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Maryland Immigration Blog

Green card glitch impacts over 8,500 people

Most people are thrilled when they finally receive their green cards -- often after a very long wait. However, for thousands of people who received their green cards this year, that excitement has been tampered by a glitch.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a recall of over 8,500 Permanent Resident Cards (the official name of the card) that were sent out between February and April of this year The reason for the recall is that the date on the "Resident Since" section was incorrect.

Going from Special Immigrant Juvenile to Green Card holder

Immigrant minors who have been the victims of neglect, abuse or abandonment can seek classification as a Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ). This status may be available to those who are under 21 and unmarried.

Those with SIJ status can apply for an Adjustment of Status if they wish to become legal permanent residents of the U.S. and receive a Green Card. Acceptance is at the discretion of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Spouses of H-1B visa holders may soon lose their right to work

Among the overhauls to America's immigration policies being pursued by the Trump Administration are changes impacting recipients of H-1B visas. This visa is an important step toward a green card for many people. Despite the anti-immigration rhetoric coming from Washington, H-1B visa applications continue to pour in. This is the sixth year in a row that the government had to stop accepting applications after a week because of the volume.

A majority of these visas, which are issued to people from other countries with valuable skills (such as those involving science, math and technology) go to Indian nationals. Some 75 percent of those approved in 2017 were for people from India.

Marriage interviews can get people arrested, deported

It used to be the case that if someone living in the U.S. who was born in another country married a U.S. citizen, he or she could remain here legally. That's why the government has always taken great pains to make sure that these marriages are legitimate and not just for a green card. Our readers who are old enough may remember the 1990 film "Green Card," which had an interesting twist on that premise.

However, with the Trump administration placing a priority on locating and removing unauthorized immigrants, a legitimate marriage is no guarantee of being able to remain in the country. People with deportation orders that were never enforced are finding themselves being arrested and deported, even if they're married to American citizens.

Special Immigrant Juvenile visas protect vulnerable children

Immigrant children under 21 who have either been abused, neglected or abandoned by a parent may be qualified to apply for permanent residency in the United States as a Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ).

In addition to meeting the aforementioned criteria, the applicant must already be living in the United States and be unmarried at the time of the application. If you've been married before, then you must have either gotten divorced, had the marriage annulled or have become widowed before filing the application.

How can someone qualify for an 'Einstein visa?'

Some of our readers may have seen the recent media reports that First Lady Melania Trump was granted what's commonly referred to as an "Einstein visa" years ago. The official name of the visa is EB-1. It's purpose is to allow immigrants who "have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher or are a multinational executive or manager" to live and work in the country legally.

Since the first lady was working as a model under an HB-1 visa when she was granted the EB-1 visa in 2001 (before she married Donald Trump), one might wonder how she was able to qualify. There's no clear answer to that or to what role her future husband may have played in her obtaining the EB-1, which is a stepping stone to a green card.

Sessions moves to make obtaining asylum more difficult

Immigrants to this country have been concerned and sometimes frightened by the actions of our current president. So have those who are seeking asylum here to escape violence and persecution in their countries -- and sometimes in their own homes.

The number of people applying for asylum has increased significantly in recent years. Now U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is working to change the qualifications for being granted asylum.

Is my immigration status at risk given my felony conviction?

While you want to avoid committing any crimes at any point in your life in the United States, it's particularly wise to do so when you're either visiting the country on a visa or are merely a permanent resident.

Committing any criminal offense, whether it be a misdemeanor or felony, during one of these latter stages can result in you having your legal status downgraded or even get you deported. You may even be barred from entering the U.S. again.

Taking a look at chain migration in the United States

,Chain migration has become a hot topic in the news since President Donald Trump gave the annual State of the Union address back in January. President Trump made a claim that one immigrant is able to bring in "virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives" to the United States in what he says is chain migration. Under the current administration's plan, immigrants would only be allowed to sponsor spouses and minor children for access to the country.

If you take a deep look at the law, one could argue that when one immigrant comes to the United States, it could lead to their aunt or uncle winding up in the country via sponsorships. This would happen by the original immigrant sponsoring their parents, who would then sponsor their brother or sister for access to the country.

Seeking green card status as a widow/widower of a U.S. citizen

There is much debate in the corridors of power in Washington these days about the legal status of people who live in this country but weren't born here. Therefore, it's only natural that many immigrants as well as those who seek to live in this country are nervous and confused.

One group that isn't widely discussed is people who are widows and widowers of U.S. citizens. Under the law, anyone who was legally married to a U.S. citizen when he or she died can obtain a green card.

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Phone: 240-720-7714
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