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Louisville Immigration Law Blog

Immigration Services

Proof may be needed to demonstrate relationship for immigration

Family immigration is an important topic in the world of current events and concerns the reunification of individuals with their relatives. These individuals may have been separated from their relations by prior immigration events, changes in citizenship, and other processes. When families wish to reunite in Kentucky or other places in the United States, they must follow the rules of family immigration.

When a citizen or permanent resident of the United States wishes to bring a family member into the country, they must provide evidence of a familial connection. While documents like marriage licenses or birth certificates are often sufficient, when these documents have been destroyed, additional steps to confirm a relationship may be necessary.

Know your options when seeking a visa

A visa is an important legal document that a person may have to obtain to enter and stay in the United States. However, readers of this blog may not know that different visa options are available, depending upon what goals a person has for their residency or stay in the country.

For example, certain legal requirements must be met for an individual to become a permanent resident of the United States. However, if they do not intend to remain in the country for the remainder of their life, they may wish to apply for one of the temporary visa options that the government offers to noncitizens. Applying for the wrong type of visa may slow down the process and prevent a person from accomplishing their goals while in the United States.

What is considered an extreme hardship for a 601 waiver?

Individuals who live in the United States for at least one year and who do not have legal status in the country may be deported. Upon their deportation they may be subject to a 10-year ban on re-entry and may only then, after a decade has passed, apply for legal status to come back. Individuals in Kentucky who fear deportation and the 10-year ban may be eligible for a 601 waiver, which allows a person to adjust their legal status when they would face an extreme hardship if they were deported.

The U.S. Government views many significant hardships that affect immigrant families as standard. For example, if a person is deported and loses their job, thus leaving their family without financial support, this is considered a natural consequence of the deportation process. However, if a person is in the United States to care for an ailing relative, that with other arguments may be enough to secure a waiver.

Ways Kentucky immigrants can improve their English

The language barrier may be one of your biggest challenges as you adapt to life in Kentucky after traveling to the United States from another country of origin. If one of your ultimate goals is to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must prove that you can read, write, speak and understand English. Doing so is part of the test you will take as you navigate the citizenship process.

There are several ways you can improve your English skills. In fact, it's a good idea to learn as much as you can about American culture, history and government, in addition to how to speak English. The more you know, the greater chance you have of making a good impression on immigration interview officials and of passing your citizenship tests. It's also good to carry a list of resources with contact information, in case any type of legal problem arises regarding your status.

Government seeks to change rules for asylum seekers

There are different paths that individuals may take to be granted legal status in the United States and it is important that they seek legal counsel to understand their rights and opportunities for pursuing these options. One way that a person may try to solidify their status in the country is through seeking asylum. Asylum can be granted to a person if they can prove that they have been persecuted in their homeland and that their safety is threatened. Asylum may be sought by individuals who have reached U.S. soil.

Right now, Kentucky residents may be aware of the immigration issues facing the nation, particularly at the southern border. The federal government recently announced that it will implement a new rule that will drastically impact the rights of asylum seekers who travel through other countries to reach the United States. Known as the "3rd country" rule, this rule would deny asylum application rights to individuals who travel through a third country in route to the United States.

What rights to US permanent residents have?

An individual who has permanent resident status in the United States is entitled to many rights under the law. Though they retain their citizenship in their home country and must use a passport to re-enter the United States when they travel, they may undertake many of the rights and responsibilities of US citizens. This post explains some of the rights permanent residents may enjoy when they choose to settle in Kentucky and other states throughout the nation; this post, though informative, should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Permanent residents may own property in the United States. They may hold down jobs for which they are qualified, attend public schools in their communities and serve in the United States military. They can apply for citizenship if they choose to do so or may use family immigration processes to bring their spouses and children into the country.

Mass deportations planned, pushed back by federal government

A matter of weeks ago, President Donald Trump announced that federal government officials would step up efforts to expedite the deportation of thousands of individuals who have been alleged to be living in the United States illegally. The federal government has worked to pass legislation to improve conditions for men, women and children who cross the United States border for entry into the country, but as of this week President Trump plans to move ahead with the plan to execute mass deportations.

The deportation process generally involves a series of hearings to determine that an individual should unequivocally be removed from the country because of their citizenship status. When a person is removed from the country they are not permitted to return until they have secured the proper documentation; as readers of this post likely know, this can be a long and arduous process.

What role does family play in obtaining a green card?

A "green card" grants a non-US citizen the right to remain permanently in the country where they may live, work and grow their family. Obtaining a green card is the goal of many non-citizens who live in Kentucky, and readers may know that there are a multitude of paths that may be taken to obtaining them. One of the most efficient ways to seek and obtain a green card is through a family connection, and this post will address some of the ways that family can influence this process.

Green cards may be given to individuals who are immediate relatives of US citizens. Immediate relatives include but are not limited to parents and children under the age of 21, spouses, step-children and children brought into families through adoption. When a non-citizen has an immediate family member who is a US citizen, that relative may petition for the non-citizen's receipt of a green card.

Preparing for a marriage fraud interview

When you married a U.S. citizen, you received a conditional permanent residence. This is the standard process for such marriages to ensure that those seeking green cards in the U.S. do not take advantage of the system by entering into marriages that are not valid. At the end of two years, if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is satisfied that your marriage is bona fide, the government will remove the conditions on your permanent residency.

This is usually a routine procedure. You complete the appropriate forms and petition with your spouse for the removal of the conditions. If nothing in your petition alerts immigration agents that something in your marriage is suspicious, they may approve you without calling you for an interview. However, if you receive notice that the USCIS requires a fraud interview, you will want to know what to expect and how to prepare.

The requirements of naturalization

There are three ways that a person may become a citizen of the United States: birth, blood or naturalization. When a person is born in the United States they become a citizen by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment. If they are born outside of the United States but have at least one American citizen parent, then they too may be granted American citizenship. If a person meets neither of these standards, they may apply for naturalization.

Naturalization is for individuals who have come legally into the United States and who meet a multitude of other requirements. It may take years for a Kentucky resident who does not have citizenship to obtain it; many individuals benefit from the support of immigration attorneys when they begin this important and life-changing undertaking.

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