Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we discuss a little-known law called LIFE Act 245(i) which allows certain undocumented immigrants to apply for permanent residence.
Want to learn more? Keep on watching.
What is 245(i)?
Section 245(i) is a provision of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE) which allows certain persons, who entered the United States without inspection (unlawfully), or otherwise violated their status, to apply for adjustment of status in the United States, if they pay a $1,000 penalty.
To be eligible, the applicant must have an immigrant visa immediately available. Immigrant visas are immediately available for spouses of U.S. Citizens, unmarried children under 21 years of age of a U.S. Citizen, and parents of U.S. Citizens (if the U.S. Citizen is 21 years of age or older).
Welcome back to Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we cover a very important topic: can people who overstayed their visa or entered illegally, get a work visa or employee sponsorship?
Recently our office met with a client who was in this very predicament. He had the perfect job opportunity from his dream employer and was now interested in knowing how he could obtain a work visa with his employer’s sponsorship. The problem: he entered the country illegally and since entering had no lawful status in the United States.
Here is where we had to deliver the bad news.
The bottom line
A person who has entered illegally or overstayed the duration of their visa, is not eligible to adjust their status to permanent residence. During the employment sponsorship process, the visa applicant must provide information regarding their entry to the United States. Under current immigration law, a person who has entered without inspection cannot adjust their status in the United States, based on employment sponsorship except under one limited exception called 245(i).
What is 245(i)
245(i) is a provision in the law passed under the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act in the year 2000, enabling certain individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States to apply for adjustment of status, despite their unlawful entry.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses recent immigration raids in the state of Mississippi that led to the arrests of 680 undocumented immigrants at several worksite locations across the state.
ICE was able to obtain search warrants prior to the raids, which enabled them to conduct these raids and arrest undocumented workers.
These raids occurred ahead of stricter compliance standards announced by USCIS penalizing employers hiring undocumented workers. These raids come as a sign that USCIS will be getting tougher on employers, and on employees working unlawfully in the United States.
What will happen to the employees that were arrested?
These individuals will be questioned to determine whether they are undocumented and whether they are working in the United States illegally. If an individual is determined to be in the United States illegally then that individual will go through the normal process of being removed from the United States.
What’s the difference between someone who is undocumented in the United States and someone who is here illegally?
What does it mean to be “undocumented”?
When someone is in the United States “undocumented,” that means that the person entered the United States without inspection (without the proper documentation), and as a result are currently living in the United States without the proper documentation, hence the term “undocumented.”
What does it mean to be in the U.S. “illegally”?
On the other hand, someone who came to the United States on a valid visa (such as a student visa, tourist visa, etc.) and then lost their status, either because they did not renew their visa, or their visa expired, or for some other reason, are in the United States “illegally.” These individuals were legally in the United States at some point but are now in the United States “illegally” because they are now out of status. This is also referred to as a visa overstay. That is because the individual has now stayed in the United States past the time authorized by their initial visa.
In both cases, the individual is in the United States without authorization because they do not have the proper visa.
Path to Residency
A person who is “undocumented” meaning that they entered the United States without proper inspection, cannot adjust their status to permanent residency so easily even where married to a U.S. Citizen. Undocumented parties married to U.S. Citizens must file a waiver of inadmissibility and in some cases will have to leave the United States before applying for residency.
By contrast, a person who entered the United States with proper inspection, but who is now in the United States illegally because of an overstay, can apply for permanent residency more easily, where married to a U.S. Citizen. These individuals do not have to leave the United States before applying for residency.
The key difference between the two is in whether the person entered the country with inspection. If you entered without inspection, you would be undocumented. If you entered with inspection, but have overstayed your visa, you are in the country illegally.
If you have questions about relating to your status and legalization, please contact us.
In this video, we touch on a very common question: what are the possibilities of changing your status after a visa overstay?
If a person comes to the United States on a visa, whether it is a tourist visa or a student visa, there is a duration of stay that is attached to the visa. To determine the amount of time you are allowed to remain in the United States you must obtain your I-94 arrival/departure record from the CBP website.
If you entered the United States on a tourist visa you can typically stay for up to six months, and you can extend your stay for another six months. During your initial authorized stay, you may change your status to another category such as a student or investor visa. Once you have overstayed and essentially lost your legal status, it is very difficult to change to another legal status.
In this post, attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks all about the state of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and what you should know as a recipient of DACA.
In September of 2017 the Trump administration announced that it would be ending the DACA program, which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke on behalf of the administration and said that USCIS would not accept new requests for DACA but would allow DACA recipients with work permits expiring between September 2017 and March 5, 2018 to apply for a final 2-year renewal of their status including employment authorization.
This announcement put considerable pressure on Congress to pass legislation before March 5, 2018 to protect Dreamers from deportation.
In this post, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses what the President’s March 5th deadline means for DACA recipients and what DACA holders should expect within the coming months. The President while rescinding the DACA program, had given Congress until March 5 to pass legislation creating a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Congress however failed to deliver on their promise, and Senators are continuing their negotiations to reach a bipartisan deal on immigration that would allow Dreamers to apply for permanent residency after fulfilling several criteria.
By court order, individuals whose DACA benefits expire on or after September 5, 2016 may apply for a renewal of their status. In addition, individuals whose DACA benefits expired before September 5, 2016 or whose DACA benefits were previously terminated at any time, may file a new initial DACA request following the Form I-821D and Form I-765 instructions.
It is estimated that approximately 668,000 immigrants have been issued work permits under DACA that will expire March 5th or later, however these individuals may seek a renewal of their status as previously mentioned, and continue working and remaining in the United States for an additional 2 years without fear of deportation.
For more information on the future of DACA please click here.
En este video, el abogado Jacob Sapochnick habla sobre la detencion de nuestro cliente Orr Yakobi, quien fue detenido tras tomar la autopista equivocada, que lo dirigio hacia Mexico donde oficiales de la aduana y proteccion de fronteras lo detuvieron despues de tratar de entrar de nuevo a los Estados Unidos. Yakobi es un estudiante de la Universidad de California en San Diego y es uno de los 700,000 “Dreamers” viviendo en los Estados Unidos bajo la proteccion de el programa. Nuestra oficina logro liberarlo despues de estar detenido por cinco dias gracias a nuestra comunidad, los medios de comunicacion, y con el apoyo de miembros de el Congreso. Es nuestro orgullo proteger y defender a Dreamers como Orr Yakobi.
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In this video attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses his thoughts on President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress which took place February 2017, and the prospects for immigration reform going forward. Click the video below to listen in.
Trump's speech to Congress: Hints on Immigration Reform
While President Trump intends on staying tough on immigration, he outlined that he is open to working with Congress to reform the current immigration laws, and possibly expanding immigration options for highly skilled workers. We must remember that Trump still has four years ahead of him, so it is too early to understand his plans and what the future of immigration may look like. At the moment, it looks like the President’s main priority will be to secure the border. At a later time we may see the President soften his tone on immigration, and possibly introduce a proposal for immigration reform.
One thing is for sure, the Trump administration is treating overstays and unlawful presence in a much different way than the Obama administration dealt with these issues. Going forward we can expect consular visa applicants to experience delays in the issuance of their visas, especially applicants from territories controlled by the Islamic state. Under this administration, we are seeing that people who were not priorities for deportation under the Obama administration, are now being targeted and removed from the United States for minor convictions. If do not have lawful immigration status or have overstayed your visa it is important for you to know the consequences of remaining in the United States unlawfully. Make sure that you come up with a plan in case of an immigration raid.
Remember that if you have any questions please contact our office or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attorney Charles Ward has been a long time attorney at the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Charles received his Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Southern Methodist University graduating Cum Laude. He has been a California licensed attorney since 1997 and is also licensed to practice before the Federal Court system. His area of expertise includes Immigration and Family Law. Charles Ward is a stand-out member of our team and is known for his professionalism, compassion, infectious laughter, and colorful personality.
At the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick Charles handles cases that are in removal proceedings, including Asylum, Adjustment of Status, and Voluntary Departure. Mr. Ward also helps clients prepare for courtroom hearings, trials, green card interviews, fraud interviews, citizenship interviews, and much more. Mr. Ward is an active member of the San Diego County Bar Association and served as President of the “Small Firms & Solo Practitioners” section.
Outside of the office, Charles enjoys swimming in the ocean, hiking, traveling, and going to sporting events.
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