Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

How Do I Have Conditions Removed From My Green Card Status

There are two circumstances under which the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues conditional green cards. They are:

  • When a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen and the marriage is less than two years since entry to the U.S.
  • When a foreign investor wants to work with an American business or start-up

Though conditional green cards provide the same rights as permanent green cards, there is one major difference: the conditional green card is only valid for two years while the permanent green card is valid for ten years, and the conditional green card cannot be renewed while the permanent green card can be.

If you hold a conditional green card, you were notified of that status at the time that it was issued, and at the same time, were told about the deadline for requesting that the conditions be removed. You will not receive notification prior to its expiration, so you need to be aware and proactive in order to make sure that you have the opportunity to change your status. Having an immigration lawyer help is highly recommended.

The process is different for those whose conditional cards were issued for marriage purposes and those who are foreign investors/entrepreneurs, with the marriage process much more complex. This is because the USCIS wants to ensure that the marriage is legitimate, and not entered into simply to gain the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen.

Entrepreneurs wishing to remove the conditional resident status need to submit a removal request petition using form I-829. The petition needs to be submitted within 90 days of the conditional green card’s expiration date. If your request is denied or you fail to submit the documents, you will need to leave the U.S. no later than the expiration date on your card. The only exception to this rule is if you can prove that extenuating circumstances prevented your timely submission of the petition.

For those holding conditional green cards issued for a marriage, a removal request petition needs to be completed using USCIS Form I-751, by both spouses, within 90 days of the card’s expiration. The goal is to prove that the marriage was entered into in good faith, so documentation such as joint bank account statements, joint leases, a marriage license, children’s birth certificates and other information corroborating a partnership should be part of the submission. An interview may be required. If the marriage has dissolved during the two-year period, the immigrant will need to file a waiver appeal allowing them to submit Form I-751 without their spouse.

Once conditional status is removed, the immigrant will be issued a permanent card that is good for ten years and which will be able to be renewed with much less bureaucracy. For assistance in preparing any of the required documents, contact our immigration attorneys today.

How to Get a Green Card

If you are a non-U.S. citizen who wants to obtain permanent residence in the United States, what you need is a document known as a green card. A green card is officially called a Permanent Resident Card, and it got its nickname from its green color. It provides the ability to live and work in the U.S. It also provides the ability to apply for and qualify for citizenship after spending a few years in the country.

Most green cards are provided to people who are related to U.S. citizens or other green card holders, though many others are issued to people from outside of the U.S. who are seeking work in the United States, who are refugees or people seeking asylum, human trafficking and abuse or crime victims, those who are chosen randomly through the diversity lottery program, and those who have physically lived in the United States since January 1, 1972.

With so many different reasons and circumstances under which a person might seek a Permanent Resident Card, there are different paths and application processes to getting one, and even within each separate category, the process can vary. If you are a foreign national seeking a green card for employment purposes, you or your employer needs to fill out a form called an I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, and once that is approved the foreign national applies for the green card itself using Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence. If you are seeking a family-based green card, your family member who is a citizen can petition on your behalf using USCIS Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative followed or accompanied by the same Form I-485. If you are not currently in the United States, you must go through consular process, having your application approved by the U.S. Department of State. The Department of State will issue a visa to get a green card once you are admitted into the country. Others, including those facing domestic abuse, may fill out a Special Immigrant form known as the I-360.

The process of obtaining a Permanent Resident Card has always been tortuous and is made even more challenging by the current political climate. For assistance with the process, contact our experienced immigration attorneys today to set up a convenient time to meet and discuss your case.

USCIS to Interview Green Card Seekers Under White House “Comprehensive Strategy”

Under the Trump Administration’s new “comprehensive strategy” meant to strengthen the immigration system and work against fraud, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will soon begin in-person interviews with specific immigrants in the U.S. that are currently seeking status as permanent citizens. Starting October 1, the USCIS will begin the first round of interviews, starting with immigrants living in the U.S. on a work visa that are applying for permanent residency and those with relatives who petitioned to permanently join a refugee family member that already lives in the country.
Previously, the immigrants in these categories did not require an in-person interview. Those seeking status through marriages were more often the ones that underwent a green card interview in-person. However, the USCIS has stated this past Monday that it has plans to “incrementally expand” this interviewing process to include other benefit types as well.
The interviews are meant to provide immigration officers the ability to verify important information that is provided in the applications. Additionally, the goal is to give an opportunity to discover new information that could be relevant to the judgement process, along with determining the credibility of the person that is seeking a green card. According to USCIS Director James McCament in a statement, this change is meant to show that the administration is committed to strengthening and upholding the “integrity” of the country’s system for immigration.
“USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States,” stated Director McCament.
According to the USCIS, the new requirement change is in compliance with executive order 13,780, which is the travel ban signed by the president this past March following the previously-ruled unconstitutional travel ban in January. The first ban had blocked travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries but did not make it through federal court. The second ban did not apply to green card holders or those with valid visas. Additionally, it lessened the list of banned countries from seven to six. It has been challenged in federal court and has reached the U.S. Supreme Court for judgement.
If you or a loved one has concerns over the newly expanding legislation that applies to green card holders and those on visas, contact our team at Reinherz Law today. Our attorneys will talk you through your circumstances and ensure your rights are represented in the changing atmosphere of the immigration process.

Am I Eligible for a Green Card?

When trying to live in the United States when you have originated elsewhere, a green card is one of the most sought-after documents. The small green-colored card grants someone who originates from outside the U.S. the right to enter, exit, work and live in the country their entire lives. It acts as a document to legally prove U.S. permanent residency. The card also is the first stepping stone to actual citizenship.

But what does it take to get a green card? It may be more difficult than you think. In order to qualify, you must fall under one of the following categories.

Immediate Relatives

Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are the top category for green card eligibility. These applicants can receive a green card as soon as the paperwork and application process are complete.

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen, including recent widowers, and same-sex spouses if the marriage is legally recognized.
  • Parents of a U.S. citizen that is at least 21 years old.
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21 with one U.S. citizen parent.
  • Adopted children of U.S. citizens if the adoption occurred before they turned 16.
  • Both stepchildren and stepparents of U.S. citizens if the marriage occurred before the child turned 18.

Other Family Members

There are other family members that qualify to apply for a green card, but they won’t receive it right away. For this category, there is a limited number granted each year and is given out on a first-come, first served basis.

  • Family First Preference. Unmarried adults over the age of 21 with one parent that is a U.S. citizen.
  • Family Second Preference. Spouses and unmarried children of any age to a green card holder.
  • Family Third Preference. Married people of any age with a U.S. citizen parent.
  • Family Fourth Preference. Siblings, over 21 years old, of a U.S. citizen.

Preferred Employees and Workers

Each year, 140,000 green cards are given to those with skills that the U.S. needs in its market. Commonly, there needs to be a job offer and it needs to be proven that they were unable to find any U.S. citizens for the job.

  • Employment First Preference. Priority workers such as those with high ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics along with outstanding professors and researchers, and both managers and executives of multinational companies.
  • Employment Second Preferences. Professionals that have either advanced degrees or exceptional ability.
  • Employment Third Preference. Professionals and both skilled and unskilled workers.
  • Employment Fourth Preference. Religious workers, miscellaneous workers, and other special immigrants.
  • Employment Fifth Preference. Investors that are going to put $1 million into a U.S. company that employs at least 10 workers, or $500,000 for businesses in an economically depressed area.

Green Card Lottery

For more ethnic diversity, a certain number of green cards are made available to countries that have seen the least immigrants in recent years to the country.

Special Immigrants

There are always special cases. These can include someone under the care of a juvenile court to an international broadcaster.

Refuge and Asylum

For those who sought refuge in the United States, they can submit for a green card after being granted one year of asylum or refuge.

Amnesty and Special Agricultural Worker Status

There have been times in the past where amnesty was granted for workers that had been living illegally in the United States. Notably, this happened in 1982, 1985, 1986 and 1997. However, there currently aren’t any being granted at this time.

Long Time Residents

For those who have lived in the United States illegally for over 10 years, you can request permanent residence as a defense in immigration court. It must be proven you would face exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if forced to return to your country of origin.

Special Cases

There have been cases where U.S. congressmen have intervened for humanitarian reasons and help grant residence when the law doesn’t allow it. However, these cases are rare at best.

If you are seeking a green card but are unsure or wary about the process, contact us today. We will help guide you through the steps and ensure your rights are protected along the way.

Understand Your Rights With ICE

Immigration is a hotter topic than ever before in the current political climate. Understanding what rights you have with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is an important way to ensure you and your family are protected should any issues arise. Regardless of whether you are a citizen, everyone who lives in the U.S. has certain rights that cannot be violated. But what exactly are those rights and how do you exercise them?

What if ICE Knocks on My Door?

It’s scary, but you still have your rights. When they knock on your door, you must ask them to identify themselves as immigration officers or ICE agents. You are only required to open the door if they have a valid search warrant granted by a judge. You have the right to ask them to slip the paperwork under the door rather than having to let them in or open the door to inspect it.

Once a warrant has been presented and inspected, they are permitted to enter the home if they have an arrest warrant and believe the person is in the home. Deportation warrants do not grant officers access in the home without your consent. If they enter anyway, you have the right to calmly inform them that you do not consent to a search and request a lawyer.

Things Not to Say to ICE Agents

You are not required to discuss your citizenship with an ICE agent. This includes how you came to live in the country. The only exception to this rule is for those with a nonimmigrant visa or at an airport or border. If you are not a U.S. citizen and the ICE agent asks for your papers, you are required to present them. If you don’t have the papers, you have the right to stay silent.

When in Custody

If you find yourself in ICE custody, you still have rights. You have the right to stay silent and can refuse to discuss anything with anyone besides your lawyer. Do not sign any documents without consulting a lawyer. A simple document could have a dire impact on your ability to stay in the country.

If you are worried about ICE or have found yourself in custody, you need an experienced immigration lawyer. Contact us at Reinherz Law today to find out how our attorneys can protect your rights.

What is a K-1/ Fiancé Visa?

fiance visa

When a United States citizen wants to marry a foreign-born person who is living outside of the country, and they want the marriage to take place in the United States, they need to obtain a special visa known as a K-1 or fiancé visa. This is a temporary visa issued for the sole purpose of allowing the couple to get married, though after the marriage takes place, it does allow the foreign-born spouse to apply for lawful permanent residence. The process of getting a K-1 visa is time-consuming, complex, and has many requirements that need to be met, so many people turn to experienced attorneys for help. At Reinherz & Reinherz Law Offices, we have assisted many people in obtaining fiancé visas, and we are happy to help you with the process as well.

The first step in obtaining a fiancé visa is to ensure that you meet the personal meeting requirement. These visas will not be issued unless you and your fiancé have met in person within the last two years. If more time has gone by, or if you have never met, then you will need to address this issue first. The only exception to this rule is when a meeting would present a severe hardship for the U.S. citizen or when a marriage has been arranged according to a religious tradition.

Once this requirement is met, the U.S. citizen needs to file a petition by mail with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are specific forms for this, as well as a requirement of proof of citizenship, evidence of courtship and the intent to marry, a personal statement from each member of the couple, and more. Divorce or death certificates proving that neither of you are still married (if you’ve been married before) are also required, as is a submission of a nonrefundable fee. USCIS will review the petition, request any missing information, and send a notice acknowledging that they have received it. If all goes well this will be followed by notification of approval and the petition being forwarded to the National Visa Center; then the U.S. embassy where the fiancé lives will be notified and will invite the fiancé to appear for an interview and submission of a variety of forms, including a birth certificate a medical examination for vaccinations, evidence of financial support and of a fiancé relationship, and a passport, in addition to many other documents. If the consular officer finds all of the information to be complete and in order, they will approve the application for the K-1/fiancé visa. If approval is withheld there is no right of appeal, though reapplication is permitted.

Once the K-1 visa is received, the fiancé needs to present it at the U.S. point of entry, which may be a border or an airport. This is the last step, and it is important to remember that if the officer at Customs and Border Protection believes that you are not eligible for the visa, they may deny entry.

K-1 visas are temporary: you must receive an official marriage certificate within 90 days or the visa expires. Once the marriage is complete, there is no requirement that a green card application is made, though it can be. Otherwise, the fiancé can leave the country.

If you need assistance in applying for a K-1 visa, the attorneys at Reinherz & Reinherz can help. Contact our office today to learn more.

Immigration Law Firms – What We Do to Protect Your Rights In Philadelphia

The interest and demand in becoming an American citizen is growing every day. Foreign nationals who enter the United States have a number of different ways that they can go about seeking a green card, and all of them involve complex legal processes. In order to ensure that you are going about the process in the way that is most suited to your situation, as well as to make sure that you are doing everything in exactly the way that immigration services requires, it is strongly advise that you utilize the services of an immigration law firm. The attorneys of Reinherz Law are experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyers who work hard to make sure that your rights are protected. We will help you achieve your immigration dreams.

 

Whether you are in need of help avoiding a deportation or are seeking a temporary working visa, a green card, or U.S. citizenship, it is important you are represented by an attorney who has a strong knowledge of immigration law as well as a passion for the work that they do.  At Reinherz Law, we know that Immigration Court can be an overwhelming place and that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has rules and requirements that can be overwhelming. We also understand how important citizenship is, whether it is something that you are hoping to accomplish for yourself or in order to keep your family together. We will help you with every step, making sure that you have all of the documentation that you need and that you are fully prepared for all interviews and hearings. We take the time to make sure that you understand what is happening and what can be expected, as well as that you have a realistic understanding of how long things take and how things are likely to go.

 

At Reinherz Law, we are able to help you with legal representation on a wide range of immigration issues, including:

 

  • Deportation and Removal
  • Cancellation of Removal for Permanent Residents
  • Immigration Bond
  • Green Card through Family
  • Citizenship and Naturalization
  • Green Card through Marriage
  • Green Card Renewal for Conditional Residents
  • Fiance Visas
  • Fighting Immigration Delay
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Removals
  • Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents

 

The United States has an extensive legal system that addresses every aspect of life. Being able to provide a client with knowledgeable representation in specific areas of the law requires special training, and that is particularly true of immigration law. Unless an attorney is aware of all of the various requirements, documentation and rules regarding getting a green card, or how to defend against a removal proceeding, there is a good chance that their foreign national client will not get the protection that they need and are entitled to. At Reinherz Law we have successfully assisted many clients through the citizenship process, and we can help you too. Call us today to set up an appointment.

Learn more about Immigration Law Firms Here – https://reinherzlaw.com/immigration-lawyers-in-philadelphia/fiance-visa/

 

Philadelphia Immigration Attorneys – Philadelphia Immigration Laws

Immigration is a complex area of the law, and attorneys that practice immigration law possess unique and extensive knowledge that makes them better prepared to represent clients that are facing immigration issues. If you are in need of a Philadelphia immigration attorney, the law firm of Reinherz Law can help. We have many years of successful experience in representing clients seeking citizenship, labor certification, fighting removal or deportation, and many other issues, and we can help you too.

The bureaucracy and paperwork that is involved in immigration issues is highly complex, and particularly confusing to those who are not familiar with it. It is especially difficult to navigate if you do not speak English as your first language or if you do not have specialized legal training. The attorneys at Reinherz Law understand how frustrating the process can be. We are able to offer you empathetic and experienced legal representation in all areas of immigration law, including:

  • Removal and Deportation
  • Appeals
  • Immigration Court
  • Family Visas
  • Asylum
  • Employment Visas
  • Work Visas
  • Non-immigrant Visas
  • EB-5 Visas
  • Fiance Visas
  • Abuse Petitions

We have represented clients in immigration court, before the Boards of Immigration Appeals, and even in Federal Circuit Courts, and have successfully helped many to achieve their immigration dreams and to keep their families together.

In order to successfully navigate the many processes and procedures that are involved in immigration issues for our clients, our Philadelphia immigration attorneys have worked with all of the various agencies involved in issues of citizenship, employment, and deportation. These have included the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), The Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (EOIR), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE), the Department of Labor (DOL) and the State Department (DOS). Our exposure to these many agencies means that we know exactly what is needed in order to help you. We will be able to explain what is needed, help you complete all necessary paperwork and gather all relevant documentation, keep track of all deadlines and payments owed, and make sure that you are doing all that is required.

We have represented immigration clients in need of a wide variety of services. Many times we have been able to help people achieve permanent immigration based on employment, exceptional ability or an existing family relationship, or to represent people in need of asylum. We have successfully represented those facing removal or deportation, as well as foreign investors who are able to take advantage of the availability of permanent and temporary visas in exchange for economic investment in the United States. We work hard to make sure that our clients understand exactly what is happening and to make a complex process feel much less burdensome and frightening.

If you are in need of a Philadelphia immigration attorney with experience, knowledge and a record of success, contact Reinherz Law today. We are passionate about protecting our clients’ rights and getting the outcomes that they deserve.

Learn more about Immigration here: https://reinherzlaw.com/immigration-lawyers-in-philadelphia/naturalization/

Pennsylvania Groups want Quicker Immigration

The people in Pennsylvania are clearly trying to say something about immigration reform as they line up to speak their mind to the officials. They have gathered at different events such as town hall meetings, business meetings, rallies, and other public places. These advocates are in Philadelphia, Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County, and even more areas. So what is it that they want to say? They want Congress to pass immigration reforms that give rights and citizenship to those in need. A Bucks County resident, Celia Sharp, speaks out about these necessary reforms. To read what she has to say and to learn more about what the Pennsylvania people want, check out the article online.

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