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Fraudulent marriage findings and subsequent visa petitions

If a person in New York submits a green card application and visa petition for a spouse on the basis of marriage and that person has been denied a marriage petition in the past because of a fraudulent marriage, the new petition can be denied as well. However, there could be extenuating circumstances that might allow the new petition to be granted.

INA Section 204(c) appears to be unambiguous in its language. It states that approving a visa petition is prohibited if a previous marriage-based petition has been denied as marriage fraud. In fact, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services must independently review the original application. The USCIS district director makes the determination and cannot rely on the previous conclusions to reach that determination. Furthermore, new evidence can be considered as well. This means that the person can submit additional evidence showing that the marriage was not fraudulent or evidence indicating that the first adjudicators inaccurately assessed the situation.

What to know about determining good moral character

Individuals who are looking to become permanent residents in the United States may need to provide evidence that they have a good moral character. The application process may include a court deposition or another statement given directly to an immigration official. If an individual looking to live in New York or any other state refuses to provide additional evidence, it may influence an immigration official's ruling. However, refusal to give a statement or submit to a court deposition in itself would not disqualify someone from obtaining legal residency.

Immigration officials are required to take a person's education and other factors into account when soliciting testimony. For instance, it may be necessary to ask simpler questions of someone who doesn't have a high level of education. Questions may also be rephrased if an individual doesn't have a good grasp of the English language. This is done to ensure that an applicant has a solid understanding of the proceeding that is taking place.

What kinds of criminal charges could impact immigration cases?

In order for someone to enter the United States through an employment visa program or under a family visa because a loved one already resides in the United States, the person applying has to pass a relatively thorough background check. The government in the United States will continue to perform background checks each time you reapply for an extension to your visa or a change to your status.

However, even if you already have a visa and are in the United States legally, your status could become vulnerable if you wind up arrested and charged with certain criminal offenses in the United States. Understanding which criminal offenses will have the greatest bearing on your immigration status can help you navigate the complex immigration and legal systems more effectively.

How to qualify for the EB-1 visa

Foreign nationals may be granted the opportunity to live and work in New York or another state by obtaining a first-preference visa. To qualify for this type of visa, an individual would need to prove that he or she is a multinational executive or an outstanding researcher. An individual who is seeking this type of visa could also obtain it by having an extraordinary ability such as being an elite artist or athlete.

There are 10 different criteria that can be used to determine if a person qualifies for a first-preference visa based on an extraordinary ability. Individuals must meet at least three of those criteria such as judging the work of others or having a scholarly work published in a trade publication. Alternatively, they can show evidence of a major award such as Pulitzer prize or an Oscar.

J-1 visas apply to some workers and some non-workers

Foreign nationals in New York can get a J-1 visa if they qualify as an exchange visitor under the definition used by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The J-1 visa applies to some people who are entering the country to work and also to some who are not. People can work under their J-1 visas only by the terms of the exchange regulations.

J-1 visas may be available for people who are entering the country to participate in a program that has been approved for purposes of instructing, lecturing, teaching, observing, studying, conducting research, demonstrating special skills, consulting, receiving graduate medical education or receiving training. The program is designed to foster the exchange of people, skills and knowledge in arts, education and science. Some examples of people who may qualify as exchange visitors include research assistants, trainees, scholars or professors, students, specialists, au pairs, teachers and camp counselors.

Family detention policy blocked in court

A federal judge has blocked a rule promulgated by the Trump administration, one of a series of restrictive immigration initiatives that have encountered legal challenges. The rule would have allowed families coming to New York or to other parts of the United States to be detained indefinitely while their cases were processed. The ruling said that the policy did not comply with a settlement that has been on the books for decades, regulating the way that foreign national children are treated while in the custody of immigration officials.

The settlement, known as the Flores Agreement, was reached in 1997 but developed from a 1985 lawsuit by a Salvadoran teen challenging her detention. It set out rules for the treatment of detained children; in most cases, kids must be released from immigration custody promptly. Many kids who cross the border have family members and relatives living in the U.S. However, the Trump administration wanted to replace the framework in the settlement with its own policy allowing families to be detained but stating that humane conditions must be provided. The judge said that the policy actually differed in its goals from those of the agreement and noted that the settlement remains in effect.

How to bring a future spouse into the country

New York residents who are planning on marrying a foreign national may be able to legally bring them to the United States. This is done by filing Form I-129F and obtaining the K-1 nonimmigrant visa. To qualify for this visa, an individual must plan on marrying the partner within 90 days, and the marriage must be seen as a legitimate attempt by two people to start a life together.

Furthermore, the wedding must take place in the United States and after the visa has been obtained. Individuals who marry foreign nationals prior to bringing them to the United States generally cannot bring them to the country with this type of visa. After a legitimate marriage becomes official, the foreign national may be allowed to apply for permanent residency status. This is true if a couple gets married within 90 days of an individual obtaining the K-1 visa.

Understanding L-1 visas

The United States has a number of visa categories available for foreign nationals who want to work in the United States temporarily.

Companies who have a presence both in the United States and abroad may transfer an experienced manager or executive to the United States, or an employee with specialized knowledge of the business, product or service, to the United States using the L visa category. Spouses and children under twenty-one may follow the principal employee in L-2 status for the same period of stay as the principal employee.

Immigration requirements for family members

It is not uncommon for people in New York to have questions about immigration eligibility categories. Many who are already citizens or permanent residents have family members who need sponsors, and people who are seeking permanent residency may have family members who are able to sponsor them. In order to sponsor a relative's immigration into the country, a person must first be a permanent resident or a citizen and be able to support the relative at 125 percent of the poverty line.

Citizens can petition for a related foreign national to be allowed to immigrate if they can demonstrate that the foreign national is a spouse, unmarried child less than 21 years old, unmarried child of the citizen over the age of 21 or married child of the citizen. If the citizen is at least 21 years old, he or she is free to petition for the immigration of a brother, sister or parent who is a foreign national. Permanent residents can petition for immigration only for their spouses or for an unmarried daughter or son of any age.

US employers face additional restrictions in H-1B visa process

U.S. employers looking to utilize the H-1B visa in order to employ foreign professionals in specialty occupations have faced a highly unpredictable and ever changing adjudication process. The current administration ordered a full review of the H-1B visa program, which is the largest temporary employment visa program in the United States. This review has led to changes with respect to the adjudication process and how the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handles applications.


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