Rocio's Day-to-Day

I’ve been practicing law since 2012 and as a bilingual immigration lawyer in Chicago, Illinois, I have accumulated a lot of unique experiences with my clients. In this section, I’ll talk about certain situations, as well as frequently asked questions and anecdotes, in order for you to have a better understanding of what my clients go through, what curve balls are thrown at them and how we can overcome obstacles together. 

(This information has been prepared by the Law Office of RSB Ltd for information only and does not constitute as legal advice. This information is not a substitute for legal advice from an experienced attorney. Immigration law is complex and constantly changing and for those reasons, it is always better to get advice on a particular case from an attorney who is familiar with the laws on immigration.)

"Immigration Law Recognizes Same Sex Marriage"

A client of mine came in inquiring about the immigration possibilities for her Wife. Her partner traveled to the United States periodically to work seasonal jobs; during one of her trips they met, fell in love and got married. We were able to help guide them through their immigration process, assist them with their forms, and accompanied them during their interview at the Chicago Field office. The visa was ultimately approved and they now are free to live their lives together without any immigration worries!

 

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s federal marriage equality decision in 2013 (United States v. Windsor) means that same-sex marriages are treated the same as heterosexual marriages for immigration purposes under U.S. law.

Gay and lesbian U.S. citizens and green card holders can therefore apply for a marriage-based green card for their foreign national spouses, and United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) treats applications from same-sex couples the same as applications from heterosexual couples.
Source:
https://www.uscis.gov/family/same-sex-marriages


For a consultation with Rocio, contact us (312) ABOGADA or (312) 226-4232. Or visit our contact us page. 

"How My Client Got His Green Card After Temporary Protected Status" 

Even when you think that you have no immigration options, it is important that you work closely with your immigration attorney in in order to explore all possible avenues.
Not long ago I had a client, originally from El Salvador, come in for a consultation. He had temporary protected status and was married to a U.S. citizen, but wasn’t sure what immigration options were available to him. We sat down together and developed a plan of action. We were able to obtain permission for him to travel abroad through advanced parole. This included the very important step of being inspected by an immigration officer at the point of re-entry into the United States. Within a short time I was able to file a petition on his behalf and after three years he was able to obtain his green card.

 

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Temporary protected status

 

Temporary Protected Status is a temporary status given to eligible nationals of designated countries who are present in the United States. 
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if conditions in the country temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, if the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of a designated country, and eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country, who are already in the United States. Individuals who are granted TPS can obtain employment authorization.


Source: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/complete-correct-form-i-9/complete-section-1-employee-information-and-attestation/temporary-protected-status

 

For a consultation with Rocio, contact us (312) ABOGADA or (312) 226-4232. Or visit our contact us page. 

"How My Client's U Visa Was Expedited Within Three Months"

The Immigration and Nationality Act limits the number of U visas that can be issued to U principal petitioners each fiscal year to 10,000. Once that cap is reached, petitioners are placed on a waiting list until new visas become available. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is currently working on cases that were submitted on March 30th 2015, which translates to about a four year wait period.

Working together with my client, she was able to get a U Visa within 3 months.

After my client was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, we put a strong
package together petitioning for her U visa to be expedited due to humanitarian reasons. After much persistence from our office constantly calling and following up with the U visa office, she was able to obtain employment authorization and a social security number. Now she can focus on living her life instead of worrying about getting detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

 

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USCIS may consider an expedite request if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Severe financial loss to a company or person, provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner’s or applicant’s failure to:
    -File the benefit request or the expedite request in a reasonable time frame, or---Respond to any requests for additional evidence in a reasonably timely manner;
  • Urgent humanitarian reasons;
  • Compelling U.S. government interests (such as urgent cases for the Department of Defense or DHS, or other public safety or national security interests); or
  • Clear USCIS error.

Source: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/how-make-expedite-request

 


For a consultation with Rocio, contact us (312) ABOGADA or (312) 226-4232. Or visit our contact us page. 

"Client Acquired A U Visa After Being The Victim Of A Crime."

A previous client of mine had been the victim of an armed robbery in 2001. He was an employee at a wine shop where two assailants ambushed him with a gun. He was tied up, physically assaulted and then robbed. Following the event he cooperated with authorities to the best of his ability throughout the investigation. After the incident he had gone to an attorney to see about getting a U Visa, but was told that he had no case. In 2015 the client approached me asking what immigration options he had. Based on all the facts he mentioned, I explained that he was in fact eligible for the U visa. We applied successfully and recently he was able to get employment authorization as well as social security numbers for himself and his wife. 
 

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Victims of Criminal Activity: U Nonimmigrant Status


The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. 

You may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if:
 

  • You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity.
  • You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.
  • You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on your behalf (see glossary for definition of ‘next friend’).
  • You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf.
  • The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
  • You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.

Source: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/victims-human-trafficking-other-crimes/victims-criminal-activity-u-nonimmigrant-status/victims-criminal-activity-u-nonimmigrant-status

For a consultation with Rocio, contact us (312) ABOGADA or (312) 226-4232. Or visit our contact us page. 

"How My Client Got A Green Card Despite Having No Biological Children And An Undocumented Husband"
As is the case with many clients, I had a woman come in for a consultation to ask what her immigration options were. During conversation, she mentioned that other professionals had given her few options when she revealed to them that she was married to someone who was undocumented and they had no children together. After further discussion she informed me that there had been a petition that was filed by her grandfather when she was 9 years old, however, the application was denied because he had passed away during the process. I advised her that because of this previous application, she was protected under the Section 245(i) Provision of the LIFE Act. After further inquiries, I discovered that she also had a step son who was a U.S. Citizen. With this information we were able to get her a green card within 9 months of our initial meeting.


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Green Card through LIFE Act (245(i) Adjustment)
The Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act and LIFE Act Amendments of 2000 enable certain individuals who are present in the United States who would not normally qualify to apply for adjustment of status in the United States to obtain a green card (permanent residence) regardless of:

 

  • The manner they entered the United States
  • Working in the United States without authorization
  • Failing to continuously maintain lawful status since entry


To qualify for this provision, you must be the beneficiary of a labor certification application (or immigrant visa petition filed on or before April 30, 2001.


Source: https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/life-act-245i-adjustment

 

For a consultation with Rocio, contact us (312) ABOGADA or (312) 226-4232. Or visit our contact us page. 

"Why Do I Need An Attorney During My Interview With Immigration?”
When you receive notice of your in-person interview with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), you might be tempted to attend it without counsel.  Many applicants, however, find that having a counsel’s presence at the interview contributes to a successful outcome.
Recently, for example, I went with one of my clients to their immigration interview in front of an immigration officer. The officer used wording that my client did not fully understand, and while asking him a question, used an incorrect date as reference for when my client entered the United States, to which my client agreed. I immediately interjected as his attorney and clarified that the date the officer had mentioned was incorrect. Later my client attributed the misunderstanding to what he described as “a nervous wreck” experience. 
Inevitably, sometimes things can go wrong at the interview with USCIS, which may lead to serious consequences including denial decisions. It is very important to have a dedicated attorney to help an applicant prepare for and attend the USCIS interview.


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Role of Attorney or Representative in the Interview Process.

 

  •  Provide protection against excessive screening or vetting
  •  Clarify unclear questions and complex issues
  •  Help prevent unnecessary delays and complications
  •  Serve as an advocate
     

Most importantly, the role of the attorney at an interview is to ensure that the subject's legal rights are protected.
 

Source: https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-2449/0-0-0-2832.html

 

For a consultation with Rocio, contact us (312) ABOGADA or (312) 226-4232. Or visit our contact us page. 

"How My Client Got A Green Card Even Though Her Husband Had Passed Away"

A short time ago I had a client that had recently become a widow and wanted to know if she had any immigration options. She stated that her husband’s sister had sponsored him, and that the petition for him was filed before April 20th, 2001. As he had passed away, she assumed she had no case, and wanted to know what other possibilities she had. I explained to her that she was actually eligible for a mechanism known as “humanitarian reinstatement” that is offered by immigration where you can reinstate a petition that has been previously revoked as a result of the beneficiary passing away. Most people make the assumption that once the petitioner or beneficiary passes away that the petition is revoked automatically, which it is, but there are situations in which it can be reinstated. In the end, we were able to get her a green card, as well as one for her son who was under 21.


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Humanitarian Reinstatement

 

  • For purposes of derivative beneficiaries,  as long as any one surviving beneficiary of a covered petition meets the residence requirement, then the petition may be approved despite the death of the qualifying relative.
  • All the beneficiaries may immigrate to the same extent that would have been permitted if the qualifying relative had not died. 
  • The surviving derivative beneficiaries may retain the classification and priority date from the underlying petition and adjust status despite the principal beneficiary’s death.


Source: https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-7-part-a-chapter-9#footnotelink-9

 

For a consultation with Rocio, contact us (312) ABOGADA or (312) 226-4232. Or visit our contact us page. 

"A Quick Question"

When new potential clients approach me it is typical for them to say that they “just have one quick question.” Through my years of experience I have learned that a “simple question” can be anything but simple.
Every case is different, which is why every client requires a deep legal analysis during
 consultation. For example, recently I had a client that wanted to know the status of their current case. After sitting down for a full consultation we discovered that they had the possibility for “Acquired Citizenship.” This refers to citizenship by virtue of being born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents. I asked them if anyone had ever explored this option with them before and they answered no.  As you can see, every situation is unique and even those that start off as “simple questions” can end up being more complex.


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Who May Qualify for Acquisition of Citizenship?

In general, these laws require that at least one parent was a U.S. citizen, and the U.S. citizen parent had lived in the United States for a period of time. 

In general, a child for citizenship and naturalization provisions is an unmarried person who is:

  •  The genetic, legitimated, or adopted son or daughter of a U.S. citizen; or 
  •  The son or daughter of a non-genetic gestational U.S. citizen mother who is recognized by the relevant jurisdiction as the child’s legal parent.

Source: https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parent

 

For a consultation with Rocio, contact us (312) ABOGADA or (312) 226-4232. Or visit our contact us page. 

 

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