Unlawful Presence and I-601A Eligibility
For people who have entered the United States without permission or have overstayed their visa and accrued unlawful presence, the possibility of obtaining lawful permanent residence can be difficult. Generally, a person can obtain lawful permanent residence (green card) through employment-based sponsorship, family sponsorship through a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident relative, or through certain limited special circumstances such as being a victim of a crime or being a victim of trafficking, among others.
For those that have accrued unlawful presence through overstaying their visa or entering the United States without permission there can be very serious immigration consequences depending on the amount of a time a person has been without status in the United States. A person who has accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence in the United States, is subject to a 3-year bar that is automatically triggered once the person departs the United States. This bar would prevent a person from being readmitted into the United States or adjusting status within the prohibited period. Similarly, a person who has accrued one year or more of unlawful presence in the United States is subject to a 10 year bar which would also prevent a person from being readmitted to the United States or adjusting status and is triggered upon the person’s departure from the United States.
However, there is a waiver that is available that will “forgive” or “waive” the 3- or 10- year ban. This waiver, called the I-601A waiver may only be used if the applicant can prove that the 3- or 10-year bar would cause an “extreme hardship” to a qualifying relative. A qualifying relative for purposes of the I-601A waiver is a U.S. Citizen or LPR spouse or parent—United States Citizen children are not qualifying relatives for purposes of the I-601A waiver.
The I-601A waiver is a provisional approval of the unlawful presence waiver before having to depart the United States to attend the immigrant visa interview at the consulate in your home country. However, approval of the I-601A waiver does not guarantee the issuance of an immigrant visa and the ability to enter the United States lawfully after the consular interview. If at the time of the interview, you are found to be inadmissible on other grounds the provisional waiver could be revoked.
Attorney Ashley E. Lively has successfully obtained many I-601A waivers for clients. To determine whether you qualify for the I-601A waiver or are inadmissible under any other ground please contact Lively Law Firm for a free consultation.
State Department Issues Urgent Travel Advisory to All Americans Who Are in Venezuela
Following the current administration’s recognition of Juan Guaido as the rightful leader of Venezuela the U.S. State Department issued an urgent travel advisory to all Americans who are in Venezuela or plan to travel to Venezuela. The State Department warned that the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela due to limited infrastructure and poor security conditions.
Although the recognition of Juan Guaido is seen as hopeful for some the situation in Venezuela is increasingly dangerous and unstable. Political rallies continue to occur and typically cause a strong police response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against participants. If you are a citizen of Venezuela living in the United States this may be the time to consider a possible claim for asylum protection.
Attorney Ashley E. Lively has represented Venezuelan clients successfully in asylum proceedings and is well-informed as she lived and traveled in Venezuela after her undergraduate studies. If you fear persecution in the future or have suffered persecution in the past due to your political affiliation, employment, or family membership call Lively Law Firm for a free consultation today.
Why is My Immigration Petition Taking So Long?
Is your immigration petition taking longer than expected? A new policy brief published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that analyzes USCIS processing times may explain why. The brief reveals that the agency has reached “crisis” level delays in the processing of immigration petitions. These delays have worsened during the current administration. According to the report, the most vulnerable populations of these delays are—immigrant families (SIJS petitions), domestic abuse survivors (U visas), and persons seeking humanitarian aid (asylums).
The report finds that overall, average case processing time has increased by 46 percent over the past two fiscal years and 91 percent since Fiscal Year 2014. Additionally, the report finds that USCIS’s net backlog at the end of Fiscal Year 2017 was its highest on record. According to the report, decisions made under the current administration have exacerbated delays. For example, refugee case adjudications were overhauled; in-person interviews are now a requirement for employment-based green card applications and Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions; a new Notice to Appear (NTA) policy was put into place which resulted in individuals being put into deportation proceedings when their application was denied; and a policy of arresting spouses of United States citizens who appear at a USCIS office for an interview in connection with their Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, which if approved would form the basis for lawful permanent residence.
Now more than ever it is important to file your immigration petitions correctly as any error on your part could increase an already “crisis” level delay. Lively Law Firm can help you file your application correctly the first time and avoid unnecessary delay. Call now for your free consultation!