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Los Angeles Immigration Law Blog

Health standards for U. S. permanent residency

There are a number of conditions that people seeking permanency residency in the United States must meet in order to qualify. One of them, according to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, is to meet certain health requirements. Without being cleared medically, a person cannot become a permanent resident of California or any other state.

Section 212 of U.S. Code 1182 states that a person may be barred from becoming a permanent resident if the individual is determined to possess a disease that significantly endangers the public health. This disease is communicable, meaning it can be transmitted from person to person through direct or indirect means. Determining whether a person has a contagious disease is performed in concert with regulations established by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Which permanent resident's family members may come to the USA?

While many California immigrants come to the States with the intention of starting a future for a new family, you might also be concerned with your ability to reunite your family on American soil. The good news is that, as a permanent resident, you are eligible to petition for certain members of your family to come to the USA.

Your green card status is the potential first step towards permanent residency and citizenship for your children and your spouse. Your eligible relatives, as outlined in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services information portal, are as follows:

  • Your unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 years old or older
  • Your spouse
  • Your unmarried sons and daughters who are under 21 years old

Community support credited in staying immigrant's deportation

Many of those viewing immigration cases in Encino from an outside perspective may think that the principles governing them are fairly black-and-white. After all, one is either here legally, or he or she is not. Yet that may rarely be the case. Oftentimes, people who took the appropriate steps to enter the United States legally may later have their motives questioned. The problem in pursuing such cases is that while the parties involved are awaiting a resolution, years may pass, during which time the immigrants may establish family and community ties that are not easily severed. Introducing such a human element into an immigration case may make ruling fairly on it even more difficult. 

A congressman from Ohio familiar with the plight of a local immigrant is citing that human element as a reason behind the stay in deportation that the man was recently granted. A groundswell of community support arose to back the notion that the man deserves to have his say as to why he should remain in the country. His residency status came into question when immigration authorities questioned the validity of the marriage to a U.S. citizen that allowed him to earn his first green card (the marriage lasted three years). Those questions prompted the denial of his second green card application back in the 1990s. The man, however, claims that he has evidence that will show that the marriage was in fact real, yet he has yet to have an opportunity to present that. 

The Immigration and Nationality Act, in terms of work visas

As many familiar with the process of obtaining work visas in California are likely to attest, the process of becoming a legal permanent resident is seldom straightforward. This is due, in part, to the large amount of legislation governing immigration, not only to the state of California, but the entire nation. The Immigration and Nationality Act is one such document, and it has had lasting ramifications for those wishing to pursue jobs in the land of opportunity.

Legislative advisors from the Congressional Research Service report that the overwhelming majority of permanent work visas are assigned to people currently residing in the USA, meaning that these applications are processed through US Citizenship and Immigration Services. In fact, fewer than 20 percent of workers obtained their approval for visas on arrival from a foreign residence. Even though this majority of workers resided in the USA at the time their visa was assigned, these visas still counted towards several limits set in the INA:

  • Each individual worker's country cap
  • The cap on his or her preference category
  • The total annual cap on employment visas

3 tips for passing your marriage visa interview

Before you can get lawful permanent residence in the U.S. through marriage, you will need to attend an interview with officials from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you are not ready for your interview and make mistakes, you may be denied entry into the country.

The process of obtaining a marriage visa from USCIS can be intimidating and stressful. So how can you prepare for your marriage green card interview? Below are some tips for passing your visa interview. 

Various visas for international marriage

A marriage between a California resident and his or her foreign national fiancée or fiancé might require multiple visa applications if the applicants do not follow directions precisely, or if they choose to pursue an improper avenue. There are also several types of visas available, depending on marital status and other factors. 

In cases where the foreign party and the US resident intend to marry in the United States, applying for a K1 visa could expedite the situation. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services online resource portal for this document, commonly known as the marriage visa, outlines the several steps required to complete the progression from unmarried individuals of different resident statuses to married partners in the USA. It is important to note that the visa recipient must marry the citizen within 90 days of entry to the states.

How visitors under a visa can file to extend their stays

Foreign visitors to the state of California and across the United States, whether visiting under a study or work program, have the option of trying to extend their stay in the country. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website, foreign visitors who seek to extend their stay can file a document to prolong their stay past the termination date of their original program.

Whether a person is a visitor under a F, J, M or H visa, the individual must fill out an I-539 application and send it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This application is to be filled out whether a visitor wishes to continue under the current program used to enter the United States, or if the individual wishes to change to another nonimmigrant status. A fee of $370 is also required along with the application.

Who should submit an affidavit of support?

An affidavit of support is an important document that a resident of California or any other state signs to accept financial responsibility on behalf of a foreign resident, typically a relative, who seeks to reside permanently in the United States. Federal law dictates that a number of individuals are required to submit an affidavit of support.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service dictates that all the immediate relatives of United States citizens and relatives that qualify to immigrate to the U.S. under one of four family based preferences require an affidavit of support. It should be noted that these relatives may consist of parents and spouses, as well as children under the age of 21. Orphans can be included in this category as well.

What is a J-1 visa?

If you are a typical California resident, you probably have never heard of the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program. The Department of State explains that this program and its visa allows over 300,000 foreign visitors from 200 countries and territories to experience American society each year by working and/or studying in this country.

In 2016, there were thousands of J-1 visa holders living in California, including the following:

  • 35 physicians
  • 6,326 professors and research scholars
  • 3,761 specialists
  • 292 teachers
  • 1,737 trainees

Can I stay in the United States after graduation?

In recent years, more than a million international students have flocked to study in American colleges and universities. Although their numbers seem to have dropped in 2017 after several moves by President Trump, the figures are still significant

Many of these students enjoy their time in the United States and want to stay after graduation. If you are one of them, here is a look at your options.


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