Articles Posted in Denials

In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick touches upon an important debate in immigration law, is it better to keep your green card or apply for U.S. Citizenship once you are eligible to do so?

This video will explain the types of circumstances in which an individual may prefer to maintain his or her green card and opt out of becoming a U.S. Citizen.

To learn more about this important topic, please keep watching.


Overview


Differences between U.S. Citizenship versus Permanent Residence


U.S. Citizenship


Applying for U.S. Citizenship leads to a variety of legal rights and privileges that are not available to permanent residents (green card holders). For some, these benefits are a compelling reason to apply for citizenship to have access to the wide variety of opportunities that are only available to naturalized citizens.

Some of these benefits include but are not limited to:

  1. Having the Right to Vote in state and federal elections
  2. Applying to federal jobs that are only available to U.S. Citizens such as law enforcement positions, and occupations that require a high security clearance such as working in the defense industry or for the U.S. military
  3. Sponsorship of Family Members: U.S. Citizens can petition to immigrate their immediate relatives to the United States without being subject to the numerical limitations of the Visa Bulletin. Permanent residents on the other hand may only petition for certain relatives and such applications are subject to numerical limitations.
  4. International Travel Benefits: U.S. Citizens may also engage in international travel without having to worry about placing their legal status in jeopardy. Unlike citizens, permanent residents must maintain continuous residence and physical presence in the United States, or risk losing their immigration status
  5. Criminal Offenses: Certain criminal offenses can lead to the deportation of a green card holder as well as other serious issues including being permanently barred from entering the U.S. that do not affect U.S. Citizens in the same manner.

Continue reading

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a very important topic in immigration law: How can E2 treaty investors avoid application denials?

Many E2 investors looking to start their businesses in the United States frequently ask, what is the minimum amount of investment that is satisfactory to the immigration authorities for the E2 treaty investor program, and how can I maximize my chances of success?

If this topic interests you, please keep on watching our video.


Overview


Minimum Investment Amounts

One of the most common reasons for an E2 visa denial is where the applicant fails to demonstrate that they have made a “substantial” investment in their business venture.

A substantial investment is defined as one that is:

  • Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one
  • Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise
  • Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.

Continue reading

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the top 5 reasons a U.S. immigrant may be subject to deportation in the year 2024 and how to avoid falling into these circumstances.

If you would like to know more about this topic, we invite you to watch our video.


Overview


There are several reasons that may lead immigration to start the process of deporting an immigrant from the United States to their country of origin. Removal may occur because of certain actions undertaken by the foreign national that violate the immigration laws of the United States.

One of the most common scenarios is where the foreign national did not have the right to be in the United States in the first place. But this is not the only reason a person may be subject to deportation. Other reasons may include crossing the border illegally or even overstaying a U.S. visa beyond your authorized period of stay.

Here we discuss the top 5 most common reasons that may lead to deportation.

Continue reading

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses different avenues that an employer may wish to take if their employee’s PERM labor certification has been denied by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). For those who are unaware, the PERM labor certification process allows a U.S. employer to sponsor a foreign worker’s green card so that they can live and work permanently in the United States. PERM is the first step the U.S. employer must take before they can file the foreign worker’s immigration petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also known as Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

But what happens when the employer’s PERM labor certification application is denied by the Department of Labor? We discuss all that and more right here on this video.


Overview


The denial of a PERM labor certification application can be frustrating because employers and foreign workers invest a great deal of time and expense to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

There are generally three steps involved in the process of obtaining permanent residence through an employer:

  1. The U.S. employer must file a labor certification application with the U.S. Department of Labor. This requires the employer to prove that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job being offered in the area of intended employment. This is proven by going through a recruitment process where the employer places multiple advertisements for the position. The employer must also show that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
  2. Once a permanent labor certification application has been approved by the DOL, the employer will need to file Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with USCIS on behalf of the foreign worker.
  3. Upon approval of Form I-140, the applicant can proceed with applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence with USCIS. In some instances, the I-140 and I-485 can be filed concurrently.

Continue reading

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers one of your frequently asked questions: Can undocumented immigrants open their own business in the United States?

If you would like to know more about this topic, please keep on watching!


Overview


This is one of the most widely misunderstood topics of discussion in immigration. The answer is yes, any person whether documented or undocumented can start a business in the United States.

Individuals can form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or any other corporate structure irrespective of their legal status in the United States. This is because the LLC or corporate entity is a separate entity from the individual. The LLC can obtain an Employer Identification Number, also known as an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the purpose of tax administration. To obtain an EIN, the principal business must be located in the United States or U.S. territories, and the member applying for the EIN must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number, such as a Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or EIN.

However, if you are employed by the LLC or corporate entity without lawful authorization to work in the United States, you will be in violation of the law, however the business registration in and of itself is legal.

Continue reading

 

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick addresses a very important topic, what can you do if your N-400 application for naturalization has been denied?

To help you navigate this situation, in this video we discuss all the options you should consider moving forward. If you would like to know more about this important topic, please keep on watching.

Did you know? Over the last few months, more and more N-400 naturalization applicants have been wrongfully denied following the N-400 naturalization interview. It is important to understand the common pitfalls of N-400 naturalization applicants so you can avoid them in the future and ensure your success.


Overview


What are some common reasons for N-400 denials?

There are numerous different reasons why N-400 applications for naturalization may be denied.

Some denials occur simply because the applicant provided incomplete or deficient information requested on the N-400 application for naturalization. For instance, the Form N-400 requires applicants to provide detailed information about all places of residence, work, and school history, during the last 5 years.

Failure to provide complete and accurate information in these sections can be a cause for denial following the N-400 interview.

As an example, John Doe came to our office seeking consultation after the denial of his N-400 application. Upon closer review of his denial notice, we discovered that John failed to provide his complete residential history during the past 5 years. The immigration officer that interviewed John knew about the deficiencies in John’s residential history, because residential addresses that he previously provided to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on his green card applications did not appear on his N-400 application. Rather than give John the opportunity to cure these deficiencies, the immigration officer denied the N-400 application and applied immigration bars for fraud and misrepresentation. The N-400 was denied based on John’s failure to establish good moral character (a requirement of the N-400 application) due to the omissions in his application.

Other denials may occur based on an immigration officer’s review of the applicant’s past immigration and criminal history, leading to a denial.

Continue reading

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers one of your frequently asked questions: How long does it take to get U.S. Citizenship after sending your application to USCIS? What are the actual steps involved in applying for citizenship?

Keep on watching to find out more.


Overview


How long does it take to get U.S. Citizenship these days?

The current processing time from start to finish to obtain U.S. Citizenship is over 12 months. The process begins with the filing of the N-400 Application for Naturalization with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with all of the necessary supporting documentation and ends with the mailing of the Oath Ceremony notice that contains the date, time, and location where the applicant must appear for his or her naturalization ceremony, following approval of the application at the in-person interview which takes place at a USCIS field office.


Why the delays?


As our readers will know, the Coronavirus pandemic and ongoing USCIS backlogs have greatly increased the processing times for nearly all types of applications filed with the agency, and the N-400 Application for Naturalization is no exception. The lengthy processing time also largely depends on the number of applications being scheduled for interviews at your local USCIS office. Certain local offices are experiencing much higher workloads than others, which can result in longer processing times in comparison to field offices in smaller cities. Unfortunately, these backlogs are set to continue through at least 2023.


What are the steps to apply for U.S. Citizenship?


STEP ONE: Filing and preparing the Form N-400 Application for Naturalization

The first step involved in the naturalization process is filing and preparing Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization, and including all the necessary supporting documentation with the application. This form is taking about 1 year to be processed by USCIS.

TIP: If you are a self-filer, be sure to carefully read the N-400 form instructions and ensure that you have provided accurate responses and completed the form correctly. Failure to ensure the proper completion of the form can result in delays, or serious immigration consequences. In addition, self-filers must ensure that they have sent the appropriate filing fees and have mailed the application to the proper address.

Continue reading

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the top five reasons K-1 visas are denied and what you can do to avoid these common pitfalls.

Want to know more? Keep on watching for more information


Overview


Imagine this, you have just finished your K-1 visa interview and the Consular officer hands you a letter stating your K-1 visa has been refused. You leave the interview asking yourself, what do I do now?

The good news is you’re not alone. In the majority of cases, applicants may cure any defects in their applications and continue with visa processing. However, it is important to know the application process ahead of time to avoid finding yourself in this situation.


Top Reasons for K-1 Visa Denial  


#1: Not having enough evidence of bona fide relationship

The most common reason for K-1 visa denial is where the couple does not provide enough evidence of a bona fide relationship.

A bona fide relationship is one that was entered in good faith and not with an intention to deceive. A fiancé visa applicant does not have a bona fide marriage if he or she entered the marriage solely to receive an immigration benefit from USCIS. Immigration officers are trained to identify fraudulent or “sham” marriages where either party or both parties have entered the marriage simply for the green card applicant to obtain his or her permanent residence in the United States, without any sincere intention to live together in the same household or form a marital bond.  Immigration officers search for inconsistencies in any answers provided by either party to the marriage, and carefully scrutinize supporting documentation provided by the couple with the initial I-129F filing.

Continue reading

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers a hot topic that has been frequently asked by our followers: what are the top reasons for CR/IR-1 immigrant visa denials and what can you do about it.

Want to know more? Keep on watching for more information.


Overview


What is a CR-1/IR-1 visa?

A CR-1 or IR-1 visa is an immigrant visa for a spouse of a United States Citizen who is residing abroad. The term “CR” in CR-1 stands for “conditional resident” and is issued to foreign spouses who have been married for less than 2 years. By contrast the term “IR” in IR-1 stands for “immediate relative” and is issued to foreign spouses who have been married for more than 2 years. Those who receive a CR-1 visa will eventually receive a 2-year conditional green card after entering the United States, while those who receive an IR-1 visa will receive a 10-year green card (without condition).

The first step to apply for a CR-1/IR-1 visa is for the U.S. Citizen spouse to file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the foreign spouse. This petition initiates the immigration process to the United States. Once Form I-130 is approved by USCIS, the petition is transferred to the National Visa Center for pre-processing. At the National Visa Center stage, the applicant must complete the immigrant visa application and provide civil documentation. After sending all required documents to the National Visa Center, the NVC will forward the case to the U.S. Embassy near the foreign spouse and the applicant will wait to be scheduled for an Embassy interview. The Embassy interview is often a make it or break moment for couples who must prove that they have a “bona fide” marriage to be approved for their visa.


What are the top reasons for CR/IR-1 denials?


#1 Not meeting the income requirement for the affidavit of support

The number one reason for spousal visa denials is failing to meet the income requirement for the affidavit of support. As part of the spousal visa application process, the U.S. Citizen spouse must sign the I-864 Affidavit of Support, which is a legally enforceable contract between the U.S. Citizen and the government wherein the U.S. Citizen must sign under penalty of perjury that they have the adequate means to financial support the alien and the alien will not rely on the U.S. government for financial support.

What is the income requirement?

The minimum amount that the U.S. Citizen must make depends on his or her household size. In general, petitioners must make at least 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. However, exceptions exist for petitioners who are on active duty in the U.S. armed forces. Petitioners who do not satisfy the income requirement must apply with a joint sponsor, who must also sign a separate I-864 Affidavit of Support and provide evidence of financial ability. If the petitioner and joint sponsor do not qualify, the spousal visa application will be denied.

To prevent this situation from happening petitioners must make sure well in advance of filing the I-130 application, that they either meet the income requirement, or that they can obtain a joint sponsor who is willing and able to sign the affidavit of support and provide the necessary documentation.

Continue reading

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a frequently asked question: can someone who is in the process of getting divorced overseas re-marry in the United States before that divorce is final?

Overview:

In many foreign countries the process of getting divorced is a very long and tedious process with many divorces taking many years to come to a final conclusion.

Many clients are left wondering whether they can lawfully re-marry in the United States while their divorce process is pending overseas, so that they can move on with their lives and apply for adjustment of status based on their marriage in the United States.

Unfortunately, you may not lawfully re-marry in the United States until all prior marriages have been terminated. A prior marriage is terminated when divorce proceedings come to a conclusion. A prior marriage is terminated by a government order or decree of dissolution of marriage issued by the appropriate authority in the country where your divorce proceedings took place. If you have not received a final order or decree of dissolution from such an authority, your prior marriage has not been terminated.

Filing a petition for adjustment of status while you remain married to someone else, even in a foreign country, carries with it very serious legal consequences.

Continue reading