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Recent Blog Posts

Tips for Finding Employment as a U.S. Immigrant

 Posted on June 09,2020 in Immigration

Itasca immigration lawyerPeople across the globe dream of immigrating to the United States for a better life. In some cases, they may have family members who are already in the country and want to join them. For some, seeking asylum here offers freedom from persecution. In other scenarios, individuals may come to America specifically for employment reasons. Regardless of the reasons, once an immigrant lawfully enters this country, he or she will likely need to find a job to support himself or herself. If someone has a family, it may be even more critical to find work. Building a new life in a different country can be daunting, and trying to find a job may be especially difficult. Below is some practical advice for finding work once you complete the immigration process.

Understanding Your Work Options

If you want to work in the United States legally, you will need to gain official permission by obtaining a work visa. Through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal government offers various visas for different purposes. Some are for a temporary period of time, while others are permanent. Foreign nationals who wish to work in the United States for a short time would obtain non-immigrant visas. These documents are not necessarily intended to provide a path to permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship.

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How Does the Federal CARES Act Affect Immigrants in the United States?

 Posted on April 10,2020 in Immigration

The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has changed the way we live in just a matter of months. Local governments have issued “stay at home” orders and non-essential businesses have been closed for an indefinite amount of time. Individuals across the globe are practicing social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve for the number of new cases. Recently, the U.S. federal government announced the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The largest economic relief bill in U.S. history, the stimulus package will allocate $2.2 trillion in support to individuals and businesses affected by the economic plunge due to the virus. Those people who are in the midst of the U.S. immigration application process may be wondering how the CARES Act will affect their cases, especially in regards to the new Public Charge rule.

Public Charge Rule

Itasca immigration lawyerIn response to the coronavirus crisis, USCIS recently announced that the Public Charge rule cannot restrict access to testing, screening, or treatment of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. A Public Charge is defined as an individual who cannot support themselves through employment, financial assets, or assistance from family and instead relies on government benefits. According to U.S. immigration law, an individual who is considered likely to become a public charge is “inadmissible.” This means that they can be denied a Green Card or visa to be admitted into the country. The new Public Charge rule expands the types of publicly funded programs that are used to assess if a person is likely to become a public charge in the future.

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The New Public Charge Rule FAQs

 Posted on February 26,2020 in Immigration

DuPage County immigrant visa attorney

When does the New Public Charge Rule take effect?

Adjustment of Status Applications filed on or after Monday, February 24, 2020 will be subject to the new rule.

Is this a new rule?

No, public charge determinations have been part of immigration law since 1882. However, this new rule is more restrictive than in the past and requires that a totality of the circumstances test be applied to make a prospective, forward-looking determination of whether Intending Immigrants are likely to become public charges at any time after admission to the United States.

Who is subject to the new rule?

All applicants for adjustment of status are subject to this New Rule except for the following:

What Is the New Public Charge Rule?

 Posted on February 25,2020 in Immigration

DuPage County adjustment of status attorney

On Monday, February 24, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is mandating the implementation of its new Public Charge Rule across the United States.

History

It has been part of immigration law since 1882 that those coming to the United States could not become a public charge, meaning that one emigrating to the United States could not expect the U.S. government to provide financial support to the intending immigrant. The term initially used was “professional beggars.”

Although the immigration law does not specifically state how to determine whether an intending immigrant is to become a public charge, the statute does note five criteria the government can consider when considering the financial wherewithal of an intending immigrant:

  1. Age

  2. Health

  3. Family status

  4. Financial assets and resources

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Who Is Eligible for the United States H-1B Visa?

 Posted on February 11,2020 in Immigration

Itasca immigration attorneyThe U.S. immigration process can be a confusing and time-consuming endeavor. However, regulations, policies, and procedures are put in place to protect the country and its citizens from harm. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency that governs how a citizen of a foreign country can legally live and work in the United States or become a naturalized U.S. citizen. A foreign national who seeks to enter the United States must first obtain a U.S. visa. There are various visas available depending on a person’s circumstances and intentions.

Opportunities Through Employment

There are two main categories of visas — Nonimmigrant and Immigrant. Nonimmigrant visas are for traveling to the United States on a temporary basis. Immigrant visas allow foreigners to live permanently in the United States.

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Can I Get a Visa Faster if My Spouse is a Different Nationality Than Me?

 Posted on November 29,2019 in Immigration

DuPage County preference-based visa attorney

The answer is maybe. There is a rule called cross-chargeability, which might help. Cross-chargeability allows the beneficiary of a preference category visa petition to be assigned to a country other than that of his or her birth for visa bulletin purposes. This rule allows cross-chargeability between one spouse to another spouse, from parents to their children, and on rare occasions based on the place of habitual residence. Note that children may derive alternative chargeability through their parents, but parents cannot derive from children.

The reason to allow children and/or spouses with different birth countries to use cross-chargeability is to avoid family separation, which immigration law seeks to avoid even though it does not always seem that way. Let us see how cross-chargeability works.

First, a principal applicant can use his country of birth for his derivative family member. This would be the case where a Husband from Poland is petitioned by his employer and married to a woman, Wife, from the Philippines. The Husband could use his country of chargeability—Poland—for his Wife who would normally be subject to very long wait times in the employment-based categories.

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I Got Married—Will I Lose My Place on the Visa Bulletin?

 Posted on November 25,2019 in Immigration

DuPage County family-based immigration visa attorney

As we all know, if you are the beneficiary of a preference category family-based immigrant petition, the wait can be long. It can be very long. And life goes on. However, no one wants to lose their place in line for eventual immigration to the United States and understanding the Visa Bulletin is key to maintaining your place in line. First, knowing what categories are available is important.

Note, however, those spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizens are considered Immediate Relatives and are not subject to wait for an available visa. This category is numerically unlimited.

The numerically limited categories or the preference categories for the family-based petitions are:

FB1—Unmarried children of U.S. citizens over the age of 21

FB2A—Spouses and unmarried children of legal permanent residents

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Why Are There Two Sets of Visa Bulletins Each Month?

 Posted on November 20,2019 in Immigration

DuPage County preference-based visa attorney

Every month around the 10th of the month, the Department of State publishes the monthly Visa Bulletin, which lists the availability of preference-based visas for family- and employment-based categories.

You might have noticed that there are two tables for each category—Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing. USCIS will indicate every month which chart can be used. But first, what does each chart mean?

The Final Action Dates Chart indicates that visas are unavailable for Priority Dates equal to or greater than the date listed in the bulletin. For example, if your Priority Date is April 15, 2017 and the date in the Final Action Date Chart for your category and the country is April 15, 2017, then your date is not current because April 15, 2017 is the first date for which a visa is not available.

Under the Final Action Dates Chart, if your Priority Date is current, then a visa is available for you and processing for your Green Card or Immigrant Visa can go forward.

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How Can I Bring My Foreign-Born Spouse Home to the United States?

 Posted on November 15,2019 in Immigration

DuPage County fiance visa attorney

These days, people often marry individuals who are not from the same country as them. The ease of travel and increase of students studying abroad has provided Americans with the opportunity to meet friends and possible life partners outside of U.S. borders. Marrying someone from a different culture can lead to an exciting life. Not only are you merging two cultures, but you also must decide where you will live. This can be a difficult decision to make, and many couples decide to remain in the U.S. Making the decision to stay in the United States and getting an approved visa are two different processes altogether. Wanting to stay in America and getting this approval is not as simple as booking a flight home. In these cases, you need the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney.

The “Fiancé” Visa

Applying for and obtaining an immigration visa can be difficult. Before embarking on the long legal journey ahead of you, it is important to do research to find which visa applies to your situation. The visa for foreign fiancés marrying a U.S. citizen is known as a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. Before the application process can even begin, those couples who are planning on getting married in the United States must file a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé. This is the first step in the right direction. This petition will allow your fiancé to legally enter the country before the marriage occurs.

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November 2019 Visa Bulletin Trends—Where Are the Numbers Headed?

 Posted on November 13,2019 in Immigration

DuPage County immigration visa lawyer

No one can say definitively what future visa bulletins will look like, but Charlie Oppenheim, the U.S. Department of State’s Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division, occasionally provides some insight into visa number trends and we are sharing them with you.

Family-Based Preference Categories

We have been happy to see the F2A (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old of legal permanent resident) category across the board staying current recently, and the trend continues. Charlie reports that demand in this category remains low and there is no indication that a limiting date will be imposed in the near future. This is encouraging news!

As we have seen, all the Mexico categories, with the exception of the F2A category, have seen little forward progress and because demand remains high, it is expected that dates for Mexico will remain stagnant and not move forward significantly.

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