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Los Angeles Immigration Law Blog

Which nonimmigrant categories cannot be changed?

Non-immigrants come to the country for many different reasons, and those reasons are subject to change. Sometimes, paperwork also needs to be changed in accordance. However, there are a few situations in which changing that paperwork is impossible due to the category that the non-immigrant was initially registered under.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, some types of non-immigrant visa categories can be changed or renewed but there are other categories that are resistant to change. Some only have restrictions, but there are a few in which a request cannot be made at all. The following categories do not allow for requests to be made:

Opposition to immigration reform causes difficulties for immigrants

Immigrants in Los Angeles may have celebrated the executive action calling for immigration reform in late November. However, the sweeping changes proposed for U.S. immigration law have been met with a fair amount of resistance, and the aftermath of the reform announcement has left many people uncertain about where the immigration system will go from here.

Opposition to the President’s executive action has been attempting to challenge the claim of the White House that Obama is within his legal authorities to make these proposed changes to the immigration system. He is attempting to save up to 5 million immigrants from deportation through these changes, and according to his cabinet, prosecutorial discretion is more than enough to allow him to take action in this particular matter.

Eligibility for changing nonimmigrant status

There are many different reasons that a nonimmigrant may be admitted into the U.S. There are also many types of nonimmigrant statuses available to cater to these different reasons. Because of that, it becomes necessary for a nonimmigrant to change their status while in the U.S. if something about their reason for staying also changes.

The Department of Homeland Security has stated that there are several different requirements that must be met before a nonimmigrant can consider applying to change their nonimmigrant status in the U.S. Some of these requirements include the following:

Determining whether you are eligible to petition for naturalization

If you are an immigrant living in the U.S., one of your biggest goals might be aiming for naturalization in order to gain additional benefits or protect yourself from the risk of deportation. At Ronzio & Associates, we understand that this is likely your end goal and we will work to provide you with information that you can use to achieve it.

If you are looking into naturalization petitions, it is important to understand that the Department of Homeland Security may look over your entire history when considering you as an applicant. This is because they are not limited to reviewing the statutory period when looking over past acts, which they use to determine whether or not you have what could be considered good moral character. If you have any prior deportations, criminal convictions, nonsupport of dependents or have failed to register with the Selective Service, then you may not be eligible for petition. Furthermore, you may risk being removed from the country.

Different types of appeals that you may petition for

As an immigrant, you may have faced many different hardships before that could have included deportation threats. You may have also dealt with request denials before. If that is the case, then you could be eligible for an appeal.

There are several different types of appeals that you may be able to make. For example, if you apply for asylum, your first request may be denied. However, that does not have to be the end of your fight. You may be able to appeal the decision and have your request for asylum granted the second time. Similar potential may apply if you have petitioned to adjust your status before. Even if you have been denied once, it is within your rights to appeal and try appealing for the right to adjust your status again. 

Sweeping immigration reform may save millions from deportation

A very large potential change may soon rock the immigration system in the U.S., affecting everyone from Los Angeles to New York. Many immigrants may soon be saved with a stronger system of deportation defense, which could make it possible for thousands to stay in the country.

Obama has announced that an upcoming speech will explain the changes his approaching executive action will make to the current immigration system. An estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants could be saved from deportation through new criteria, according to him. Some of the criteria will expand to consider the immigrant’s family ties, or how long they have been living within the U.S. It has been stated roughly 4 million immigrants will be able to seek refuge through the new criteria, with another 1 million potentially finding protection through different means.

Your rights and responsibilities as a permanent resident

Becoming a green card holder, or a permanent resident, means many things for an immigrant. Most people focus on the fact that becoming a permanent resident means that a person can no longer be deported from the country back to their homeland, but there is much more to obtaining this status.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services report that permanent residency in the U.S. has its benefits, but that there are also responsibilities that must be fulfilled. In regard to responsibilities, a permanent resident is held to most of the standards that a naturalized citizen is held to. This means that men of ages 18 through 25 have to register with the Selective Service and that the IRS (U.S. Internal Revenue Service) will be requiring taxes. State taxes are also a requirement. All laws of both states and localities must be obeyed, and the democratic government must be supported. Attempting to change it through illegal means is disallowed.

Available options for avoiding deportation

Your country may have become too dangerous for you to continue living in safely, which may be your reason for migrating to the U.S. Here at Ronzio & Associates, we would like to help you reach your goal of avoiding being deported to a place that you feel unsafe in. We will provide you with information that can be used to stay in the country.

The first step is for you to be aware of the fact that there are many different ways that you can avoid being deported, and you may be able to fight for the path that you believe is best suited for your circumstances. Your available options can include seeking asylum or refugee protection or applying for Temporary Protected Status. The Convention Against Torture may also protect you against being deported if there’s a threat of torture upon returning to your country, or you may be able to obtain a withholding of removal. All of these options will allow you to continue living in the U.S. as an exception due to the fact that you would face harm upon returning to your country.

When should you replace your green card?

A green card is a vital item for any immigrant that is temporarily living in the United States. Without it, they may find themselves at risk for deportation. They may benefit from keeping an eye on their green card so that they will know when to renew or replace it.

By keeping a green card in good condition and up to date, an immigrant avoids deportation risk. As stated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are many different reasons that a person may end up needing to replace their green card. If the card was lost, destroyed or stolen, the holder will need a replacement. This also applies to cards that have been damaged without being destroyed. Commuters who intend to move will need a new card, as will immigrants who were permanent residents but are switching to commuter status. Replacement also becomes necessary if an immigrant holds an earlier version of the green card such as USCIS Form AR-3, Form I-151, or another invalid card.

Refusal to cooperate with federal detainers only first step

Immigrants of Los Angeles may be aware of federal detainers, which is essentially a government request for local authorities to hold an immigrant for deportation.  While California no longer cooperates with those requests, a strong deportation defense was often required to deal with these situations. This is especially important for some immigrants who may not know their rights and eligibilities.

This can be seen with a recent case involving a 27-year-old Dominican man who was working in New York City as a chef. The man lived with his wife and daughter for years, but a trespassing charge landed him in an 8 month court battle in which he fiercely struggled against deportation. While the man was eligible for a green card due to his wife being a citizen of the United States, the man was not aware that he could apply for one until an advocacy group got involved in his case. He was eventually freed from the court battle and able to remain in the country, but the lengthy fight cost him his job and apartment.

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