Articles Posted in Family Immigration

Typically, a foreign national who has accrued more than one hundred eighty (180) days but less than one year of unlawful presence is subject to a three (3) year bar from returning the US after a departure. A foreign national who has accrued more than one year of unlawful presence is typically subject to a ten (10) year bar from returning to the U.S. after a departure (commonly referred to as the “3/10 year bar”).  While a waiver of these bars remains available, applicants may only apply for this waiver from outside the US.  This process carried a very significant risk of being trapped outside of the US for months or even years pending the adjudication of the waiver.  Even worse, if the waiver application were to be denied, the applicant would be unable to return to the US for 3/10 years, depending upon the previous duration of unlawful presence.

As of March 4, 2013, immediate relatives[1] of US citizens were eligible to apply for the provisional unlawful presence waiver (“601A waiver”) to request that USCIS grant a provisional waiver of these grounds of inadmissibility before departing the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visas— rather than applying for a waiver abroad after their immigrant visa interviews.  This provided applicants with a significant degree of certainty that they would be eligible to return to the US after their interview because the Applicant would already know if their waiver had been granted prior to departing the US.  If the 601A waiver were denied, most Applicants would simply remain in the US.  In practice, while many Applicants were able to make use of the 601A Waiver to reenter, there remained a modicum of danger, as US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ultimately determines admissibility at the time of entry.  In addition, this iteration of the 601A left out many otherwise qualified individuals, such as immediate relatives of legal permanent residents (LPR).

On July 29, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule, to expand the class of individuals who may be eligible for a provisional waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility based on the accrual of unlawful presence in the United States.  The final rule is to take effect on August 29, 2016.

Over the weekend, immigration officials stayed true to their word and began their next phase of immigration law enforcement against Central American nationals who have received a final order of removal from an immigration judge in recent years.

While immigration officials claim they are only looking to find and remove families from Central America who have had their chance to present their case in court and received a “final order of removal” dated January 1, 2014 or later, it remains to be seen whether this will be the case. In fact, for individuals with removal orders in absentia, they may have never even stepped foot into the courtroom. Many of these families are fleeing the continuing violence and economic ruin of countries such as El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Although few details have been released regarding the execution of enforcement actions, immigration officers executed removal orders over the weekend which resulted in the arrest and detention of 121 Central American mothers and their children. These raids were targeted against families at their known addresses. These raids seem to have served little purpose than to sow fear in our communities and cause further harm to immigrants who are already fleeing unprecedented violence and persecution in their home countries.

Immigrant Attorneys NJThe New Jersey Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-NJ) recently brought lawsuits against seven New Jersey school districts, alleging that they were discriminating against the children of illegal immigrants.

According to ACLU-NJ, the school districts targeted by the lawsuits required or appeared to require that parents show a driver’s license, a voter registration or some other similar documentation before their children could register for school.

Four of the school districts named in the suits resolved the issues within 24 hours. Three of the districts, Audubon and Somerdale Park in Camden County and Perth Amboy in Middlesex County have not acted yet.

It has been a long climb, but same-sex marriage advocates are seeing more and more victories in their fight to have same-sex marriage recognized in many states. Just last year, New Jersey governor Chris Christie dropped his objection to gay marriage in New Jersey and it is now legal in the state.

Since same-sex marriage is legal in New Jersey, how does this affect the immigration status of foreign nationals who are already married or who wish to marry U.S citizens?

In a nutshell, same-sex couples in New Jersey now have all of the same immigration channels available to them as opposite-sex couples. For instance, a U.S. citizen can marry his or her same-sex non-citizen partner and can petition for naturalization of that spouse just the same as a heterosexual couple can.

New Jersey Immigration LawyerThere is one thing for certain. Immigration law is complicated. From the incredible amount of legislative code, to the mountains of paperwork, an immigration case is best left in the hands of an experienced immigration attorney who has the knowledge to guide you through the maze of complicated laws with the attention to detail necessary to avoid the many pitfalls.

The attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo have over 36 years of immigration law experience and has helped countless individuals find the path to immigration success. This site is intended to assist prospective and existing clients by providing information that relates to many immigration topics. Our hope is that those seeking information on immigration matters will be able to make better and more informed choices when choosing legal representation.

We are here to help and will put our years of experience to work for you. You can be confident that you will receive the best representation possible in your immigration matter, regardless of where you reside, including outside the United States.

New Jersey Marriage ImmigrationAs a rule, foreign nationals (FN) who are not in lawful status, who have failed to continuously maintain status, or who have engaged in unauthorized employment since their entry into the United States cannot adjust status to US permanent resident. Marriage to a US citizen and obtaining an approved petition from the US citizen spouse usually waives all the status violation and the FN will be allowed to receive permanent resident status.

Many FNs staying in the US illegally think that the easy solution to their status violation is to marry a US citizen. However, this relief is not available for all situations. There are instances where marriage to a US citizen and an approved petition will not permit the FN to adjust status. Here are the most common instances where marriage to a US citizen will still not provide relief to a FN.

Entered the US illegally – Foreign nationals must have been inspected and lawfully admitted to the U.S. FNs have been “inspected” when they present themselves to an immigration officer at a U.S. port of entry. FNs are considered admitted when an officer allows them to enter the U.S. As a rule, the I-94 and/or the immigration stamp in the passport is an indication that the FN has been admitted legally. If the FN crossed the border without being inspected and admitted by an immigration officer, he is in the US illegally. He will not be able to adjust status to a permanent resident.