People from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras Can Be Admitted as Refugees

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Numbers of Central American Refugees Allowed into the United States is Decreased, but President Obama wants to Promote the Development of New, Safer Options for Those in Need

International and United States immigration law states that refugee status “may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.”  The freedoms and opportunities the U.S. offers has made America the country of choice for many refugees.  The Presidential 2015 fiscal year memorandum stated that El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are eligible to be considered refugees “for the purpose of admission to the United States within their countries of nationality or habitual residence.”   These countries, known as the “Northern Triangle”  are the only Latin American countries, along with Cuba, to be part of the list.  However, President Obama also noted in the memo that the number of 2015 allotments for refugees from South America was being decreased to 4000, which is 1000 slots fewer than in 2014.  The President did encourage the development of new programs that would allow individuals to apply for refugee status from within their own countries.  This type of program was implemented successfully in countries like Haiti and Vietnam, with the goal of preventing dangerous trips to the United States.  If you have questions about whether you qualify for refugee status, please call or email Your Immigration Angel today!

Top 5 Reasons a Marriage Based Green Card Application is Denied by USCIS

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Obtaining a marriage based green card may be a dream come true for many couples.  However, this sweet dream can instead become a nightmare if you or your spouse’s green card application is denied.   Although romantic and comedic movies have been made about how fun and easy it is to obtain a marriage based green card, that is often far from the truth.  In reality, immigration law is a complex field, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services must adhere to strict rules and regulations.  There are many reasons a marriage based green card application may be rejected, but the following are some of the most common causes of denial.

  1. Incorrect Green Card  Application, Wrong Fee, Incorrect Mailing Address for USCIS
  2. USCIS Considers Your Marriage a “Sham” or Fraudulent Marriage
  3. Lack of Financial Security to Become a U.S. Citizen
  4. Misunderstanding Your U.S. Green Card Eligibility
  5. USCIS Determines Ineligibility Based on Crimes, Previous Marriages

If you have any questions or concerns about whether your marriage green card application or if your marriage will be questioned by immigration officials when you apply for a U.S. green card, feel free to contact us today!

Interested in Obtaining a Marriage Based Green Card?  Would YOUR Relationship Pass the Test?  

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It’s almost Valentine’s Day!  What could be more romantic than ensuring that you and your spouse can live together in the United States, happily ever after?  Marriage green cards are a great immigration option for many immigrants who have married U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.  But along with a number of other eligibility requirements (see our post on eligibility) your relationship must be able to withstand the scrutiny of USCIS!

USCIS needs to be assured that you are in a bona fide marriage.  When two people get married and intend to establish a life together as spouses, the marriage is bona fide.   A marriage entered into for the sole purpose of getting a green card is not bona fide.  It’s called a “sham” or “fraudulent” marriage, and the USCIS tries to uncover these fake marriages and will refuse to issue green cards to people in a marriage that does not appear to be bona fide.  USCIS is very strict in determining whether a marriage is bona fide.  You will be asked many questions during the course of your application process and you will have to provide extensive documentation to show that you are establishing a life together.   How can you prove that your relationship is bona fide?   Continue reading

How to Apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

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How do I apply for TPS from USCIS?

If you are applying for Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) for the first time, you must  submit an Application for Temporary Protected Status to USCIS with the appropriate filing fee.  You will have to provide evidence to prove your identity and nationality, proof of residence, and, if you are age 14 or older, a fee for biometric services.  If you are between the ages of 14 and 65 and want employment authorization, you should also complete and submit an Application for Employment Authorization to USCIS with the appropriate fee.  Applicants who already have or do not wish to receive employment authorization still must submit a different USCIS Form.

If you are granted TPS, you must re-register with the USCIS for each period that your TPS benefits are extended. To re-register, you must complete and submit two separate applications and any applicable fees to USCIS during the period stated in the Federal Register notice of extension of the TPS designation. If you do not re-register each period, your TPS may be withdrawn.  This is a very time sensitive application and you want to make sure that you are submitting the correct paperwork and fees to USCIS.  If you need any help in applying to re-register for TPS, please feel free to call or email today!

Are You Interested in Finding Out More About the Status of Your Immigration Application?

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Learning About the Status of Your  Immigration Application

Your immigration journey is one that may have been long in the planning and the making.  If you have any applications submitted to USCIS, you may be anvious to know of any change in status or progress in your case.  Did you know that checking the status of your application is often quite simple?   In many instances, you can log onto USCIS’s website and select ‘My Case Status’.

It is important to note that an e-filled receipt number is not necessarily available through this option for at least 72 hours after submitting your forms.

In case you are unable to get a status update, you can also contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center. Before you contact the department, make certain that you have your specific information from your application handy so you are ready to provide this information.

Are YOU Eligible to Renew Your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Grant?

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Renewal Eligibility

USCIS instructions for DACA renewal applications specify that a person may be considered for DACA renewal if he or she met the guidelines for consideration of initial DACA and

  • did not depart the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • has continuously resided in the United States since submitting the prior DACA application, and
  • has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors,  and is not a threat to national security or public safety.

However, USCIS may ask you for additional information as well as for documents to verify the information on your DACA renewal application.

Please note that eligibility for DACA renewal is not limited to people who currently are under age 31.  You cannot “age out” of eligibility for DACA if you were born after June 15, 1981.   You do not need to have a job in order to be eligible for DACA renewal.  You do not have to be enrolled in college to be eligible for DACA renewal.

If you need help in applying for your DACA renewal or need help in gathering your evidence and documents, please call Your Immigration Angel today!