Preparing for Your Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

Obtaining lawful permanent resident status by marriage to a U.S. citizen is a multi-step process. The first step of the marriage-based Green Card process involves the filing of Form I-130, Petition for Alien Resident, by the U.S. Citizen spouse...
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Back to school…F-1 Fact or Fiction

As the new academic school years begins, Berardi Immigration Law reviews the basic elements of the F-1 nonimmigrant status. Statement #1: I’m a foreign national, I can apply to any university in the U.S. and obtain F-1 status. FICTION. In order to qualify for F-1 status you need to enter as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.  Some “schools” will try and lure a foreign national with the promises of online course-work easily accessible from any geographic location, employment authorization from the beginning, and only offering evening/weekend classes.  These “schools” should be avoided as they typically do not qualify according to the immigration regulations. Statement #2: I just received my F-1 status, now I immediately can receive employment authorization. FICTION.  A foreign nation in F-1 status can be authorized for Curricular Practice Training (CPT) only after a full academic year of full-time study. Statement #3: If I take a […]
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NEXUS Mid-Year Report

Niagara Region’s Mid-Year NEXUS Traffic Report According to mid-year border traffic data compiled between January and June 2013, overall NEXUS trips in the Niagara region have risen by 11% from last year’s first-half mark of 675,000 to 750,000 total crossings. NEXUS usage at the Peace Bridge between Buffalo and Ft. Erie grew to over 360,000 conveyances, representing more than 17% of overall crossings at the border location. The Nexus-only Whirlpool Bridge (between Niagara Falls, ON and Niagara Falls, NY) serviced roughly 330,000 vehicles, an increase of approximately 32% from last year’s figures. NEXUS traffic at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and the Rainbow Bridge totaled 40,000 and 15,000 conveyances, respectively. NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travelers into Canada and the United States.  To become a member in this program, you can submit an application using the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). Both U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will use the information provided on the application to determine eligibility to participate in NEXUS. If you have questions about travel, please contact our Immigration Attorneys today.
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Moving? Don’t forget to tell Uncle Sam! AR-11 Tips and Pointers

If you are in the United States and not a U.S. citizen then you are required to file a change of address using Form AR-11 within 10 days of moving.  Excluded from this requirement are: Dipolmats (A visas) Official government representatives to an international organization (G visas), and Certain nonimmigrants who do not possess a visa and who are in the U.S. for fewer than 30 days. Below is a step-by-step guide in assisting with the filing: 1. If you have NO PENDING CASES: File AR-11 online or by mail.  To file online, you will need the following information: Full name, Status, County of Citizenship, Date of Birth, and A-number (if applicable) Current Address and Last Address Employer or School information: Name and Address Last Entry into the U.S.: Port of Entry, Date of Entry, Date Status Expires After filling out all of the information, you will select the “Signature” button.  By selecting the “Signature” button, you will be certifying under penalty of perjury that the information that you have provided is true and correct. At the end of this process, you will be given the opportunity to download or print your completed Form AR-11 for your own records. Even though […]
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Moving? Don't forget to tell Uncle Sam! AR-11 Tips and Pointers

If you are in the United States and not a U.S. citizen then you are required to file a change of address using Form AR-11 within 10 days of moving.  Excluded from this requirement are: Dipolmats (A visas) Official government representatives to an international organization (G visas), and Certain nonimmigrants who do not possess a visa and who are in the U.S. for fewer than 30 days. Below is a step-by-step guide in assisting with the filing: 1. If you have NO PENDING CASES: File AR-11 online or by mail.  To file online, you will need the following information: Full name, Status, County of Citizenship, Date of Birth, and A-number (if applicable) Current Address and Last Address Employer or School information: Name and Address Last Entry into the U.S.: Port of Entry, Date of Entry, Date Status Expires After filling out all of the information, you will select the “Signature” button.  By selecting the “Signature” button, you will be certifying under penalty of perjury that the information that you have provided is true and correct. At the end of this process, you will be given the opportunity to download or print your completed Form AR-11 for your own records. Even though […]
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Are you domiciled in the U.S.?

When you are petitioning for your foreign national family member, one of the requirements you must prove to the government is that your family member will not become a public charge after admission into the U.S.  This means that once granted permanent resident status, your foreign national family member will not need public assistance.  This is accomplished by filing the required Form I-864: Affidavit of Support. To qualify as a sponsor or joint sponsor, you must be: a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident; at least 18 years of age; and domiciled in the United States The first two bullet points are self-explanatory, but that term “domiciled in the United States” causes many issues and in some cases denials.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS) defines the term “domicile” as the place where a person has a residence that he or she intends to maintain for the foreseeable future.  If a petitioner/sponsor actually lives and works in the U.S. then this is not an issue. The problem arises when the petitioner/sponsor lives abroad.  The petitioner may still be able to sponsor a foreign national if they can can re-establish domicile in the U.S. on or before the foreign national’s admission into the […]
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New Revised Form I-9

As of Tuesday, May 7, 2013 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service implemented the use of the new, revised Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification for all new hires and reverifications.  All employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each employee hired to work in the U.S. The Form I-9 must have the revision date of 03/08/13 which is printed on the lower left corner of the form. Employers should not complete a new Form I-9 for existing employees,  if a properly completed Form I-9 is already on file.  You can find the new forms online at www.uscis.gov/I-9. A Spanish version of Form I-9 (revision 03/08/13)N is available on the USCIS website for use in Puerto Rico only. Spanish-speaking employers and employees in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories may use the Spanish version for reference, but must complete and retain the English version of the form. Berardi Immigration Law is committed to providing all the latest changes regarding immigration.  If you have a foreign national that you wish to employ, contact our attorneys today.  
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