What You Really Need to Know About Immigration in 2010

1. How To Help Your Family Legally Immigrate to the United States Who Can Sponsor Family? Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) U.S. Citizen Immediate Relatives of U.S Citizens…
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  • 1. How To Help Your Family Legally Immigrate to the United States Who Can Sponsor Family? Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) U.S. Citizen Immediate Relatives of U.S Citizens Spouse Marriage must be legally valid and entered in good faith (“bona fide”). Not solely for immigration purpose. 1
  • 2. Immediate Relatives of U.S Citizens Parents U.S. citizen child must be over the age of 21. Children under the age of 21 can never sponsor parents. Immediate Relatives of U.S Citizens Children • Under age 21 and unmarried • Can be stepchild if parent marries USC before child is 18 • Adopted children if adopted before age 16 (other conditions may apply) Benefits for Immediate Relatives • There are no limit on the number of immediate relatives who can emigrate from any county at any time – no waiting list. • Immediate Relatives who entered the entered the United States legally (“lawfully”), can adjust status to permanent residents even though they have overstayed their authorized period of stay. 2
  • 3. Family Preference Categories FB-1 - unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens FB-2 – spouses and children of lawful permanent residents. Divided into 2 subgroups: FB 2A - spouses and children under the age of 21 FB 2B - unmarried children over the age of 21 FB-3 - married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens FB-4 - brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens FB-1 - Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens The son or daughter must be unmarried at the time the petition is filed and continue to be unmarried until “lawful permanent resident” (Green Card) status is granted. Conversions – Where an immediate-relative petition has been approved for a “child” and the child reaches the age of 21, the petition is automatically converted to FB-1, unless I-485 is filed before age 21. – Where there is an approved FB1 petition and the son or daughter marries, the petition is automatically converted to FB-3. FB-2 - Spouses and Unmarried Children of Permanent Residents • FB- 2A - Spouses and Children under the age of 21. This category has delays for about 5+ years for most countries. • FB- 2B - Unmarried children over the age of 21. This category has delays for about 9+ years for most countries. – Permanent residents cannot apply for married children. 3
  • 4. FB-3 - Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens - 8+ year minimum waiting list FB-4 - brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens – 10+ year minimum waiting list How to Determine Visa Availability Eligibility to take next step to green card depends upon whether Family-Based Preference Categories (“Priority Date”) is current (does not apply to immediate relative). Priority Date = filing date of I-130 relative petition Visa Bulletin - issued every month by the Department of State and is used to determine if there are visas available. Found on internet at: Visa Bulletin for September 2010 All areas China Domin. India Mexico Philippines Rep 1st 01JAN06 01JAN06 01JAN06 01JAN06 01DEC92 01JAN97 2A 01JAN10 01JAN10 01JAN09 01JAN10 01JAN09 01JAN10 2B 01JAN05 01JAN05 01JAN05 01JAN05 15JUN92 01AUG02 3rd 01MAR02 01MAR02 01MAR02 01MAR02 01MAR92 01JAN95 4th 15OCT01 15OCT01 15OCT01 15OCT01 01JAN94 01JAN91 4
  • 5. Visa Bulletin Facts Three Factors: Priority date, which must be before date on Visa Bulletin to be current Country of chargeability (place of birth) Preference category (FB1 to FB4) Visa Bulletin does not progress steadily Visa Bulletin may even retrogress (move backwards) How to Apply for Family I-130 Relative Petition filed with USCIS I-485 Adjustment of Status if relative is lawfully present in U.S. and priority date is current or if relative qualifies as immediate relative National Visa Center (NVC) immigrant visa processing if relative is outside the United States and priority date is current or relative qualifies as immediate relative Inadmissibility Certain Crimes Misrepresentation or fraud in prior visa applications Unlawful presence Previous removal or deportation Two-year foreign residency requirement for J-1 visa Medical grounds, and more….. Consult with an immigration attorney immediately! 5
  • 6. The Citizenship Advantage Why Apply for Citizenship? CITIZENSHIP = MORE RIGHTS & BENEFITS Rights 6
  • 7. Parents Siblings Government Jobs No Deportation Full Protection of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights 7
  • 8. Protection from Anti-Immigrant Laws How To Become A U.S. Citizen Naturalization Must be at least 18 years old Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) (3 years if married to USC or 5 years) Residence must be continuous as certain absences may break continuity of residence. 8
  • 9. Naturalization (cont.) Actual physical presence in the U. S. at least half of the qualifying period (18 months or 36 months) Good moral character (GMC) during qualifying period, i.e. look back 3 or 5 years Statutory Bars Permanent Bar including conviction of murder or aggravated felonies, anti- government acts, support violent overthrow of government, etc. Banned forever! Temporary Bars including prostitution, habitual drunkard, polygamy, shoplifting, drug violations, illegal gambling… (within the 3 or 5 yrs period) Naturalization (cont.) Discretionary bar includes non-payment of child support, extramarital affairs destroying marriage (rare)‫ ,‏‬failure to register for Selective Service, tax violations, and more. 9
  • 10. Naturalization (cont.) Exemption from the English test if you are: - 50 years or older and lived as a permanent resident in the U.S for 20 years or more. Take the civics test in native language - 55 years or older and lived as a permanent resident in the U.S for 15 years or more. Take the civics test in native language - 65 years or older and lived as a permanent resident in the US for 20 years or more. Take Speak, Read, the Simplified civics test in your language and * Asterisk Write English only questions Naturalization (cont.) Exemption from the English test if you have a physical or developmental disabilities or mental impairments that have lasted one year and will last at least one year after applying for citizenship. N-648 form must be completed by qualified U.S. physician or licensed Speak, Read, clinical psychologist. Write English Naturalization (cont.) Oath of Allegiance U.S. History & Civics Test Exemption for proven mental or developmental disability 10
  • 11. Risks of Naturalization →Naturalization reopens an applicant’s immigration record →Evaluate risks to your green card status which could include: denial of application revocation of lawful permanent residence removal proceedings criminal prosecution Who Should Not Apply for Citizenship? Aggravated felony conviction False claim to U. S. Citizenship Unlawful voting Who Should Not Apply for Citizenship? (cont.) Lying or giving false misleading information Conviction of CMT within 5 years of admission Still on parole 11
  • 12. Procedure Complete and file N-400 at 33 month or 57 month anniversary of green card Two photos, copy of green card Check for $675 unless waiver Receipt notice (2 to 3 weeks) Fingerprint notice (2 to 3 weeks) Procedure (cont.) Request for information (possible) Interview (3-4 months) Oath Ceremony – Certificate of Naturalization (same day in Dallas) N-400 FORM 12
  • 13. Automatic Citizenship Child born abroad to one or both USC parents, OR LPR Child, under 18 years old, and unmarried at the time at least one parent naturalizes Proof of Automatic Citizenship U.S Passport Certificate of Citizenship - Form N600 Consular Report of Birth Abroad 5 Important Tips to Avoid Dangerous Immigration Mistakes 13
  • 14. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS Government ?? Friends ?? Research ?? Attorneys ?? IMMIGRATION FORMS Fill out completely Do not withhold information Review thoroughly before you sign Provide ALL required proof ADDRESS CHANGES Applications AR-11 for all noncitizens I-865 form for LPR or USC Sponsors of Relatives (I-864) 14
  • 15. EXPIRATIONS & DEADLINES! Work Cards (EAD) Requests for Evidence (RFE) Visas Travel Documents Conditional Permanent Residence Don’t Miss the Boat! INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL BEWARE! Visas Advance Parole Abandonment Unlawful Presence 7 RULES YOU MUST FOLLOW TO KEEP YOUR GREEN CARD AND AVOID DEPORTATION 15
  • 16. Permanent Residence Privilege, not a right, to live and work in the U.S. permanently Can lead to citizenship Can be taken away under certain conditions Proof of Permanent Residence • No expiration to green card (I-551) • Must still maintain green card because required to keep proof of your permanent resident status at all times if over 18 (“papers please”) • Lost card – apply immediately with I-90 New Green Card • Renewal – apply six (6) months before expires I-90 Social Security Benefits Social security Retirement, number correction Disability, Medicare benefits Get credit Get for time unrestricted worked card for work even before eligibility green card visit for estimate retirement benefits, and to determine eligibility for benefits 16
  • 17. Rule One Pay All Taxes Required by law – violations can lead to imprisonment Denial of citizenship application Living outside U.S. for work, school, etc –must file as resident or abandon permanent residence Do not claim “non-immigrant” to avoid abandonment of permanent residence Rule Two Preserve U.S. Residence • Get re-entry permit before you leave if planning to remain outside U.S. for one year or more • 6 months – abandonment implied – maintain bank account, home, etc. to avoid no abandonment • Keep a good travel record – save tickets, visa stamps, old passports • Preserve residence for citizenship if working for U.S. company overseas Rule Three Keep a Clean Criminal Record • Aggravate felony – crimes of violence, domestic violence – one year prison term • Murder, rape, sexual assault on child • Drug trafficking • Firearms offense 17
  • 18. Rule Three Keep a Clean Criminal Record (cont) Crime involving Moral turpitude (CIMT) -requires intent to steal or defraud- lie for immigration benefits for you or someone else claim U.S. citizenship – voting polygamy habitual use of drugs or alcohol fail to file taxes help someone enter illegally fail to pay child support engage in sexual misconduct Rule Four Meet Green Card Application Requirements Employment Marriage Rule Five Register for Selective Service All males between 18 and 25 years (except nonimmigrants) 18
  • 19. Rule Six Become a Citizen • Apply as soon as eligible • Apply before children are 18 Rule Seven Seek Professional Advice from a Qualified Immigration Attorney Your Rights and Responsibilities When Stopped By The Police Right to remain silent Stay calm and remain polite Have your green card or visa documents Ask to speak to an attorney immediately if arrested Do NOT sign any papers until you have read completely 19
  • 20. Legal Notice Facts of each case are different. The information provided here is general in nature and should not be relied upon for your specific situation and is not legal advice. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney to get the right advice to secure your future in the United States. THE WISE CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO HIRING AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer? How to Choose a Qualified Immigration Lawyer 17 Tough Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Immigration Lawyer 7 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing an Immigration Lawyer ?Q&A? What’s Happening With Immigration Reform And Legalization Now? ?Q&A? 20
  • 21. The Need for Immigration Reform Badmus Law Firm 12700 Park Central Drive, Suite 1910 Dallas, Texas 75251 469-916-7900 Telephone 469-916-7901 Facsimile 21
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