Archive for the ‘Family Based’ Category

New Streamlined Procedures for Applying for Unlawful Presence Waivers

While the debate for comprehensive immigration reform heats up, USCIS has made small changes that have actually made things better for aspiring immigrants, instead of worse. First, there was DACA, which seems to be a success. Prosecutorial Discretion has been extremely helpful as well. As of March 30, 2013, USCIS has implemented a new streamlined […]

A Young Man’s Story About Being an Illegal Alien (With a Happy Ending)

One of the things I like about being an immigration lawyer is that I get a chance to make a difference in other people’s lives.  It sounds corny, but there is great satisfaction in knowing that you helped another human being achieve their dreams. I am always happy to hear from old clients, if only […]

Special Rules Cancellation of Removal for Battered Spouses Available to Permanent Residents

Matter of A–M– (BIA 2009) In this case, the Board of Immigration Appeals considered the question of whether or not a lawful permanent resident is eligible to apply for special rule cancellation of removal for battered spouses.  There are certain aspects of U.S. immigration law which are purely driven by humanitarian considerations.  One of these […]

Stepchild Qualifies As Relative for Purposes of Cancellation of Removal

Matter of Portillo-Gutierrez (BIA 2009) The Board of Immigration Appeals ruled that a stepchild meets the definition of a child for purposes of qualifying for cancellation of removal.  This should come as a relief to many persons who are now in the country unlawfully, because cancellation of removal is one of the few avenues for […]

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Eligibility for “Grandfathering” of 245(i) Benefits for Spouses

Landin-Molina v. Holder (9th Cir. 2009) Before 1952, the general rule in immigration law was that one had to be outside the United States in order to be eligible to receive an immigration visa.  American embassies and consular offices in foreign countries issued such visas, which permitted the recipient to enter the U.S. and live […]

Ninth Circuit Reaffirms Imputation of Parent’s LPR Status for Minor Child

Mercado-Zazueta v. Holder (9th Cir.) In this case, the 9th Circuit decided the question of whether a parent’s status as a lawful permanent resident may be imputed to an unemancipated minor child residing with that parent, for purposes of satisfying the five-year permanent residence requirement for cancellation of removal under § 240A(a)(1) of the Immigration […]

USCIS Unveils New Website Design

On Tuesday, DHS Secretary Napolitano unveiled a redesigned USCIS website.  I think the site does look better and is easier to navigate.  The changes are not just cosmetic, though, because the site now includes tools and apps which allows you to track the status of your citizenship application, update your immigration records, and access forms.  There is also a Spanish language version of the site.  One […]

USCIS Changes Procedures for Adjudicating I-751 Applications Where a Divorce is Pending but not Finalized

USCIS Acting Associate Direct Donald Neufeld issued a memorandum which offers guidance to field offices on how to process certain I-751 applications to remove conditions.  The I-751 presents a difficult situation for couples who married in good faith but are separated or undergoing divorce proceedings prior to the filing of the I-751.  The form only […]

UCSIS Extends Eligibility for TPS Status for Somalis

USCIS stated that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for Somalis for 18 months from September 17, 2009 until March 17, 2011.   That means Somali nationals presently in the U.S. in TPS status may remain in that status until at least 2011.   USCIS will also extend the validity of existing employment authorization cards for Somali TPS holders for six months through March 17, […]

Having a U.S. Citizen Stepparent Is Not Enough to Confer Derivative Citizenship

Martinez-Madera v. Holder (9th Cir. 2009) Juan Martinez, the immigrant in this case was born in Mexico. Both his parents were Mexican citizens at the time of his birth, and they were not married, either. His biological parents split up soon after he was born and his mother became involved with another man who was […]

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