News & Articles

Family-Sponsored Immigration: Spouses and Fiancés of United States Citizens

United States citizens who marry abroad often assume that their new spouse may enter the U.S. immediately following the marriage. This is generally not true. Rather, there is usually await of several months for the required green card processing to conclude, since the new spouse will need to enter the United States as a permanent resident. Whether abroad or in the United States, the U.S. citizen must file a visa petition for the new spouse. If the couple has married in the U.S., the visa petition should be filed with the foreign...

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Family-Sponsored Immigration

A large majority of persons immigrating annually to the United States are able to do so because of a family relationship. United States Citizens may petition for permanent residency of the following relatives: Spouse and Fiancé Parent Children of all ages Sibling Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) may petition for permanent residency of the following relatives: Spouse Unmarried Children of all ages To contact an attorney about family-sponsored immigration to the United States, click here. Spouses, parents and children...

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Visa Processing in Japan: Changes in Processing Non-Immigrant Visas in Tokyo, Osaka and Naha

STEP 1: DO YOU NEED A VISA? In my first position as an immigration attorney, I was taught that a visa is simply an “invitation” to knock at the door of the country issuing the visa. Anyone entering a country other than the one of which he or she is a citizen requires such an “invitation,” or they must be legally exempt from needing a visa. However, visas are not the only type of invitation to enter another country: some persons, including citizens of Japan, may use “ESTA,” the Electronic System for Travel...

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Do’s and Don’ts of Employer Immigration Compliance

Immigration is a hot topic, one that nearly everyone has an opinion about and has argued over. Most of those arguments are about either “amnesty” or border enforcement. There is, in addition to these topics, a huge body of law relating to the employment of non-U.S. citizens – who, what, where and when they may be employed – and the responsibility of employers to verify the work authorization and identity of all new employees. These employer responsibilities are found in U.S. immigration law. In existence since 1986, the...

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Book Review: Immigration Law in the Workplace

Immigration Law in the Workplace by Charles M. Miller, Marcine A. Seid, and S. Christopher Stowe, Jr. 584 pp.; 2009 Aspen Publishers, 2009 7201 McKinney Circle, Frederick MD 27704 (800) 638-8437; www.aspenpublishers.com Immigration Law in the Workplace is a useful resource that covers (1) how to meet immigration compliance responsibilities; and (2) how immigration law affects foreign-born employees. According to the authors, the book is not intended to serve as a treatise on immigration, tax, labor, or social security laws. Instead, it was...

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Time for Change

Immigration has created serious problems for the United States but not for the reasons that most Americans identify: not because huge numbers of undocumented folks are invading our country and stealing jobs, not because they are abusing our welfare system, not because they don’t pay taxes and not because they commit crimes with abandon. Study after study confirms that the vast majority of “illegal immigrants” lay low. They pay taxes, don’t request government benefits and work hard, usually at jobs that American workers refuse...

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Immigrants, Welfare and Taxes

These are tough economic times, and tax season makes it even harder. Vitriolic talk and finger-pointing at alleged sources of our economic distress abound. Immigrants are a common target. “They,” say anti-immigration advocates, “have invaded our country, don’t pay taxes and collect welfare.” Is there any truth to such bold, inflammatory statements? Of course there is some truth, but so is there “some truth” in the scandal sheets that pass as news magazines. There will always be people who abuse the system – both American...

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Is Unifying Families Really an Immigration Priority?

Most people who immigrate to the United States are able to do so because they have a close relative in the United States who petitions for them or because they have a job skill that is needed by a United States employer. The process, in either case, is a lengthy one, usually taking several years from start to finish. The wait is discouraging and impractical for prospective immigrants who are needed by United States employers; but for close family members, the wait is agonizing and, perhaps, impossible. In his State of the Union speech,...

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Behind the Words

Widespread misunderstanding and misuse of immigration lingo makes intelligent debate of the immigration issue challenging. For example, the word “immigrant” is used incorrectly by many to describe anyone present in the United States who hails from another country. It carries negative connotations, too: many people blame our country’s woes – crime, poverty, high unemployment, etc. on immigrants. The dictionary definition of “immigrant” is much narrower and suggests relatively honorable conduct. Dictionary.com defines an...

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Acceptance

“The Blind Side,” Sandra Bullock’s new movie, is the story of a Caucasian family that takes in, and befriends, an African-American teenager. Two things about the movie made it resonate for me: first, it is based on a true story; and second, it is about goodness, a subject not very popular these days. The movie is not about immigration, the usual topic of this column, but it is about acceptance of people who look different and have backgrounds different than our own. The movie caused me to reflect on the people from around the world...

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