Presentation on theme: "Immigration Law Basics A practical guide to immigration law terms and concepts."— Presentation transcript:
Immigration Law Basics A practical guide to immigration law terms and concepts
Holistic Living Project A Ministry of Christ Fellowship, Inc. 1121 Elizabeth Avenue Elizabeth, NJ 07201 Tel: 908-289-6322 Fax: 908-289-7371 Tatiana B. Durbak, Esq. firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Entry into the United States People enter the US as –nonimmigrants OR –Immigrants
Nonimmigrants Intention to stay for a limited period of time Categories: –A – V (with subcategories) –Temporary protected status –Deferred enforced departure –Parole –Visa waiver
Nonimmigrants Visa application required Specific requirements for each status Periods of stay vary Strict limitations on permission to work.
Becoming a resident Family petition –Immediate relatives and preference petitions Employer petition Diversity visa (visa lottery) Refugee/asylee status Special immigrants
Visa Bulletin – Family preferences Fam- il y All Charge- ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainlan d born INDIAMEXICO PHILIPP- INES 1st 22DEC04 22APR93 22MAY97 2A 08JUN09 08MAY0908JUN09 2B 15OCT03 01DEC9201NOV01 3rd 01DEC01 01JAN9322JUL92 4th 08SEP00 15MAY9601NOV88
Resident vs. citizen “Green card” holders are Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR’s). They are NOT US citizens (USC’s). Green card holders may be subject to removal if even a minor crime is committed
Resident vs. citizen (cont’d) LPR’s (Lawful Permanent Residents) must fulfill certain requirements to become USC’s (US citizens). Unmarried children under age 18 who are LPR’s can often derive US citizenship from their parents.
Persons present unlawfully Current law makes it impossible for most persons who are present without status to obtain legal status. Special exceptions apply to victims of abuse.
Special immigration relief Special relief is available for: –abused spouses and children of LPR’s (Lawful Permanent Residents) and USC’s (US citizens); –victims of specific crimes who cooperate with the authorities in the prosecution of the perpetrator; and –minors under court supervision.
Abused spouses, parents and children of USCs and LPRs Person must be battered or subject to extreme cruelty My file self-petition Marriage may be terminated if nexus between abuse and marriage termination Victim must prove good moral character
Abused spouses, parents and children of USCs and LPRs Includes step-children Children must be under 21 and unmarried Documentation is critical
U visa Applicant must show: –s/he has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of one of the crimes enumerated in the statute (domestic violence and sexual assault crimes are included) –s/he has knowledge of the crime –s/he is willing to cooperate with the authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity Applicant must obtain certification from a law- enforcement authority re assistance Certain family members are eligible for immigration relief No requirement of marriage to USC or LPR
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Allows minors to self-petition and apply for permanent residency Requirements: –Must be under jurisdiction of juvenile court or placed by the court in custody of agency or individual –Reunification with one or both parents not viabel because of abuse, neglect or abandonment –Must be found by court that not in child’s best interests top return to home country –Applicant must be under age 21 and unmarried
Special Immigrants Juvenile Status Petition is not confidential Original parents cannot benefit from child’s immigration status Revocation of status
Some current issues Police stops Attorney General Directive General ignorance about immigration law and situation of immigrants Secure communities
Attorney General’s Directive Police must ask immigration status of persons arrested for DUI or indictable offense Police may NOT ask immigration status of crime victim OR of crime witness
Some considerations The danger of unlicensed practitioners Where to go for competent help The role of a good immigration attorney How to find a good immigration attorney
Non-profit immigration programs in Trenton Migration and Refugee Services of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton – 149 N Warren St; 394-8299 Immigration Program of Lutheran Social Ministries of Trenton – 189 S Broad St., 393- 4900, x12 Episcopal Immigration Services of Christ Community Center 331 Hamilton Ave., Trenton, NJ 08609 609-394-8926
Additional agencies Legal Services of NJ (Edison office) – 732-572-9100; 1-888-576-5529 American Friends Service Committee (Newark) 973-643-1924 Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark 973-733-3516
Tatiana B. Durbak, Esq. of counsel to Teper Law Office, LLP 112 W Franklin Ave. Pennington, NJ 08534 Tel: 609-557-7374 Fax: 877-396-4398 firstname.lastname@example.org