US Immigration Interview: Spousal or Marriage-Based Green Card Petitions

There are multiple ways to get a Green Card but the focus of this video will be on Family-Based Petitions–particularly spousal or marriage-based Green Card Petitions.

I’ll share some 17 Practical Tips we’ve gathered over the years of our experience.

The purpose of the interview is to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in the applications, petitions, and to test the credibility of the subject(s) on certain material issues which cannot be resolved on the basis only of the documents submitted by the applicants.

Watch the video:

To get the details of this tips, here’s the summary:
1. Do not be complacent
2. Study Sample Questions
3. Review the Entries on your USCIS Forms
4. Arrive Early to the Interview
5. Don’t forget to bring original supporting documents
6. Bring more Pictures in Addition to the Pictures you have initially submitted
7. Don’t forget to bring your ID and Appointment Notice
8. Don’t bring prohibited Materials
9. Dress appropriately for the interview
10. Don’t forget to wear your wedding ring and act normal
11. While waiting, only one of the spouses can go to the restroom
12. Show confidence without being boastful and arrogant
13. When Answering questions, make sure to simultaneously present documents or pictures to support your answers
14. Listen to Questions Carefully
15. Don’t Expound
16. Be Honest
17. If you have an attorney, bring him along

We’re also giving you a chance to directly talk to Ponferrada Law Offices.

Just click the link below, to get your FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION TODAY!

 

If you’re looking for US Immigration Services, Ponferrada Law Offices – attorneyhelpsyou.com offers excellent, quick and quality legal service with fast communication at the least possible cost.

US Immigration Services
US Immigration Services

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.

E-2 Investors Visa Requirements USA

E-2 Investors Visa Requirements USA

The E-2 Temporary or Non-Immigrant Visa has increasingly become a popular alternative to the EB-5 or Special Immigrant Visa afforded to those who can create employment through substantial investments.

Most potential investors do not have such huge capital requirement or not willing to shell out that much financial resources under the EB-5 and thus, content themselves with an E2 Visa instead.

 

What is an E-2 Investors Visa?

An E-2 Investor’s Visa a temporary or non-immigrant visa issued to a national from certain treaty countries who wants to invest in U.S. businesses, and who want to temporarily stay in the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise or is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise.

There are over 80 countries that are signatories to treaties or other arrangement with the U.S.

 

What are the Legal Requirements of An E-2 Visa Application

 

1. E-2 Investor must be a National of the Country

E-2-Investor-must-be-a-National-of-the-Country.
E-2 Investor must be a National of the Country with which the U.S. has a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation who has invested or in the process of investing a substantial amount in a bona fide enterprise which the person intends to develop and direct with the intention to depart the U.S. when the E-2 Investors Visa expires.

Not only individuals can be considered Treaty Investors but a legitimate business enterprise or organization at least 50 percent owned by persons in the U.S. having the nationality of the treaty country and maintaining nonimmigrant treaty investor status (8 C.F.R. 214.2 (e) (3) (i) (ii));

 

2. Employee of the Treaty Investor

Employee-of-the-Treaty-Investor.

If the employee is in or (also given an E-2 Visa) is coming to the U.S. to engage in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or, if employed in a lesser capacity, the employee has special qualifications that make the alien’s services essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise.

The employee must have the same nationality as the E-2 Treaty Investor.

In addition, the employee must intend to depart the U.S. upon the expiration or termination of E-2 status.

 

3. Substantial Investment

Substantial-Investment.
The term “substantial investment” is not defined as the amount depends on the total cost or value of the business and nature of the business. There is no hard and fast rule as to the amount of investment that the USCIS finds “substantial”.

We have seen $50,000 to $300,000 approved by the USCIS. A substantial amount of capital constitutes an amount which is:
(i) Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or creating the type of enterprise under consideration;

(ii) Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise; and

(iii) Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. Generally, the lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered a substantial amount of capital (8 C.F.R. 214.2 (e) (14).

For more details on this issue, we strongly suggest you call our law offices to discuss this matter further.

 

4. The Investment must not be in a Marginal Enterprise

The-Investment-must-not-be-in-a-Marginal-Enterprise.
A marginal enterprise is an enterprise that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family.

Thus, it is imperative to submit a 5-year Business Plan that will show the projected future income-generating capacity from the date the alien commences the normal business activity of the enterprise (8 C.F.R. 214.2 (e) (15)).

Thus, a business that may not have a good income today, but has the present or future capacity to earn good income and provide positive economic impact such as employing U.S. workers, is NOT a marginal enterprise.

 

5. The E-2 Investor must be the Source of Funds and Must Not have been Obtained, Indirectly or Indirectly, from Illegal or Criminal Activity

The-E-2-Investor-must-be-the-Source-of-Funds
According to the USCIS, the E-2 Visa Applicant must demonstrate the means obtaining the funds which must not come from illegal or criminal activities. Merely providing a self-serving Affidavit or Declaration does not suffice as sufficient documentation must be submitted to show the paper trail of these funds.

Clear and legitimate path must be shown between the E-2 Investor’s U.S. Investment and any funds transferred from another country, other entities or individuals, such as spouse or family members, to support the investment.

Personal loans from friends or relatives are allowed provided that the business is not used as collateral.

The collateral, if any, must be the personal assets of the E-2 Investor.

Monetary gifts are also permitted. In all cases, these funds must be fully documented.

 

6.The Investment must be AT RISK

The-Investment-must-be-AT-RISK
The Investment must be AT RISK with the Objective of Generating Profit.

According to the USCIS, the capital invested must be in the control of the E-2 Investor and subject to partial or total loss should the business fails or irrevocably committed to the enterprise.

Such investment must be the investor’s unsecured personal business capital or capital secured by personal assets.

 

How do you Apply for an E-2 Visa?

Potential investors under the E-2 Visa Category who are currently in another non-immigrant status and physically present in the U.S. may apply for a change of status through the USCIS Form I-129 (while their spouses or dependents shall submit the USCIS I-539);

while those who are settled abroad will have to course their applications through their E2 Visa Application with the Department of State, Visa Office (DS-160).

In the latter case, we recommend visiting the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Office located in their respective home countries to secure more information on the E-2 Visa application as each Visa Office has its own policy on the matter.

E-2 investors may change status together with or may be accompanied (or followed by) spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.

E-2 Investors are only authorized to work in their own business that was established using their investment but does not preclude additional business; while spouses of E-2 workers may also apply Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with the USCIS that will allow them to work in the same business or elsewhere.

 

What is the Period of Stay of an E-2 Visa

E-2 Visa Treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two (2) years.

Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each.

There is no time limitation as long as the business is operational and earning more than enough to support the family of the E-2 Investor.

Once a child of the E-2 Investor becomes 21 years old, he or she will no longer be included in the renewal application.

The E-2 treaty investor or employee may travel abroad and will generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States.

The new readmission period also covers family members who are accompanying the Treaty Investor or Employee.

If you’re looking for US Immigration Services, Ponferrada Law Offices – attorneyhelpsyou.com offers excellent, quick and quality legal service with fast communication at the least possible cost.

US Immigration Services
US Immigration Services

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)… No more?

I. What is DACA? (DACA Defined)

What is DACA

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was introduced in 2012 to afford work permits and a reprieve from deportation to people, under specific criteria, who arrived in the United States as children.

DACA beneficiaries came to the U.S. at a very young age–so innocent and perceived by law as incapable of having that criminal or illegal intent.

They simply were brought in by a relative or friend unable to make their own calculated decisions.

Most of them have exceptional scholastic and professional achievements but because of their undocumented status, they are unable to find decent jobs and legally move forward with their lives here in America.

I am a father too and I feel for these DACA children who have grown to love the U.S. and consider it their home…not elsewhere or even from where they originally came from.

 

II. If DACA is still in Effect, Why not Respect it and Show Compassion?

Is DACA still in effect

It is quite alarming that even DACA recipients are not spared from the ongoing crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

If President Trump has not revoked DACA, how come we still see this unfortunate development?

I would like to believe there were lapses or honest mistakes committed by the immigration authorities.

At the very least, people who claim to be DACA beneficiaries be afforded the due process and not arbitrarily thrown out of the U.S. without further verifying the truth of their allegations.

Due process is a constitutional guarantee afforded to undocumented immigrants especially to those who are somehow protected by the DACA program.

There are divided opinions, of course, on the matter. People will look at a certain situation differently depending how the circumstances affect their personal lives. We may be more rigid and indifferent to some but not to all–especially when they are our very close relatives whose presence in America greatly benefits us in another country.

If the person concerned were your brother who helps you go to school and enjoy the basics of life, you might think differently especially so if he is a DACA recipient.

If the subject of deportation were also your mother or father who painstakingly helps feed you and your siblings back home, your mindset can alter altogether. We can only empathize what we have personally experienced in life.

 

Our experience changes our perspective too. In my many years as an U.S. Immigration Attorney, I have learned to be more compassionate to undocumented immigrants who are peaceful, law-abiding and work hard for their families back home.

My experience has molded me to be less blithe and more nurturing towards them even if they are not my clients. It is a harmless mindset.

It does NOT hurt me and all the more it does not hurt others too. But it is just me.

If you’re looking for US Immigration Services, Ponferrada Law Offices – attorneyhelpsyou.com offers excellent, quick and quality legal service with fast communication at the least possible cost.

US Immigration Services
US Immigration Services

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.

INFOGRAPHIC: Car Accident Attorney’s Practical Tips When You Sustain Injuries

Even a relatively minor car accident (usually happens more than 80% of the time) can be a highly tensed situation and when it happens to you, whether or not it is your first time, you panic and easily overwhelmed with emotions.

Whether you just sustained some physical or property damages, you do not usually know what to do under the circumstances.

But if you were informed what to do in this type of stressful condition, we believe you can handle it properly or at least protect your legal interests along the way.

Thus, we are happy to share with you some practical tips you should know when you are involved in a car accident.

Car Accident Attorney's practical tips INFOGRAPHICS

I know Personal Injury Laws may be very hard to understand. Maybe you got confused after seeing this infographic that you demand immediate answers. And so I’m giving you a chance to directly talk to Lawyers for Accidents. I encourage you to inquire from our free consultation page here -> Lawyers for Accidents.

Lawyers for Accidents
Lawyers for Accidents

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.

Green Card Process Infographic

Nowadays, there are different ways how a person can apply for a Green Card but in this infographic, we’ll discuss the 2 most common processes and go through around basic scenarios.

To acquire a Green Card is a long and tedious battle. It can be confusing when you’re discovering the steps that you will need to do. So I’m providing you a chance to directly talk to a United States Immigration Lawyer, California. I encourage you to inquire from their free consultation page here -> US Immigration Services.

If you’re looking for US Immigration Services, Ponferrada Law Offices offers excellent and legal service with fast communication at the minimum possible cost.

Green Card Infographic family based and employment based

If you’re looking for US Immigration Services, Ponferrada Law Offices – attorneyhelpsyou.com offers excellent, quick and quality legal service with fast communication at the least possible cost.

US Immigration Services
US Immigration Services

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.

What is an Uncontested Divorce

Most divorces in the United States qualify as an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse agree to the terms and conditions of your divorce, without the court intervening in the following categories:

• Child Support, Custody and Visitation
• Division of Assets
• Division of Debts
• Property Distribution
• Spousal Support

Married couples usually resort to uncontested divorce because the threshing out of the foregoing enumerated issues in court can take so much money (as most family law lawyers charge hourly rates not to mention other incidental expenses), substantial inconvenience (having to appear in court several times) and time (can take many years)–and the emotional strain that is expected in highly emotionally charged family conflict and protracted litigation. In uncontested divorce, it is likely that the couple will no longer appear in court as the uncontested divorce papers can simply be submitted in court. Once these required uncontested divorce papers are filed at certain stages, the court will simply issue the Divorce Decree.

 

Effectivity of the Divorce Decree

In California, the Divorce Decree becomes final only after six (6) months from the date the respondent was served with Summons. Thus, even if the Divorce Decree was issued on the third or fourth month since Summons was served on the respondent, it will only be effective six (6) months thereafter. Either spouse is NOT allowed to remarry before the effectivity date otherwise subsequent marriages before the effectivity of the Divorce Decree are bigamous. In California, the guilty spouse can also be held criminally liable under Section 281 and 283 of the California Penal Code.

 

2 Types of Uncontested Divorce:

 

1. True Default Proceedings

true-default-proceedings
In a true default proceedings, there is often an anticipation that there will be no response from the other party. There are few instances when the Petitioner files the Petition but the other unexpectedly does not submit the Response and let the Petitioner have an exclusive take on the uncontested divorce proceedings. Thus, once all uncontested divorce papers are completed and filed with the court, a Default Judgment is issued.

A true default divorce proceedings happens when the respondents fails to file the Response for whatever reasons and there is no written agreement between the parties. The usual scenario starts with the Petitioner filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage before the Superior Court of the place where either party is a resident. Summons are then issued by the court and served to the respondent who is given thirty (30) days to file a Response with the court.

If the respondent fails to respond within the 30-day period, the Petitioner can then request the court to declare said respondent “in default”. A party considered in default shall not be allowed to participate in the default proceedings and whatever the Petitioner prayed for in the Petition shall most likely be granted by the court in the Default Judgment. Before judgment is rendered, there are several other documents (property ownership and financial disclosures) that the Petitioner has to file and once received by the court, a Default Judgment is usually issued as a matter of course. Even if the party is not allowed to give inputs in the default proceedings, said party, as matter of due process, will still receive the Default Judgment and a Notice of Entry of Judgment directly from the court.

 

2. Divorce with Written Agreement

divorce with written agreement
In this type of uncontested divorce, the parties arrive at an amicable settlement and reduce their agreement in written form known as the Marriage Settlement Agreement (MSA). The MSA becomes an integral part of the required uncontested divorce papers. Every aspect or issue of the uncontested divorce must be clearly laid down in an MSA. MSA includes, but not limited to, all information about the marriage, the properties, child support, custody and visitation, division of assets and debts, spousal support, attorney’s fees, litigation cost and tax ramifications.

The MSA must be duly notarized and the parties are encouraged to seek legal advice or representation before they affix their respective signatures on the MSA. At this stage, it is important to seek advice from attorneys who have the reputation to exhaust every means to settle a case rather those who have the propensity to display aggressive and obnoxious behavior. Sometimes, MSA is left hanging for many months simply because lawyers quarrel on certain trivial matters rather than the spouses themselves—jeopardizing the chances of finally settling the divorce much earlier than expected. Worse, some MSAs are never signed and couples end up engaging in a bitter litigation thereafter.

MSA is intended to govern the relationship of the parties and will provide evidence to the court of their terms of the relationship. While others submit the MSA after the divorce is filed in court, this agreement is preferably drawn up before the filing of the divorce case. In any case, it is strongly advised that MSA be integrated in the Divorce Decree to be issued by the court so that it becomes part of the Court Order and enforceable by the court. If you do not incorporate the MSA in the Court Decree, any violation of the MSA may have to be settled or decided in a separate court action. Separate court action means additional money, time and stress.

Is an MSA required by the court? No. If you do not have any property, joint debts, no spousal support issue or children, there is probably no need for you to have an MSA in order for you to secure a no-fault divorce decree in the State of California. Thus, parties usually resort to the True Default Proceedings mentioned above.

Uncontested divorce in California is best suited for married couples who are budget conscious and practical enough to set aside whatever strong and bitter feelings they have for each other. They are very much willing to set aside their pride and emotional baggage for the sake of achieving an amicable, less costly and expedited divorce proceedings. When amicable settlement is attained no one is perceived a loser but rather both parties end up winners and can then move on with their respective lives.

Green Card Through Marriage

When all U.S. immigration options appear not available, the most sought-after and highly recommended alternative for obtaining the seemingly elusive Green Card is through marriage with a US Citizen. Most immigration lawyers consider this option as the “fast track” or almost a guarantee to obtain the Green Card. With this in mind, Green Card through Marriage petitions have, since time immemorial, been and will continue to be the source of most fraudulent immigration procedures.

Marriage fraud is the term used to refer to marriages that are considered sham or “fixed” with the purpose of circumventing the U.S. Immigration Laws. These marriages are considered illegitimate or considered a felony for it carries a penalty of 5 years imprisonment or $250,000 fine or both if convicted. Sham marriages are not based on love and the couple do not really intend to establish a life together (Bark vs. INS, 511 F2d. 1200 (9th Cir. 1975)). Most USCIS Adjudicators and Department of State Visa Consulate Officers will espouse that inherent bias that 70% of these types of petitions are fraudulent. Thus, it is incumbent upon all petitioners and applicants to prove the legitimacy of their marriage.

 

There three (3) ways to obtaining a Green Card through marriage, to wit:

1. Marriage to US Citizen.

marriage to US citizen
When a foreign national marries a US Citizen, he/she shall be considered an “immediate relative” under the U.S. Immigration Nationality Act (INA). The benefit of being an immediate relative is that the visa number is immediately available and there is no backlog to speak of. Whatever delay that maybe experienced is just the processing of the Petition.

If the spouse of the US Citizen is in the U.S. and eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status (AOS) at the time of application, the spouse can apply for AOS concurrently filed with the Petition for Alien Relative (I-130), Applications for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Travel Document together with supporting documents. As a general rule, only those who are maintaining a lawful non-immigrant visa can apply for AOS. However, whatever unlawful presence (gone out of status) and unauthorized work (working without USCIS Authorization) violation committed by the spouse shall be considered “waived” under the Section 245 (a) of the INA. Thus, visitors who have gone out of status for many years and have worked illegally in the U.S. can generally still be eligible to apply for AOS. The eligibility for AOS is a bit complicated and that legal issue shall be determined only by an honest, qualified and experience immigration attorney. Not everyone is entitled to apply for AOS such as those who “jumped ship”, who crossed the border illegally, those who committed fraud or crimes involving moral turpitude and other forms of inadmissibility. Even with those ineligibilities, there are still exceptions to the general rule such as the Section 245 (i) eligibility under the Life Act passed by President Bill Clinton in 1998 that was extended until April 30, 2001.

The process takes about 6-8 months before the Green Card is issued. Within this time period, the foreign national shall undergo biometrics schedule at the nearest USCIS Support Center for fingerprinting and photo session for background checking. Within 90 days from concurrent filing, the foreign national shall be entitled to the EAD which shall in turn allow him/her to secure the SS number from the nearest Social Security Administration (SSA) office. These two documents (EAD and SS number Card) will legally entitle the spouse anywhere in the U.S. About a few months after the biometrics, there will be an Adjustment Interview at the nearest USCIS Field Office to be the conducted by the USCIS Adjudicator assigned to the case.

Adjustment Interview is the final stage to present proof of legitimacy of the marriage and the ability of the Petitioner to financially support the spouse through the Affidavit of Support (i864) so that the spouse will not become a public charge based on the most recent Federal Poverty Guidelines (I-864P). If marriage has been at least two (2) years on the day Green Card is awarded, the spouse will be afforded the regular 10-year Green Card, otherwise, a two (2) –year Conditional Green Card will be given which will require the couple to file a Joint Petition to Remove the Conditional Residence within 90 days before the expiration of the two (2)-year Green Card. For more practical tips regarding USCIS Adjustment Interview, please go to our website blog on the topic at US IMMIGRATION INTERVIEW Part 1: PRACTICAL TIPS FOR ADJUSTMENT INTERVIEW (Marriage-Based or Spousal Petitions).

If the spouse is abroad, the Petitioner simply files a Petition for Alien Relative (I-130) with the USCIS. The USCIS will then approve it within 3 to 6 months and forward the whole record to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC will then require the Petitioner to submit Affidavit of Support(I-864) and supporting documents to prove capability of the Petitioner to financially support the foreign national and the civil documents (DS-260, Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Passport page and pictures and etc.). Once found complete by the NVC, it will send the record to the U.S. Embassy or Consular post of the place where the foreign national resides so that the latter will undergo medical examination and finally the Visa Interview. The US Visa Interview is again intended to determine the admissibility of the spouse (no crimes or fraud committed, the legitimacy of the marriage and the financial capability of the Petitioner to support the spouse on the latest Federal Poverty Guidelines (I-864P). If approved, the spouse will receive his/her Passport in the mail with the U.S. Visa and a secured envelope to be surrendered to the Port of Entry (POE) officer in the U.S. for processing. Same rules apply for those who were married at least two (2) years (2-year Conditional Green Card) and those who were married for at least two (2) years (10-year Green Card) on the day it is given. Green Card and SS number card will be mailed to the foreign national after setting foot in the U.S. soil.

Children (below single and 21 years old) of the spouse maybe petitioned by the U.S. Citizen provided they got married before these children turned 18 years old. The U.S. Citizen is considered the “step-parent” and must petition each child separately because petition does not have derivative status—meaning, the petition does not create derivative beneficiaries unlike marriages to a Permanent Resident below explained.

 

2. Marriage to Permanent Resident or Green Card Holder.

marriage to permanent resident or green card holder
This type of marriage does not enjoy the same benefits as that of marriage to the U.S. Citizen. The spouse of a non-US Citizen cannot immediately apply for AOS because the visa number is not immediately available. There is a usually a backlog under the F2 Visa Category and the visa has to be available to apply for AOS. If the spouse is in another lawful non-immigrant visa (Student Visa or Working H1B visa) then the spouse can merely wait for the F2 Visa to be current then apply for AOS, otherwise, the spouse has to go back to the home country and apply for the Visa through the U.S. Embassy or Consular Office. Note that the timeline for processing shall always be governed by the availability of the Visa as stated by the latest DOS Visa Bulletin.

Note also that marriage to non-US Citizen does not forgive the unlawful presence and unauthorized work violation committed in the past when a petition is filed and thus AOS is not an option not to mention that there is a usual backlog under the F2 Visa Category. The only way that these violations are deemed forgiven is for the Green Card Holder to become a US Citizen and later on “upgrade” the Petition to an “immediate relative” petition explained below.

Children (single and below 21 years old) of the spouse are necessarily included as derivative beneficiaries under the F2 Visa Category as they have derivative status unlike if they were petitioned by their US Citizen stepparent as explained above.

 

3. K1 or Fiancee Visa

k1 or fiancee visa
This option is available only if the foreign national intends to marry a US Citizen but NOT a Green Card Holder. This is actually a non-immigrant Visa that allows the fiancé to come to the U.S. to reunite with the fiance US Citizen and get married within 90 days from date of arrival. Once they are married, the K1 Visa Holder shall then apply for AOS (no need to file the I-130) and the same procedure is followed mentioned above regarding AOS based on marriage to U.S. Citizen.

We usually recommend this immigration procedure because it is faster as the process takes only less than six (6) months and the fiancé is already here in the U.S. However, there are attendant expenses that would not sit well with budget conscious couples. The most critical aspect of the petition is that the Petitioner must have adequate financial capability to support the foreign national fiancé because some U.S. Embassies or Consular Posts (like the Philippines) do not allow joint sponsors in the event the Petitioner is found not have adequate income to support the fiancé in the U.S. This will surely cause the denial of the K1 Visa Petition.

The fiancé will be interviewed at the Consular posts and must prove the legitimacy of the relationship before the Consular Officer as well as the adequacy of the Petitioner’s income. The fiancé will also undergo medical exams before the interview which shall be valid for one (1) year and can be used in the as supporting document in the application for AOS. The usual Affidavit Support that is submitted is the I-134 which is the non-contractual type of Affidavit unlike the I-864 which is a contract between the affiant and the US Government to support the beneficiary. Under the latter case (I-864), divorce between the couple does not obliterate the obligations under the contract to support the beneficiary-spouse.

Children (single and below 21 years old) of the K1 Visa Holder will also be included in the Petition and shall be allowed apply and to come to the U.S. together with the K1 Visa. These children will be given K2 Visa.

The foregoing options are available to those who are in a legitimate relationship and marriage. They appear to be simple and you have heard anecdotes of successful processing without the legal representation. Always remember though that your personal information and circumstances are not exactly the same and your case might be decided differently. When complications set in, and you adamantly attempt to pursue your case without proper legal representation, you might be opening a can of worms and eventually find your case denied. Such desperate situation would mean costly consequences not to mention the consequent delay. With the current stricter trend on adjustment of status and consular processing, we strongly recommend you engage the services of an experienced, compassionate and honest immigration attorney who will not only help you every step of the way but will guide you even up to the interview stage.

 

I know Green Card application may be very hard to understand and maybe you got confused after reading this article; that you demand immediate answers. So I’m giving you a chance to directly talk to a US Immigration Lawyer, California. I encourage you to inquire from our free consultation page here -> US Immigration Services.

If you’re looking for US Immigration Services, Ponferrada Law Offices – attorneyhelpsyou.com offers excellent, quick and quality legal service with fast communication at the least possible cost.

US Immigration Services
US Immigration Services

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.

Personal Injury Settlements and Car Accident Attorney’s Practical Tips when you Sustain Injuries

California car accidents are higher than the national average. The common usual causes for car accidents are Driving Under Influence of drug or alcohol (DUI), poorly maintained or defective vehicles, congestions, over-speeding, violations of traffic rules, poor driving conditions, hot pursuits on the roads or freeways, unqualified and unlicensed driving or negligence. There are economic and non-economic damages that the State of California allows an injured person to recover. In regard to economic damages, you may recover the following a) Hospital Expenses; b) Medical Bills; c) Lost Wages; d) Lost future earning; e) Property Damage. Thus, it is important that you keep all your receipts and income tax documents. For Non-economic damages, you may recover any or all of these: a) Pain and Sufferings; b) Loss of consortium; c) Loss of Normal activities or lifestyle; d) Disfigurement; e) Disability.

I Had a Car Accident. Somebody Hit Me. What Shall I Do?
When someone hits you, make sure to get hold of your cellphone (preferably with camera) right away. Your cellphone is your most important gadget when car accidents happen because you can immediately take pictures of the damages to both your car and that of the other party’s car, the location, the plate number of the other car(s) and the location. You can easily get the information of the other party who hit you by taking pictures of Driver’s License, Insurance information and Car Registration. There is no more need to write all these information unlike the olden days. Your phone camera will save you so much time on this regard.

Call 911 immediately and describe your location. More often, police Officers do not respond to minor traffic collisions. When minor collisions occur, you are expected to just drive slowly to the side of the road in order not to cause traffic and exchange information with the other driver. In cases of major accidents when there are severe injuries or even death, you can expect Police Officers and Emergency Response Units to be in the area in a few minutes. In any case, if a Police Officer responded make sure to get his information if you are able to do so. Stay calm and narrate to him what really happened. If you can get witnesses in the area to corroborate your statement, that would be perfect. Always remember that the Police Reports are considered hearsays (because they are simply relating what other people said about the incident) under the rules on evidence but the eye witness’ personal knowledge of what happened are not.

In minor traffic accidents, you need to go immediately to the Urgent Care establish near you to document the pain you are going through. If you cannot drive yourself, then call 911 so that you can be brought to the Emergency Room of the hospital nearest to the accident location. For major traffic accidents, the responding Emergency Response Unit will certainly bring you to the nearest hospital.

At This Time, Do I Really Need a Car Accident Attorney?
Engaging the services of an attorney will help you legally argue your case much better with the seasoned Insurance Adjusters. You cannot expect the Insurance Companies to be on your side of the negotiation table. They will surely try to minimize their payment settlement despite the fact that you deserve way more than they would eventually offer. Their main consideration is maximizing profit and never be swayed by the glib, sweet-talking and well-trained Insurance Adjusters. They are not there for you! They are trained to ask seemingly innocuous questions, which if answered in a certain fashion, could substantially reduce your personal injury claim. Questions like, “How are you feeling?”, “Do you feel pain?”, “Do you have injuries?” are very tricky questions that should not be answered unless you have been finally cleared by your Doctor.

Your chances of securing a way better settlement offer is greater when you have a lawyer advocate your cause and argue the severity of your injury from a more technical and legal point of view. You do not stand a chance with highly experienced and well-trained Insurance Adjusters who will advance all possible techniques in the book to make a low ball offer and leave you unable to argue your case the moment they start coming up with technical terms and relatively complex arguments. You definitely need a car accident attorney who is tough and aggressive in advancing your cause. Get one soonest!

 

Some More Practical Tips or Instructions:

1. Call your own insurance company and report the incident

call your own insurance company and report the incident
Call your own insurance company and report the incident to them so you can get your claim number and document what transpired. Provide your insurance company of the other party’s information so that your insurance company will immediately conduct its investigation;

 

2. If your car was damaged, take photos of the car

if your car was damaged take photos of the car
If your car was damaged, take photos of the car from as many different angles as possible. Be sure to take at least one picture showing the whole car with the vehicle plate number. Get at least two written estimates of damages from reputable repair shops. If there are bodily, mechanical and/or electrical damages, you may have to get separate estimates for each of these types of repairs;

 

3. File an SR-1 with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

file an sr 1 with the department of motor vehicles dmv
Be sure that you file an SR-1 with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as soon as possible (Driver Only). SR-1 must be filed if there was property damage of more than $750, there were injuries not matter how minor or anyone died from the car accident. You can easily download that form from the DMV website. Your own insurance company can help you accomplish the SR-1 form. SR-1 forms are supposed to be filed within fifteen (15) days from date of the accident. But if you have not met the deadline, file the form anyway as soon as you possible;

 

4. Meet with an experienced and reliable car accident attorney ASAP

meet with an experienced and reliable car accident attorney asap
Get in touch and meet with an experienced and reliable car accident attorney as soon as possible. The reason being that the insurance of the other party will keep on calling you at the most inconvenient time when you are trying to rest both physically and psychologically from the accident. These call can be very annoying! If anyone on behalf of the other parties, including insurance adjusters, tries to call you, just tell that person nothing except to get in touch with your car accident lawyer. Do not even answer a question such as “How are you today?”, “How are you feeling?” and etc. Under the law, they are no longer allowed to call you henceforth once you have retained an attorney;

 

5. Do not discuss the facts of your accident with anyone outside of your family

do not discuss the facts of your accident with anyone outside of your family
Do not discuss the facts of your accident, your medical treatment or any of the facts about your case with anyone outside of your immediate family. This means discussion with friends, relatives, your barber or hairdresser. Any remark may be taken against you later on and could adversely affect your personal injury claim;

 

6. Be mindful of the two kinds of physical injuries—hard and soft tissue injuries

Be mindful of the two kinds of physical injuries—hard and soft tissue injuries
There are usually two kinds of physical injuries—hard and soft tissue injuries. Hard injuries are broken bones, joint injuries, head injuries, vertebrae injury, nerve damage and other serious injuries; while soft tissue injury are less obvious and could affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that affects normal mobility such as whiplash, strain or sprains. As for soft tissue injuries, you will experience pain in a day or two. If you are unable to move around and see your doctor yet, just go the nearest pharmacy and buy over the counter pain relievers. Keep the receipts for record purposes and turn them over to your car accident lawyer. If you pay any miscellaneous expenses, like prescriptions, bandages, towing and storage charges, auto rental bills, be sure to get receipts of bills marked “paid” and send these to your car accident attorney also. It is a good idea to keep track of the mileage that you put in going to and from medical treatment;

 

7. Be aware of whiplash pain symptoms from a car accidents

be aware of whiplash pain symptoms from a car accidents
Whiplash happens when somebody hits you and your head and neck are suddenly snapped back and forward without you knowing it. Whiplash pain symptoms from a car accidents can surface shortly after but the most of our clients experience these symptoms within 10 days or even up to two (2) weeks. It is common that you might feel you were not hurt in the car accident but after a week or two, you wake up one day and can no longer move your neck and headache does not go away. In more severe cases, some people experience spinal injury that requires immediate medical attention;

 

8. We strongly suggest to have your Physical Injuries Examined by a Medical Doctor or a Chiropractor

We strongly suggest to have your Physical Injuries Examined by a Medical Doctor or a Chiropractor
After a visit to the Urgent Care on the very day of the accident, we strongly suggest to have your physical injuries Examined by a Medical Doctor or a Chiropractor immediately and cooperate with him. Make sure to provide him with a narrative of the incident as he needs this in his Medical Report at the end of your treatment. Be honest and describe the pain in your body parts and be responsive to all his questions. This way, the doctor will take notes of your pains and development every scheduled appointment. These notes will be his bases in drawing up his final Medical Report.

 

9. If you need to cancel any Doctor’s appointment, make sure to advise your doctor in advance

If you need to cancel any Doctor’s appointment, make sure to advise your doctor in advance
If you need to cancel any Doctor’s appointment, make sure to advise your doctor in advance. If you skip your appointments for an extended period, your credibility as to injury and pain will be adversely affected because most Insurance Adjuster would tell you that you “were not really in pain because you could afford not to go to treatment for a long time”. I heard that line many times when Insurance Adjusters tries to discount the painful experience of my clients;

 

10. See the doctor as often as you need, but do not go there more often than what is necessary under usual circumstances.

See the doctor as often as you need, but do not go there more often than what is necessary under usual circumstances.
See the doctor as often as you need, but do not go there more often than what is necessary under usual circumstances. Insurance Adjusters have the statistics and the normal costs for the usual treatment received for the kind of injury that you have. They are experienced and smart enough to know what is medically needed under premises. Always remember that law is not based on logic but based on human experience (Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes);

 

11. Make sure to inform the Doctor also of your pre-existing conditions

Make sure to inform the Doctor also of your pre-existing conditions
Make sure to inform the Doctor also of your pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions may allow you to recover if mental or physical condition got worse. The negligent party must take the injured party where they find him/her–the condition at the time of the accident. Thus, it is imperative that previous injuries and related medical records on the same body part or near the area must be disclosed so that the credibility and overall value of the present claim will not be adversely affected. Your doctor will conduct a comparison on the old injury as against the present one to verify how the accident worsened the condition of the injured party;

 

12. Advantage to have insurance carrier

Advantage to have insurance carrier
If you have your own medical insurance, either through a group insurance plan, your own auto policy with medical coverage, an individual policy or some other coverage, it is to your advantage to have this other insurance carrier pay as much of your medical bills as possible. If you claim from your own insurance, it will have a subrogation right against all settlement award you will receive from the other insurance company. This simply means that they have the right to be reimbursed (out of your settlement award) for the amount of money they have spent in sending you to the Doctor or Chiropractor. In the end you will need to cut out a check for your own Insurance company;

 

13. Do not miss the doctor’s final evaluation of your injury after the treatment is completed

Do not miss the doctor’s final evaluation of your injury after the treatment is completed
Make sure not to miss the doctor’s final evaluation of your injury after the treatment is completed. This will help the doctor ascertain if your injury is chronic that needs to be managed for the rest of your life or is something that can be treated permanently. Most injuries are usually considered to be chronic especially as we advance in years which serves as a factor in computing for the amount of damages you are entitled to receive; and

 

14. Document the days you were absent for work

Document the days you were absent for work
If you missed work because of the car accident, you need to document the days you were absent for work and proceed to speak with the company’s personnel or human resource department so they can provide Certification on the matter. Your loss of earnings (even if you were paid for your sick leave) for the days you were absent is certainly to be added to your personal injury claim.

 

What if I am The Partly at Fault? Can I still recover?
When an accident occurs, the respective insurance companies of the parties involved conduct an investigation. They usually arrive at a certain investigative report and will relay to you about their findings. Should you be found to be partly responsible for the accident, there will be a corresponding reduction of the amount of compensation to be awarded to you. The State of California adheres to the so-called “Pure Comparative Fault” Rule, wherein it allows the injured party to recover even if it is 99% at fault but of course, the amount of recovery will be reduced by the degree of fault. Thus, if you are not substantially at fault, it is still wise to pursue your claim.

 

Personal Injury Settlements

Admission of liability is NOT admissible in evidence in court—meaning, nobody can show to the court, in case of litigation, that the other party has already admitted liability. The reason is to encourage parties to negotiate for the amicable settlement of the case before it reaches the courts. The Insurance Company of the other party will try to negotiate a personal injury settlement with the injured party after the latter submits the demand package composed of the Demand Letter (demanding economic and non-economic damages mentioned above), the Doctor’s Narrative Medical Report, Billings (special damages incurred in the medical treatment and therapy).
Once the demand package is received, the Insurance company conducts an investigation as to the merits of the damages demanded and comes up with an amount as an offer for personal injury settlement. The Insurance Adjusters do not reveal their formula and would often discount the pain and suffering you went through so as to minimize their exposure. However, they normally add up the medical expenses or medical specials (economic) together with the general damages (non-economic) for pain and suffering. The total amount of special damages are usually multiplied by about 1.5, 5 times or even more when the injuries are serious. Soft tissue injuries (muscle sprains and strains) of the neck, back, knee, ankle and etc. usually merit a lower multiplier compared to “hard injuries” or more serious injuries such a broken bones, head injury, separations, dislocations, ligament and cartilage tears, wounds and spinal injuries which are almost always assigned a much higher multiplier especially when they required therapy and length of time to heal and the prognosis for complete recovery is remote depending on the age and physical condition at the time of the accident. The negotiation process can take a month to even almost two (2) years from date the offer was first communicated.
If the personal injury settlement offer is accepted by the injured party, the latter is required to sign a Release Form and shall forever be barred from filing an accident lawsuit on the same incident forever. If not accepted, the injured party makes a counter-offer until such time both parties arrive at a personal injury settlement. If there is no agreement, then the injured party is has the option to institute a case with the court with the prescriptive period—which is normally two (2) years from date of the accident.

 

Is there a deadline for filing a Car Accident lawsuit against the negligent party?
Yes, there is. If no personal injury settlement is achieved, you should file your car accident lawsuit for your injuries either with the small claims court (depending the amount of your claim) or with the Superior Court within two (2) years from the date of loss or date of accident. Otherwise, your claim will be forever barred. From day one of the accident up until the two (2) year period expires, we will vigorously and aggressively assist you in arriving at an amicable settlement with the Insurance Company of the other party.

 

I know Personal Injury Laws may be very hard to understand. Maybe you got confused after reading this article that you demand immediate answers. So I’m giving you a chance to directly talk to Lawyers for Accidents. I encourage you to inquire from our free consultation page here -> Lawyers for Accidents.

If you’re looking for a Personal Injury Firm, Ponferrada Law Offices – attorneyhelpsyou.com are highly qualified Lawyers for Accidents. Offering you an excellent, quick and quality legal service with fast communication at the least possible cost.


Lawyers for Accidents


Lawyers for Accidents

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.

Green Card Process in Simple Terms

What is a Green Card?

It is an evidence or proof of your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) in the U.S. issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An LPR retains the citizenship of his/her home country but is allowed to reside and take employment in the U.S. on a permanent basis. Once the LPR successfully proves continuous residence of five (5) years, LPR can become a Naturalized U.S. Citizen. The five (5) year residence requirement is reduced to three (3) for those who are married to U.S. Citizens.

 

The Benefits of Green Card Holder

The benefits of being a Green Card Holder are the following:

1. Live in the U.S. Permanently
live in the u s permanently
Green Card holders can live in the U.S. on a permanent basis. That is, to live in the U.S. as long as they want and for the rest of their lives. Depending on how Green Card is obtained, it usually expires either in ten (10) years or two (2) years [Conditional Green Cards issued to: 1) those who became LPR based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, when the marriage occurred less than two years before the green-card approval; and 2) those who received LPR status under the EB-5 “investor’s visa” and “employment creation” program.
In the case of holders of 2-year Conditional Green Card, there are certain steps to be performed to “remove the conditions” so that the holders will be entitled to additional ten (10) year Green Card, otherwise, they shall be subject to removal proceedings.

In regard to holders of a 10-year full pledged Green Card, they do not lose their LPR status despite the expiration of their Green Card because as already explained above, it is merely a proof of LPR status. The expired 10-year Green Card holders, however, may encounter some problems when they try to re-enter the U.S., or when they try getting a job, buying a house, and getting a driver’s license. Thus, they are encouraged to renew their Green Card before expiration;

2. Take Employment or Engage in Business
take employment or engage in business
Green Card holders can be employed without showing other proof of authorization from the USCIS other than an unexpired Green Card itself. They are entitled to all kinds of benefits of employment. There are, however, certain Federal position which only U.S. Citizens can apply for. They can also engage in business or any related activities without applying for an investor’s visa (E2 Visa) or any form of authorization;

3. Study
study in school
Green Card Holders can study in the U.S. from Kindergarten to College as incidental to their LPR status and enjoy the benefits or rates of in-state resident U.S. Citizen students;

4. Sponsor Family to Obtain LPR Status
sponsor family to obtain LPR status
Green Card holders can sponsor family members such as the Spouse, Child (below 21 years old), unmarried sons and daughters (21 years old and above) under the family-based preference immigrant visa category. Only U.S. Citizens can petition for their parents (provided U.S. Citizen is above 21 years), married sons/daughters and their families and siblings and their respective families; and

5. All other Rights and Benefits Not Otherwise Reserved to U.S. Citizens
all other rights and benefits not otherwise
As legal resident of the U.S., an LPR enjoys all the rights and benefits except those reserved exclusively to U.S. Citizens such as employment in most Federal positions, voting rights, can stay outside of the U.S. without time restrictions, can petition parents, siblings and married sons/daughters, certain grants and scholarships, cannot be deported despite commission of deportable crimes and etc.

 

Different Ways to Get a Green Card

There are generally five (5) ways to get a Green Card or LPR status as found in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), to wit:

1. Family-Based Immigrant Petitions
family based immigrant petitions
These are initiated by either a U.S. Citizen or a Green Card holder in favor of certain family members. There are also certain persons who can “self-petition” as a result of death of the U.S. Citizen spouse and those who are battered spouses, parents and children under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA);

2. Employment-Based or Employment Creation Immigrant Petitions
employment based or employment
U.S. Employers (with ability to pay) sponsors qualified and skilled foreign workers for certain types of work or field of expertise (outstanding professors and researches, multinational managers or executives under EB 1; those with advanced degree or with exceptional ability; professionals and unskilled workers). There are also instances when a person can “self-petition” for extraordinary ability and under the National Interest Waiver program. Special immigrants, such as religious workers who work for Religious Organization can also obtain a Green Card and those who qualify to get a Green Card through investment of very substantial amounts ($500K at designated underemployed areas; or $1Million) in the U.S. One of the main purposes of the latter Green Card process is to generate jobs in the U.S. through fresh investment.

3. Asylum and Refugee Status
asylum and refugee status
If admitted as a refugee or their qualifying spouse or child of a refugee must apply for LPR status after one (1) year from entry. If granted asylum or are a spouse or child of an asylee, may apply for LPR status after one (1) year from grant of asylum; and

4. Diversity Lottery Program
diversity lottery program
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) is administered by the Department of State (DOS) which grants up to 50,000 LPR status available annually, to be drawn from random selection who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Countries with high migration rates such as China, India, Mexico and Philippines are automatically disqualified. Other countries are disqualified for national security or other reasons. Most lottery winners reside outside the United States and can apply for LPR through consular process with the DOS; while those who are legal residents in the U.S. can apply for adjustment of status through the USCIS.

 

The Green Card Process

The most common types of Green Card processing are the Family-Based Immigrant Petitions and Employment-Based Immigrant Petitions. We shall then confine our discussion to these types of Green Card processing. As for Employment-Based Petitions, we will discuss the more commonly availed ones and especially leave Investor and Job Creation Visa under EB 5 Visa Category probably in another discussion due to its very complicated and strict requirements.

1. Adjustment of Status (AOS) filed with the USCIS
adjustment of status aos
Green Card applicants in Family-Based and Employment-Based Immigrant Petitions, who are residents of the U.S. at the time of filing, go through the (AOS) process. The general rule, however, is that AOS process can only be employed if the visa is available or if the priority date in the preference visa categories is already current (based on the Priority Date of the DOS Visa Bulletin) and that the applicant must not be out of status or is maintaining legal status at the time of application. There are a few exceptions to this rule such as Section 245 (i), Section 245 (k) of the INA, self-petitioners under the VAWA and of course, those filed by “immediate relatives” such as U.S. Citizen filing a petition for a spouse, a child (below 21 years old) or a parent provided the U.S. Citizen is above 21 years old at the time of filing. Let us go now to the simplest scenario for AOS and Consular Processing, thus:

  1. a. In regard to Family-Based Petitions a simple USCIS Form I-130 is filed together with supporting documents; while Employment-Based Petitions often require a Labor Certification with the Department of Labor (DOL) for the petitioner-employer to prove that required recruitment processes were done and U.S. workers were not unjustly deprived of the position in favor of the skilled foreign worker. There are certain occupations that are pre-certified or which belong to the “Schedule A” category such as Registered Nurse and Physical Therapists, as the DOL has determined that there is not enough U.S. workers are able, willing qualified and available to perform such work. There are also others with extraordinary ability or qualify under the National Interest Waiver, those with exceptional abilities in the science or arts that do not have to go through Labor Certification simply because people who belong to this category are specially gifted, America wants them to live in the U.S. and contribute to the development of the U.S. economy. If the position is pre-certified or the Labor Certification is approved, it will serve as a ticket to filing the USCIS Form I-140 and its supporting documents;
  2. b. Concurrently filed with the USCIS Forms I-130 and I-140, are the applications for AOS, Employment Authorization Document (USCIS Form I-765 or EAD) and sometimes, Travel Document (USCIS I-131) by the Applicant if there is an intention to leave the U.S. while the petition is still pending lest it be considered abandoned;
  3. c. In about a month, the USCIS will issue biometric schedule notice wherein the applicant’s fingerprint and photographs will be taken at a USCIS Support Center. These information and data will then be forwarded to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other appropriate government agencies for background checking.
  4. d. Within ninety (90) days from date of concurrent filing, the USCIS will issue the EAD. Once issued, the applicant can go straight to the nearest Social Security Administration (SAA) office and apply for a Social Security number. The SS card will be delivered within ninety (90) days. The applicant can then work anywhere in the U.S.
  5. e. USCIS schedules Adjustment Interviews usually for Marriage-Based Immigrant Petitions to determine the legitimacy of the marriage between the U.S. Citizen Petitioner and the foreign national spouse. Normally, there is no interview conducted for Employment-Based Petitions because the information provided can easily be verified based on the documents submitted. On the latter case, Green Card is simply sent by mail by the USCIS to the beneficiary or applicant;
  6. f. At the adjustment interview for marriage-based immigrant petitions, the couple will be subjected to often lengthy and grueling interview wherein the USCIS Adjudicators probe into the minds and actions of the couple to determine if there is marriage fraud involved (Please check out our blog, US Immigration Interview Part 1: Practical Tips for Adjustment Interview (Marriage-Based or Spousal Petitions to learn more about this topic!). Applications maybe approved outright, deferred for further evaluation or the couple required to submit more evidence to prove the legitimacy of the marriage;

2. Consular Processing
consular processing
Consular processing is usually done at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Offices located at the applicant’s home country through the National Visa Center (NV). The NVC is under the auspices of the DOS that receives all approved immigrant petitions forwarded by the USCIS and processes them at the proper time or when the priority date becomes current based on the DOS Visa Bulletin. There are usually backlogs for petitions that are under the preference visa categories such as the F1 (U.S. Citizen petitions a single adult son/daughter), F2a (Green Card Holder petitions a spouse or child), F2b (Green Card Holder petitions an adult son/daughter), F3 (U.S. Citizen petitions a married son/daughter and family members) and F4 (U.S. Citizen petitions sibling and family members). There is no backlog for U.S. Citizen who petitions “immediate relatives” (spouse, child and parents of U.S. Citizen) because visa is immediately available but only processing delay that can take about 9 to 14 months. Hereunder is the usual consular processing steps to expect:

  1. a. USCIS Form I-130 (Family-Based) or USCIS I-140 (Employment-Based) is filed with the USCIS as already explained above;
  2. b. Once, the USCIS approves the petition, it will forward the whole record to the NVC within two weeks;
  3. c. If the priority date is not yet current, the NVC will send a letter (with the new case reference number) to the petitioner and legal representative that the record of the case has been forwarded to the NVC but the priority date is not yet current and will advise the petitioner and applicant of further instructions. If the priority is immediately available, about to be current or is already current , the petitioner will receive the Affidavit of Support Fee Bill and the Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee Bill;
  4. d. Once the Affidavit of Support Fee Bill and Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee Bill are paid, NVC will issue Document Cover Sheets which should be submitted to the NVC and placed on top of the following: a) USCIS Form I-864, Affidavit of Support (and supporting documents and that of Joint Sponsor’s Affidavit of Support if petitioner’s income is not sufficient; and b) the Civil Documents (electronically filed DS-260, copies of unexpired passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, Police Reports, Certificates of No-Marriage and etc.);
  5. e. NVC reviews the submitted documents and within 60 to 90 days, it will forward the whole record to the designated U.S. Embassy or Consulate Office;
  6. f. NVC will also send out email and letter notices to the petitioner and applicant advising them of the scheduled interview and other instructions on what steps to be taken. At this juncture, it would be wise to visit the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Office concerned because each post has a different procedure and registration requirements before making any appointment for Medical Examination and Interview. At least two weeks before the scheduled interview, the required Medical Examination at the a designated medical clinic and the gathering of all original civil documents must be completed;
  7. g. Visa applicant (and family members, if applicable) will be interviewed by the Consular Officer on the scheduled date (You may also read our blog, US Immigration Interview Part 2: Practical Tips for US Visa Interview at the Consular Office. The focus of blog is more for Tourist Visa but you can use those tips also for Immigrant Visa Interviews!);
  8. h. If the visa application is approved, the applicant will receive a sealed Immigrant Packet from the US Embassy or U.S. Consulate Office together with the applicant’s passport with the Immigrant Visa on it. You need to pay also the Immigrant Fee (there is an instruction for this) at the USCIS website so that your Green Card will be sent to you at the given address in the U.S. Applicant by now is allowed to board the plane to the U.S.
    Please take note that the Applicant is not considered a Green Card Holder until he steps into the U.S. soil and properly inspected at the Port of Entry (POE). The applicant is expected to hand over the sealed Immigrant Packet to the POE Officer in the U.S. Note also, that your local government might require you to undergo certain seminars or orientations before you are allowed to migrate to the U.S.

The foregoing Green Card process envisions very simple scenarios. We have encountered countless complications from the USCIS level all the way to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate offices due to changes in internal policies of the offices concerned or for some reasons beyond our control. We have helped countless clients successfully navigate through the process despite all those complications. Consular Processing appears to be simple and you may hear anecdotes of success even without legal representation. Always remember though that your personal information and circumstances are not exactly the same and your case might be decided differently.

When complications set in, and if you adamantly attempt to pursue your case without proper legal representation, you might be opening a can of worms and eventually find your case denied. Such desperate situation would mean costly consequences not to mention the consequent delay. With the current stricter trend on consular processing, we strongly recommend you engage the services of an experienced, compassionate and honest immigration attorney who will not only help you every step of the way but will guide you even up to the interview stage. Good luck and hope to see you here in America!

 

I know US Immigration Laws may be very hard to understand and maybe you got confused after reading this article; that you demand immediate answers. So I’m giving you a chance to directly talk to a US Immigration Lawyer, California. I encourage you to inquire from our free consultation page here -> US Immigration Services.

If you’re looking for US Immigration Services, Ponferrada Law Offices – attorneyhelpsyou.com offers excellent, quick and quality legal service with fast communication at the least possible cost.

US Immigration Services
US Immigration Services

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.

US IMMIGRATION INTERVIEW Part 2: Practical Tips for U.S. VISA Interview at the Consular Office

What is US Visa Interview?

The Department of State (D0S), through its numerous U.S. Embassies or U.S. Consulate Offices around the world, regularly conducts US Visa interviews to thousands of immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants.
Unlike Adjustment Interviews administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), however, lawyers are not allowed to represent applicants at the Embassy or Consular level because the questions asked at the US Visa Interviews are factual rather than legal.

Mindful of the absence of legal representation, 9 Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) 41.012.N2.1, mandates the consular officers to “make every effort to conduct visa interviews in a fair manner” and that they must employ “their best interviewing techniques to elicit pertinent information in order to assess the qualifications for the visa and identify any potential security concerns”. Despite this policy pronouncement, there is still great risk that consular officer would rule on the bases of his/her subjective and personal perception of the facts at hand. Worse, these consular officers are burdened with so much workload due to the sheer number of applicants in each Consular Office and thus afforded only little time to interview most applicants so they can move on to the next and complete their target number of interviews for the day. This necessarily means that the applicants also have little time to plead their respective cases. What is even more disturbing and quite an adverse factor against all applicants, is that the decisions of the Consular Officer are often non-reviewable by the courts and no Executive Branch official can overrule its decision as the consular officer (known as “consular nonreviewability”). Thus, it is imperative that applicants should prepare for their Visa Interview very well to increase the chances of securing a visa.

As expressed above, the Visa Interviews could refer to various types of immigrant visa (Green Card) or non-immigrant visa such as Visitor or Tourist Visa (B1/B2 Visa), Student Visa (F1 Visa), Fiance (K1 Visa), H1B working Visa and other less known non-immigrant visas category under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The notoriously difficult and challenging Visa Interview is that for Visitor or Tourist Visa because only about 5% of the total number of applications are approved. Most of them are denied for various reasons and it is our intention to make special reference to Visitor or Tourist Visa in the hope of increasing your chances of getting that seemingly elusive type of Visa. If relevant, we will also make mention other types of immigrant or non-immigrant visa.

Thus, please take note of the following tips:

1. DO NOT BE COMPLACENT

Do not be complacent
There is no room for complacency mindful that you are on your own without any legal assistance during the interview. Also, you have only a few minutes to plead your case and you might always perform at your best! You will easily realize the value numbers 2 and 3 tips below, if you are not complacent. Always remember that the opposite of success is not failure but “complacency” especially in Visa Interviews. There is no substitute for preparation because that will instill confidence in you. Believe me.

 

2. STUDY SAMPLE QUESTIONS VERY WELL

Study sample questions very well
You can actually Google sample Visa Interview questions, study and practice truthful answers very well. These questions appear very basic but can create problems if answered in the wrong fashion. Consular officers try to bait you to answer hypothetical questions such as, “What if an employer offers you a stable and high-paying job in the U.S. will you accept it?”; “What if a U.S. Citizen proposes marriage to you, will you readily accept it?”; “What if you someone offers you a business partnership in the U.S.?”. If you answered “Yes” to any of those questions, your Visitor or Tourist visa application will surely be denied. Your application for Visitor or Tourist Visa will be denied outright under Section 214 (b) of the INA for having “immigrant intent” because your sole purpose must only be to make a temporary visit to the U.S., friends and relatives in the U.S. with no intention whatsoever to migrate by getting married, do business or work or engaged in any activity that will require you to stay rather than visit the U.S. I would not even recommend that you answer, “I am not sure”. Might as well answer “No, I intend to come back home after my scheduled trip.”

If you are a Student Visa (F1 Visa) applicant, make sure you have sufficient information on your ability to support yourself in the U.S. as a student, where you are going to live, the school you are about to attend, the course you are taking, your schedule and duration of the program. If you are applying for H1B Working Visa, you must know your Company’s name and other information, the authorized person the Consular Officer can call for verification and the time of availability of such call, your position, your salary, job description and other details about your job. For Fiance Visa (K1 Visa) and other family-based immigrant petitions, the questions will be mostly about your relationship with the Petitioner, the latter’s ability to support you and other relevant matters. Employment-based immigrant visa petitions questions will be confined more also on the Employer’s ability to pay, the qualification of the applicant or beneficiary, his/her job position and description, salary and etc.

 

3. REVIEW THE ENTRIES ON THE USCIS and DOS FORMS

Review the entries on the uscis forms
Consular Officers will surely ask you certain information about your Petitioner may have provided in the USCIS Forms as well as the information you indicated in your DS-260, (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application Form) or the DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Form). You are expected to know you all these information. For those who are applying an immigrant visa, make sure you can show your Petitioner’s ability to support you by presenting the Affidavit of Support, the updated Employment Certification or Audited Financial Statement of the Petitioner, as the case maybe. If the Consular Officer asks you about certain relatives abroad, just answer in the most honest way possible. Just say, “I do not know” their status if you are unsure of the actual status of a relative in the U.S. If you cannot recall an information, say, “I do not recall”. Never guess.

 

4. ARRIVE TO THE INTERVIEW EARLY

Arrive early to the interview
Arriving way earlier will acclimatize you with the relatively hostile and stressful environment not to mention that you will often experience a long queue that could take an hour or more before you will be allowed to enter the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Office. You would not want to arrive late for the interview because chances are you will be rescheduled if your name is called and you do not show up—causing further delay and if ever you are allowed to proceed with your interview, you will not have time to settle down and will be in a panic mode throughout.

 

5. BRING IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO GAIN ENTRY AT THE VENUE

Bring important documents that will allow you to gain entry at the venue
The worst thing that can possibly happen is when you have queued for several hours only to be denied entry simply because you forgot to bring certain important documents. Make sure you have all the necessary documents that will allow you to gain access to the Consulate Office on the day of the interview. For Visitor or Tourist Visa bring your passport, confirmation page of online submission, Visa Fee Receipt and Appointment Letter. For other visa categories that might require Medical Examination, make sure to make the necessary arrangement with the designated Medical Clinic about two (2) weeks in advance of the interview date so that the Medical Officers will have enough time to send the Medical Examination Result to the Consular Officer before the interview date. Upon completion of the Medical Examination, the medical officers will issue a document that will serve as your ticket to have your interview at the scheduled date and time. Make sure to go the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Office concerned so you can review what needs to be in your possession so you can be allowed to enter the premises.

 

6. BRING THE ORIGINAL SUPPORTING CIVIL DOCUMENTS

Bring the original supporting civil documents
Upon approval of your case, the USCIS will send the records to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will then require the Petitioner to pay certain fees and be required also to submit photocopies of civil documents but you are expected to bring the ORIGINAL copies during the interview at the consular level. Make sure they are well-organized ideally in a binder and properly tabbed for ready access. The Consular Officer does not like to see you frantically searching for a piece of documents and waste time even more by waiting for you to finally hand it over to her! Worse, it might irritate the Consular Officer and delay your case if you forgot to bring it!
For Visitor or Tourist’s Visa applicant, do not forget to bring the original documents that will sufficiently demonstrate your strong financial, familial, professional and economic ties to your home country that will compel you to return after your visit in the U.S. These documents are, but not limited to, Bank Statements for the last 3 months, Employment Certification showing salary, position and tenure, Latest Income Tax Return or audited financial statement, Pay stubs for last 3 months, Credit Statement last 3 months, Land Titles, Vehicle Registration, Pictures of family and relatives, Wedding Photos, Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate of Children, Certification of Membership with organizations and etc.

Please take note that due to lack of material time to interview all visa applicants in one day, most Consular Officer would not even bother to check or read the foregoing supporting documents but will usually ask questions based mainly on what is stated on your DS-260 or DS-160 and other related questions. At any rate, it pays to be prepared all the time and be ready to present pertinent original documents simultaneously with your narrative or answers so that you will sound credible all the time.

 

7. DO NOT BRING PROHIBITED MATERIALS

Do not bring prohibited materials
Guns, Swiss knives, cutters, lighters, blades and the like are not allowed. There is always a security check at the entrance and another one at the waiting room. Strict security measures are enforced and you do not need unnecessary embarrassment, delay and attention on your way to the interview. You can go to the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Office to know the security restrictions.

 

8. DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE INTERVIEW

Dress appropriately for the interview
Wear a business attire so you will look dignified and respectful. For men, do shave and comb your hair—better still, trim your long hairs and look clean. I often see people wearing shorts, plain T-shirt, unshaved face and unkempt hair and sometimes sleeveless shirt. They are an eyesore and shows lack of respect to the proceedings. For women, you are not there to show how attractive you are in a mini skirt and/or in a plunging neckline as they could distract or possibly annoy the USCIS Adjudicator and other people inside the building. If you are an active military member, we strongly suggest to wear your military uniform but remember, no firearms are allowed because you are not in an actual combat zone. Well, you are actually in a different kind of “battle” though!

 

9. LISTEN TO QUESTIONS CAREFULLY

Listen to questions carefully
Maintain an EYE TO CONTACT with the Consular Officer when answering questions and stay relaxed and focused. It is often expected that you may not always hear the Consular Officers questions because you stand or sit and the Consular Officer is on opposite sides of heavy bullet-proof glass. Sometimes, the American Accent tend to be difficult to understand. Do not hesitate to request the Consular Officer to repeat the question if you do not understand fully because you might be giving answers that were not even asked and instead of trying to conclude the interview earlier, you are actually slowing it down not to mention wasting the time of the Consular Officer. With the little time you are given to plead your case, you cannot afford to waste your time too! Remember, her time is precious and she is very busy handling and about to interview hundreds of other cases.

 

10. ANSWER IN A CLEAR AND AUDIBLE VOICE

Answer in a clear and audible voice
As mentioned above, there is a thick bullet-proof glass between you and the Consular Officer and you need to speak clearly and quite loud enough for the Consular Officer to hear and understand your answers. A clear and audible voice also gives the impression of confidence on your part. Well, saying it out loud is different from shouting. Know the difference!

 

11. DO NOT EXPOUND

Do not expound
When the question is answerable by a “yes” or “no”, do not try to explain because in the course of doing so, you might make your case complicated even more. Remember, less talk, less mistakes and inconsistencies.

 

12. WHEN ANSWERING QUESTIONS MAKE SURE TO SIMULTANEOUSLY PRESENT DOCUMENTS AND/OR PICTURES TO SUPPORT YOUR ANSWERS.

When answering questions make sure to simultaneously present
As mentioned above, the Consular Officer does not usually have enough time to go over your documents but will ask questions mainly from what you stated in your DS-260 or DS-160, as the case maybe. Thus, it is advisable to retain a copy of the filed DS-260 and DS-160 and review it carefully. However, should you be given the opportunity to answer questions and narrate facts that can be supported by documentary evidence, make sure to grab that rare chance. Your narration of certain facts will sound very credible every time you simultaneously put forth pictures and documents supportive of such facts. Make occasional reference to such other pictures and documents that can further support any other material facts.

 

13. SHOW CONFIDENCE WITHOUT BEING BOASTFUL AND ARROGANT.

Show confidence without being boastful and arrogant
Have the mindset that you are applying for a job. Be polite. Always smile and greet the Consular Officer at the first instance you have eye contact. You will not get the job if you act nervous, distrustful, utter lack of confidence, hands are shaking and voice cracking. Most of all, do not be argumentative if the Consular Officer disagrees with what you just said. Just explain in a calm fashion without raising your voice. Do not show any negative emotions when you do not like Consular Officer’s questions or they tend to be suspicious and insulting. Be modest and acknowledge the Consular Officer’s authority to decide your case fairly. Should your visa application be denied, do not show any emotions at all because any expression of anger, hate or frustration might meet with a future visa refusal in virtually all instances.

 

14. BE HONEST WITH YOUR ANSWERS AND SUBMIT TRUE AND AUTHENTIC DOCUMENTS ONLY

Be honest with your answers and submit true and authentic documents
When a lie is discovered, it is enough to create doubt in all your otherwise truthful answers. You will no longer gain the trust of the Consular Officer and any attempt to reverse that mindset is an exercise in futility. More importantly, when you are honest about your answers and submitted authentic supporting documents you will afford yourself a definite psychological advantage already. You have nothing to hide, right? With that mindset together with adequate preparation mentioned above, you will feel confident, comfortable and less nervous throughout the interview. When you are not sure of your answer, do not guess and be humble and honest enough to say, “I do not know” or “I do not recall”. If you have something irregular or seemingly suspicious about your case, it is way better to be honest and explain what really than try to conceal such fact.

 

In conclusion, US Visa Interview is the last opportunity to present your case before the Consular Officer who usually does not have time to go over your documents and which means you also do not have enough time to present a good case to increase your chance of a visa approval. Thus, with that few minutes of opportunity you need to prepare very well and get organized with the answers you intend to give to the Consular Officer that will leave a positive impact before the decision is rendered. Remember, the decision is done shortly after the interview and you must cater to all possible doubts and leave no questions in the mind of the Consular Officer unanswered. Always be honest with your answers and never ever try to test the ability of the Consular Officer to detect fabricated or fraudulent documents.

The U.S government has maintained and has technologically upgraded its ability to verify certain vital information and authenticity of important documents. You may hear anecdotes that some people were able to get away with it but always remember that these stories belong to the past and you have no idea how much the U.S. government has improved in detecting the same fraudulent scheme when it is your time to be interviewed. Do everything you can to prepare yourself for a tough and grueling interview. Do not be complacent. If you happen to chance upon a Consular Officer who is so nice and gave you an easy time, well and good and consider it a huge blessing. But if you come across with a Consular Officer who has the habit of conducting very difficult and stressful interview, you can only pat yourself in the back because you have come to achieve your goals and chances are, you will get that seemingly elusive Visa!

 

I know US Immigration Laws may be very hard to understand and maybe you got confused after reading this article; that you demand immediate answers. So I’m giving you a chance to directly talk to a US Immigration Lawyer, California. I encourage you to inquire from our free consultation page here -> US Immigration Services.

If you’re looking for US Immigration Services, Ponferrada Law Offices – attorneyhelpsyou.com offers excellent, quick and quality legal service with fast communication at the least possible cost.

US Immigration Services
US Immigration Services

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.

US IMMIGRATION INTERVIEW Part 1: PRACTICAL TIPS FOR ADJUSTMENT INTERVIEW (Marriage-Based or Spousal Petitions)

What is an Adjustment Interview?

All applicants and petitioners or any other individuals may be required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to appear for an adjustment immigration interview (8 CFR 103.2(b) (9)). This is usually conducted when the applicants for Green Card would like to avail of such immigration benefit while residing in the U.S. at the time of filing. The purpose of the interview is to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in the applications and/or petitions and to test the credibility of the subject(s) on certain material issues of facts which cannot be threshed out and resolved on the basis only of the documents submitted to the USCIS (Adjudicator’s Field Manual, Chapter 15.1).

 

It would appear that ALL applicants and petitioners are being interviewed by the USCIS. However, in my many years of experience as a US Immigration Attorney, I attended only a handful Adjustment Interviews on Employment-Based Green Card Petitions. The reason being that these cases are usually adjudicated on the basis of the documents submitted and material facts can easily be verified from the records of the case. Of course, there are also interviews administered for Diversity Lottery winners and applicants for Citizenship but they are not as tough as marriage-based adjustment interviews. Thus, the focus of my blog will be on Family-Based Petitions–more particularly spousal or marriage-based Green Card Petitions–because the USCIS always conducts interviews on the petitioner and the applicant-beneficiary. Nobody is exempt. I will be discussing helpful tips for US Visa Interview at the Consular level in another blog. I have attended a lot of these marriage-based adjustment interviews and I would like to share with you helpful practical tips on how to have a more pleasant experience during the interview and of course, increase your chances of getting that seemingly elusive Green Card.

 

Marriage-based Green Card Petitions have, since time immemorial, been and will continue to be the source of most fraudulent immigration procedures.  Marriage fraud is the term used to refer to marriages that are considered sham or “fixed” with the purpose of circumventing the U.S. Immigration Laws.  These marriages are considered illegitimate or considered a felony for it carries a penalty of 5 years imprisonment or $250,000 fine or both if convicted.  Sham marriages are not based on love and the couple do not really intend to establish a life together (Bark vs. INS, 511 F2d. 1200 (9th Cir. 1975)).  Most USCIS Adjudicator will espouse that inherent bias that 70% of these types of petitions are fraudulent.  Thus, it is incumbent upon all petitioners and applicants to turn the tide in their favor and the last opportunity to achieve that goal is at the interview stage.

 

While USCIS Adjudicators are supposed to conduct interviews in a non-adversarial and business-like fashion (Adjudicator’s Field Manual, Chapter 15.1), I have personally seen and heard some of them go ballistic and sometimes display an intimidating behavior when it becomes evident that  the interviewees are lying through their teeth. I cannot really blame them because they are human beings with emotions too.  Nobody wants to hear lies, do you?  USCIS Adjudicators are very well-trained to propound very difficult questions to detect any inconsistences, inaccuracies, fabrications of documents submitted and lies from the testimonies of petitioners and applicants alike. They are very well aware that “love” is a state of mind that can only be manifested through actions. Thus, USCIS Adjudicators questions will focus on your past, present and future plan of actions in regard to your marriage, how well you recall otherwise momentous events of your love story and your recent activities as married couple.  Expect them to ask questions about the very details of your courtship, very words uttered during the proposals and the corresponding response to the proposal, the engagement stage of your relationship, wedding preparation and ceremony, reception, who attended the reception,  favorite food, honeymoon, your address, your home and the details of your home, bedroom and even bathroom, what your spouse did yesterday and even last week, what time your spouse arrived home and as cliched as it may sound, “anything under the sun”.  With all those details to remember, just make sure you prepare very well for the adjustment immigration interview.

To cut to the chase, please take note of the following tips:

1. DO NOT BE COMPLACENT.

do not be complacent
You will easily realize the value numbers 2 and 3 tips below, if you are not complacent. I have encountered countless couples who often tell me, “Our marriage is legitimate, there is nothing to prepare and we can handle all questions”! Oh yeah? These were the very people who experienced the most unpleasant interview. While they eventually got their Green Cards, I felt that these highly stressful episodes (not to mention the additional delay and expenses that came with it!) should have been avoided if they only prepared very well! Always remember that the opposite of success is not failure but “complacency” especially in adjustment immigration interviews. There is no substitute for preparation because that will instill confidence in you. Believe me.

 

2. STUDY SAMPLE QUESTIONS VERY WELL.

study sample questions very well
You can actually Google sample adjustment interview questions, or ask them from your attorney and make sure you and your spouse study and practice truthful answers very well. You will be surprised to learn that these sample questions are tough to address unless you study well enough and make no mistake, some or most of them you will surely encounter at the interview. Husband and wives are not always expected to give exactly the same answers but they are expected to have CONSISTENT ANSWERS. Otherwise, it will raise a red flag. Minor inconsistencies are allowed but major inconsistencies and diametrically opposed responses usually have dire consequences as they will heighten the suspicion of the USCIS Adjudicators. The moment that happens, you and your spouse will be placed in separate rooms or will be interviewed separately and might even elicit a less pleasant and more stressful interview.

 

3. REVIEW THE ENTRIES ON THE USCIS FORMS.

review the entries
USCIS Adjudicators will surely ask you certain information you have provided in the USCIS Forms. You are expected to know your own personal information and circumstances and that of your spouse. They just want to make sure they are interviewing the same person and not an impostor. You are not expected to forget your birthday, birthplace and the personal information of your spouse. You are expected to know the names of the children of spouse from another marriage, if any, the names of your parents-in-law and even that of your brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

 

4. ARRIVE EARLY TO THE INTERVIEW.

arrive early to the interview
The USCIS Appointment will advise you not to come earlier than 45 minutes before the scheduled interview to avoid overcrowding in the USCIS Field Office waiting room. Nevertheless, I always advise my clients to arrive at least one (1) hour and fifteen (15) minutes early at the venue and just check in 45 minutes before the schedule time. Arriving way earlier will acclimatize you with the relatively hostile and stressful environment not to mention that you will often experience a long queue that takes about 15 minutes to about 30 minutes before you will be allowed to enter the USCIS Federal Building. You would not want to arrive late for the interview because chances are you will be rescheduled if your name is called and you do not show up—causing further delay and if ever you are allowed to proceed with your interview, you will not have time to settle down and will be in a panic mode throughout.

 

5. DO NOT FORGET TO BRING ORIGINAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS.

Do not forget to bring original supporting documents
The USCIS allows you to submit photocopies of your supporting documents but you are expected to bring the ORIGINAL copies during the interview. Make sure they are well-organized ideally in a binder and properly tabbed for ready access. USCIS Adjudicator does not like to see you frantically searching for a piece of documents and waste time even more by waiting for you to finally hand it over to her! Worse, it might irritate the USCIS Adjudicator and delay your case if you forgot to bring it! This can also add more stress to you during the interview and I have seen many people just lose focus when it happens.

 

6. BRING MORE PICTURES IN ADDITION TO THE PICTURES YOU HAVE INITIALLY SUBMITTED.

Bring more pictures in addition to the pictures you have initially submitted
There is no better evidence of the legitimacy of your relationship and marriage than presenting more pictures of you and your spouse before, during and after your wedding. Make sure you put them in three (3) different albums (for past, present and after wedding pictures) with annotations as to the place and date when these pictures where taken. I personally prefer about 30 to 50 more pictures with a lot of people (friends and relatives) around you taken at different occasions and locations. Just make sure you are able to identify most, preferably all, of the people in the picture. Pictures are considered the best evidence because they speak a thousand words and more eloquent that what you say during the interview. People believe what they see and not what they hear.

 

7. DO NOT FORGET TO BRING YOUR I.D. AND APPOINTMENT NOTICE.

Do not forget to bring your i d and appointment notice
You will SURELY not be allowed to gain access to the USCIS Federal Field Office building if you do not have a government issued I.D. and the USCIS Appointment Notice. Security personnel are very strict on this matter. You will need to the Appointment Notice (just put it on the paper tray) to check in at the designated window to inform the assigned USCIS Adjudicator that you are present and ready for interview.

 

8. DO NOT BRING PROHIBITED MATERIALS.

Do not bring prohibited materials
Guns, Swiss knives, cutters, lighters, blades and the like are not allowed. There is always a security check at the entrance and another one at the waiting room. Strict security measures are enforced and you do not need unnecessary embarrassment, delay and attention on your way to the interview.

 

9. DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE INTERVIEW.

Dress appropriately for the interview
Wear a business attire so you will look dignified and respectful. For men, do shave and comb your hair—better still, trim your long hairs and look clean. I often see people wearing shorts, plain T-shirt, unshaved face, unkempt hair and sometimes sleeveless shirt. They are an eyesore and shows lack of respect to the proceedings. For women, you are not there to show how attractive you are in a mini skirt and/or in a plunging neckline as they could distract or possibly annoy the USCIS Adjudicator and other people inside the building. If you are an active military member, we strongly suggest to wear your military uniform but remember, no firearms are allowed because you are not in an actual combat zone. Well, you will be facing a different kind of “battle” though!

 

10. DO NOT FORGET TO WEAR YOUR WEDDING RING AND ACT NORMAL.

Do not forget to wear your wedding ring and act normal
As married couple, you are expected to be somehow be sweet to each other but act appropriately. If you feel like holding the hands of your spouse during interview, that is fine but no more than that please. Engagement rings and wedding rings are expected to be worn during the interview because the USCIS Adjudicator will ask questions about the details of the purchase, sometimes the preference for design and who decided it and etc. Make sure to bring the receipts evidencing the purchase of those rings. If you do not have an engagement ring it is fine but wedding ring (no need to buy the expensive ones) is a must.

 

11. WHILE WAITING, ONLY ONE OF THE SPOUSES CAN GO TO THE RESTROOM.

While waiting only one of the spouses can go to the restroom
Do not go to the restroom simultaneously with your spouse because in case your name (usually the applicant’s name) is called, no one is going to advise the USCIS Adjudicator that you are in the restroom. Unless you have Lady Gaga, Madonna, Brad Pitt or George Clooney for a spouse, no one is going to recognize your spouse at the waiting room and possibly advise the USCIS Adjudicator that your spouse is still in the restroom. Go to the restroom at different times and listen carefully to the names that are being called out for interview. Do not use your cellphone while inside the waiting room unless it is extremely necessary.

 

12. SHOW CONFIDENCE WITHOUT BEING BOASTFUL AND ARROGANT.

Show confidence without being boastful and arrogant
Have the mindset that you are applying for a job. You will not get the job if you act nervous, distrustful, utter lack of confidence, hands are shaking and voice cracking. Just stay calm and do not show any negative emotions when you do not like USCIS Adjudicators questions or they tend to be suspicious and insulting. Be modest and acknowledge the USCIS Adjudicator’s authority to decide your case fairly.

 

13. WHEN ANSWERING QUESTIONS MAKE SURE TO SIMULTANEOUSLY PRESENT DOCUMENTS AND/OR PICTURES TO SUPPORT YOUR ANSWERS.

When answering questions make sure to simultaneously present
Your narrative of certain facts will sound very credible every time you simultaneously put forth the pictures and documents supportive of such facts. Make occasional reference to such other pictures and documents that can further support any other material facts. For example, if you say that you spend your Honeymoon in Europe, make sure to show those pictures in Europe airline tickets, boarding passes and hotel receipts to prove such trips. Boarding pass is more credible than mere e-tickets because it shows that you actually boarded the plane to the intended destination. E-tickets are mere confirmation of your flight schedule and nothing more. Another important document to present is proof of Life Insurance obtained and the primary contingent beneficiary is your spouse applicant. Almost always, USCIS Adjudicators like to see you mention health and life insurance policies and showing her the hard copy of the insurance policies or any evidence of insurance coverage.

 

14. LISTEN TO QUESTIONS CAREFULLY.

Listen to questions carefully
Maintain EYE TO EYE contact all the time and listen to the questions intently and stay focused. Request the USCIS Adjudicator to repeat the question if you do not understand fully because you might be giving answers that were not even asked and instead of trying to conclude the interview earlier, you are actually slowing it down not to mention wasting the time of the USCIS Adjudicator. Worse, you might also be giving totally wrong answers that might cause the denial of your case! Always consider the time of the USCIS Adjudicator and be apologetic when she needs to repeat her questions. Remember, her time is precious and she is very busy handling and about to interview hundreds of other cases.

 

15. DO NOT EXPOUND

Do not expound
When the question is answerable by a “yes” or “no”, do not try to explain because in the course of doing so, you might make your case complicated even more. Remember, less talk, less mistakes and inconsistencies.

 

16. BE HONEST.

Be honest
When a lie is discovered, it is enough to create doubt in all your otherwise truthful answers. You will no longer gain the trust of the USCIS Adjudicator and any attempt to reverse that mindset is an exercise in futility. More importantly, when you are honest about the legitimacy of your marriage and the authenticity of the documents you have submitted, you will afford yourself a definite psychological advantage already. You have nothing to hide, right? With that mindset together with adequate preparation mentioned above, you will feel confident, comfortable and less nervous going through the interview. I have observed that USCIS Adjudicators tend to be friendlier and less intimidating when they could see that interviewees look more relaxed and composed during the interview. When you are not sure of your answer, do not guess and be humble enough to say, “I do not know” or “I do not recall”. If you have something irregular or seemingly suspicious about your case and you have already sought an attorney’s advice about it, it is way better to be honest and explain what really happened consistent with your attorney’s advice than try to conceal such fact.

 

17. IF YOU HAVE AN ATTORNEY, BRING HIM ALONG.

If you have an attorney bring him along
I know a lot of you do not want to bring your attorney because either you are too confident you can handle the interview or you want to save on the appearance fee or both. Others think that by bringing an attorney, it will send a wrong signal to the USCIS Adjudicator that there is something fishy or fraudulent about the case. Those are not true. You are entitled to legal representation and if you had an attorney assist you at the filing stage, the USCIS adjudicator expects you to bring your attorney with you come interview time. Always remember that your attorney has the legal expertise and knows the facts and legal aspects of your case. No person is better equipped to handle any legal issues that might crop up during the interview. Your attorney can also serve as your “security blanket” because mindful of his presence, you feel even more confident and less nervous for you have an advocate on your side to protect you. Often, when interview gets to be more stressful and tense, clients usually panic and get so nervous and often unable to remember the questions asked and the answers given. Having an attorney during the interview will allow your advocate to calmly observe the proceedings and take note of everything that might be disadvantageous to the case so that he can very well defend your case should the need arises (i.e., Request For Evidence (RFE) or a denial).

On my part, I usually, among other things, write down all important USCIS Adjudicator questions and client responses and take note of any possible inconsistencies. I always try to show to the USCIS Adjudicator that I am being observant and taking my clients’ case seriously and will defend my clients to the hilt. Right at the conclusion of the interview, I always tell the USCIS Adjudicators to allow my clients to explain the inconsistencies of their answer, if any. Also, I personally help clients get organized with their documents and assist them before they certify to any recorded answers before I allow my clients to affix their signatures on such certification. Believe me, you might not realize the value of having an attorney by your side until you mess up your interview and would require an attorney to fix the problem. All my clients who successfully hurdled their interviews and eventually got their Green Cards swear that having an attorney present is worth the money spent for the purpose.

In conclusion, adjustment immigration interview is the last opportunity to present your case before the USCIS Adjudicator. Do everything you can to prepare yourself for a tough and grueling interview. Do not be complacent. If you happen to chance upon a USCIS Adjudicator who is so nice and gave you an easy time, well and good and consider it a huge blessing. But if you come across with a USCIS Adjudicator who has the habit of conducting very difficult and stressful interview, you can only pat yourself in the back because you have come to achieve your immigration goals and chances are, you will eventually receive your Green Card!

 

I know US Immigration Laws may be very hard to understand and maybe you got confused after reading this article; that you demand immediate answers. So I’m giving you a chance to directly talk to a US Immigration Lawyer, California. I encourage you to inquire from our free consultation page here -> US Immigration Services.

If you’re looking for US Immigration Services, Ponferrada Law Offices – attorneyhelpsyou.com offers excellent, quick and quality legal service with fast communication at the least possible cost.

US Immigration Services
US Immigration Services

Inquire today! We sincerely want to HELP PEOPLE from all walks of life regardless of social status and financial position and most of all, we’ll be happy to make you a part of our family of satisfied clients.