Afghan Special Visa Program Benefits Are Still Available to Eligible Immigrants Until the End of 2014

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A new immigration law extended the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program through the end of calendar year 2014. The Afghan Allies Protection Act was initially enacted in 2009 to permit Afghan nationals, most of whom served as translators for the U.S. military, to be granted United States immigrant visas. After being plagued by extensive backlogs, the program has resulted in the issuance of thousands of visas over the past year. The new immigration law authorizes an additional 1,000 visas to supplement the 3,000 visas already issued in 2014.  The deadline to file is December 31, 2014.

Even if you are an immigrant , you still have LEGAL RIGHTS if you have been abused!

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There are a number of helpful legal services available to abused immigrants.  Often, when the abuser is a U.S. citizen, he or she may try to use the victim’s immigration status against him or her.  Don’t let this happen to you if you are an immigrant who has been the victim of domestic violence or abuse!

We can offer you many types of assistance to aid you if you are being abusedWe can help you assess your circumstances and if possible, we will offer you help in changing your situation.  Our free initial consultation is confidential and private.  We are both friendly and supportive of individuals in need of assistance.  Don’t be afraid to call us today!

We can help you protect your safety:

  • Temporary & Permanent Restraining Orders
  • U visa for victims of crime (including domestic violence)
  • T visa for victims of extreme trafficking in persons
  • S visa for being of assistance to law enforcement

We can help you obtain a U.S. green card:

  • Abused Spouse Immigrant Visa Petitions (VAWA application)
  • Marriage-Based & Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas
  • Gender & domestic violence based Asylum
  • Substitution of Marriage-Based Immigrant Visa for Battered Spouse Immigrant visa to continue the adjustment of status (permanent residency application) process
  • Adjustment of Status Application (green card application)
  • Advance Parole filings (for travel outside the U.S.)
  • FOIA requests to get a complete copy of your immigration file from USCIS

You CAN obtain a green card for your child(ren) when you obtain a marriage based green card through your U.S. citizen spouse!

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If your petitioning spouse is a U.S. citizen the children are full biological children or legal step-children, they may qualify for green cards as the U.S. petitioner’s immediate relatives.  The children must be unmarried and under 21, and if they are step-children, they must have been under 18 years of age when you married.   Immigration laws give a high priority to applicants who are immediate relatives.   Also, there are no annual limits on the number of green cards issued for immediate relatives, and waiting periods. Your Immigration Angel is available to help you with any of your immigration needs today!  Call or email for a free consultation.

Do You Know About the Benefits of Obtaining a U.S. Fiancé(e) Visa? Here is what the K-3 and K-4 Visas Can Offer You:

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There are a number of benefits associated with the K-3 visa or K-4 visa, also known as the fiancé(e) visa.

  • K-3 visa applicants may apply to adjust status to a permanent resident at any time after being admitted to the United States.
  • A K-4 nonimmigrants may file their application for adjustment of status concurrently upon admission to the United States.  The application may be filed with or at any time after a Petition for Alien Relative has been filed on his or her behalf by the U.S. citizen spouse petitioner.
  • K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visa holders may both obtain employment authorization upon admission to the United States. Evidence of eligibility to work legally in the United States may be obtained by filing an Application for Employment Authorization, or EAD.
  • K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visa holders may also apply for employment authorization after filing an application for adjustment of status, based on that pending application. This is possible even if the K-3 or K-4 nonimmigrant status expires.

If you would like assistance with your K-3 or K-4 visa, or need help with your adjustment of status or work authorization, feel free to call or email today!  We are available immediately to guide you on your immigration path!

Did You Know that Your Military Service May Provide You with U.S. Citizenship by Naturalization?

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You may be eligible for U.S. Citizenship by naturalization through one year of military service during peacetime.  If you served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for one year at any time, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization, or “peacetime naturalization.”    While some of the general naturalization requirements apply to qualifying members or veterans of the U.S. armed forces seeking to naturalize based on one year of service, other requirements may not apply or are reduced.

To be eligible, you must establish that you:

  • Are 18 years of age or older
  • must have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least one year
  • must be a lawful permanent resident (LPR) at the time of examination on the naturalization application.
  • must meet certain residence and physical presence requirements.
  • must demonstrate an ability to understand English including an ability to read, write, and speak English.
  • must demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and government.
  • must demonstrate good moral character for at least five years prior to filing the application until the time of his or her naturalization.
  • must have an attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and be well disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S. during all relevant periods under the law.

It Doesn’t Matter Where You Live in the United States!   If You and Your Same Sex Spouse were Married in a State that Recognizes Same Sex Marriage, You Can Petition for Your Spouse’s Green Card!

 

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You and your same sex spouse may be currently living in a state that does not recognize the validity of your marriage.  USCIS evaluates the marriage of any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner, based on the laws of the State or place where the marriage took place.  As long as the State, territory or foreign country that performed the marriage recognizes the marriage, then it is valid for U.S. immigration law.  An individual may live in a State that does not accept gay marriages as legal and still file for his or her noncitizen spouse.  Immigration laws can be tricky to navigate; if you need assistance, call or email Your Immigration Angel for your free initial consultation.

Did You Know that You can Apply for a Green Card Even if Your Visa has Expired?

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If you entered the United States “legally,” you probably came to this country with a valid nonimmigrant visa, such as a student visa, tourist visa, or temporary work visa.  Some people are even allowed into the U.S. on a visa waiver or with a special pass at one of the U.S. borders.  In either event, you would have been inspected by an immigration official at your point of entry and allowed into the United States.  This method of entering the U.S. makes it easier for you to file for an Adjustment of Status in the U.S.  Your U.S. citizen spouse can file a Petition for Alien Relative to apply for your green card.

However, did you know that even if you are now staying in the U.S. past the date of your authorized stay, , you are still eligible for a marriage based green card?  A green card is still available to you even if you are “out of status” or are staying here illegally.  If you have overstayed by six months or more since April 1, 1997 you may still apply but would need a waiver.  It is very important to note that if you leave the country, you would be barred from returning for three or ten years, depending on the length of your unauthorized stay.  Immigration law is a complicated field.  Your personal immigration path may have twists and turns that you did not expect!  We can help you to make your journey as smooth as possible.  Contact Your Immigration Angel today for your free consultation!

The Two Paths to a Marriage Based Green Card from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Which is Right For YOU?

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There are two paths to apply for a marriage based green card.  Which path is right for you depends on your individual circumstances.  The two methods are:

1.)   If you are outside of the United States, then you can apply through a consular process and have your interview at the U.S. consulate in your county.

2.)  If you are currently in the United States, then you can apply to adjust status from within the U.S. and you will have the interview in the U.S.

If you are in the U.S., the USCIS will review your application based on if you came into the U.S. with an inspection or entered the U.S. without an inspection.  If you have fallen out of lawful status but you entered the U.S. legally, and had an inspection by an immigration official, you can generally obtain your green card from within the U.S.   If you are in the U.S. without lawful status, then you cannot change your status from within the U.S.  You will have to return to your home country to proceed through a consular process unless you qualify for an exception to this general rule as the spouse of a U.S. citizen.  Immigration law is very complicated and errors or problems with your petition for a green card can ruin the chances for success now and in the future.  For assistance with your marriage based green card, please contact Your Immigration Angel today!

Lawful Permanent Resident? You can Bring your Spouse and Child(ren) to the U.S.!

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As a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States, you are allowed to live in the United States indefinitely even if you are still a foreign national.  Permanent residency also entitles you to work in the United States and to travel in and out of the United States without seeking additional visas or permissions.  However, what is usually most important to many LPRs is the ability to petition for a foreign spouse or child(ren) to be granted permanent residency through a green card.  You can petition for your spouse and children and there are always green cards available, because they are immediate relatives!  For more information on petitioning for your spouse and child(ren), contact Your Immigration Angel today!

The Violence Against Women Act: Helping Undocumented Immigrants Suffering from Domestic Abuse

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The Violence Against Women Act or VAWA, provides wide-ranging support and comprehensive immigration law benefits for victims of domestic violence.  VAWA has also provided a foundation for federal financial support, as well as additional guidance for state and local law initiatives.  There has been significant progress in addressing the domestic violence crimes against immigrants.  However, many abused immigrant men and women are unsure of their rights.  If you or someone you know is being abused or thinks they are being abused and is an immigrant, please, feel free to contact Your Immigration Angel for a free consultation today.