Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

What Are The Challenges Your Clients Face In The Immigration Process?

One of the biggest challenges is the H-1B cap. Congress allows 85,000 new employees to come to the US every year. The new people start their work on October 1st when the new visa becomes available. Congress allows the applications to be in six months before that date. In April, there were about 266,000 people who applied for one of the 85,000 visas. This is a big issue for employers who need the workers and are not able to get prospective employees into the H1B program. That’s a huge hurdle.

Can Illegal Residents Apply For Some Sort Of Immigration Status In The US?

Certain groups of people are going to be able to adjust or obtain a legal status, but it’s quite limited. One category is people who qualify under section 245 (i). Those are people who were the beneficiary of an immigrant petition or labor certification that was filed before April 30th of 2001. If a petition was started for them back then, then they are able to continue their green card process based on the rules that existed before 2001, which allow for somebody, if they qualify, to pay a $1,000 fine, and then the government forgives the illegal stay.

If someone didn’t file a petition before April 30th of 2001 and entered the country illegally or entered the country legally on a visa and overstayed its expiration that puts them in a little bit different category. However, if they entered the country with an inspection and can prove it or are married to a US citizen or are the parent of a US citizen or an immediate relative, then they are going to be able to adjust to permanent resident status.

What Are Some Solutions That You Offer To Someone In That Situation?

Every case is different; if somebody is out of status, then we have an in-depth interview with them where we see if there is any potential relief. Maybe they were a victim of a violent crime and helped the police put the criminal in jail. In this special circumstance, even though the person entered the country and stayed here for years illegally, they could qualify for a special U visa. With a U visa, they will be able to qualify for a green card in three years.

There is no blanket advice for anybody other than if they happen to be here illegally, they should make sure they don’t get arrested because they could be deported. Everybody’s case is going to be different, and they are going to need a consultation with an attorney to determine if there is any relief available to them.

How Long Does Applying For Immigration Typically Take?

From months to several years.

For more information on Challenges In Immigration, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (310) 477-3000 today.