Featured Clients of the Month: Ted & Austhin

Congratulations to our clients, Ted and Austhin, who recently completed the marriage-based green card process and were successfully approved! Ted is a U.S. citizen and Austhin is a citizen of Indonesia. Austhin recently received her ten-year green card with the help of our firm after filing an approved Form I-130 and attending an immigrant visa interview in Jakarta, Indonesia with the U.S. Embassy.  Ted met his wife, Austhin, in Jakarta where he was volunteering as an English instructor in 2012. Austhin was a teacher at the local school. The two immediately hit it off and began dating. However, Ted had to return to the U.S. in August of 2012 in order to continue pursuing his graduate degree. In the meantime, Ted and Austhin had a long-distance relationship and continued to keep in touch.  Upon completion of his degree in the U.S., Ted moved to Indonesia to be with Austhin. The couple enjoyed their life together in Indonesia until Austhin was granted a scholarship at Northern Arizona University. Austhin went to study in Arizona while Ted accepted a job in Cincinnati, but the couple continued their long-distance relationship in the meantime. In 2017, Ted and Austhin decided they could not be […]
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What is Direct Consulate Filing?

Direct Consulate Filing (DCF) is an expedited process through which a United States citizen living oversees can petition the government for an immigrant visa for his or her immediate relatives. DCF requires that, instead of sending an I-130 petition back to the United States, the citizen sends it to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country in which he or she is residing. It is important to note that this procedure is not offered at all consulates and embassies and to date, the government has not issued a list of available consulates that offer this service. The DCF requirements are modest. In order to file a Form I-130 Petition through DCF, the Petitioner must have U.S. Citizenship and have lived abroad for a minimum of six months. DCF may also be available in extenuating circumstances such as members of the military facing deployment, emergency situations, situations involving the health or safety of the petitioner, and when it is in the national interest of the U.S.  Ultimately, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handles the visa petition directly and decides the immigrant’s eligibility for a green card. This is the advantage of DCF: I-130 applications are handled directly by a U.S. […]
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A Proposed Solution to the Green Card Backlog

A new bill has just been introduced in both houses of the United States Congress that would make a dramatic change to the current immigration system by scrapping the per-country limit on green cards. Bill HR 1044, also known as the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, proposes that green cards be issued by category and date, as opposed to the current system which allows a limited number of green cards per country.  Those who drafted the bill believe that the change will help to reduce the backlog in countries like China and India where applicants wait years for their approved applications to amount to U.S. employment. Chinese applicants currently have a backlog of 67,031 approved employment-based petitions, while Indian applicants have 306,601. By eliminating the per-country limit, the new bill will provide green cards to applicants on a first come, first serve basis, which will result in applicants from countries with the most applicants, like China and India, dominating the market. This change to the immigration system may be on the horizon because the bill seems to have a good chance of passing. HR 1044 has bipartisan support in Congress, as well as the support of tech giants like Google, […]
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USCIS Implementing Signature Confirmation Delivery Service for Important Documents

Beginning April 30, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began phasing in use of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service. The USPS service is now used to mail Green Cards and other secure immigration documents. It is important to note, however, that the first phase of this new delivery method will not affect every individual expecting secure documents. It will likely only affect those documents that need to be re-mailed because they were returned as non-deliverable. Applicants who have changed mailing addresses during the course of the application process are more likely to have their secure documents sent with the new delivery method. The new delivery method will require applicants to present identification to sign for their documents upon delivery. Individuals will also have the option to designate an agent to sign on their behalf. An agent can be designated by completing the Postal Service’s PS Form 3801 or PS Form 3801-A. In addition, applicants will be able to sign up for USPS Informed and will have the option to arrange for convenient pickup of their documents at a post office of their choosing.  The purpose of implementing Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery is to increase […]
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The “One-in-Three” Rule

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a policy memorandum (PM-602-0158) providing guidance on the EB-1C immigrant visa category, specifically the “one-in-three” rule. Just for some background, the EB-1C category enables multinational managers and executives who have been employed outside the U.S. for at least one year to immigrate to the U.S. to continue to render managerial or executive services to the same employer or to its subsidiary or affiliate. If the beneficiary is outside the United States at the time of filing, the “one-in-three” rule applies. That is, the petitioner must demonstrate that the beneficiary’s one year of qualifying foreign employment occurred within the three years immediately preceding the filing of the EB-1C petition.  Alternatively, if the beneficiary is already working in the United States for the petitioner (L-1 status), or its affiliate or subsidiary, at the time of filing, the petitioner must demonstrate that the beneficiary’s year of foreign employment occurred in the three years preceding his or her entry as a nonimmigrant.  Policy Memo (PM-602-0158) The newly released policy memo adopts the Administrative Appeals Office’s (AAO) decision in Matter of S-P-, Inc. In that case, the Beneficiary worked in a qualifying capacity for the Petitioner’s affiliate […]
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Maintaining Green Card Status

Once an individual is granted lawful permanent residence, that person maintains their status indefinitely. A green card holder is permitted to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, but there are several ways that you can lose your status. Unlike a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident can be removed from the U.S. A green card is not absolute. It is subject to revocation for a number of reasons including fraud, criminal activity and/or abandonment. For more information on revoking a green card, please check out our blog. In addition, there are specific rights and responsibilities associated with lawful permanent residence. A green card holder is protected by all the laws of the United States but is required to: Obey all the laws of the United States, and localities; File your income tax returns and report your income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities; Support the democratic form of government and not attempt to change the government through illegal means; and Register with the Selective Service if you are a male ages 18-25. There are also situations that could put a green card holder at risk of “abandoning” their status. U.S. Citizenship […]
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Can a U.S. Green Card be Revoked?

Generally, a Green Card allows the holder to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis, but your rights as a lawful permanent resident are not absolute. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets forth various grounds upon which a non-citizen may be deported. Keep in mind, however, an individual’s status as a lawful permanent resident does not expire. The physical green card must be renewed every 10 years (similar to a drivers license), but the individual’s status is permanent. Revoking a Green Card Having your green card revoked is actually quite difficult but not impossible. A green card may be revoked based on numerous grounds including: fraud, criminal activity and/or abandonment. Fraud: If a green card holder lied, omitted relevant information or committed any fraud during the application process, his or her green card may be revoked. For example, marriage fraud is grounds for deportation. If a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen solely for the purpose of obtaining a green card, his or her status as a lawful permanent resident may be revoked. Criminal activity: The INA details specific crimes that would subject a non-citizen to deportation. Crimes involving moral turpitude, aggravated felonies and certain drug-related […]
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