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 the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we discuss whether you can file an application to extend your stay on a tourist visa if you have overstayed.
Disclaimer: We do not recommend overstaying your duration of stay on any visa classification, because serious immigration consequences could result. However, this post discusses the options you may have, if you find yourself in the precarious situation where you have already overstayed, and you have a good faith reason for having overstayed.
Typically a person is given up to a 6-month period to remain in the United States on a tourist visa. At the end of those 6 months, the foreign national must depart the United States. The question is: are there any special circumstances in which a person may be allowed to extend their stay, where they have overstayed their visa?
In this case, the person stayed past the 6-month period of time allowed in the United States, and did not depart the United States. However, the person had a good faith reason for remaining in the United States. Toward the end of their stay, the individual had just given birth in the United States, and unfortunately some medical complications occurred that kept the individual in the United States past the 6-months authorized by their tourist visa. Because of these complications, the individual could not fly outside of the United States.
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.
The Trump administration recently announced new rules for expedited removal, the process of apprehending undocumented immigrants and removing them from the United States, without the opportunity to see a judge or attend an immigration hearing.
What is Expedited Removal?
Expedited removal refers to the fast track process of deporting an undocumented immigrant from the United States without an immigration hearing. This fast track removal process has been in effect since July 23, 2019.
Prior to this date, individuals apprehended within 100-miles of a U.S. border, present in the United States for less than 14 days, were not entitled to an immigration hearing prior to removal from the United States.
Under the new rules, a person who is unlawfully present anywhere in the U.S., for a period of less than 2 years, can be placed under expedited removal. If you have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 2 years, then you must provide documentary evidence of your physical presence during that time to avoid expedited removal.
Expedited removal is part of a larger effort to deter illegal immigration and prevent American employers from hiring undocumented immigrants.
For more information about expedited removal please click here.
Don’t forget to download our free e-book, the Five Ways to Get a Green Card in the United Stateshere.
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.
The San Diego Immigration Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick welcomes you. Our immigration practice is committed exclusively to the areas of immigration and citizenship law. We have big firm expertise in these specialties, but strive to deliver personalized client services at an economical cost.
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Recently the President of the United States controversially announced that he could end birthright citizenship by executive order.
What is birthright citizenship? The 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to all persons born in the United States. This right to citizenship is referred to as “birthright citizenship.” Such a right is granted to an individual born in the United States, irrespective of their parent’s immigration status in the United States.
Unsurprisingly, the President made the suggestion that he could do away with birthright citizenship, ahead of the midterm elections in the United States. The timing of the President’s statement shows that the message was politically motivated.
Does the President have the power to end birthright citizenship? The President cannot end birthright citizenship by executive order. The President’s message was made simply to incite fear in the non-citizen population, and to solidify the President’s support from his conservative base, who believe that “anchor babies,” a derogatory term used to refer to children born in the United States to non-citizen parents, should not be entitled to United States citizenship.
The President is likely aware that he, of course, does not have the power to end birthright citizenship by executive order, and made such a statement to deliberately deceive his base, and create confusion.
This is very troubling, given the state of our current political climate. If the President ever signed such an executive order, it would undoubtedly be met with fierce opposition in court.
In this video we cover a new USCIS policy that can have devastating consequences on students who overstay their duration of stay in the United States, or otherwise violate their status. This new policy will change the way F-1, J-1, and M students, accrue unlawful presence in the United States, for visa holders have violated the terms of their visa by not attending school or engaging in unauthorized employment.
In the year 1996 Congress passed legislation that previously governed how an individual on a non-immigrant visa type such as an F-1 visa, could accrue unlawful presence. Pursuant to this legislation, visa holders who overstayed for more than 180 days, could be subject to a 3-year bar, while visa holders who overstayed for more than one year, could be subject to a 10-year bar.
Typically, individuals who travel to the United States on a non-immigrant visa type receive an I-94 arrival/departure record and a stamp in their passport indicating the length of their authorized stay in the United States. Failure to abide by the duration of stay results in an immigration violation of the terms and conditions of a non-immigrant visa type.
F, J, and M students are unique in that these individuals do not receive a definitive length of stay within the United States, and instead are issued an I-20 (for F students) or DS-2019 (for J students) that denotes their authorized stay as “D/S” or “Duration of Stay,” meaning that the individual’s stay within the United States is not confined by any particular date, but instead depends upon the conclusion of that individual’s program of study or authorized employment.
While students on an F-1 visa type could violate their status by failing to go to school, they could not accrue unlawful presence within the United States because of the D/S designation. This class of individuals could only accrue unlawful status at the time of being apprehension by an immigration official or by court judgment.