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Changes To Visa Waiver Program

06 February 2016

Author: New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova Usually, to come to one country from another, a person would have to obtain a visa, or permission. Citizens of the United States may travel without visas to many countries, but for some countries they do need to obtain visas. Non-U.S. citizens usually have to apply for a visa before coming to t ...

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Extending H1B Status After 6 Year Cap

03 February 2016

Employment Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova An H1B worker may stay and work in the U.S. for a total of 6 years only. It means, that upon conclusion of the 6 -year period, the H1B holder has to leave the U.S., and will not be able to qualify for another H1B visa, unless he/she spends 1 year abroad. However, recognizing the need of the U.S. emp ...

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Religious Immigration: Qualifications And Requirements

01 February 2016

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova A worker in religious vocation may apply for an R-1 visa after a corresponding petition was filed and granted on his/her behalf. In addition, such a worker may adjust his/her status to one of a permanent resident using Special Immigrant Status Petition, I -360. Religious vocation as per USCIS is ...

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R-1 Non-immigrant Visa For Religious Workers

27 January 2016

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova Over time, a religious organization may encounter the need for a minister, religious worker in occupation, or religious worker in vocation who is currently stationed overseas. For religious organizations with an already established US bona fide non-profit organization the basic requirements for t ...

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P Is For Performing – P Non-immigrant Visa Overview

25 January 2016

New York Visa lawyer Alena Shautsova The P Non-immigrant visa category has four (4) separate classifications, P-1, P-2, P-3 and P-4. The main distinction between O and P visa is that the P visa is limited to a specific event whether it be a competition, sports season, tour, exhibition, a performance even. This limitation does not limit the indivi ...

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Waiver Of Expedited Processing Fee For O Visa Petitions

20 January 2016

Author: New York Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova To receive an O visa, a US employer or agent has to submit a petition on behalf of the O visa / status beneficiary. Usually, USCIS considers such petitions within 4-6 months, and recently there were serious delays in adjudication of O petitions. O status / visa petitioners have an option to "expedi ...

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I-9 Compliance For Employers

06 January 2016

Author: Alena Shautsova I-9 compliance is a necessity nowadays, and if you do not know what I-9 means you should at least read this article: I-9 Audit. Today’s article will be focused on internal audit that employers should conduct to avoid penalties for missed compliance. It is important to remember that employers cannot discriminate against empl ...

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Recourse For Widow(er)s After The Death Of The Beneficiary

06 January 2016

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova We all know that life happens, and sometimes it happens unpredictably. It may occur that one who started the immigration process for his/her family members passes away and the beneficiary is left in the middle of a crisis unsure about his/her immigration status. For situations like that, USCIS created s ...

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New Proposed Rule Regarding Non-immigrant Work Visas

06 January 2016

Author: Visa lawyer Alena Shautsova The New Year comes with new proposed changes in work visas regulations. I would like to emphasize that the rule published is a proposed rule. It means it is not the law yet, and we can only speculate what the final result would be. However, it is worth to highlight certain proposed changes just to see the direct ...

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How To Get An O Or P Visa

28 December 2015

Author: New York Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova The US government offers some non-immigrant visas for people with extraordinary ability in the science, arts, education, business or athletics, or in the motion picture and television field. Such visas known as O visas, if granted, are usually given first for three years, and then can be extend ...

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Particular Serious Crime And Withholding Of Removal

09 December 2015

Author: New York Deportation Lawyer Alena Shautsova Withholding of removal often is the only form of relief for those who either missed their one year deadline to file an application for asylum, or those with previous immigration problems and in particular, previous removal. See 8 C.F.R. § 208.31(e) (describing “withholding-only” proceedings). T ...

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USCIS Reminder: Deadline To Register For Nepal TPS Is December 21

09 December 2015

Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova It is extremely important to remember that the deadline to register for Nepal TPS is approaching. All persons who qualify, regardless of their status (or absence of status) are encouraged to apply for the TPS. The TPS provides an opportunity to be protected from the removal and also allows its be ...

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Sharing Good News

09 December 2015

Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova This past month was very fruitful in terms of positive decisions by USCIS on our cases and we would like to share the good news. We had an I 601 waiver approved for one of our clients, along with Parole in Place for another one, and a PERM certification for a client who was waiting for it for a d ...

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Adjustment Options For K-1 Visa Entrants

05 November 2015

Author: VAWA attorney Alena Shautsova A K-1 visa is issued to a fiance of the U.S. citizen who is willing and able to get married to the U.S. citizen within 90 days of arrival. If everything goes well, the couple gets married and later, they apply for adjustment of status for the non-citizen. The marriages by K-1 visa holder and a U.S. citizen are ...

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Emergency Travel While Adjustment Of Status Is Pending

05 November 2015

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova It has always been the case that one who applied for a permanent resident status while in the U.S. cannot travel outside the U.S. without a special permission if he/she does not wish to forego his/her application. For a while it was also the case that one who gets this special permission, could not retur ...

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Halloween Is Coming - Trick Or Treat, How To Choose An Attorney

29 October 2015

Author: New York Immigration attorney Halloween is coming, and with it the infamous question of children dressed as heroes or monsters at the door: Trick or Treat? I thought about this as an analogy of the legal field for a while and it really fits quite nicely. The point of Halloween for most children (especially when they get a bit older and kn ...

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Failure To Register For Selective Service And Citizenship

06 October 2015

Author: Citizenship Attorney Alena Shautsova Usually, when one tries to research information regarding naturalization requirements, he finds discussions regarding good moral character, physical presence requirements, criminal bars to citizenship, time in permanent residence status issue. However, there are other, less "popular" but nevertheless i ...

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US Parole Program For Filipino

06 October 2015

Author: Alena Shautsova A new exciting announcement came from the Department of Homeland Security last week. The DHS is creating a new parole program for Filipino and Filipino-American World War II. While the parameters of the programs are still under development, it is nevertheless very good news. Generally, a person who is paroled into the U. ...

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DV Lottery Is Back

06 October 2015

Author: Alena Shautsova It is that time of the year again: pumpkins, corn and fall mums mean that it is fall, and the Department of State again reopens its internet portal for the DV lottery players: www.dvlottery.state.gov. A few reminders for those who are considering trying their luck: 1. Read the Instructions Yourself, do not rely on anybody ...

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Informing Immigration About Change Of Address

29 September 2015

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova From time to time people move from one address to another. While it is not a big deal for a U.S. citizen, for somebody who is not a citizen, and maybe not even a permanent resident, the move may have drastic consequences in connection to their Immigration status. Being in a rush, having a lot o ...

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Adjustment Of Status After A Or G Diplomatic Visa

16 September 2015

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova Usually, a person holding a diplomatic visa is ineligible to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident. (A visas and status are for employees and representatives of diplomatic missions, G visa and status are for the employees and representatives of foreign and international organizations ...

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Understanding Temporary Protected Status

07 September 2015

Author: Deportation Attorney Alena Shautsova Temporary protected status or TPS is a form of deferred action, a permission by a US government to stay in the US whose countries’ conditions are such that do not permit safe return of its nationals. To be able to apply for TPS, a person has to be a national of the country which was designated by the U ...

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How To Ask For Asylum

07 September 2015

Author: asylum lawyer Alena Shautsova Asylum is a status that is given to a person who cannot or is not willing to return to his/her country. Asylum law in most countries is defined by the International Convention on Refugees that was adopted by many countries, some with reservations. There are just a couple of countries which are not parties ...

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Average Time For Asylum Interview

01 September 2015

Author: New York Asylum Attorney Alena Shautsova The average time for one to be called for an interview after submission of asylum application is approximately 20-24 months. However, to be more precise, the time depends largely on the jurisdiction and certain other circumstances, but in general, 20-24 months would be a fair estimate. The intervi ...

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When An Amended Asylum Application Is A New Application

22 August 2015

Author: New York Asylum Attorney Alena Shautsova When one files an application with the USCIS or court, one commits an important act of securing a deadline and a filing date, and also availing himself to the laws and regulations that are in effect on the date of filing. It means that the act of filing of an application has serious consequences for ...

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I-130 Petition And Immigrant Visa (Adjustment Of Status)

19 August 2015

Author: green card lawyer Alena Shautsova Recently an interesting case came into my office where the individual said that he had applied for his mother to come to the US through immediate relative I-130 petition. His I 130 petition was approved and his mother’s Immigrant Visa was approved. The issue at question was trying to save 6 months’ worth o ...

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7 Harmful Effects Of Visa Fraud

18 August 2015

Author: US Visa lawyer Alena Shautsova Visa Fraud can be the result of sloppy proofreading or misrepresentation of material fact for the purpose of illegal gains. Either way, these “mistakes” can land you in big trouble from present until future. The most common “fraud” is omission of material facts. For Example you do not disclose that your relat ...

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5 Most Challenging Obstacles For Adjustment Of Status (And Their Solutions)

07 August 2015

Author: green card lawyer Alena Shautsova A Recent Success We were able recently to persuade the US government that the couple who was sufficiently accused of a fraudulent marriage, in fact had a bona fide marriage. As a result, the non- citizen was finally granted adjustment of status and was cleared of all accusations. The key in solving this ...

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My Activities As A Delegate Of The American Bar Association

07 August 2015

Author: attorney Alena Shautsova Many of you have called my office this week and were not able to reach me as I was out of state. I have decided to include here a brief overview of my activities outside of the office, so you too can share any concerns with me regarding the points I will mention here and contribute to the process of improving our j ...

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Simplified Eligibility Requirements To Qualify

01 August 2015

Author: Deportation Lawyer Alena Shautsova 3 Simplified Eligibility requirements to Qualify For Cancellation of Removal for Non -Permanent Residents A relief from removal in the form of Cancellation of Removal has been around since 1996, but many eligible individuals still are unaware that they qualify for Cancellation of Removal. One caveat for ...

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Proving Hardship For Immigration Waivers

30 July 2015

Author: Hardship Waiver Attorney Alena Shautsova A person applying for most Immigration waivers in the US, needs to prove an "extreme hardship" to a qualifying family member in order for the application to be granted. When it comes to Hardship waivers it can be frustrating to receive information as general as “proof of hardship”, especially when ...

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Can I Bring My Fiance To The US On A Tourist Visa?

07 July 2015

Author: New York immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova One of the common questions I receive through online inquires is related to bringing family members to the US. While I already have a number of articles regarding this topic (See Adjustment Of Status For K-1 Visa Entrants), I would like to focus here on a fiancé visa. In most cases of family imm ...

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Disclosure Of Criminal Record In Connection With Immigration Benefits

26 June 2015

Author: Deportation Attorney Alena Shautsova Many people who are filling out Immigration forms are asking this question: do I need to disclose my expunged conviction?; or Do I need to disclose my charges if they were dismissed?; or Do I need to disclose my juvenile conviction? Many are confused, because often their Criminal Defense attorneys in ...

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How To Pass A Stokes Interview

17 June 2015

Author: US Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova If your green card application is based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, you will be called for an interview with a USCIS officer. During your initial interview with USCIS you may ask you to come back for a second interview, also known in New York as a Stokes Interview. It is important to remember that this ...

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Employment Authorization for Spouses of H1B Holders

02 June 2015

Author: Employment Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova On May 26, 2015 USCIS started to accept employment authorization applications, form I 765, by certain spouses of H1B visa holders. Traditionally, spouses of H1B visa holders, H4 dependents, were not eligible for an employment authorization. As one of the measures by the President aimed to imp ...

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Updates On Status Of Immigration Reform (New DACA and DAPA)

05 May 2015

Author: New York Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is yet to rule on the issue of new DACA and DAPA. The parties presented their oral arguments on April 17, 2015. So far, the court is still considering the issue. On April 7, 2015 the Court ruled on old DACA lawsuit and found that the plaintiffs did not have sta ...

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Expedited Citizenship

05 May 2015

Author: Citizenship Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova There are different ways one may obtain a U.S. citizenship: through birth in the U.S. or its territories; acquire U.S. citizenship automatically through parents or obtain it through naturalization process. The naturalization process covers those who first receive permanent resident status o ...

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Online Free Immigration Law Seminars

05 May 2015

Author: Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova Law office of Alena Shautsova has launched online free Immigration law seminars. Every Wednesday at 9:00pm EST we hold discussions on various Immigration topics. The recordings of the previous seminars can be found online at: The past topics include: Immigration waivers, I601A waiver; US removal proc ...

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Legally Speaking: Good Moral Character Under Federal Immigration Law

14 April 2015

Author: New York Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova When applying for different forms of relief during deportation proceedings, sometimes one is required to show good moral character. This is a very vague term and many people get confused whether or not they possess a good moral character in the eyes of the adjudicator. This article will outline ...

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How To Receive Prosecutorial Discretion From ICE

03 April 2015

Author: NY Deportation Attorney Alena Shautsova Prosecutorial discretion is a form of government action that allows a non-citizen to avoid drastic consequences of immigration law violations. ICE or Immigration and Custom Enforcement has broad powers in connection to an individual who is subject to its authority: ICE may choose not to send the case ...

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DAPA / DACA Updates

03 April 2015

Author: New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova On the first date of supposed implementation, a federal Judge in Texas has blocked Obama’s immigration reform regarding parents of the U.S. citizens and permanent residents (DAPA) and new improvements to deferred action for childhood arrivals. As a result, the old DACA applications are not affe ...

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Role of The Executive Branch In Private Bill Process

21 March 2015

Author: Green Card Lawyer Alena Shautsova The Executive branch of government may undertake the following actions in connection with a Private Bill: Presidential Veto. Recommendations of which public laws can be utilized. Stays of removal and preparation of reports upon the request of Congress. Rarely the executive branch shows any interest ...

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What happens After My Case Is Filed?

04 March 2015

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova Have you wondered what happens to the papers you send to USCIS? How do they need to be arranged? Do you need to call USCIS to make sure they received your filing? How to write a check for the Immigration filing fees? First, the case or filing has to be assembled in a certain way so that USCIS so ...

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Immigration Reform Updates: What happened with the new DACA and DAPA

04 March 2015

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of measures that are supposed to improve the current immigration system. Among them were the new DACA and DAPA. The USCIS was supposed to start accepting applications for the new DACA on February 18, 2015. However, on February 18, 2015, a ...

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Private Bills Concerning Immigration Matters

25 February 2015

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova Should I Bring My Private Bill Before The Senate, Or The House Of Representatives? A private bill in Immigration contents is a law passed for a specific person. A private bill is initiated when someone contacts their representative or senator to sponsor the bill. The House and the Senate, each has its ...

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Allowed to Stay in the US, But Not Eligible to Adjust Status

20 February 2015

Author: Green Card Lawyer Alena Shautsova One of the most peculiar cases in Immigration Law is when a person lives in the US and technically can apply for some sort relief, but is subject to an Immigration bar, most likely due to criminal issues. It is a tough case and can cause a person to be stuck in limbo, sometimes, indefinitely. The biggest p ...

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Known Unknowns of DAPA

03 February 2015

Author: New York DAPA lawyer Alena Shautsova President Obama’s administration took a new, important step towards legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants. Starting Mary, 2015, a beneficiary of DAPA will be able to obtain an employment authorization, and likely, an advance parole document which will allow a person to legally travel outsi ...

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Five Things To Know about New DACA

03 February 2015

Author: New York DACA lawyer Alena Shautsova Applications for New DACA can be submitted starting February 18, 2015 DACA of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals underwent some major modification from its original form. In November, 2014 President Obama promised that those who came to the country before they turned 16 and stayed continuously fro ...

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How To Immigrate to the Unites States

08 January 2015

Author: US Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova One of the most common questions I receive through my website is “How can I move to the U.S.?” There is no simple answer to this question. The U.S. Immigration law provides for certain channels of immigration, plus the individual’s circumstances such as education, family ties, financial ability should ...

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TPS as Basis for Adjustment of Status

08 January 2015

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) allows a person to stay in the US legally and work because the conditions in the person’s country are so unfortunate that the US government allows a person not to return there. The current list of countries designated for TPS can be found at USCIS website.... For exa ...

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Changed Country Conditions: Filing Asylum After One Year Deadline

08 January 2015

Author: New York Asylum Attorney Alena Shautsova Under the current law, a person seeking asylum must file his/her claim within one year of entering the US. An entry to the U.S. can be verified by evidence of inspection and admission; documents proving that the undocumented person was stopped at the border or by presenting a detailed affidavit desc ...

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When Jurisdiction Exists To Challenge ICE For The Denial Of Bond

29 December 2014

Author: Deportation Attorney Alena Shautsova ICE will have sole discretion and jurisdiction of an Immigration Judge does not exist to challenge the bond or parole determination in the following instances: That of an “Arriving Alien” whether they are a Lawful permanent resident or not. Individuals subject to mandatory detention. Individuals ch ...

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ICE Denial Of Bond, Is It Still Possible To Receive Bond Or Parole?

29 December 2014

Author: Deportation Lawyer Alena Shautsova Yes, in certain instances after ICE has denied a bond you may appeal through “Judicial Review”. If jurisdiction exists you may be eligible for an appeal through judicial review if all of the following can be proven: ICE has abused its power – when the government deems the release of the petitioner pos ...

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Parole for Children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala

09 December 2014

Author: Asylum attorney Alena Shautsova USCIS has announced another important initiative for parole for children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to request to bring their children to the United States as refugees via US Refugee Admission Program (“RAP”). The applications will be considered on case by case basis, and if there are strong h ...

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Obama Administrative Immigration Reform: Who Can Benefit?

09 December 2014

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova The long waited administrative immigration reform has been announced (please see Obama Immigration Reform). However, there are a lot of rumors as to who can qualify and what the immigration reform actually is… First of all, the announced administrative action is not an amnesty that will help al ...

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Obama Immigration Reform

24 November 2014

Author: Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S ...

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Can I Adjust My Status After Entering The Country On A Visa Waiver Program?

18 November 2014

Author:Green Card Lawyer Alena Shautsova The rule of thumb for a person trying to adjust their status on a VWP (Visa Waiver Program) will be eligible for adjustment of status based on an immediate relative petition filed within the 90 day preauthorized period of stay. Make sure you are otherwise eligible for an Adjustment of Status. If you have ...

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Deportation Defense: Options for Complicated Cases

05 November 2014

Author: Deportation Attorney Alena Shautsova Removal or deportation proceeding is the name for administrative process during which an Immigration judge decides if a non-citizen should be sent back to his/her home country. To stay in the US, a non-citizen needs to provide a defense to the removal. Preparing a defense from deportation starts with ...

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How to Bring Adopted Children to The US

05 November 2014

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova Adoption of foreign children can be accomplished via different ways. It can be in the form of local adoption, under the laws of the foreign country without the use of US immigration forms or it can be done through the channels of international adoption. International Adoption International adop ...

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Can I get a Green Card after Divorce or Separation from a US citizen?

05 November 2014

Author: New York Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova When a non-US citizen marries a US citizen, he/she can obtain legal status in the US though the sponsorship filed by the US citizen. If a foreign spouse is overseas, the US citizen has to file a family petition and then the foreign spouse will apply for an immigrant visa; if the foreign spouse i ...

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Can I get a Green Card after Divorce or Separation from a US citizen?

05 November 2014

Author: New York Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova When a non-US citizen marries a US citizen, he/she can obtain legal status in the US though the sponsorship filed by the US citizen. If a foreign spouse is overseas, the US citizen has to file a family petition and then the foreign spouse will apply for an immigrant visa; if the foreign spouse i ...

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K1 for Same Sex Couples (LGBT Fiancé Petition)

16 October 2014

Author: US Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova With the US Supreme court decision in United States v. Windsor, the US recognized federal benefits in connection with same sex couples. To wit, the US government allowed family sponsored immigration for same sex unions. Gay spouses are allowed to sponsor their loved ones for adjustment of status, i ...

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K1 for Same Sex Couples (LGBT Fiancé Petition)

16 October 2014

Author: US Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova With the US Supreme court decision in United States v. Windsor, the US recognized federal benefits in connection with same sex couples. To wit, the US government allowed family sponsored immigration for same sex unions. Gay spouses are allowed to sponsor their loved ones for adjustment of status, i ...

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Citizenship Through Military Service for Beneficiaries of DACA

04 October 2014

Author: Citizenship Attorney Alena Shautsova The law allows permanent residents to receive citizenship after a person has been in “green card holder” status for 3 or 5 years depending on how the person acquired the residency: through marriage with the USC or some other way. Usually, a person has to become a permanent resident first, otherwise he/ ...

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Green Card Lottery Rules And Pitfalls: Time To Play!

04 October 2014

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova US Diversity Visa Lottery or green card lottery as some call it, is a program that allows to choose candidates for the permanent residency in the US from a pool of certain countries. The lucky persons will be able to apply for an immigrant visa and move the US with the whole family ( spouses and children ...

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Move Immigration Case To The Court In My New State

10 September 2014

Author: New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova I have changed my address online and have moved to a different state. Can I move my case to the Immigration court in my state? Yes you may, if your new address is outside of the state your Immigration case is in, you may move your case to the court within your state. This is referred to as a “ ...

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Discovery in Employment Discrimination Cases

06 September 2014

Author: New York Employment Discrimination Attorney Alena Shautsova Majority of employment discrimination cases are filed in Federal courts, and hence the disclosure of the information by the both sides would be governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Sometimes, a question of whether to file a case a state or federal court is a strateg ...

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Asylum For Victims of Domestic Violence

06 September 2014

Author: New York Asylum Attorney Alena Shautsova A person may successfully seek asylum in the US if he/she can demonstrate that the asserted claims are based on political opinion, religious beliefs, race, nationality or membership in a particular social group. This last category is the most open one for interpretation. In the past, it has been re ...

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International Travel Rules

06 September 2014

Author: New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova US citizens and permanent residents, as well as asylees who hold valid Travel Documents have to be aware that different countries have different rules regarding entry and exit documents during international travel. For example, when a person leaves the US, the person does not have to go throug ...

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Denial of I 751 Petition to Remove Conditions from Green Card

18 August 2014

Author: Marriage Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova Form I 751 petition to remove conditions on permanent residency, must be filed by those couples whose marriage (if one of the spouses is a non-US citizen) is younger than two years at the time of the adjudication of the immigrant visa application or application for adjustment of status. The form must ...

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Adjustment of Status Based on Marriage After Illegal Entry

05 August 2014

Author: New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova A person who came to the US legally but overstayed his/her authorized time, may, nevertheless, receive a permanent resident status (or adjust his/her status to permanent resident). It does not matter if the entry happened a year ago or twenty years ago. As long as the person was inspected and ...

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Asylum: How to Fill Out the I-589 Form

05 August 2014

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova To file for asylum in the US, a person has to fill out and submit to USCIS form I-589, that can be found on www.uscis.gov. The form is free. Every person who is filing the case on his/her own, has to read instructions to the form carefully. The form has to be filled out using black ink, and every ...

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What To Do After ICE Arrests A Loved One

24 July 2014

Author: Deportation Lawyer Alena Shautsova The first thing you should do is call an attorney, it never ceases to amaze me how many people wait a few days to call an attorney. The problem with waiting a few days, is that your loved one can be detained without bond, waive possible defenses to deportation without knowledge, or worse: be deported wit ...

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Citizenship: Appeal Of Denial

04 July 2014

Author: Citizenship Attorney Alena Shautsova Recently I have had many people come to my office after they were denied citizenship and tried to appeal the decision themselves at an N-336 hearing. After the hearing, they were also denied. The big question I get after they tell me this story is "Is there anything I can do now?" Yes, after you have e ...

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Business Immigration: What Visa to Choose

04 July 2014

Business Immigration Attorney in New York Alena Shautsova To enter the US, a person may not be inadmissible: an inadmissibility to the US may be caused by prior violations of the US laws or by criminal convictions, including convictions in the applicant’s home country; any prior visa denials and cancellations of visa must be discussed with an atto ...

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Fraud in Asylum Application

04 July 2014

Author: US Asylum attorney Alena Shautsova Thousands of people come into the United States every year to find shelter and protection form terror and abuse in their home countries. The US provides for this protection in the form of asylum: status that allows non-US citizens to live and work in the US and apply for green card (permanent residency) e ...

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President To Take Administrative Action to Start the Immigration Reform

04 July 2014

Author: New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova On June 30, 2014 President Obama stated that now it is his time to act on Immigration Reform. Why has he not done so? It is because to "reform" immigration laws, the Congress has to adopt amendments to the existing laws or adopt new laws. In a recent Press Release, I had stated that: With the ...

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What can I do if my Citizenship application was denied?

01 July 2014

Author: Citizenship Attorney Alena Shautsova Administrative Review of Citizenship Application Denial If you are denied Citizenship by a USCIS officer, you may ask for a hearing with a new immigration officer. This is called an N-336 Hearing. During this hearing you may be interviewed and given another civics and English test. Afterwards, the offi ...

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Victims of crimes without legal status in the US

27 June 2014

Author: US visa lawyer Alena Shautsova I am the victim of a crime, but I do not have a legal status in the US. Is there anything I can do? This unfortunately is a question many people are afraid to ask, because of their immigration status or lack thereof. I am here to tell you that you do not have to be afraid, contact an attorney to make sure yo ...

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Business Immigration: EB 5

04 June 2014

Author: Business Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova Brief Overview EB5 is an Immigrant petition that allows its beneficiary to obtain permanent resident status in the United States. The procedure starts with the development of the business plan of a desired enterprise and a decision as to: in what business and what size of investment a person is read ...

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Immigration Consequences of Marriage Fraud

04 June 2014

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova Immigration marriage fraud may take various forms: from exchanging moneys for marriage to conspiracy to broker individuals for marriage. Please see: What Is Marriage Fraud and How Does the USCIS Operate to Prevent It?. Finding of the marriage fraud has drastic immigration consequences but also ma ...

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Adjustment Of Status Process: Green Card Based On Marriage

04 June 2014

Author: Marriage Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova The process of adjustment of status based on marriage starts with the marriage itself. A couple can file their immigration forms the next day following their wedding: the law does not require that the couple waits any specific time to submit their applications. First, both spouses have to collect all ...

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How to Pass Immigration Marriage Interview

04 June 2014

Author: Family Visas Lawyer Alena Shautsova Do you believe that because your marriage is real you will be able to pass the Immigration interview without preparation? Let’s practice. Can you, without thinking more than 2-5 seconds about the answer, give answers to the following questions, and then ask your spouse if you got it right: Date and p ...

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I-601A Provisional Waiver Procedure

05 May 2014

Author: Provisional Waiver Attorney Alena Shautsova In January 2013 USCIS implemented a new provisional waiver application that came into effect from March 3, 2013. The I-601A provisional waiver allows certain immediate relatives to apply for and wait for the results of the waiver application in the US. The waiver is being requested in connection ...

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Arrival/Departure Records Are Available Online

05 May 2014

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova I-94 form Arrival/Departure record is the main form that has been used for decades to track admission and departure of the non US residents. Recently, however, Department of Homeland Security substituted the paper version with the electronic record. The I-94 form is crucial to prove inspection ...

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L1 Visa: How to Immigrate to the US Using Business

05 May 2014

Author: New York Business Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova The L-1 visa allows managers, executives and other employee’s with a special knowledge crucial to the business’ development and growth to transfer from a foreign company to a branch currently doing business in the US. The L-1 Visa holder can only work for the US Employer that serves as his/ ...

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Blanket L Petition

16 April 2014

Author: New York Business Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova When a company is frequently petitioning for L-1 visas, it is always best to obtain a Blanket L petition. Once approved, your transferee’s may now apply directly to their consulate without waiting for an individual L-1 petition to be approved by USICS. Unfortunately, the Blanket L Peti ...

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K-1 Visa Process

10 April 2014

Author: K-1 Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova When a US citizen wishes to invite his fiancé to the US, he or she has to submit a K-1 or fiancé visa petition. If granted, the petition will allow a foreign fiancé to obtain a K-1 visa to come and stay in the US for up to 90 days. Within the 90 days, a couple must get married or fiancé has to leave the US ...

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Post PERM Denial Notice By Department Of Labor: Appeal Or Reconsideration?

07 April 2014

Author: Employment Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova Unfortunately, even a very thoroughly prepared PERM application may result in a denial. The concerns about whether it is worth it to appeal it, boils down to the eligibility of the appeal. At this point, the legal fees will be heavier, the application will take more time to appeal then it did ...

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Asylum Interview: How long is the Wait?

07 April 2014

Author: US Asylum attorney Alena Shautsova Many asylum applicants are concerned with the timeline for the affirmative asylum process. It is used to be the case that after an asylum application was filed affirmatively, an applicant could have expected to be called for an interview within a couple of months after the filing date. However, within th ...

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212(c) Waiver of Criminal Conduct for Lawful Permanent Residents

07 March 2014

Author: Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova A recent decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals clarified 212(c) waiver eligibility for lawful permanent residents in the Matter of Abdelghany, 26 I N Dec. 254 (2014). (1) A lawful permanent resident who has accrued 7 consecutive years of lawful unrelinquished domicile in the United States and who ...

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Green Card Based on Extraordinary Ability (EB 1A)

07 March 2014

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova A person who can demonstrate an extraordinary ability in some fields, may sponsor him or herself for the permanent residence in the US without an employer’s petition. The fields are the following: Sciences Arts Education Business Athletics An extraordinary ability is defined as a level of exper ...

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How To Obtain An H-1B Work Visa

05 February 2014

Author: Work Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova After an employer has obtained an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) (see here) , it is time to file an H1B petition for the foreign worker. The H-1B visa allows a foreign national to accept professional jobs with the US employers. The H1B petition should be filed as soon as possible: on the fi ...

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State of Immigration Reform: Will Be or Not Will Be?

05 February 2014

Author: Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova It is probably fair to say that majority of immigrants have lost hope that Immigration reform will happen any time soon. What seemed to be so possible in summer 2013, became a mere reminiscence in 2014. The Congress, however, is trying to revive the Immigration reform idea, and this past week released ...

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