Practice Areas - Los Angeles Immigration Lawyers

Asylum in the United States may be sought for foreign citizens in the U.S. who have been persecuted or fear persecution in their homeland if they return. The persecution that they suffer or will suffer must be because of one's race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or one's political beliefs. If you fall in this category, you must apply for asylum with one year of entering the U.S. Being granted asylum will allow you to remain in this country and obtain your legal permanent residency or “greencard” in one year and you may be able to naturalize in four years.

When you apply for asylum, you can also include a spouse and unmarried children under 21 on your application if they are living in the U.S. If they are not, you can petition to bring them to the U.S. once you are granted asylum.

You may apply for work authorization (or work permit) 150 days after you have submitted your asylum application.

In order to obtain U.S. permanent resident status, otherwise known as a green card, through adjustment of status or consular processing, you must be qualified and “admissible” to the United States. This means that you have not been convicted of particular crimes, immigration fraud or immigration status violations. If you have, you may be “inadmissible” to the United States, and therefore ineligible for a permanent resident status or to receive an immigrant visa.

If you have a spouse or a parent who is a U.S. citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR), you may be eligible to file an I-601 or I-601A application to waive your inadmissibility and obtain the visa or green card. You must prove that your relative would suffer extreme hardship if you are not allowed to obtain your permanent residency.

Do you want to stop worrying about renewing your “green card” every ten years? Do you want to help a member of your family immigrate to the United States? Do you want to vote in the next elections? Do you want to spend long periods of time outside the U.S or move to another country? Then you should become a citizen. U.S. citizenship is the last step in your immigration journey. As a citizen you will have all the rights and privileges as a U.S. born citizen except that you will not be able to be president of the country.

You can apply to become a citizen if: 1) you have been a resident for the required period of time (usually five years although there are exceptions); 2) you have lived at least half of that time in the U.S.; 3) you have good moral character; 4) you read and write English; and 5) you have basic knowledge of U.S. history and government.

You should first consult with an experienced immigration attorney before filing for naturalization to make sure it is the right thing for you to do, especially if you have been arrested at any time, even if it was many years ago and you completed all the conditions of your sentence or probation. You misrepresented yourself in any immigration application in the past. You have been before an immigration judge or were removed or deported in the past; or you have lived outside of the United States for extended periods of time. It is very important to consult with an immigration attorney because sometimes applying could cause the government to deny your application and place you in removal proceedings.

The Department of Homeland Security extends Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to an undocumented person from a country enduring conditions that prevent the person from returning safely, such as a natural disaster or armed conflict. TPS is a conditional status that requires periodic renewal and entitles the recipient to a work permit, protection from deportation, and authorization to travel abroad. (Only after receiving a special permission called Advance Parole)

To be eligible for TPS, you must: 1) be a citizen of a country designated for TPS; 2) file during the initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for filing late during any extension of the country’s TPS status 3) have been continuously present in the United States since the effective date of the country's original or extended TPS status; and 4) have been living continuously in the United States since the date specified for your country

Most foreign nationals who want to travel to the United States for vacation or business must first obtain a visa from a U.S. Consulate abroad.

B-2 VISAS

Foreigners visiting the United States temporarily for pleasure are covered by the B-2 visa; such trips can include tourism, vacation, visits with friends or relatives, medical treatment, participation by amateurs in unpaid musical, sports, or similar events or contests.

The Customs and Border Patrol officer at the port of entry into the United States stamps the duration of authorized stay for B-2 visa holders.

To apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa, the applicant needs to fill out form DS-160 and schedule a visa appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in their home country. Evidence of strong ties back to their home country must also be submitted. Such evidence includes proof of employment, bank statements, proof of ownership of property, etc. We can help you increase your chances of obtaining the visa.

FIANCÉ VISA

The K-1 or Fiancé visa is a non-immigrant visa petition that enables U.S. citizens to bring their fiancé and their fiancé’s children to the United States. In order to file for this visa, the U.S. citizen and their fiancé must have met personally within the last two years and intend on marrying within 90 days of the fiancé’s admission to the United States. Both individuals must be free to marry, meaning neither person is currently legally married to anyone else. They must prove that they either have never been previously married or that all prior marriages have been terminated by divorce, annulment, or death. Additionally, it must be documented that the U.S. citizen and their fiancé have met within the 2 years preceding the date of filing the application and have maintained a continuous and bona fide relationship for reasons other than for immigration purposes.

Once the K-1 visa is approved, the fiancé will need to appear for an interview at the U.S. consulate abroad in order to be issued the K-1 visa. The consular officer will review documents and ask questions to ascertain the validity of the relationship. Children of K-1 principal applicants who are under the age of 21 can be issued a K-2 visa to enter the U.S. with their parent. With the K-1 visa, the fiancé must enter the United States and then marry the U.S. citizen within 90 days. Once admitted to the U.S., the U.S. citizen can petition for the fiancé’s permanent resident status.

Investor Visas (E-2)

To qualify for Treaty Investor (E-2) visas applicants must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested a substantial amount of capital.

Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce. The following are the Spanish speaking countries that maintain treaties with the United States and whose citizens can participate in the E-2 visa program: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and Spain.

The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of treaty investors, or employees of enterprises may receive dependent E visas in order to accompany their spouse or parent. They are not required to have the same nationality as the principal applicant to obtain an E visa.

E visas permit the investor and his or her family to live in the United States during the period of stay authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). E visas are nonimmigrant visas; consequently, visa holders are allowed to live in the United States only so long as the conditions under which the visa was granted remain valid. Dependents are not authorized to work in the U.S. unless they receive explicit authorization to do so from DHS-USCIS in the United States.

You do not qualify for this visa if you have been living in the United States undocumented or if you have overstayed your visa for more than six months.

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The Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 provides Legal Permanent Residency to Cubans, their spouses and minor children (even if they are not citizens of Cuba) one year and one day after having entered the United States.

The Cuban Adjustment Act requires entry to the U.S. through “inspection, admission or parole.” However, if a Cuban enters the U.S. without inspection, they can present themselves at a USCIS office and they will be issued a parole. Once parole has been issued the Cuban national will be eligible to apply for work authorization (work permit)

NACARA is a program that grants permanent resident status to certain nationals of El Salvador and Guatemala. Certain family members of NACARA applicants are eligible to apply for permanent resident status based on their relationship to the principal applicant.

The basic requirements for NACARA applications for Guatemalans are: (1) they entered the U.S. on or before October 1, 1990; (2) they registered for ABC benefits before December 31, 1991 or applied for asylum before April 1, 1990; and (3) they were not apprehended upon entry to the U.S. after December 19, 1990.

Nationals of El Salvador must meet the following basic requirements to be eligible for NACARA: (1) they entered the U.S. on or before September 19, 1990; and (2) they registered for ABC benefits or TPS before October 31, 1991 or applied for asylum before April 1, 1990; and (3) they were not apprehended upon entry to the U.S. after December 19, 1990.

Spouses and children who were minors at the time that the parent was granted Nacara could be eligible to apply for Nacara. Children who were over 21 years old at the time that the parent was granted Nacara are eligible only if they entered the country prior to October 1, 1990.

Are you or someone you know in removal or deportation proceedings?

Do you want to stay in the United States and fight your removal?

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS

If the government has initiated removal proceedings against you, also known as deportation proceedings, you stand to lose everything that you have built in the United States, including your home, your business, and your ability to be with your family.

Here are some aspects you should be aware of:

You could be detained for long periods of time and held without bond by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

You have the right to an attorney, but unlike criminal court, there are no court-appointed attorneys. That means if you want or need an attorney, you will have to choose and pay for one yourself.

If you do not attend your Immigration Court hearing, you could be ordered deported in your absence. In other words, you do not have to be present at the hearing for the judge to issue a deportation order against you.

Even if you are in the country without legal status, this does not necessarily mean you must be deported. There are various forms of relief from deportation that may be available to you.

Not all attorneys who practice immigration law are competent to represent clients in Immigration Court. You should look for an attorney who has experience in deportation defense and who has a proven, successful record in Immigration Court.

The key to success in Immigration Court is having a lawyer who is experienced in removal proceedings and all types of relief for removal. Removal proceedings are very intensive and procedural, and every little detail matters. You should hire an attorney who knows the proper procedures and the expectations of the immigration judges, and has a great deal of experience successfully representing clients in these specialized proceedings. Our deportation defense lawyers are well respected by the judges and the ICE attorneys that are seeking to deport you.

We know what to expect when appearing before an immigration judge and what types of relief you may be eligible for. We are well versed in court procedures and are familiar with immigration judges and ICE attorneys. If there is a way for you to avoid deportation, we will find it and do our best to fight to keep you here.

When you consult with our attorneys, we will analyze your immigration history and frankly discuss with you your chances of avoiding deportation. If you are detained, the attorney will explain the likelihood of getting you released on bond, which may affect your decision on how to proceed with your case.

In the event that your case is not successful before the immigration judge, our attorneys are skilled at filing appeals with the Board of Immigration Appeals, and if necessary, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

If you previously have received a deportation order, we may be able to help you reopen the order so that you can apply for relief from removal. Call us today (818) 506-0070 to discuss about what we can do to help you with your deportation case so that you can stay in the United States.

OUR SERVICES

Our deportation defense lawyers can assist you with the following:

Bond proceedings: Releasing detained clients by getting immigration bonds.

Representation at master calendar hearings: Going with our clients to Immigration Court and appearing before the judges in master calendar hearings.

Representation at merits or individual hearings: Going with our clients to Immigration Court and appearing before the judges in individual merits hearings.

Adjustment of Status in removal proceedings: Applying for a green card before the immigration judge.

Applying for waivers in court: For clients who are inadmissible to the U.S. under the law, for example, crimes or misrepresentations, we apply for waivers of ineligibility such as hardship waivers.

Cancellation of Removal for Permanent Residents: Helping Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) who were convicted of certain crimes that make them deportable, keep their green cards and be allowed to stay.

Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents: For people without legal status who have been in the U.S. for at least 10 years and have U.S. or permanent resident family members

212(c): For people who pleaded guilty to crimes prior to 1997 when the criminal immigration law was changed.

NACARA: For people who qualify for relief from deportation under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act for Nicaraguans, Cubans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans.

TPS – Temporary Protected Status: Applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) before the Immigration Court to prevent deportation.

Political Asylum: For people who were persecuted or have a fear of being persecuted because of their political opinion, social group or other protected grounds.

Deferred Action: For people with deportation orders to request a stay of deportation.

Prosecutorial Discretion: For people who have strong grounds for convincing the government to close their deportation cases.

Stay of Deportation: For people who can prove hardship or qualify for stays for example when filing appeals.

Immigration appeals to the BIA: Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which reviews the decisions of immigration judges.

Petitions for Review: Immigration appeals to the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeal that reviews the Board of Immigration Appeals orders.

Motions to Reopen: Deportation proceedings in order to receive relief from removal, such as adjustment of status for a permanent residence.


Call us today at (818) 506-0070. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how our immigration lawyers can help you.

Description: The U visa was created by the “Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act”, established in October 2000.

This type of visa is available for persons who possess information helpful and necessary to the investigation of a crime through which they suffered physical or mental abuse.

Who qualifies for the U visa? There are four basic requirements to qualify for the U visa:

• The immigrant must have suffered physical or mental damage as a result for having been the victim of a crime
• The immigrant possesses information pertaining to the crime
• The immigrant has been, is, or possibly will be of help in the investigation and prosecution of the crime
• The criminal activity described violates the laws of the United States or has occurred within the United States

How can I apply for a U visa?

Form I-918 is required to apply for a U visa. Form I -918 includes specific and concrete questions that should be accompanied by strict evidence and certifications different to the needs of every case.

The process is complex and requires the careful analysis and preparation of a competent attorney who holds experience working with U visa applications.

Important Information:

This type of visa is available to victims of violent crimes who have suffered severely and have cooperated with the investigation or prosecution of the convicted perpetrator.

To apply for a U visa, the applicant must obtain a certification from the police agency that carried out the investigation of the crime or the district attorney’s office if the case was prosecuted. This certification may be obtained via form I-918B.

The principal applicant of a U visa may include their spouse and children under 21 years of age in the application. If the principal applicant is under 21 years of age, he or she can include parents, spouses, and children less than 21 years of age and single siblings less than 18 years of age.

If the U visa is approved, the applicant will receive a work permit for a period of 4 years and the opportunity to apply for permanent residency after 3 years with the U visa.


Call us today at (818) 506-0070. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how our immigration lawyers can help you.

Green Card Eligibility

You may be eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residency) through your family, a job offer or employment, refugee or asylum status, or a number of other special provisions. In some cases, you may even be able to self-petition or have a record created for permanent residence on your behalf. In general, to meet the requirements for permanent residency in the United States, you must:

Be eligible for one of the immigrant categories established in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

Have a qualifying immigrant petition filed and approved for you (with a few exceptions)

Have an immigrant visa immediately available

Be admissible to the United States

Each requirement is detailed below.

 

Eligibility for an Immigrant Category

Individuals who want to become immigrants (permanent residents) through their qualified family member, a job offer or employment, or a special category will generally be classified in categories based on a preference system. Except for immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen who are given the highest immigration priority and a few other exceptions, Congress has set a finite number of visas that can be used each year for each category of immigrants.

 

Family Based

Some relatives of U.S. citizens, known as immediate relatives, do not have to wait for a visa to become available. There is no limit to the number of visas that can be utilized in this category in a particular year. Immediate relatives include:

Parents of a U.S. citizen

Spouses of a U.S. citizen

Unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen

Note: U.S. citizens must be at least 21 years old to apply for their parents.

The qualified relatives of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in the remaining family-based categories may have to wait for a visa to become available before they can apply for permanent residency. These categories include:

First Preference: Unmarried, adult (21 years of age or older) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens

Second Preference A: Spouses of permanent residents and the unmarried children (under the age of 21) of permanent residents

Second Preference B: Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years or age or older) of permanent residents

Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children

Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children

 

Job or Employment Based

People who want to become immigrants based on employment or a job offer may apply for permanent residence or an immigrant visa abroad, when an immigrant visa number becomes available according to the following employment based preferences:

First Preference: Priority Workers, including aliens with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.

Second Preference: Members of professions holding an advanced degree or persons of exceptional ability (including individuals seeking a National Interest Waiver)

Third Preference: Skilled Workers, professionals and other qualified workers

Fourth Preference: Certain special immigrants including those in religious vocations

Fifth Preference: Employment creation immigrants (investors or entrepreneurs)

 

Based on Refugee or Asylum Status

If you were admitted to the United States as a refugee or the qualifying spouse or child of a refugee, you are required to apply for permanent residence (a green card) 1 year after your entry into the United States in this status. If you were granted asylum in the United States or are a qualifying spouse or child of an asylee, you may apply for permanent residence 1 year after the grant of your asylum status.

If you are a refugee, you are required by law to apply for a green card 1 year after being admitted to the United States in refugee status.

If you are an asylee or asylee derivative spouse or child, you are not required to apply for a green card 1 year after being granted asylum or 1 year after being admitted to the United States in asylum status, although it may be in your best interest to do so.

Immigrant Petition

Immigrants in most categories will need an immigrant petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, or another petition filed on their behalf.

A petition establishes the underlying basis for your ability to immigrate and determines your immigrant classification or category. Some categories of immigrants may be able to self-petition. Most people immigrating based on humanitarian programs are exempt from the petition requirement.

Some immigrant petitions can be filed at the same time as the adjustment application (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), known as “concurrent filing” while other categories of immigrants will be required to wait until they have an approved petition before being allowed to apply for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa. For more information about concurrent filing, see our Concurrent Filing page.

Visa Availability

A visa is always available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. If you are in a family or employment based preference category, visa availability is determined by:

Your priority date

The preference category you are immigrating under.

The country the visa will be charged to (usually your country of citizenship).

The Department of State is the government agency that controls visa numbers. The annual limits for visa numbers are established by Congress and can be referenced in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

First, a priority date will be assigned to you based on your immigrant petition filing date (the date that the petition is properly filed with USCIS) or, in certain employment-based cases, the date the application for a labor certification was accepted by the Department of Labor. Your priority date holds your place in line for an immigrant visa.

This date, along with your country of nationality and preference category, determines if or how long a person will have to wait for a visa to be immediately available. When USCIS officials are ready to approve an applicant for permanent residency in a visa category that has limited numbers, we must first request a visa number from the Department of State.

When a visa is available, you may file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (if you are in the United States) or apply for an immigrant visa abroad (consular processing). If you are consular processing, USCIS will forward your approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center who will contact you when your priority date is about to become current as to what your next steps are and when you may apply for an immigrant visa abroad.

For more information on determining visa availability or filing abroad, see our Visa Availability & Priority Dates and Consular Processing pages.

 

Admissibility to the United States

All persons applying for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status must prove to the satisfaction of immigration or consular officials that they are admissible (eligible for admission) to the United States.

There are many grounds of inadmissibility that could potentially cause someone to be ineligible to become a permanent resident. For instance, there are health-related, criminal, security-related, and other grounds USCIS must consider.

In some cases and in certain situations, if you are found inadmissible to the United States you may be eligible to file a waiver on Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility, (the form required for most immigrants) or I-602, Application By Refugee For Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (the form required for refugees and asylees) to excuse your inadmissibility.

The grounds of inadmissibility are determined by the particular category under which you are immigrating. If you are ultimately found inadmissible to the United States, your adjustment of status application (Form I-485) or immigrant visa application will be denied. Congress has set the grounds of inadmissibility and they may be referenced in Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

After all paperwork has been received, interviews conducted (if necessary), security checks completed, and other eligibility requirements reviewed, your case will be ready for a decision by USCIS.

 

These cases are very complicated. You will need the assistance of an immigration attorney. Call us today at (818) 506-0070. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how our immigration lawyers can help you.

 

Any decision made by an immigration judge can be reopened or reconsidered if a motion is made by either the foreign national (or their petitioner), the government agency, the judge, or the Board of Immigration Appeals.

A motion to reopen the case is appropriate when there are new facts relevant to the case. These motions must be filed within 90 days of the original decision.

A motion to reconsider the case is appropriate when the judge's or board's decision is thought to be in error. These motions must be filed within 30 days of the original decision.

These motions can no longer be made to the judge once the decision has been appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, but can be made to the BIA under the same rules and deadlines.

There are two exceptions to the 30 and 90 day deadlines. Where an immigration judge made a removal order without the person because they failed to appear either because they did not have adequate notice or due to exceptional circumstances. The second exception applies where a person's prior attorney failed to provide competent representation.

Our Services

If you believe your immigration case should be reopened or reconsidered, contact us by phone, through our website. We will go over your case in detail and represent you before the courts, presenting your case for you. We will go over all the evidence and work with you to come up with the best strategy to fit your needs.

Call us today at (818) 506-0070 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and to learn more about whether a motion to reopen might be right for you.

What Is DACA?

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.

You may request DACA if you:

1-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;

Had no lawful status on 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

Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Call us today at (818) 506-0070. Sch


What is VAWA?

VAWA, or Violence Against Women Act addresses a flaw in the marriage-based immigration system created by domestic violence and abusive relationships. Sadly, immigrants who are victims of abuse often feel compelled to stay with their abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouses in order to get a green card. The victim needs the abuser’s help to get a green card. This dynamic gives the abusive spouse power to manipulate his or her victim.

The goal of the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA is to fix this problem by allowing immigrants who are being abused to self-petition, independently of their abusive spouse or family member.

Violence Against Women Act preliminary consideration: Be safe!

Before you think about your immigration case under VAWA, you should consider your own personal safety. If you find yourself caught in an abusive relationship, seek out support services for domestic violence. Take advantage of hotlines, shelters, and counseling services. A good starting point might be calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE.

 

VAWA Requirements: what you need to prove to win?

The requirements for an immigration case under the Violence Against Women Act vary based on the facts of the case. In certain circumstances, VAWA can apply to parents or children who have been abused or battered by a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. VAWA can also be used by abused spouses and children of Cuban Adjustment, HRIFA, and NACARA beneficiaries.

In marriage-based Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cases, a self-petitioning spouse must show:

The abusing spouse is (or was) a green card holder or U.S. citizen;

That the abuser is a permanent resident or U.S. citizen spouse and was legally married to the VAWA applicant;

That the VAWA applicant lived with the abusing spouse;

The U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse abused (i.e., “battered or subjected to extreme cruelty”) the VAWA applicant during the marriage;

That the marriage was based on a relationship that was entered into for bona fide, good faith reasons and not solely for obtaining immigration benefits; and

That the Violence Against Women Act applicant is a person of good moral character.

VAWA Applicants Must prove abuse or battery

To win your VAWA case, you need to show that you were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by your spouse. USCIS takes into consideration a variety of domestic violence, which is not limited to physical abuse.

Often people mistakenly believe that a successful Violence Against Women Act application must be supported with a police report. But this is not true. U.S. immigration laws provide a flexible legal standard, which allows VAWA self-petitioners to submit “any credible evidence.”

Although not required, it’s helpful to submit any available primary or secondary documentation such as, medical records, police reports, restraining order paperwork, and therapist/counselor reports, domestic violence shelter records.

 

A good affidavit is essential to a winning VAWA case

 

A petition under VAWA (the Violence Against Women Act) should be supported with an affidavit or personal statement from the applicant, describing the abuse, the courtship and relationship with the abusive spouse, and the applicant’s good moral character and immigration history. This is a crucial part of the case that should be prepared with meticulous care.

 

VAWA requires a bona fide marriage relationship

 

A winning VAWA self-petition requires proof by “clear and convincing evidence” that the underlying relationship was entered into for genuine, good faith reasons and not solely to obtain immigration status. Documentation to show that the parties lived together and shared their lives include, for instance, jointly-filed tax returns, jointly-held leases, insurance, photos, and affidavits from third parties.

 

How long does it take to get approved for a VAWA immigration case?

 

USCIS publishes VAWA case processing times on its website. Also, when considering how long it will take to get a green card, factor in the time-consuming process of preparing a compelling VAWA case.

 

Can Men Apply under the Violence Against Women Act?

 

Yes. Despite the name, the Violence Against Women Act is not only for women. It also protects men. An abusive same-sex marriage could also serve as the basis for a VAWA case. Precisely the same legal standard would apply regardless of the VAWA applicant’s gender or sexual orientation.

 

Work Permits under VAWA

 

To qualify for a work permit or Employment Authorization Document while self-petitioning under the Violence Against Women Act, you’ll need an approved VAWA application (Form I-360) or a pending application for adjustment of status (Form I-485). Usually, you should receive your work permit about 3 months after filing the application (Form I-765).

 

How will Divorce affect your VAWA case?

 

A VAWA self-petition must be filed within 2 years of when the divorce becomes final.

 

VAWA and Remarriage

 

A VAWA self-petitioner who has been subject to battery or extreme cruelty must wait to get remarried until after USCIS approves the VAWA self-petition (Form I-360). The immigration petition is invalidated if the applicant remarries before USCIS approves the petition.

 

Call us today at (818) 506-0070. Schedule a consultation to learn more about the Violence Against Women Act and how our immigration lawyers can help you.

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