Category Archive Green Card Attorney Fresno Clovis Immigration Lawyer

ByPhillip Kim

How to Get a Green Card as a Relative of a U.S. Citizen

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There are multiple ways to get a green card as a relative of a U.S. citizen. As the spouse, unmarried child, or parent of an adult citizen (over 21 years old) you qualify as an immediate relative. Green cards for immediate relatives are unlimited, so there is no waiting for a visa as an immediate family member. Receiving a green card will allow you to live and work in the U.S. as a permanent resident.

If you are already in the United States, to receive a green card, you will file need to file for permanent residence. Second, you will petition for your status as an immediate relative of a citizen. For immediate relatives of U.S., these two steps can be done at the same time or you can submit your petition and then file for residence.

If you are not yet living in the U.S., you must submit your petition for residence as a family member of a citizen first. After your petition is submitted, there is a waiting period for a visa to allow you to travel to the U.S. This process is the same for immediate and non-immediate family members of citizens.

Remember to keep in mind that your status as a child will most likely be counted from the date of your petition, and that to keep the status of child you must be 21 years old or younger. Also, children under 21 must be unmarried through the green card process in order to count as immediate relatives. If you are the married child of a U.S. citizen you do not count as an immediate relative, but can still petition for residence as a family member of a U.S. citizen.

ByPhillip Kim

Same Sex Couples May Receive Immigration Benefits

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Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano addresses that the Supreme Court will ensure implementation of the ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which grants same-sex couples equality of legal benefits. President Obama has taken measures to eliminate discrimination so that same-sex couples receive the same consideration as opposite-sex couples when filing for a visa petition. This change is effective immediately for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to follow. Couples are eligible to apply even if they currently live in a state that does not allow same-sex marriages, in which case, USCIS will consider the law of the state of residence in addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage.

ByPhillip Kim

Tips for Passing the Naturalization Test

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Part of the process of becoming a U.S. citizen is passing the naturalization test which will be administered at your naturalization interview. You will be tested on the components English and Civics, although you may be eligible for an exemption or waiver. Be prepared to answer questions about your background and know your application front to back.

At your interview, you will be asked 10 questions out of the prepared list of 100 questions in English, and you must be able to answer six out of the 10 correctly to pass the civics portion of the test. You may be qualified to take the civics test in the language of your choice if you meet specific requirements.

The English part of the test incorporates reading, writing, and speaking. You must be able to write one out of the three sentences correctly, and the USCIS will determine your English proficiency based on your applications.

Repetition, interaction, and practice are keys to performing well on Civics and English. You will be given two chances to take the naturalization test and must be retested within 60 – 90 days of your first examination. To ensure success, it is important to familiarize yourself with the test and prepare with a qualified immigration attorney.

ByPhillip Kim

Obama to Appear on Spanish TV for Immigration Reform

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There are four television interviews scheduled for Spanish television networks this week by President Obama to discuss the matters of immigration reform. He will be using the Spanish network as a platform to stress the importance of passing the immigration reform bill by discussing its benefits to our nation’s economy.

The Congressional Budget Office and President Obama agree that the immigration reform bill will help reduce the nation’s deficits and improve the economy. By appearing on Spanish television, he hopes to gain support of the Hispanic population and push Republicans to come on board as well. Republican John McCain defends Obama and says he believes the president would be willing to work with Republicans to reach a compromise.

ByPhillip Kim

Will Democrats and Republicans Agree on Immigration Reform?

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Both Democrats and Republicans agree that America needs a solution to the illegal immigration problem, but each party has a different opinion on the new immigration reform bill, a measure to eventually grant citizenship to the 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Democrats believe undocumented citizens should be able to obtain citizenship if, after ten years, they register, pay taxes, do not received government benefits, and have no severe criminal records. They agree that if illegal immigrants are able to fulfill those requirements, then their citizenship will not be considered amnesty.

Republicans stress the importance of one criterion—to tighten border security. They claim that we would not have such a serious immigration issue if we had enforced border security back when illegal immigrants were 3 million, much less than what we have today. Some say they cannot agree with the immigration reform bill proposed because although they claim border security will be bolstered, it may not be actually enforced.

Although both parties may not agree with each other’s points, they both agree that something needs to be done about illegal immigration now.

ByPhillip Kim

How to Get a Green Card through a Job Offer

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There are several steps to apply for a green card, also known as permanent residency, if you believe you qualify through a job opportunity in the United States, and if you are an employer, you may help sponsor an employee for permanent residency.

If you live outside the U.S., you must go through a consular processing where you will be issued a visa, if available, when your petition gets approved. If you reside in the United States, you can obtain a green card by adjusting your status.

There will be several documents required when filing for your petition. Supporting documents include evidence of inspection during entry into the United States, copy of approval notice by the USCIS, proof of employment offer, two colored passport photos, biographic information, medical examination, affidavits, and other forms pertaining to your eligibility.

ByPhillip Kim

Immigration With the Temporary Work Visa

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The H-1B visa is for qualified workers wanting to enter the U.S. for a limited time in order to work. This visa is designed for migrants who already have a prospective employer in the U.S. who can file some necessary forms on the worker’s behalf. The H1-B program is only allotted 65,000 visas each year, so there is no guarantee that in any given year you will be granted an H-1B visa.

Before submitting the H-1B application, H-1B qualified occupations and H-1B3 fashion models must have the Labor Certification Application approved. Your prospective U.S. employer must file the LCA on your behalf with the U.S. Department of Labor. If you are granted certification, your employer can then file a petition for alien employee on your behalf. Both the certification and petition are necessary and mandatory for all H-1B1 and H-1B3 applicants. If you are being represented by an immigration attorney during your visa process, you must submit your consent to your lawyer’s interference. You will also need to include proper documentation of your identity, admissibility to the U.S., educational attainment, and relevant work experience necessary to your specific subcategory of the H-1B. Foreign language documents should include a full English translation to ensure proper review.

Alien workers applying to extend the time on their H-1B visa must reapply following the same guidelines.

ByPhillip Kim

Getting a Fiance(e) Visa

The fiancé(e) visa, also known as the K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows your fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. for 90 days to get married. Once your marriage takes place, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and stay in the U.S. while USCIS processes the application.

To be eligible, you (the petitioner) must be a U.S. citizen, you must marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days of entry, any previous marriages must have been legally terminated, and you must have met your spouse at least once within 2 years of filing your petition (with exceptions).

If your fiancé(e) has a child under 21 and unmarried, a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may also be available. After admission of your fiancé(e), he or she may immediately apply for permission to work by filing an application for employment.

ByPhillip Kim

Immigration Reform 2013: Piecemeal Proposal

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House Speaker John Boehner rejects introducing the Senate’s immigration reform bill for debate on the House floor. He justifies by stating that the majority of GOP House members would not vote to allow 11 million undocumented people get citizenship. Instead, GOP members propose single-issue, “piecemeal” bills which reflect conservative ideals.

Democrats oppose this “piecemeal” idea on immigration because it is insufficient for illegal immigrants seeking legalization. However, Democratic House members see it as the only way for the Senate to even consider the bill in the House.

House Republicans drafted three immigration bills that are opposed by Democrats: Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, Legal Workforce Act, and Agricultural Guestworker Act. The Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act allow law enforcement to crack down on illegal immigration. The Legal Workforce Act requires employers to use E-Verify within two years to verify the work eligibility status of employees. The Agricultural Guestworker Act creates a farm work program for foreign labor but does not include worker protection.

ByPhillip Kim

Obama Pushes to Pass Immigration Reform 2013

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The new proposed immigration reform has been approved by the Senate but now waits for the decision of the House. Obama urges Congress to pass this bill so that it would allow a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the United States as well as improve border security.

However, challenges to passing this bill include Republican opposition. Back in 2007, Republicans struck down President Bush’s House-backed immigration reform proposal, and they continue to show opposition towards immigration reform.

Democrat Nancy Pelosi who supports the immigration reform warns Republicans to follow suit or they will lose the growing Latino population’s support in future elections. To rebuttal Pelosi’s statement, Republican Bob Goodlatte states it would be unfair for people who reside in the U.S. unlawfully to eventually get citizenship while others who have worked for many years to immigrate lawfully still don’t obtain citizenship.

As these two parties continue to argue for their stances, Obama presses the House to pass the bill before the summer recess in August.