FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Neri Law Offices prides itself in providing immigration resources to the community including but not limited to immigration law resources, immigration law information, immigration resources for families, and resources for immigrants in the USA. Here are some frequently asked questions that can help answer some doubts. Remember that it is best to consult the details of your case with an immigration attorney because U.S. immigration law is very fact-intensive and always changing. As legal professionals, Neri Law Offices is up to date on the current state of the law.
Neri Law Offices has immigration resources for you and can file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on your behalf to obtain a complete copy of your immigration record at the immigration court. There are also additional agencies where you can file a FOIA request to obtain records outside of immigration court. Contact our law office to learn more.
Generally, once your son or daughter turns 21 years old s/he can petition for you, but you must meet certain requirements to succeed in your case beyond the initial family petition. Neri Law Offices can screen you for eligibility and explain the process in detail with you.
U.S. immigration law grants you conditional permanent residence when you are petitioned for by your spouse and you have been married for less than two (2) years on the date your application is granted. Your green card will be valid for two (2) years and will have the classification “CR1.” You must file Form I-751 to remove conditions and obtain your permanent green card. Neri Law Offices can assist you in removing conditions on your green card whether you are still married, are filing late, your spouse has passed away, there was abuse in the relationship, or you are now separated.
If you are engaged and your fiancé/e is abroad, you can apply for a K-1 visa, which is issued to allow your fiancé/e to enter the United States and marry you within 90 days, or you can consular process, which will require you to marry your fiancé/e abroad and process the case while your spouse remains in his or her home country until the immigrant visa is approved.
The next step depends on your relationship with the petitioner (the person who filed on your behalf). There is a waiting period for certain individuals. Neri Law Offices can review your case to inform you if there is a waiting period and if so, how to self-check its progress. If there is no wait, the next step is to work with the National Visa Center and file a waiver if you require one.
Admissibility is a general requirement to obtain permanent residence (green card). If you have been residing in the United States for more than one (1) year after April 1, 1997 without authorization, it is very likely that USCIS will request that you file a Form I-601A waiver to waive your unlawful presence, with certain exceptions, before your immigrant visa is approved. Neri Law Offices has extensive experience filing I-601A waivers and, I-601 and I-212 waivers, and will provide you with a detailed document list and overview of the process. With over 150 waivers processed and a 99% approval rate, you are in great hands. Neri Law Offices offers full scale representation at USCIS, the National Visa Center, and the Department of State.
It depends. Some criminal convictions may cause you to become inadmissible or in certain circumstances deportable from the United States, with some exception. Further, some crimes do not require a conviction to cause adverse effects in your case. Neri Law Offices can review your criminal record and advise you properly regarding the impact and the options you may have to clean your record, if necessary.
You may be eligible to self-petition independent of the abuser under the Violence Against Women Act; Men are also protected. This self-petition can lead to a work permit while your petition is pending, and a green card.
A foreign national can become a United States citizen through the process of naturalization. There are multiple requirements to meet eligibility. To start, you must be a lawful permanent resident for either three (3) or five (5) years depending on who petitioned for you, be able to speak, read, and write basic English, with some exceptions for length of permanent residency and age, have good moral character, and be at least 18 years old. There are also ways of obtaining citizenship by birth abroad and by derivation.
In 1994, Congress enacted legislation that provided an exception to the English and Civics requirements for naturalization. Neri Law Offices can guide you and a licensed medical processional to meet the Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, requirements to exempt you from being tested on the English language and civics questions. We have zealously advocated for clients, before USCIS officers, who had their Form N-648 denied and have successfully changed the officer’s finding of insufficiency by thoroughly explaining how the client’s medical condition prohibits him or her from meeting the requirements.
Eligibility for a work permit is tied to specific immigration applications. You may be able to obtain a work permit while your application is pending.
Neri Law Offices can process and submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain a copy of your immigration records from the appropriate federal agency. FOIA requests are confidential. Neri Law Offices will review the FOIA responsive records and provide you with an overview and your options.
Under U.S. immigration law, you may qualify for a U Visa if you have been a direct victim/indirect victim/bystander of:
- Abusive Sexual Contact
- Domestic Violence
- False Imprisonment
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Felonious Assault
- Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
- Involuntary Servitude
- Obstruction of Justice
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Exploitation
- Slave Trade
- Witness Tampering
- Unlawful Criminal Restraint
- Other Related Crimes
Neri Law Offices will need a copy of the police report and/or criminal court case document(s) and/or restraining order document(s) filed in the case. Neri Law Offices will review the penal code(s) in the document(s) to confirm that you are eligible and will contact the appropriate agency for certification. Once a certification is obtained, Neri Law Offices will file your U Visa application with additional corresponding forms and evidence.
If your case was denied you may be able to appeal and overturn the decision. Appeals are time-sensitive, so it is especially important to contact us at your earliest convenience to devise a timely and appropriate plan of action.
If ICE agents come to your home, follow these steps:
- Do not open the door;
- If ICE asks to enter, ask them if they have an order signed by a judge;
- If ICE agents state they do, ask to see the order and have them slip it under your door;
- An administrative order such as ICE Form 1-200 or 1-205 does NOT allow ICE agents to enter your home. If they do not have an order signed by a judge with your name on it, you can refuse entry. It is your RIGHT;
- If ICE agents enter by force, do not resist;
- Tell everyone in the household to maintain silence. It is your RIGHT;
- If you are arrested, remain silent and do not sign anything;
- Call us for a consultation. You have options.