Immigration Lawyer Blog

DAPA and I-601a

DAPA and I-601a Waiver

Juan Basadre

On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced new immigration reforms that would shift prosecutorial discretion to over 4 million individuals living in the United States currently. The president’s reforms would offer expanded Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and created a new category for parents of US citizen children, Differed Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). The USCIS will not begin taking applications for DAPA until 180 days after the President’s announcement. DACA and DAPA offers applicants differed action and legal work authorization. Differed action provides applicants temporary relief from removal but does not does not confer legal status.

Differed Action for Parental Accountability is available to undocumented individuals living in the United States on the date of the announcement and who are the parent of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Applicants must also meet the following guidelines: had continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010, are the parents of a U.S.… Continue reading...

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Consular Processing & Administrative Processing Word


Consular processing is the procedure by which an applicant for immigration benefits applies for his or her visa (either temporary or permanent) at a U.S. consulate while outside of the United States. Some applicants legally residing in the United States on temporary visas will utilize consular processing as a means to obtain a travel document when they visit home. The potential immigrant will seek to travel to a U.S. consulate for an immigrant visa because they are otherwise ineligible to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent resident (green card holder) while here in the U.S. Many times, however, applicants are living outside of the U.S. and applying for an immigrant visa to enter the U.S. in legal permanent resident status. These petitions can be family based, employment based, or sometimes unique situations such as Amerasian immigrants, or various other specialty cases. The majority of these applications come about through petitions filed by employers or family members.… Continue reading...

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China, Abortion and Adverse Credibility Determination

Burden of Proof and Determining Credibility 

Aliens, applying for asylum and referred to an Immigration Court, will be required to testify about the details of their case in front of an Immigration Judge. In all Asylum claims, the applicant has the burden of proof, that is, they carry “the duty … to prove a certain issue by the assigned standard of proof.”1 The burden of proof then, is to demonstrate that the applicant has well founded fears of persecution due to immutable factors that fall into the five categories of Race, Religion, Nationality, Political Opinion and/or membership in a particular social group. Claims for Asylum need not be proved through evidence, as individuals fleeing from persecution are not likely to have been able to gather documents or other means of substantiating their claim. For example, one can easily imagine the difficulty in acquiring evidence of political persecution from the state that they are fleeing from. Therefore, “the case will often stand or fall on the testimony of the respondent, it is absolutely essential that detailed credibility findings be made in every asylum case.”2

Due to the lack of specific physical evidence, Immigration Judge s must carry discretionary power to determine the credibility of the applicant’s claims.… Continue reading...

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An International Comparison of Investor Visas


Investment Visas have become a popular option for governments to attract wealth from overseas, in order to expand their own economies. Each country has their goals in attracting wealth, such as adding liquidity to their market, increasing real estate prices or creating new jobs. In the United States the EB-5 program, introduced in the 1980s, has seen increased demand since its inception. So much so that quota totals are being exceeded for Chinese EB-5 applicants and may result in, for the first time in the program’s history, a visa retrogression. Other countries have introduced similar programs, with a wide variety of minimum investment requirements, qualifications, and residency benefits that address the needs of each individual country.

This article will compare 11 countries: the Cayman Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, Hong Kong, Singapore, England, Ireland, Portugal, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Their investor programs vary widely in all aspects and in relative success.  These counties will be compared according to their minimum investment and job requirements, residency requirements and benefits, and processing times.… Continue reading...

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Immigration Options for High-Achieving Aliens with Advanced Degrees: EB1-A

The United States provides special visa categories to attract immigrants with special abilities or skills, such as extraordinary knowledge or capabilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. In addition there are also options available for outstanding researchers or professors, artists, and entertainers. The following is a discussion of EB-1A green card, one of the several of these visa categories.

 EB-1A Green Card for Alien of Extraordinary Ability

The EB-1A petition is an I-140 petition that can be used to later apply for a green card.  Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) is a provision for immigrants of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. You may apply without employer sponsorship (“self-petition”), but you must be able to show that your work will be of substantial prospective benefit to the national interest of the United States. As a result of the 2010 precedent case, Kazarian v USCIS, there is a two-part test before approving an EB-1A petition.… Continue reading...

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