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The Legal Immigrant

Author: Dyan Williams , Esq.

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The Legal Immigrant podcast covers U.S. immigration problems that Dyan Williams Law PLLC can help you solve. Through success stories and Q&As, we'll discuss waivers of inadmissibility due to fraud or misrepresentation, criminal offense, unlawful presence, illegal entries, and removal orders; motions to reconsider inadmissibility bars; marriage-based green card, spousal immigrant visa, K-1 fiance visa; naturalization issues; and more.

14 Episodes
If you were convicted of or admit to committing a drug offense, this subjects you to a permanent bar from the United States.  This means you will not be eligible to receive a U.S. visa or admission to the U.S. on crime-related and perhaps health-related grounds. There are, however, exceptions to the rule.   That said, is Prince Harry’s U.S. visa subject to revocation due to his public admission to illicit drug use? He does this in his memoir book Spare and in several media interviews. While this might be no big deal for the Duke of Sussex, such public admissions would typically carry high U.S. immigration risks.In episode 14 of The Legal Immigrant, you will learn 4 tips to consider in dealing with the U.S. immigration consequences of a controlled substance violation.0:00 Introduction1:01 Heritage Foundation sues DHS to obtain copy of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex's U.S. immigration records2:22 Possible visa options for Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex4:40 Tip #1 - Verify whether this is a conviction for or admission to committing the essential elements of a specific drug offense4:56 Definition of a "conviction" for a drug offense under U.S. immigration law6:09 Definition of an "admission" to a drug offense under U.S. immigration law8:47 Definition of a "controlled substance" under U.S. federal law11:18 Lying about a material fact on a visa application may lead to a finding of fraud or willful misrepresentation to obtain U.S. immigration benefits, which is a permanent bar under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i)11:53 Tip #2 - Consider the applicant's age at the time of the drug offense 13:13 Tip #3 - Be aware of the separate, health-related inadmissibility bar related to drug use, under INA 212(a)(1)(A)(iv)14:04 Tip #4 - Confirm eligibility for a waiver if you are found inadmissible due to a controlled substance violation or due to your being identified as a drug abuser or addict14:37 Section 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver for nonimmigrants who are found inadmissible due to drug offenses or due to being identified as a current drug abuser or addict14:50 Factors considered in 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver requests15:27 Section 212(h) of the INA provides a waiver for immigrants who are found inadmissible for drug offenses in only one situation: that is, a single conviction or legal admission to committing one controlled substance offense that involves possession of marijuana, 30 grams or less16:03 Eligibility requirements in Form I-601/INA 212(h) immigrant waiver requests16:48 No immigrant waiver if you are if you are identified as a current drug abuser or addict and found inadmissible on health-related grounds under INA 212(a)(1)(A)(iv). You may, however, overcome this inadmissibility if the drug abuse or addiction is found to be in remission. This content provides general information and is for educational purposes only. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. U.S. immigration laws, regulations and policies are subject to change. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.Contact Form on Website:​Email: info@dyanwilliamslaw.comSubscribe to The Legal Immigrant e-newsletter at:
Five years after being found inadmissible under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), our client finally received her Immigrant Visa to join her U.S. citizen spouse in the United States. Consistent with normal processing time, USCIS took 10 months to approve her Form I-601 application for waiver of inadmissibility, which we prepared and filed on her behalf. But due to the U.S. Consulate’s administrative delays and a Presidential Proclamation suspending entries from the client’s home country, it took almost three more years for her to get the visa. In episode 13 of The Legal Immigrant, you will learn:1) The U.S. immigration problem when you have a permanent bar under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), i.e., fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact to obtain a U.S. immigration benefit. 2) The two main solutions to receive an Immigrant Visa or green card (permanent residence) when you have a section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) inadmissibility bar:a) A motion to reconsider requires you to have a factual basis, legal ground, and procedural means to get the bar removed.b) Form I-601 waiver application under INA 212(i) requires you to have a "qualifying relative" who will face "extreme hardship" if you do not immigrate to the United States.  A qualifying relative is the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent of the applicant.  Extreme hardship must result to the qualifying relative if that person stays in the U.S. without the applicant or relocates to another country to be with the applicant.  3) The type of documentary evidence and legal argument that are required to receive an I-601 waiver.  This includes medical records on any chronic medical conditions the U.S. citizen spouse (or other qualifying relative) suffers, and reports on lack of medical resources in the visa  applicant's home country. 4) The outcome of a true success story, which included more obstacles and long delays after the I-601 was approved. Due to the U.S. Consulate's 221(g) administrative processing and a 212(f) Presidential Proclamation suspending entries from certain countries, it took almost three more years for the applicant to get the Immigrant Visa. The couple remained committed to one another despite their separate residences and long-distance relationship. Our client finally became a permanent resident after she was initially refused the visa under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i).This is a true success story at Dyan Williams Law.Read the transcript.Watch the YouTube video.  The Legal Immigrant provides general information only from Dyan Williams Law. Do not consider it as legal advice. Each case is different. Even cases that seem similar can have different outcomes. Have you been charged with fraud or misrepresentation? If you’re applying for an immigrant visa or permanent residence and have this lifetime bar, you need an I-601 waiver. Otherwise, if the bar was made in error, you might be able to get it removed through a motion to reconsider.To receive advice on fraud or misrepresentation issues, you may submit an email to or online message at
The CDC has a new requirement that will affect all green card applicants. Starting October 1, 2021, intended immigrants must receive full doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to immigrate to the U.S. This new requirement affects eligibility for permanent residence on health-related grounds. COVID-19 has been added as a Class A medical condition that bars a person from the United States.  Class A inadmissibility includes a communicable disease of public health significance per regulations under the Department of Health and Human Services; and a failure to present documentation of having received vaccinations against vaccine-preventable diseases. As of October 1st, the COVID-19 vaccine will be among the vaccines required for applicants to obtain lawful permanent residence, either through the I-485 green card application with USCIS or through an Immigrant Visa application at the U.S. Embassy. Section 212(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states applicants for permanent residence must present proof that they are vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases, which include mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and influenza type B and hepatitis B, and any other vaccinations against vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices. In episode 12 of The Legal Immigrant, you will learn:1) The ACIP has now recommended COVID-19 vaccination for the age-appropriate, general US population. The CDC says this means the COVID-19 vaccination is now required to immigrate to the U.S.2) The CDC does not recognize natural immunity. Its instructions state, “Laboratory tests for COVID-19 immunity must not be used for the civil surgeon exam. The applicant is required to receive the vaccine series regardless of evidence of immunity or prior COVID-19 infection.” 3) What is an acceptable COVID-19 vaccination and proof of vaccination4) What is the COVID-19 vaccination requirement5) What are the exemptions to the vaccination requirement: blanket waiver and individual waiver6) If an applicant refuses one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine series and is not eligible for a waiver of this requirement, the civil surgeon will document the vaccine requirements as incomplete.  On health-related grounds, the applicant will be deemed inadmissible for a Class A condition and will be found ineligible for permanent residence. 7) As of August 12, 2021, USCIS temporarily extended the validity period for Form I-693 from two years to now four years. For decisions on Form I-485 green card applications issued on or before September 30th, 2021, USCIS may accept an otherwise valid Form I-693 if: The civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed the I-485; and No more than four years have passed since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature 8) If you have weighed the risks and benefits, and do not want to take the COVID-19 vaccine for U.S. immigration purposes, you will have to get a completed medical exam report before October 1st. Then you must file your I-485 application within 60 days. 9) Starting October 1, all green card applicants will have to take the vaccine unless they qualify for a waiver or exemption.This is general information only and is not legal advice. To request a consultation, you may submit an email to or online message at Resources cited: Delta Variant Is 'More Transmissible Than Ebola', And Vaccinated People May Also Be Highly Contagious - Health Policy Watch, July 30, 2021 CDC Requirements for Immigration Medical Examinations: COVID-10 Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons, August 17, 2021 I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record - as of September 1, 2021  Dyan Williams,
Being inadmissible disqualifies you from getting a change or extension of status, a new visa, or lawful entry to the United States. While a 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver or I-601/INA 212(i) immigrant waiver might solve the issue, it doesn’t work in every case. It’s best to avoid a fraud/misrepresentation charge altogether. Episode 11 of The Legal Immigrant podcast covers:1) The different contexts in which U.S. Customs & Border Protection, USCIS and U.S. Embassies and Consulates can make the 212(a)(6)(C)(i) charge 2) F-1 OPT and STEM OPT rules to follow Time restrictions for submitting Form I-765, application for employment authorization Unemployment grace period of 90 days for F-1 OPT and an additional 60 days for F-1 STEM OPT (i.e. total of 150 days during entire post-completion OPT period) F-1 OPT and F-1 STEM OPT must involve at least 20 hours of work related to field of study F-1 may include a paid job, a paid internship, an unpaid internship, volunteer work, contract work, agency work, or self-employment F-1 STEM OPT must include paid employment with a company that is enrolled in the E-Verify program 3) Immigration fraud investigations and related problems Many F-1 and H-1B visa holders, particularly from China, get their visas revoked or denied or are refused entry to the United States because they had listed Findream or Sinocontech to receive work authorization F-1 and H-1B visa holders, most from India, face U.S. immigration and visa problems if they listed companies like Integra Technologies LLC, AZTech Technologies, Andwill, Wireclass or Tellon Trading to obtain OPT, STEM OPT or other work permit Problems include refusal of entry to the US, visa denials, visa revocations, and denials of change/extension of status requests. In some cases, a 212(a)(6)(C)(i) charge is made. 4) 3 key indicators that the petitioner or employer may be flagged  Does the company require you to pay a training fee, including before it issues the job offer letter or Form I-983 training plan?  Does the company fail to assign roles and responsibilities as stated in the job offer letter, Form I-983 for STEM OPT, or Form I-129 Petition for H-1B?  Does the company offer employment verification, pay stubs and W2s when there was actually no real work or no pay received for an F-1 STEM OPT or H-1B position? 5) The longer you are associated with a flagged company, the more U.S. immigration risks and visa problems you will have As soon as you find out there’s no real job, move on quickly.  You might be tempted to use fake employment to maintain status or stop the accrual of unlawful presence. But you run the risk of not only falling out of status, but also being charged with a lifetime inadmissibility bar under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i).  US immigration agencies are less forgiving when it comes to a fraud or misrepresentation charge because it means you’ve been found to have lied to the U.S. government to gain an immigration benefit.  This is general information only and is not legal advice. To request a consultation, you may submit an email to or online message at For more information, see: Work Permit Fraud May Lead to Visa Revocation, Visa Denial and INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) Inadmissibility 212(d)(3) Nonimmigrant Waiver: When Do You Need It and How Do You Get It?  212(d)(3)(A) Nonimmigrant Waiver: Advantages and Disadvantages When do you need an I-601 Waiver due to immigration fraud or misrepresentation (and how do you get it)? Dyan Williams,
The B-1 visa or combined B-1/B-2 visa is for nonimmigrants who seek to enter the U.S. temporarily for business reasons and tourism. To get the visa or gain entry to the U.S. on this visa, you need to show you will participate in only permitted activities.Episode 10 of The Legal Immigrant podcast summarizes:(A) What you can do in the U.S. as a B-1 visitor - 1) Business activities of a commercial nature. Examples: engage in commercial translations negotiate a contract participate in business meetings litigate, including to participate in a lawsuit, take a claim to court, or settle an estate attend a conference do independent research 2) Professional activities that do not lead to compensation or employment in the United States. Examples: ministers of religion and missionaries doing missionary work volunteers participating in a recognized voluntary service program professional athletes competing in a tournament or sporting event of international dimension investors seeking investments in U.S.  3) Limited activities that do not amount to substantive performance of work. Examples: commercial or industrial workers needed to install, service or repair equipment as required by contract of sale certain foreign airline employees in an executive, supervisory or highly technical role who travel to the U.S. to join an aircraft for onward international flight third/fourth-year medical students pursuing medical clerkship at U.S. medical school's hospital (without remuneration) as part of a foreign medical school degree (B) U.S. immigration problems that might arise if you do remote work (including work for a foreign employer) while you are in the U.S. as a visitor  the connection between U.S. tax law and U.S. immigration law the risk of being found to have violated status if you perform activities that are not entirely consistent with the terms and conditions of the visa (C) The eligibility requirements for the visitor visa maintain a residence abroad that you do not intend to abandon intend to stay in the U.S. for a specific, limited period seek entry solely to engage in legitimate activities permitted on the visa have no U.S. immigration violations or criminal offenses that make you inadmissible  or otherwise qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility This is general information only and is not legal advice. To request a consultation, you may submit an email to or online message at For more information, see: B-1 Visitor Visa: Traveling to the U.S. for Business B-1 Visitor Visa: Traveling to the U.S. for Work as a Personal or Domestic Employee B-2 Visitor Visa: Traveling to the U.S. for Tourism or a Temporary Visit Birth Tourism, Frequent/Extended Trips, Immigration Status Change: 3 Things that Often Prevent Entry to the U.S. (even though they are not strictly prohibited) Common Reasons for Visa Refusal or Visa Denial Expedited Removal: When Does it Apply and What are the Consequences? Expedited Removal: How Does the Process Work at the U.S. Port of Entry and What are the Main Concerns?   Expedited Removal: How Do You Avoid, Challenge or Overcome It?  Dyan Williams,
Section 212(a)(4) of the INA does not define “public charge.” But in 1999, USCIS and DOS guidelines began to define it to mean a person who is or is likely to become “primarily dependent” on the U.S. government for subsistence, as shown by the receipt of “public cash assistance for income maintenance” or “institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.”The prior Trump Administration introduced the new Final Rule on August 14, 2019. It amended how U.S. immigration agencies applied section 212(a)(4). The 2019 Rule gave USCIS more discretionary power to deny Form I-485 green card requests, and Form I-129 and Form I-539 applications to change status or extend status, on the public charge ground. The rule was set to take effect on October 15, 2019, i.e. 60 days after its publication. But federal court litigation delayed the implementation of the rule to February 24, 2020.For some time, USCIS was applying the 2019 Public Charge rule and requiring green card applicants to submit a Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, with financial documentation, such as a credit score report, proof of health insurance, proof of assets and resources and proof of liabilities and debts.  Episode 9 of The Legal Immigrant podcast summarizes the beginning and end of the 2019 Public Charge Rule:(1) Federal court challenges to implementation of the 2019 Public Charge RuleOn November 2, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois vacated the 2019 Public Charge rule nationwide. That decision was stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. On March 9, 2021, the Seventh Circuit lifted its stay and the U.S. District Court vacating the 2019 Public Charge Rule went into effect.As a result, USCIS immediately stopped applying the Public Charge Final Rule to all pending applications and petitions that would have been subject to that rule. USCIS agreed to apply the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, which was in place before the Public Charge Final Rule was implemented, when adjudicating any green card applications or application for change/extension of status that was pending or received on or after March 9, 2021. (2) The 3 key changes under the 2019 Public Charge Rule  (a) Expanded the definition of "public benefits"  to include previously excluded programs, such as Federally funded Medicaid with certain exclusion; Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps; Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program; Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance; and Public Housing under section 9 the Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.(b) Deemed applicants to be a public charge if they received one or more public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period. (c) Applied the totality of the circumstances test based on age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education, and skills.  One heavily weighted negative factor was having received or been approved to receive one or more public benefits for more than 12 months in total within the 36-month period prior to applying for admission to the U.S., a green card, or a status change or extension.The shift toward the weighing of positive factors and negative factors meant the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, was no longer relied on as sufficient proof – by itself – to demonstrate the applicant would not become a public charge in immigration cases that require the Affidavit of Support.(3) The decision to stop applying the Rule under the current Biden AdministrationA federal case challenging the 2019 Public Charge rule was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court upon the Biden Administration’s request. The new Administration has already stated it will not continue to apply the 2019 rule and will return to the 1999 rule. Because the Biden Administration has decided to not defend the rule, the Department of Justice will no longer pursue appellate review of judicial decisions invalidating or stopping enforcement of the 2019 public charge rule. There is no more need for advocacy groups to continue with this challenge in court.  (4) How the decision to return to the 1999 Rule affects applications and petitionsOn or after March 9, 2021, applicants and petitioners should not provide information required solely by the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule. For example, applicants for adjustment to permanent residence should not provide the Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, or any evidence or documentation required on that form with their Form I-485. Applicants and petitioners for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status should not provide information related to the receipt of public benefits on Form I-129 (Part 6), Form I-129CW (Part 6), Form I-539 (Part 5), and Form I-539A (Part 3).(5) What is still required to meet the INA 212(4)(a) requirementsEven though the 2019 Public Charge Rule has been tossed, statutory law regarding public charge inadmissibility is still in effect. It applies to:(a) Applicants for immigrant visas and green cards (unless Congress has exempted them from this ground). Congress has carved out certain exemptions to the public charge ground of inadmissibility as follows: Refugees; Asylees; Certain T and U nonimmigrant visa applicants (human trafficking and certain crime victims, respectively); and Certain self-petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act. (b)  Applicants for extension of nonimmigrant stay or change of nonimmigrant status (such applicants are subject to the rule’s public benefit condition unless the nonimmigrant classification is exempted by law or regulation from the public charge ground of inadmissibility). As of March 9, USCIS will no longer apply the separate, but related, “public benefits condition” to applications or petitions for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status, e.g. Form I-129 or Form I-539. While the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule no longer applies to pending applications and petitions as of March 9, applicants still have to show they will not become a public charge to the U.S., based on 1999 guidelines. Family-based green card or immigrant visa applicants must still submit the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, from the petitioner (sponsor) and joint sponsor. Petitioners are still required to submit financial documents to demonstrate they meet the income requirement to sponsor their relative in the United States.This is general information only on the Public Charge Inadmissibility Ground. If you have a section 212(a)(4) problem, you may contact attorney Dyan Williams to request a consultation.For more information, see: Form I-864: Key to Meeting the Financial Requirements for Permanent Residence and Avoiding a Public Charge Determination Form I-864: Alternatives to Meeting the Financial Requirement for Permanent Residence and Avoiding a Public Charge Determination Dyan Williams,
The Immigration Reform bill -- which is supported and championed by the Biden Administration -- is big and bold. The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 seeks to give certain undocumented immigrants an 8-year path to becoming U.S. citizens, address the root causes of migration and manage the southern border, and reform the U.S. immigration system. In this episode, I focus on the following provisions in the reform bill:1. Section 1101, Adjustment of Status of Eligible Entrants to that of Lawful Prospective Immigrant (LPI), and Section 1102, Adjustment of Status of Lawful Prospective ImmigrantsProvides earned 8-year path to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants who have been present in the U.S. on or before January 1, 2021, and certain persons who were removed from the U.S. on or after January 20, 2017, but were inside the U.S. for at least 3 years prior2. Section 3104, Promoting Family Unity Repeals the 3/10 year bar under INA 212(a)(9)(B) due to accrual of more than 180 days of unlawful presence in the U.S. prior to departure Eliminates the permanent bar under INA 212(a)(9)(C) due to illegal re-entry following more than 1 year of unlawful presence or following a removal order  Creates exception to the false claim to U.S. citizenship bar under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) for persons who made the misrepresentation when they were under age 21 Key points to consider: 1.  The Immigration Reform bill is bicameral (introduced in the House and Senate on February 18), but is not bipartisan (sponsored by Democrats only and no Republicans). The comprehensive nature of the bill and the big changes proposed will make it harder to get the necessary votes. Moderation could be needed especially when Democrats have a slight margin in the House and a 50-50 split in the Senate. Vice President Harris has the tie-breaking vote. But a supermajority of 60 senators is normally needed to pass major legislation in the Senate.To move forward, the full legislation might have to be split up into separate smaller bills, or get added to the budget reconciliation process. Some Republicans have voiced opposition to the Biden Administration's approach to immigration reform. 2.   Even if the law is passed and signed by the President, it may take up to a year for the new rules to be drafted.  And it will take some time for the new application processes and forms to be rolled out and implemented. The applicant will also have to gather documents, including evidence of identity, proof of physical presence in the U.S. for the period that is required by law, and supporting records for any waiver of inadmissibility that is needed. 3.     If you already qualify for another way to immigrate to the United States, such as by employment-based immigration or by a legal, bona fide marriage to a U.S. citizen, it’s better to use the existing path instead of wait for the results of this reform bill. 4.     You must not deliberately fall out of status or illegally re-enter the U.S in the hope that you will be eligible for LPI status or other immigration benefits that have yet to be passed into law. Unlawful presence and illegal re-entries to the U.S. continue to have serious immigration consequences unless the law is amended to get rid of them. Resources:  Full text to the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 available on Representative Linda Sánchez's website and Senator Robert Menendez website Republican Staff Report from Representative Jim Jordan and Representative Tom McClintock, How the Biden Administration's Immigration Proposals Risk Undoing the Success of the Trump Administration, available on Republicans Judiciary Committee website For more information on inadmissibility waivers, see: Consent to Reapply for Admission – I-212 Waiver: Remedy to Overcoming INA 212(a)(9)(A) and (C) Bars When do you need an I-212 Waiver (and how do you get it)? What should you do to get your I-212 Waiver? When do you need an I-601 Waiver due to immigration fraud or misrepresentation (and how do you get it)? When do you need an I-601 waiver due to unlawful presence (and how do you get it)? 212(d)(3)(A) Nonimmigrant Waiver: Advantages and Disadvantages Dyan Williams, Esq. info@dyanwilliamslaw.comwww.dyanwilliamslaw.comThe Legal Immigrant podcast provides general information only. It is not legal advice for your specific case or situation. Immigration laws, regulations, policies and rules are subject to change. 
The Biden Administration’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 calls for comprehensive immigration reform. One provision seeks to get rid of the 3/10-year unlawful presence bar. This would be a major departure from current law, which requires a special waiver for this inadmissibility ground. Immigrant visa applicants who have this bar must first receive an I-601 or I-601A waiver for the visa to be issued.  Nonimmigrant visa applicants with this bar need a 212(d)(3) waiver to be granted a visa. In this episode, I focus on the immigrant waiver for the unlawful presence bar. I discuss the key differences between the I-601 and I-601A waiver, the qualifying relative and extreme hardship requirements, and the factors that USCIS considers in deciding whether to approve or deny the application. For more information on the unlawful presence waiver, see: When do you need an I-601 waiver due to unlawful presence (and how do you get it)? What should you do to get an I-601 waiver for unlawful presence? Expansion of I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver: What Changed?  Expansion of I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver: What Stayed the Same?  212(d)(3)(A) Nonimmigrant Waiver: Advantages and Disadvantages Whether any immigration reform or changes in the law will eliminate the unlawful presence bar is uncertain. In the meantime, the 3/10-year bar due to accrual of unlawful presence lasting more than 180 days - prior to departing the U.S. - continues to exist. Dyan Williams,
On day 1 of the new Administration, the White House announced it is sending a bill to Congress to reform major parts of the U.S. immigration system. It includes an earned roadmap for certain undocumented immigrants, Dreamers, TPS holders, and immigrant farmworkers to apply for green cards and, eventually, U.S. citizenship. Other proposed changes include reducing the backlog in family-based and employment-based immigration; recapturing unused visas; allowing intended immigrants with approved family petitions to join relatives in the U.S. on a temporary basis while they wait for green cards to become available;  and eliminating the 3/10-year unlawful presence bars to re-entry. The bill also authorizes additional funding to deploy new screening technology at U.S. ports of entry and to address the root causes of migration in the Central American region.As of the date of this episode release, the bill has not been formally introduced in either the House or the Senate. It will NOT become law unless passed by Congress and signed by the President. Resource cited:Fact Sheet: President Biden Sends Immigration Bill to Congress as Part of His Commitment to Modernize our Immigration SystemSee also: Immigrant Visa Process: Delays and Setbacks Changes to the Visa Bulletin: Understanding the Two Filing Charts When do you need an I-601 waiver due to unlawful presence?  Dyan Williams,
A prior F-1 student consulted me after the U.S. Consulate used INA 214(b) to twice deny her requests for a visa renewal. After one more failed attempt to get the student visa, we agreed to switch to the K-1 visa based on her recent engagement to her U.S. citizen fiancé. It took four months for USCIS to approve the Form I-129F petition, which is the first step in the K-1 process. Within a month, we received notice from the National Visa Center to proceed with the next step of filing the Form DS-160, K-1 visa application. After receiving all the forms and documents, the U.S. Consulate scheduled her for a visa interview in April 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions that began in March 2020, the Consulate cancelled the interview. At the time, our client was also traveling in Europe and got stuck there for several months.  The K-1 visa interview was eventually rescheduled in December 2020. Our client was also able to return to her home country in time for the visa interview. Despite the obstacles and setbacks in her case, she was finally issued the K-1 visa in January 2021. She has 6 months to enter the United States on the K-1 visa, before it expires. Within 90 days of her arrival in the U.S., she will need to marry her U.S. citizen fiancé to then file a Form I-485 application for permanent resident status. If they marry later than the 90-day timeframe, she may still file for a green card, but her U.S. citizen petitioner must also submit a Form I-130 petition with USCIS. If the marriage occurs and the I-485 application is approved, as expected, our client will become a permanent resident of the United States. If the marriage is at least 2 years old at the time of the I-485 approval, she will get a 10-year green card without conditions. Otherwise, she will get a conditional residence card valid for 2 years. She will then need to file a Form I-751 petition to remove conditions and maintain her green card status. This is a true success story at Dyan Williams Law.Dyan Williams, Esq. Founder & Principal AttorneyDyan Williams Law PLLCinfo@dyanwilliamslaw.comwww.dyanwilliamslaw.comRESOURCES: From K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa to Green CardK-1 fiancé(e) visas aren’t just for mail-order brides (but still carry strict requirements)Coming to America to Get Married and Get a Green Card: B-2 or K-1 Visa?Coming to America to Get Married and Get a Green Card: B-2 or K-1 Visa? - VIDEO
Section 204(l) of the Immigration & Nationality Act allows certain beneficiaries (and derivative beneficiaries) to continue with an Immigrant Visa request or Adjustment to Permanent Residence application even after the Form I-130 petitioner (or principal beneficiary) has died.Unlike the survivor benefits for widow(er)s of U.S. citizens, and unlike humanitarian reinstatement for principal beneficiaries of approved petitions, section 204(l) relief protects a broader category of persons if they show they resided in the United States at the time of the death, and they continue to reside in the United States.Section 204(l) provides benefits not only when the U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner dies, but also, in some cases, when the principal beneficiary or principal applicant dies. It allows eligible derivative beneficiaries to continue with the green card process even if the principal beneficiary dies. Derivative beneficiaries are applicants who cannot be directly petitioned for, but may join the principal beneficiary of the petition based on a spousal or parent-minor child relationship.In this episode, I discuss who may be eligible for 204(l) benefits, the residence and admissibility requirements, the discretionary factors, and how to apply for the relief. For more information, see: Section 204(l) Allows Certain Surviving Relatives to Become Permanent Residents Even When Petitioner or Principal Beneficiary Has DiedSection 201(b)(2)(A)(i) Allows Certain Widows or Widowers of U.S. Citizens to Become Permanent Residents Even When the Citizen Has DiedHumanitarian Reinstatement Allows Certain Principal Beneficiaries to Become Permanent Residents Even When Petitioner Has DiedDyan Williams, Esq.Founder & Principal AttorneyDyan Williams Law
A U.S. Consulate granted Immigrant Visas to our client and his wife and children, following USCIS' approval of his Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility. He had a permanent bar under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), i.e. fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact to previously enter the U.S. on a B1/B2 visitor visa. With our guidance, he received the I-601 waiver to allow the issuance of the Immigrant Visa. He finally joined his permanent resident parents and U.S. citizen brother in the United States, after they had lived in separate countries for 20+ years.This is a true success story at Dyan Williams Law. Dyan Williams, Esq. Founder & Principal AttorneyDyan Williams Law
A U.S. Consulate granted the H-4 spouse visa to our client, after agreeing to remove the INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) charge against her. This permanent bar was made 10 years earlier, when she applied for an Immigrant Visa sponsored by her prior U.S. citizen spouse.A 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver is the more common fix, but does not get rid of the bar. In this case, I advised the applicant to file a motion to reconsider and rescind the inadmissibility charge, instead of ask for a 212(d)(3) waiver with the visa. The facts and law did not support the Consulate’s finding that she used fraud or willfully misrepresented material facts to obtain a U.S. immigration benefit.With the removal of the 212(a)(6)(C)(i) charge,  the applicant will not need a 212(d)(3) waiver to extend her H-4 status or to get a new nonimmigrant visa. She also will not require a Form I-601/INA 212(i) waiver to immigrate to the U.S. with her husband, who may apply for permanent residence through his U.S. employer. This is a true success story at Dyan Williams Law. Dyan Williams, Esq.Founder & Principal AttorneyDyan Williams Law
Welcome to The Legal Immigrant podcast! Through success stories and Q&A formats, this show will cover U.S. immigration problems that Dyan Williams Law PLLC can help you solve. Your host is immigration attorney Dyan Williams, who has top expertise in rebutting immigration marriage fraud or INA 204(c) findings; obtaining waivers for unlawful presence, fraud/misrepresentation, immigration violations, and crime-related bars; overcoming visa refusals and inadmissibility determinations; and getting complex naturalization cases approved. If you listen to the show and like it, it please give us a five-star rating and positive review on your podcast app. Share it with others. Be sure to subscribe and join us for new episodes. Word-of-mouth will help get the show out to those need U.S. immigration insights and answers. Dyan Williams, Esq.Email: info@dyanwilliamslaw.comWebsite:
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