Monthly Archives: August 2014

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How the United States Immigration System Works

U.S. immigration law is very complex, and there is much confusion as to how it works. The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), the body of law governing current immigration policy, provides for an annual worldwide limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants, with certain exceptions for close family members. Congress and the President determine a separate number for refugee admissions. Immigration to the United States is based upon the following principles: the reunification of families, admitting immigrants with skills that are valuable

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Consular Processing

Similar to filing for adjustment of status, consular processing is another way to become a legal permanent resident of the US. It is the final step before a green card is issued and can be used in both employment-based and family-based immigration processes. Consular processing requires an in-person interview at a US consulate overseas. An immigration petition (e.g. I-140) must have been approved, and a visa number must be available, before consular processing can take place. Who Should Use Consular

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U.S. Immigration Forms

Frequently Used USCIS Forms All USCIS forms (formerly INS forms) are FREE of charge on the official USCIS.gov website (linked from the table below). If you visit any website and are asked to pay a fee for downloading or using an immigration form, be very careful! Also forms obtained from non-official web sites may be outdated, and using such old forms may result in your application or petition being delayed or even denied. My advice: Always download immigration forms directly

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I-485 Adjustment of Status

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is used by a person in the United States to adjust his or her nonimmigrant status to that of a permanent resident. It is the final step of a long journey to green card. How Long Does It Take to Receive Approval for My I-485 Application? It varies dramatically from case to case, and from center to center. It also depends on your petition category (EB2 vs. EB3, for example).

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California top court says red light camera photos are evidence

Red light machines are not human, and therefore their images can’t be hearsay. The California Supreme Court upheld the admissibility of images taken from red light cameras as evidence of traffic violations in the Golden State. The unanimous decision in the case, known as The People of California v. Goldsmith, marks the end of a five-year-old legal odyssey. Fines issued as the result of a red light camera in California are by far the highest nationwide ($436 in this case)—typically

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If All These Countries Are So Outraged By Revelations Of US Spying On Them, Why Aren’t They Offering Snowden Asylum?

Glenn Greenwald makes some really good points in a Guardian column (one of his last) discussing the reactions to the latest revelations about the NSA surveillance on citizens and (mainly) top politicians in other countries. The key one being, if these countries are really so outraged by these revelations, shouldn’t they be offering Ed Snowden asylum, since they appear to be admitting that these revelations are important? All of these governments keep saying how newsworthy these revelations are, how profound

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German Government Tries To Censor Publication Of Its List Of Censored Websites

For anybody living in the United States the story I am telling here must be strange. I am from Germany, born and grew up there. This story is not strange for me at all. I left Germany 20 years ago because of bullshit like that. Germany is not a democracy, it is an indirect democracy. This is a system where the government decides what the will of the people is. Often the Government does not ask at all the populous

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I-601 (Unlawful Presence) Waivers

Beginning March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before they leave the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States and before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. What is an I-601A Waiver?

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Deportations of Children Detained in Inhuman Conditions Continue

The Los Angeles Times reported on August 21 that almost 300 women and children were recently deported from immigration detention centers at Artesia, New Mexico and Karnes, Kansas and sent back to Central American countries from which they had fled to escape from gang violence and other intolerable conditions. Because the children were with their mothers (presumably) they were not protected by the TVPRA, referred to my other recent posts. That statute protects only unaccompanied children from summary deportation without

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