Refugee vs. Asylee: What’s the Difference?

Some people use the terms “refugee” and “asylee” or “asylum seeker” interchangeably. While they deal with similar issues, these words have different meanings. A refugee is a person who has been forced to flee his or her country because of war, violence, or persecution. Most often, they have to flee all of a sudden, without having any warning. The Syrian refugees are a well-known example. These individuals can’t go Read More

Master Calendar Hearings: How to Prepare

If you’ve gotten a Notice to Appear, you may be feeling a little nervous about your Master Calendar Hearing (“MCH”). This hearing is the first step in your immigration process, which usually means it is the first step in government efforts to deport you. We understand that the possibility of deportation is frightening, but as long as you have an experienced immigration attorney by your side, all you need to do at Read More

Understanding the F Visa

The United States is home to some of the best schools in the world. It’s no wonder that students from around the globe come here in search of a high-quality education. Many such students obtain an F visa to enter into the country. Who are they for?  F visas are for full-time students with non-immigrant intent. The F-1 visa holder is the student. F-2 visas are given to the dependents of F-1 visa holders. F-2 Read More

Prosecutorial Discretion Explained

Prosecutorial discretion generally refers to the authority of a law enforcement officer or agency to determine whether and to what extent the law will be enforced in a particular case. Routine examples include a police officer who declines to arrest someone for a minor offense like jaywalking or a prosecutor who offers a plea bargain in exchange for bringing lesser charges against a defendant. In an immigration Read More

A Brief Overview of the Difference Between Permanent Residence and Citizenship

Immigration issues have been occupying the news lately, leading to a heightened awareness of the various immigration statuses. However, there continues to be some confusion over the difference between permanent residency and citizenship.  If you tell someone that you are a lawful permanent resident, they may assume that you’re referring to citizenship. Although both statuses give you the right to live in the US Read More

A Brief Q&A on Voluntary Departure

When you are facing the possibility of removal from the US, the ideal outcome is cancellation of removal, which allows you to adjust your status to that of lawful permanent resident. If you are not eligible cancellation, or it is not granted, you can request voluntary departure, meaning that you leave the country voluntarily within a specified time period. Below is an overview of voluntary departure, and how it can Read More

Receive a Notice to Appear? Here’s What to Do

If you’ve received a Form I-862, otherwise known as a Notice to Appear (NTA), you need to act immediately. This form, which is issued by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is the first step in a process that could end in your removal from the US.  What Information Does an NTA Contain? The NTA directs you to appear for an immigration hearing at a specific time, date, and place. It also supplies the Read More

Your First Moments in America: What to Expect at U.S. Ports of Entry

According to the US Customs and Border Protection website, nearly one million people enter the US every day. Each individual is subject to inspection by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. If you’ve never been to the US before or it’s been a number of years since your last visit, you’re probably wondering what to expect. Steps Upon Arrival Anyone seeking to legally enter the US must prove their Read More

5 Things That Can Delay Your Immigration Case

Does it seem like you’ve been waiting forever to adjust your status from visa holder to lawful permanent resident?  Has it been months or even years since you petitioned to have your parents join you in the US? Immigrating to the US and applying to adjust one’s status have never been instantaneous processes. At any given time, millions of people are waiting, sometimes for years, for the visa they need to travel to Read More

The Visa Waiver Program Explained

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) took effect in 1986 to facilitate tourism and short business visits to the United States. It allows citizens of participating nations to forgo applying for a visa if they want to visit for business or tourism purposes and stay no more than 90 days. These countries, which include Canada, Australia, and most European nations, must also allow US citizens to visit for business or tourism Read More