I-130 and I-485 Approved for Mission Viejo Husband of US Citizen

July 23rd, 2014 No comments
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I recently attended an adjustment of status interview for one of my Mission Viejo clients. He entered the US on a visitor visa more than ten years ago. Then, he changed status to an F-1 student visa. In 2009, he met his future wife while registering for classes. The couple dated for almost a year before deciding to get married. Four years later they came to see me seeking help with the adjustment of status process.

We collected documentation to prove that their relationship was entered into in good faith. Three months after we filed the I-130 visa petition and I-485 application to adjust status packet with USCIS, our interview went forward. The interview was handled by a veteran officer that I’ve worked with on several occasions. He was friendly and efficient and asked a handful of questions about how the couple met and how the relationship progressed. Everything went smooth, and, by the end, we received an approval notice. Our client should receive his green card within the next few weeks.

Because the couple had been married for over two years at the time of the interview, the husband will receive a permanent resident card without conditions. This means he will not need to file an I-751 petition to remove conditions in two years. He will be eligible to naturalize in three years.

If you are considering a marriage-based green card case, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Every year we help a dozen or more couples navigate the complicated marriage-based visa process whether the foreign-born spouse lives in the US or abroad. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to help you better understand the process and how we can help.

Immediate Relatives of Armed Services Members (Active and Veterans) May Be Eligible for Adjustment of Status Despite Illegal Entry Into The United States

July 21st, 2014 No comments
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The Military Parole in Place process has been in effect for many years. Under the MPIP system, the spouses, children and parents of active duty armed forces members were eligible to adjust status to lawful permanent residency despite illegal entry into the US. As a general rule, any individual who illegally entered the US is ineligible for adjustment of status unless he is 245i eligible. The MPIP program was put in place to help active duty military members keep their families united.

For years the MPIP program was limited to active duty armed forces, selected reserve and ready reserve; however, in November 2013 the program was expanded to veterans as well. The USCIS memo states that “our veterans, who have served and sacrificed for our nation, can face stress and anxiety because of the immigration status of their family members in the United States. We as a nation have made a commitment to our veterans, to support and care for them. It is a commitment that begins at enlistment, and continues as they become veterans.”

This is a huge change that could effect many undocumented aliens. If you entered the US illegally and your parent, child or spouse is a veteran of the armed forces, selected reserve or ready reserve, you might be eligible to adjust status to lawful permanent resident (assuming you are otherwise eligible for a green card). “Absent a criminal conviction or other serious adverse factors, parole in place would generally be an appropriate exercise of discretion for such an individual.”

The parole in place program can help an alien avoid the I-601 or I-601A extreme hardship waiver process which can be more expensive and require travel to the alien’s home country for consular processing. If you are in the US illegally and are married to an active duty or veteran armed forces member, or if your son or daughter is an active duty or veteran armed forces member, contact The Nunez Firm to discuss the possibility of parole in place and adjustment of status. The process is complicated and we will need more information before we can assess your eligibility, but managing attorney Jay Nunez will meet with you during a confidential one-on-one consultation to evaluate your position.

VAWA I-360 Approved for Mission Viejo Client; Next Step Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident

July 18th, 2014 No comments
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We just received an approval for one of our VAWA domestic violence cases. This was the fastest approval I’ve received in the last several (maybe five) years. We filed the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) I-360 with the Vermont Service Center in late March 2014, and we received the approval less than four months later. In most cases, it takes USCIS a year to adjudicate an I-360 case.

For a VAWA case, the self-petitioner must prove that she was marred a US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse in good faith and she was the victim of domestic violence or extreme emotional abuse.

In this case, our client had a child with her ex-husband, so we felt confident that good faith marriage would not be an issue. The abuse was more difficult to prove. The ex-husband was never arrested for his abuse, and she did not get a restraining order against him. He had a history of domestic abuse with a previous wife, so we used that as probative evidence. We also had written statements from our client’s co-workers explaining that the ex-husband would often spy on her while she was at work. He would get drunk at her work as well. She filed one police report regarding his abuse, but the report did not say much. The ex-husband also used her immigration status as leverage as a way to manipulate her into obeying his demands.

We helped her draft a written statement explaining how they met, when the abuse started, and how it progressed. We also had her evaluated by a psychiatrist and he issued a report on how the abuse has affected her.

I was surprised we received the approval so soon. The client, who resides in Mission Viejo, was thrilled by the good news. The next step will be an adjustment of status interview in Santa Ana. Because we filed the I-485 adjustment of status application concurrently with the I-360, USCIS should transfer the file to Santa Ana soon. The interview should be rather straightforward because my client does not have any inadmissibility bars that would prevent her from obtaining a green card. Even though she entered the US without inspection or admission, that will not bar her from obtaining a green card because this is a VAWA case. I expect the interview to move forward in the next 2-4 months.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez works with male and female victims of domestic violence so they can secure their immigration status in the United States, and we would be happy to help you better understand the process.

Adjustment of Status Based on Marriage Approved for Irvine Client; Green Card Issued

July 14th, 2014 No comments
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I recently attended an interview for a marriage-based adjustment of status for an Irvine client. He entered the US on an F-1 student visa in 2008. He graduated and received his Bachelor’s degree, then pursued a Master’s degree. In 2012, he met his future wife and the couple began dating. They moved in eight months later. Earlier this year, the couple married and came to see me about the adjustment of status process.

We helped them collect the necessary evidence to prove good faith marriage including utility bills, apartment leases and joint insurance among other things. We filed the I-130 visa petition and I-485 adjustment of status application concurrently along with the other required forms and evidence. Within four months, the interview in Santa Ana was scheduled. I prepared them for the interview beforehand and advised them on what to expect. We brought additional evidence to prove good faith marriage when we attended the interview. Everything went smoothly at the interview. My clients knew which questions would be asked and they were calm and prepared. At the conclusion of the interview, the USCIS officer approved the case.

Because the marriage was less than two years old at the time the green card was approved, my client will receive a conditional resident card that is valid for two years. He will need to file the I-751 petition to remove conditions in two years.

The couple was very pleased with the result. They plan to travel to my client’s home country and have a large wedding in the Catholic Church in a few months. They’re even more excited about the honeymoon.

If you are considering the marriage-based green card process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Every year we represent more than a dozen marriage-based green card cases at the Santa Ana, Los Angeles and San Bernardino offices of USCIS. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to assess whether your case is eligible for adjustment of status or consular processing.

Immigrant Visa Approved in Ciudad Juarez based on I-601A Waiver Approval

July 10th, 2014 No comments
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One of our clients from Idaho re-entered the United States today as a lawful permanent resident after years of living here in unlawful immigration status. He has lived with his wife and children in Idaho for over a decade. They contacted us a couple years ago asking how they might legalize his status. He entered the US without inspection (EWI) over a decade ago. He married his wife many years ago and they had children together.

At the time I advised him that we could pursue the I-601 process if we could prove that it would cause his US citizen wife “extreme hardship” if he were not allowed to live in the US. When they were finally ready to start the process, the new I-601A waiver had become available. We filed the I-130 visa petition for him and it was approved. Then, we filed the I-601A unlawful presence waiver with USCIS. In our waiver packet, we argued that his wife, who has had medical problems for many years, would not be able to care for their children without him. She would not be able to care for herself without him. We provided substantial evidence. The I-601A was approved by USCIS.

Then, we proceeded to file for the immigrant visa through the Department of State. Our client went to Ciudad Juarez to process the immigrant visa and he returned to the US within a week. Everything went smoothly at the consulate and he re-entered the US at El Paso, Texas today. He will fly back to Idaho later today.

If you are in the US illegally and are married to a US citizen of lawful permanent resident, contact The Nunez Firm to see if we can help. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you and help you better understand your options.

Video – Senate Committee Hearing on Southern Border Crisis and Rise in Apprehensions

July 9th, 2014 No comments

I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence Approved for Clients in Orange County; No Interview Requested by USCIS

July 7th, 2014 No comments
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We just received another approval for a Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. USCIS approved the case without requesting an interview, and the clients were happy about that.

The clients had known each other for decades. They were family friends for many years and they both grew up in another country together. The husband became a US citizen several years ago through naturalization. After years of being friends, their relationship progressed and they got married. We represented them during the adjustment of status process. The wife was living in the US. She entered legally, and, after the couple got married, we filed for her to adjust status to permanent resident while living in the US. Everything went smoothly with the process and she was approved for a conditional permanent resident card. For the last two years the couple has lived in Aliso Viejo.

Because the marriage was less than two years old at the time of approval of the green card, she was granted conditional resident status. This meant that she was given a permanent resident card for a two year period. During the ninety days preceding the expiration date of the card, she had to file to have the conditions removed from her lawful resident status. With the I-751 process, USCIS has the option of approving the case without calling for an interview. If USCIS is convinced that the evidence provided is sufficient, they can approve the case without an interview in the Santa Ana office of USCIS.

In this case, we provided a substantial packet of evidence to prove the marriage was entered in good faith. Approximately four months after filing the I-751, the case was approved without an interview. As the spouse of a US citizen, she will be eligible to naturalize in about eight months.

If you or your spouse is a conditional permanent resident and the expiration date is less than six months away, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to help you better understand the process and how we can help. Every year we handle at least a dozen I-751 cases so we know what USCIS wants to see.

Joint I-751 Petition for Removal of Conditions Approved Without Interview

July 3rd, 2014 No comments
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We just received an approval notice for an I-751 petition to remove conditions on permanent residency for one of our Huntington Beach clients. We filed the case earlier this year prior to the expiration of the husband conditional permanent resident card expiration. It took USCIS less than five months to approve the case.

We originally represented this client in the adjustment of status process based on his marriage to his US citizen wife. At the time of the adjustment of status the couple’s marriage was less than two years old; therefore, by law, he was granted conditional permanent resident status for two years. Towards the end of the two year period, he was required to file the Form I-751 with USCIS in order to have the conditions on permanent residency removed.

Unlike the adjustment of status process which requires an interview with a USCIS officer, the I-751 interview is optional at the discretion of USCIS. If USCIS believes the evidence provided with the I-751 was sufficient, the USCIS officer can approve the case without an interview in the Santa Ana office. In this case, we provided approximately 90 pages of evidence in support of our I-751.

The couple was extremely happy to hear that the husband would be issued a ten-year green card. I advised that he will be eligible to naturalize as a US citizen in approximately one year. As the spouse of a US citizen, a permanent resident that has been 1) married for three years and 2) a permanent resident for three years, is eligible to become a US citizen through naturalization.

If you are a conditional permanent resident and your two year expiration date is approaching, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. It’s best to contact us about six months before the expiration date. This allows us ample time to prepare a persuasive and effective case.

With Congress Refusing to Act President Obama Pursues Executive Action to Reform US Immigration Laws

June 30th, 2014 No comments
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Monday he would take executive action to reform the U.S. immigration system after hopes of passing legislation in Congress officially died.

Republican John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, told Obama last week that his chamber would not vote on immigration reform this year, killing chances that a wide-ranging bill passed by the Senate would become law.

The collapse of the legislative process delivers another in a series of blows to Obama’s domestic policy agenda and comes as he struggles to deal with a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have entered the United States.

It also sets up a new battle with congressional Republicans, who accuse Obama of going beyond his legal authority to take executive action on issues such as gay rights and equal pay for women and men.

Obama chided House Republicans for refusing to bring immigration reform to a vote and said only legislation could provide a permanent fix to the problem.

“I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing. And in this situation, the failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security; it’s bad for our economy, and it’s bad for our future,” Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.

“America cannot wait forever for them to act. That’s why today I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.”

The president directed Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to move enforcement resources from the U.S. interior to the border to promote public safety. He said he asked his team to prepare recommendations on other actions he can take unilaterally by the end of the summer.

Joint I-751 Approved for Riverside Couple; No Interview Requested

June 23rd, 2014 No comments
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We received another I-751 Approval without an interview. We represented this couple in obtaining the husband’s marriage-based green card in 2011. Because the marriage was less than two years old at the time of the adjustment of status, he was issued a conditional permanent resident card with a two year expiration date. When it came time to petition for the removal of conditions, we represented them again.

We provided USCIS with substantial evidence to show their relationship was still viable and entered into in good faith. We provided over a hundred pages of evidence. After only a few months, we received the approval notice for the I-751. Unlike the adjustment of status process in which USCIS must conduct an interview with the married couple, the I-751 process does not require an interview. If the USCIS officer charged with reviewing the I-751 is satisfied that the evidence proves good faith marriage, the officer can waive the interview and approve the case. If the officer remains unconvinced, s/he can schedule an interview.

Over the last 18 months, all of our joint I-751 petitions have been granted without an interview. If your conditional permanent residency is expiring in the next six months, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will help you understand the process and assess how we can help you.

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