Immigration Blog

Melsida Asatrian's picture

Good News for Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents

The U.S. Department of State recently released the August Visa Bulletin. You can find a copy of this Visa Bulletin at United State government web site: visa bulletin. Immigrant visas will be current for the F2A category, which includes spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (i.e. LPR's or Green Card Holders) regardless of the beneficiary's native country. It is important to keep in mind that the term child is specifically defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as unmarried son or daughter under the age of 21. If your son or daughter has turned 21 while the immigrant visa petition has been pending, it is important you contact an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible to determine if he or she still qualify for an immigrant visa under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).

Alexander J. Segal's picture

USCIS to Review Immigrant Visa Petitions Filed By Same Sex Spouses

In rather rapid development a week after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor, overturning Article 3 of DOMA, President Obama has instructed USCIS to start immediately reviewing immigrant petitions filed by same sex spouses. “President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly.” Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano wrote on the DHS website.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

"New Immigration Law" - Not So Fast!

I thought I needed to write about the subject of the “new immigration law” as, in my opinion, it is rather important to make this point. As the Senate voted yesterday in favor of the Immigration Reform bill proposed in April by the bipartisan group of eight senators, I see substantial increase in questions about the “new immigration law” and rules. These questions inundate blogs like AVVO and LawQA. They also appear often here on My Attorney USA. Finally, I get numerous emails with the same questions expressing optimism and talking about the Bill as if it was already the law of the land. It is not.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Senate Passes Immigraiton Reform Bill

Two days ago the Senate overwhelmingly (68-32) passed the Immigration Reform Bill knows as S 744. The 1198 pages document attempts to overhaul U.S. current immigration system by modernizing it and re-tuning its priorities. The Bill would increases H1B visa CAP from 65,000 visas annually currently to 155,000 visas per year, setting 25,000 additional visas for people with advanced degrees in technology, science, engineering, and mathematics, provided they have graduated from U.S. based colleges and universities. The Bills leaves open the door for further increase in the H1B program with the CAP of up to 180,000 visas annually, if the demand warrants such increase.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

INA Sec. 214 (b) Based Refusals of Nonimmigrant Visa Are not Equivalent to Inadmissibility

There is a recurring confusion over the implications of section 214(b) and 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Both sections, although similar in their outcome—precluding entry into the U.S.—apply to different circumstances. A refusal under section 212(a) is comprehensive in nature because it precludes this individual's entry into the United States unless such inadmissibility is overcome. Once an applicant is refused under 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the applicant is deemed “inadmissible”. This means that the applicant has been denied entry into the U.S. This section applies to both immigrant and non-immigrant applicants. This denial of entry can only be overcome by the passage of time for whcih the entry is precluded, when such restriction is temporary or a waiver of inadmissibility prior to the passage of time or when the restriction is permanent as is the case, for instance, under INA Sec.212(a)(6(C)(i) with inadmissibility for fraud and/or misrepresentation.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Article 3 of DOMA is Unconstitutional

This Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in a truly historic and dramatic 5-4 decision UNITED STATES v. WINDSOR, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF SPYER, ET AL, with Justice Anthony Kennedy not only voting with the majority but actually delivering the decision of the United States Supreme Court, the Court overturned the §3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. The Court upheld the underlying decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that ordered the IRS to accord the plaintiff eligibility for the surviving spouse exception from estate tax under the United States Tax Code.

Melsida Asatrian's picture

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling for LGBT rights today by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act's (DOMA) provision prohibiting the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages as unconstutional. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor can found here. The decision concluded DOMA amounted to the “deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.”

Melsida Asatrian's picture

LGBT Groups Continue to Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform Despite Setback

The New York Times recently published an article by Julia Preston and Ashley Parker regarding continued LGBT support for an overhaul to the United States immigration system despite the failure to include a key provisions supported by gay rights advocates. The article was published by the New York Times on May 27, 2013 and can be found using the following link: “gay groups support immigration overhaul despite”.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Employer-Employee Relationship in H1B Context

As I answer questions on MyAttorneyUSA, AVVO and LawQA, I frequently run into a situation when I am contacted by an individual who had not been allowed entry into the United States at the airport, despite having had a valid, properly issued H1B visa. After having been subjected to intense and somewhat technical questioning by the CBP officers on secondary inspection, the individuals are then found inadmissible, saw their visas canceled and, if they were lucky, offered an option to withdraw their application for admission in lieu of the expedited removal and five years of inadmissibility that follows in a case of such removal. They are told correctly that such withdrawal would allow them to avoid the five-year inadmissibility bar.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

Immigration Reform – How Will it Happen?

On April 12, 2013, a bipartisan group of eight Senators unveiled legislation that offers the most radical change of the nation’s immigration laws in nearly thirty years. Here is what they propose: At present, there are approximately 11 million illegal immigrants in this country. Most of them are hard-working people of good moral character, who have never been in trouble with the law. Such people could apply for a green card after 10 years of maintaining their good moral character, while in a provisional status, and then they will be able to file for naturalization (citizenship) in three years. Young people, who have benefited under the Dream Act provisions will be able to obtain green cards in five years, and be naturalized immediately thereafter.