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FAQs

Which family members can file relative petitions for U.S. immigrant visas that lead to obtaining Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status?

Generally speaking, a U.S. citizen (“USC”)  may file an immigrant visa petition for a spouse, fiancee, parent, sibling, children, and adult sons/daughters (regardless of marital status). 

Furthermore, a Lawful Permanent Resident may file a petition for a spouse, minor child or unmarried sons/daughters.

What happens if you get divorced after receiving a Conditional Resident Card?

Divorce is a traumatic event in the life of a person and even more so if your immigration status depended on your ex-spouse. Divorcing while having a conditional green card can cause some problems when you try to remove the conditions on your green card. However, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”)  recognizes that this occurs and allows filing the removal of conditions by means of a waiver on Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence. Applicants may still obtain a ten year permanent green card if the applicant can demonstrate the marriage was bona fide and was not entered into for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit.

Can I come back to the U.S. once I have been ordered removed?

Generally, a person who has been ordered removed may come back to the U.S. if he or she has an approved immigrant petition and has satisfied the conditions of the removal order. However, a person may overcome the conditions of the removal order if he or she has a U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or child who can file a waiver on their behalf. 

What is the difference between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “ICE” and Immigration Court?

Immigrants who cross the border and are placed in removal proceedings are often confused by these two agencies. ICE is the federal law enforcement agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE is where immigrants regularly present themselves to their deportation officers. At this meeting, officers will verify that the immigrant is complying with the terms of their release and are presenting themselves before the Immigration Court. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”) is a separate office within the U.S. Department of Justice. Immigrants who cross the border and are placed in removal proceedings will seek relief such as: Asylum, Withholding of Removal & Protection Under the Convention Against Torture before the Immigration Court.

What is the difference between Affirmative Asylum & Defensive Asylum?

Affirmative asylum is the type of asylum filed by applicants who enter the U.S. legally and must file their asylum with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. Defensive asylum is the type of asylum filed by Respondents who crossed the border and are placed in removal proceedings. These individuals must file for asylum before the Immigration Court.

Can I obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status if I have been a victim of a crime?

U.S. immigration law has long recognized that immigrants are targeted by criminals. If you are granted U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa) you may become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. U-1 nonimmigrant status is for victims of certain crimes who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse and are helpful to the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.

Can I obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status if I have been abused by my spouse, ex-spouse, child or parent?

The short answer is yes. The Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) created a special route to lawful permanent resident status for victims of domestic abuse. There are many requirements and time limits on when you can file for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Do not be fooled by the name, VAWA also applies to men. If you have experienced abuse by your spouse, ex spouse, child or parent, please contact us.

What is the difference between Attorneys and Paralegals?

An Attorney is someone who is licensed to practice law in the United States of America. An Attorney studies and is well versed in the law and its irregularities. A paralegal is an individual who works, normally, under the supervision of an Attorney. Paralegals do not hold a license to practice law and cannot give legal advice. A paralegal cannot represent people in Court or at an interview. Please be aware of these differences and make sure you hire the proper individual.

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