Posted February 4, 2010

Hola! – ยินดีต้อนรับ – 歓迎 – Ласкаво просимо – Mehmondo’stlik – Bienvenido – Selamat Datang!


U.S. immigration is a tricky business.  There’s no substitute for understanding what the law says, where the limits to government discretion lie, and how to maximize your gain through careful leverage of facts.  We have the insight and experience to help you meet your goals.

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The Department of Homeland Security has issued proposed rule changes that will significantly expand requirements under INA §212 for immigrants and nonimmigrants to demonstrate that they have not in the past, and are not likely in the future, to receive public benefits.  The new proposed rules will be published in the Federal Register and then opened for a 60-day public comment period before implementation.

The new rules will directly impact the Affidavit of Support requirement (forms I-134 and I-864) under INA §213A.  Of particular importance is the creation of a subjective ‘totality of circumstances’ test, in addition to new paperwork requirements demonstrating income self-sufficiency, that will very likely translate into increased denial rates for immigrant visas, certain nonimmigrant visas (including student and fiance visas), requests for extensions and changes of nonimmigrant status, and adjustments of status.

The prop0sed rule changes can be read here.  Check back for updates as the immigration legal community works to understand and explain these burdensome new changes on the horizon.

The Concept of Dual Citizenship

Posted August 28, 2018

From the U.S. State Department.

The concept of dual citizenship (or dual nationality) means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time.  Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy.  Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice.  For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.

Generally, the U.S. government has looked with disfavor on U.S. citizens who maintain dual nationality.  In this regard, Congress has an appropriate concern with problems attendant to dual nationality such as allegiance and war-time support.  One who has dual nationality is potentially subject to claims from both nations, claims which at times may be competing and/or conflicting.  However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country.  They are required to obey the laws of both countries.  Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there.

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1. File I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (with I-130A supplement) with USCIS.  (5 to 8 months)

Case processing times:

2. Upon approval of I-130 petition, file gets transferred to National Visa Center (NVC). Petitioner (U.S. citizen) submits Civil Documents and Affidavit of Support to NVC; Immigrant Visa applicant (foreign spouse) completes DS-260 Immigrant Visa application online.  (1 to 3 months)

Civil documents:

3. After NVC completes processing, file is sent to U.S. embassy or consulate abroad for foreign spouse’s application and interview for an Immigrant Visa.  (1 to3 months)

U.S. Embassies and consulates worldwide:

Preparing for the interview:

The medical examination:

Tagged with: Immigrant VisaMarriageNational Visa CenterUSCIS

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued updated guidance on July 5, 2018 that aligns its policy for issuing Form I-862, Notice to Appear (NTA), with the immigration enforcement priorities of the Department of Homeland Security.

USCIS, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has legal authority under current immigration laws to issue NTAs. This latest Policy Memorandum updates the guidelines USCIS officers use to determine when to refer a case to ICE or to issue an NTA. The revised policy generally requires USCIS to issue an NTA in the following categories of cases in which the individual is removable:

• Cases where fraud or misrepresentation is substantiated, and/or where an applicant abused any program related to the receipt of public benefits. USCIS will issue an NTA even if the case is denied for reasons other than fraud.

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Tagged with: EnforcementNotice to AppearUSCIS Policy