On April 23, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Moncrieffe v. Holder. Adrian Moncrieffe is a Jamaican national who came to the United States at the age of 3. During a 2007 traffic stop, police found 1.3 grams of marijuana in Mr. Moncrieffe’s car. This is roughly the amount of 2-3 marijuana cigarettes. In his Georgia criminal case, Mr. Moncrieffe agreed to a plea for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He received no jail time and was placed on probation. As a result of this conviction, Mr. Moncrieffe was placed in immigration proceedings ultimately resulting in his deportation. The Board of Immigration Appeals agreed with the Immigration Judge and the 5th Circuit denied review. The Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, ruled that his marijuana charge was improperly classified as an aggravated felony under … Read More »
On March 7, 2013 the President signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) into law. VAWA lapsed at the end of 2011 and had faced difficulties passing Congress due to some expansions in the areas of protections for Native American and LGTB victims of violence. This was the first time since the bill was originally passed in 1994 that Congress had allowed it to expire. While the act itself had not been renewed, Congress had continued to fund VAWA’s programs to keep them going. VAWA serves to protect and aid victims of domestic violence, rape, and human trafficking. It also provides special protections for immigrant victims of violence, specifically U visas and allowing for self-petitioning.
U Visas. U visas are for those who are not in lawful immigrant status but who are victims of serious crimes by U.S. citizens. … Read More »
If you are a green card holder with a U.S. citizen spouse who is employed abroad, you may qualify for a special expedited citizenship process. If your citizen spouse is employed abroad by the U.S. Government, an American business or one of certain organizations, you may be able to gain your citizenship through “expedited naturalization.” Typically, naturalization requires that a permanent resident both reside and be present in the U.S. a certain number of days before application. However, the expedited citizenship process waives these presence and residency requirements, allowing the green card holder to become a U.S. citizen much faster.
To qualify for this expedited naturalization process:
You must be a lawful permanent resident who is married to a U.S. citizen;
Your spouse must work for one of the following: the U.S. government; a specifically recognized American institution or public international organization; or an … Read More »
As the traditional holidays are behind us, you may find yourself anxiously awaiting the upcoming H-1B season. H-1B visas provide a way for foreign nationals to live and work in the United States, for a temporary period, in a specialty occupation. Even in the current job market, these visas remain in high demand. This demand makes proper filing of an H-1B petition all the more important.
The term “H-1B filing season” stems from the limited supply of the visas vs. the overwhelming demand. The current cap on the number of H-1B visas that may be awarded each year is 65,000. Some visas are set aside from this allowance for treaties involving Chile and Singapore, bringing the total of available visas to 58,200. The first day that H-1B petitions are considered each year is April 1st, which marks the beginning of the … Read More »
Immigration reform chatter began shortly after the Republican defeat in the recent Presidential election. While most wondered if the new call for reform would die down, talk has led to the House passage of a new immigration reform bill on November 30. Talk of immigration reform is bringing new hope to the estimated eleven to twelve million immigrants currently in the United States without legal status. The election caused the Republican Party to realize it needs a more positive policy stance toward immigrants in order to stay viable in future elections. As a result, immigration reform has become a priority among the Republican Party. Immigration reform only became a partisan divide within the past few years but the new shift caused a great push toward reform legislation. The big question has now changed from whether or not immigration reform will … Read More »