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Stamford, CT immigration and visa lawyer

Obtaining an Immediate Relative (IR) visa for your foreign spouse can be a challenging process. Typically, the waiting time to receive an IR visa is very short, but there is the potential for something to go wrong. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) scrutinizes every spousal application, requiring both partners to provide a great deal of personal information. If the application or documents are not filled out correctly, this can put the visa application and your future happiness in jeopardy. To avoid any bumps in your road to marital bliss, be sure to follow these straightforward tips:

1. Provide Clear Proof That Your Marriage Is Legitimate.

Unfortunately, foreign nationals sometimes do use marriage as a pretense to gain entry to the United States. As such, the U.S. State Department sets a high standard for documents that authenticate your marriage. Among the most trusted documents to use as validation of your wedding is an official marriage certificate from the United States, Canada, the Commonwealth of countries that are former territories of the British Empire, or the European Union. Many couples, if they are married in a foreign country, will get a marriage license in the United States before beginning the application process for the visa.

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New Canaan refugee and asylum lawyerThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun the enforcement of a new rule for refugees and asylum seekers hoping to gain entry into the United States. The new rule requires that those seeking refugee status in the United States must first seek it in a third country before entering the United States. For example, an individual fleeing Guatemala must seek U.S. asylum in another country such as El Salvador, Mexico, or Honduras. This typically is done through petitioning the U.S. embassy in that country or another American government institution there. The DHS explained that the reason for this new rule is due to the sudden rise of asylum requests on the southern American border, which has caused Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainment centers to become overcrowded. The DHS issued this rule as a part of an effort to bring much-needed relief to the system. Additionally, the DHS stated the new standard for asylum seekers is reflective of international laws regarding refugees. 

Why Is the New New Rule Facing Criticism?

Many civil rights groups in the United States disagree with this new ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the department claiming that such a rule is unlawful. Others have suggested that the refugee seeking asylum might be returned to the country from which he or she is fleeing by the government of the country in which he or she is living while waiting for the petition to be processed.

The new rule by the DHS is a part of the White House’s broader policy to reduce the amount of illegal, and legal, immigrants gaining access through the southern border. In the past year, not only have individuals from South and Central American Countries come to the U.S. border claiming asylum, but individuals from India and African countries have done so as well. The supporters of the new rule say that it is a necessary national security measure.

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Stamford, CT immigration visa lawyer

The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill that increases the per-country cap for family-based immigration visas and employment-based visas. The bill is called the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 1044), and it is designed to allow more skilled workers into the United States. The bill increases the limit for family-based visas for people from a single country from 7 to 15 percent of all visas issued in a single year, and it eliminates the 7 percent cap on employment-based visas. If passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump, this bill would be a particular boon to the Silicon Valley tech companies, such as Google, Apple, and Facebook, who often look abroad for employees. 

Why Is the Bill Under Scrutiny?

While the bill has widely been lauded as a sound and wise measure to increase the availability of visas for high skilled workers, it has also faced sharp criticism regarding its secretive nature. In most bills that are presented before either chamber of Congress, there is usually time allotted for debate and amendment. However, enough Republicans joined the Democrat-held House in giving the necessary votes for this bill to pass without discussion. Some people have claimed that this was more of a political ploy aimed at embarrassing the current White House administration, which has attempted to limit immigration to the U.S. 

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Stamford, CT United States green card lawyer

The U.S. immigration process to become a legal resident is among the most complicated in the world. Those people who want to come to the United States for education, health reasons, work, or to be with family have many hurdles to overcome. The process to become a lawful permanent resident and get a Green Card can be particularly tedious. When applying for a Green Card, many applicants feel left in the dark as to what stage their application is in. This can cause undue stress to honest people who want to come to the United States and contribute to American society. Thankfully, those immigrants who apply for a Green Card have a way to check on the progress of their application.

My Case Status System

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides an electronic system for checking on the status of a Green Card application called “My Case Status.” This is an online program that can be accessed from any personal computer or mobile device. By going to the My Case Status webpage and entering in the case receipt number (a number that includes three letters followed by 10 digits), a person can view the most recent notifications regarding his or her application. However, it is important to note there can be a delay in notifications shown on the system.

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New Canaan immigration lawyer ADP DACA

On June 4, the American Dream and Promise (ADP) Act of 2019, which was put forth by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California), was passed by the House of Representatives. If signed into law, this act would significantly alter U.S. immigration law by providing legal status for immigrants previously given protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, the bill faces several more battles in the Senate before its potential arrival at the Oval Office for its signing.

The Background of the Act

For almost two decades, the U.S. Congress has failed to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. This bill was targeted at providing legal status for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who entered the United States as minors. Due to Congress’s failure to provide a fix for this problem, the Obama administration in 2012 created DACA as an executive order to remedy this crisis. Under DACA, any minor having entered the United States since June 2007 before they turned 16, and who lived continuously in the country since then, was given the right to live, study, and work in the U.S. temporarily. However, this action came under intense scrutiny, and many legal experts claimed that the President’s actions were unconstitutional. In 2017, the Trump administration ended registration for the DACA program, and by 2020, the “dreamers’” legal status will expire.

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Stamford immigration attorney asylum

The United States and Mexico have come to an agreement regarding the flux of asylum seekers from South American countries to the United States. Last week, American and Mexican diplomats settled on a deal known as the “Stay-in-Mexico” agreement, which states that migrants who are seeking asylum in the United States will remain in Mexico while awaiting their hearing in U.S. immigration courts. During their stay in Mexico, immigrants will have access to jobs, healthcare, and education. The agreement came about after the United States threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican goods.

The Background of the Deal

Immigration has exploded over the last several months, putting added stress on immigration facilities in the United States. In response, the United States requested that Mexico share the burden and provide facilities on its sovereign soil for the migrants while they await their asylum hearing. Additionally, the United States demanded that Mexico observe international law that required asylum seekers to seek asylum in the first country they enter after leaving the land they were fleeing. Initially, Mexico provided some support, but when the caravans of migrants began to increase, the United States threatened its southern neighbor with tariffs. These tariffs would increase each month if they did not take more drastic measures. Last week, U.S. and Mexican diplomats met in Washington, D.C. where productive talks were held, and a resolution to the tensions was solidified.

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Stamford immigration lawyer

The U.S. State Department will now require applicants to provide additional information when filling out their visa application forms. This additional vetting is a part of a more significant effort by the State Department to both increase national security and provide greater clarity to the visa application process. As of June 2019, when visa applicants fill out their visa application form, they will be asked to provide all the social media profiles, email accounts, and phone numbers they have used in the last five years. In addition, applicants must submit information regarding previous international travel, any deportation statuses, and whether any family member has been involved in terrorist activity.

The Background of the Decision

In previous years, visa applicants were not asked this additional information unless it was believed that extra scrutiny was required, such as when applicants originated from regions where terrorist groups were known to be active. However, with the flood of immigrants into Europe and other areas around the world from these areas, there has been a growing fear that members of terrorist cells will seek to use what have traditionally been secure immigration and travel routes to enter the United States.

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Stamford immigration asylum lawyer

In the upcoming Supreme Court case Hernandez v. Mesa, the high court will determine whether asylum seekers have Fourth Amendment protections. What makes this case particularly interesting is that it involves a federal agent causing harm to an asylum seeker while the asylum seeker was in another country. If SCOTUS rules in favor of the plaintiff, then asylum seekers will be granted additional legal protection. However, such a ruling could also negatively impact the ability of immigration enforcement offers to maintain order.

The Background of the Case

In 2010, a United States border agent shot and killed a 15-year-old asylum seeker. The incident occurred while the border agent was on the United States side, and the asylum seeker was on the Mexican side of the border. According to the agent, the 15-year-old was throwing rocks at him and his fellow agents to distract them from a smuggling operation. Feeling threatened, the agent fired his weapon and unfortunately struck the asylum seeker. The boy’s family, on the other hand, claim that their child was playing a game with his friends of running up to the border fence then running back. Regardless of whether this situation was self-defense or a mistake, the loss of young life is tragic.

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