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Immigration at a Glance

Immigration at a Glance

We are Oltarsh & Associates, P.C., a law firm specializing in Immigration law. Our immigration easy pass is a guide to help you obtain immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. If you have any questions, call us or complete our free case evaluation form.

Special Immigrant Visa

To stimulate the economy and create new jobs, Congress in 1992 established an EB-5 investor visa. Investments of one million dollars are normally required but for rural areas or where there is high unemployment, $500,000 is a sufficient investment. This program started slowly but in the past two years foreign investors from China and from Europe and South America, where investors are troubled by uncertainty in their economies, now envisage investments in the U.S. The EB-5 visa program provides provisional residence and then if the business succeeds, permanent residence to investors.

EB-5 visas are for foreign investors who start a new enterprise here or if they purchase an existing business it would be necessary to restructure the business to essentially make it a new business. If the investor does not wish to restructure the purchased business, then the investment must increase the net worth of the company by 40% of its net worth or increase its employment rolls by 40%.

COMMERICAL ENTERPRISE

The business must be for profit and made by an individual, a partnership, a holding company, a joint venture, a corporation or a business trust. A personal residence, for example, would not be considered a commercial enterprise.

JOB CREATION

The enterprise bought or created requires hiring 10 new job holders who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents or conditional residents such as spouses of U.S. citizens, waiting for their permanent residence. Non- immigrants such as specialty workers (H1-B) or intra company transferees (L-1) are not included. These new employees must work for the enterprise or be employed by an enterprise of a regional center in which foreign investors have placed their funds. If a prospective business entity has had substantial business reverses, then the investor’s job creation program may be satisfied by preserving 10 jobs to fulfill the job creation category. The troubled enterprise has had to be in existence for 2 years and has had to have losses over the past one or two years prior to the investor’s application of at least 20% of the company’s net worth. Full time work means no less than a 35 hour week.

CAPITAL INVESTMENTS REQUIRED

Capital is cash or properly evaluated inventory or assets owned by the investor above and beyond any debts of the investor. The investment must be at risk, nanely that the investor will be personally liable and that he/she has not used the enterprise’s assets to secure the purchase of the business. The investment must be at least one million normally or it may be $500,000 if the investment is in a rural area or an area with high unemployment. A rural area is defined as outside a metropolitan statistical area and a high unemployment area is defined as an unemployment rate of at least 150% higher than the national average.

The EB-5 program’s application numbers have climbed so rapidly over the past 2 years that it is expected within 2 more years to reach the 10,000 annual limit. If this happens, those applicants who apply late would not be granted the visa once the calendar year’s limit has been reached. For the year 2012 the number of successful applicants was 7800. The investor need not be working for the business if he/she does not wish to be involved.

Special Immigrant Visa
Family Unity

Family Unity

Immediate relatives (IR) include children, spouses and parents of US citizens. If a US citizen applies for a parent, he/she must be over 21. If a US citizen (USC) applies for a child, the child must be under 21 and unmarried. If the child is over 21, he/she is not an IR but would be eligible under the quota, namely under the first preference category for an over 21 year old child but unmarried; or for a married child over 21, then under the 3rd preference category, family based preference.

A widow(er) of a USC can still obtain permanent residence if applied for within 2 years of the USC’s death. There is no longer a requirement that the couple be married for at least 2 years, but it would be denied if the widow(er) had remarried or been separated before the death at the time of the application. The children of the widow(er) may be included in the application for permanent residence.

VAWA CASES (Abused Spouses) For abused victims of spouses of US citizens, evidence that may be presented include reports from the police, medical personnel, social workers, school and clergy. An order of protection against the abuser, flight to a women’s shelter, consultations with a psycho analyst, photos of visible injuries or hospital reports are all evidence. This evidence can lead to Vawa relief that can provide permanent residence to these abused immigrants.

FAMILY MEMBERS Besides parents, children and spouses, siblings (brothers and sisters) are also family members as maybe step children, illegitimate children, adopted children and orphans.

Step children include those whose relations between step parents and step child were formed before the child reaches 18. A step parent relationship may continue even despite a divorce if the step parent relation continues after the divorce.

OUT OF WEDLOCK CHILDREN A natural father who has a child born out of wedlock may apply for the child before the child reaches the age of 21 and provided he/she is not married maybe petitioned for by the natural father. A father may also legitimate a child to prevent a distinction between a legitimate child and illegitimate child provided that the father legitimated the child before age 18. For legitimization it must be shown that the legitimization was pursuant to the laws of the father’s domicile and the child was under 18 at the time of legitimization.

ADOPTED CHILDREN The child must be adopted under the age of 16 and has been under the legal custody of the parent(s) for at least 2 years and residing with the parent(s) for 2 years. The 2 years residency with the child may occur before or after legal custody or adoption. The legal custody is necessary even if the child has not yet been adopted. If the adoption does not occur before the age of 16 the child’s residency it cannot be retroactively granted. A family that adopts a child under 16 may also adopt his or her sibling if the sibling is under 18 at the time of his/ her adoption.

ORPHANS Orphans have no 2 year legal custody residence requirement. The orphan must be under the age of 16 and be an orphan by reason of death, abandonment, disappearance and/or desertion or loss of both parents. If there is only one parent, the one parent must be incapable of providing proper care and irrevocably in writing has released the child. If the child is born out of wedlock and if the father has had a relationship with the child, the child would not be designated an orphan unless the father has disappeared, abandoned or deserted the child. An adoption requires a husband and wife or if by a single parent, the parent must be at least 25 years of age.

The Immigration Service must satisfy itself that the child will be properly cared for and that the parents economic capacities are sufficient and that there is no indication of substance, sexual abuse or domestic violence by the adopting parents. Now adoption by homosexuals is permitted.

SIBLINGS US brothers and sisters may petition for their siblings even if they are related through only one parent. For immigration purposes a brother or sister must be from the same birth family, and not through adoption.

SUBSEQUENT MARRIAGES FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE If a permanent resident obtained residence through marriage to a US citizen or to a permanent resident, the permanent resident may not obtain a 2nd preference spousal approval for 5 years from the date the permanent resident became a permanent resident. For an exception, the permanent resident may prove by clear and convincing evidence that the prior marriage was not entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws or it was terminated by the death of the former spouse.

Contact our State Attorney Law Firm with your questions, comments or concerns.

How to Get a Green Card

We represent individuals and corporations who wish to apply for their employees in petitioning for permanent residence through their employment. In multiple manners, we streamline applications for national interest waivers through exemption from labor certification, as for example, through a managerial or executive intra company transferee, or through proof of extraordinary ability or for outstanding researchers or professors.

Our collective experience in labor certifications exceeds 50 years.

We also petition for residence through familial relationships

We normally review each case to determine the most viable and efficient manner to proceed.Our processing is always supervised by an attorney, never just by a paralegal.

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

How to Get a Green Card
Applying for US Citizenship

Applying for US Citizenship

After decades of experience, we are fully aware of all manners to evaluate eligibility requirements for naturalization. We can review a client’s residency to determine eligibility and also appraise impediments to citizenship that may arise from an arrest, failure to register for selective service, substantial stays abroad, failure to prepare and file proper income taxes, and other criteria.

We can also evaluate the possibility of nationality based on relationships to United States citizens. We fight denaturalization,where appropiate.

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

Work Visas

We handle all of the non-immigrant categories, both at the inception and for extensions: H-1B - professionals in a specialty occupation; B1 & B2 – visitors for pleasure and for business; E1 & E2 – treaty investors and treaty traders; O-1 aliens of extraordinary ability in the arts, business or the sciences; F1, M1 – students

NEW YORK IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYSWe handle all of the non-immigrant categories, both at the inception and for extensions:

B1 & B2 – visitors for pleasure and for business

E1 & E2 – treaty investors and treaty traders

F1, M1 – students

H1A – registered nurses

H1B – professionals, performing a specialty occupation

H2A – agricultural workers

H2B – seasonal and short-term workers

H3 – trainees

H4 – dependents

I – journalists, news media

J – exchange visitors

K – fiancees

L1A & L1b – intracompany transferees

O – aliens of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences or business

P – performing entertainers and athletes

P1 – internationally known athletes and entertainment groups

P2 – artists performing under a reciprocal exchange program

P3 – culturally unique entertainers

P4 – dependents

R – religious workers

V – spouses and minor children of permanent resident aliens for whom a family petition was filed prior to December 21, 2000, and has been pending for over three years

For Canadians and Mexicans, NAFTA and/or U.S./Canada Free Trade Agreement contains some reciprocal provisions that may be applicable in individual cases, depending on circumstances

Other types of visas include C, D, TWOV, S, T, and U. There are narrowly tailored and somewhat obscure visa categories, such as for crewmen, witness and informants, and transit visas

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

Work Visas
Immigration Status

Immigration Status

Adjustment of status within the U.S. is available for immediate relatives of spouses or parents of U.S. citizens provided the alien entered with a visa, even though the alien’s authorized stay has expired. It is also available to alien applicants who have obtained a labor certification indicating that there are no qualified or available Americans who are capable of performing the services the applicant does, and provided the alien applicant is in authorized status.

Also for aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences or arts, they may apply for adjustment of status, if they are in authorized stay and they can prove that they possess current widespread acclaim and international recognition requiring exceptional ability.

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

Consular Processing

Two classes of visas are processed by U.S. Consulates abroad: immigrants and non-immigrants. PERMANENT RESIDENCE – IMMIGRANT VISAS To qualify for permanent residence, an applicant must have or be one of the following:

  • A spouse or minor child of a U.S. citizen;
  • A parent, adult child or sibling of an adult U.S. citizen;
  • A spouse or minor child of a legal permanent resident;
  • An employee that a U.S. employer has received approval from the Department of Labor to hire;
  • A person of extraordinary or exceptional ability;
  • A refugee or asylee fleeing persecution; or
  • An approved application in the visa lottery.

A personal interview for permanent residence is normally required before a U.S. Consul who will examine eligibility as well as confirming that the applicant is not inadmissible for an aggravated felony, or a prior order of deportation or for public health reasons, or for suspected terrorism. TEMPORARY ENTRIES – NON IMMIGRANTS

Admissions on a temporary basis are usually referred to by letters and numerals such as B-2 (tourists), E-1 and E-2 (treaty traders and treaty investors), F-1 (students), H-1B (temporary professionals), J-1 (cultural exchange visitors), K-1 (fianc’s of citizens), L-1 (intra-company transferees), etc. These non-immigrants must satisfy a Consul that they wish to enter the U.S. for a limited time and for a specific purpose. All non-immigrant applicants except (H-1) workers, intracompany transferees (L-1) and (V) family members must show that they are not coming to live here permanently.

Usually personal interviews are required.

VISA WAIVERS

Aliens coming as visitors from 27 countries such as Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland, are not required to obtain a visa from a U.S. Consulate abroad. These entrants are allowed entry for 3 months; extensions or change of status are not permitted unless the alien marries a U.S. citizen.

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

Consular Processing
LGBT Marriage

LGBT Marriage

Our firm has had special expertise with same sex couples because the same proof that is required for heterosexual marriages, is applicable for homosexual marriages. The Immigration Service asks for proof that the couple is living together in a common domicile, that they share joint bank accounts, maintain joint health care policies, that they rent an apartment or house jointly, share bills for electricity, fuel and other household expenses together.

Photos are helpful especially showing pictures of the immigrant spouse or fiancé(e) with the U.S. petitioner’s family and vice versa; also joint trips on vacation, photos of the two at home or with friends, basically showing the normal activities of a customary marriage. An immigration interview is usually arranged to verify that the couple is acquainted with what a couple would normally know about each other such as how the couple met, knowledge about each other’s family and each other’s work.

In the case of an engagement the Immigration Service would not be satisfied by a relationship if the couple has only met on the internet. If the couple personally met abroad the U.S. petitioner’s passport should indicate entries into the country of the immigrant, meetings with the immigrant’s family, staying abroad at hotels or inns together such as showing invoices, photographs of trips together etc. These rules are the same as would be asked of heterosexual couples.

gaymarriagetoast

The federal law is trying to catch up with the need to accord equal rights to same sex couples. We have a lot of experience with these issues. For example in a same sex marriage if the US citizen were to die, if the marriage had been performed in a State where such marriages are legal, the surviving spouse even without a Will would be entitled to his/her marital benefits even if the survivor is living in a State that does not grant same sex marriages. This State would have to respect the marital benefits to the survivor because of the full faith and credit requirement of the Constitution: each State must respect the laws of other States. If a same sex marriage occurred in a State like Massachusetts where the marriage was legal, a State like Nebraska where it is not yet legal would still have to recognize the legality of the marriage because of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution.

Oltarsh & Associates has over 40 years of experience in issues of conflicts of law and also in providing same sex couples the same rights accorded to heterosexual couples.

 

Deportation Of Illegal Immigrants

Our outstanding legal staff is dedicated to zealously protecting the rights of our clients. We individualize each case and pursue all available legal remedies. Some of these include Cancellation of Removal, Applications for Political Asylum, and if available, Adjustment of Status and Suspension of Deportation. At a removal hearing, we also seek, wherever feasible, Voluntary Departure, if no other remedy is available, or indefinite Deferred Departure in cases where no remedy applies except compassionate circumstances.

In the ultimate circumstance that no remedy is available to remain in the U.S., including voluntary departure, we seek, in the event that a client is deported, to apply when applicable, for a Waiver in order to enable our client to return to the U.S.

In the event the Immigration Judge does not grant appropriate relief, we offer our services to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. If, in our opinion, the Board ultimately denies the appeal and we believe the decision is arbitrary and capricious, or appropriate cases where new evidence has been obtained, we would make a Motion to Reopen and Reconsider. If we believe the Board is wrong in its decision, then we are prepared to appeal to a United States Court of Appeals, or if our client has been detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, then we may also proceed through a Habeas Corpus petition in a United States District Court.

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

Deportation Of Illegal Immigrants
Deferred Action Dream Act

Deferred Action Dream Act

Why is it urgent to apply for deferred action now? If you are in removal proceeding or have a final removal order or have been granted voluntary departure, you may ask that the proceedings be deferred because you are entitled to deferred action, the Dream Act. To file now is critical so you can expeditiously receive permission to work and to avoid being classified as illegal, and to put you to the head of the line if permanent residence becomes available through the Dream Act.

Children under the age of 16 who arrived in the U.S. without documentation may apply for immigration benefits based on a Department of Homeland Security memo released on June 15, 2012. The requirements to apply are:

A) That the applicant as of June 15, 2012 is not older than 30 years;

B) Arrived in the U.S. before age 16 without inspection or his/her authorized status has expired as of June 15, 2012;

C) Resided continuously in the United States before June 15, 2012 for not less than 5 years;

D) Was in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;

E) Graduated high school or is in the process of finishing or has the equivalent or has been honorably discharged from the US military at the time of applying;

F) Has not been convicted of a felony or 3 or more misdemeanors.

G) To file you must be at least 15 years of age. Applications for Parole will not be considered unless Deferred Action is granted.

For proof of identity you must submit a passport, or a birth certificate or national identity certificate that includes your picture; and or school ID with a photo or any other document with your name and photo. For proof you came here before 16, school records or travel records or hospital or medical records, or records from a religious institute or job or housing proofs are needed. For proof you have been in the US for 5 years, rent receipts, utility bills, employment records, banking statements and tax returns would help. For absences from the US over the previous 5 years of residence, the trips must have been brief, casual and innocent. The filing fee is $465. If you change your address after filing, you must inform Immigration of the change within 10 days

Nurses

We Handle all aspects of assisting registered nurses to practice their profesion in the USA PATHS FOR FOREIGN REGISTERED NURSES TO BECOME IMMIGRANTS OR NON-IMMIGRANTS IN THE U.S. The nursing crisis in the United States offers an opportunity for foreign registered nurses to have a viable career in the U.S. and a route to become immigrants in the U.S. or to have a temporary grant of employment which may be thereafter converted into permanent residence.

PERMANENT RESIDENCE FOR REGISTERED NURSES UNDER THE 3rd PREFERENCE CATEGORY

Registered nurses are exempt from having to obtain a labor certification, which puts them on a fast track for permanent residence. This profession has been precertified by the Department of Labor because there are not sufficient Americans who are able, willing, qualified and available. A professional nurse may have less than a baccalaureate degree in nursing as long as the nurse has completed a program for professional nurses in his/her country, Canada or the U.S.

Registered nurses as opposed to licensed nurses or practical nurses qualify for the 3rd employment preference if they have had at least 2 years of nursing studies after high school or secondary school and have a nursing license issued by their country and either a certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the state intended for employment

The CGFNS exam is given several times each year at more than 50 exam locations in the U.S. and worldwide. For information about the CGFNS, the telephone number is 215-349-8767.

Before an immigrant visa or adjustment of status is granted, the Visa Screen Certificate or a certified statement must be obtained from the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP), a part of the CGFNS.

nurse holding hand

THE VISA SCREEN CERTIFICATE OR THE CERTIFIED STATEMENT

Professional nurses must pass all 3 sections of the Test of English as a Foreign Language

(TOEFL), or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB), to prove English proficiency. An equivalency evaluation of the nursing credentials such as transcripts of school records, diplomas and licenses is made by ICHP. The Visa Screen Certificate verifies that the applicant has the education, training, license and experience equivalent to American registered nurses; that the documents demonstrated are authentic and unencumbered, and that the applicant is fluent in English and has an appropriate professional license.

In lieu of the Visa Screen Certificate for nurses who completed their nursing education in English that includes Australia, Canada (except Quebec), South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the U.S., a certified statement may be issued by CGFNS. Starting on July 1, 2002, nurses from Trinidad and Tobago have been granted provisional eligibility for 15 months to apply for the certified statement in place of the Visa Screen Certificate. For the certified statement to be released, the prospective nurse must be licensed in the state of intended employment and shall have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Each state will establish that the prospective nurse has an authentic and unencumbered foreign license. Within 35 days after receipt of an application, CGFNS must issue the certified statement.

TEMPORARY LICENSE

A temporary license may be issued after the prospective nurse enters the U.S. and registers to take the NCLEX test for permanent licensing. After the nurse arrives in the U.S., and/or obtains permanent residence, an application for NCLEX must be filed immediately and the test must be taken within 30 days of registering. In most states, the temporary permit is issued when the application is filed. Some states do not have temporary licenses. Each state must be checked for its particular licensing requirements. Some states require all foreign nurses to pass the CGFNS; other states require the NCLEX. In all cases, the nurse must address the licensing requirements of the State of intended employment, which usually encompasses passing the NCLEX exam.

SECOND PREFERENCES FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE

In addition to the 3rd preference, if the nurse is an outstanding professor or researcher, or a professional with an advanced degree such as a Masters Degree or a baccalaureate with at least 5 years of progressive employment in the field, a 2nd preference may be obtained. Or if the prospective nurse can demonstrate exceptional ability that will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests or welfare of the U.S., a 2nd preference may be also secured.

This second preference may be worth applying for, if applicable, for nationals of countries such as China or India where the 3rd preference employment categorys priority date is not current. As soon as the preference is approved for nationals of all other countries, the 3rd preference approval will allow an immediate application for permanent residence.

QUOTA PRIORITY

A priority date is set when the petition is filed with the INS regional service center. In the event the employer is changed, the priority date stays with the nurse. If the nurse changes the employer and secures another employer, the original priority date remains in place for the nurse.

NON-IMMIGRANT PROFESSIONAL NURSES

visa application paperworkThe H-1C is a limited visa, restricted nationally to only 500 applicants for nurses to work in hospitals where there is a health professional shortage. The nurse must be a registered nurse, fully qualified to practice immediately upon arrival in the U.S., and have already passed the CGFNS. An employer attestation is required that the hospital since 1994 has had a health professional shortage, has no fewer than 190 licensed acute care beds, at least 35% of its patients are entitled

to medicare, and at least 28% are entitled to medicaid. The hospital must also attest that it is taking steps to recruit U.S. citizens or permanent residents, that the nurse will be paid the same rate as other nurses, and that the employment of the prospective nurse will not adversely affect wages and working conditions of nurses similarly employed.

If you would like additional information or if you wish to consult with us or desire assistance, please call us at 212-944-9420 and ask for William Oltarsh or Jennifer Oltarsh, or send us a fax at 212-944-9120, or e-mail us at info@oltarsh.com.

STUDENT NURSES

If a prospective nurse applies for a student visa, it should be remembered that to obtain a student visa, the prospective student must demonstrate to a U.S. Consul, or if in the U.S., then to the Immigration Service that he/she has a residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student, intending to pursue a full course of study, and who seeks to enter the U.S. temporarily to pursue such a course in nursing at a university, or institute that is accredited to the Immigration Service.

Schools are authorized by the Immigration Service to issue Certificates of Eligibility (Form I-20). Form I-20AB (academic) is used for F-1 students; Form I-20MN (vocational) is for M-1 students. The I-20 certifies that the student has been accepted to an accredited school. Evidence must be adduced of financial ability to support oneself during the course of study as well.

Students are admitted for the duration of status, that is the period required to complete the program of study plus any authorized period of post-completion practical training plus a 60 day grace period for F-1 students. A period for practical training is customarily granted for up to one year. For the M-1 student, a grace period is allowed of only 30 days. The M-1 student is normally also granted a duration of stay for the period needed to complete the course of study.

The M-1 student may be granted one month of training for every four months, not to exceed six months in total. The F-1 student, provided the course of study has lasted at least one year, may obtain practical training for up to one year.

USCIS regulations are constantly changing prospective students may wish to consult with a lawyer regarding their long term goals. We would be glad to hear from you about any questions you may have. Call us at 212-944-9420, or at our e-mail: info@oltarsh.com. If you want to make an appointment to consult with us, our office address is: 494 Eight Avenue, suite 1704, New York, NY, 10001 Ask for William Oltarsh or Jennifer Oltarsh.

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

Nurses
Asylum

Asylum

We have successfully applied for persons who have left their countries as refugees because they and their families suffered persecution and discrimination for their political opinion, their race or religion or because of their national origin. For two centuries the U.S. has been a haven for such persons as well as those who are fleeing from national calamities such as genocide or catastrophic disaster. We at Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. have always tried to help and to strive to relocate worthy applicants to resettle and find a home in our nation.

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

Work Visas for Australians

Australians may apply under the Australian – United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) to live and work in the United States. E-3 visas are exclusively for Australians, and number 10,500 including spouses and children. Spouses of E-3s may work as well. Verification that the applicant’s salary meets or will meet a standard of parity with equivalent American workers is necessary. A Labor Condition Application must indicate and be approved by the Department of Labor that working conditions and wages will be equal with U.S. workers.

This visa is for those Australians who qualify under specialty occupations, namely, who have worked in a field requiring a theoretical and practical application in a professional field and at least have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

Work Visas for Australians
Permanent Resident Card

Permanent Resident Card

Immediate relatives (IR) include children, spouses and parents of US citizens. If a US citizen applies for a parent, he/she must be over 21. If a US citizen (USC) applies for a child, the child must be under 21 and unmarried. If the child is over 21, he/she is not an IR but would be eligible under the quota, namely under the first preference category for an over 21 year old child but unmarried; or for a married child over 21, then under the 3rd preference category, family based preference.

A widow(er) of a USC can still obtain permanent residence if applied for within 2 years of the USC’s death. There is no longer a requirement that the couple be married for at least 2 years, but it would be denied if the widow(er) had remarried or been separated before the death at the time of the application. The children of the widow(er) may be included in the application for permanent residence.

VAWA CASES(Abused Spouses)

For abused victims of spouses of US citizens, evidence that may be presented include reports from the police, medical personnel, social workers, school and clergy. An order of protection against the abuser, flight to a women’s shelter, consultations with a psycho analyst, photos of visible injuries or hospital reports are all evidence. This evidence can lead to Vawa relief that can provide permanent residence to these abused immigrants.

FAMILY MEMBERS Besides parents, children and spouses, siblings (brothers and sisters) are also family members as maybe step children, illegitimate children, adopted children and orphans. Step children include those whose relations between step parents and step child were formed before the child reaches 18. A step parent relationship may continue even despite a divorce if the step parent relation continues after the divorce.

OUT OF WEDLOCK CHILDREN A natural father who has a child born out of wedlock may apply for the child before the child reaches the age of 21 and provided he/she is not married maybe petitioned for by the natural father. A father may also legitimate a child to prevent a distinction between a legitimate child and illegitimate child provided that the father legitimated the child before age 18. For legitimization it must be shown that the legitimization was pursuant to the laws of the father’s domicile and the child was under 18 at the time of legitimization.

ADOPTED CHILDREN The child must be adopted under the age of 16 and has been under the legal custody of the parent(s) for at least 2 years and residing with the parent(s) for 2 years. The 2 years residency with the child may occur before or after legal custody or adoption. The legal custody is necessary even if the child has not yet been adopted. If the adoption does not occur before the age of 16 the child’s residency it cannot be retroactively granted. A family that adopts a child under 16 may also adopt his or her sibling if the sibling is under 18 at the time of his/ her adoption.

ORPHANS Orphans have no 2 year legal custody residence requirement. The orphan must be under the age of 16 and be an orphan by reason of death, abandonment, disappearance and/or desertion or loss of both parents. If there is only one parent, the one parent must be incapable of providing proper care and irrevocably in writing has released the child. If the child is born out of wedlock and if the father has had a relationship with the child, the child would not be designated an orphan unless the father has disappeared, abandoned or deserted the child. An adoption requires a husband and wife or if by a single parent, the parent must be at least 25 years of age.

The Immigration Service must satisfy itself that the child will be properly cared for and that the parents economic capacities are sufficient and that there is no indication of substance, sexual abuse or domestic violence by the adopting parents. Now adoption by homosexuals is permitted.

SIBLINGS US brothers and sisters may petition for their siblings even if they are related through only one parent. For immigration purposes a brother or sister must be from the same birth family, and not through adoption.

SUBSEQUENT MARRIAGES FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE If a permanent resident obtained residence through marriage to a US citizen or to a permanent resident, the permanent resident may not obtain a 2nd preference spousal approval for 5 years from the date the permanent resident became a permanent resident. For an exception, the permanent resident may prove by clear and convincing evidence that the prior marriage was not entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws or it was terminated by the death of the former spouse.

Divorce

We can help to expeditiously handle divorces. If both spouses agree, we can process an uncontested divorce. First we need to resolve the agreement between the spouses, prepare a Summons and Complaint and file them in Court. Immediately thereafter the defendant spouse must be served and the defendant spouse’s attorney must prepare and file an appearance in Court to accept process for the defendant and answer that the divorce is uncontested.

An agreement between the parties as to the distribution of joint property and provisions for custody of children may be incorporated into the divorce decree.

CONTESTED

A contested divorce is conducted like any other trial. It begins with a Summons and Complaint and then the defendant must answer. Discovery proceedings may be conducted and then a trial is scheduled before a Judge and Jury, depending on the wishes of the parties. After the trial a decree is issued which is binding.

BASES FOR DIVORCE

A husband and wife may obtain a divorce for any of the following reasons:

  1. Cruel and inhuman treatment by the defendant so as to endanger the physical or mental well being of the plaintiff;
  2. Abandonment of the plaintiff by the defendant for one or more years;
  3. A criminal sentence confining a defendant for three or more years after the marriage;
  4. Adultery defined as sexual or deviate sexual intercourse, voluntarily done by the defendant with a person other than the plaintiff after the marriage;
  5. After a judgment of separation, the parties have lived apart for one year or more and the plaintiff has complied with the separation order;
  6. Irreconciliable difference this is the no-fault provision which allows parties who have agreed that the do not want reconciliation for six months may mutually agree to divorce.

Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!

Divorce
Other Practice Areas

Other Practice Areas

Personal Injuries Our experience is extensive in every type of accident case including automobile collisions, falls resulting from broken streets or sidewalks, falling objects from buildings in poor repair, injuries resulting from chemical or biological substances that are dangerous including drugs, vaccines or industrial products, as well as medical malpractice cases. Our extensive experience and careful research and investigation assures you of your entitlement to collect the maximum money damages and awards and also for pain and suffering for injuries that are appropriate.

Discrimination cases based on racial or religious or national identity or gender are part of our expertise. We ourselves handle all of our cases for trial, as well as negotiations for settlement, for mediation or arbitration, and for appeals, if necessary.

Real Estate

We have over 40 years of experience in negotiating contracts and closing titles for single family homes and multiple dwellings, both for individuals and corporations. Our practice consists of the careful study of title searches to assure that there are no liens or taxes against the property at the time of closing and also to assure buyers and sellers that transfer of title is properly accomplished.

Divorce and Annulments

We accept divorce as well as annulment cases; negotiate separation agreements for property distribution, and arrange custody and visitation rights. In cases of spousal abuse, we assist in legal counseling, to protect the interest of the abused party as well as to ensure the protection of children.

Wills & Estates

Everyone should have a Will to protect their family and beloved ones.

Over many years we have helped individuals with practical legal advice to provide for reducing the impact of taxes and where appropriate to prepare life trusts and gifts, for the benefit of families and loved ones and for charitable beneficiaries. After death we provide the full range of our expertise in handling estates, providing for the liquidation or distribution of assets

Workplace Discrimination and Harrassment

Employment discrimination because of gender, race, religion, national identity, age or physical impairments represent a severe problem for employees. We are vigilant in helping our clients, to provide protection in the work environment as well as substantial awards for damages. Harassment also represents a major threat to employees for such abuses as for sexual favors, and for these attempts to menace and diminish the stature of our clients, we are ready to assist in protecting them and to obtain substantial damages, compensatory and punitive. We have a long history of protecting clients in these cases and we have been extremely successfully in obtaining substantial judgments to compensate our clients for these wrongs. If you are unsure if you have a legitimate case, call us for a conference so that we can advise you and help you.

E-3 TREATY PROFESSIONAL VISAS FOR AUSTRALIANS

Australians may apply under the Australian – United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) to live and work in the United States. E-3 visas are exclusively for Australians, and number 10,500 including spouses and children. Spouses of E-3s may work as well. Verification that the applicant’s salary meets or will meet a standard of parity with equivalent American workers is necessary. A Labor Condition Application must indicate and be approved by the Department of Labor that working conditions and wages will be equal with U.S. workers.

This visa is for those Australians who qualify under specialty occupations, namely, who have worked in a field requiring a theoretical and practical application in a professional field and at least have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

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