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Houston Immigration Law Blog

Can you appeal an immigration decision?

The U.S. immigration system is confusing, and the recent changes in immigration law have made it more so. If you are facing deportation, you are probably wondering about your options.

You will receive an Notice to Appear (NTA) from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The NTA will include basic information about you, as well as the reasons you are facing deportation. You will receive at least a ten-day notice, before you are scheduled to appear in immigration court.

Your immigration status can change due to criminal activity

People who immigrate into the United States are expected to follow the laws here. Facing criminal charges can sometimes be the basis of removal proceedings. People who aren't citizens are expected to have good morals. A crime that involves moral turpitude and those that are aggravated felonies might lead to you being removed from the country and barred from coming back.

If you are facing criminal charges, you need to find out how this might impact your status here. There are many that can change things for you, even if they are considered misdemeanors where you live. There are some activities that are specifically listed by Congress.

  • Filing at least one fraudulent tax return
  • Illicit trafficking of firearms or incendiary devices
  • Federal drug trafficking
  • Murder
  • Theft
  • Simple battery
  • Failing to appear for a court hearing

Know what to expect during the naturalization process

The path to naturalization in this country is lengthy. You have to show that you will be a productive citizen who can do things to benefit our nation. This can be a challenge, but the process you have to follow can work in your favor if you are willing to put the effort into it.

One thing that you must remember throughout the case is that you need to be fully honest. Any misstatements made during this process can mean that your hard work is for nothing because your application can be denied. We know that you don't want this to happen, and we are here to work with you so that you can get everything in order.

Naturalized citizens can sometimes be denaturalized

People who are using the United States' family-based immigration program to come to the country need to ensure they are doing everything in accordance with the law. Failing to do this can lead to considerable troubles that can be far-reaching.

If you choose to pursue the path to citizenship, you should continue with the truthful approach. Even if you are naturalized, there is a chance that your citizenship could be revoked if you aren't completely honest, as well as in a few other situations. Knowing these ahead of time may help you avoid doing anything that is going to put your ability to remain in the country at risk.

Naturalization takes time, so prepare to wait

Many people who weren't born in the United States dream of coming here to build a life. There are some points that you need to consider if you are trying to work toward making this happen. We know that you might be pretty stressed out about the entire situation. We are here to help you work through the naturalization challenges that come into these cases sometimes.

As you are working on making your dream a reality, you need to ensure that you understand the process. This isn't something that is going to be quick. You have to deal with waiting periods and testing, as well as other facets that are stipulated by law to ensure you are truly going to be an asset to this country.

Fake marriages can lead to immigration issues

One of the ways that an immigrant can come to the United States is by marrying a citizen. Unfortunately, some people try to get over on the immigration system by arranging fake marriages or ones of convenience. While this might seem like a good idea, this is actually illegal.

Marriage fraud is a serious matter that can lead to the immigrant being deported. Time in prison is also possible. There are many different ways that this crime can occur. Anyone who is marrying an immigrant must ensure they aren't taking part in any of the following:

  • "Mail-order marriages" in which either party knows the marriage isn't real
  • Marriages done as a favor
  • Marriages that involve the citizen being paid
  • Marriages due to the visa lottery
  • Marriage based on an immigrant defrauding a citizen

What's the difference between a permanent resident and a citizen?

The difference between being a permanent resident otherwise called a green-card holder and a U.S. citizen can be confusing. Many mistakenly think the two are the same thing because both statuses offer many of the same rights, including to live and work indefinitely in the U.S. and to be protected by federal, state and local laws.

The two also require many of the same responsibilities, like obeying all laws and paying taxes. However, the two statuses do have several differences, and it is important to understand what those differences are.

    We want to see our clients become naturalized citizens

    When you come to the United States and decide that you want to become a citizen, you must go through the citizenship and naturalization process. This is often a mystifying process for the men and women who choose this option for remaining in the country. We are here to help you learn more about what you can do and what your responsibilities are throughout the process.

    As we recently discussed, there are major changes going on that can impact a person's abilities to remain in this country and go through the process successfully. It is difficult for the average person to keep up with all the changes that occur to the laws. We work hard to ensure that we're giving our clients the necessary information to help them remain in this country without issue.

    New immigration proposal could force tough decisions

    As the immigration laws in this country continue to change, it can be hard to keep up with everything. There is a new proposal on the table that could force some immigrants to make very difficult decisions if it is passed. It was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 10, which is the first day of a 60-day term when the public can comment on it.

    The new proposal is one that would allow immigrants to be rejected for green cards if they've had to rely on public assistance. In the past, only cash benefits were counted. These included Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Under the new proposal, other public benefits would also be counted. These include some commonly used, such as housing assistance, low-income Medicare drug subsidies for seniors, food stamps and Medicaid.

    Immigration cases for spouses have many considerations

    One thing that most married couples never want to experience is being away from their spouse. Unfortunately, there are times when a person will come to the United States but their spouse doesn't have the legal right to come here right then. In these cases, the person will need to file for a visa for their spouse. Here are a few considerations about visas for spouses.

    Some people who want a spouse visa will be placed on a waiting list but others won't. The difference is citizenship. People who are United States citizens can file a petition for their spouse. That petition is given a priority status and won't be placed on a waiting list. If the spouse who is in the country is a permanent resident, their spouse will be placed on the waiting list. The time that you have to wait can be two years or longer.

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