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Houston Immigration Law Blog

Fake marriages can lead to immigration issues

One of the ways that an immigrant can come to the United States is by marrying a citizen. Unfortunately, some people try to get over on the immigration system by arranging fake marriages or ones of convenience. While this might seem like a good idea, this is actually illegal.

Marriage fraud is a serious matter that can lead to the immigrant being deported. Time in prison is also possible. There are many different ways that this crime can occur. Anyone who is marrying an immigrant must ensure they aren't taking part in any of the following:

  • "Mail-order marriages" in which either party knows the marriage isn't real
  • Marriages done as a favor
  • Marriages that involve the citizen being paid
  • Marriages due to the visa lottery
  • Marriage based on an immigrant defrauding a citizen

What's the difference between a permanent resident and a citizen?

The difference between being a permanent resident otherwise called a green-card holder and a U.S. citizen can be confusing. Many mistakenly think the two are the same thing because both statuses offer many of the same rights, including to live and work indefinitely in the U.S. and to be protected by federal, state and local laws.

The two also require many of the same responsibilities, like obeying all laws and paying taxes. However, the two statuses do have several differences, and it is important to understand what those differences are.

    We want to see our clients become naturalized citizens

    When you come to the United States and decide that you want to become a citizen, you must go through the citizenship and naturalization process. This is often a mystifying process for the men and women who choose this option for remaining in the country. We are here to help you learn more about what you can do and what your responsibilities are throughout the process.

    As we recently discussed, there are major changes going on that can impact a person's abilities to remain in this country and go through the process successfully. It is difficult for the average person to keep up with all the changes that occur to the laws. We work hard to ensure that we're giving our clients the necessary information to help them remain in this country without issue.

    New immigration proposal could force tough decisions

    As the immigration laws in this country continue to change, it can be hard to keep up with everything. There is a new proposal on the table that could force some immigrants to make very difficult decisions if it is passed. It was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 10, which is the first day of a 60-day term when the public can comment on it.

    The new proposal is one that would allow immigrants to be rejected for green cards if they've had to rely on public assistance. In the past, only cash benefits were counted. These included Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Under the new proposal, other public benefits would also be counted. These include some commonly used, such as housing assistance, low-income Medicare drug subsidies for seniors, food stamps and Medicaid.

    Immigration cases for spouses have many considerations

    One thing that most married couples never want to experience is being away from their spouse. Unfortunately, there are times when a person will come to the United States but their spouse doesn't have the legal right to come here right then. In these cases, the person will need to file for a visa for their spouse. Here are a few considerations about visas for spouses.

    Some people who want a spouse visa will be placed on a waiting list but others won't. The difference is citizenship. People who are United States citizens can file a petition for their spouse. That petition is given a priority status and won't be placed on a waiting list. If the spouse who is in the country is a permanent resident, their spouse will be placed on the waiting list. The time that you have to wait can be two years or longer.

    Learn about the requirements for naturalization

    Seeking naturalization in the United States is a dream for many immigrants. This process can end with you becoming a citizen of the U.S. if you meet all the requirements. There are many different ones that you must be aware of.

    You must be a legal permanent resident here and have your I-551 card. You must have been in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the past five years. It is sometimes possible for an exception if you can show that you didn't abandon your residence status.

    Approached by ICE? Here’s what you need to know.

    Interacting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers can be an intimidating and challenging experience for non-citizens living in the United States. The administration’s immigration policies have been in a state of flux since early 201, casting worry and doubt for those affected by changing immigration laws and policies.

    If you’re a non-citizen living in Texas, regardless of documentation or status, it’s important to know your rights when interacting with ICE and other law enforcement officers. The best advice is to speak with an immigration attorney, but here are a few additional reminders in case immigration officers approach you or a loved one.

    What to expect when being deported from the United States

    If you are facing deportation from the United States, you are likely stressed, scared and worried, especially if you have family that is staying behind. You probably want to know when you will see them again and how long it will take to get back into the country. Let's take a look at what you should expect when being deported from the United States.

    If you were detained by the police or any other agency within 100 miles of the United States border and have only been in the country for 14 days or fewer, you can be legally deported immediately. This means you will not have to appear in the immigration courts before being sent out of the country. Should you claim asylum, the claim will be reviewed and if deemed appropriate, you will then go through the court process.

    Examining what the Citizenship and Immigration Services does

    Have you ever wondered what it is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency does? This is a vital agency that is run by the Department of Homeland Security. Its agents are responsible for processing and examining applications for lawful immigration to the country in Houston, Texas, and beyond.

    One of the most important responsibilities of the agency is to process applications submitted for citizenship. The agency will examine the application, make a determination of eligibility and then meet with the applicant to issue them the Oath of Allegiance if their application was approved.

    How can I prepare for the civics test for naturalization?

    Are you in the final stages of becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States? If so, you you probably know the final stages include the testing portion of the process. You will be required to take and pass an English test and a Civics test.

    The English test doesn't change, but the Civics test will change because it has a lot of history-related questions. So, how can you prepare for the civics test?

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