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Los Angeles Immigration Law Blog

Issues arise for immigrants seeking legal drivers’ licenses

All people who drive in the state of California are legally required to carry valid drivers’ licenses. For non-citizens, this can be complicated at times, leaving many alien residents unsure of how to obtain licenses. In 2013, the Governor approved a bill that would allow immigrants who do not have a green card or permanent residency to legally apply for and receive licenses from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In the first week that people without legal status were allowed to apply for drivers’ licenses, the state reportedly issued nearly 10,000 such licenses. It is expected that by 2018, as many as 1.4 million applications to the DMV will be made by illegal immigrants. Recent reports have highlighted some issues that may arise for people when seeking their legal drivers’ licenses.

What should you expect when Form I-485 is being processed?

Immigrants that apply to adjust their status with Form I-485 should be aware of both what to expect while filing, and what to expect during the wait period after the paperwork has been submitted and is being reviewed. The processing period is an important step, and it comes with its own set of rules and additional requirements.

As stated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, immigrants applying to adjust their visa status with Form I-485 will find their paperwork scrutinized, and their own personal history will also be looked over carefully. First and foremost, the form itself will be checked for completeness. If the form has been left incomplete or filled out incorrectly, it could be denied, which will send the immigrant back to square one for their application. For this reason, it’s important for immigrants to go over their paperwork thoroughly before the form is submitted.

Deportation relief allows families to greet 2015 with high hopes

There are many immigrants in Los Angeles who have stories about close brushes with immigration authorities. Whether the potential threat was immigration detention, court cases, or being held beyond the release time in jail, there are many different threats that could potentially end in deportation. However, this may all change come early 2015.

After being involved in a 6 year fight to keep her husband in the U.S., one woman is rejoicing this potential change. Isobel Sandoval arrived in California 17 years ago without a green card or visa. Her two children were born in California while she was living there. However, at around the same time that her second child was born, she got a call from her husband alerting her to the fact that he was detained during a workplace raid and faced the threat of being deported from the country. While he was not deported in the end, the battle was long and difficult.

What initial evidence is needed to fill out Form I-485?

Immigrants who are aiming to file Form I-485 for permanent residency will find that there are several requirements they must first meet. This includes a certain amount of initial evidence that needs to be filed alongside the application. If the evidence is not filed, then the application is generally not considered valid.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, obtaining permanent residency by filing Form I-485 requires a full criminal history disclosure. This includes any instances of arrest or detainment both with and without charges being filed, as well as charges that are filed without an arrest. Rehabilitative programs like community service or drug treatment must also be reported. Additionally, any conviction or arrest that was sealed, expunged or removed from the record also needs to be accounted for. Any police clearances may also be necessary to report if an immigrant is filing for a special class adjustment.

Why investors and traders should look into E visas

As an investor or trader, you need mobility not only within your home country, but on a global scale. In order to reach the widest audience that you can, you need to facilitate your ease of movement across countries. This will require you to obtain a work visa, and here at Ronzio & Associates, we will help you decide which type of visa will work best for your business needs.

E visas are a good category to look into since your business involves trading or investment. E visas come in two different types; E-1 and E-2. The restrictions and requirements for each type are based on treaties that exist between your government and the U.S., so you should look into the specifics before pursuing either. On the plus side, E visas don’t come with the same limitations or lower investment rate that EB-5 visas come with. Additionally, permanent residency may be obtained with an E visa and careful legal guidance due to the fact that there are usually no limits on extensions.

Evidence of eligibility for permanent residency

There are many different steps and requirements that are necessary in order to apply for permanent residency in the United States. Different forms and documents may also be required based on which category an immigrant falls into. Evidence of eligibility is a necessity for everyone.

In accordance with the guidelines set by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the I-485 application form for permanent residency needs to be accompanied by evidence of eligibility in order to be approved. The types of evidence necessary can be divided into four main categories. One is for immigrants who are gaining admission based on their status a fiancé(e). They will need to attach their marriage certificate, Form I-94, a copy of the fiancé(e) petition approval notice, and an Arrival/Departure document. 

CA immigrants face fraud risks that Assemblywoman attempts to halt

Los Angeles immigrants have a rocky road ahead with the executive action reform sweeping the country. While it may be getting easier for a person to change their immigration status, there are also increased dangers cropping up alongside it, such as scammers.

Scammers have always been an issue when it comes to immigration, unfortunately. Some scam services offer the ability to “cut in line” when immigration reform has taken effect, though that is not possible. They may charge more for this service, cheating individuals out of large sums of money. In a worst-case scenario, immigrants who fall prey to these scammers may end up jeopardizing their chance to obtain citizenship. They could even end up being deported, depending on whether or not they shoulder blame for any fraud.

Do you qualify for prosecutorial discretion, and how can it help?

Facing the threat of deportation can be enough to scare anybody, and unfortunately it is a reality that immigrants have to live with daily. However, despite the fact that the immigration system has yet to face any solid reformation, there are still many options that an immigrant can use to deflect the threat of deportation either temporarily or permanently.

One such potential option is to rely on prosecutorial discretion. According to the American Immigration Council, deportation can be permanently delayed if the Department of Homeland Security lawyers decide to close an immigration case based on prosecutorial discretion. This is just one way in which their administrative powers can be a benefit to immigrants.

Requirements for adjustment of status applications

If you are already within the United States and wish to get your green card, there is a certain set of rules that you must follow. Here at Ronzio & Associates, we aim to give you as much information possible so that you can adjust your status with as little hassle as possible.

The first thing to keep in mind is the fact that you, as the beneficiary, will likely not be required to leave the country in order to apply for permanent resident status. While this is not true in every case, it is applicable to the vast majority. Whether or not you run into any hurdles will depend on your history, both for your immigration record in general and for any potential criminal activities that may also be documented. Unfortunately, if you have criminal offenses, you may find it more difficult to adjust your status.

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:

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