What you need to know about Asylum

The first thing you may be wondering is, what is the difference between a refugee and a person seeking asylum? A refugee is a person who is located OUTSIDE of the United Status and is afraid to return to their native country and seeking refuge in the U.S. A person seeking asylum is already IN the U.S. and is afraid to return to their native country.

You’ll notice one thing that they both have in common which is that a person is afraid to return to their native country. In order to file for asylum you must have been persecuted or have a  well-founded fear of persecution on account of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion and be unwilling to return to your country.The term “persecution” is not specifically defined and can come in many different ways. BUT if you are NOT afraid to return to your native country, you CANNOT file for asylum.

Along with having a well-founded fear of persecution, you must file your asylum application within ONE year of entering the United States. The exception to that is if there are “changed circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances directly related to your failure to file.”

If you plan to file for asylum, it is important that you speak with an attorney first. Filing for asylum should be taken very seriously. You can file whether you have status in the U.S. or not. And if you don’t have status and file, the U.S. government will know who you are. If your asylum is denied, you could be deported back to the country you fear. If your asylum is granted, you can eventually apply for a green card and after some time gain citizenship! So it is important to put together an application with evidence that can demonstrate the persecution or your fear of returning to your country.

Please call our office at 508-438-1198, if you plan to file for asylum!

 

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

#asylum #refugee #greencard #oneyear

 

Same-Sex Marriage/Engagement & Immigration

Congratulations, you are engaged or married! And you may be wondering if you can bring your same-sex spouse or fiancee to the United States. Well the answer to your question is yes! If you are in a same-sex relationship, the application process is the same as it is for any other couple.

If your spouse is already in the United States, you can file the I-130 and I-485 concurrently to obtain a green card for your significant other.

If your spouse is NOT in the United States, you will have to go through consular processing. First you have to file the I-130 and once that is approved, you will schedule an appointment with the closest U.S. consulate office. Go to your interview, be granted your visa, come to the U.S. and THEN receive your green card in the mail.

The most important thing to remember in this scenario is, if you were NOT married in the United States, you MUST have been married in a country that LEGALLY recognizes same-sex marriage or your marriage will not be considered valid when you apply for your spouse.

If you are a fiancee, you will file for the K-1 visa and you can find the requirements for a K-1 visa in my previous blog post here.

If you are in a same-sex relationship and have any questions about bringing your significant other over, please call our office at 508-438-1198.

 

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

 

#samesexmarriage #greencard #k1visa #immigration

Immigration Fees Raised!

On December 23, 2016, USCIS raised the fees to file for naturalization, a green card, and more. Please find some of the new fees below:

I-130 Petition for a relative: $535

I–485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: $1,140

I–601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver: $630

I–690 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility: $715

I–751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence: $595

I–765 Application for Employment Authorization: $410

N–400 Application for Naturalization: $640

For more information about the new fees you can visit the USCIS website.

 

If you have an immigration issues or question, please call our office at 508-438-1198.

 

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

#immigration #newfees #naturaliation #greencard