:

The child of a widow(er) whose self-petition is approved may be included in the widow(er)’s petition as long as they meet the definition for “child” under the immigration laws.  Where the deceased citizen filed an alien relative petition for his or her spouse that was pending at the time of his or her death, and the alien relative petition can now be adjudicated as a widow(er)’s self-petition, the child(ren) of the widow(er) will be included in the widow(er)’s self petition.  An individual qualifies as the “child” of a widow(er) depending on their age when the alien relative petition was filed.

Q. Are my children, who are not the children of my deceased U.S. citizen spouse, covered under this new law?

A. Yes. Regardless of whether your children are also the children of your deceased U.S. citizen spouse, the program covers your children in the United States, as long as they meet the definition of your “child” under the immigration laws.

Q. What if I was legally separated or divorced from my U.S. citizen spouse at the time of his or her death?

A. If you were divorced or legally separated from your U.S. citizen spouse at the time of his or her death, you are ineligible for this program.

Q. What if I am a widow(er) who was removed or departed from the United States while an order of removal was pending?

A. If the widow(er) is outside of the United States and had been ordered removed, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has discretion under the immigration laws to consent to the widow(er)’s reapplication for admission. USCIS will generally exercise discretion favorably and grant an application for consent to reapply for admission once all the requirements are met.

Q. What if I am in removal proceedings?

A. Your attorney or accredited representative is in the best position to advise you about your specific case.

 

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.