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Immigration Blog

Travelling or Moving During an Adjustment of Status

The process of applying for a U.S. Green Card within the United States is known as an Adjustment of Status.  To start, you must complete Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and submit the required supporting documentation along with the application fee.  Then you must wait several months for USCIS to review your documentation to make a decision.  If you plan to move or travel while your case is pending make sure to alert USCIS.

What happens if you don’t notify USCIS?

You should not move before notifying United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Be sure to let USCIS know 10 days before your departure, know the address where you will be living.  Failure to let USCIS know of address is a misdemeanor.  If a person is convicted, the applicant (or the parent or legal guardian of an immigrant child who is under 14 years of age, who is required to provide notice) will be penalized with 30 days of incarceration and fined $200.  The foreigner may then be subjected to a forcible deportation from the U.S.

Travel Law

Not providing USCIS with a notice could result in USCIS sending important updates concerning your case to the wrong address and you missing any future interview.  The applicant has no excuse or cannot say that he or she never got an interview notice.  You cannot depend on the individuals living at your old address to mail you any USCIS notification to your new address, that is not how this process works.  It is the responsibility of the client to follow through with USCIS.

Updating USCIS is Simple

It is advisable to fill out Form AR-11 online on the USCIS website and follow instructions accurately.  If you need help, talk to an immigration attorney.  If you submitted Form I-765, Form I-131 and Form I-485 enter the information required along with the receipt number.  Any other questions you have ask your legal representative.

Travelling During an Adjustment of Status

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances may arise and may demand that you travel overseas.  Regardless of your purpose for travelling abroad you must still provide USCIS with documentation of your travel.  Leaving the country without official authorization may cost you a hefty price.  Though you may be able to travel, do so carefully.  According to U.S. Immigration Laws, packing up and going abroad without letting USCIS know, means you are abandoning your adjustment of status application and you will have to start the process all over.  You will need to pay the application fee again as well.

If you entered the U.S. with a K-3 Fiance Visa, you can enter and leave the U.S. as needed without any complications.  It is advisable, however, that you apply for an Advance Parole, to protect yourself. Your options are to separately file for advance parole or at the same time you are submitting your adjustment of status.  Note that, though an advance parole may be the route to go it is not always guaranteed unless your evidence supports your claim that you need to travel abroad.  Do not leave the country if in doubt and in this case seek legal advice.

If In Doubt Ask an Attorney

Whether you are moving to another location or traveling out of country, always talk to an immigration lawyer.   Thousands of immigrants have ensnared their future for not informing USCIS about their travelling or moving.   If you are in this situation call The Gambacorta Law Office in Arizona at 281 674 7658 or Illinois at 847 786 2599.

Six Things to Understand About the DACA Termination Announcement

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provides relief to a specific category of foreigners to temporarily live and work in the United States.  In 2012, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security publicly announced that it would not deport a particular age group of young people who were illegally in the country.  Five years later, the immigrant community received the heartbreaking news from the Trump administration that the DACA program would be terminated.

DACA Concerns

Thousands upon thousands of families are against the idea of seeing their loved ones leave hoping for a resolution that would keep them united.  Since the public declaration was made the immigrants protected by DACA have been stricken with fear and uncertainty as to whether they will be able to achieve their American dream or even have a bright future in the U.S.  The entire nation has gone into an uproar against the pending decision to end DACA.

While the United States has been in a protest along with immigrant communities both in the country and abroad, here are six things we need to understand about the DACA program:

  1. A DACA is only valid before expiry date. DACA and employment authorization documents are only good before expiration date.  Check your I-795 Approval Notice and the bottom of your EAD card to ensure your authorization has not expired and that you are still protected.
  2. First time applicants should not submit applications. As hard as it may be to understand, the United States and Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) will not be accepting new DACA forms from first time applicants.  That was established since September 5, 2017.
  3. DACA holders have one more opportunity to renew. There is a specific time-frame given to beneficiaries before renewal can be done.  According to the Department of Homeland Security it is recommended that those who obtained a work permit that expires on March 8, 2018, to submit their two-year renewal application on or before October 5, 2017.  Any applications thereafter will not be accepted.
  4. Permission to travel overseas with an advance parole has ended. Unfortunately, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will no longer issue advance parole to DACA holders.  Procedures for pending advance parole submissions will not be completed.
  5. Others are standing in solidarity with the immigrant community. In 2012, others along with the immigrant community stood up and advocated for the protection of foreign children who illegally entered the U.S.  Many U.S. citizen employers, business owners, friends and family members expressed that they will continue to stand in solidarity with the foreigners and families of those under DACA and even the hopeful youth that are in the U.S without documents who are striving to make something of themselves.
  6. A Criminal History Can Get You Deported. It is advised to not file as a first time or attempt to renew your DACA if you have a criminal record.  A criminal past or a history of being a threat to public and national safety can put you in the spotlight for immediate removal proceedings by the U.S. government.  Seek the assistance of an immigration attorney if you have a criminal conviction of some type and fear returning to your home country because of some serious circumstances.

Contact Your Local Attorney

If you are still unsure about your future call your nearest immigration attorney.  A lawyer can help you understand how the DACA program works and what steps to take in obtaining legal status in the U.S.

Call The Gambacorta Law Office at 847 786 2599 for an appointment today at any of the current locations in Arizona, Illinois, Hawaii and Texas.

Counting the Cost of an Adjustment of Status

Applying for an Adjustment of Status within the United States of America can be an expensive and lengthy process.  Before adjusting your immigration status consider your eligibility because being physically in the country to start with the procedure does not entitle anyone to being eligible.  If in doubt talk to your nearest immigration attorney for guidance.  An immigration lawyer will navigate you through your available options.  Bear in mind that with this application comes various expenses such as: attorney, application and other associated fees.

Adjustment of Status Application is Costly

When pursuing an adjustment of status, another person either a close family member or employer needs to petition on behalf of the applicant in order to file a petition so as to prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you qualify for a change of status.  Note that when petition is submitted, if the petitioner does not pay the fees, the applicant must be able to pay those fees and any others.Counting the Cost of an Adjustment of Status

Regarding Fees for an adjustment of status you can visit the USCIS website or ask your attorney.  The prices range for each classification depending on age and even if your are a child filing with a parent or parents.  Everyone above the age of 14 but below the age of 79, applying, must pay USCIS $85 for a biometrics appointment.  For a recent update regarding fees for an adjustment of status ask your attorney and visit the USCIS webpage.

Certain applicants can submit an application for a fee waiver if they are unable to pay.  In most cases, this is rare, but it is applicable for anyone seeking to apply for a change of immigration status.  Talk to your legal representative for more information.

Regardless of the cost of an adjustment of status it is best to file all three forms.  The USCIS fee for Form I-485 covers your application for an employment authorization document (EAD) Form I-765, and advance parole when submitting your Form I-131, Petition for Alien Relative within the United States.  If uncertain ask attorney.

Lawyer Fees

Before proceeding with an adjustment of status, retain an immigration attorney to assist you with weighing out your options for eligibility and the cost for your case.   Your lawyer can help you with a budget plan as well as the analysis and assembly of your supporting documentation.  Remember that the services of an immigration attorney are not free.  Be prepared to pay between $3000 and $5000 in addition to the application fees and government fees.  Depending on how complicated your case may be you might end up paying more.  In most cases attorneys give their clients an estimate in advance or a flat fee that can fit their budget plan and may require a deposit at the beginning and another at the end of your process.  Many factors influence how much you must pay attorney:

  • The number of persons applying together (more people applying the higher the fee, however each additional individual after the primary applicant may be given a discount)
  • Whether you ask attorney for assistance to fill out applications (a separate fee will be included)
  • If your case has any specific difficulties (e.g. criminal record that may require additional analysis and preparation to clear it up)
  • An additional application of a waiver of inadmissibility (this may demand more time spent on case and an increase in an hourly rate.
  • Phone calls, mailing, and photocopies, may oblige attorney to charge another fee
  • Attorney’s availability for USCIS interview will cost you more
  • If you receive a request for evidence from USCIS because a decision cannot be made on your eligibility for adjustment, you must pay another fee separately for the RFE.
  • An appeal for a denial from USCIS will demand an individual fee.

Other Fees to Consider

  • Application Fees
  • Medical Exam
  • Biometrics Appointment
  • Transportation 

Every Immigration Case will Cost You

When applying for an adjustment of status consider all the details that need to be covered financially.  Ask your attorney every possible question when it comes to his or her services and the entire total you must pay for your case.

The Gambacorta Law Office is here to help with your adjustment of status as well as working out a plan to fit your budget.  Call us today at 847 786 2599 for an appointment at any of our offices in Arizona, Illinois, Texas and Hawaii.

How the Death of the Dream Act Affects Immigration Law and Kids

President Trump’s recent decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) within six months may have some drastic consequences for immigration law and kids.

Trump’s decision means that 800,000 young people who entered the U.S. illegally and qualified under DACA could now face deportation as early as March 2018.

immigration law and kids

The DACA is an amnesty program President Obama created in 2012 that provides five years of legal protection for children (known as Dreamers) who entered the U.S. unlawfully to remain in the country without fear of deportation. It also grants them the right to work.

The President did offer some hope hours after announcing his decision, tweeting that Congress should try to legalize DACA to provide permanent protection to the Dreamers vulnerable to deportation.

Immigration Law and Kids and Protection For Those Under the DACA 

What’s clear is that the recent decisions about the DACA will have consequences for Dreamers who now enjoy its protections.

For example, if the DACA is phased out by March 2018, the resident status of the Dreamers under this act will revert to what it was prior to the 2012 implementation of DACA.

That means that Dreamers will be unable to legally work, and in some states they will also be unable to obtain driver’s licenses.

However, that does not necessarily mean that all 800,000 Dreamers will be forced to leave the U.S.

In fact, even if Congress does not legalize DACA or come up with another workable immigration plan that protects Dreamers, it is highly unlikely that states will begin mass deportations.

That would only occur if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) thought that a Dreamer presented a threat, and that it was important to ‘federal interest’ to deport that Dreamer.

Until Congress or the President take further action, it is difficult to predict what legal challenges Dreamers could face to protect their status, but the notion that mass deportations will occur in March 2018 is highly unlikely even in the worst-case scenario.

Help In Difficult Times 

If you’re an immigrant, these can be scary times as you try to understand the implications of some of the decisions being made by the government. And there’s no question that the phasing out of the tenets of the DACA will have wide-reaching consequences. If you or a loved one is affected by the recent government decision regarding DACA, please contact the Gambacorta Law Office for help. We have spent decades handling a number of difficult immigration cases, and we have the resources to help you understand your options. Call us today at 847-786-2599 (Illinois office), 602-759-7480 (Arizona office), or 281-674-7658 (Texas office) for a consultation.

Additional Reading

Knowing My Rights At the U.S. Border (Part 1)

Knowing  My Rights At the U.S. Border (Part 2)

Ninth Circuit Court Intervention for TPS Beneficiaries Seeking LPR Status

Temporary Protected Status was legislated in 1990.  The authority was given to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to choose respective countries for TPS.  TPS is designed to cover immigrants who travelled into the U.S. and who cannot return to their home country due to the harsh circumstances affecting their countries.  A few of the temporary conditions that are considered by USCIS are:

  • Continuous civil unrest, war or protest
  • Natural disasters (e.g. hurricanes, earthquakes or an outbreak of a disease)
  • Extreme unforeseen temporary circumstances

Thousands of foreigners who hold a temporary protected status are now eligible to file their applications for Legal Permanent Resident Status as long as they meet the specific requirements.

The Intervention of the Ninth Circuit Court

In 1999, Ramirez entered the U.S. without inspection and thereafter applied to obtain TPS.  In 2012, he married a U.S. citizen who then, filed a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) on his behalf.  The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services approved the submission on April 16, 2013, in contrary the application for adjustment of status was served a denial by USCIS on that same year.  USCIS observed that Ramirez’s first entry was illegal; he was not inspected or paroled at the port of entry by an officer.

TPS Beneficiaries

On March 31, 2017 a three-judge panel from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit made a decision in the Ramirez v. Brown, ___F.3d__ (9th Cir.2017) case, which greatly increased the ability for foreigners who are in the United States of America to possibly become eligible for an adjustment of status under section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

When his case was reviewed by the Ninth Circuit Court, a federal district court judge challenged the final decision (made by USCIS) that was not in accordance with section 245(a) of the Immigration Nationality Act (INA).  According to the Temporary Protected Status policy all beneficiaries of TPS are recognized as inspected and admitted for purposes of adjustment of status; the Ninth Circuit Court declared that fact.

Since the Ramirez case was examined and overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court, beneficiaries of TPS can benefit from the opportunity of applying for Legal Permanent Status and rewards granted by the U.S. government.

A Few Benefits for Aliens with TPS

Once you have been approved for TPS you will receive these benefits temporarily with the possible opportunity of obtaining legal permanent Resident Status:

  • You will be able work, (apply for an employment authorization document (EAD).
  • You will be protected by U.S. immigration & you cannot be detained or deported by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement.
  • You provided with travel authorization.
  • Since the amendment made by the Ninth Circuit court TPS beneficiaries can now apply for lawful permanent resident status. Note that all requirements must be met and fees paid. 

Speak to an Immigration Attorney

If you are the holder of temporary protected status in the U.S. and you are seeking a legal permanent resident status in the United States talk to an expert immigration attorney.  Facing a legal battle against the ninth circuit court can be a lengthy process.   Contact The Gambacorta Law Office today at 847 786 2599 for a consultation at any of our office locations in Arizona, Illinois, Hawaii and Texas.

What happens when you receive an I-360 Denial?

Immigration lawIn special situations, submitting an I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant for a family member or employment based permanent resident status may not put applicant at risk of being put in removal proceedings if a denial is issued.

Certain circumstances that can land you in direct removal proceedings are:

  • If you have a criminal history
  • Submit an I-360 at the same time you file an I-485 Adjustment of Status that is somehow denied
  • You gave false information on any application form
  • You were previously deported

Criminal History

Having a criminal history can put applicant in serious harm of getting deported even if a Form I-360 was not filed simultaneously with a Form I-485.  This can be a shocker because the I-360 requests that you enter information about your immigration history but not about your criminal records.

Regardless, USCIS can easily view your criminal history anytime you provide any visa application, even if it was not the information solicited.  If your criminal history is very grave, USCIS can transfer your case to an immigration court by issuing you a Notice to Appear (NTA) which is the beginning of removal proceedings.

Only if your I-360 VAWA Application is denied, then USCIS will send you an NTA, because otherwise you might have the opportunity to fill out an I-485 Application for an Adjustment of Status which if found eligible you will then receive a U.S. green card.

The question that has been asked over the years is “What are the probabilities that an applicant will be sent to removal proceedings if USCIS denies his or her I-360 Application?”  According to a memorandum USCIS released in 2011, USCIS can choose whether or not to send immigrants to immigration courts for removal proceedings, even though VAWA-specific decisions were not addressed.  Always stay informed regarding the U.S. immigration law since USCIS updates its policies frequently.  To learn more about removal proceedings and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) speak with an immigration attorney.

USCIS representatives can focus their provisions on transferring cases to immigration courts as long as the applicants are a threat to the public and national security.

Any person having one or more criminal convictions who has no deportations on his or her record whose VAWA was denied might be served an NTA immediately or some other time.

Simultaneous Filing of Applications Can Lead to a Deportation

Submitting both I-360 and I-485 Forms can put foreigner at risk of getting deported.  If spouse for applicant is a U.S. citizen spouse, the VAWA applicant may be allowed to complete both forms.  First time applicants who are spouses of U.S. citizens may not have to wait for an approval and can go ahead and submit their I-485 applications, however, this might not be in one’s best interest because USCIS will have both your immigration and criminal history, if any.  While a denial of an I-360 can send you into removal proceedings there are other options in which you can fight your case.

Misinformation can Negatively Affect Your Application

Getting a denial because of ineligibility is not as impacting as getting denied because you lied.  If the USCIS determines that you lied on your VAWA, application or other one, the person reviewing your case can charge you with fraud and put you in removal proceedings. If you think there is a mistake on your application it is important that you ask for time to explain the mistake.

Previous Deportations

If you were previously deported and then you came back to the US without authorization or if you never left and your I-360 is denied then it is very likely that you will be deported.  This deportation could be immediate without even being issued an NTA.

If you have been denied an I-360 or you are thinking about applying for you I-360 it is advised that you speak to an immigration attorney. Call The Gambacorta Law Office today to assistance in your immigration matters.

What to Expect: Processing Time for I-601A Waivers

I 601A WaiversApplicants for I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers, must realize that applications can take over six months for a review to be completed.  USCIS officers handling each case work hard to finalize the processing time for every case and then an updated notification is released upon completion of the process.

Certain I-601A Cases can be Expedited

In certain circumstances a USCIS officer can expedite a case if for some instance a long wait may negatively impact the life of the applicant or any of his family members who are U.S. citizens. While this is a possibility, you should not expect that every case will be accelerated, talking to relatives or people you know who work for USCIS will not help your case move faster either.

Somethings to consider to make your case go faster:

  • Submit relevant supporting evidence that does articulate, clear, concise and concrete terms that prove extreme hardship exists.
  • Use correct information and do not exaggerate your life circumstances.
  • Complete every application form and make it readable for immigration agent to see.
  • Explain in persuasive language and in detail why the hardships exist.

In order to meet these requirements to the best of your ability, familiarize yourself with the U.S. immigration laws and ask an immigration attorney to help with your I-601A Waiver.

I-601A Application Stipulations

The stipulations for an I-601A remain the same regardless of which home country the applicant is from or the type of hardship that is being endured:

  • The person applying must be 17 years old or over.
  • You must have an approved I-130 Petition for Alien Relative or an approved Widow(er) or Special Immigrant (Form I-360).
  • Include the required supporting documentation for an I-601A Waiver.
  • All applicants need to be physical present present in the United States of America.
  • Additionally, applicants must meet all other requirements on Form I-601A and the instructions for the form; as well as all requirements outlined in 8 CFR 212.7(e).

To learn more about the I-601A Waiver seek legal advice.  An immigration lawyer will be able to assist with the following proper procedures.

Important Notice

Thousands of applicants who submit their I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver think they have “special considerations,” when in reality applicants who are applying for I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility are generally in terrible situations.

Foreigners applying for I-601 Application live outside of the U.S. away from those who need an approval the most, while they wait on their pending waiver.  In this situation the immediate family relatives who are Americans living in the U.S. may experience hardship because either their spouse or parents are not present in the country.

Expediting a Process is Rare

USCIS officers seldomly expedite an I-601 Application for applicants.  This means that applicants for I-601 applications should not have high expectations that their pending I-601 submissions will be expedited because of the character of the hardships.  That is not the case since the decision is in the hands of the agent handling the case and the supporting documents you provided.

What may help your case processing go a little faster is submitting a very informative packet that has all the accurate information needed for the immigration officer to review.  With all the requirements in place there will be no need for USCIS to send out a notification requesting more details.

An Immigration Lawyer Can Help You

It is not advisable to complete a waiver packet without the help of an immigration attorney, especially if you are in doubt about the I-601A procedure and your future.  Call The Gambacorta Law Office at 847-786-2599 for a consultation at any of our office locations in Arizona, Illinois, Hawaii and Texas.

Knowing My Rights at The U.S. Border (PART 2)

This blog is a continuation of the previous with answers to questions regardings your rights.

Knowing My Rights at The U.S. Border (PART 2)

These questions are answered by three U.S. immigration and privacy law experts: Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney from the ACLU, Danielle Rizzo and Leslie Holman of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Can My Belongings be Inspected?

Yes.  Everyone travelling into the United States of America must go through a luggage check as well as have their possessions inspected.  Prohibited items such as fruits and vegetables may be seized and destroyed.

Can Electronic Devices Be Searched?

There is no special preference when it comes to bag searching.  Regardless if you are U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident your phone, laptop computer and any other mobile devices can be checked.  For example a NASA engineer by the name of Sidd Bikkannavar was halted on January 31, 2017 by CBP officers and was asked for his phone and PIN to access his phone.

Note that border officers are allowed to browse through your phone and your laptop.  The government can also copy the data on your devices.  Presently, the courts are battling with this issue as it may seem like a violation of rights and privacy.  Wessler states that in 2013 a federal court ruled out that if border agents wanted to orchestrate a “forensic search” they have to suspect that you are a criminal.

According to Custom Border Patrols, electronic devices can be searched for various reasons.  If your name matches a person of interest, your devices could be checked for this simple reason, or it could be a casual search.

Can CBP Agents Request My Social Media Profiles?

Yes.  Legal Permanent Residents and Born Americans may be required to provide their social media information.  While this may feel like a violation of your rights you can always contact an immigration attorney for advice before migrating to the U.S.  “It’s a really tricky area to determine,” Rizzo comments.  Wessler agrees: “The state of the law is so unsettled because the government claims such broad power at the border.”

Back in December of 2016, the United States government started asking certain visitors access to social media profiles.  Though immigrants can willfully render their social media information, it is now included within a form that visiting immigrants from specific countries such as France, Spain, and the UK.

Can your Electronic Devices Be Held?

Your electronic devices such as your phone or laptop can be held for further inspection which may also mean your data may be copied.

Avoid being in a situation whereby your phone is confiscated.  Rizzo commented that “If you don’t want it searched, don’t carry it across the border.”  Wessler’s advice is similar: “The best advice may be to really be careful on how many devices and what kind of data you’re carrying with you.”  Regarding devices, the government cannot search what you do not have available.  It is better to leave your electronic devices at home.  Another, option is to store your data to a secure server, and clean out your information from your devices and then restore the data after passing through customs, commented Wessler.  However, this could raise suspicions at the border and put you in serious trouble.

Visiting the United States has not become any easier for foreigners since the change of U.S. presidency and the establishment of the new executive order.

Consult an Immigration Attorney

If you are concerned about travelling to the U.S. it is better to consult with an immigration attorney.  Contact The Gambacorta Law Office at 847-786-2599 for a consultation at any of the locations in Arizona, Illinois, Hawaii, and Texas.

Knowing My Rights at The U.S. Border (PART 1)

Since the new transition of U.S. Presidency and the executive travel ban that was signed by President Donald Trump, many Legal Permanent Residents, and U.S. citizens are in a panic and afraid that they may be searched by immigration custom officers when entering the U.S. border.  People everywhere are asking questions like: Can custom agents arrest you at border checkpoints or airports? Can the officers search through your electronic gadgets if you have any in your possession?  Will you be penalized if you refuse undergoing a thorough check of your phone and computers?

Knowing My Rights USA

Here are some of the answers to your questions as stated by three U.S. immigration and privacy law experts: Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney from the ACLU, Danielle Rizzo and Leslie Holman of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Can I be detained or inspected at the U.S. Border?

Yes.  It does not matter, whether you are a Legal Permanent Resident or a U.S. citizen or in the U.S. with a temporary visa.  Customs and Border Protection agents are authorized to stop any foreigner entering the U.S.  This is randomly done in order to obtain more information about you so a decision can be made whether you are to be allowed into the country.  Immigration expert Holman stated that even if you enter the United States under any temporary visa, CBP officers will ultimately decide your admissibility into the U.S.

Are My Legal Rights The Same in Other Places?

No.  According to the Fourth Amendment designed to protect individuals from being interrogated and arrested without raising any suspicions about a crime that was committed.  This approach may not be applicable at the border, as commented by Rizzo.

Am I Entitled to an Immigration Attorney?

Getting the assistance of an immigration lawyer may be dependent on whether you are a U.S. citizen.  The ACLU advises that all U.S. citizens are allowed to have an attorney available when going through an interrogation.

Non-citizens of the United States of America are not granted the opportunity to have a lawyer present detained for further questioning unless if the immigration customs officer discovers that the traveling immigrant has a criminal record.

Once the asking of questions goes beyond the basics; then every foreigner deserves the right to have an attorney present.

Are CBP Agents Authorized to Confiscate My U.S. Green Card?

No, CBP officer can demand that you sign a form that will have you disown your U.S. Permanent Resident Status.  According to Rizzo, in most cases (except if you have a criminal record and you are under the deportation process) U.S. Green Card holders have the right to an attorney and a court hearing before an immigration judge.  This way you can return to the U.S. to wait for your hearing.

Consult an Immigration Attorney

If you are concerned about traveling to the U.S. it is better to consult with an immigration attorney.  Contact The Gambacorta Law Office at 847-786-2599 for a consultation at any of our locations in Arizona, Illinois, Hawaii, and Texas.

Replacing a U.S. Green Card that has been Lost in the Mail

After completing your interview and receiving approval, you are given a document stating that your green card will be mailed to you after making the U.S. Green Card payment.  After waiting three months you observe that you have still have not received your U.S. Green Card.  What should you do?

Replacing a U.S. Green Card that has been Lost in the Mail

By this time you should consider your U.S. green card lost.  If this occurs you can still get your Green Card but you need to be prepared to apply for a replacement card and pay the filing fee again.  According to the USCIS if you did not receive your U.S. green card in the mail at the address you gave USCIS, then you must pay the entire application fee again.

Contact an immigration attorney to help you follow through with the right procedure.  Follow the steps below if your U.S. green card was lost in the mail.

Step One: Submit a Police Report

 Before starting the replacement procedure, it is required that you file your green card as lost.  This will safeguard your identity so that if anyone finds your green card they cannot use it.  You might prefer just to call the police over the phone, but it is better to visit the nearest police department in person to file a report, so you can provide them with the necessary documents.  Failure to give the police the needed information will only hinder you in proceeding with the application process.

Step Two: Gather Every Piece of Supporting Documentation

Collect supporting documents for the replacement application. Gather this documentation early on in the process so as to avoid any setback.  Some documents to collect are listed below:

  • A detailed account describing how your U.S. green card was lost in the mail.
  • Copies of your birth certificate, passport, and driver’s license.
  • Two passports sized photos
  • A copy of the document showing your approval of U.S. green card.
  • Copies of other authorized documentation.

The faster you are able to get these copies the sooner you are able to process your application form.

Step Three: Contact U.S. Consulate and the USCIS.

Not only is it important to contact the police but you also will need to contact the U.S. Consulate and the USCIS about your missing green card.  You will be asked to provide them with information specific to your application process, approval location and your Form I-90.

If you happen to be traveling and your green card is lost, it is vitally important to reach out to the nearest embassy, USCIS office or consulate.

Step Four: Filing an Application to Replace your Permanent Resident Card.

After you have submitted your police report, gathered all of your documents and notified the correct immigration office you are then ready to apply for a new green card.  You will need to file a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.  A lawful permanent resident must complete to parts of the Form I-90 each various sections.

Part One: Personal Information about the applicant.  Information about you such as address, name, gender, date and place of birth, alien registration number and information about both parents will be required.

Part Two: Category of application.  You must choose and stated why you are submitting application.  For example you can say your U.S. green card was stolen, misplaced, destroyed, issued but it got lost in the mail, etc.

As frustrating as it may be having to apply to replace a U.S. Green Card that was lost in the mail, do not apply alone. To avoid another mishap, speak with a U.S. immigration attorney so you can receive the appropriate advice and guidance.

Speak with an Immigration Attorney

Contact The Gambacorta Law Office today at 847-786-2599 for a consultation at any of our locations in the Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois and Texas.