July 29, 2016:
USCIS expands I-601A Program. I-601A program is designed to shorten the time family members are outside the U.S. during the process of lawfully immigrating to the U.S. In the past family members who had lived in the U.S. without permission either because they entered without the proper documents, worked without permission, or overstayed a visa, had to wait abroad up to 10 years during the processing of their immigrant visa waiver. In March of 2013 a new very limited program was established allowing some persons to file for the waiver in advance. Today, this program was expanded to allow all qualified persons to apply in advance. This procedural change was done through regulations and provides an opportunity for immigrants to shorten the period of time they have to travel abroad to lawfully receive visas. This waiver (Form I-601A) can only be granted if the immigrant can show extreme hardship to a USC or lawful resident spouse or parent. Other qualifications also apply.
Presidential Action on Immigration. President Obama's proposals to expand the Deferred Action programs to include parents of United States citizens and Lawful permanent residents and to include more students who entered the United States before their 16th birthdays is temporarily on hold as a result of a U.S. District Court decision issued out of Texas. We are hopeful the president will decide to begin the program in Washington State, or the decision will be overturned on appeal. Right now, no applications are being accepted except for the old Deferred Action for Student Program (DACA).
The main requirements for DACA (first program - which you can still apply for) requires proof of : 1) entry to the U.S. before your 16th birthday, 2) that you lived in the U.S. continuously (except for brief innocent absences) from June 15, 2007 to present, 3) that you were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, 4) that you are in school or have graduated from high school, or have a GED. This is a discretionary program. Certain persons with prior criminal matters or gang affiliations, may not be accepted. We recommend you consult with an attorney to determine eligibility or attend a legal clinic. The next free legal clinic we teach is March 7, 2015 at 8:00 am at Skagit Valley College in Mt. Vernon, Washington.
For other potential DACA and DAPA applicants we recommend that you start gathering the following documents: 1) Birth certificate and translation AND photo identification such as driver's license/id or school identification or passport; 2) evidence you were in the United States from January 1, 2010 to present; and 3) proof that you are a parent or step-parent of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.
Check back on this website or contact our offices to see if and when these new programs start.
Last Year He Faced Deportation: Tonight He'll Attend State of The Union
A high school senior from Mount Vernon, Washington will be in the audience on Tuesday night for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech. Find out more at kuow.org
President Announces Changes to Immigration Policy:
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced several changes to immigration policy that will provide temporary protection to millions of immigrants from the threat of deportation. The changes include the following important programs that will be implemented in the coming months:
Deferred Action for Parental Accountability: Parents of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children who have lived in the U.S. continuously since before January 1, 2010 and who meet other eligibility requirements will be eligible to apply for Deferred Action (work authorization and relief from the threat of deportation)
Expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) including the removal of the current age cap of 31.
Expansion of the I-601A Provisional Waiver program to allow spouses and children of lawful permanent residents to apply for waivers of unlawful presence without leaving the U.S.
These are only some of the changes that will be brought about by this important and historical announcement. Contact our offices for more information and be sure to avoid scams. The forms are not yet available for these programs and beware of anyone who tries to charge you to file applications under this program at this time.
For more information, contact our office today to schedule a paid consultation.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform is On The Move but it's not here yet. On June 27th, 2013, a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill was approved by the Senate. While this is great news, the process is only partially finished. The House of Representatives must still pass a bill before the bill gets to the President who can sign it and make the proposed bill law. Till then, we are hopeful, but nothing is final and the proposed law will likely change considerably before a final bill reaches the President's desk. Avoid notaries who might claim to be able to help you.
Same Sex Marriage Supreme Court Decision. Today, June 26th, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a portion of the Defense Against Marriage Act. United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ____ (2013) For persons with legal same-sex marriages, this means that the federal government should no longer deny immigration benefits. Although the decision was reached in the context of federal estate tax laws and a same-same marriage recognized by the State of New York, it appears that same-sex marriages recognized by the State of Washington should benefit as well.
What does this mean? If you are married to a person of the same sex, and your spouse is not a United States citizen, you will probably be able to sponsor them as well as their unmarried children. We say probably, because like with all immigration matters there are many issues that come into play, including prior periods of unlawful status, criminal matters, date of marriage and age of step-children, etc.
For more information, contact our office today to schedule a paid consultation.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced on June 14, 2012 that certain individuals under thirty years old, who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
This announcement represents a significance change in current policy which will enable countless youth to apply for temporary immigration benefits including the right to work in the U.S. and to be protected from removal to their country of origin.
For more information about this new policy please contact our offices to speak with an Immigration Attorney about the specific requirements and procedures.
For American citizens, the opportunity to live and work in the United States is automatic. For the remainder of the world’s citizens, the path to residency appears simple, but is in fact complicated and often strewn with hidden legal pitfalls. Seattle Immigration Attorney Carol L. Edward recognizes the importance of negotiating this pathway artfully and carefully with constant attention to every step of the immigration process. The Law Offices of Carol L. Edward & Associates, P.S. is dedicated to assisting our clients through this process with clear communication, care, and expertise.
For over 25 years, the Law Offices of Carol L. Edward & Associates, P. S. has represented private individuals, businesses, universities and non-profit organizations. Our attorneys are effective, trustworthy and we practice immigration law because we enjoy working with clients from around the world. We appreciate the challenge of practicing in a complicated area of law.
Carol L. Edward has been a licensed attorney specializing in immigration cases since 1984. The Law Offices of Carol L. Edward & Associates, P.S., encompasses a team of experienced lawyers ready and willing to assist in the preparation and presentation of immigration cases for their clients. Attorney Carol L. Edward principally represents clients moving to or located in the Pacific Northwest. She is licensed in Washington State and is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Many of her cases have been published decisions of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has also served as the Chair of the Washington State Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
“My job as the attorney is to put my client in the driver’s seat by giving them information and relieving their anxiety about the immigration process. I enjoy working with clients and the challenge of presenting their case in a way most likely to achieve the immigration benefit they are seeking.”
- Seattle Attorney Carol L. Edward.