If You or Your Spouse “Entered Without Inspection,” There May Still Be Options!

Border and IDs

All noncitizens entering the U.S. are required to present themselves to a USCIS immigration officer for inspection.  This inspection meant that they will be assessed and that they must demonstrate the right to enter the country based on approval obtained prior to entry in the U.S.  If you do not have an approved means for entering the United States, then the Customs and Border Patrol or USCIS officer may refuse entry to you.

If you have entered without inspection (EWI) and without the proper documentation, there are a limited number of legal immigration options available to you.  If you or your spouse EWI, that means that you do not have legal immigration status in the United States.   That also means that you cannot file to change or adjust your status, as you do not have a legal status to begin with.  It is not possible to adjust status even if you marry a U.S. citizen or have U.S. citizen parents or children that will petition for them. However, there are a few exceptions that might allow an adjustment of status. The two most common are the LIFE Act and a waiver implemented in new immigration law as of 2012.

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Are you Eligible for a Family Based United States Green Card?

Family_Portrait

Relatives of U.S. Citizens can obtain U.S. Green Cards!   If you have a U.S. Citizen relative and fall under any of the below categories, it is likely that you are eligible for a U.S. Green Card!

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried Child, Under the age of 21
  • Unmarried Stepchild, Under the age of 21
  • Adopted Child, Under the age of 18
  • Unmarried Child, Over the age of 21
  • Parent or Step-parent
  • Married Son or Daughter
  • Brother or Sister

Even people who are relatives of U.S. Green Card holders may be eligible for a U.S. Green Card themselves.  If you have a relative who holds a valid U.S. Green Card, and you fall under any of the below categories, it is likely that you may also be eligible for a U.S. Green Card.

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried Child, Under the age of 21
  • Unmarried Stepchild, Under the age of 21
  • Adopted Child, Under the age of 18
  • Unmarried Child, Over the age of 21

If you have any questions about your eligibility to obtain a U.S. Green Card, please feel free to contact Your Immigration Angel for a free consultation.

Your Facebook Relationship Status Might Say: “It’s Complicated,” But Understanding Your Immigration Status Shouldn’t Be! 

Puzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

It’s true that immigration is a complicated area of law.   At Your Immigration Angel, we stay at the forefront of changing immigration policy and legislation.  Even if your circumstances are complicated, we can answer your immigration questions and create the best strategies for you.  For example, if the National Benefits Center still has not granted your Motion to Terminate after your AOS interview, we can help you to make sure that USCIS or EOIR proceeds with the adjudication of your adjustment of status. What about an I-130 petition for a noncitizen who is detained?  We can help you with that as well by requesting an expedited action with USCIS and the ICE counsel.  There are often options that you may not know exist.  That’s when our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys can help you!  Contact us for your free initial consultation today!  You can find many convenient ways to contact us on our “About Page.”

Did You Know that the New E-Verify Service Helps You Combat Fraud and Protect Your Identity?

Jobs and mouse

Did you know that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez introduced and implemented myE-Verify?  This new website was designed to meet the needs of both U.S. employers and foreign nationals working in the U.S.  Nearly 550,000 employers use myE-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of the people that they hire.  With myE-Verify, workers now have a free and secure way to participate in the E-Verify process.  They can access features dedicated for employees, including Self Check and the Employee Rights Toolkit.  For added security, individuals will have their identities verified through Self Check, in order to create a myE-Verify account.

Using myE-Verify offers the following advantages:

  • Free and secure personal accounts to manage the use of your information in E-Verify and Self Check through the available myE-Verify features.
  • Ability to lock your social security numbers to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent use within E-Verify. You can proactively protect your identity from being used by others to illegally gain employment. Self Lock is available only to myE-Verify account holders.
  • Information to learn about your rights as well as responsibilities of employers in the employment eligibility verification process.

For more information on E-Verify, visit the www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.

Why are United States Visa applications for Permanent Immigration (Green Cards) Backlogged?

Multi-Ethnic Hands Reaching For American Flag Umbrella

Every hopeful immigrant knows that there are constraints on the availability and issuance of United States Green Cards.  The limited availability of U.S. visa creates the main backlog on green card applications.  Employment-based green cards for foreign workers and their families are also limited by the United States government, and the 2015 cap has been set at 144,000 per year, world-wide.  Family-sponsored preference categories for 2015 are limited to 226,000 visas per year.  USCIS also places a total annual cap on the amount of visas that can be issued to foreign nationals from any particular country.  For 2015, no country can receive more than 7 percent of the total annual number of family-sponsored and employment-based visas or approximately 25,600 visas.

Check the Numbers on Naturalization!

naturalization certificate

Did you know that in 2012, USCIS naturalized 757,434 LPRs in 2012?  According to 2012 DHS data, of the 40.8 million people who comprise the foreign-born U.S. population, 18.7 million immigrants are currently naturalized U.S. citizens.  This sounds like a lot, but accounts for only 6 percent of the total U.S. population!

So where did our newly naturalized citizens come from, you ask?  Immigrants from the following countries accounted for approximately 49 percent of all naturalizations that year:

  • 13 percent were born in Mexico (102,181)
  • 6 percent each in the Philippines (44,958) and India (42,928)
  • Dominican Republic (33,351)
  • China (31,868), Cuba (31,244)
  • Colombia (23,972)
  • Vietnam (23,490)
  • Haiti (19,114)
  • El Salvador (16,685)

USCIS estimates indicate that 13.3 million LPRs were residing in the United States as of January 1, 2012. This means that 8.8 million or more people may be eligible to naturalize currently!  Are you among them?

To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, LPRs must meet a number of criteria, including being at least 18 years of age, having resided in the United States with LPR status continuously for at least five years, and passing a basic English and civics exam.  For any questions about naturalizing, please feel free to contact Your Immigration Angel!

The United States has Historically Provided a Safe Haven for Many Immigrants:  How Many May Seek Refugee Status in 2015?

welcome refugees

In a memorandum on Immigration, President Obama said up to 70,000 refugees may be admitted to the U.S. during the 2015 fiscal year.  The President stated that this number was well justified due to humanitarian concerns and national interest.

The number of people eligible to receive refugee status is split into an uneven quota by region.  The slots available to people from various regions is as follows:

  • the Near East and South Asia region received the highest allocation with 33,000.
  • Africa received 17,000
  • the East Asia region was allocated 13,000
  • the Latin American and the Caribbean region was assigned a total of 4,000 available slots
  • Europe and Central Asia was allotted 1,000
  • the “Unallocated Reserve” has 2,000 slots, to be allocated as needed

The State Department can allocate the 2,000 unallocated refugee numbers to another region if the need is warranted but only after notification to the Judiciary Committees of the Congress.