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

San Diego Immigration Law Blog

Deportation: The facts you need to know

No matter how much money you earn, being in the United States illegally will always threaten your lifestyle here. It's possible to become extremely successful even if you're in the U.S. while undocumented, but it's always in your best interests to obtain documentation or to work toward citizenship. If you don't, there's a risk that you could face deportation.

The deportation process isn't the same for everyone. While it's possible to deport undocumented immigrants, those who commit crimes, those who are a threat to public safety and anyone who violates a visa, not everyone will have a long removal process.

Immigration naysayers wrong about Central American immigrants

There's a growing segment of the American population that is, for lack of a better way of putting it, "anti-immigration." These naysayers who support legislation to make immigration into the United States more difficult have a lot of misconceptions they try to put on immigrants -- particularly Central American immigrants. However, the libertarian think tank, Cato Institute, recently published statistics from a study that proves many of the ideas of immigration naysayers wrong.

Here are a few statements that are just flat out wrong regarding Central American immigrants:

How many United States citizens are naturalized each year?

If you're in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship, or if you're thinking about trying to begin the process of becoming a citizen, you may be curious to know how many people become naturalized citizens in the United States each year. In fact, the number may be a lot higher than you think.

As you may be aware, the United States is a nation of immigrants and we wouldn't exist in the way that we currently do – with our rich, highly organized and affluent society – if it weren't for the continual influx of foreigners who add so much to the fabric of our nation. In fact, over the last 10 years, the United States increased its population of citizens by 7.4 million individuals from other nations. In 2016 alone, we saw 752,800 people become naturalized citizens.

Is merit-based immigration a good idea?

The idea of merit-based immigration basically means that some people are "better" for the United States than others in terms of their skills, experience and financial resources. Proponents of merit-based immigration laud the benefits and reasoning behind this kind of immigration strategy that fast-tracks certain immigrants over others to receive entry, work permits, permanent residency and citizenship in the United States.

Certainly, merit-based immigration benefits some, but not others. Specifically, it benefits those deemed to be "achievers" by society based on various metrics we use to judge success. These metrics include the level of education someone has achieved, the business success and acumen someone has mastered, special artistic and musical talents and -- for lack of a better way of putting it -- the size of one's bank account.

Man's 22-year immigration journey ends in citizenship

A 61-year-old Seattle man who hails from Vietnam has gained his citizenship after a long, hard-fought game of diligence. The man's problems began approximately 22 years ago when he was working as a tour guide in Vietnam. Unbeknownst to him, a group of former United States Navy Seals asked the man to take them to a restricted area. He took them, and this resulted in him being detained by Vietnamese officials.

He eventually made his way to the United States in 1996 to escape unfair prosecution. He was initially denied asylum in 1997; however, over the years he engaged in more than a decade of community service. By 2009, he had completed over 9,000 hours of community service for different organizations in the Seattle area. He has truly made an incredible contribution to the United States and his community.

Immigrating and getting a job: What you should know

In the current state of America, there are reasons to be worried about coming here to work. As an immigrant, you don't want to be treated unfairly, and you know that certain changes in laws could make it harder for you to get to the United States to work and live.

The important thing to understand is that immigrants make up a large portion of the workforce. Many immigrants, both legal and undocumented, do the jobs Americans refuse to do or do not have enough training to do.

What documentation do I need to bring my spouse to America?

No one wants to be separated from their spouse, but immigration law can make bringing your spouse to the United States a stressful and uncertain process. In the following paragraphs, you will learn exactly what documentation is required to bring your spouse into the United States.

In all cases, no matter what your residency status, you'll require the Form I-30, signed, with the appropriate fee, and the following documents:

  • Your civil marriage certificate
  • A copy of any of your past divorce decrees, annulment decrees or death certificates to show that your previous marriages are no longer in effect
  • Separate passport photos of you and your spouse
  • Evidence showing any legal name changes that apply to you or your spouse

Questions about moving family members to the United States

There may come a point when you realize that you want to move family members to the United States from another part of the world.

While this sounds easy enough, there are many questions you need to ask and answer in order to make sure you stay within the legal limits of the law.

The P-1A visa: Specifically for gifted athletes

The P-1A visa is designed specifically for athletes who are planning on being in the United States for a sporting event. It is available only to those who are at the internationally-recognized level of skill.

In other words, you have to be exceptional at your sport to qualify for this visa. Anyone other than a top-notch performer won't qualify. This visa is primarily used for athletes with some measure of international fame, whether they're solo performers or team members. It allows them the ability to take place in international sporting events without restrictions due to nationality.

Not all marriages qualify for immigration purposes

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulates many different aspects of immigration to America, including the kinds of marriages that the country recognizes as part of a pathway to citizenship or resident status. Depending on the nature of the marriage itself and the country where the marriage took place, some marriages may not receive recognition under the law within the U.S.

The country where the marriage originates, known as the "place of celebration", may recognize different standards of marriage than the U.S., and in some cases, a marriage that one country recognizes does not receive full legal recognition for immigration purposes. The USCIS generally does not recognize:

  • Marriages or relationships specifically entered into for the purpose of circumventing or manipulating U.S. immigration laws. These are commonly referred to as "Green Card" marriages.
  • Polygamous marriages, or marriages among three or more individuals.
  • Marriages, domestic partnerships, civil unions, or other similar arrangements that may receive legal recognition within the U.S., but are not recognized as legitimate in the place of celebration.
  • Marriages that violate the laws of the state where the couple chooses to reside.
  • Proxy marriages, or marriages in which one spouse was not physically present at the marriage ceremony, unless the couple has already consummated the marriage.
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