Why is my Immigration Case Processing taking so long?

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. If you filed Form I-130/I-485 based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, under the law, you should receive a work permit within 90 days of submitting the Form I-130/I-485. Currently, the wait time for a work permit is over 9 months.

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 and 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. 

For more information on immigration case processing, 

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First Steps to Attaining U.S. Citizenship in Orlando

First Steps to Attaining U.S. Citizenship in Orlando

The Naturalization process is required if you want to become a U.S. citizen. Our immigration law office helps many clients attain citizenship in Orlando every year. We are honored to be a part of this exciting time in our clients lives and do our very best to make the process as smooth and simple for you as possible.

Here’s a quick look at the first steps you’ll need to complete in order to become a U.S. citizen.

Early Requirements For U.S. Citizenship Via Naturalization

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have held a Permanent Green Card for at least 5 years.
  • Able to read, write, and speak basic English.
  • Be of good moral character.

If you meet these four criteria, you can get started on your Naturalization process! The 10-step Naturalization process starts with filing Form N-400 “Application for Naturalization”.

What to Expect of the U.S. Naturalization Process

After you submit Form N-400, you will be contacted to arrange an interview and an English and Civics test. Once approved, you can take part in a naturalization ceremony and take the Oath of Allegiance!

Gail Seeram Helps Immigrants Attain Citizenship In Orlando

Immigration attorney, Gail Seeram, helps immigrants complete their Naturalization paperwork accurately and completely, ensure they meet all Naturalization eligibility requirements, and can provide moral support or clarification during the citizenship interview process. Attorney Seeram’s advice and assistance can ensure your application is not rejected or delayed due to missing or inaccurate information and that you have met all of the necessary requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen.

Learn more about how we can help you attain U.S. citizenship in Orlando by contacting

The Law Offices of Gail Seeram at 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730. We offer free, no-obligation phone and office

Fight Removal With Help From a Deportation Lawyer

If you have been notified that you are to be deported from the U.S. you may think there is no way you can avoid deportation, but that is not necessarily true. Immigration attorneys help their clients fight deportation and removal regularly. A deportation lawyer:

– Investigates the charges against you to ensure accuracy,

– Helps build your defense,

– Presents your case in front of the immigration judge, and

– Helps fill out all of the necessary forms to fight deportation.

Click here to learn more about deportation defense.

Deportation Defense At The Law Offices Of Gail Seeram

Gail Seeram is an Orlando immigration attorney with over 17 years of experience. She focuses exclusively on immigration law and helps hundreds of clients in the U.S. every year.

Deportation does not happen right away. There is a removal process that must be followed and you will have a chance to present your side of the situation. You stand a far better chance of convincing the immigration judge to rule against deportation if you have an immigration attorney helping you!

Immigration judges must rule on the evidence they are presented with. They cannot do research for you. They cannot build a legal argument for your case. They will not know anything about your circumstances beyond what you present. These are all things that our immigration lawyer will do for you.

Attorney Seeram will research the charges against you. She will examine all possible defense option. She will present evidence and arguments in your favor to the judge.

There are many ways you might be able to remain in the U.S. with an immigration attorney’s help. You may qualify for asylum. You may qualify for a Green Card. The charges against you may be false or inaccurate and thus invalidate the deportation.

The one thing we want you to remember is that you have options and you are not alone!

If you have received notice that you are to be deported or if you have been detained by ICE, contact our Orlando immigration law office right away. We will quickly evaluate your situation and recommend a best course of action to protect you and your family.

Call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730 to schedule a free consultation.

Re-entry After Deportation is Possible Under Certain Circumstances

Re-entry After Deportation is Possible Under Certain CircumstancesYou may think that deportation is the end of your chances for a life in the United States, but re-entry after deportation is possible if you meet certain criteria.

2 Ways To Qualify For Re-Entry After Deportation

  • Timing Requirements. The first thing to keep in mind if you want to apply for re-entry after deportation is how long ago you were deported. Anyone who has been deported must wait 5, 10, or 20 years (unless the deportation is permanent) before they can apply for re-entry. How long you much wait to apply for re-entry depends on the reasons you were deported in the first place. Re-entering the country before this time period has passed could complicate your situation and make re-entry more difficult or even make your deportation permanent.

If you do not meet the timing requirements, there may still be ways for you to re-enter the U.S. legally:

  • Form I-212. Form I-212 “Permission to Reapply For Admission Into the United States After Deportation or Removal” may be submitted if you have a new or separate basis for a Visa or Green Card application. Also known as a waiver request, Form I-212 essentially requests that immigration authorities overlook the grounds for your deportation and give you a second chance. 
  • Form I-601. Form I-601 “Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility” is another type of waiver application. This form can be used by immigrants who have been deemed “inadmissible” to the U.S. for many different types of reasons and must usually be filed in conjunction with Form I-212. Form I-212 removes the removal restrictions and Form I-601 removes the grounds for removal.

Help From An Immigration Attorney Is Essential

Re-entry after deportation is a complex process and the slightest misstep could end your chances to return to the United States. It is vital to the success of your application that you get help from an experienced immigration attorney to prove to U.S. Immigration Services that you are deserving of a second chance.

As a foreign national, you will not be provided with an attorney to represent you; you must hire one yourself.

Our Orlando immigration attorney, Gail Seeram, handles re-entry and deportation cases regularly. She ensures that each applicant has all of the necessary documentation in order and helps her clients lay out the best case possible for re-entry.

If you are seeking re-entry after deportation, contact The Law Offices of Gail Seeram at 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730 to schedule a free consultation.

Worried About Trump Immigration Policies? Contact Our Office For Help

Stories and headlines about President Trump’s immigration policies are striking fear into the hearts of many – immigrants or not. For non-U.S. natives, even those who are in the country legally, are afraid. They are afraid of harsher treatment, more questioning, and losing their livelihoods – to name just a few fears.

If you are at all concerned about your status and eligibility to remain in the United States, we urge you to contact our office right away. A discussion with our Orlando immigration attorney can set your mind at ease and help you clearly identify any steps you need to take to protect yourself and your family in this new reality of Trump immigration policy.

Options For Remaining in the U.S.

Your options for remaining in the U.S. depend on your specific situation. Depending on your age, work status, and marital status you may be able to remain in the U.S. if you meet certain conditions.

  • Obtain Employment Authorization Document.
  • Become a U.S. Citizen through Naturalization.
  • Become a citizen through your parents.
  • Ensure your Green Card is current or apply for a Green Card.
  • Have a U.S. citizen relative, spouse, or fiancé(e) petition on your behalf.
  • Determine if you are eligible for work or educational visas.
  • Determine your eligibility for DACA.
  • Remove your conditional status.
  • Extend your non-immigrant stay or employment based stay.
  • Determine if you qualify for protected status or asylum.

There are requirements that must be met for all of these options. It is vitally important that you consult an immigration lawyer for help deciding which course of action to pursue.

Consult Orlando Immigration Attorney Gail Seeram For Advice As Soon As Possible

If you are concerned about your immigration status contact Orlando immigration attorney, Gail Seeram right away. Early intervention is the best way to review your option and develop a strategy for securing your ability to remain in the U.S. legally.

You do not want to wait to speak with an immigration attorney until ICE knocks on your door!

Contact The Law Offices of Gail Seeram at 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730 to schedule a free consultation.

Don’t Panic When Faced With a Request For Evidence, Contact an Immigration Law Attorney Instead

Many of our clients are already very nervous while awaiting decisions related to their immigration status. The last thing they want to receive in the mail is a Request for Evidence from USCIS, but sometimes this happens. The best advice we can give you is to stay calm, don’t panic, and contact our Orlando immigration attorney for help right away.

What Is A Request For Evidence?

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is simply a formal way for U.S. immigration services to ask for additional proof or documentation in order to make a decision about your case. They are usually in list form and request specific pieces of information. RFEs are generally simple and straightforward. Most often, a piece of information was missing or was unclear and USCIS sends and RFE to ask for clarification or additional details.

5 Tips For Handling An RFE

1. Read the RFE carefully. If you receive an RFE take the time to read through it carefully so you know and understand the request and can provide accurate missing information.

2. Meet deadlines. Always answer RFEs on time. Simply missing a deadline can be cause for denial. USCIS rarely approves requests for additional time, so don’t wait until the last minute and count on an extension coming through.

3. File when completed, not piecemeal. Answer all RFE requests as accurately and completely as possible. USCIS does not generally request additional information after receiving a response to an RFE so if something is inaccurate, missing, or incomplete, you run the risk of the application being denied due to lack of sufficient date or response to the RFE. Many RFEs can be avoided by providing a complete and detailed application package from the very start.

4. Keep it organized. For best results, answer all questions in order and as presented. A table of contents can be helpful. Concise, but thorough, answers will suffice. There’s no need to go overboard and write an essay. Include documentation and exhibits if it will help your case. The easier it is for a person to read through your documentation, the better your chances of approval.

5. Hire an immigration attorney. Having an immigration attorney on your side can make a big difference. Some RFEs contain very technical, legal details that may be lost on you. Others are simply confusing. Sometimes, you may not have the time that is needed to respond to the request appropriately. In any of these situations, an experienced immigration attorney can be invaluable. An immigration attorney can assess the situation and advise you on what kind of documentation you need to provide and how to respond to the Request for Evidence.

Don’t Risk Your Immigration Status By Neglecting An RFE

If at any time you are unsure or confused by a request from USCIS or about any step in your immigration process, contact our Orlando immigration law office for advice and service. We are happy to help walk you through the application process, explain any correspondence you may have received or represent you to USCIS.

If you have received an RFE, contact The Law Offices of Gail Seeram at 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730 to schedule a free consultation.

What Are Your Options When You Are Denied An Immigrant Visa (I-130) To The U.S.?

Being denied an immigrant visa I-130 to the U.S. can be a devastating setback to your family’s plans for the future, but it doesn’t have to be the end. You’ll be happy to know that just because your application has been denied does not mean you must accept the denial. You have options that can be explored to have your application reconsidered. This is true whether you were located within the United States or outside of the U.S. when you filed the application.

Reasons For Denial

Sometimes I-130 applications are denied due to simple mistakes or missing paperwork. At other times, denials are due to more serious issues. In either case, you will benefit from the help of an experienced Orlando immigration attorney. An immigration attorney can evaluate the situation that led to the denial and recommend steps to correct the problem and, hopefully, have the denial reversed.

Options After An Immigrant Visa Denial

In general, you have two options once an immigrant visa has been denied: appeal the decision or file a new application.

Option 1:

Appeal the Decision. Appeals are directed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) when the application was filed from within the U.S. The process is as follows: (more…)

What Are The I-751 Removing Conditions?

Did you know that your permanent U.S. resident status is considered conditional if it was based on a marriage of less than 2 years at the time residency was granted? U.S. immigration law was set up this way to protect against immigrants who married solely to evade immigration laws. Fortunately, the conditional nature of your resident status can be removed, and permanent status granted, by filing Form I-751: Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence and by meeting certain removing conditions.

I-751 Removing Conditions and How to File For Removal

There are five I-751 removing conditions. One of the five conditions must be met in order to file for removal using Form I-751:

  1. If you are still married to the U.S. citizen spouse after 2 years, you may file for removal, but spouses must file jointly for the removal.

You may file Form I-751 seeking a waiver from the joint filing requirement under the following grounds:

  1. You are a widow/widower.
  2. You are divorced or the marriage was annulled.
  3. You are a child who cannot be included in your parents’ application.
  4. You are the victim of domestic violence and/or extreme hardship by your U.S. spouse.

You can file Form I-751 at any time after the conditional residency has been granted but before the 2 years expiration of your status.

Filing For Removal Is Not An Option, It Is A Requirement

We want to stress the importance of filing Form I-751. Removing the conditions of your conditional residency is required if you wish to obtain a Green Card. If you do not file Form I-751 before your Conditional Green Card expires, your residency can be revoked and you are at risk of being deported.

Our Orlando immigration attorney recommends filing Form I-751 (more…)

5 Signs You’ve Found The Best Immigration Lawyer

Immigrating to the United States isn’t easy. Hiring an immigration attorney to help you is the best way to make sure you’ve followed all of the requirements and positioned yourself for a successful application process.

But hiring an immigration attorney is filled with its’ own challenges. How do you know if you’re hiring the right attorney? The tips below will help you make a decision and hire the best immigration lawyer possible.

5 Signs You’ve Found The Best Immigration Lawyer

  1. They’ve Been Referred by Someone You Trust. The best immigration lawyer for your situation may be one that has helped one of your friends or family members with their immigration situation. You will be able to get an honest and unbiased report about the attorney from your friend and you’ll know the exact outcome of the situation. At the very least, referrals are a good place to start your search even if you don’t end up using the same attorney.
  2. They are 100% Devoted to Immigration Law. There are many, many areas of law in which an attorney can specialize. For the best results, you want an attorney that devotes 100% of his/her practice to immigration law. This helps ensure that the attorney will have the background, knowledge, and resources necessary to handle even the most complex of immigration cases. You can check their credentials with the State Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
  3. They Have Experience With Your Type of Case. Equally as important as being devoted to immigration law is having experience with your specific immigration issue. The most experience they have with your issue, the better. Some immigration attorneys specialize only in certain areas of immigration law. Others handle many areas of the law. You want to hire an Orlando immigration attorney that has experience with your particular need.
  4. They Will be Accessible to You. The last thing you want is to hire an attorney to handle your immigration case and then be kept in the dark about the progress of your case. Hire an attorney that will be accessible to you, whether that is phone, email, or face-to-face meetings. This can be hard to judge, but you could pay attention to how the receptionist or office staff treat you and/or other clients (Are they rude? Do they express an interest in talking to you?) or how quickly your initial phone call or email is returned. Be sure to ask about accessibility including how and how often you will hear from the attorney.
  5. They Make You Feel Comfortable. You will be trusting your attorney with some very private information at a very stressful time in your life. You must feel comfortable speaking to them honestly and you must trust that they are acting in your best interests. Does he/she listen to you? Explain things in ways you understand? Show empathy for your situation? It’s okay to trust your gut if it’s telling you that this is not the right attorney for you.

Contact our Orlando Immigration Attorney for Advice and Representation

Hiring an immigration attorney does not have to be intimidating or confusing. All it takes is a little bit of time and research to find out as much as you can about the attorney before you sign any contracts.

Orlando immigration attorney, Gail Seeram, handles all types of immigration cases from asylum and work visas to green cards and deportation issues. Contact the Law Offices of Gail Seeram 1 (407) 292-7730 for a free initial consultation.

The United States Issued 2,155 EB2 Visas For Exceptional Abilities In 2016. Do You Fit The Criteria?

 

The EB2 Visa is a special type of permanent work visa for immigrants. Also referred to as the Advanced-Degree Holders and Aliens of Exceptional Ability Visa, the EB2 is open only to individuals in certain professions.

Applicants are categorized as either “Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees” or “Persons of Exceptional Ability.”   

Criteria for the EB2 Visa

To qualify for an EB2 Visa you must have:

  • An Advanced Degree, An Exceptional Ability, or a National Interest Waiver.

Advanced Degree Requirements: The job that you apply for must require an advanced degree and you must possess such a degree or its equivalent.

Exceptional Ability Requirements: You must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”

National Interest Waiver: You may qualify for a National Interest Waiver if you can demonstrate that you have both exceptional ability and that your filling of the job is in the best interest of the United States. Best interests may impact the national economy, cultural interests, educational interests, or U.S. welfare.

Once you have met one of the above criteria, you must also:

  • Have a sponsoring employer.
  • Have the employer file a Petition for Alien Worker for you.
  • Have a labor certification approved by the Department of Labor.

(more…)