Getting a Green Card Through Asylum

An individual who is afraid to return to his or her home country for fear of persecution (fear of being hurt, wrongfully accused, jailed, targeted) may file an application for asylum on Form I-589 with USCIS DHS Immigration. This application can be filed by someone who was previously persecuted and even by individuals who may not have been previously persecuted but who now fear future persecution. How do you prove it? In a perfect situation, a client will show up with a video tape of them being persecuted and with documentary records of the persecution. However, in the real world that’s not how it works. In many cases, clients have nothing except their word. Immigration law does allow for situations where a person’s statement alone, if credible, can be enough. I attached a picture of an approved asylum, which was approved at the initial stage by the Asylum Office DHS Immigration .


DENIED I-751

I filed application USCIS FORM I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residency. The application was denied. Is there anything that could be done now?

There are several options when Form I751 is denied. I will not get into the specifics of all the options that are available because the Option that is picked should make the most sense in light of the reason for the denial. However I will briefly say that one of the options can be to refile the I751. When the application is denied however USCIS DHS will usually serve a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court, which essentially amounts to efforts by the federal government to deport/remove the person. It is important to know that the Immigration Judge assigned to the case will get another opportunity to look at the application Petition and decide whether the Immigration Judge agrees with the denial or whether the application should be approved.

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FILING FOR GREEN CARD VIA MARRIAGE

I filed for a green card based on my marriage. I have an interview scheduled with DHS USCIS Immigration at 26 Federal Plaza, Ny Ny. What should I expect to happen?

Any marriage based application will require an interview before an Immigration Adjudication Officer. These interviews are usually done at the local immigration office. Ordinarily, when a couple shows up for an interview, they submit their appointment notice. Thereafter the couple usually waits in a waiting Room to be called. That is probably a good time to get your paperwork in order here if you want to make sure you have the original of certain documents as well as updated evidence that would show a joint life. You also want to make sure that evidence of your relationship through photographs have been properly prepared. When the couple is called in by an immigration officer for the interview, they are usually escorted to a room for the interview. The officer will the request the identifying documents such as the passports and other crucial original document such as the birth and marriage certificates. It is also a great idea to pay attention to the instructions of the officer, at some officers will clearly state that stay doing want any communication between the applicant and beneficiary.

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I received a 2 year conditional resident card. But, my 2 year green card is about to expire. What do I need to do?

When you have a marriage based green card interview with DHS Department of Homeland Security USCIS and you “pass” the interview and your green card is approved, but you have not been married for 2 years at that time, you will receive what is called conditional resident status. Before that card expires , you are required to apply for the permanent resident green card. This application is an application referred to as a Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Form I-751. There are many factors that are involved in determining whether you will be interviewed after you file this application. Of course, you want to make sure that the application is properly submitted with evidence that would show that you continue to be at a bona fide relationship with your spouse. Ordinarily, the stronger the evidence is, the less likely you will be called in for another interview.


The Immigration process to get a green card (permanent residency) through marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Question: Can someone get a green card (permanent residency) if they entered the U.S. with a Tourist Visa and they marry a U.S. Citizen?

Answer: If someone is not barred from admissibility, the answer is generally yes. However, individual facts may come into play.

Question: If a marriage based application is filed, will the married couple be interviewed by Immigration (DHS)?

Answer: Yes. Marriage based green card (permanent residency) submitted applications require that the couple be interviewed to decide whether the marriage is bona fide (“real”)?

Question: If a marriage based application is filed and the couple live in New York City (NYC), where will the interview be scheduled?

Answer: If a marriage based application is filed and the couple live in New York City (NYC), the interview usually takes place at 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY

Question: If Immigration approves the green card (permanent residency), what type of green card (permanent residency) will the applicant obtain from Immigration (DHS)?

Answer: If 2 years have not passed since the marriage at the time the green card (permanent residency) is approved, the applicant will obtain conditional permanent residency. This means that the green card status will expire in 2 years from the grant of the conditional permanent residency.

Question: What needs to be done to obtain the permanent green card in a marriage based application? In other words, how do you remove the conditions on permanent residency?

Answer: An application to remove conditions on residence (Form I-751) must be filed during the 90 days before the card expires. You cannot simply renew a conditional permanent resident (conditional green card) status.

Question: If I file an application to remove conditions on residence (Form I-751), will I be interviewed again by Immigration (DHS) at 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY?

Answer: Whether Immigration (DHS) interviews you again can depend on many factors. These can include (but not limited to) how convincing your documents are as to whether your marriage remains viable and genuine.


Filing for Asylum in New York City (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx)

We all have heard a great deal about asylum lately through the news and other sources of media. All of this information can be very confusing. I started getting calls with people entirely confused and think that filing for asylum is not available any longer.

I’m going to list the most common questions I get and I will do my best to answer these questions.

1. Can you still file for asylum in New York if you entered with a Visa but are now out of status?

Yes. However, there may be individual facts which may vary your case, such as when you last entered the U.S.?

2. If you are not eligible for asylum, can you still seek protection from deportation/ removal in Immigration Court?

Presuming you are eligible for asylum (whether because of a particular criminal conviction or are time barred), you may still be eligible for other relief, which may stop your deportation/ removal.

3. How long does the process take?

This is very difficult to answer without knowing certain facts. There are some cases filed with USCIS that can be resolved favorable in less than 2 months and there may be some cases that can be on the court calendar for 3 years. So, these things usually depend on each individual case.

4. Can I get work authorization during this long wait?

Generally speaking, you qualify to get work authorization after the passage of certain days following the pendency of your asylum application. I’m hesitant to give the number of days because every case is unique and the clock to start there time may be triggered at different times for different cases.

Familiarize yourself with the law. Get the information from a proper source. Someone licensed to practice law and is in the business of immigration law.


Filing for Asylum under the Trump Administration

As you may have heard, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the Trump administration’s rule that prevents many Central American migrants from filing for asylum in the U.S. can continue. Is this an end to asylum for those people? Not necessarily. It just temporarily blocked a lower court’s ruling prohibiting Trump from doing that.

However, we can obviously infer from this that it will not get easier for certain asylum seekers. So, if you are a person seeking asylum protection and live in New York City (such as Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan or the Bronx), contact an experienced Immigration lawyer to discuss filing for asylum. Do not waste further time and wait for laws to possibly make it even more difficult. Be offensive and not defensive. This does not put an end to asylum seekers everywhere. Get the facts from an Immigration attorney that has nearly 20 years experience serving the New York City (such as Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan or the Bronx) area.


Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza, NYC (Manhattan)

President Trump has pledged to increase immigration enforcement.  What does this mean for the undocumented immigrant?  This likely means that you will have contact with ICE (Immigration DHS Agents).  When ICE makes contact, they will determine your custody status.  What does this  mean?  To put it simply, they will determine whether they will keep you locked up or release you.  They will need to determine whether you can be trusted to appear in Immigration Court (Executive Office for Immigration Review – EOIR).  Dont take any comfort in assuming that they will make a rational and reasonable decision in making a custody determination.  Most of their decisions lack a common sense approach.  All too often, I have clients with criminal records released by DHS and clients with no criminal record and strong ties to the U.S. (U.S .Citizen children, long length employment, etc) held without bond.  The moral of this blog?

  1. DONT ASSUME YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANY CONTACT WITH IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS. DONT ASSUME BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE U.S. FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, THEY ILL NOT GET TO YOU.
  2. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR FREEDOM IN THE HANDS OF AN AGENCY THAT ALL TOO OFTEN MAKES THE WRONG DECISION.

Immigration laws are very complicated.  DHS uses these laws to deport people.  You can use them to obtain permanent residency.  Be proactive, not defensive.  Take the initiative and legalize your status.  The first step is to contact an experienced Immigration lawyer attorney.


Immigration ICE arrests in NYC (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island)

Is Immigration ICE after you or a loved one? What are your rights?

Let’s remember one thing about our beautiful country and the United States Constitution. Yes, it is this constitution that the President swears to uphold. Is also the same constitution for which our brave soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I will answer just a few questions that many people ask me.

1. Do you have to open the door when immigration agents knock?

The answer is no. You can ask whether they have a warrant, whether a search or arrest warrant. If they claim they do have an arrest warrant, you may ask them to slip it under the door.

2. Do you have to answer questions?

You should not answer any questions or provide any statement. Obviously, we must be respectful with these agents. However that does not mean we have to acquiesce to everything they want. Tell them that you wish to speak with an attorney.

3. Can immigration come to your workplace?

Usually for agents to come to a workplace, they must be invited by the employer or allowed to enter.

Remember, we are in nation of laws. Immigration agents use these laws to enforce immigration laws and at times use them to deport people. However, never forget that these same laws can be used to your benefit as well in order to obtain legal status and/or fight deportation.


Anti-Immigration Hatred & Immigration Enforcement

By now, everyone has likely heard about the investigation of a hate hate crime in El Paso, Texas where someone allegedly killed over 20 people. Investigators claim that right before the shooting, the alleged shooter posted an anti- Immigration article that blamed Immigration for taking away jobs in the U.S.

Is there any rational basis for the belief that undocumented individuals take away jobs? How does someone obtain work authorization (employment authorization)?

The fact is that most of the jobs performed by undocumented immigrants are jobs the general American public would likely not accept anyway. Another observation is that undocumented immigrants do not comprise the bulk of public assistance recipients, presuming they are even eligible to receive such benefits.

As far as immigrants that have work authorization is concerned, the issue is similar. I will never be convinced that they threaten American jobs. Here’s what I’m struggling with… You mean to tell me an American should be threatened by an immigrant with work authorization who is new to the work force? Well, if that’s the case, so be it … If someone who newly entered the workforce can edge out an American, then that’s just fine in a capitalist economy. It’s about competition. Competition is and always will be great for business. I’ll have zero sympathy for the American who should have had the advantage over a newcomer. It appears to be reminiscent of how children behave. They don’t want something until someone else has it. It’s not convincing at all.

Let’s get back to the following question. How do I obtain work authorization (employment authorization) in NYC (for example)? For the most part, to obtain employment authorization or work authorization, you must have an underlying application. It is usually provided during the pendency of a permanent residence (green card) application or asylum. It is issued before the green card application or asylum application is decided because those applications cab take some time to be approved or decided.