The Livesay & Myers Blog
An annulment is a judicial declaration that a marriage was a nullity from the start, leaving the parties free to remarry as they might after a divorce. A marriage subject to annulment may be classified either as a “void” marriage or a “voidable” marriage.
Void Marriages. A “void” marriage is an absolute nullity in the eyes of the law. It requires neither an annulment proceeding nor a judicial declaration of annulment in order to be void, although parties to a void marriage may still choose to bring an annulment action in order to obtain a judicial declaration that the marriage was void ab initio.
Void marriages in Virginia include:
bigamous and polygamous marriages,
underage marriages, and
Voidable Marriages. In contrast to a void marriage, a “voidable” marriage is presumed to be a legally valid marriage until it is annulled by a judicial determination. In order … Read More »
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 27, 2009 that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Somalia from its current expiration date of Sept. 17, 2009 through March 17, 2011. During the past year, DHS and the Department of State have continued to review conditions in Somalia. Based on this review, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has determined that an 18 month extension is warranted because the armed conflict is ongoing, and the extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted the last TPS designation of Somalia on Sept. 4, 2001 persist.
Under the extension, individuals, who have already been granted TPS, are eligible to re-register and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. There are approximately 250 nationals of Somalia who are eligible to re-register. Certain Somalis may be … Read More »
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released the following FAQs regarding the 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Somalia.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, through March 17, 2010, to nationals of Somalia or people having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia. This extension does not apply to Somalis who entered the United States after Sept. 4, 2001. Certain nationals who have not previously applied for TPS may be able to apply under the late registration provisions.
Question and Answers
Question: What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
Answer: TPS is an immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated for TPS under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (or to persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country). During the period for which … Read More »
Virginia Code section 19.2-120 provides that, before conducting a hearing on bail, release, or detention, the judicial officer must, to the extent feasible, obtain the person’s criminal history, as defined in section 19.2-119. A person held in custody pending trial or hearing for an offense or for civil or criminal contempt must be admitted to bail by a judicial officer unless there is probable cause to believe that: (i) he or she will not appear for trial or hearing or at such other time or place as may be directed; or (ii) his or her liberty would constitute an unreasonable danger to himself or herself or the public.
The judicial officer must presume, subject to rebuttal, that there are no conditions that can reasonably assure the appearance of the accused for trial and the safety of the public if the accused … Read More »
Where a couple was married 10 or more years and then divorce, each party will be paid the greater of his/her own Social Security benefit or a spousal benefit. Spousal benefits generally are equal to 50% of the primary wage earner’s benefit. The gender of the spouse is irrelevant, although historically this has had a greater impact on ex-wives.
It is important to understand that there is no impact on the primary wage earner’s benefit. If an ex-wife chooses spousal benefits based on her marriage to a former husband, it will not reduce the amount the ex-husband receives in Social Security.
For an example: assume Suzy and John are married over 10 years, then divorce. Suzy then marries Edward, stays married to him for over 10 years, then divorces Edward as well.
At retirement, Suzy will be entitled to choose the greatest of … Read More »
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has naturalized the first nonimmigrant to enlist in the military under the Defense Department’s Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) pilot recruiting program.
Dr. Brown* was the first nonimmigrant to sign a contract under the MAVNI program. He enlisted in the Army in April, and in June, he applied to become a naturalized citizen. One month later, he passed his naturalization test and recited the Oath of Allegiance becoming a citizen of the United States.
[* The name "Brown" is a pseudonym used at the request of the army.]
“This ceremony happened in record time because our military liaison team maintained close coordination with the Army and tracked Dr. Brown’s naturalization packet from the time he applied with our Nebraska Service Center until today,” said Debra Rogers, acting Deputy Associate Director of USCIS’ … Read More »
USCIS Issues Additional Information To Employers Whose H-1B Petitions For Health Care Specialty Occupations Have Been Denied
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued guidance to certain employers who received a denial of Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting H-1B classification for a beneficiary to practice in a health care specialty occupation prior to May 20, 2009.
If the Form I-129 was denied solely on the basis that the beneficiary did not possess a Master’s or higher degree in the field, the petition may be reopened on service motion and will be adjudicated in accordance with the May 20, 2009 memorandum on “Requirements for H-1B Beneficiaries Seeking to Practice in a Health Care Occupation,” which provides clarification on the standards for H-1B health care specialty occupations. USCIS will only review denials of petitions for which it has received a written request for review from the petitioning employer or its representative.
USCIS is requesting that employers whose petitions … Read More »
The New York Times reports on an important change in U.S. asylum policies:
Moving cautiously, the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately recommend asylum for the Mexican woman, who is identified in the court papers only by her initials as L.R. But the department, in the unusual submission written by senior government lawyers, concluded in plain terms that “it is possible” that the Mexican woman “and other applicants who have experienced domestic violence could qualify for asylum.”
As recently as last year, Bush administration lawyers had argued in the same case that in spite of her husband’s brutality, L.R. and other battered women could not meet the standards of American asylum law.
“This really opens the door to the protection of women who have suffered these kinds of violations,” said Karen Musalo, a professor who is … Read More »
Emergency protective orders can be issued in Virginia 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. An emergency protective order can be issued by any circuit court, general district court, or juvenile and domestic relations district court judge, or by any magistrate. Given the urgency of many situations, a law enforcement officer may request an emergency protective order orally, in person, or by electronic means. The judge or magistrate may issue an oral emergency protective order, which must be reduced to writing by the law enforcement officer who made the request.
Because of the emergency nature of family abuse situations, an emergency protective order can be issued ex parte, with no notice to the alleged abuser (the defendant). There must be reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant has committed family abuse against a family or household member and that there … Read More »
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the Administration’s support for a regulation that will award federal contracts only to employers who use E-Verify to check employee work authorization. The declaration came as Secretary Napolitano announced the Department’s intention to rescind the Social Security No-Match Rule, which has never been implemented and has been blocked by court order, in favor of the more modern and effective E-Verify system.
“E-Verify is a smart, simple and effective tool that reflects our continued commitment to working with employers to maintain a legal workforce,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Requiring those who seek federal contracts to use this system will create a more reliable and legal workforce. The rule complements our Department’s continued efforts to strengthen immigration law enforcement and protect critical employment opportunities. As Senator Schumer and others have recognized, we need to … Read More »