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Consular Processing

The procedure for an intending immigrant to obtain Lawful Permanent Residence or a “green card” in the United States is called Consular Processing.   Once the petition for a family member residing abroad has been approved, the next step will be for the priority date of the approved petition to become current.  For immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, the priority date will become current immediately and you will be notified by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) that your case has been transferred to the National Visa Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  For family members of a Lawful Resident there will be a mandatory wait time.

Columbus Al Dia September 2014

The final step in the immigration process is to become a naturalized United States citizen. Thereare many benefits and protections that result from obtaining citizenship that people often overlook.The rights that you will obtain include the right to vote, the right to travel with a U.S. passport for anunlimited period of time, and to be eligible for federal grants and scholarships. Additionally, you willhave more protection from being deported than those who are in lawful permanent resident status.

To determine whether you are eligible to apply for citizenship you first look to the date that you becamea lawful permanent resident. You can find that date on your lawful permanent resident card. Thegeneral rule is that you must be in lawful permanent resident status for five years to be eligible to applyfor citizenship.


Family Petition

One of the most common issues in immigration law is how a US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident can petition for lawful resident status or what is commonly referred to as a “green card” for their family member.  This issue can be complex depending on whether the family member is currently residing in the United States or if they are residing abroad.  Also, if the family member has any prior illegal entries into the U.S., has previously overstayed a temporary visa for over six months, or committed a crime in the U.S., a waiver of inadmissibility may be required.  If any of those issues apply consider consulting with an experienced immigration attorney, so that you are aware of the challenges your family member will face when applying for a green card.

Visas for Victims of Crime  

Congress has taken action to protect unlawful residents from being targeted for crime in the community.  The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 and the Violence Against Women Act were passed to encourage undocumented people to report criminal activity to law enforcement authorities. In the past, it was a common belief that unlawfully present people were hesitant to report crime and come in contact with law enforcement, because it could lead to the discovery that such victim or witness is in the country unlawfully.

Fianzas de Inmigración

Segunda quincena de junio del 2014
los fiadores locales no cubren fianzas de inmigración, pero hay algunos que operan en el país. Ellos esperan re- cibir un pago no reembolsable de al menos 10 a 15 por ciento del total de la fianza, además de alguna propiedad como garantía para cubrir el resto.
En Ohio, audiencias de fianza se llevan a cabo en la Corte de Inmigra- ción en Cleveland, Ohio y también se hacen a través de videoconferen- cias en las instalaciones de la cárcel de Butler County en Hamilton, Ohio. La fianza puede ser pagada en el 50 West Broad Street en Columbus, OH. Quienes cubren la fianza deben ase- gurarse de que el detenido aparecerá en todas las audiencias de inmigra- ción programadas, porque si no se presentan el dinero de la fianza pro- bablemente se perderá. La Corte de Inmigración devolverá la fianza a la persona que lo envió al termino

Executive Action

On November 20, 2014, President Obama addressed the country and finally delivered on his longoutstanding commitment to “fix the broken immigration system.”  However, he had to do so under hispresidential authority to take Executive Action, which does not offer the same protections as laws thatare passed by Congress.  This was a measure taken by the President after the House of Representativesrefused to vote on an immigration bill that was passed by the Senate nearly a year and a half ago. 

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