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Immigration Law

 

Below please find a new announcement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) increasing filing fees around 21% beginning December 23, 2016.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will increase filing fees of immigration applications by a weighted average of 21 percent; establish a new fee of $3,035 covering USCIS costs related to processing the Employment Based Immigrant Visa, Fifth Preference (EB-5) Annual Certification of Regional Center, Form I-924A; establish a three-level fee for the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400; and remove regulatory provisions that prevent USCIS from rejecting an immigration or naturalization benefit request paid with a dishonored check or lacking the required biometric services fee until the remitter has been provided an opportunity to correct the deficient payment.
DATES:
This rule is effective December 23, 2016. Applications or petitions mailed, postmarked, or otherwise filed on or after December 23, 2016 must include the new fee.


Immigration law is very complex and ever changing. There are numerous ways in which a person may immigrate into the United States; however, there are just as many ways and qualifications to keep a person from immigrating. The forms may look easy to complete when a person looks at them online, but the need to attach the proper documents, how to present the documents to the USCIS as well as knowing any additional information the government may need requires the assistance of an immigration attorney.

The other part of immigration is when an individual is present in the United States either illegally or has committed a crime while in the U.S. on a Visa or having a permanent residency. There are different ways in which an individual may be able to stay in the United States even if they are forced to go before the immigration court. 212(h) Waivers are one way and one of the most common ways to try to defend a possible deportation action. Those individuals also require the assistance of an attorney to help them through this process.

When an individual or business tries to tackle an immigration matter on their own, they are initially duped into believing that the assistance of an attorney is not needed.

When someone goes on the USCIS Website, they see forms and think, “I can fill out these forms, they look easy.” This is a common mistake that many people and businesses make and which ends up costing them much more money than if they hired an experienced immigration attorney in the beginning.

What many people and businesses don’t realize is that completing the forms is just the beginning. There are several different types of documents that need to be attached to the forms. There is a specific format that the needs to be followed with many of the applications and different factors in a person’s past or and employee’s history play a part on the applicability of the specific form.

For example, if a United States citizen spouse wants to sponsor his or her spouse for permanent residency, they must complete the following forms: I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-864, plus submit various supporting documentation and a medical examination. USCIS is not entirely clear what type of supporting documentation they want to see or the amount of supporting documentation. If USCIS is not happy with the documents filed, they will return the filing wanting more information, known as a Request for Evidence, which can set the process back by months. There are several variations as well on obtaining visas for family members, students, etc.

If a business wants to bring in a permanent worker, through an H1-B process, there are two steps, one step requires filing a PERM application with the Department of Labor, after all of the requirements are met to complete and submit the application and then filing the proper forms and required documents and DOL approval with USCIS. There are also tight time frames that must be followed. This is just one of several different types of visas and scenarios within each individual visa that an employer can encounter.

When individuals or businesses try to navigate the immigration system on their own, they end up creating many problems they would not have encountered if they hired an immigration attorney. When they finally contact an immigration attorney after running into problems or receiving rejections from USCIS, the individual or business end up paying additional money for the attorney to straighten out the mess.

Consulting first with an experienced immigration attorney can help an individual or business understand the complicated process and can help save a significant amount of money in the long run.

DAPA IMMIGRATION UPDATE

 The new immigration reform bill, known, as DAPA will provide thousands of individuals with the opportunity to remain in the United States provided they have children that were born in the United States. 

 The actual criteria to meet the requirements of DAPA are not yet known, however, there are certain steps that qualified individuals can take now so they are ready when the it is time to file the petitions.

  • Individuals need to produce documents to establish their identity and to prove that they have lived in the United States since January 1, 2010.
  • Individuals need to produce documents to prove that they have children born in the United States while the individual was also present in the United States
  • The individual must be without lawful status
  • The individual should not have any serious criminal record, such as felonies or significant misdemeanors
  • The individual must have been present in the United States as of November 20, 2014 and when they apply for DAPA.

It appears that USCIS will not be taking DAPA petitions until at least May 2015.  Although it is not certain, the application fee may be $165.00 and must include applications for work authorizations and biometrics, which could be separate fees.

The determination of whether or not a person qualifies under DAPA may also depend upon a favorable exercise of discretion by USCIS. 

Robin J. Gray has twenty four years of experience in assisting individuals when they enter the country as well as when they require representation in front of the immigration court.

 Please keep checking this website for updates on DAPA.  If you have any questions regarding DAPA or any other immigration, please feel free to contact the Law Office of Robin Gray at (610) 689-0877

Robin J. Gray, Esq.

P.O. Box 6874

Wyomissing, PA 19610

Phone: (610) 777-1431

Fax: (610) 777-1432

New York Office:

909 3rd Avenue #1300

New York, NY 10150-1300

Maryland Office:

P.O. Box 201

Georgetown, MD 21930

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