Archive for the 'Visa Options' Category

AB-540 Students and permanent residency: What’s the Affidavit Requirement About?

If you are an undocumented immigrant who attended high school in California and want to attend a California public community college, college, or university, you may qualify to be an AB-540 student.

An AB-540 student is eligible to pay in-state tuition rather than out-of-state tuition in schools belonging to the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges systems. One of the requirements to be an AB-540 student is that you must file or plan to file an affidavit with the institution you attend. The affidavit must state that you will apply for legal residency as soon as possible.

If you are considering a path to permanent residency or citizenship, think of talking to a qualified immigration lawyer. Becoming a legal resident may make you eligible to receive scholarships, grants, student loans, and other types of financial aid, such as federal work-study jobs. This can help you lighten the financial burden while you are in school. It will also minimize the amount of debt that you will have after graduation. There is a big difference between planning for applying for legal residency and actually making steps toward that goal. Even if it takes months or years to change your status, the progress you make may lead to your becoming a legal resident upon graduation. If you are a legal resident, you will likely be much more attractive to employers.

An affidavit is a written declaration made upon an oath to a person authorized to administer an oath. An AB-540 affidavit usually consists of a written, sworn statement made to a college admissions office staff member. An affidavit may ask you to provide the name of the California high school that you attended, the dates that you attended, and your name, address, student ID number, and signature. California law does not allow the college or university to share information on the affidavit with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

If you have applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), note that a DACA application is not a step toward legal residency.

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Immigration Attorney in San Francisco discusses the difference between Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa

Almost all citizens of foreign countries must obtain a visa to be able to enter the US legally. The type of visa is determined by the purpose of the travel to the US. The two main classifications of US visas are Immigrant Visas for permanent residency, and Nonimmigrant visas for temporary stays.

Nonimmigrant Visas

If you plan to stay in the US temporarily, for reasons of tourism, business, medical treatment, temporary work or a number of other possible reasons, you need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa. This visa allows you to travel to the  U.S. port-of-entry to request admittance from a Department of Homeland Security official. There are around 20 different visas available in the nonimmigrant classification, that cover a large variety of possible reasons for a short-term visit.

Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas are for foreign nationals, who plan to live and work in the US permanently. There are major categories of immigrant visas are the following: employer-sponsored, family-sponsored (including marriage based green cards and green cards for parents), and special immigrants.

US law limits the number of immigrant visas available each year.  Although there is not a limit on the number of immigrant visas available for immediate relatives.   In some cases, even if the USCIS approves an immigrant visa petition, you may have to wait several years to be issued an immigrant visa number by the State Department. There is a certain preference system in place, according to which immigrant visas are issued.

The process of applying for an immigrant visa has several steps and depends on the nature of each particular case. To avoid any pitfalls I strongly recommend that you contact an immigration attorney to discuss your options. An experienced attorney can help you make the right decisions and help you get your visa in the shortest possible time.

I invite you to contact us in our offices in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Sacramento. You can call us at 800-753-1399 if you have questions regarding your immigration options. We will be happy to assist you.

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