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Options for TPS Holders

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On January 8, 2018, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of about 200,000 Salvadorans who have been living in the United States since at least 2001. The designation will officially terminate on September 9, 2019, giving TPS recipients a transition period of 18 months to leave the U.S., adjust their immigration status to permanent legal residence or face potential deportation. Some TPS holders may be able to obtain legal permanent residency based on their relationship with a U.S. citizen spouse or adult child. In recent decisions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Sixth Circuits have ruled that if an individual has been granted TPS status, even if he or she initially entered the United States…
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4 Tips for a Successful Visa Interview

Nonimmigrant Visa
A nonimmigrant visa is a document that allows foreign nationals to reside within the U.S. for a certain amount of time. This is commonly used by students looking to study in the U.S., au pairs coming to gain childcare experience, and workers with a special occupation. To obtain a U.S. nonimmigrant visa, a person must complete an interview with a visa officer at a U.S. embassy in his/her home country. To ensure a successful interview, it is important to: Organize your documents: For the interview to go smoothly, it is helpful to organize all of your documentation so that you can easily access a particular paper when asked. You should also consider creating a cover letter for your documents, so that you know where everything is. This will not only…
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Why Should I Hire an Immigration Attorney?

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Although you are not required to have an attorney to apply for an immigrant visa or green card, there are several situations where having a seasoned attorney by your side can ease the application process and help ensure successful immigration into the U.S. At D’Andrea Law, we understand the complicated proceedings of immigration law, and we will work with you closely to ensure that you and your family receive the support that you need. Hiring an immigration attorney in Southern California can help you navigate some tricky situations including: Dealing with overwhelming paperwork: U.S. immigration law is a tremendously complicated field that is governed by many rules and regulations. Immigration applications are the key to obtaining a visa or green card, so it is crucial that all the paperwork is…
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D.U.I. Records and U.S. Citizenship Application

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Drunk driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol so that mental and motor skills are compromised. This criminal offense is usually called driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). In general, a DUI conviction does not automatically bar an applicant from acquiring U.S. citizenship. However, USCIS denies many naturalization applications in this area based on a lack of good moral character. One of the basic requirements of becoming a U.S. citizen is that the applicant must be a person of “good moral character.” The USCIS Policy Manual on Citizenship & Naturaliza “An applicant for naturalization must tion states thatshow that he or she has been, and continues to be, a person of good moral character.” Although there is no straightforward definition…
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President Obama’s New Immigration Plan – Who, What and When?

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On Thursday night, President Obama announced an immigration plan that will protect nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. In a televised speech, President Obama states that the enforcement effort should be focused on “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.” The new laws, impacting mostly parents and young people, marked the most sweeping reform to U.S. immigration laws in almost three decades. Who will benefit under the new law?  In President Obama’s speech, he announces, “If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.” Please note that the specific details of the law have not been finalized. The following only outlines the general criteria of the new law.…
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EB-1 Petition: Fast Track to Permanent Residency

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EB-1 is an employment-based first-preference immigrant visa category reserved for individuals who can demonstrate that they “have risen to the very top of their field of endeavors.” Under the USCIS guidelines, there are three types of EB-1 petitions: 1) a person of extraordinary ability (EB-1A), 2) an outstanding professor or researcher (EB-1B), 3) or a multinational executive or manager (EB-1C). For the purpose of this article, we will only discuss EB-1A, a person of extraordinary ability. EB-1A classification applies to individuals who can prove that they are among the top and most accomplished in the fields of sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. In order to meet the “extraordinary ability” requirement, the federal law requires the applicant to present evidence of receipt of a major international recognized award such as…
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EB-2 vs. EB-3 – Which one is Right for Me?

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Each year the immigration regulations provide a minimum of 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas which are divided into five preference categories. While some categories have a backlog of several years, others have a much shorter wait time. The most common are the EB-2 and the EB-3 categories. This article will cover general questions regarding the requirements, differences and advantages between these two classifications. The “other worker” category will be discussed in a future article.   Client: I work for a CPA firm as an H-1B accountant and my company wants to sponsor me for permanent resident status. What is the fastest way to get a green card? Attorney: Generally, the EB-2 has a much shorter wait time because the demand is lower. However, waiting times can vary depending on the country where…
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EB-3 “Other Worker” Category

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In a previous article, we covered eligibility requirements for EB-2 advanced degree and exceptional ability aliens, and EB-3 skilled and professional workers. The third preference category of employment-based immigration (EB-3) is divided into two sub-categories: “professional/skilled workers” and “other (unskilled) workers.” This article will discuss general application procedures and requirements regarding the “other worker” category.   Client: How do I know if my position falls under the EB-3 “other worker” category? Attorney: The “Other worker” category applies to unskilled labor positions that require less than 2 years of training, experience, or higher education. This is determined by the employer and certain Department of Labor (DOL) publications that indicate requirements for most job positions in the United States. “Other worker” positions include nursing aides, orderlies, home health aides, child care workers,…
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Immigrant Worker Petition (I-140) – Proving Ability to Pay Wages

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The process of sponsoring an employee for legal permanent residence involves a labor certification application (LC) that is filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, and submission of an employment petition for an alien worker and application for adjustment of status to the Bureau of Naturalization and Immigration Services (BCIS). Obtaining permanent residence status is often a lengthy and time-consuming process. This article addresses a troubling issue involving the processing of an employment petition for an alien worker. Once the Department of Labor certifies the LC, the employer files a petition for an alien worker (Form I-140). The petition requires proof that the sponsoring employer has had the ability-to-pay the offered wage from the time the LC was filed to the present. Documents required to prove ability-to-pay may include annual…
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J-1 Visa & Waiver

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The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides a nonimmigrant visa category for persons to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States. The “J” visa allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. to participate in exchange programs to promote the sharing of knowledge and skills with other countries. There are two types of “J” visas: (1) the visas that do not have “HRR” (Home Residency Requirement) restriction; and the visas that contain the “HRR” restriction. Exchange visitors who are subject to the "HHR" restriction are obligated to return to their country of nationality or permanent residence for an aggregate of at least two years upon completion of their program. This article will cover general questions regarding “J” visas eligibility, limitations and different types of J-1 waivers. Client: Who is eligible…
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