Thursday, October 18, 2012
The most often asked question that an attorney receives regarding immigration is about the application for Lawful Permanent Residence. Many individuals prefer to this as a green card application. The application for Lawful Permanent Residence status or LPR status can be granted in one of a number of ways. You can apply for lawful permanent resident status based upon a family relationship, employment, asylum, for legalization for set group of people by an act of Congress. Most individuals use the family relationship status as the basis for their application as an LPR. Many individuals have their LPR requests denied because of improper applications or a lack of proper evidence supporting their application. Immigration attorneys will tell you they receive a good number of phone calls from individuals who are now having problems with USCIS because of improper applications or lack of proper evidence. Improper petition can create harsh consequences for the applicant and he may suffer a penalty period as a result of the improper application. Application for LPR status starts with the petition. The most common petition is a family petition. Under a family petition you'll need a family member to sponsor your application. In fact, the family member is treated as the actual application. For family-based immigrants there are five categories of applications. The best category to fall under is called an "immediate relative". As an immediate relative you are given the preferential option of adjusting your status. The main benefit of adjusting your status is that you can be physically present in the United States and still receive an approval on your LPR application which will allow your status to be adjusted to a lawful permanent resident.
After the "immediate relative" category comes the traditional preference categories for family based immigrants. The first preference category includes unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens. The second preference category include spouses and children of LPR's, and unmarried sons and daughters of LPR's. The third preference category includes married sons and daughters of US citizens. Finally, the fourth preference category includes brothers and sisters of US citizens. These four preference categories are used to determine when a visa will become "immediately available" for the individual applying. The preference category uses a concept called "priority date" in which the individuals application will be set as the applicant's priority date and that individual would have to wait until his priority date becomes currents in order for his application to be ready to proceed. For information on what priority dates our current for which category the Department of State posts on their website the current priority date statuses.
If you believe you have a family member would like to apply for LPR status and need assistance contact the Law Office of Jonathan W. Cole at 708-529-7794 and schedule a free consultation to speak with an immigration attorney to assist you with your application. LPR applications can be difficult and confusing to do not risk your chances of receiving the benefits of lawful permanent resident status by fumbling through the application alone.
Monday, October 15, 2012
The program DACA or (Deferred Action or Childhood Arrivals) has found itself up against a major barrier. This barrier is in regards to the educational requirements which is a key fertile in immigrants obtaining a "legitimate status" under DACA. It is estimated that 350,000 youths are not eligible for DACA because the barriers to the educational requirements are simply too high. Many applicants are attempting to get their GED but are unable to or two major reasons. The first reason is that the GED program is cost prohibitive. Many applicants have an out-of-pocket cost of $4000 for one year in the GED program. This costs is way beyond the means of many individuals were brought to this country at a young age and now are in a low income bracket as a result of not being eligible for work authorization and forced to work in a cash basis system. The second major roadblock for individuals in regards to the education requirement, is a lack of availability of GED programs that have available slots for individuals in this predicament. Many GED programs are either blocked or not reserved or maintain slots for individuals who are undocumented. As a result, many individuals who qualify for DACA cannot gain enrollment in GED courses.
An additional complication is the lack of many applicants ability to speak English in a proficient manner. Some states have allowed GED programs and the GED tests to be completed in Spanish, but not all states. This presents a major problem DACA applicants would like to get their GED and move on through a DACA application. Of the 1.7 million undocumented immigrants were eligible for deferred action between 320,002 to 350,000 may not meet the education requirement. One major problem of the educational acquirement that DACA insists upon is that it creates a substantial burden on the poorest of the poor. Many individuals who are unable to afford the GED requirements cannot qualify for DACA because they cannot afford the GED program, college, or other education. There is a disproportionate number of individuals who would qualify for DACA otherwise, but cannot afford to complete their GED and therefore are ineligible for DACA. Deferred Action is therefore "a program for rich undocumented aliens" and not a program that would benefit the undocumented poor.
If you believe you may qualify for Deferred Action and would like to speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable on the subject, please do not hesitate to contact
The Law Office of Jonathan W. Cole
5013 W. 95th St.
Oak lawn, IL 60453