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Chicago Immigration Law Blog

Trump voids Temporary Protected Status for Salvadoran immigrants

While many immigrants enter the U.S., every year seeking new opportunities, improved quality of life and shelter from dangerous exposure in their homeland, achieving citizenship is not for the weary. Acquiring citizenship status in the United States and Illinois requires time, effort and commitment to carefully following all designated protocols for approval. Recent changes to several laws under President Trump's administration has complicated this process for those seeking to make a living on U.S. soil. 

A recent announcement by the Department of Homeland Security provided insight into Trump's decision to end Temporary Protected Status for nearly 200,000 El Salvadoran immigrants who currently live in the United States. The decision means that Salvadoran immigrants who were awarded this status as early as 2001 are required to leave the U.S. by September 2019. Those who choose to stay will be listed as undocumented immigrants and will be facing deportation. 

Preparing yourself for a successful citizenship interview

If you have recently immigrated and are slowly acclimating to your new home, you may be well aware that the adjustment process requires time, patience and determination. Over time, you will become accustomed to the changes in your environment and the anticipation of completing your citizenship test will give you something new to look forward to. At Francis Law Center, we are experienced in helping Illinois residents to work toward achieving citizenship status and taking the next step into their exciting future. 

Before you can take the naturalization test, you will be required to study and prepare, to give yourself a winning chance at having a successful result. According to usimmigration.org, some of the ways that you can effectively prepare for your interview include the following:

  • Collect required documentation: Begin by collecting all of the documents required by your interviewer. These documents include application papers, reentry permits, your passport and your state ID card among other things.
  • Pay attention to the civics test: Studying for the civics test will effectively familiarize yourself with the basics of our nation's history and notable figures. Being able to verbalize the reason that being a citizen is important to you, is imperative to making your case and facilitating your request to become a citizen. 
  • Be familiar with the interview process: Take the time to understand what goes on during the interview. You may also wish to understand what happens leading up to the interview, as well as what happens afterward to you know what to anticipate throughout the process.  

DACA solutions pushed to 2018

After pledging to force a vote in December over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Congressional Democrats are acknowledging defeat.

The hope was to add a vote on DACA to the short-term spending bill set to keep the government running through mid-January, but Democrats were unsuccessful. Efforts will likely pick up again in 2018, as DACA is set to shut down in March.

Common visa interview mistakes

If you or someone you love is trying to obtain a visa so that you, he or she can move to Illinois, Wisconsin or another part of the United States, you may have questions about the visa interview process, and what it entails. At Francis Law Center, we have helped many immigrants and their families navigate the visa interview, and we have a firm understanding of common errors many people make that can hinder their chances of lawfully staying in the United States.

Per Path2USA.com, the visa interview is a critical step in the immigration process, and how you perform in it can have a considerable impact on whether you receive a visa afterward. As important as understanding what to do in your visa interview is identifying what not to do, so recognizing where others made errors may help you avoid making them yourself.

A closer look at the purpose and function of a visitor visa

Each year, the United States is the destination for thousands of immigrants seeking new opportunities, better quality of life and an escape from the turmoil they may have experienced in their homeland. While immigration, naturalization and acquiring citizenship may appear overwhelming at first thought, there are options for people seeking potential citizenship that allow temporary opportunity leading up to full citizenship in Illinois. 

According to U.S. Visas, the purpose of a visitor visa is to allow individuals the opportunity to enter the United States temporarily for a variety of reasons including the following:

  • Business endeavors
  • Schooling
  • Tourism
  • Pleasure or visiting

How much can attorney representation help immigrant’s cases?

If you are an immigrant with a pending case and you currently live in Illinois, Wisconsin or another part of the United States, you may be wondering how much having an immigration attorney represent you can help you. Unlike in the traditional judicial system, those who go through immigration court do not automatically have a right to counsel. Therefore, many immigrants have few choices other than to place their faith in legal aid clinics, or in the hands of those offering pro bono representation.

According to Vox, some immigration advocates are trying to change the lack of legal options many immigrants have when it comes to legal representation, and immigrants across Chicago may be among those who benefit. Chicago is among a handful of cities that may soon implement a program similar to one already in practice in New York called the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project.

Can you excel in business as an immigrant?

No matter where you have come from, being an immigrant in a new country has a unique list of challenges and risks. However, what you may not currently realize is how your experience as an immigrant can play to your advantage in the colorful world of business in Illinois. Fortunately, your experiences and the unique cultural background you have can provide you with needed competencies that other workers may not have. 

According to Forbes, immigrants like yourself can be wildly successful entrepreneurs and effectively boost business in any organization by relying on past experiences and challenges. Some of the reasons why you can be so effective in business include the following:

  • Providing customers with different service: Because you have experience in dealing with people in your native country, you may be able to provide insight into unique ways of serving customers a long-standing product. 
  • Recognizing niches: You have the ability to recognize new niche markets that could greatly benefit from a product or service. Your organization may not have previously recognized a need for their product or service, but your perspective may be able to build business opportunities as you share your insight.
  • Accepting risk: You can help your coworkers to assess and accept risks that they may otherwise avoid. Because you may view risks differently than them, you may be able to encourage embracing risk to further business initiatives.
  • Connecting different markets: With your international experience, you can help bridge the connection between different markets in a way that could create growing opportunities for the organization. Additionally, you may be able to share your network connections to give the organization a chance to create new business relationships. 

Don't give up on remaining in the U.S.

It is a frightening thing these days to face deportation. The courts do not appoint public defenders to help immigrants accused of criminal activity. You are on your alone, doing battle with the U.S. government, at a time when many Americans want you gone.

Immigration Court judges typically do not want to hear your sad story. They want to dispose of your case as quickly as possible.

Diversity visa lottery website issues leave applicants confused

An apparent technical glitch or outage affecting the U.S. State Department's Diversity Visa lottery website left countless potential immigrants applying for the 2019 visas scratching their heads. The lottery people initially opened on October 3, scheduled to run until November 7.

Technical/system problems led officials to close the lottery period - and shut down the website - on October 10. News releases reveal that all application information submitted during that time was lost. People who applied between October 3 and October 10 have to resubmit all information.

Provisional unlawful presence waiver eligibility requirements

If you obtained a visa to travel to Illinois, Wisconsin or another part of the country and stayed past the date your visa expired, you will begin to accrue unlawful presence in the United States. Essentially, this means that you will not be able to lawfully return to the country for a predetermined amount of time that varies based on how long past your visa’s expiration date you remained in the country. If you meet certain criteria, however, you may be able to obtain a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver to reenter the United States. At the Francis Law Center, we have a firm understanding of the eligibility requirements associated with this type of waiver, and we have assisted many clients navigate their paths to permanent citizenship.

Per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to be eligible for the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, you must be at least 17 years of age, and you must file your application and provide biometrics from within the United States. You must also be in the process of obtaining your visa and have an active case with the U.S. Department of State that meets certain specific criteria.

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