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When Can Immigrants Qualify for Refugee Status or Asylum Protections?

 Posted on February 18, 2022 in Immigration

Orlando immigration asylum attorneyThere are many reasons why people around the world may need to flee their home countries and determine how they and their families will be able to live where they will be safe from harm. Civil wars, political upheaval, criminal activity, natural disasters, and other emergencies may force people to seek safety elsewhere, including by immigrating to the United States. In these situations, people may be able to receive refugee or asylum protections, even if they would not otherwise qualify for immigration. By understanding when these types of protections are available, those who are looking to escape dangerous situations and begin a new life in a safe country can take steps to apply for and maintain a lawful status in the U.S.

Who Is Considered a Refugee?

People who are currently outside of the United States may apply for entry into the country as refugees if they meet certain qualifications. Section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines a refugee as someone who has left their home country or the country where they most recently resided and are unable or unwilling to return to that country. A person’s reasons for their reluctance to return to their home country must be based on fear of persecution, and they will need to provide evidence that they have experienced persecution or are likely to experience persecution because of a protected status. These statuses may include their race, nationality, or religion, or because they are a member of a certain group, such as a political party or social group. A person may be disqualified from receiving refugee status if they have engaged in the persecution of others, including inciting violence, ordering reprisals, or assisting in actions against people based on their protected status.

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3 Tips for Immigrants When Interacting With an ICE Agent

 Posted on February 03, 2022 in Immigration

Florida immigration lawyerIn the course of immigrating to the United States, there is a strong likelihood of interacting with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent. For a lot of people, talking with a law enforcement officer can be a stressful and nerve-wracking experience. For an immigrant transitioning to life in the U.S., an encounter with an ICE agent can be particularly daunting, and many people may worry about the risks of deportation.

If you or a family member ever need to speak to an ICE agent for any reason, here are a few tips to remember to make these interactions go smoothly:

  1. Be Professional and Polite: The men and women of ICE are law enforcement personnel who have to follow set guidelines, the legal code, and a strict code of ethics. Part of this code of ethics is a standard of politeness, so when interacting with ICE, it is essential to be polite as well. Do this by remembering that most of your interactions with an ICE agent will be routine. This means that if an ICE agent approaches you to talk, it most likely is not because he or she suspects you of any wrongdoing. However, if you have a hostile or uncooperative attitude, this may cause the agent to become suspicious. Many misunderstandings can be avoided by simply being polite and kind to the officer.

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Helpful Tips for Obtaining a U.S. Visa for Your Spouse

 Posted on January 27, 2022 in Immigration

Orlando immigration attorneysObtaining an Immediate Relative (IR) visa for your foreign spouse can be a challenging process. Typically, the waiting time to receive an IR visa is very short, but there is the potential for something to go wrong. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) scrutinizes every spousal application, requiring both partners to provide a great deal of personal information. If the application or documents are not filled out correctly, this can put the visa application and your future happiness in jeopardy. To avoid any bumps in your road to marital bliss, be sure to follow these straightforward tips:

1. Provide Clear Proof That Your Marriage Is Legitimate

Unfortunately, foreign nationals sometimes do use marriage as a pretense to gain entry to the United States. As such, the U.S. State Department sets a high standard for documents that authenticate your marriage. Among the most trusted documents to use as validation of your wedding is an official marriage certificate from the United States, Canada, the Commonwealth of countries that are former territories of the British Empire, or the European Union. Many couples, if they are married in a foreign country, will get a marriage license in the United States before beginning the application process for the visa.

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When Can Immigrants Receive Protection Under the Violence Against Women Act?

 Posted on January 17, 2022 in Immigration

Orlando VAWA petition lawyersForeign citizens who live in the United States may face a number of different situations that can affect their legal status, and they may be concerned about the possibility of deportation. Because of this, some victims of abuse may be reluctant to come forward and report these issues to law enforcement. However, those who have suffered abuse may have options that will allow them to avoid deportation and maintain legal status in the United States. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides protections in these cases, and it may allow victims to receive Green Cards and ensure that they will not be required to leave the U.S.

Who Qualifies for VAWA Protections?

While the title of the Violence Against Women Act indicates that this law applies to women, it also provides protections for anyone who has suffered abuse, including men, children, or people who are transgender or non-binary. A person may apply for a Green Card through VAWA if they were abused by a spouse, parent, or child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

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How Can an Immigrant Obtain a Bond to Be Released From Detention?

 Posted on December 30, 2021 in Immigration

Orlando detention bond lawyerPeople who have immigrated to the United States may be concerned about the possibility of deportation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may detain an immigrant for a variety of reasons, including a belief that a person has violated immigration laws, entered the U.S. without authorization, stayed after the expiration of a visa, or committed certain types of criminal offenses. In these situations, a person will usually want to be released from detention while their case is ongoing, and this will allow them to return to their home and maintain employment. In many cases, an immigrant will need to pay an immigration bond, and they will need to attend a detention bond hearing to determine whether they are eligible for this type of bond and set the amount that will need to be paid before they can be released.

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Who Can Receive Waivers of Inadmissibility for Temporary Protected Status?

 Posted on December 15, 2021 in Immigration

Orlando immigration attorneysForeign citizens who are looking to come to the United States or who are already in the U.S. may sometimes need to deal with issues related to inadmissibility. Immigration officials may determine that a person is inadmissible because of issues such as health concerns, failure to meet vaccination requirements, previous criminal convictions, the likelihood that they will rely on public assistance, fraud or misrepresentation during the immigration process, or previous deportations or unlawful presence in the United States. In some cases, a person may qualify for waivers of inadmissibility. One reason why a waiver may be granted is qualification for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

What Is Temporary Protected Status?

Conditions in a person’s home country may affect their ability to return to the country safely. The Department of Homeland Security may choose to designate certain countries for Temporary Protected Status because of conditions that would cause a person to be unsafe when returning to the country or because the country is temporarily unable to handle an increase in population. Some common reasons for TPS designations include civil wars or other armed conflicts, natural disasters, or extraordinary issues that affect people’s health and safety.

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What Is the Current Status of the DACA Program?

 Posted on November 24, 2021 in Immigration

Orlando immigration lawyersIn many cases, immigrants who came to the United States as children are left in a state of legal limbo. While these immigrants may be undocumented, they may have lived in the U.S. for the majority of their lives without maintaining ties to their country of origin. A potential deportation could cause a great deal of difficulty for these immigrants and their families, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created to address this issue. However, the status of this program has changed recently, and additional changes may be made in the future.

Status of New DACA Applications and Renewals in 2021

A ruling by a federal judge in July of 2021 has affected the processing of DACA applications. The judge ruled that the DACA program is illegal for multiple reasons, including the implementation of the program by the Obama administration without prior notification that would allow members of the public to provide comments. Due to this ruling, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot grant new DACA requests, but it may issue renewals for those who had previously received DACA protections. 

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When Can U Visas Provide Immigration Relief for Crime Victims?

 Posted on November 05, 2021 in Immigration

Orlando U visa attorneysImmigrants in the United States who have been the victims of crimes will sometimes struggle to leave a dangerous situation. A person may be concerned about their immigration status, and they may worry that if they come forward and report a crime to law enforcement officials, they could face deportation. However, crime victims may be able to qualify for U visas that will allow them to be protected from deportation and continue living in the United States. Immigrants can work with an experienced attorney to ensure they meet all requirements for these types of visas, and they also may be able to take steps to receive a Green Card that will provide them with permanent resident status.

Eligibility for U Visas

Victims of certain types of crimes may be able to receive U visas that provide them with nonimmigrant status. Qualifying crimes include domestic violence, sexual assault, prostitution, kidnapping, stalking, extortion, and felony assault. A victim must be able to provide information about criminal activity that has affected them, and they must be willing to cooperate with law enforcement officials and assist with the detection or investigation of a crime or the prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of a criminal offender.

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Can I Be Deported Because of an Expired Green Card?

 Posted on October 26, 2021 in Immigration

Orlando Green Card lawyersFor foreign citizens who wish to live in the United States, a Green Card is essential. This form of identification shows that a person is a lawful permanent resident, allowing them to live in the U.S., obtain employment, travel freely, and be protected from deportation. However, most Green Cards expire 10 years after they are issued, and immigrants may be concerned about the consequences they may face if they do not complete the renewal process. 

Fortunately, a person’s lawful permanent resident status will not be affected by the expiration of a Green Card in most cases. However, if a person has conditional permanent resident status after entering the United States on a fiancé visa, they will need to file a petition to remove the conditions on residence (Form I-751). Failure to do so may result in a person’s conditional residence status being revoked, which could lead to deportation. 

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How Do Crimes of Moral Turpitude Affect Immigration Cases?

 Posted on October 08, 2021 in Immigration

orlando immigration lawyersImmigrants who wish to come to the United States or those who are currently living in the U.S. will want to understand the potential issues that could affect their immigration status, including factors that could make them inadmissible or lead to deportation. Criminal convictions are one issue that can play a role in immigration cases, including convictions of “crimes involving moral turpitude.” By understanding the types of crimes that fall into this category, immigrants can be prepared to address these matters correctly.

What Is a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude?

While the U.S. immigration laws state that a person is inadmissible to the United States if they have been convicted of one or more crimes involving moral turpitude (also known as CIMTs), the specific offenses that fall into this category are not specified. However, courts have interpreted this law as referring to any types of offenses involving actions that are shocking, vile, or depraved. These crimes may include offenses such as:

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