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Washington, DC Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

USCIS Increases Validity of Work Permits to two years!

Effective October 5, 2016, USCIS has increased the validity period for initial or renewal Employment Authorization Documents for asylum applicants from one year to two years. Applicants with pending asylum claims file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, under category (c)(8). This change applies to all (c)(8)-based applications that are pending as of October 5, 2016 and all such applications filed on or after October 5, 2016.

Working Together to Reduce U.S. Crime - The U Visa & How it Works

This brief blog article is a quick reference to help explain the U visa. Often our clients overlook crimes which qualify for U visa consideration. Both mental and physical harm suffered by a victim of crime is serious, and grounds for U visa eligibility. The goal of the U visa is for victims of crime to assist or cooperate in the investigation or prosecution of crimes in the United States.

If you or someone you know has experienced any of the below crimes while residing in the United States it is important to contact qualified legal authorities through U.S. immigration legal counsel:

Emergency Travel Abroad for Non-Permanent Residents Who Entered Illegally Without Inspection

I entered the country without inspection, and I have an emergency back home - Is there any way I can travel?

The answer is, it depends. If you are currently in TPS status or have received DACA authorization, emergency travel is possible.

Frequently, emergency travel situations arise for our non-U.S. resident clients who have Temporary Protection Status ("TPS") or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA"). If you or your family member have an emergency back home, it is important to know that travel is indeed possible.

Well Deserved! Department of State & Department of Homeland Security Continue to Simply Family Life for Armed Force Service Members Abroad

Our U.S. Armed Force, who serve abroad in active duty, have unique hardships surrounding their home and family life not faced by the general civil population. The good news is that the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS")-USCIS has been trending over the past few years towards simplifying and updating the Federal Regulation laws to eliminate unnecessary hardship for U.S. Military service members and their family.

To Be or Not to Be U.S. President - That is the Question for Naturalized U.S. Citizens

So, as it turns out Donald Trump was actually right! Ted Cruz was not born in the United States, yet he is qualified and eligible to run for U.S. President without issue (presuming no valid political-legal challenge). Does this mean that all non-U.S. born naturalized citizens from Canada, or any other country should announce their candidacy for the U.S. President today? In short, the answer is...it depends.

Latest Update on Obama's Stayed Executive Order - DACA and DAPA

Good News, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari (i.e. permission for the case to be heard in court) in the case of United States v. Texas. We anxiously await when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this case, and pray that the Justices will be guided to a fair and just decision on behalf of the thousands of "refugee" children and families which have flooded the U.S. and fled their home countries in search of safety and peace. The issues present a delicate balance regarding the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents and Residents (DAPA), and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The U.S. Justices are charged with determining whether President Obama overstepped his executive powers of his Office in not considering the rights of U.S. Citizens and those who entered the country legally. We all stand by and watch closely.

Is the New & Old Job an Identical Match? - Tip(s) That Will Make or Break the PERM Labor Certification and I-140 Portability Process

This blog tip is being posted to assist U.S. Employers and foreign nationals avoid the harsh consequences of failing to understand the key principle discussed below. The Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") through AC21 allows for foreign national employees who have a PERM Labor Certification and/or I-140 filed on their behalf to change employers without losing their respective priority date with the Department of State ("DOS"). The visa bulletin, issued monthly by DOS, allows foreign national applicants who are being sponsored by a U.S. employer to know when they are eligible to become a U.S. Permanent Resident.

Pause Please! Have You Considered the J-1? When Work Visas are for a Mutually Beneficial Goal

Pause..Wait! Attention Foreign national professionals and U.S. Employers. Before you give up on Foreign Visa work options, have you considered the J-1 visa?

Many employers and foreign professionals believe that an H-1B visa is the only visa available to temporarily hire foreign professionals to fill a niche or specialty position within a U.S. organization/company. However, where there is an 'exchange' and mutual benefit to a foreign national and the foreign national's country a J-1 visa should be strongly considered as it confers the ability to work in the United States.

Washington D.C. -Virginia Asylum Office (ZAR) Faster Application Times Now an Option for Affirmative Asylum Cases

There is good news Washington! The Washington D.C. Affirmative Asylum Office (ZAR), due to severe backlogs, has been taking years to interview and process asylum applications for those who have submitted an I-589. In efforts to reduce wait times, the asylum office now offers options for faster expedited processing in certain cases:

1) Emergent Circumstance.

If you or your family have a medical emergency or can demonstrate extreme hardship you may complete a special application process and request an expedited date for your affirmative asylum interview/hearing.

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