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Immigration Law Basics A practical guide to immigration law terms and concepts.

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Presentation on theme: "Immigration Law Basics A practical guide to immigration law terms and concepts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Immigration Law Basics A practical guide to immigration law terms and concepts

2 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.

3 Entry into the United States People enter the US as –nonimmigrants OR –Immigrants

4 Nonimmigrants  Intention to stay for a limited period of time  Categories: –A – V (with subcategories) –Temporary protected status –Deferred enforced departure –Parole –Visa waiver


6 Nonimmigrants  Visa application required  Specific requirements for each status  Periods of stay vary  Strict limitations on permission to work.

7 Becoming a resident  Family petition –Immediate relatives and preference petitions  Employer petition  Diversity visa (visa lottery)  Refugee/asylee status  Special immigrants

8 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

9 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

10 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.

11 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.

12 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.

13 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

14 Abused spouses, parents and children of USCs and LPRs  Includes step-children  Children must be under 21 and unmarried  Documentation is critical

15 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

16 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

17 Special Immigrants Juvenile Status  Petition is not confidential  Original parents cannot benefit from child’s immigration status  Revocation of status

18 Some current issues  Police stops  Attorney General Directive  General ignorance about immigration law and situation of immigrants  Secure communities

19 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

20 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

21 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

22 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

23 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


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