Articles Posted in Immigrants

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 Facebook live stream, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses your frequently asked immigration questions and the impact of the election on immigration. For more information just keep on watching.

https://www.facebook.com/myimmigrationlawyer/videos/10154709922723766/

Overview: 

The topics covered in this immigration live stream include:

  • The possible cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). Can Donald Trump remove the program?
  • Family Unity and the Visa Bulletin
  • Will anything be done to improve processing times for family visas?
  • What are the requirements for the I-601 waiver? Will I qualify?
  • Options for persons in removal and persons fearing deportation
  • What can we expect to happen with the work visa programs?
  • Will there be more restrictions/security presence at the border?
  • Is this a good time to apply for citizenship?
  • Immigration options for undocumented persons married to a U.S. Citizen and who have U.S. Citizen children
  • Increases in filing fees beginning December 23, 2016
  • Will the diversity visa lottery program be cancelled?
  • Will cases that are currently pending with USCIS be negatively affected by a Trump administration?
  • What will be the impact of Sanctuary Cities? Will Sanctuary Cities protected undocumented immigrants?
  • Can the President ban Muslims from the United States?
  • What can you do to make your voice heard and make a difference?
  • Immigration options for entrepreneurs and more!

Like our Facebook page in order to ask your immigration questions during our next live stream.

To learn more about the services we offer please visit our website.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: I am an undocumented immigrant that has been living in the United States for the past 15 years. I have used a different name on all of my legal documentation. How will this affect me if there is immigration reform?

Overview: 

Question: I’ve been living and working in the United States for the past 15 years. I’ve worked using someone else’s security number and I have been paying my taxes, but I don’t have any records or documents with my real name, how is this going to affect me in the future when I try to qualify for immigration reform?

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the most popular visa options for hospitality workers. For more information just keep on watching.

Overview: 

The top visas used by Hotels and Restaurants to bring foreign workers to the United States are the J-1, H-3, H-2B, L-1, E-2, TN, and H-1B visas.  Whether transferring employees between international properties or employing management trainees, immigration is an integral part of the hospitality industry. The appropriate visa type will largely depend upon the foreign worker’s qualifications and the type of position the worker will be occupying.

The J-1 visa is a cultural exchange program between the United States and foreign countries bringing foreign workers to the United States. There are 2 types of J-1 visas. The first category is a trainee J-1 visa. To qualify the trainee must have at least 5 years of experience working in the position or a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with at least 1 year of experience. Workers who come to the United States on a J-1 trainee visa, may work in the United States for a hotel or restaurant for a period of 18 months. The J-1 trainee visa allows the foreign worker to develop their skills, gain experience, and return to their home countries taking those skills with them. The second category is for interns, who are in school in their home country or have recently graduated, and have less than 1 year of experience. Interns may come to the United States for a 1 year period to train in a hotel or restaurant. The work and travel category of the J-1 allows foreign workers to come to the United States for up to 4 months during the summer time. The J-1 visa is generally an easy visa to obtain. It takes approximately 6 weeks for this visa to get approved by the Department of State.

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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 video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses job search tips for foreign workers. This video will teach you how to find a job in the United States as a foreign national, how to present yourself to employers as a foreign national, and what to do and what not to do as a foreign national seeking employment opportunities in the United States.

Overview:

This is an issue that many of our clients and foreign job seekers are facing. Many people come to me asking for my help to get them a visa but the problem is that they have not secured a job in the United States. Many people realize that this is kind of like a Catch 22. If you are a foreign worker without a work visa you are not able to get a job. So if you don’t have a work visa how are you able to find a job?

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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 video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. answers one of your frequently asked questions: I overstayed my visa and I am now married to a U.S. Citizen. Am I eligible for a green card?

Overview: 

I am married to a US Citizen but I came to the United States over 10 years ago, I overstayed my visa. Am I eligible to apply for a green card?

The good news is, even if you have overstayed or worked in the United States illegally,  if you are married to a US Citizen it is possible to legalize and apply for permanent residence. The key to determine your eligibility lies in the manner in which you entered the United States. To be eligible for permanent residence, you must have been inspected by a U.S. Customs Official at a U.S. Port of entry. In other words, you must have entered the United States legally and received an I-94 record of arrival/departure proving that you were inspected upon entry. If all goes well, the immigration officer will waive the overstay and illegal employment, at the time of your marriage interview if you can prove that you were inspected by showing your I-94. Any other grounds of inadmissability such as certain crimes, fraud, or willful misrepresentation may subject you to a bar for a certain period of time. In these circumstances, you will need to obtain a waiver before applying for permanent residence.

For a free consultation please contact our office.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses a new California law called AB-60 enacted in 2015 which grants undocumented immigrants the ability to apply for a California drivers license.

Overview:

Beginning in 2015, the California DMV began issuing AB 60 driver licenses, which are available to California residents regardless of their immigration status. This change became effective on January 1st, 2015.

AB 60 driver’s license can be used for personal identification and gives undocumented immigrants the right to legally drive in California but does not grant any other privileges. An AB 60 driver license looks the same as a regular driver’s license except for one feature. In the right corner, there is a pre-printed notation “Federal Limits Apply”.

If you want to obtain an AB 60 driver license, you need to prove your identity and residency in the State of California, pass the knowledge tests and behind-the-wheel driving exams. In order to apply for AB 60 driver’s license, you need to make an appointment or visit DMV office.

The identification information and residency address you provide when applying for AB 60 driver’s license does not become a public record. Even if you are unlawfully present in the US, the DMV may not disclose this information except when requested by a law enforcement agency as part of an investigation.

You do NOT have to provide a Social Security Number in the AB 60 application. Please do NOT use any SSN number that was not legally assigned to you as it is a federal crime. DMV will check legitimacy of your information and has a right to forward the SSN for verification.

You can find more information here and read our AB 60 frequently asked questions here.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: I have a minor US Citizen child. Can I get a green card?

Overview:

This is a very common question. This question comes to us from a Chinese national who is currently in the United States on an H-1B Visa. This person asks: Can I get a green card based on the fact that I have a minor US Citizen child that was just born in the US?

In this situation because the child is under the age of 21, your child cannot file a petition for permanent residence on your behalf based on the fact that you have a minor child born in the United States. This is a very common misconception. Your child can only file for your immigration benefits once they reach the age of 21. A child must be at least 18 years old in order to petition for immigration benefits for their siblings, and then the sibling must wait for a visa number to become available based on the visa bulletin. You cannot obtain a green card just by having a US Citizen child. If you are in the United States on a visa you must find another way to remain legally in the United States until the US Citizen child reaches the minimum age or find another way to obtain a green card through employment. Parents of US Citizen children, residing in the United States unlawfully, can obtain cancelation of removal for their parents to shield them from deportation/removal proceedings. In this case the child does not need to be 21 years or older.

For more information about this topic please contact our office.

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