What are the steps to get political asylum?

Question Detail: I am holding a US B1/B2 visa status. I wanted to take political asylum. If my political asylum is denied, what would be the next steps? Can I be eligible for work permit while asylum period and the denial period?

If you are in B status, you should file your asylum application as soon as you can but definitely with one year of your entry into the US.

Once you file the asylum application, in about 3-4 weeks you will be asked to do finger print; then in 5 months from the date of your filing you may apply for employment authorization.  Your interview date may be 2-4 years from the date of your initial asylum application, depending on the location of your residence.  in general San Francisco Asylum Office schedules interview faster than other asylum offices.  if you pass the interview you receive asylee status and in one year of the approval you can apply for green card.  If you do not pass, your case will be referred to immigration court for a de novo review by a judge.  If you lose again you may appeal your case to the Board of Immigration Appeals.  After that, if you lose your appeal, you may file petition for review in federal circuit court of appeals.

The best chance to win your case is at the asylum office.  If you have good immigration lawyer with experience in your country's condition, you should prevail.

If I am 20 and want to apply for green card for both my parents, is that possible?

Question: If I am 20 and want to apply for green card for both my parents, is that possible? I live in CA and my parents have no bad record.

Answer: If you are a US citizen you can file petitions for your parents when you reach 21.

If your parents entered the US legally they may file application to adjust the status in the US when you file your immigrant visa petition for them.  If they entered the US illegally they will need waiver and they will have to return to their home country to apply for immigrant visa.  This will be complicated and you should retain the services of good immigration lawyer. 

Do I need to file a I-601A waiver for my stepdaughter who is now 20 years old?

Question Detail: I am a USC who married an undocumented immigrant. My husband's I-130 has been approved. We are in the process of submitting the form I-601A. We married when my stepdaughter was 14 years old, she EWI to the US at age 6. She obtained her DACA at the age of 19. I'm in the process of submitting an I-130 for her. Do I also need to submit an I-601A for her?

Answer: Yes.  Since she entered the US without inspection, she will also need 601A waiver.

Is it possible for me to have some kind of permit to be in the US or can I still apply for a green card?

Question Detail: When I was 12 years old, I entered the US illegally. Now, I'm 22. I married a US citizen 3 years ago and we have a 3 year old daughter. I have no criminal record.

Answer:  Since you entered the US illegally, you cannot adjust your status in the US(unless you are 245i protected).

Here are you and your wife should do to get you a green card:

1. Your wife files I-130 visa petition for you;

2. Upon approval, pay fees at the national via center;

3. File 601A waiver with the national visa center;

4. Upon 601A waiver approval, continue the process to receive interview notice from the US embassy in your country;

5.  Leave the US to attend the immigrant visa interview.

If you do not have any other inadmissibility issues(such as criminal record; public charge; terrorist connection; visa fraud; reentry after deportation without US government permission, etc.), you should be able to get your immigrant visa and return to the US with an immigrant visa. 

I hope this is helpful to you.  If needed, please contact an immigration lawyer for help.

Can she travel outside the USA and reenter with an expired green card?

Question Detail: I married Chinese wife in May 2013 in China. Wife entered the US on November 2014. I-751 was due November 2016 but I did not complete i751. I want to help her but she is totally unpredictable. She wants to travel to Mexico. If she goes there, can she reenter the US?

Answer: if your wife and you failed to file I-751, application to remove condition, her green card expires and she may have problem coming back. She may also be placed in removal proceedings if she is lucky.

You should file a late I-751 immediately.

Is it still possible to be found unlawful presence or out of status without appearing on court without seeing an immigration judge?

Question Detail: I went to US for 2 times on F1 visa. On my first visit I stayed around 10 months and returned back to my country of origin. On my second visit I stayed 2 years and 3 months and returned back to my country of origin. On my second visit my school terminated me on September 2015 and I left the country on August 2016. (I believe that makes me out of status for 11 months) I talked to immigration and she told me since I was on student visa there is no unlawful presence. If a judge did not find me out of status therefore there is no time bar. I did not appear on court and no judge found me out of status but my situation is I changed many cities and states after my termination by the school on September 2015, so if I received any kind of court order related to my status in my mailbox of any address I have shown (driver's license or school database) I did not have the chance to get any mail and never appeared on court. My question is if a court sent me a date for my out of status case and since I did not appear on court if it happened, left the country by myself without any immigration officer; nobody told me anything or did any operation when I jumped into plane while leaving.

We can answer your question in general terms:

1.  For F-1 student, even if you drop out of school and the school terminated you, unless you receive a notice from the USCIS or a decision from immigration judge that you started to accrue unlawful presence for the 3/10 year bar purposes, you do not have that "unlawful presence".  Please note, however, this does not mean your stay in the US after you lose your F-1 status is legal or lawful.  It only means you may not be subject to the 3/10 year bar.

2.  If you stayed in the US after you dropped out of school, your chance to get another visa from the US Consulate/Embassy will be reduced, even if you have good reason to visit the US again.

3.  The USCIS/ICE may refer you to immigration court for removal after the US government learned your termination from the school.  The notice may be mailed to your last known address.  It is also possible that no notice was ever mailed to you.  You should try to find out if notice was mailed to you.

It is better to hire an immigration lawyer to find out.   

How long will it take for an I-652 decision?

Question Detail: I had my interview today for my citizenship but I didn't get approved right then and there. The officer said she couldn't make a decision. I applied as a resident for 5 or more years. I was married to a US citizen from August 2006 to November 2009 (when divorced was final). My N-400 was received in December, fingerprinting in January and interview today (04/13). Officer said I would have to wait for my letter that I should receive in 4-6 weeks. Do I need to worry? I have paid all my taxes since the day I moved here, no arrests or tickets and I entered a marriage with good intentions not to obtain a green card. 

Answer: USCIS may review your marriage to determine if your marriage was bona fide.  If not it may deny your N-400 and refer you to immigration court for removal.

If your marriage was not for the purpose of evading immigration law, you don't have to worry about it.

If you don't hear from USCIS for more than 120 days after the interview, you should consult with immigration lawyer.

How do I get my grandmother a visitor's visa if I'm a USC?

Question Detail: My husband has cancer and my grandmother wants to be with us and help taking care of my husband. She is 92 years old.

Answer: It is not a good idea to tell the consulate officer that your 92 year old grandma wants to come here to take care of your husband.  You could simply send her an invitation letter to come to visit you for a few months.  Her advanced age may be an issue to receive B-2 visa.  For more please consult your immigration lawyer.

How do I petition my girlfriend to USA if we are same-sex couples?

If she can come to the US on other visa, you may marry her in the US and file immigrant petition with the USCIS.  It may take about 6-8 months depending on the location to receive interview notice.

If she cannot come, you can either file fiancée visa or if you marry her you can file I-130 first, after approval she will get an immigrant visa interview in her country (US Embassy).

You should consult with an immigration lawyer for advice and possible representation.

Can I marry a non-citizen?

Question: My fiancé cake thru the border illegally. He has a case. He pleaded asylum from his country of India. We met and fell in love and we want to marry. Can we get married? Will it affect his case?

Answer: It appears based on your description that your fiancé entered the United States without inspection and he is in immigration court for his asylum application.

If this is correct, you can marry him, then file I-130 visa petition.  Upon approval of the I-130, file I-212(permission to apply for early admission after deportation);  if I-212 is approved, then file I-601A waiver application and proceed with national visa center process. If I-601A is approved, he will be requested to go back to his home country for immigrant visa interview.

If during this time the immigration judge grants his asylum application, you can stop the marriage immigration and apply for green card one year after the grant from immigration court.

if he passes the interview, he receives immigrant visa and he can finally join you in the U.S. as a permanent resident.

Sounds complicated?  It is.

You will do yourself and your finance a big favor to hire an experienced immigration lawyer to represent you in the long and complicated process.

What's the quickest way to get green card for my parents and brother who is over 21, unmarried?

Question Detail: I am a US citizen. They live in Taiwan. Should I apply I-130 for my parents first and have my parents apply for my brother? How long will it take for my parents and brother to obtain green card? Understanding parents are usually fast, but I am especially worried about my brother's scenario. Thank you!

Answer: Your parents could immigrant to the US in less than a year;  you can petition for your brother but it will take more than 10 years;  your parents, once they receive LPR status, can also petition for your brother and that process may take 6-7 years(your brother cannot marry before he immigrants).


Is there any way I am able to marry her if she is married in another country?

Question Detail: My girlfriend came to the US with a tourist visa but she got married in the Philippines before we met. Her and her husband is not together anymore. Her husband is in Dubai at the moment. I am a US citizen and I want to marry her. What does she/we need to do without her having to go back home?

Answer: She can file for divorce in the county/state where she is living in the United States.  After the divorce becomes effective, you marry her and file immigration papers.

Can we speed up our wedding and file all over again after my I751 was denied?

Question Detail: In 2010, I married a citizen and filed for my green card. I obtained my green card in 2012 and divorced my husband in 2014. In 2016, my I751 was denied. I have been in a very exclusive relationship over a year and had plans on marrying. I am a teacher and would want to keep my job and status. 

Answer: If the USCIS did not deny your i-751, petition to remove condition, on the ground of marriage fraud, your second husband can file petition for you.  On the other hand, if it was denied on marriage fraud, your second husband may encounter problem in his I-130 visa petition for you due to a special immigration law that bars immigrant visa for anyone who engaged in marriage fraud.

You better retain immigration counsel to assist you.