Do I qualify for a U Visa?

If you are an illegal immigrant who is a victim of a serious crime, you may be too afraid to notify law enforcement out of fear of being deported. However, the law may be on your side. If you have heard about applying for a U visa, here are some of the questions you may have:

What is a U visa?

Essentially, if you have been the victim of a serious crime, you may apply for a U visa if you agree to cooperate with law enforcement in their investigation or prosecution of that crime. After three years of continuous physical presence in the United States, a U visa holder may apply to adjust his or her status and become a Lawful Permanent Resident.

How do I know if I qualify for a U visa?

Below, you will find the six requirements to apply for a U visa:

  • The applicant must have been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity
  • The applicant must be willing to provide information concerning the crime
  • The applicant must assist in the investigation
  • The criminal activity occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws
  • The applicant is admissible to the United States under current law
  • The applicant must have suffered substantial physical or emotional abuse.

What crimes qualify for a U visa?

Some of the violent crimes that may qualify for a U visa are as follows:

  • Domestic violence
  • Human trafficking
  • Rape
  • Prostitution
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Female genital mutilation

How may I extend a U visa?

While a U visa is only valid for four years, there are certain exceptions. They are as follows:

  • If the extension is requested by law enforcement
  • If the extension is needed based on exceptional circumstances
  • If the extension is needed due to delays in consular processing or is automatically extended upon the filing of an application for adjustment of status

What documents will I need to adjust the status of my U visa?

  • Evidence of the applicant’s U visa approval
  • A medical examination and vaccination record
  • Copies of all passports
  • Evidence to show at least three years of continuous physical presence
  • Birth certificate
  • An affidavit attesting to three years of continuous physical presence in the United States since being admitted on a U visa

If you are currently inadmissible under current United States law, you may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192–Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant.

Contact our Wisconsin firm

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

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What is the Function of an I-601A Waiver?

If you are someone who is either in the United States illegally or has overstayed their visa, you may wish to apply for permanent residency. However, in order to do so, you must first leave the United States and apply at a consulate. Unfortunately, as you may know, if you are in the United States illegally and you leave, you may be subject to a three or ten-year bar. If you wish to avoid this scenario, then read on and learn about what the I-601A waiver can do for you.

What does an I-601A do?

Essentially, as mentioned above, if you wish to apply for permanent residency and are here illegally, once leaving the United States to apply at a consulate, you are subject to a 3 or 10-year bar. However, an I-601A waiver will make you exempt from such a bar if you are inadmissible for any of the following situations:

  • Criminal conviction
  • Poor health
  • Illegal entry
  • Security violations

What are some of the reasons for inadmissibility?

One of the biggest reasons you may be considered inadmissible is poor health, particularly communicable disease, mental disorders, and those who will not receive the required vaccinations. In order to obtain a visa, you must receive vaccinations addressing the following:

  • Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B
  • Influenza, or Influenza type b (Hib)
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • Pertussis
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
  • Varicella, or chickenpox

You may also be considered inadmissible if you have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude or a controlled substance violation. Security violations, such as being affiliated with any sort of terroristic activity or Communist regime may also deem you inadmissible. 

How do I qualify for an I-601A?

If you are inadmissible because you have been unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days, you may apply for an I-601A waiver. You must also establish that your United States citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent would suffer extreme hardship if your application is denied. Some examples of extreme hardship include, but are not limited to:

  • Your spouse or parent has another sick family member he or she will be unable to care for without your support
  • Your spouse or parent has a medical condition and depends on you for care 
  • Your spouse or parent is financially dependent on you and you will not be able to provide for him or her overseas
  • Your spouse or parent has financial debts in the United States and cannot pay them without your support

Contact our experienced Wisconsin firm

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

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What is a Fiancé Visa?

If you are a U.S. citizen and are engaged to a non-citizen, you may, in fact, apply for a visa for their entry into the United States. The fiancé visa, or K-1 visa, may grant your future spouse citizenship, as long as you marry him or her within 90 days of entry. If you think this situation applies to you, then here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the qualifications for a K-1 visa?

In order to qualify for a K-1 visa, you must first prove that you and your future spouse have known each other for two years prior to the filing. If you fail to do so, your petition will be denied. You will make your request on an I-129F form, and the necessary instructions are available through the Department of State. If you find this process overwhelming, it may be useful for you to hire an experienced attorney to help you handle this sensitive situation. He or she may complete this paperwork and submit it on your behalf. After the applications are submitted, they will conduct a background check on both you and your fiancé. You and your fiancé may also be asked to provide additional evidence documenting your relationship so you may prove that your marriage is a legitimate one.

What is the K-1 visa process like?

Unfortunately, if your petition is approved, it does not necessarily grant a visa. If the petition is approved, your fiancé will be asked to undergo a medical examination and an interview in their country. During the interview, the consular will determine:

  • Whether or not the fiancé has complete information about her U.S. citizen fiancé and his or her life history. For example, the consular may want to know detailed about his or her past relationships, marriages, family, or employment.
  • The consular will also try to determine whether your fiancé is a person of good moral character and whether or not he or she is genuinely interested in your marriage.

Be prepared to answer several other interview questions as well, including, but not limited to:

  • What is your name?
  • Where were you born?
  • How old are you?
  • What is your nationality?
  • Have you ever been to the United States?
  • If you have been, how long did you stay?
  • If you have been, where did you stay?
  • If you have been, what type of visa did you have?
  • Do you have any living relatives in the United States?
  • Do you have children?
  • Have you ever been married?

Contact our Wisconsin firm

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

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How to Obtain a Permanent Resident Card

If you are a non-United States citizen, you may wish to obtain a Permanent Residency Card, or what is commonly referred to as a “green card.” While many people understand the benefits of obtaining one, it is usually easier said than done. This is why if you are interested in pursuing a green card, you must first contact an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of the immigration system.

How do I know if I am eligible to receive a green card?

As a non-United States citizen seeking a green card, you must reside within the United States and meet certain other specific criteria. You may be eligible for a green card if your request is:

  • Job or employment-based: Though entry through this category is limited, you may apply for permanent residence based on employment or a job offer.
  • Family-based: This means that if you are an immediate relative of a United States citizen, you do not have to wait for a visa. There is also no limit to the number of visas that may be issued. Parents of a U.S. citizen, spouses of a U.S. citizen, and unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen are all considered immediate relatives. 
  • Refugee or asylum: If you were admitted to the United States as a refugee or as a qualifying spouse or child of a refugee, you must apply for permanent residence one year after your entry. Likewise, if you are granted asylum in the United States, or are a qualifying spouse of a child of an asylee, you may apply for permanent residence one year after your asylum status is granted.
  • Special programs

How long does it take to receive a green card?

The process of petitioning for adjustment of status may take several months or more, as it is an intensive process and requires both biometrics and a formal interview. If you are the spouse of a United States citizen, then the immigration officer conducting the interview will require you provide proof of a valid marriage. You may also file for employment authorization and “advance parole,” which will allow you to work and travel to and from the United States prior to the green card petitioning completion.

Contact our experienced Wisconsin firm

If you are seeking a United States Permanent Resident Card, you must contact a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney who understands your situation. Here at the Sesini Law Group, S.C., we will tenaciously fight for your path to citizenship, every step of the way.

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

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Can Submitting an I-751 Petition Grant Me Citizenship?

If you are a conditional citizen, this means you are required to renew the conditions of your residence each year. This can be a worrisome process for some, as their future here is not totally secure. However, if a non-citizen were to marry a U.S. citizen, he or she will very often apply for citizenship through an I-751 Petition.

What is the function of an I-751 Petition?

Essentially, if you marry a U.S. citizen, you can submit an I-751 Petition, which is a Petition to Remove Conditions on Your Residence. If you are eligible and apply, you are granted residence on a conditional basis for 2 years. However, if a U.S. citizen sponsors a spouse where the marriage at the time of the adjustment status was more than two years old, the conditional status will be waived and a 10-year Permanent Resident Card is issued. There are exceptions to several immigration laws, so it is important that you contact an experienced, compassionate lawyer today. Having someone who knows the ins and outs of immigration law may drastically increase your chances of gaining citizenship.

What happens if you do not submit an I-751 Petition?

When the 2-year period is over, the permanent residence automatically expires, and the applicant is subject to deportation. This can be an extremely unnerving experience, so you must make sure you file Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence 90 days or less before your conditional residence expires. However, keep in mind you can only do this if the conditional permanent residence was obtained through marriage. If your conditional permanent residence was obtained through investment to have the conditions removed, then you must file Form I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. After submitting either Petition, permanent residence is extended in 1-year increments until your request to remove conditions is approved or denied.

What evidence must you provide in order to prove you are making a valid claim?

If your application is based on marriage, then you may submit your children’s birth certificates, joint financial statements, or letters from employers, friends and relatives. The courts will want to ensure that your marriage is a real marriage, and not a fraudulent one. If you are not making a valid claim, then there is a good chance they will find out. A follow-up interview between both spouses and an immigration officer is sometimes required, but this interview may be waived if you provide sufficient evidence backing your claim.

What do you do once you are a permanent resident?

You must carry your green card with you at all times, and failing to do so is a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This can result in a fine of up to $100 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days for each offense. You should know that only the federal government can impose penalties–not individual states.

Contact our experienced Wisconsin law firm

If the grounds of your permanent residence are in question, do not waste time, and speak with an attorney you can trust today. We understand what your citizenship means to you, and we will fight tenaciously for your path to citizenship.  

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

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Read Our Latest Blog Posts

  •  Do I qualify for a U Visa?
  •  What is the Function of an I-601A Waiver?
  •  What is a Fiancé Visa?
  •  How to Obtain a Permanent Resident Card