Building up the communities we live in

All of us at Moss Immigration law subscribe to the philosophy of building up the communities we live in.

We manifest this philosophy when we educate our community by sharing knowledge on immigrant rights and the various immigration processes. When a community understands the technical and human side of immigration, there is more cohesiveness, effectiveness, and understanding, which facilitates happier stronger communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends. Generally speaking, asking for a nonimmigrant visa means expressing "nonimmigrant intent" - the intent to remain in the U.S. only temporarily. Because this is inconsistent with the intent to remain in the U.S. permanently, it would seem the answer should be "no." However, certain nonimmigrant visas allow for "dual intent" - the intent to be in the U.S. temporarily and intending to eventually remain in the U.S. indefinitely. Examples of nonimmigrant visas which permit dual intent include the H-1B and L-1A/L-1B visas. Visas which do not permit dual intent include the B-1/B-2 visitors' visas, the F-1 student visa, the J-1 exchange visitor visa, among others. Still, sometimes events occur that change your intent after you enter. If you entered on a visa that requires temporary intent and you truly intended to stay temporarily, but some event or issue changed your intent and you want to stay permanently, you can apply for a green card in certain circumstances.

A USCIS approval either means that your status has changed to the new status you requested if you are in the U.S., or that that you qualify for the immigration status requested and you are authorized to apply for visa. If you are outside the U.S., the embassy or consulate determines whether you may ask to be admitted to the U.S. by deciding whether you get a visa for the status that USCIS approved. The visa in the passport can be viewed as a pass or ticket to ask for admission to U.S., while the USCIS approval grants permission to be present in the U.S. in a specific nonimmigrant status, or permission to apply for a visa to enter. There are exceptions to this process in the visitor/tourist context, such as the B-1/B-2 visitor visas, which only have a visa application that is processed through a consulate or embassy abroad without having to apply through USCIS.

The visa is permission to ask to be admitted to the U.S. The visa is valid for the period from the date of issuance until expiration date. As long as the visa is valid, you can apply to be admitted at a port of entry. If your visa has expired prior to your visit to the U.S., you will not be admitted in that visa category. If your visa expires while you are in the US and you want to apply for an extension in order to stay longer, change your status, or get a green card, you may be able to do that. On the other hand, the date on the stamp in your passport or on your I-94, which is a form (mostly electronic now) showing your arrival date and how long you are authorized to stay, shows how long you can stay in the U.S. At the time of admission into the U.S., a border officer determines whether to allow you to enter and for how long you can stay during a particular visit (length of stay), which is reflected on your stamp and/or I-94.

An employer may not correct errors or omissions in Section 1. If an employer discovers an error or omission in Section 1 of an employee’s Form I-9, the employer should ask the employee to correct the error. The best way to correct the error is to have the employee: draw a line through the incorrect information; enter the correct or omitted information; and initial and date the correction or omitted information. An employer may only correct errors made in Section 2 or Section 3 of the Form I-9. The best way to correct the form is to: draw a line through the incorrect information; enter the correct or omitted information; and initial and date the correction or omitted information. An employer should not conceal any changes made on the Form I-9—for example, by erasing text or using correction fluid, nor should the employer backdate the Form I-9. An employer that made multiple errors in Section 2 or 3 of the form may redo the section(s) containing the errors on a new Form I-9, and attach it to the previously completed form. An employer should attach an explanation of the changes made to an existing Form I-9 or the reason a new Form I-9 was completed, and sign and date the explanation.

If you have been forced to flee your country because you have suffered harm and/or have a well-founded fear of future harm you may qualify.  This may include harm that is based upon one’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or some other characteristic about oneself that cannot be changed, such as one’s sexuality.

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows eligible citizens or nationals of designated countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa.

A fiancé (K-1) visa grants permission to a non-U.S. citizen who is engaged to marry a U.S. citizen to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married. In order for your fiancé to get a K-1 visa, you will need to file a petition on Form I-129F with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the petition is approved it will be forwarded to the U.S. consulate/embassy in yourFiancé(e)'s country of residence for review. The consular post with jurisdiction over the application will schedule an interview. If all goes well at the interview, the officer will issue the visa (K-1). Once the fiancé(e) visa is issued, your fiancé(e) has six months in which to use it to enter the U.S., then another 90 days in which to get married. Once you marry your fiancé(e), he or she will apply to adjust status (get a green card).

Yes. As of 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a piece of federal law called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex marriages are treated like any other marriage for federal immigration law purposes. But you will still need to make sure that the marriage is legally recognized in the country where it took place. Same-sex marriages are recognized in all U.S. states and territories.

No. If you have never had DACA before, you may not submit an application now. But if you have had DACA at some point in the past you may submit a renewal application. Nobody knows for certain if USCIS will ever be required to resume accepting first-time applications for DACA, but it is possible.

Federal regulations allow the U.S. government to find that you are inadmissible (will not be admitted to the U.S.) if you are likely to be a public charge, which is an evaluation of whether you are likely to need financial support from the U.S. or a state government while you are in the U.S, basically whether it's likely that you will go on welfare. This rule impacts all those who apply for admission to the U.S. for a U.S. visa, for a change of  immigration status within the U.S., adjustment of status to Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card), or for an extension of status for certain other nonimmigrant categories.

If you want to temporarily enter the U.S. for a vacation and you are from a country where the U.S. requires a visa, you must obtain a non-immigrant B-2 visa. To qualify for a B-2 visa, you must establish that the purpose for the trip is tourism, pleasure, or visiting, that you have a permanent residence in a country other than the United States to which you intend to return, that you have connections your home country in the form of a job, property, or family, that you are not arriving in the U.S. to seek employment or partake in business activities for the advantage of a U.S. employer, and you have enough financial resources to cover the expenses of the trip. The duration of time that a person will be allowed to remain in the U.S. on a B-2 visa will be decided by the immigration officer at the port of entry. Generally, the maximum amount is six months. If you are coming to the U.S. temporarily for business activities of a commercial or professional nature, such as a conference, consulting with business associates, a training, negotiating a contract, you can qualify for a B-1 temporary business visitor’s visa.

An employer can sponsor you to work and live in the United States through an employment-based petition. There are many types, including permanent (green card) and H-1B, L, and O visas among others. This means that in order to obtain these types of visas, you must first apply for a job and be offered a position by a U.S. employer.

Employees who are residing and working in the United States on certain types of employment visas may be able to bring their families to the United States on temporary visas that last for the same duration as the principal employment visa. U.S. citizens and green card holders/permanent residents can seek to bring their family members to the U.S. permanently.

There are three main types of visas that a student can pursue: F Student Visas, M Student Visas, and J Visas for Exchange Visitors.

Yes, entrepreneurs who make an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States can apply for a green card through an EB-5 Investor visa. The investment must create or preserve at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. The minimum investment is $900,000 in a targeted employment area (rural or high unemployment area) or $1,800,000 anywhere in the United States. There may also be paths to a green card for an extraordinary and nationally interested entrepreneur through an EB-1A and national interest waiver as well as investors who are multinational executives and managers.

Receiving a deportation order or an NTA does not necessarily mean there is no hope. You can file for relief from deportation, challenge, appeal, or ask for a stay. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) can issues a Notice to Appear, which will contain the details of why deportation proceedings have been initiated. The notice will also provide the date of the first hearing and if it does not, you will receive one with the date and time in the future. The first hearing is procedural, which means that you are not proving you case. At this hearing you will plead to the charges against you and file any relief from deportation that you have. At the end of the hearing, an evidentiary hearing is set, which is where you prove your case. At that hearing, the immigration judge will hear the evidence against the you and you get to respond. The government must show through clear and convincing evidence that you are removable from the United States. You will be able to present evidence, such as documents and witness testimony, in your defense. If your claim is denied, you can file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which provides an automatic stay to your deportation.

Lawful status means that you have an unexpired Form I-94 ( or passport stamp that was issued by immigration authorities and are complying with the conditions of the specific visa. If you do not comply with those conditions, you will not have lawful status. For example, an H-1B visa holder who does not work for the employer that sponsored their petition, a person who comes over on a tourist visa and works, or if you overstay the date you are authorized to stay, you do not have lawful status. By contrast, a period of authorized stay is the time during which you do not have lawful status but have permission to stay in the U.S. for a certain reason. For example, when you apply to extend or change your status before the expiration of your current status but USCIS does not make a decision on your application before your status expires, you will be in a period of authorized stay.

Green cards (I-551) are valid for 10 years, or two years in the case of a conditional resident. The green card should be renewed before it expires. If you do not file a petition to remove the conditions (I-751) on your conditional resident green card, when your card expires you will be subject to deportation. However, you can file it late and request a waiver. However, if your 10-year green card expires, you do not lose your status. Only an immigration judge can forcefully take away a green card. Do not ever sign away your green card with an I-407 without consulting with an immigration attorney first.

If you want to permanently live in the U.S. you can apply for an immigrant visa. Most immigrants receive visas in the family-based or employment-based visa categories. If you are coming to the U.S. based on a family relationship, this often requires a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) to file an immigrant visa petition if you are a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. Employment-based immigration involves a U.S. business, educational institution, or other organization sponsoring an employee. U.S. law also permits prospective immigrants to sponsor themselves in limited circumstances. Additionally, U.S. law provides for other immigrant categories, including those for investors.

If you are born in the U.S. or outside the U.S. (to at least one citizen parent in certain circumstances) you automatically become a U.S. citizen in most circumstances. If not, you must go through the process of naturalization. In order to naturalize, you must meet the following criteria: (1) admitted into the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident (LPR), (2) live in the U.S. for at least five continuous years (or three if based on marriage), (3) reside in the state in which the petition is being filed for at least three months immediately prior to filing for U.S. citizenship, (4) have physical presence in the U.S. for a total of at least half of the period of required continuous residence, (5) have continuous residence in the U.S. from the date of filing the naturalization application to the date of being sworn in as a U.S. citizen, (6) have the basic ability to read, write, and speak English, (7) have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government, (8) have good moral character consistent with the values of the U.S. constitution, and (9) be at least 18 years of age. Being an LPR entails getting a green card. A green card is issued to all permanent residents as proof that they are legally authorized to reside and work in the United States.

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