Articles Posted in Immigration

An immigrant convicted of theft is deportable if the theft is considered an aggravated felony. These immigrants include any noncitizen of the U.S (valid visa holders and green card holders). For a case with an undocumented immigrant with no lawful status that’s convicted of theft, that alone can be the basis of deportation, not act of theft itself.

Immigration law contains a list of crimes which make an immigrant subject to deportation due to moral turpitude, and although theft is not included separately, it is included in the list of crimes that are considered aggravated felonies. Complications arise when the realization of theft, most often prosecuted under state law, are being judged using Federal statutes to determine severity. The result is that a crime of theft that may be considered a misdemeanor in the state court where it is prosecuted could be considered, and in some cases, to be an aggravated felony for federal immigration purposes. This is due to the varying standards applied by immigration law.

The benchmark for considering a crime of theft an aggravated felony is that the convictions of theft, receipt of stolen property, or burglary could have a sentence of at least one year. Immigration law can be complex when considering the interaction of state and federal statutes and it is often difficult to state any rule with certainty. A crime that is less serious in other contexts, such as a minor theft, could be elevated to an aggravated felony in the eyes of the immigration authorities and result in deportation.

According to the US Department of State, to hold dual citizenship or dual nationality means a person must be a national or hold citizenship of two countries at the same time. Though no specific provisions exist in law for this condition as they do inother countries, the Government of the United States recognizes the existence of dual citizenship while discouraging it as a matter of practice due the complications that may occur for the dual national. US law thus does not prohibit dual nationality and does not require a citizen to choose one nationality, but it is possible, though very uncommon, to lose US citizenship through accepting foreign nationality under certain circumstances.

Generally, if a US citizen obtains foreign nationality automatically, perhaps by parentage, his or her US citizenship status remains unaffected. If the person is required to take certain actions to obtain the foreign citizenship, then it becomes possible to lose US citizenship if the intention to abandon it is demonstrated, according to the State Department. The person must voluntarily apply for the second citizenship and do so with the intention of surrendering US citizenship. This allows dual citizenship in practice if not in name and there is little to no chance of inadvertently losing one’s citizenship by accepting a second. The country where the person resides is considered to have the strongest claim to allegiance.

When traveling, the United States asks that US passport holders who also hold other passports use their US passports when entering and exiting the country and this rule is common among most nations. Conflicts may arise for dual citizens due to the fact that they are expected to obey two sets of laws and issues such as obligatory military service and global taxation must be dealt with. Dual citizens should keep in mind that the US taxes worldwide income and they are required to report all income earned abroad.

Corporate Immigration Law Firm.

Hilf & Hilf, PLC represents a diverse, complex range of clients including multinational corporations, United States corporations, privately held companies, start up ventures, partnerships, small sized businesses, and individuals.  We also represent non profit entities such as religious organizations and charitable organizations.

Through our comprehensive, thorough ability and knowledge of legal, business, government, regulatory, and political issues, we help clients to gain and maintain success in all areas of business immigration.  We are dynamic and goal oriented, and provide our clients with a wide range of immigration and naturalization services.

A United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) who is in a same sex marriage to a foreigner can petition their spouse in the same manner that was once reserved only for heterosexual couples.  Your eligibility to petition your spouse, and your spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant or for adjustment of status, will be applied by the same immigration laws that now apply to everyone.  This is also true for fiance petitions.  Gay marriage, lesbian marriage, bisexual marriage, transgender marriage – all  marriages are entitled to the respect, benefits, and stability associated with legal marriage.

If you were previously denied due to the prior discrimination that prevented the recognition of same sex marriages in individual States to the United States, that can now be reconsidered.  It is possible to right a wrong that previously occurred, depending upon the facts of your case.

Same sex marriage can also confer immigration benefits to aliens seeking to accompany or follow their spouse as a family sponsored immigrant, an employment based immigrant, for aliens granted refugee or asylum, and for other immigration related circumstances.  Again, the law that once applied only to heterosexual couples now applies equally to all.

In order to live and work in the United States for any extended period of time, in most cases you’re legally required to obtain a green card.  Anyone who has tried to obtain a green card can tell you that the process and procedure required for a successful application can become extremely complicated, and for some individuals it may be impossible. It involves an overwhelming amount of paperwork, legal assistance, and time.

Remember: one simple mistake can have disastrous consequences.

A Broken System

People all over the world have dreams about one day immigrating to the United States. They know, however, that this process can be confusing and difficult to manage on their own. Many people find the immigration process to be overwhelming and complex, and it is not something that you should deal with on your own.  With the complexities of the U.S. immigration process, seeking counsel from an immigration attorney can be incredibly useful and save you from a number of inconveniences and disappointments.  If you’re not sure whether or not you should consult with an attorney at any point during the immigration process, here are some ways in which an attorney who specializes in immigration law can help you.

The most agonizing aspect of the immigration process is usually the paperwork.  Not only does it seem like there is a ridiculous amount of it, but one mistake can lead to delays in the application process, if not being completely denied.  Having an attorney help you with paperwork will increase your chance of being accepted and ensure that you are not making any costly mistakes.  Mistakes cost money, time, may prevent you from obtaining benefits for you and/or a family member, and in some instances can have negative repercussions concerning your immigration situation.

An attorney who specializes in immigration law will be aware of the various options available when applying for immigration and advise you as to what the best approach to take when applying. Depending on your situation, just because you are denied immigration does not necessarily mean you can not immigrate.  It is possible that you just need a lawyer to advise you on how to cater your application for the highest likelihood of success.

It is important for United States foreign worker employers and foreign employees in specialty occupations (such as engineers, scientists, computer programmers, medical workers, pharmacists, accountants, etc.) that require theoretical or technical expertise that is time to prepare for H-1B Cap Season.  In previous years the USCIS reached the statutory H-1B limit with the first week of the filing period.  In 2013 the USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1Bs during the filing period, including petitions for the advanced degree exemption.  By comparison, in 2016 there were 233,000 petitions received from the April 1 to April 7 window that petitions were accepted.  Given the current state of United States Immigration Law and the United States economy, it is likely that there will be even more competition for the next several years and the window to accept applications may shrink.   Under a regular cap (which may be subject to change) 65000 petitions will be selected, along with 20,000 petitions for persons with advanced degrees. It is important to remember that 6,800 selections will be set aside for citizens of Chile and Singapore due to Free Trade Agreements.  Persons who wait too long, or who do not plan ahead, do so at their own detriment.  It is important to note that the information in this blog may change at any time, and it is not a substitute for receiving advice from an experienced immigration lawyer, such as Attorney Sufen Hilf.

It is never too soon to start preparing.  Hiring the right immigration law attorney will help ensure that your H-1B petition is properly and timely filed, including the Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, including the H Classification Supplement to Form I-129 and the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption.  An experienced immigration lawyer will help provide additional documents required with your petition, such as the Labor Condition Application (LCA) and evidence of the Beneficiary’s educational background.  Your immigration lawyer can also file a Form-I-907 Request for Premium Processing on your behalf that might might all the difference.  It is not advisible to self represent concerning a H-1B petition in as much as mistakes can prove very costly to both the employer and employee.

It is important to remember that H-1B visa is intially granted for up to 3 years, but may be extended to a maximum of 6 years.  Even though it is a non-immigrant visa, the beneficiary may have dual intent, which means that the H-1B visa holder can apply for a green card under the right circumstances. The benefits of an H-1B visa (except for the ability to work) also extend to the spouse of the beneficiary and children that qualify as dependents as H4 visa holders.

Sometimes the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will make a determination that it needs more information before it can proceed with an application.  This will prompt the USCIS to send a Request For Evidence (RFE), that will ask for specific information about issues that it feels needs more clarification and/or evidence, and will provide a deadline as to when the additional information needs to be presented.

Receiving a Request For Evidence (RFE) is not unusual, and it does not mean that the USCIS doubts your situation and/or will deny you the relief you are seeking.  In fact, there are many instances where the USCIS will deny a petition without seeking more information.
The failure to respond to a Request For Evidence may lead the USCIS to believe that you are not interested in proceeding further and will issue a denial, or it may make a decision concerning your file based upon the information in it possession (which in most cases will mean a denial).

Persons who are not citizens of the United States often have trouble obtaining driver’s licenses in the State of Michigan.  With the state of public transportation, the only way for persons to get from one destination to another is by automobile.  If person cannot obtain a Michigan driver’s license, what can be done?

There are treaties that exist between the United States and some foreign countries that allow foreigners to drive in the United States as long as they have a valid driver’s license from their home country and an international driver’s license.  It only makes sense that a shopper from Canada or a truck driver from Mexico is allowed to lawfully travel in Michigan and other States.  There is case law in Michigan that supports this.

According to the Michigan Court of Appeals decision of People v. Valeriano Acosta-Bautista, 296 Mich App 404 (2012), Michigan recognizes and observes a longstanding treaty that allows foreign nationals from certain countries to drive legally in Michigan if they have a valid license from their home country.  Attorney Daniel Hilf of the law firm of Hilf & Hilf, PLC has litigated this issue in Court successfully on many occasions.  We have experience in traffic, criminal, and immigration cases.

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