Articles Posted in Permanent Residents

It is our pleasure to introduce our readers to our senior case manager, Inese Grate, one of the original members of the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Ms. Grate joined our firm when there were merely 2 employees working at the office. In addition to studying law in Latvia, Ms. Grate received her Master’s in Law in International Business Transactions from Temple University Beasley School of Law and attended the International Law Institute at Georgetown University School of Law.

Ms. Grate specializes in business and family immigration, corporate, international trade, and international transactions. Ms. Grate provides consultation on strategic investment in the United States for international clients and corporations to identify potential opportunities, create jobs, and develop successful businesses. Throughout her professional career, she has taken several international and U.S. startup companies from an ideation phase through to establishment and registration.

Ms. Grate is unique in that she thinks outside of the box. She utilizes her professional network of financial advisors, real estate brokers, investors and industry experts to assist our clients according to their individual needs. Throughout her career, Ms. Grate has helped numerous corporations and individuals in the United States as well as several European countries in various immigration/business related issues. Ms. Grate evaluates business plans and works on all related immigration issues including visas, licenses, and permits.

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In this Facebook live stream, immigration attorneys Jacob J. Sapochnick and Laurel Scott discuss the impact of the President’s Executive Orders, the Ninth Circuit’s refusal to reinstate the travel and refugee ban, and what the future of immigration looks like from here. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page to join in on future Live streams.

Posted by San Diego Immigration Lawyer, Jacob J. Sapochnick on Saturday, February 11, 2017

By federal court order, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, has decided that it will not reinstate President Trump’s Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” This means that the President’s 90-day travel ban of foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen) will no longer be enforced, as well as the 120-day suspension of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program barring Syrians from seeking refugee admission to the United States. The government is likely to appeal the Ninth Circuit’s decision to the United States Supreme Court or seek a ruling “en banc.”

The Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection released the following statement, “In accordance with the judge’s ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order.” This means that the Executive Order will no longer bar the entry of immigrant and non-immigrant travelers from the seven Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen) until a Court rules otherwise. 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a statement confirming that USCIS will continue to adjudicate and process applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States, as well as applications and petitions for individuals outside of the United States, and applications for adjustment of status to permanent residence, irrespective of the beneficiary’s country of nationality. 

For more information about these executive orders please contact our office. Remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram 

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In this Facebook live stream, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the legal significance of the Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) issued Friday, February 3, 2017, by a federal judge from the Western District of Washington. The TRO has temporarily suspended all provisions of  the President’s Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” nationwide. This means that the travel ban on foreign nationals from the 7 Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen) has been suspended, and the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program has been reinstated. For more information please keep watching.

Travel Ban Blocked by Federal Judge: update Live discussion

Posted by San Diego Immigration Lawyer, Jacob J. Sapochnick on Friday, February 3, 2017

In his ruling, Judge Robart stated that after hearing arguments, the States adequately demonstrated that they have suffered immediate and irreparable harm because of the signing and implementation of the order, and that granting a TRO would be in the public interest. In addition he stated “the Executive Order adversely affects the States’ residents in areas of employment, education, business, family relations, and freedom to travel. These harms extend to the States. . . are significant and ongoing.” A three-judge panel from the Ninth Court Court of Appeals is expected to issue a final ruling on the Executive Order tomorrow.

Since issuance of the TRO, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” including “actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order.”

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In this live stream, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the executive orders handed down by Donald Trump and the impact these executive orders will have on immigrants. The most controversial of the executive orders is the order “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” that was handed down by President Donald J. Trump on January 27, 2017. The order temporarily bans the entry of immigrant (LPRs) and non-immigrants (visa holders) from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen for a 90-day period, suspends the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely, and terminates the visa waiver interview program.

Yesterday, January 28, 2017 a federal judge granted an emergency stay on this executive order. The stay will prevent the executive order from being enforced until a court can decide whether it is legal. The stay does not invalidate the executive order signed by Trump, but limits its enforcement on individuals who have already arrived in the United States. Individuals who have attempted to enter on valid visas, refugee status, or LPR status from the 7 majority Muslim countries must be released from detention.

President Trump Executive Orders on Immigration: discussion live

Posted by San Diego Immigration Lawyer, Jacob J. Sapochnick on Friday, January 27, 2017

Below is a summary of the main provisions of the order per the OFFICIAL signed executive order:

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In this video attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the new decision in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016) handed down by the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) which has changed the analytical framework for determining eligibility of national interest waivers. This new decision will affect foreign nationals who are pursuing a green card based on employment in the EB-2 category, and who are eligible for a “national interest waiver.”

The new decision reached in Dhanasar, will invalidate and replace the three prong-test established in the prior AAO landmark decision reached in Matter of New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDoT), a case which governed the adjudication of national interest waivers since 1998.

The new three-prong test established by Matter of Dhanasar is a more flexible standard that will allow a broader population of foreign nationals in the EB-2 category to qualify for the discretionary national interest waiver. Under the new test, the EB-2 petitioner must meet all criteria established by the new test by a preponderance of the evidence. USCIS must determine whether on the whole the petitioner demonstrated by strong evidence that the requirements for the discretionary waiver were met.

The NEW three prong-test established by Matter of Dhanasar is as follows:

  1. The foreign national’s proposed endeavor must have both substantial merit and national importance. Dhanasar indicates that under this first criterion, a wide number of employment fields may qualify for a discretionary waiver such as: business, entrepreneurialism, science, technology, culture, health and education.  Dhanasar does not require that the petitioner show that the endeavor will bring immediate or quantifiable economic benefit to the United States. Providing such evidence however may help meet the preponderance of the evidence standard to the petitioner’s benefit.  Under this criterion, the petitioner is still required to show that the proposed endeavor has “national importance,” or is “national in scope” as in Matter of New York State Department of Transportation. Endeavors that may be considered as being national in scope are those that have a significant potential impact for job creation or substantial potential for economic growth, and which are focused in an “economically depressed area” such as an area of unemployment, or economically disadvantaged region.
  1. The foreign national must be well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.This criterion will be analyzed by assessing the foreign national’s education, skills, knowledge and proven record of success in related or similar efforts. Other ways in which this prong can be proven is by providing a model, diagram, or plan for future activities, evidence of progress in reaching the endeavor, and evidence demonstrating interested stakeholders. The petitioner does not need to assess whether the endeavor will succeed.
  1. On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements of the EB-2 category. In assessing this prong, the endeavor’s importance will be weighed against the national interest and be based upon the overall benefit the United States will receive from the foreign national’s contributions. USCIS may also consider other factors to determine whether granting the discretionary waiver would be beneficial to the United States taking into consideration whether there are any qualified U.S. workers who can undertake the endeavor, and whether there is a sufficient national interest to justify a waiver of the job offer and labor certification requirement.

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If you have questions about this new decision contact us for a free consultation.

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It is our pleasure to introduce you to our talented senior paralegal Linda Parrish. Linda Parrish is the senior paralegal for immigration and corporate matters at our law office. Altogether, she has more than 20 years experience in the legal field and brings an amazing amount of knowledge and expertise to our firm. She focuses on  company formations, E2 and L1 visas as well as PERM Green Card cases.

Linda has been working with the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick since 2005.  Linda has extensive knowledge of all aspects of immigration law, though her specialty lies in assisting investors, executives, and corporate clients to meet their immigration needs. She is also our resident Notary Public. Linda Parrish is an asset to our team for her expertise, kindness, and for the invaluable contributions she has made to our firm.

Mrs. Parrish is married, has four adult children and several grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting and crocheting.

For read more about our team please click here.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the adjustment of status interview for permanent residence. What happens when a denial is issued? To hear the answer to this question just keep on watching.

Overview: 

As part of the application process for permanent residence based on marriage, you and your spouse are required to attend an in person interview before your green card may be issued. In this video we focus on the marriage visa interview. So what happens when things go wrong?

Typically couples prepare for the green card interview by bringing all of the necessary documents to verify to the immigration officer that they have a bona fide marriage (such documents may include photographs of the couple together and with friends and family, evidence of joint accounts, evidence of commingling of finances, evidence of cohabitation, and joint responsibility of assets and liabilities). In some cases, however the immigration officer may not be convinced by a couple’s particular situation. The immigration officer sometimes finds issue with something the client said, or there may be some inconsistencies that capture the attention of the immigration officer, etc. In these cases, at the conclusion of the interview the immigration officer will notify the couple that they will not able to make an immediate decision. They will send the couple home and tell them to wait for a decision in the mail. If the couple does not receive an approval notice in the mail within 30 days, what will likely happen is that USCIS will send a notice of intent to deny (NOID). In most cases this notice is issued within 30 days of the green card interview.

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In this segment Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses the STOKES interview otherwise known as the infamous “fraud interview” for the green card application. During the STOKES interview the US Citizen petitioner is separated from the foreign spouse for questioning. The STOKES interview is typically scheduled when couples do not provide enough evidence of bona fide marriage and cohabitation, or when the testimony provided by the couple during the first interview contains discrepancies and/or is inconsistent. Couples may also be scheduled for a STOKES interview if USCIS is concerned about something that came up during the foreign spouse’s background screening process. In this segment we talk you through the STOKES interview process, and tell you how you can avoid such an interview. For more information regarding the green card application please visit our website.

Overview

Before a green card may be issued to any foreign national, the applicant must attend what is known as the green card interview. In the case of applying for adjustment of status on the basis of marriage to a US Citizen or LPR spouse, the couple must attend the green card interview together. At the time of the interview, the immigration officer will ask the couple to present evidence of good faith marriage and cohabitation. The burden of proof lies on the applicant to prove that they entered their marriage in good faith and not for the purposes of obtaining an immigration benefit or evading the laws of the United States. Failure to provide substantial evidence of good faith marriage, and proof that you have been residing with your spouse throughout your marriage, may result in a STOKES interview. USCIS immigration officers are trained to spot any inconsistencies and/or discrepancies that may arise during the green card interview. To avoid the STOKES interview it is important to organize your evidence and prepare with an attorney before hand.

Typically a STOKES interview notice is issued after the couple has attended the first interview. The couple is interviewed for a second time to address inconsistencies and/or discrepancies that arose during the first interview session. STOKES interviews are stressful, extensive, and have been known to last up to 8 hours depending on the complexity of the case. It is best to avoid the situation entirely and attend your green card interview with an experienced attorney, who can prepare you and perform a “mock” interview with you and your spouse to identify any potential issues.

Our office has extensive experience preparing for and attending STOKES interviews. It is important to provide as much evidence of “good faith” marriage and cohabitation as possible to avoid such interviews.

For a free consultation please contact us.

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In this segment Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses immigration options for same-sex couples. The Law Office of Jacob J. Sapochnick has been a long time advocate for same-sex and LGBT immigration rights. Our office has worked diligently to assist same-sex couples and the LGBT community in their immigration endeavors since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Windsor v. United States, which allows legally married same-sex couples to receive federal benefits including immigration relief.

Overview:

Can all same-sex couples get legally married now?

No. The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act requires the federal government to recognize marriages in states where same-sex marriage is legal. It does not require all states to legalize or recognize same-sex marriage.

Can they file for Immigration Benefits?

Yes, same-sex couples who are legally married (married in a state allowing same-sex couples to marry) are entitled to the same immigration benefits as heterosexual couples.

For more information about green cards for same-sex couples please visit our website.

For a free consultation please contact us.

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In this video, Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses one of your frequently asked questions: I entered the United States on the visa waiver program 2 years ago. My stay has now expired. Recently, I married a US Citizen. Can I get my Green Card inside the US?

Overview: 

This question comes to us from a follower in Kansas City. He says: I am an Italian national that entered the United States on the visa waiver program 2 years ago. My visa waiver has now expired. I married a US Citizen recently. Can I get my green card within the United States?

Firstly, the visa waiver program grants foreign nationals from eligible countries, the ability to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa. Once a foreign national overstays this 90-day period, however, that individual loses most of their rights including their right to apply for permanent residency (green card).

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