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630-932-9100
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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

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

CHICAGO

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

Phone: 630-932-9100
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in US immigration laws

IL immigration lawyerIn any given year, the U.S. grants approximately 85,000 H1B visas, given to foreign workers with special skills or highly specialized knowledge. For a long time, their spouses were denied permission to work in the U.S., but in 2014, employment authorization documents (EAD) were granted to H4 visa holders, which is the visa given to the spouses of H1B holders. Now, in 2019, the current administration has published a notice of intent to roll back the program granting the EADs, arguing that too much competition with U.S. workers is created.

Program in Limbo Since 2015

The Obama administration granted the right to seek an EAD to H4 holders in 2014, but in 2015, a group called SaveJobs, comprised of ‘displaced’ U.S. tech workers, sued the administration, alleging that it had overstepped its bounds and that granting EADs to this group of nonimmigrants would make it harder for U.S. citizens to find work in technology. The group lost, appealed, and the case was continued multiple times, allegedly while the rule was being rewritten and refined.

Now, in 2019, a draft rule has been authored, rendering the lawsuit moot, as the proposed rule changes would eliminate the work permits (the issue that SaveJobs initially brought suit over). However, critics point out that only those who are already on the path to lawful permanent resident (green card holder) status are eligible for the EADs, and it would be economically inadvisable to “pull the rug out” from under families and people who are contributing to the economy.

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Posted on in Immigration

IL immigration lawyerSometimes, someone who has been waiting for a visa or another immigration status will want or need to travel abroad, but they may not have a passport or other valid status that will let them back in the United States upon return. Alternatively, sometimes someone in your family may need to be let into the U.S. quickly, especially in cases such as family emergencies. In both of these situations, the remedy is called parole - the latter is humanitarian parole, while the former is called advance parole. Both can be difficult - but not impossible - to get.

Advance Parole

Advance Parole (AP) is exclusively for those who are not in legal immigration status - for example, those who have been granted asylum or refugee status, those who are in the middle of adjusting status, and those who have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). In some cases, it may be able to be granted for those who still have an asylum claim pending before the courts. AP allows someone who belongs to any of these groups, or a few select others, to be able to travel abroad and return to the country to continue waiting for their official immigration status to vest.

AP is necessary because, without it, anyone who lacks valid status essentially cannot leave the United States for any reason, no matter how serious. They would have no documents to show upon arriving back in the country and would be turned around in all but the most unusual cases. This is a problem not only because they may have a claim to legal status, but also because in some cases, spending too long out of the country will make U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) determine that you have abandoned your application for status entirely. USCIS states explicitly that before leaving the U.S., anyone without legal status must have already been approved for advance parole.

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Posted on in Immigration

IL immigration lawyerEspecially nowadays, many previously attainable ways to emigrate to the United States are either off limits or so locked down with restrictions that some people feel stuck. However, marriage to a U.S. citizen does allow a person to obtain permanent residency in most cases, as long as you can establish your bonafides as an actual couple. Before you marry, it is still a good idea to ensure that you understand what your rights are and the obligations you must fulfill before any status is granted.

K Visas

The most common ways for someone to bring over a foreign spouse is to petition for an immigrant visa if they are already married, or a K visa if they are engaged. A K visa is a nonimmigrant visa, not an immigrant visa, and all it does is allow the foreign spouse to enter the U.S. and get married. It does not permit them to stay beyond 90 days unless the wedding has taken place. While the foreign spouse is obtaining their K visa, the U.S. citizen spouse should be filing a Petition for Alien Relative, which then allows them to adjust their status from within the country, as opposed to having to go back to their homeland.

None of this process is possible, however, if the foreign national does not meet at least some of the requirements for an immigrant visa and bring all the appropriate documentation the consulate requires. If the person is inadmissible, they must first file for a waiver of unlawful presence (or whatever ground is making them inadmissible, such as having a criminal record), and then seek to use the K visa. Some grounds for inadmissibility do not have a waiver available, such as espionage, or being a member of the Nazi Party or any other group participating in a genocide.

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Posted on in Immigration

IL immigration lawyerIn this day and age, anyone who enters the United States, even with valid status, must be careful to ensure they obey all immigration laws. However, misinformation is always being circulated. One of the situations where this is very common is in applying for and using a visitor’s visa (B1/B2 classification). There are some enduring misconceptions on what that visa allows you to do and what it does not, and if you use it inappropriately, you may wind up with immigration consequences that are annoying at best, and permanent at worst.

B1/B2 Is a Nonimmigrant Visa

The standard U.S. visitor visa is a B1/B2 combination. A B1 visa is a business visa, while a B2 is a tourist visa. They are usually issued in combination because even those who enter the country on business will very often engage in some sightseeing and leisure time, and those who enter on tourist visas may wind up doing something in furtherance of their business or employer’s interests; it is simply easier to issue a combination visa than to police every tourist’s itinerary and time.

It is important to understand that the U.S. has both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, and a B1/B2 is a nonimmigrant visa, meaning that it has temporary validity and requires that someone vacate the country by a certain date. This also means that you cannot adjust your status to that of an immigrant - nonimmigrant visa holders may, in some cases, change one nonimmigrant status for another, such as a tourist obtaining a visa to study in the country, but they cannot say, apply for a green card.

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Posted on in Immigration

IL immigration lawyerIf you are an immigrant in the United States, even if you have legal status, you must be especially careful never to be associated with crime or even the smallest mistake may be enough to render you deportable. As such, if you find yourself in criminal court or charged with an offense, it is critical to find an attorney to represent you who understands both criminal law and immigration. If your attorney is not well versed in how the two interplay, you may find yourself plea-bargained into a sentence that will render you deportable even though that may be exactly what you seek to avoid.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude and Aggravated Felonies

U.S. immigration law distinguishes two types of criminal convictions as being relevant for immigration purposes. Crimes of moral turpitude (CIMTs) are offenses that are perceived to have an element of fraud or dishonesty, such as theft, but violent crimes like murder will also count because they are so far outside the realm of ‘acceptable’ moral conduct. It can be difficult to assess whether your offense is a CIMT, however, because the term is not explicitly defined. It has been clarified through past cases, but there is a healthy amount of debate over whether many crimes do in fact count as CIMTs.

Similar issues surround the other type of crime that can be problematic, known as an aggravated felony (AF) - though, paradoxically, a crime need not be ‘aggravated’ or even a felony under criminal law in order for it to count as an AF under immigration law. The classification was created in 1988 and at the time, only encompassed a few offenses, but with the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), the category was expanded significantly. A violent crime is almost always guaranteed to be an AF, but if a person commits a crime that does not involve any violence, it can be hard to say.

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