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630-932-9100
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
630-932-9100
DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000
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IL immigration lawyerThe health crisis of COVID-19 has affected millions of people across the globe. Governments issued executive orders to close certain businesses and keep citizens home by limiting gatherings in an effort to stop the spread of the highly contagious virus. Many employees in all types of industries have been temporarily laid off or furloughed due to the economic hardship the coronavirus has inflicted on the world. Some business owners have even been forced to sell or dissolve their companies altogether. The economic hardship that the world is experiencing has impacted the immigration process as well. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) manages the processing of applications for work permits, U.S. citizenship, Green Cards, and other immigration benefits. USCIS recently announced it would not furlough more than 13,000 employees as the agency had originally planned.

According to Deputy USCIS Director for Policy Joseph Edlow, the agency was able to avoid furloughing approximately 70 percent of its workforce because its financial situation had improved slightly since the spring after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant drop in petitions. Despite employee furloughs being canceled, for the time being, USCIS said it has to implement spending cuts to avoid immediate hardship on its employees. These budget cuts will impact all aspects of the agency, including its contracts.

Since USCIS is a fee-for-service organization, it relies on the revenue collected through visitor petitions and citizenship applications in order to keep the agency running. The pandemic has severely reduced its operating budget and forced the agency to ask Congress for $1.2 billion in emergency funding to continue operations at the start of the next fiscal year.

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IL immigrant lawyerThe U.S. immigration process can be complex, with different visas that allow immigrants to enter and remain in the country. The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is for victims of specific crimes who have sustained physical or mental abuse and who are able to assist police or government personnel in the investigation or prosecution of certain criminal offenses. Congress drafted the U nonimmigrant visa by passing the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (and the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in the fall of 2000. The Act was signed by President Clinton and later reauthorized by Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump. The goal of this legislation was to bolster the authority of police agencies in prosecuting domestic abuse, sexual assault, undocumented immigrant trafficking, and other criminal offenses.

Eligibility for Obtaining U Visa Status

An individual may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if he or she:

  • Is the victim of qualifying criminal activity
  • Has suffered physical or mental abuse as a victim of a crime
  • Has information about the criminal activity
  • Has been helpful with law enforcement’s investigation or prosecution of the offense
  • The crime occurred on U.S. soil or violated U.S. laws
  • Is admissible to the United States

It is important to note that “next friend” refers to a person who appears in a lawsuit to represent an immigrant who is under 16 years old, who is incompetent or incapacitated, or who has suffered significant mental or physical abuse as a result of being a victim of qualifying crimes. These acts include but are not limited to violent crimes such as murder, manslaughter, vehicular homicide, robbery, and rape. The next friend is not party to the actual legal proceedings and does not act as a guardian. If someone is under 16 years old or is unable to provide detailed information because of a disability, his or her parent, guardian, or next friend may provide the information about the crime on his or her behalf. In addition, if someone is not admissible, he or she may apply for a waiver on Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant (Form I-192).

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IL immigration lawyerThere are many reasons why someone from another country may want to immigrate to the United States from his or her native land. In some cases, he or she may wish to flee religious persecution or obtain better employment or even join relatives who are already in the country. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the immigration and naturalization process.

In 2000, the LIFE Act was passed and signed into law. The Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act was established so certain non-U.S. citizens in the United States can obtain a Green Card. In many cases, they would not otherwise qualify for an adjustment of status. The LIFE Act was based on legislative changes in response to immigration enforcement. Its purpose was to find a compromise between stopping illegal immigration while recognizing that U.S. citizens’ and lawful permanent residents’ (LPR) wishes to be together with their families. It is important to note that only certain immigrants are eligible for relief under the LIFE Act. If you believe you or your family member may qualify for this opportunity, a knowledgeable immigration attorney can explain your options.

Who Is Eligible for the LIFE Act?

In order to qualify for the LIFE Act, an individual must be the beneficiary of a labor certification or immigrant visa petition that was filed on or before April 30, 2001. In addition, he or she must complete an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and submit it with Form I-485. In the majority of cases, an extra $1,000 fee will apply.

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IL immigration attorneyThere are many reasons why a person from another country may want to move to the United States, including to care for relatives, obtain a graduate degree, or to find a better occupation. In some cases, though, an individual may be fleeing religious or government persecution. In many cases, life in America can offer them many benefits.

What Is an H-1B Visa?

The U.S. government offers different types of visas for which immigrants can apply if they want to enter the country legally. These include H-1B visas, family-based visas, student visas, employment-based visas, and temporary visas. H-1B visas allow foreign nationals to work in the United States within specialized industries for a temporary period of time. However, applicants must meet specific criteria in order to be eligible for these visas, including a certain level of education.

Upon receiving the H-1B visa, the immigrant can report to work for his or her sponsoring company. After moving to the United States, the employee is allowed to seek employment with a different employer, or transfer to a different company. H-1B visas may be complicated due to certain issues, such as initial approvals and employment transfers. That is why the legal guidance of a skilled immigration lawyer can help ensure a smooth process.

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IL immigration lawyerThe U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees the lawful immigration to the United States. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, many immigration services have been conducted remotely or online as opposed to in-person over the past few months. USCIS has started to safely resume in-person services, but some naturalization ceremonies may still be conducted differently compared to the past. Those individuals who wish to become a natural citizen must complete an Application for Naturalization, which is Form N-400. Once accepted, he or she must take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony, which is the final step in completing the legal process to become a U.S. citizen. There are two different types of ceremonies, judicial, and administrative. The court administers the Oath of Allegiance in a judicial ceremony. USCIS administers the Oath of Allegiance in an administrative ceremony.

Components of the Naturalization Ceremony

The principles in the Oath of Allegiance can be found in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which stipulates that all applicants shall take an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, whether foreign or domestic. It also states that an individual will renounce any allegiance to a foreign power from his or her native country.

The following is a synopsis of what takes place during a naturalization ceremony:

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