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Immigration Law Blog

How do I change my status from asylee to permanent resident?

How do I change my status from asylee to permanent resident?

A person who is in the United States on asylum may wonder what their options are when they want to become a permanent resident. In order to do so, they will have to meet a number of qualifications that would allow them to adjust their status. There are four requirements that the asylee must meet.

First, the asylee needs to be physically present in the country for a minimum of one year after the date you have entered for asylum. In addition, they must still meet the qualifications to be considered an asylee. This means that the individual must be in jeopardy of persecution in their home country based on religion, political opinion, race, nationality, or their membership in certain social groups.  The individual is not permitted to resettle in another country if they want to be considered for an adjustment of status. Finally, the asylee must be admissible to the U.S. as an immigrant when they are considered for a status adjustment.

In the event that the individual no longer meets the requirements to be considered a refugee, they can’t apply for an adjustment of status as an asylee. In most cases, an officer won’t reinstate the asylum claim. If the person was granted asylum but did not actually qualify as a refugee at the time they were granted asylum anyway, the officer may refer their case to an immigration judge for their status to be terminated.

If you have questions about seeking asylum or adjusting your status, contact an experienced immigration law attorney today who can provide you with assistance.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

Are Customs and Border Protection Officers allowed to use force?

Are Customs and Border Protection Officers allowed to use force?

One concern that many people unfortunately have today is whether the Customs and Border Protection Officers and agents are permitted to use force if a situation escalates. It is important that people know their rights if faced with a confrontation going through customs when entering the United States. Hopefully, no one is faced with this issue, but it is better to be prepared in the event that things get out of hand.

A CPB Officer is permitted to use reasonable force if it is necessary to complete their job. To determine whether the use of force would be considered reasonable, they will consider whether there was an “imminent threat” to the safety of a CPB officer, the risk of injury to others, whether the person actively resisted arrest, as well as a number of other circumstances. The only times in which a CPB officer is permitted to use “deadly force” is if the subject of the force is legitimately attempting to put an officer in jeopardy of serious injury or death. If any object is thrown at an officer, they are not permitted to use their firearms in response.

Hopefully a situation this serious would never come to light but with the world in the state it is in, it is always better to make sure you are informed. Any issue when coming through Customs and Border Protection should be resolved in a peaceful manner and should never result in a violent act by either party. If you have questions regarding the process of going through customs or a border, contact an experienced immigration attorney today for assistance.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

How does a lawful permanent resident get a reentry permit?

How does a lawful permanent resident get a reentry permit?

One question that many permanent residents have is in regards to whether they can leave the United States without violating the terms of their residency and making sure they can properly reenter the United States at the end of their trip. In order to understand how you can enter the United States, it is important to understand what happens if you violate your lawful permanent residency upon leaving.

It is important to be aware that you may put your status as a permanent resident in jeopardy if you violate the terms of traveling. If you leave the United States for one year or longer, you will not be eligible to reenter the country. In addition, your status as a permanent resident may be considered “abandoned” if you leave for less than a year but become a resident of another country.

These issues can be avoided by obtaining a reentry permit. A permit of this sort shows that although you are leaving the Untied States for up to two years, you do not intend to abandon your status as a permanent resident. If you do not have a passport from your home country, you may want to consider obtaining a reentry permit. A reentry permit is generally valid for two years from the date in which it was issued to you.

If you are a lawful permanent resident and have questions about traveling outside of the United States, it is important that you consult with an experienced attorney who can assess the circumstances surrounding your case and provide you with assistance.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

What are the humanitarian immigration programs?

What are the humanitarian immigration programs?

In countries all over the world, there is, unfortunately, a lot of civil unrest, environmental disasters, an epidemic of disease, and other conditions that may make it so the citizens of those countries would be better off leaving until things calm down. The Department of Homeland Security, in combination with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services have created a number of programs that allow residents from unsafe countries to seek protection in the Untied States. These initiatives are known as humanitarian immigration programs.

Temporary Protected Status

Temporary Protected Status is designated by Homeland Security to countries that are facing temporary conditions. If your country has been declared a TPS country, individuals can come to the United States without fear of being removed. These individuals are also eligible to obtain employment and travel authorization.

Asylum & Refugee Resettlement

In order to be considered for asylum in the United States, a person must meet the qualifications of a refugee. Refugee status means that you have been granted protection because there is persecution in your home country in regards to your race, social group, political opinion, religion, or nationality. You must already be in the United States and attempt to enter only through a designated port of entry. Refugee resettlement is granted to some refugees who have been referred by the U.S. Embassy or other non-government organization, have relatives in the U.S. as a refugee, and have specific characteristics.

Victims of Crimes

Immigrants who have been the victims of crimes are eligible for certain programs that will protect them from being deported if they assist law enforcement in finding the offender.

If you have a question about obtaining protection through a humanitarian immigration program, contact our firm today.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

What is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization?

What is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization?

One way that a foreign national can determine their eligibility to travel to the United States is through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The ESTA is a system that allows foreign nationals to assess their eligibility to travel to the United States through the Visa Waiver Program. There are a number of qualifications that a person may need to meet in order to be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization allows users to answer questions and submit information about themselves to see whether they may qualify to travel without a visa.

The ESTA is used to determine if a potential visitor to the United States can be considered a threat to national security or if they are safe to enter the country without a visa. It is important to know that an ESTA is not considered a visa and that if you already have a valid travel visa, you don’t have to apply for an ESTA. Once you have been determined eligible, you can apply for the Visa Waiver Program. If determined eligible for the VWP, persons from countries that participate in this program can travel to the United States without a visa for a maximum of 90 days. You are permitted to travel for either tourism or business.

Anyone who is a national of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program will be required to apply for ESTA. All children, regardless of how old they are or whether they are accompanied, will have to get ESTA approval. A relative can submit their application on their behalf if they are too young to do it on their own. An ESTA is valid for 2 years from the day that it has been granted.

If you have questions, contact an experienced immigration attorney today.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

Social Media To Be Considered For Visa Applicants

Social Media To Be Considered For Visa Applicants

Earlier this month, the State Department announced that they may begin reviewing the social media profiles, email addresses, and even the phone numbers of certain visa applicants. These new provisions fall into one of President Trump’s recent string of stricter immigration policy announcements and will impact about 65,000 applicants. The plan will go into action beginning on May 18 and will last for 180 days.

The requirements would state that any applicant who has traveled to areas with a presence of terrorist organizations would have to provide the State Department with all of the social media profiles, email addresses, and phone numbers they have used over the last five years. Though officials are asking for the handles of social media profiles, they are not requesting passwords to these profiles. The goal behind these new provisions is to increase national security from terrorist organizations.

In addition to providing the State Department with social media profiles, they will also request that you provide them with birth information and names of all of your siblings, current/former spouses, and children. You will also have to show your travel history and work history for the last 15 years, as opposed to the standard request for the last 5 years.

If you have questions about the different changes taking place in the United States immigration policy and how they may apply to you, it is important that you consult with an experienced immigration law attorney today.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

What is an interpreter’s role in an interview?

What is an interpreter’s role in an interview?

When a person who is involved in the immigration process goes in for an interview with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, they may require the services of an interpreter. It is important for the interviewee to be able to understand everything that is going on in the interview but in many situations, they do not fluently speak or understand English so the process becomes complicated. An interpreter has many roles and it is important that they are qualified to fulfill their duties in an interview that has such a high impact on the interviewee’s life.

In order to qualify as an interpreter, you must show your fluency in both English and in the language that you are interpreting for the person attending an immigration interview. One of the most important roles that an interpreter is responsible for is that they must use only the exact words from the interviewee and the USCIS officer. They must not paraphrase, use different wording, or provide any opinions or commentary to either party. Another important factor is that if there is no direct translation from English to the language, the interpreter must inform the USCIS officer that they will have to use other terminology and ensure that they can accurately inform the interviewee of what they truly meant. It is important that the interpreter does not input their opinion or any sort of bias at any time throughout the interview.

An interpreter can be disqualified if they fail to meet the core qualifications, if the interviewee seems confused throughout the interview, and if the officer suspects that the interpreter is changing answers or coaching the interviewee throughout the interview. If you have questions regarding the USCIS’s change in interpreter rules, contact us today.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

Who can act as a witness in an immigration interview?

Who can act as a witness in an immigration interview?

When a person has an appointment for an immigration interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, they may require a witness to be present. There are certain restrictions as to who may or may not act as a witness for the purposes of the interview.

One important thing to note is that witnesses are not permitted to simultaneously act as an interpreter for the person obtaining an interview. Witnesses are permitted to provide a testimony in the interview, provide the immigration interviewing officers with letters of support, testimony, or an affidavit regarding the case.

There also may be certain situations in which a witness can act as an interpreter to assist the interviewee in translating the interview between English and the interviewee’s native language. In order for this to take place, the interviewing officer must establish good cause as well as obtain approval from his or her supervisor. Good cause can be established in situations when there is confidential information regarding medical conditions or abuse that should be protected, developmental disabilities, there is a rare language that is hard to find an interpreter for, or the interview is taking place in a remote region that has no other qualified interpreters.

If you have questions about acting as a witness in an immigration interview with USCIS, contact an experienced immigration attorney today.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

Temporary Protected Status Expires for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone

Temporary Protected Status Expires for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone

As of May 21, 2017, the designations of Temporary Protected Status for three countries will expire. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will no longer be eligible for these benefits. However, those who are currently living in the United States on a TPS designation will be able to keep any other immigration status that they may have had during the time in which they were here. Persons who are in the United States under these protections but have not obtained a different immigration status.

Temporary Protected Status acts to provide safety to foreign nationals who would be harmed if they remained in their country due to armed conflict, health epidemic, an environmental disaster such as flooding or earthquakes, or any other dangerous conditions that may exist. Those who are protected under TPS are eligible to remain in the United States and are not removable until their protected status expires. These beneficiaries may be authorized to travel outside of the United States. In addition, people who are in the United States as a Temporary Protected Status beneficiary are also eligible to apply for an employment authorization document.

Countries that will remain eligible for Temporary Protected Status after May 21, 2017, include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

If you have questions regarding Temporary Protected Status or need assistance determining whether you are eligible to become a beneficiary, contact an experienced immigration attorney today.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

Self petitions under the Violence Against Women Act

Self petitions under the Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act aims to provide women who have been the victims of domestic violence with protection from their abusers throughout the United States. This piece of legislation protects all women in the United States, regardless of their immigration status. If you are an undocumented immigrant who has been the victim of domestic violence in the United States, you may be able to file a “self-petition,” which can allow you to become a legal resident. Under the Violence Against Women Act, undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence may also obtain legal residence for any unmarried children under the age of 21. In addition, you may be able to qualify for VAWA if you were not abused but your child was.

In order to become eligible for legal residency status under VAWA, you must have suffered extreme cruelty and abuse from your spouse and have resided in the United States for the previous three consecutive years. In addition, you will need to show that if you are removed from the United States, you and/or your children will face extreme hardship.

If you are a victim of domestic violence but are not eligible for VAWA, you may want to consider filing a U-Visa instead. You should consult with an experienced immigration attorney in order to determine which option is best with you. Finding protection from your abuser is of the utmost importance and our firm is dedicated to guiding you in the direction of safety and assisting in your immigration process.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

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