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Washington, DC, Immigration Law Blog

Naturalization process can be lengthy, expensive

It seems that in the last few years, the immigration debate has ramped up considerably. Many people in Washington, D.C. and across the country make the erroneous assumption that those who have not completed the naturalization process failed to do so because of some sort of failure or oversight on their part. However, the path to becoming a naturalized citizen is often lengthy and expensive, making it especially difficult for those who are seeking a new start to complete it.

For many people, the path to citizenship may be sufficiently lengthy and complicated as to deter a person from completing it. In some cases, the process can take up to 10 years to complete. In addition to the lengthy, an applicant may be forced to pay thousands of dollars as a result of application fee. The person must be hold a permanent resident card for five years (or three if he or she is the spouse of a U.S. citizen).

Federal judge rules against President Trump's asylum ban

People in Washington, D.C. and across the country have been watching the news of the caravan of immigrants approaching the southern border of the United States. While there are different points of view regarding the caravan and the aid that should -- or should not -- be provided, the current presidential administration's  recent decision to deny asylum to immigrants who cross the border illegally has raised some legal question. A federal judge has recently provided an answer to those questions.

In early November, shortly before the midterm elections, President Trump ordered -- in advance of the caravan -- that those who cross into the country illegally will not be granted asylum. Prior to that, those who cross at ports of entry or between ports of entry are eligible for asylum. The executive order, according to some, would make the deportation of thousands of people more likely.

Seeking naturalization in the United States

For many people living in Washington, D.C. and other areas of the country, one of their goals in life is to become a citizen of the United States. Despite their desire and willingness to work hard, the naturalization process is often confusing for people who are unfamiliar with it. Following all the steps appropriately could make the difference in whether or not the process is successfully completed.

There are several criteria that individuals seeking to be naturalized must meet before they can continue the process. First, they must be 18 years old or older and both a lawful permanent resident and physically present in the country for five years prior. To successfully apply, individuals must be of good moral character and able to speak English.

Asylum versus illegal entry

It may be difficult for people in Washington, D.C. and across the country to fully appreciate what life in other countries may be like. Even those in this country who may face some struggles likely do not normally face fears of torture or being murdered in their daily lives. Unfortunately, for many people in other countries, this is their existence, often prompting many of them to seek asylum in the United States.

With a caravan of approximately 7,000 people in South America walking toward the United States to seek asylum, many pertinent questions arise regarding the process. A person seeking such protections must surrender at a port of entry, such as an international bridge, for example. Attempting to enter the country at a place other than an official port could be considered illegal entry.

Seeking nonimmigrant visas

There are many people who want to come into the United States for a variety of different reasons. However, some people may need certain documentation to travel and remain in the country for a period of time. Having the appropriate nonimmigrant visa can make visiting, studying, or working in Washington, DC and other areas of the country less stressful.

The process and rules surrounding nonimmigrant visas can be confusing. In some cases, people who are not familiar with U.S. laws may be unsure how to proceed. Fortunately, the law firm of Chong Immigration Law PLLC can help.

New agreement opens asylum opportunities for separated families

Every year, people travel to the United States, often via Washington, D.C., in search of a better life. Unfortunately, there is a great debate in this country now regarding how many people should be given asylum and under what circumstances. Much of this debate surrounds the current administration's treatment of families that cross the country's southwest border.

In fact, the administration's policy has sparked several lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. However, recent reports indicate that the ACLU and the Trump administration have reached an agreement. The agreement must still be approved by Judge Dana Sabraw.

What are the steps to naturalization?

You are interested in becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States, but you feel overwhelmed by the complicated process of naturalization and the many legal hurdles along the way. However, you are determined to pursue naturalization so that you can become a naturalized American.

Becoming a naturalized citizen is not easy, but the reward is the numerous rights and protections offered by the U.S. government. In this post, we’ll take a look at the basic steps of naturalization.

Jeff Sessions discusses asylum requests

The vast majority of people in Washington, D.C., and in the world in general, would likely do whatever it takes to make life better for their children and other family members. For some people, this could mean completely uprooting their lives and facing the uncertainty of life in a new country. Unfortunately, those who choose to seek asylum in the United States could face disappointment.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently made comments to a new class of immigration judges in support of policies that make it more difficult for people to obtain asylum in the United States. He claimed that the process is not made for people simply trying to escape the hardships of life. He further stated that many of the policies put in place by President Obama actually entice asylum-seekers to enter this country. These remarks come amidst major pushback on the President's "zero tolerance" policy which has also left many migrant children separated from their parents. 

G-4 to Green Card: EB-2 Professionals with Advanced Degrees and National Interest Waivers (NIW)

Here in Washington, DC, we often meet potential clients who hold G-4 visas who, after years here in the U.S., are interested in transitioning to lawful permanent residence. One way we recommend obtaining their Green Cards is through a self-petition as an EB-2 Professional with an Advanced Degree and National Interest Waiver (NIW).

G-4 to Green Card: EB-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability

Here in Washington, DC, we often meet potential clients who hold G-4 visas who, after years here in the U.S., are interested in transitioning to lawful permanent residence. One way we recommend obtaining their Green Cards is through a self-petition as an EB-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability.

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