Immigration Law News - Law and Daily Life
Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Recently in Immigration Law Category

#USImmigrationLaw: What Can a Notario Do and Not Do?

A notario, or notary public, is not a lawyer and cannot practice law in the United States. Confusion about what a notary public can do in the US is common for many immigrants, however, because in some other countries, notaries can act as attorneys.

Not so here. But some notary publics take advantage of immigrants, leading them to believe that a notary can advise them on the law. Do not hire a notary to handle your immigration matter -- for that you need a lawyer. Here is what a notary can and cannot do for you.

#USImmigrationLaw: Handling a Credible Fear Interview

If you have a credible fear interview, do not be afraid. This is an opportunity for you to tell your story to the immigration authorities, provide proof, and answer questions that will convince them you must stay in the US for humanitarian reasons. It is your chance to defend against removal.

This is important when it comes to an asylum claim, which is based on persecution at home. If you have a credible fear that you will be persecuted or tortured if you are forced to return, you will say so to an actual person with the power to help with your defensive asylum application. And you don't have to tell your story alone, or even speak English. You can have an interpreter to speak on your behalf and a lawyer to represent you.

#USImmigrationLaw: 3 Things to Know About EWI Immigration

Entry Without Inspection, or EWI, is a term of art in immigration law and it means what it sounds like -- that a person has entered the country without an inspection. Foreign nationals must get permission to enter the United States and must present themselves to an authority at a port of entry.

Even if you have a visa to visit, obtained before your travels, you must nonetheless inform American authorities of your arrival. Failure to present for inspection has serious consequences, and not just for immigration. Here are three key facts to know about entry without inspection.

#USImmigrationLaw: What Does Continuous Residence Really Mean?

To become a US citizen you will have to show continuous residence in this country. How long you must live here depends on the nature of your immigration application.

Because people's citizenship applications are based on different grounds -- for example: work, humanitarian grounds, or marriage to an American spouse -- the rules vary somewhat, and there are also limited exceptions to the continuous residence requirement. Let's look at the obligations, and when the clock starts ticking.

#USImmigrationLaw: What Will Affect My Citizenship Application?

You're applying for citizenship in the US and wondering what issues will impact your application. There are many factors that go into a final determination about whether to grant status, and an initial denial does not necessarily mean you have no chances of becoming an American. But there are some specific matters that will impact the determination. Let's briefly examine them here.

#USImmigrationLaw: 5 Tips for Your Stokes Interview

When you and your spouse go to a Stokes interview, be prepared to answer many detailed and difficult questions about your lives together, separately. Even couples who truly love each other can get very nervous about this kind of interview, and for good reason.

A Stokes interview is when you and your spouse are separately questioned by an immigration officer about all aspects of your marriage to prove that it is not a fraud. You will be notified in advance of the interview and informed of any documentation to bring. Here are five tips on how to prepare and handle it.

After the Skilled Worker Visa Lottery, Are There Options?

If you think Americans are lucky, kind of like lottery winners, you are right. This year, nearly a quarter million highly skilled foreign workers applied for H -1B visas to remain in the US but only 85,000 visas were available, so the government chose the recipients by lottery.

Last week, reports The Wall Street Journal, demand for foreign skilled-worker visas surpassed the entire year's mandated supply within five days. When that happens, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) awards the visas randomly among applicants. It's called a visa lottery.

#USImmigrationLaw: What Does 'Changed Circumstances' Mean?

Changed circumstances in asylum law refers to an exception to the one-year filing requirement for applications. Usually, applicants must file their request with the US government within a year of arrival here or their claim will be considered untimely.

But because asylum is based on danger -- it's a request for protection in the form of immigration status and benefits -- there are exceptions to this deadline when there are particular changes in the law, your life, or conditions in your home country. Let's look at asylum basics and the kind of changes that qualify for the exception for the purposes of asylum applications.

#USImmigrationLaw: Affirmative and Defensive Asylum Applications

An affirmative or defensive asylum application is based on fear of persecution. An asylum seeker asks the government for protection, in the form of permission to remain in the United States legally, because they are being persecuted at home.

People who apply for asylum must prove that they can't go home because their lives are threatened based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political affiliations. Unlike refugees, who apply for protected status from the United Nations before they enter the US, asylum seekers apply while on America soil. There are two types of asylum applications -- affirmative and defensive. Let's look at both briefly.

#USImmigrationLaw: What Is a Sham Marriage?

A sham is something fake, and the word applies to anything from bedding to marriages. A pillow sham, for example, is an ornamental cover, for surface effect only. It's what you put on a pillow to make it look good.

Similarly, a sham marriage dresses up a person's legal status. It is a union entered into for immigration benefits, not one based on two people's genuine desire to share their lives. US immigration law recognizes marriage as a basis for adjustment of status, so people do marry for the legal advantages. But faking a union is not like dressing a bed -- it's much more difficult -- and immigration officers do review to ensure that marriages are bona fide, or true.