Full service immigration and naturalization law firm. Serving people across the U.S. and the world.
[01/07/19] Even with the current Government shutdown, USCIS continues to operate. It is funded by all the application fees. And, the Dept. of Labor is also currently funded, so employment-based applications will continue as usual (for the parts that involve the DOL). Therefore, the business of helping immigrants will continue as usual at Velt Immigration Law Firm, PLLC. Happy New Year!
[09/05/17] Attorney General Sessions has announced that DACA is being rescinded. DACA will be phased out, as explained in the Memorandum recently released. Will it affect you or someone you know? Please reach out if you have questions about this new development,
ALWAYS CONTACT AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEW EXECUTIVE ORDERS!
We are entering (or have already entered) a time of great uncertainty in the immigration context under Trump’s Administration. You may be hearing a lot of information (and sometimes misinformation) from all different kinds of sources (media, friends, etc.).
I am posting this in an attempt to calm any fears that may be out there as a result of President Trump’s talk and issuance of Executive Orders (EO), targeting immigrants. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of concrete information or clarity at this point. It will be changing a lot over the coming days, weeks, months, etc. In fact, some courts have already gotten involved, so a lot remains to be seen as to what portions of Trump’s EOs will be enforced and to what extent. Hopefully, more questions will be answered in the near future. Please be aware that some information provided today may change tomorrow (or even later in the same day). It is always advisable to speak to an immigration attorney if you have any questions or concerns.
At this time, we do know that President Trump wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and wants to limit the availability of visas for individuals from certain countries. He reportedly also wants to increase deportations for those individuals who have a criminal history (does not only include criminal convictions but also those merely charged with an offense or are suspected to have committed an offense) or are deemed a threat to the national security or public safety.
Please be aware that immigration attorneys nationwide are united in defending our clients and immigrants in the best way possible. While we do not have many clear and concise answers yet, I wanted to reach out to you to make sure you have my contact information in case you have any questions or concerns in this time of uncertainty. Please also provide my contact information to a trusted family member or friend in the event they need to get in contact with me.
Without causing any paranoia and in hoping to alleviate anxiety and fears, many immigration attorneys are recommending that non-U.S citizens follow some steps. The below guidelines are merely some pointers to keep in mind and do NOT constitute specific legal advice about any particular case. If you have concerns about your particular case, you should consult with an immigration attorney.
1. If you are in legal status in the U.S. (permanent resident, valid non-immigrant visa, etc.), carry proof of that status (green card, work permit, valid visa/I-94 admission record, etc.). Also, keep a copy of your valid immigration documents in a safe place and give a copy to a trusted family member or friend.
2. If you have a current case pending with CIS or the immigration court, keep a copy of your notice(s) to show your case is pending. Also, give a copy to a trusted friend or family member.
3. If you do not have legal status in the U.S., do not carry on you proof of your citizenship from another country.
4. If you do not have legal status in the U.S. but have been in the U.S. for at least 2 years, gather proof of your physical presence in the U.S. for the last 2 years (or more). President Trump is looking to increase expedited removals for those individuals who have not been in the U.S. for at least 2 years or who do not have a credible fear of returning to their home country. Make sure all documents contain legal and accurate information (do not supply false tax records, anything with a false SS#, false dependents on taxes, court papers, etc.0 Also, do not provide any document which shows your country of birth or nationality. Keep a copy readily accessible and give a copy to a trusted friend or family member.
5. Consult with an attorney prior to any departures from the U.S., even if you are a lawful permanent resident or have valid advance parole. You may be barred from re-entering the U.S., especially if you are from one of the 7 countries designated by President Trump: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen. This is true EVEN if you are a lawful permanent resident (at this time).
6. If you have a final order of removal OR if you do not have legal status and have been in the U.S. for less than 2 years, you may want to consult with an attorney to discuss any immigration options you may have.
7. Do not answer the door if police or ICE knocks on it and do not consent for them to enter your residence. Ask them (through a closed door) where they work and if they have a warrant. If they have a warrant, ask them to slip it through the door. The warrant must be signed by a judge or magistrate and must have your name and address on it.
8. Do not speak to police or ICE, other than telling them your name. Ask them if you are free to leave. If you are arrested, tell them of your right to remain silent and that you wish to speak with an attorney.
9. If you have a true fear of being persecuted in your home country, speak to an immigration attorney to see if you qualify for asylum. If you are detained by ICE, tell them (many times may be needed) if you have a true fear of being returned to your home country. This must be truthful and you must provide a reason as to why you fear being returned (persecution, torture). You should be given a credible fear interview to see if there is a credible threat of persecution in your home country. If you pass a credible fear interview, you should be given the opportunity to apply for asylum. Beware that having a false (frivolous) asylum claim has serious consequences and can permanently bar you from future immigration remedies.
10. If you do not have a valid driver’s license, do not drive.
Remember, the above are guidelines and may change as the immigration policies, laws and regulations change. The above guidelines are merely some pointers to keep in mind and do not constitute specific legal advice about any particular case. If you have concerns about your particular case, you should consult with an immigration attorney.
Immigration Lawyers around the country are now recommending that immigrants (especially those who are out of status or have no status) carry with them at all times proof of their legal status or physical documentary proof of continuous physical presence in the U.S. for the prior 2 years as that will help protect them against being subject to Expedited Removal.
Expedited Removal is an immediate order without any further hearing, review, or opportunity to apply to stay in the United States unless the person expresses a fear of persecution, in which case he or she is afforded a “credible fear interview” to determine whether he or she may apply for asylum. Individuals subject to expedited removal generally are not informed of their right to counsel. Likewise, they are not provided a sufficient opportunity to contact counsel to help them challenge the charges against them or present evidence that is not with them at the time of apprehension.
[01/24/17] I love my job! Client just got her green card in the mail. She can now fly home to see her young daughter. Then, we're going to start the Consular Processing case to bring her daughter here, so they can be together. Happy times!
What will happen with the current immigration policies once President-elect Trump takes office in January?
Although no one has a crystal ball to tell the future, there is a great amount of certainty that DACA will come to an end. This executive action program, initiated by President Obama, will most likely be terminated under Trump's Presidency. And, it could be done shortly after he takes office. What are the remaining options for those who currently have DACA? Is it a good idea to renew it now? Is it a good idea to file a new application?
Also, what about those individuals who are lawful permanent residents? Should they apply for naturalization now, if they are eligible to do so? Is traveling abroad an issue for LPRs?
And, what about those individuals who are currently in removal proceedings or whose cases have been administratively closed?
There is a lot to think about in the upcoming months before Donald Trump takes office. There is also a lot of uncertainty, fear, anxiousness (to name a few). One thing is fairly certain: immigration in the U.S. will change. But, how much?
If you have questions, please reach out to me at 703-548-5634 or [email protected]. Be assured, the immigration attorneys nationwide are standing together to help our clients, their families and the immigrant population in general to the best of our ability.
The provisional waiver (I-601A) is being expanded, effective on August 29. Until now, only a select number of individuals without status in the U.S. are able to apply for a provisional waiver of unlawful presence, with the ultimate goal of becoming a lawful permanent resident. The categories of eligible individuals has been expanded and is set to become effective in 8 days!
Contact Velt Immigration Law Firm if you have questions about this provisional waiver! 703-548-5634 or [email protected]
Velt Immigration is moving..... a few doors down! As of August 1, Velt Immigration will be at:
6267 Franconia Road, 1st Floor
Alexandria, VA 22310
The phone #, fax #, email and mailing address all will remain the same.
Your patience is appreciated as the move occurs, internet gets set up, etc.
[02/23/16] Client just received an I-140 approval for an EB-2/National Interest Waiver petition.... based on doing research in the field of nuclear medicine. I'm so happy for my client!!!!
[11/21/14] President Obama announced last night his plans for executive actions to help numerous undocumented people already living in the U.S. Will you or someone you know qualify? More details still need to be made public but it's not too soon to schedule a consultation to discuss what is already known/or will be known soon.
[01/10/14] VELT IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM, PLLC has now officially launched its new website, with blog! Check it out!: www.veltimmigration.com
[11/01/11] Have any immigration questions? Contact me for a consultation.
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