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What to do if you receive a Notice of Intent to Deny

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM Comments comments (413)
When an application is filed with the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS)  whether it be for a family based green card or an employment based visa such as H1-B it is possible that the government will issue you a notice of an intent to deny. Generally, this means that there is lack of sufficient documentation for the application.  There  is also normally a deadline in which you must respond. Failure to respond in a timely fashion will almost certainly lead to a denial. If you receive a Notice of Intent to Deny it is best to hire an immigration attorney to assist you. It is not only important to respond in a timely fashion, it is also essential to supply sufficient evidence to overcome the reasons for the possible denial. For example, if a US citizen files an I129 fiancee petition, but does not submit enough evidence to establish the two people know each other and are  in a relationship, a Notice of Intent to Deny may be issued.  Evidence of the relationship could include records of trips taken together, email correspondence and photos of the couple.

Continuous Presence versus Physical Presence for Naturalization

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 8:54 PM Comments comments (129)
Many clients have questions about the physical presence and continuous presence requirements before applying for citizenship. It is always best to consult an immigration attorney before sending  in your application.

Physical presence means you actual time in the United States. If you are a green card holder you should be living in the United States at least 6 months a year and filing taxes in the US. If you are outside of the United States for more than 6 months you may be presumed to have abandoned your green card status. If you know you will be away you can apply for a re-entry permit by filing form I-131 in the United States before your trip abroad. You also need to be physically present 30 months out of the previous 5 years in order to be eligible.

You are generally required to be in the US continuously for 5 years before you apply for citizenship. You can be continuously present in the US if you take short trips abroad, 1 or 2 months. It is important to know that you need to know the dates of your trips abroad including Mexico and Canada when you apply.   

Our firm has  helped many people become citizens.

Naturalization/Citizenship: To Apply or To Not Apply That is the Question

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 8:24 AM Comments comments (86)
The general requirements for applying for citizenship are when a green card holder has been a permanent resident for five years or in cases where the application is based on marriage to a US citizen, the application can be filed three years from the issuance of the green card as long as the couple is still living together.

There is a growing trend, however, for people who apply for naturalization/citizenship to not only have the application denied, but the green card holder is also in jeopardy of having permanent status revoked and being placed in removal/deportation proceedings. There are several fact patterns that could cause this result. 

One pattern is that the permanent resident is convicted of a felony or some other serious crime. Any type of criminal record can cause issues for green card holders, especially crimes involving moral turpitude that is crimes which is generally requires an intent to cause great bodily harm, defraud. or permanently deprive an owner of property. Examples include theft, domestic violence, and crimes involving firearms. Always consult an immigration attorney before accepting a plea.

Another instance is if the green card holder is not living in the United States and/or is not filing tax returns in the United States. Permanent residence requires that you live in the United States and file tax returns in the United States. If you will be away from the United States for a year or more it is important to apply for a Re-entry permit. Any absence from the US for over 6 months creates a presumption of abandonment of the green card. 

In marriage cases, if the green card holder files for divorce prior to the application for citizenship this creates a difficult situation. In some states, the grounds for divorce require that the situation exist for a year prior to the filing. So, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney from the Law Offices of Alexus Sham before making the decision to file for naturalization.