Category Archive How To Find Immigration Lawyer in Fresno

ByPhillip Kim

How to Get a Green Card with the Diversity Visa

Each year, the U.S. State Department makes 50,000 visas available to visa applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to foster diversity in the U.S. The Diversity Immigrant Visa recipients are chosen using a lottery system, which you can enter each year through the U.S. Department of State. If you receive a visa, you are also eligible to apply for a change of status to permanent resident with the USCIS. While the USCIS does not process applicants to the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, you must file the correct USCIS forms to get a green card.

To be eligible to be a Diversity Visa recipient, you must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. If you do not have a high school education, you should have at least 2 years of work experience in a field that requires at least 2 years of training. If you are eligible to apply for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, you can enter yourself in the lottery online during the allotted entry time. If the window for applying has closed, you must wait until the following year to apply for a DV visa.

Once you enter the Diversity Immigrant visa Program and your entrance has been confirmed, you should follow usual procedure for getting a visa. This will mean filing the necessary forms, paying correct filing fees, undergoing a medical examination and submitting the documents with the results, and undergoing an interview at the U.S. Consulate or USCIS office near you. You must also submit passport-style photographs of you, your spouse, and unmarried children 21 years old or younger.

If you have a DV visa, you can file for a change of status to permanent resident with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. As long as there are not holds on your eligibility to be a permanent resident and you are admissible to the U.S., you can file your change of status as normal with the USCIS. You will need to provide proof of your acceptance to the DV program when changing your status.

ByPhillip Kim

Questions You May Have Regarding Your Visa Application

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1. What happens after my case goes to NVC?

NVC will request additional documentation from the applicant and petitioner if a visa number will be available for your petition. If a visa number is not available, NVC will hold your petition until a visa becomes available.

2. I have a family emergency and need an immigrant visa immediately. Is there a way to speed up the process?

If a visa number is available and your situation pertains to serious medical emergency, your case might qualify to be expedited. You must have proper documentation from the physician describing the life or death medical situation in order to be considered.

3. I went in for an interview for an immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy but was refused. Is there a way to reverse this?

NVC cannot reverse a petition decision. You should contact the U.S. consular office where your case was processed.

4. I recently moved. What do I need to do?

You should update your information with NVC immediately to prevent any delays in your visa petition.

ByPhillip Kim

When Will Immigration Reform Pass?

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The new immigration reform will grant a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as well as tighten border security and boost the economy, but when will congress reach an agreement on the issue?

The immigration reform bill was supposed to be decided by August before the congress’s annual month-long summer recess, but the debate has been prolonged because Republicans and Democrats have not been able to reach an agreement on the provisions of the bill. Now, the nation has to wait until after the August recess to hear an answer, and many fear that the issue will die down and congress will set the issue aside.

What it comes down to is whether Republicans will come to an agreement or the bill will die a slow death with the voices of millions being drowned out by the indecisiveness of congress.

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

Naturalization Test: What Happens After

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So you’ve applied for naturalization, gone to the interview, and passed all exams and requirements. What happens after? After the USCIS approves your naturalization, you will be required to attend a naturalization ceremony and take the Oath of Allegiance at your scheduled time and location.

At the ceremony, you will be required to return your permanent resident card at check-in. You will then be directed to take the Oath of Allegiance and be given your Certificate of Naturalization. Make sure all the information on the certificate is accurate before leaving the ceremony.

Now that you are a U.S. citizen, you are advised to apply for a United States passport immediately. This is because a passport is an official proof of your citizenship in the United States. You should also update your Social Security information 10 days after your naturalization ceremony.

ByPhillip Kim

Immigration Reform Gets Delayed

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It appears that the passage of President Obama’s new immigration reform bill will be delayed once again. The president wanted the decision to be made in August, but House Republicans have not yet reached an agreement regarding their piecemeal approach. President Obama agrees that America needs to make a decision on the immigration issue once and for all—we cannot afford putting it off again.

The immigration reform bill was designed to strengthen border security, provide a pathway for citizenship, expand programs for skilled workers, and set up guest worker permits. Republicans, however, are hesitant on the part of the bill that includes citizenship for the 11 million undocumented citizens. Instead, they want to focus on the Dream Act for legalization of those who were brought into the United States illegally as children. The chances of reaching an agreement by the August deadline are slim, but Republicans will have to come to an agreement sooner or later.

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.