Extreme Hardship Waivers: Impact of an Absent Father

Tuesday, July 29, 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).

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Good News for Spouses of H1B Visa Holders

Tuesday, July 29, 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

Tuesday, July 29, 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

Tuesday, July 29, 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

Tuesday, July 29, 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

Tuesday, July 29, 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?

Tuesday, July 29, 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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Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Marriage Based Greencard

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | Last Updated: May 25, 2014
by Alex



Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Marriage Based Greencard

Immigration attorney answers your questions about marriage-based greencards

Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Marriage Based Greencard



Obtaining your greencard after marrying a U.S. Citizen can be a positive and happy experience but common mistakes can make the process needlessly stressful. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid when applying for your marriage based greencard:

1. Failing to file all of the necessary forms with the correct filing fees and requisite paperwork at the correct filing location: Unfortunately, immigration does not make it easy for you to obtain your entitled benefits. You must be certain to file all of the necessary forms: the spousal petition, the adjustment application, the biographic forms, the work authorization application, etc and to pay the immigration fees corresponding to the forms so that your case can be accepted for processing. If you omit a required form or forget to pay a fee your case will be rejected. You must also submit all of the required paperwork corresponding to each form. Also, immigration periodically changes the filing location for its cases so it is important to verify that you are sending your case to the correct address. An immigration attorney will of course correctly take care of all of this for you.

2. Waiting to apply thereby delaying your benefits: You and your spouse should apply for your marriage based greencard immediately after getting married. The longer you wait, the longer you will go without the benefits to which you are entitled and the longer you subsequently have to wait in order to apply for naturalization (U.S. Citizenship). Couples delay the process for many reasons, too burdensome, too costly, but delaying your benefits comes with a price as well. You may contact our office to learn more about the green card process at (916) 613-3553 or info@ranchodlaw.com.

3. Not anticipating how long the process will take for you to obtain your marriage based greencard: In a similar vein to the second most common mistake, many couples fail to account for how long it will take to complete processing of the marriage based greencard. After obtaining the requisite paperwork and filing the forms, you must attend a biometrics appointment and then the couple must attend an interview together. After approval, the greencard usually takes another four weeks to arrive in the mail. Hence, applying as soon after the marriage as possible is wise. In Sacramento San Francisco, and San Jose immigration offices we are noticing processing times that are taking approximately 3-8 months or longer before the interview date. Please note that these government processing times are always changing.

4. Not being thorough and honest in your application: Both spouses should be completely thorough and honest in their applications. For example, when the application asks for all places of residence and all employers for the last five years, it is important to list every single residence and every single employer for the entire five year time period. If you are incomplete or dishonest in your application and immigration catches you in a lie, the immigration officer may begin to wonder what else you are lying about. You definitely don’t want the immigration officer to think you are lying about the validity of your marriage.

5. Not gathering paperwork in support of your application: In addition to the basic required paperwork (certificates, passport style photographs, etc.) you will need to gather paperwork to help prove the legitimacy of your marriage. Examples of this latter type of paperwork may include copies of joint bank accounts, bills, proof of a shared home, photographs of shared life experiences, and testimonials from loved ones or other individuals with knowledge of the relationship. Don’t be lazy! Get the documents together so that the immigration officer doesn’t have any doubt as to the validity of the relationship.

6. Missing your appointments: When immigration schedules you for an appointment (biometrics or the interview appointment) it is very important to attend. If you do not attend, your case will be delayed and could even be denied. If immigration schedules you for an appointment at a date or time that you cannot attend, your attorney can reschedule the appointment for you. It is better to reschedule the appointment then to simply not attend.

7. Not preparing for your interview: It is very important to prepare yourself for your immigration interview. Your attorney can advise you as to the typical format of these interviews, some common questions asked, and some of the tactics used by some immigration officers. If you appear nervous at your interview, the officer may think that you are trying to deceive the immigration authorities and, in turn, your interview can become more intensive. It is best to know what to expect so that you can be relaxed and appropriately responsive.

8. Not discussing the basics of your relationship with your spouse: Prior to your interview it is going to be very important for you and your spouse to go over some of the basics of your relationship. For example, when and how did you meet, the details of your engagement, the details of your wedding, recent celebrations, finances, etc. It is fairly common for one spouse to misspeak at the interview in regards to a date and then it makes it seem like the couple is lying. Also, two answers can both be true but different. For example, to the question of how the couple met, one might say “online,” while the other says “in a bar.” Both are true (the couple first learned of each other online but met for the first time in a bar) but if the couple gave these answers at their interview the immigration officer might think that the couple is making up their answers and are not in a true relationship. Your immigration attorney will go over all of the common questions in your preparation interview.

9. Thinking that immigration will give you the benefit of the doubt: Immigration will NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT, give you the benefit of the doubt if you or your spouse misspeaks or accidentally provides incorrect information. For example, if you say that you started dating in 2002 and your spouse says 2001, immigration will not write this off as a faded memory, absolutely not, immigration will question you believing that you’ve made up the details of the relationship for the purpose of obtaining unwarranted immigration benefits. Also, if immigration has any doubt, your case will be denied.

10. The final and most critical mistake couples make is not hiring an immigration attorney. There are so many things that can go wrong if you do not have the proper advice and guidance. Hiring an immigration attorney from the inception is affordable and will make the process as stress free and efficient as possible. We see so many couples who don’t come to us until after immigration issues a request for additional evidence or worse, a denial. Don’t let this happen to you. Contact us today at (916) 613-3553. We have offices conveniently located in Sacramento and the Bay area (San Francisco), California but we help clients throughout the United States.

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Can Justin Bieber be deported?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | Last Updated: May 25, 2014
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Can Justin Bieber be deported?

Immigration attorney answers your questions about Justin Bieber deportation

Can Justin Bieber really be deported? YES!



Can Justin Bieber really be deported? YES!

The petition to deport Justin Bieber has reached over 210,000 signatures at the time of this writing, requiring a response from the White House. While we wait for the White House to respond, the question looms, can Justin Bieber really be deported? The answer is yes but unlikely.

Bieber is reportedly a lawful permanent resident (he has his greencard), he is not a U.S. Citizen. Bieber can lose his greencard and be deported from the U.S. for some types of criminal activity. While Bieber has yet to be convicted of any crime, admission of a crime could make Bieber “inadmissible,” which would present a problem when Bieber travels outside of the U.S., as explained below. A conviction can absolutely make Bieber deportable.

Bieber has been accused of a series of less serious crimes, egging a home and driving under the influence. Bieber’s biggest issue, however, revolves around his drug use. According to TMZ, Bieber had a urine test after his arrest on suspicion of drag racing and driving under the influence on Jan. 23, and the test came back positive for THC (marijuana) and Alprazolam, which is a key ingredient in the prescription anti-anxiety medication Xanax. Bieber also reportedly told police he had been smoking marijuana in his recording studio all night long and said his mom gave him the pills. TMZ also reports, using photo evidence, that Bieber apparently uses codeine, though this was not indicated in the toxicology report. Marijuana, Alprazolam, and codeine are all controlled substances, schedules I, IV, and II, respectively. Law enforcement executed a search warrant recently at Bieber’s home but the warrant was for video equipment so they weren’t looking for drugs.

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).

If Bieber really admitted to using marijuana and Alprazolam he could be considered “inadmissible.” This would be of no consequence to Bieber so long as Bieber remains inside of the U.S. (because he has already been “admitted”) but when Bieber travels outside of the U.S. and attempts to return (get “admitted” to the U.S. again) the finding of “inadmissibility” will lead him to be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings.

If Bieber was actually convicted of a controlled substance violation, “other than a single offense involving possession for one’s own use of thirty grams or less of marijuana,” he could be deported.

All in all, it seems Bieber, and his music, are here to stay! Bieber may be able to get naturalized as soon as he is eligible so that he doesn’t have to worry about his indiscretions leading to his deportation.

As always, today’s blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This blog is for educational purposes only. If you have questions about your own immigration case, remember that each case is unique. Please contact our office at (916) 613-3553 or info@ranchodlaw.com to schedule a consultation.

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Greencard vs. U.S. Citizenship FAQ

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | Last Updated: May 25, 2014
by Alex



Greencard vs. U.S. Citizenship

Green Card FAQ

Greencard vs. U.S. Citizenship FAQ

Ultimately, many of our clients desire to become lawful permanent residents (greencard holders) or U.S. Citizens. Each status carries its own benefits. Here we will address the more common questions we hear in our practice from new greencard holders and naturalized U.S. Citizens.

Do I need a work permit?

Greencard holders and U.S. Citizens do not need a work permit to work legally in the U.S. As a greencard holder or U.S. Citizen you can prove your ability to work lawfully in the U.S. by showing an unrestricted Social Security card and your unexpired permanent resident card, US passport, or naturalization certificate, as applicable.

Do I need a travel permit to travel outside of the U.S.?

Greencard holders and U.S. Citizen do NOT need a travel permit, please see below for further details as applicable:

Greencard holders: In general, to travel to another country you will need to present a passport from your country of citizenship or your refugee travel document, and you will need to present a valid, unexpired greencard to return to the U.S. You must also pay attention to whether the foreign country you are visiting has any additional entry/exit requirements (such as a visa).

Note that as greencard holder you may be found to have abandoned your status as a lawful permanent resident if you spend too long abroad or otherwise indicate that your travel abroad is not of a brief or temporary nature. Please see our prior post on that topic.

U.S. Citizens: As a U.S. Citizen, you can travel abroad with your U.S. Passport. U.S. Citizens can remain abroad without restrictions and without fear of losing their U.S. Citizenship.

Can I vote?

Greencard holders CANNOT vote. Only U.S. Citizens can vote.

Do I have to file taxes?

Yes! Filing taxes as required is mandatory for both greencard holders and U.S. Citizens. Others in temporary status who work in the U.S. are also required to file taxes.

Can I ever be deported?

Greencard holders can lose their greencard status and face deportation. A common reason a greencard holder can be deported is for certain criminal convictions. U.S. citizens, provided there was no fraud in obtaining the U.S. citizenship, do not need to fear deportation.

Can I be a dual citizen?

Generally, you can keep your home country’s citizenship even if you become a U.S. Citizen. Some countries however, do not allow dual citizenship. Please contact us at (916) 613-3553 to schedule a consultation so that we can advise you as to your specific situation.

If you are interested in becoming a lawful permanent resident (getting your greencard) or becoming a U.S. Citizen we encourage you to contact us at (916) 613-3553 to discuss your options. We can schedule a meeting at our offices in Sacramento or San Francisco or we can meet telephonically or via Skype if you are not in the area. We are available for all of your immigration needs.

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Published by: The Ranchod Law Group





















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