494 8th Avenue #1704
New York, NY 10001, USA
(212)944-9420 (212)944-9420

Fast-Lane Processing:

Premium Processing Expanding

Two new classifications are now available for premium processing: namely for the Second Preference: members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability; and Third Preference: skilled workers, professionals and other workers capable of performing skilled labor requiring at least 2 years of education training or experience. Derivative status is provided to the beneficiaries of the category for their spouses and children. The premium processing fee is $1,000.00.

Expedited Processing

The Immigration Service still accepts expedited processing cases apart from Premium Processing, which does not entail a $1,000.00 premium fee. The criteria for processing these cases are:
a) severe financial loss to the sponsoring company or individual;
b) extreme urgency;
c) a humanitarian need;
d) national interest; or for
e) battered spouses and children.

ASYLUM AND CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES

A 2006 Court of Appeals case in the Seventh Circuit involving a Bulgarian who maintained he was persecuted because he was a gypsy, was reversed because the Judge failed to analyze the relevant issues. The claimant stated that while he was at school he was beaten, and when he was in the army he was subjected to indignities, and when he complained at a restaurant that would not serve him and his wife, they were beaten by the restaurant staff, and when he tried to report this to the police he was told that gypsies have to protect themselves.

The Immigration Judge indicated his prejudice and lack of an impartial judicial attitude by stating that he doubted the claim that he was a gypsy even though he had a baptismal certificate identifying him as a gypsy.

WITHHOLDING OF DEPORTATION: WHETHER A FAMILY MAY CONSTITUTE A SOCIAL GROUP FOR ASYLUM

The U.S. Supreme Court in April, 2006 determined that a particular family may constitute a particular social group for asylum purposes and withholding of deportation. The principal alien, in this case, the mother in the family, testified that as a result of actions of her father in South Africa, she and her family came to the U.S. to avoid threats of physical violence and intimidation to them. Events such as poisoning of the family’s dog, vandalism of their car, personal threats on the mother’s life and an attempted kidnapping of one of the children made it clear that she and her immediate family were in peril. The Immigration Judge denied the asylum case and this was affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court which remanded the case to the Board of Immigration Appeals to determine whether the threats and attacks rose to the level of persecution, and to determine whether the Government of South Africa was unable or unwilling to control this type of persecution.

ECONOMIC PERSECUTION

In a recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision, the Second Circuit remanded the case for an ethnic Armenian and citizen of the Republic of Georgia, who claimed she feared persecution in Georgia because she was Armenian and was denied a livelihood in her profession.

Her case was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals because the Board of Immigration Appeals had not provided a standard for an economic persecution claim. In the 1960’s physical persecution included the denial of an opportunity to earn a livelihood and in 1985 the Board decided that severe economic deprivation or restrictions may threaten an individual’s life or freedom. The Court of Appeals required that the Board clarify a clear standard of “substantial economic disadvantage” for persecution claims.

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