Exciting New Immigration Changes with Obama’s Executive Order

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: December 7, 2014
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President Obama announced a series of executive actions which will help many individuals including some of our current clients. It is important to note that none of the changes take effect immediately. The effective date for each change will be announced later.

Some of the changes include:

  • Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years
  • Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, provided they pass required background checks
  • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens

Employment based Immigration Changes

  • Authorize parole, on a case-by-case basis, to eligible inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises who may not yet qualify for a national interest waiver, but who have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing or otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting-edge research.
  • Finalize a rule to provide work authorization to the spouses of certain H-1B visa holders who are on the path to lawful permanent resident status
  • Expansion of optional practical training

These are exciting times in immigration law and we look forward to keeping you informed.
Published by: Ranchod Law Group
















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U Visa vs. I601a Waiver pros and cons.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: December 9, 2014
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I-601A:

  1. Requirements: Must prove that qualifying relative would suffer “extreme hardship”-U.S. Citizen spouse or parent, and now, with the proposed President’s new Executive Action-Lawful Permanent Resident spouse or parent.
  2. USCIS Processing Time: 4-6 months for USCIS response, then 2-3 months for consular process abroad.
  3. Benefit: Green Card (includes work permit)
  4. Derivative Benefits: None
  5. Consequences of Denial: Depending on reason for denial could begin removal proceedings, but unlikely if the only reason was due to not proving extreme hardship. Likely only begin removal if some threat to U.S. safety. Likely would receive RFE first before denial

U Visa:

  1. Requirements: Victim of qualifying crime, suffered substantial physical harm or mental abuse, possess information about the crime, cooperated with investigation and or prosecution, crime violated laws of the U.S. or occurred in the U.S., received certification from U.S. Federal, State or Local Government official investigating or prosecuting the criminal act.
  2. USCIS Processing Time: 4-6 months for certification response, At least 1 year
  3. Benefit: Work permit valid for three years, then if eligible, can adjust status within U.S. to obtain Green Card.
  4. Derivative Benefits: can petition for spouse and unmarried children under 21, or if principle under 21, can petition for siblings under 18, and parents and unmarried children under 21.
  5. Consequences of Denial: Very unlikely removal proceedings would be initiated, still possible, but likely only in situations where threat to U.S. safety. Likely would receive RFE first before denial.

Above, is a comparison table of the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (I-601A) and the U-Visa (I-918). The U Visa and Provisional Waiver present different requirements but fairly similar benefits for the main (principal) applicant. If an individual has both options available to them, he or she might choose to apply for the U Visa rather than a Provisional Waiver because of several main reasons.

First, the provisional waiver requires that the qualifying immediate relative (U.S. Citizen spouse or parent) would suffer extreme hardship if the immigrant were to be refused the waiver. This standard is difficult to prove because it requires more than mere financial strain and separation.

While the extreme hardship standard is difficult to satisfy, it is not impossible

Immigration case law provides a list of factors that are considered in a waiver application: health, financial considerations, education, personal considerations, and special factors. Generally, these types of applications are denied when not enough evidence is submitted to prove that there would be extreme hardship. The U Visa also has several requirements, including a certification process; however, comparing the two, the Provisional Waiver’s standard of extreme hardship is much more difficult to prove.

Secondly, the Provisional Waiver can only be used to forgive “unlawful presence”, which is accrued generally after an unlawful entry. If a person has more than one unlawful entry, they do not qualify. On the other hand, the U Visa is very forgiving-even of multiple unlawful entries, working without authorization, and sometimes even criminal convictions.

A third main reason why an individual would choose the U Visa over the waiver is that the U Visa does not require leaving the country. After an individual’s wavier is approved, he or she is required to attend an interview at the U.S. consulate abroad. This can be expensive and also can take several months to get an interview scheduled.

In summary, although both the U Visa and Provisional Waiver have benefits that are similar, the U Visa is far more forgiving, and can be less difficult to get approved.

This blog entry is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This blog is for educational purposes only. Remember that each case is unique. If you have questions about your own immigration case, please contact our Sacramento or San Francisco office at (916) 613-3553 or info@ranchodlaw.com to schedule a consultation.

Published by: Ranchod Law Group
















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Frequently Asked Questions on I-864 Affidavit of Support

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: September 16, 2014
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FAQ on I-864 Affidavit of Support

Affidavit of Support-Frequently Asked Questions

At the Ranchod Law Group, we assist our clients in preparing and filing form I-864, Affidavit of Support on their behalf or on behalf of their family member. In doing so, we field an array of questions; the most common ones and their answers are as follows.

Does my income qualify to serve as my family member’s sponsor?

Whether your income qualifies to serve as your family member’s sponsor depends on the Federal Government Poverty Guidelines. This information can be found on USCIS form I-864P. Check online for the most recent version of these guidelines. These guidelines represent the minimum income requirements necessary to sponsor an applicant and depend on the sponsor’s household size. The family member who is being petitioned (also known as the “intending immigrant”), is considered part of the sponsor’s household.

What is the difference between a joint sponsor and a substitute sponsor?

A joint sponsor is sometimes necessary when the petitioning-sponsor’s income and assets do not meet the minimum amount required by the Federal Guidelines. In this instance, USCIS allows the petitioning-sponsor to obtain a joint sponsor whose income and or assets meet the guideline. The joint sponsor must be able to meet the guideline without combining income or assets with the petitioning sponsor or a second joint sponsor. However, there can be no more than two joint sponsors. A joint sponsor must be at least 18 years old and must either be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or lawful permanent resident, and domiciled in the U.S.

A substitute sponsor is a term used to describe a person that is taking the place of a petitioning sponsor who died after the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative was approved, but before the applicant obtained a green card. There are more specific requirements for substitute sponsors, including that the substitute sponsor must either be a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. citizen and there must be a certain familial tie to the immigrant. These relations are listed on the I-864 form instructions.

My income is below the requirement for my household, what can I do?

If your income is below the requirement, you have several options-two options are covered here. For further alternatives, see the I-864 instructions.
One option is to obtain a joint sponsor. Alternatively, you may use your assets to meet the requirement. Assets that can be “converted into cash within one year and without considerable hardship or financial loss to the owner may be included”. Examples of assets can include the net value of your home, savings, and checking account balances. An automobile may not be included as an asset unless it can be shown that the sponsor has more than one working automobile that is not included as an asset already.
When using assets to qualify if sponsoring your spouse or child under 18, the “total value of assets must be equal to at least three times the difference” between your income and the guidelines. For example, if the gap between your income amount and the guidelines minimum is $2,000, then the total value of your assets must be equal to or exceed (3 x $2,000), which equal $6,000.

I have obtained a joint sponsor, do I (the petitioner) still have to submit an I-864 form for my relative?

Yes. Even if you have obtained a joint sponsor to sponsor your relative, you still need to submit an I-864 along with the supporting documentation. This is because you will still remain the “petitioning-sponsor” even though your relative has a joint sponsor.

Does the joint sponsor have to be related to petitioner or the beneficiary?

No. A joint sponsor does not have to be related to either the petitioner or the beneficiary. However, a substitute sponsor does have to be of a certain familial tie to the beneficiary (the intending immigrant).

I am sponsoring my relative, what documents do I need to provide?

You will need to show proof of either being a lawful permanent resident, U.S. citizen, or U.S. national. This can include a U.S. passport, birth certificate, green card or a naturalization certificate. In addition, you must also provide your Federal Tax Return statement for the last year, and copies of your W2’s. It is optional to provide a letter from your current employer showing wage/salary and position.

What documents will my joint sponsor need to provide?

The documents required for the petitioning-sponsor are the same as for a joint sponsor.

I am sponsoring my relative, but I did not file taxes last year. What should I do?

If you were required to file taxes last year, but did not, then you still must file a late return with the IRS before submitting the I-864. This means you will need to wait until you receive your IRS-generated tax return transcript showing your late filing. However, if you did not file because you were not required to, either because your income was too low or for any other reason, then you must attach a written explanation. This explanation has no formal guidelines; however it should adequately describe your reason for not filing.

I filed for an extension on my federal tax return last year, but have not received the tax return statement yet, what should I do?

If this is your situation, you can either wait until you receive your return statement, or you can submit it anyway without it. If you choose to submit the I-864 without your tax return statement, you should include a copy of the extension application. There is a possibility that USCIS may issue a “Request for Evidence” (RFE), which can delay the processing of your case. The RFE will likely ask for you to submit the tax return statement.

I am sponsoring my relative and am self-employed. Will this affect my relative’s application?

Just the fact alone that you are self-employed should not negatively affect your relative’s application. USCIS will look at your household income amount and determine whether that meets the federal guideline requirement. They will also take into account the assets you have listed on the I-864, if applicable.

Published by: The Ranchod Law Group

This blog entry is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This blog is for educational purposes only. Remember that each case is unique. If you have questions about your own immigration case, please contact our Sacramento or San Francisco office at (916) 613-3553 or info@ranchodlaw.com to schedule a consultation.




















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Extreme Hardship Waivers: Impact of an Absent Father

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: July 17, 2014
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Extreme Hardship Waiver Applications

Absent father and the psychological impact of family separation

Impact of an Absent Father: Extreme Hardship in a Waiver Application

While there is no exact definition of extreme hardship, immigration case law provides a list of factors that are considered in a waiver application. Two of those factors include the psychological impact of family separation, and the inability to raise children if family members are not present. These two factors are especially significant in proving extreme hardship when an applicant is married and has young dependent children. This blog entry will focus on the impact an absent father has on young children and how that can demonstrate extreme hardship to the qualifying relative. Due to the fact that extreme hardship for the U.S. citizen children can be “funneled” into hardships to the qualifying relative, the impact of an absent parent should be highlighted in a waiver application.

Impact of an Absent Father: Extreme Hardship in a Waiver Application

An Example

George is a Mexican citizen and is married to Amy, a U.S. citizen. They have three young boys, all under five years old. George is an attentive, loving father and husband. Amy works full-time and sometimes even graveyard shifts at her job at the hospital. She relies heavily on her husband to care for and watch their children. Amy, as the U.S. citizen, is George’s qualifying relative, and thus George must demonstrate that Amy would experience extreme hardship if George were not granted a waiver. Although their children are U.S. citizens, they are not qualifying relatives for the purpose of the waiver. Thus, any hardship the children would experience is only considered to the extent it results in hardship to George’s spouse, Amy.

A waiver application with similar facts as above was first denied by the Field Office Director in Mexico City, but on appeal by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) it was approved. In that case, the waiver applicant was able to prove by psychiatric assessments that his spouse was anxious, depressed, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to her separation from her husband. The AAO also took into account the impact the father’s absence had on the young children. The young boys’ school teachers reported they were acting out, and not doing well on tests or assignments. In addition, they exhibited behavioral issues such as not eating well and being rebellious.

Indeed, studies show that boys with an absent father suffer disproportionately. For example, one study found that children whose fathers are stable and involved are better off on almost every cognitive, social and economic measure developed by researchers. Compared to children who grow up in two-parent households, children who grow up with an absent-father are more likely to show: increased rates of delinquency, higher rates of drug abuse/addiction, emotional problems, behavioral issues such as aggression, and antisocial tendencies. This goes to show that if a father was forced to separate from his family, it is likely to negatively affect his children in a variety of ways. The children’s mother, in turn, would suffer anxiety and stress in dealing with the child’s onset of emotional and behavioral issues.

In addition, these children are more likely to have a lower academic achievement, lower test scores and are more likely to drop out of school. Particularly in males, there is a higher mortality rate and they are more likely to have contact with the police, leading to an increased risk of incarceration. These studies explain that poverty, lack of resources, instability in the household, lower parental engagement, and increased stress on the remaining parent (the mother), account for negative consequences of an absent father.

It comes as no surprise that when a two-parent household abruptly turns to a single-parent household, the stress on the remaining parent increases dramatically. As in the example of George and Amy, if George were denied a waiver, Amy would be left on her own raising their three young boys. The boys, in turn, may suffer in many ways, including less stability, lower income, and lack of emotional support. George can funnel the hardship his sons experience through Amy, his qualifying relative, to create a stronger waiver application. Even though the U.S. citizen children are not the qualifying relatives, they should not be overlooked in establishing extreme hardship in a waiver application.

This blog entry is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This blog is for educational purposes only. Remember that each case is unique. If you have questions about your own immigration case, please contact our Sacramento or San Francisco office at (916) 613-3553 or info@ranchodlaw.com to schedule a consultation.

Use the following form to describe your needs.

Works Cited:
Emily Anthes, Family Guy. Scientific American Mind. (May/June 2010).

J. McCord, et al., Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice. Panel on Juvenile Crime: Prevention, Treatment, and Control. (2001).

Lisa J. Crockett, et al., Father’s Presence and Young Children’s Behavioral and Cognitive Adjustment. Faculty Publications, Department of Psychology, Paper 253. (1993).

Published by: The Ranchod Law Group
















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Good News for Spouses of H1B Visa Holders

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: May 25, 2014
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H1B Visa Holders

Spouses in the U.S. under H4 status

Announced Last Week: Good News for Spouses of H1B Visa Holders
At Ranchod Law, many of our clients are H1B Visa Holders with spouses in the U.S. under H4 status. Currently, these H4 spouses are not allowed to work legally in the U.S. We at Ranchod Law see this as such a travesty because the spouses of our highly skilled H1B clients often have great skills and excellent educational backgrounds too but their inability to work not only causes their careers to suffer, but it is also such a waste for the U.S. which could be utilizing the H4’s skills and knowledge. Thankfully, this should no longer be the case at the end of this year for some H4 spouses.

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that new rules will grant work authorization to H4 spouses of H1B visa holders if the H1B visa holder has started the process to apply for lawful permanent resident status (a greencard). Homeland Security officials said they hoped to issue final regulations by the end of this year.

The proposed rule change to allow H4 spouses to work if the H1B holder has started the process to obtain a greencard recognizes the huge backlogs that have developed for employment based greencards. The current wait for most immigrants from India is at least eleven years, with Filipinos waiting as long as seven years, and Chinese immigrants up to six years. It makes a big different to the H4 spouses and also for the H1B visa holders to have the H4 spouses able to work while they wait for their greencards as oppose to waiting idly.

While we are happy and we welcome work authorization for H4 holders whose H1B spouses have begun the greencard process, this still leaves an entire group of H4 spouses whose spouses have yet to begin the greencard process without the ability to work. A broad immigration bill that passed the Senate last year included major changes to the H-1B program, namely a provision that would grant work authorization to the spouses of all H-1B visa holders. Unfortunately, the House has not taken up that bill, and it remains unclear if it will move on any major immigration measures this year.

If you have any question or concerns about the immigration status or yourself or your family or your ability to work legally in the U.S. please contact our main office at (916) 613-3553, we have offices conveniently located in Sacramento and San Francisco. We help clients locally and throughout the U.S. and abroad.

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Top 5 Reasons Hardship Waivers are Rejected

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: May 27, 2014
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Top Five Reasons Hardship Waivers Are Denied

At Ranchod Law we file countless hardship waivers on behalf of our clients, including:

  • exceptional hardship waivers for J visa holders
  • extreme and unusual hardship waivers for clients with criminal histories
  • immigration fraud
  • illegal entries into the U.S.

We are proud of our proven track record of success.

Many of our clients come to us after having already received a waiver denial on their own and in our experience these are the top five reasons those clients received a denial previously:

  1. Poorly prepared statements by the applicant and his or her family
    Your statement is your opportunity to explain to the immigration officer why you deserve a waiver. A statement that doesn’t delve deeply enough into the details or that says the wrong things can be extremely prejudicial to your case. Likewise, the statements of your family members are critical to supporting your case. You need an experienced immigration attorney to read your statements and advise you of which areas need to be expanded.
  2. Not enough supporting paperwork
    Your statement and your family members’ statements will not be enough in and of themselves to warrant an approval. Every single fact in the statements needs to be supported with proof! If you discuss a medical condition you need proof of the condition, if you discuss finances you need proof of income and expenses, if you discuss education you need copies of certificates and grades, etc.
  3. No history or follow up care for medical and mental health paperwork
    If your medical or mental health paperwork is limited to the time period just before your application for a waiver your application will be viewed with a suspicious eye. For example, if you have a doctor’s note dated just before your application diagnosing your qualifying family member with asthma or a gastrointestinal issue on the eve of filing your application, immigration might be distrustful, immigration might think this was made up just for your application. On the other hand if you obtain a doctor’s note or medical records showing your family member has been receiving treatment for a long period of time this makes the paperwork more credible. The same goes for letters from psychiatrists, psychologists, and other therapists. A letter indicating a history of depression and treatment will be more valuable than one obtained on the fly just for the purpose of your application.
  4. No legal arguments in your favor
    Very rarely will a case speak for itself. An experienced hardship waiver immigration attorney can prepare a written legal argument on your behalf highlighting the strengths of your case and explaining how your case meets the standards imposed by the law. Your attorney should organize your documents and provide you with advise on which documents are necessary vs. which documentation is unnecessary for your case. Providing the appropriate documentation can make or break your case. Immigration officers are very busy, they will not take the time to sort through and thoroughly review each paper in your case, it is your attorney’s job to make it easy for the officer to approve your case.
  5. Inexperienced legal help
    The final most common reason we have seen clients come to our office with denials of hardship waivers is because they didn’t receive sound legal help with their waiver the first time around. It is not a coincidence that our clients get denials with other attorneys and approvals with us. We know how to prepare cases that highlight your hardship utilizing our legal arguments and your unique story. In addition to the preliminary required paperwork we have experience gathering additional supporting paperwork, asking clients just the right details to expand in their statements, and compiling well written legal briefs which really magnify the strength of your case. Please contact our Sacramento, San Francisco and Santa Clara offices at (916) 613-3553 to discuss your prospects honestly and confidentially.

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Parole in Place, the solution if you do not have legal status

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: May 25, 2014
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Exciting Immigration News for Military Families

Parole in Place could be the solution for you if you do not have legal status

In November 2013, U.S. Immigration issued a policy memorandum regarding the parole of spouses, children and parents of Active Duty Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, and Former Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.

How will my family member benefit from parole?
During any period of parole your family member will be able to live and work legally in the U.S. Your family member will be able to obtain a work permit, a social security number, a license, and to be able to travel outside of the U.S. with permission. Parole is authorized for one year with extensions granted in one year increments.

Who qualifies?
Spouses, children and parents of Active Duty Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, and Former Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.

How does my spouse, parent, or child apply?
Your attorney will prepare all forms on your relative’s behalf and will need to submit the following as proof:

  • Two identical, color, passport style photographs of the applicant;
  • Evidence of the family relationship between the applicant and you (the military or former military personnel) for example, a marriage certificate or birth certificate as applicable;
  • Evidence that you are an Active Duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve or proof that you previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve or the Ready Reserve such as a photocopy of both the front and back of the service member’s military identification card (DD Form 1173);
  • Evidence of any additional favorable discretionary factors that the applicant wishes to have considered like letter of reference, proof of educational or professional accomplishments, or community service.

After the grant of parole, what is the next step?
Depending on your relative’s specific immigration and criminal history your relative may be able to apply for lawful permanent residency (a greencard). Eventually, lawful permanent residency can lead to U.S. Citizenship.

Please contact us today at (916) 613-9553. We have extensive experience dealing with the particular immigration needs of military personnel and their families and we are sensitive to your unique circumstances. We have offices conveniently located in Sacramento and the Bay Area (Santa Clara and San Francisco) but we help clients all over the U.S. and abroad. Even if you have to move regularly for your military commitments we can still help you and your family. Contact us at (916) 613-3553.

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Medical Marijuana and Your Immigration Status

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: May 25, 2014
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Medical Marijuana Law and Your Immigration Status

Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act

Here at the Ranchod Law Group we have been seeing an increased number of clients who are green card holders and users of medical marijuana. Recently we had a consultation with a client in our Sacramento office who was questioned about his marijuana he had at the airport even though he had a medical marijuana card. Although the use of medical marijuana or marijuana in general may be legal in your state, at the federal level, marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, and is illegal. Because immigration is also regulated by federal law and not state law, your legal use of marijuana under state law can still impact your immigration status which is regulated under federal law.

Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides that:

any alien convicted of, or who admits having committed, or who admits committing acts which constitute the essential elements of a violation of (or conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)), is inadmissible

INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II).

Similarly, section 237(a)(2)(B)(i) of the INA provides that:

[a]ny alien who at time after admission has been convicted of a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802), other than a single offense involving possession for one’s own use of thirty grams or less of marijuana is deportable

INA § 237(a)(2)(B)(i).

Pursuant to the above quoted laws, by admitting to using marijuana legally under your state law, you become inadmissible, though not deportable. Inadmissibility is of no consequence to you so long as you remain inside of the U.S. (because you have already been “admitted”) but if you travel outside of the U.S. and attempt to return (get “admitted” to the U.S. again) the finding of “inadmissibility” can lead you to be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings. It is up to the immigration officer whether to look the other way or whether to put you in removal proceedings. Because of this, the most conservative approach you can follow is to remain in the U.S. if you choose to use marijuana as legally allowed by your state.

Once you are naturalized (once you become a U.S. Citizen) you do not need to worry about grounds of inadmissibility or deportability. Unfortunately, however, it is possible that even the legal use of marijuana can be viewed in an unfavorable light in regards to the five years of good moral character required for citizenship. On your citizenship application you will need to answer the following question:

Have you ever committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?

Because marijuana is illegal at the federal level, even legal users of marijuana must answer “yes” to that question. You would, of course, include a note on your naturalization form regarding your legal use of marijuana.

If you have questions about the effect of your marijuana use on your immigration status or if you want help going through the process of becoming a citizen, please do not hesitate to contact our Sacramento, Santa Clara and San Francisco offices at (916) 613–3553.

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Deferred Action Childhood Arrival, Renewals & Extensions in 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: June 4, 2014
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Renewal/Extension of Deferred Action as a Childhood Arrival

How to request and receive the renewal/extension without experiencing any lapse in your deferral or work authorization

In late May 2014, USCIS anticipates publishing the form you will need to file for the renewal/extension. We should submit your request about 120 days (or about 4 months) before your current period of DACA expires. This is also the date that your Employment Authorization Document (EAD or work permit) expires. Your expiration date is printed on the front of your EAD. If you file your request approximately 120 days before the expiration date of your current period of DACA, USCIS anticipates making a decision and adjudicating your employment authorization well before your current period of DACA and employment authorization expires. Moreover, if you have filed at least 120 days before your deferred action and EAD expire and USCIS is unexpectedly delayed in processing your case, USCIS may provide deferred action and employment authorization for a short period of time until your case is decided. For these reasons it is very important that as you look ahead to the expiration of your DACA and work permit that you contact our office as soon as possible at (916) 613-3553 to make arrangements for your re-application. It is not too soon to call!

Note that for your renewal/extension you will only need to submit new documents pertaining to removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not already submitted previously. You do not need to re-submit documents you already submitted. However, you should continue to keep copies of all papers that you used to get your original approval. If we filed your case we of course have a copy of everything filed on your behalf.

While some individuals look ahead to filing for renewals/extensions of their DACA, other qualified individuals have yet to apply. You may qualify for deferred action is you were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012; are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and you have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

If you are interested in renewing/extending your DACA or if you have yet to apply and think you might qualify please contact our Sacramento, Santa Clara and San Francisco offices at (916) 613-3553. Since the inception of DACA, we have successfully obtained DACA for countless individuals, you can confide in our proven track record of success.

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What is the difference between an employment authorization document and a greencard?

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Last Updated: July 22, 2014
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What is the difference between an employment authorization document and a greencard?

Immigration attorney answers your questions about work permits and greencards

What is the difference between an employment authorization document and a greencard?

What is the difference between an employment authorization document (EAD or work permit) and a greencard (lawful permanent residence)?

One of my Sacramento client’s question took me completely by surprise:  the client said to me, if I have a work permit, why do I need a greencard? Sometimes, as an immigration lawyer, I need to inform my clients of the benefits and drawbacks of obtaining a greencard or naturalization if they do not know the basics. The differences between a work permit and a greencard are very important and certainly worthy of your attention.

A work permit is merely a TEMPORARY card that allows you to work legally in the U.S. temporarily. You cannot obtain a work permit by itself. A work permit is a benefit of some sort of underlying status.

For example, you cannot come to the U.S. and simply apply for a work permit just because you want to work in the U.S., you have to have an underlying right to obtain a work permit, some sort of employment visa or other ground. Accordingly, when the basis for your work permit finishes, your work permit also terminates. For example, if you have a pending employment green card and it is denied, your work permit (which was obtained on the basis of that pending application) becomes invalid and you are left without the ability to work in the U.S.

By contrast, with a greencard, you are always allowed to work legally in the U.S. Your permanent greencard (a conditional green card is only valid for two years) is valid for ten years but even if the greencard card itself expires you are still considered a lawful permanent resident (“greencard holder”).

While a work permit is temporary, a greencard is considered permanent (note, it is possible to lose your greencard if you abandon the U.S., commit certain crimes, consider yourself a nonresident for tax purposes, or other grounds). A greencard is considered permanent because you will have it indefinitely unless you do something wrong deserving of losing it. This is in contrast to a work permit, which will terminate when the underlying basis expires.

Additionally, a work permit does not give you a basis to apply for naturalization (U.S. Citizenship). You must first be a lawful permanent resident (greencard holder) to apply for naturalization. Only U.S. Citizens can vote and unlike both holders of work permits and greencards, U.S. citizens generally can never be deported from the U.S. Again, only green card holders have the ability to qualify for naturalization, being the holder of a mere work permit is not enough.

For any questions, call us at (916) 613-3553 so that we can schedule a consultation.  We represent clients throughout the fifty states with offices in Northern California.

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Published by: The Ranchod Law Group

 

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