Law Offices ofJan Joseph Bejar A P.L.C.
Resolving Immigration Problems In An Honest & Responsible Manner

San Diego Immigration Law Blog

Understanding the steps to becoming a citizen

There are several steps to applying to become a naturalized citizen in the United States. Because the process can have tremendous importance in an applicant's life, and can also be quite complex, it is helpful for those seeking citizenship status to be familiar with the steps in the citizenship process and what the path to becoming a citizen in the United States looks like.

To begin with, it is important to determine that the individual seeking citizenship does not already have citizenship such as citizenship derived from their parents. Secondly, the individual seeking citizenship should know if they are eligible to become a citizen which is based on different factors. Next, the individual seeking citizenship should fill out the form for citizenship and submit it along with necessary documents and photographs that are required.

Deportation numbers down but more without criminal convictions

Many individuals with and without criminal histories may be concerned about the deportation and removal process. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in San Diego is on pace to deport fewer individuals this year than last year, however, most of those deported this year do not have a criminal record. As of the middle of the summer this year, ICE had deported 16,599 individuals from San Diego and Imperial counties. When compared to last year, ICE deported 23, 719 individuals from the same region.

As the federal fiscal year ends in three months, it appears likely fewer individuals will be deported from the San Diego region this year than last. Through middle of the summer this year, ICE had deported 6,818 unauthorized immigrants with criminal records nationally compared to 9,781 individuals without criminal records that had been deported during the same time period.

What is the impact of a criminal charge on immigration status?

Immigrants and their families may have a number of important questions related to the impact of a criminal charge, including a felony charge or otherwise, on their immigration status. Felony charges are considered the most serious criminal charges possible. In general, it is important for immigrants to avoid criminal charges.

The impact of criminal charges, including felony charges, on immigration status can be significant. Depending on the immigrant's current status at the time, the status of the immigrant may be downgrading on the basis of either a felony or non-felony conviction, the type of criminal offense and the facts surrounding the situation. Based on the same circumstances, immigration officials may also deport the immigrant.

Couple detained by Border Patrol following traffic stop

Immigration law and the way that it is applied can be complex. A couple was recently stopped and detained in the San Diego area for immigration violations. The couple was initially stopped for a cracked windshield and the man and the woman were then turned over to federal authorities. The couple was with their 14-year old daughter and 20-year old son at the time they were detained. The man noted that they were never asked their immigration status or issued a citation but were detained and not free to leave.

A representative for the United States Border Patrol confirmed in a statement that Border Control officials had detained the couple. Border Patrol confirmed that the man and the woman were both arrested for immigration offenses. The couple was released on bail but remain concerned that they may be deported and uncertain if that will happen. According to the San Diego Sheriff's Department, initially involved in the stop, they will not stop and arrest individuals based on immigration law.

The basics of a fiancée visa

United States citizens have the right to marry whomever they choose, regardless of which country the fiancée is from and may petition to have their fiancée brought back to the United States for the couple to marry and begin their lives in the U.S. together. It is important, however, to understand how to complete the proper paperwork to ensure that proper immigration status is secured.

The U.S. citizen is the one that applies for the visa petition and once it is approved, the fiancée will be interviewed for eligibility to enter the U.S. In most circumstances, an interview will be required so it is helpful for the couple and the fiancee to be prepared for what to expect and how to navigate this process. Fiancee visas, or K-1 visas, are unlike other types of visas. Requirements for a K-1 visa include that the couple must have met in the two years preceding filing the paperwork for the visa and both parties must be legally free and able to marry.

Helping a family member immigrate

Helping a family member obtain legal status in the United States and become a permanent resident of the United States can be important for many families. In most circumstances, the family member must be legally in the country to qualify but there may be some exceptions so it is important to know what those are. There are several different options for family immigration and it is helpful to know what they are and how they work.

In some circumstances, re-entry rules may help which allow those who are in the country illegally to leave and return after a certain period of time has passed. Additionally, individuals who have suffered abuse and are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders but are in the country illegally may petition to remain in the country and obtain legal status of their own under the Violence Against Women Act which typically requires them to file charges against their abuser.

It is important to understand the removal and deportation process

Deportation proceedings can be understandably emotional for those that are subject to deportation and removal and for their families. As a result, it is important to understand as much about the process as possible and have trained guidance whenever possible. Individuals subject to deportation and their family members may struggle with what seems like a significant amount of uncertainty during the process and wonder what will happen to them and their children which is why knowledge of the process may provide some measure of help.

An immigrant may face removal proceedings, known as the deportation process, if they violated United States' immigration laws. The removal process will begin when the immigrant receives a notice to appear from the Department of Homeland Security. The immigrant must then appear before an immigration judge for the removal proceeding. An immigrant may face the removal process because of an interaction as seemingly insignificant as a traffic citation.

California citizenship ceremony swears in young people

In a California community a couple hours north of the San Diego area, 41 young people recently became United States citizens following the naturalization of their parents. The young people gaining their new citizenship represented 14 nations. Participants in the ceremony ranged in age from 7 to 22. Leaving the citizenship ceremony, all of the young people were citizens of the United States. Some noted that they felt pride in becoming U.S. citizens.

Participants in the ceremony were becoming citizens following their parents, who are immigrants, becoming naturalized citizens through the naturalization process. The ceremony was an hour long and included the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. In addition, after being sworn in as citizens, the participants recited the Pledge of Allegiance along with their families and sang the National Anthem. A California Senator also spoke at the ceremony.

How do I get a visitor visa?

The process of entering the United States can be complicated which may lead to many questions and concerns about the process. In general, to enter the United States as a citizen of a foreign country, the noncitizen must either obtain a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay in the U.S. or an immigrant visa if the noncitizen is seeking permanent residence in the United States.

A visitor visa may be another option that is available that allows the noncitizen to enter the United States temporarily for business; temporarily for pleasure or visiting; or as a combination of both purposes. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas. There are several steps to apply for a visitor visa and the steps involved in the process may vary so it is important to be familiar with what they are and it can help to know what to expect.

What is dual citizenship?

Though you may have heard the term dual citizenship, you may wonder what exactly it refers to. Dual citizenship refers to when an individual is a citizen of two different countries at one time. An individual with dual citizenship has rights and obligations associated with both countries they have citizenship with. Dual citizenship provides different benefits and important rights but it is also important to understand the legal obligations associated with it.

Dual citizens have simplified residency for both countries they are citizens of and access to government programs for both countries. They may, however, have important tax obligations associated with both countries they need to be familiar with and aware of. It is also important to take considerations such as passports for both countries into account when holding dual citizenship.

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