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Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices
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 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated its policy guidelines regarding residency requirements in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to adhere to the Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act that was just put in place. The INA was enacted in 1952, and it contains many important provisions of immigration law. However, it has been amended over the years to reflect societal and legal changes. Per the new law, children of immigrants who are stationed overseas for government or military work are automatically granted citizenship.

Immigration and Nationality

Under this new legislation, a child who is not born in the United States can receive automatic citizenship according to INA 320. This applies to a son or daughter who is living in any country other than the United States, as long as the child is recognized as a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Also, his or her parent must be a U.S. citizen and have physical and legal custody of the child. The following must also apply to the parent:

  • Is a member of the U.S. military stationed and living outside of this country
  • Is a U.S. government employee stationed and living outside of this country
  • Is married to a U.S. military member living outside the United States or is a U.S. government worker assigned to work in another country

In addition, the child must meet all relevant requirements to obtain citizenship, with the exception of the typical residence stipulation that is included with INA 320. In immigration cases that involve those who are part of the U.S. Armed Forces, the child and the other parent (who is a U.S. citizen) must have permission to live abroad with the military member based on the member’s official orders.

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IL immigration lawyerThe United States immigration process can be a complicated and intimidating endeavor. There are many forms and documents that an applicant must fill out to legally enter the country. Part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency that oversees lawful entry to America. The USCIS website provides information on different visas that permit immigrants to come to the United States to live and work. However, if a person is hoping to start a new life or join other family members here, or if he or she is facing removal, it is essential that he or she seeks the help of an experienced immigration attorney who can help navigate the complex legal proceedings.

Understanding the Legal Aspect of Immigrating to the United States

Coming to the United States can be life-changing for an immigrant. In some cases, he or she may be fleeing religious persecution or to obtain a better occupation. Regardless of the reasons for immigrating, legal counsel can expedite the process, strengthen a case, and ensure an immigrant’s rights are protected. In removal proceedings, the government always has an attorney present, so the person facing deportation is entitled to legal representation, too.

Unintentionally making a mistake by filing the wrong document can cost undocumented immigrants if they have to resubmit it and pay an application fee for a second time. Certain filings have a timeline in which they must be completed; otherwise, immigrants risk losing that relief if it is not done on time and correctly.

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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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