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Pleasure Visas

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Over 15,000 Readers Across 140 Countries – Miami Visa Help Blog Thanks You, Readers


Miami Visa Help by Miami International Attorneys has just reached over 15,000 views by readers in 140 countries. We thank our interested readership on this niche topic and are glad to continue providing free legal information to those who need it.

If you have any issues that you wish addressed, please contact Miami International Attorneys, P.L., at abernhard@miapl.com, 786-566-1969, www.miapl.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

What is a form ds-160? A look at the ds-160 security questions


 

One of the most common questions in immigration to the U.S. is: “what is a form ds-160?”

 

A B1/B2 visa to the United States

A B1/B2 visa to the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Today we look at the ds 160 visa form, or formulario ds 160, to help prepare you to understand the ds 160 forms and to prepare your responses to the ds 160 application. What is form ds-160? It is the U.S. government’s form to apply for a US visa.

 

The ds160 form bears several components, including:

 

1.         GET STARTED SECTION

 

2.         PERSONAL INFORMATION PART 1

 

3.         PERSONAL INFORMATION PART 2

 

4.         ADDRESS AND PHONE

 

5.         PASSPORT

 

6.         TRAVEL

 

7.         TRAVEL COMPANIONS

 

8.         PREVIOUS U.S. TRAVEL

 

9.         U.S. CONTACT

 

10.       FAMILY

 

11.       WORK / EDUCATION / TRAINING

 

12.       SECURITY AND BACKGROUND

 

The process for issuing United States visas

The process for issuing United States visas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The longest and most complicated section of the ds 160 form fill online is the Security and Background section. These questions reflect the US visa requirements to obtain a b2 visa, among other US visas. The American visa application is not overly complex, but it is necessary to be prepared and to honest each question honestly. Accordingly, we provide a list of the current security and background questions as of May 2013, so that you can accumulate any information that you need to answer honestly and completely.

 

The US tourist visa application instructions for this section are simple enough:

 

“Provide the following security and background information. Provide complete and accurate information to all questions that require an explanation. A visa may not be issued to persons who are within specific categories defined by law as inadmissible to the United States (except when a waiver is obtained in advance). Are any of the following applicable to you? While a YES answer does not automatically signify ineligibility for a visa, if you answer YES you may be required to personally appear before a consular officer.”

 

What then follows are yes or no questions that you must answer, including:

 

English: West face of the United States Suprem...

English: West face of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. Español: Edificio de la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos en Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

  1. Do you have a communicable disease of public health significance? (Communicable diseases of public significance include chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, infectious leprosy, lymphogranuloma venereum, infectious stage syphilis, active tuberculosis, and other diseases as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services).
  2. Do you have a mental or physical disorder that poses or is likely to pose a threat to the safety or welfare of yourself or others?
  3. Are you or have you ever been a drug abuser or addict?
  4. Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action?
  5. Have you ever violated, or engaged in a conspiracy to violate, any law relating to controlled substances?
  6. Are you coming to the United States to engage in prostitution or unlawful commercialized vice or have you been engaged in prostitution or procuring prostitutes within the past 10 years?
  7. Have you ever been involved in, or do you seek to engage in, money laundering?
  8. Have you ever committed or conspired to commit a human trafficking offense in the United States or outside the United States?
  9. Have you ever knowingly aided, abetted, assisted or colluded with an individual who has committed, or conspired to commit a severe human trafficking offense in the United States or outside the United States?
  10. Are you the spouse, son, or daughter of an individual who has committed or conspired to commit a human trafficking offense in the United States or outside the United States and have you within the last five years, knowingly benefited from the trafficking activities?
  11. Do you seek to engage in espionage, sabotage, export control violations, or any other illegal activity while in the United States?
  12. Do you seek to engage in terrorist activities while in the United States or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities?
  13. Have you ever or do you intend to provide financial assistance or other support to terrorists or terrorist organizations?
  14. Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization?

    Flag of the United States of America

    Flag of the United States of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  15. Have you ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide?
  16. Have you ever committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in torture?
  17. Have you committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in extrajudicial killings, political killings, or other acts of violence?
  18. Have you ever engaged in the recruitment or the use of child soldiers?
  19. Have you, while serving as a government official, been responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom?
  20. Have you ever been directly involved in the establishment or enforcement of population controls forcing a woman to undergo an abortion against her free choice or a man or a woman to undergo sterilization against his or her free will?
  21. Have you ever been directly involved in the coercive transplantation of human organs or bodily tissue?
  22. Have you ever sought to obtain or assist others to obtain a visa, entry into the United States, or any other United States immigration benefit by fraud or willful misrepresentation or other unlawful means?
  23. Have you ever withheld custody of a U.S. citizen child outside the United States from a person granted legal custody by a U.S. court?
  24. Have you voted in the United States in violation of any law or regulation?
  25. Have you ever renounced United States citizenship for the purposes of avoiding taxation?

 

Immigration

Immigration (Photo credit: lcars)

 

Prepare your yes or no response to each of these questions, and understand that your response will affect your ability to acquire an American visitor visa.

 

If you have any questions, contact your local immigration attorney.

 

Best of luck!

 

Miami International Attorneys

 

The RFE – Request for Evidence


What is the RFE and how should I react to the RFE?

During you visa application, a USCIS adjudication officer will review or visa application. If the adjudication officer feels that something is insufficient in the visa application, the officer may issue an RFE letter. This usually spells delays, but such delays can be overcome.

Common circumstances for issuance of an RFE letter are: unclear descriptions in your application, missing documents in your application, and out-of-date documents or information in your application. The officer may also wish for you to provide an affidavit swearing to the bona fide nature of a relationship at the foundation of your application, or simply evidence of eligibility, vaccination, or birth country.

  1. As one can see, making a complete and correct first application is the key to avoiding the RFE letter. However, should you receive an RFE letter and feel that you application was correct, please be aware that some RFE letters are issued by mistake. Even if you think your RFE was issued in error, you should treat the requests seriously and respond in full.
  2. Do not panic. Please also keep in mind that an RFE is better than an NID (Notice of Intent to Deny). The RFE often times just means that an officer needs clarification, while the NID generally means that you must perfect your application or likely face denial.
  3. Should you receive an RFE letter, please ensure that you respond within the time-frame indicated in the request. If you ignore the time limits, you run a high risk of having your application denied. If you receive a denial, you may have to appeal or move to reopen your denied case. Appeals cost more time and money, and may have limited success.
  4. Moreover, pay close attention to the instructions and explanation in the RFE. The USCIS may give precise information regarding how to overcome the deficiencies in your application. Before answering, review the requirements of the particular visa, and be sure that you are not only meeting such requirements, but making apparent that you meet such requirements. You should try to organize your answer for the reader, and keep in mind that the reader’s mindset is to not let you in if you do not meet all of the requirements.
  5. Finally, patience is paramount. With patience comes politeness, and most immigration lawyers agree that a polite answer to an RFE is the safest route. Further, taking the time to make a full and complete response to the RFE, rather than sending your response in pieces, should be far more effective to achieve a positive result from your application.

Most immigration attorneys will provide a consultation free or for a limited fee to discuss your case in more detail.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Matter of Rebelo, (1968) – THE FOURTH BIG CASE – THE B2 VISA EXCEPTION GETS A 2-PRONG TEST – WORKING AND SEEKING ADMISSION AS OCCUPATIONAL CREWMAN


Barcos Rebelo

Barcos Rebelo (Photo credit: Grumbler %-|)

In this series, MIA goes over the important cases that define the present legal atmosphere of the crewmember’s visa, the C1/D. In MIA’s last articles, we discussed the important effect of a crewmember visa designation: the inability to apply for Adjustment of Status (“AOS”) or Cancellation of Removal (“COR”).  Again, the two-prong inquiry in determining whether an alien was admitted as a crewman: the Court MUST examine both (1) the alien’s visa, as well as (2) the circumstances surrounding his entry into the U.S., to ascertain whether they entered in pursuit of their occupation as a seaman. This plainly ambiguous test leaves lots of room for factual differentiation on a case-by-case basis. Thus, to help flesh out the circumstances that have led to a ruling of eligibility or ineligibility, we have examined 19 key cases from the annals of crewmember case law.

In this case, Matter of Rebelo, the Court decides that:

ARRIVAL AS A WORKAWAY DOES NOT PRECLUDE “AOS” IF HE IS NOT (1) SERVING ABOARD A VESSEL IN A CAPACITY REQUIRED FOR ITS NORMAL OCCUPATION, OR (2) HE IS NOT SEEKING (AND THEREAFTER GAINS) ADMISSION TO THE U.S. BECAUSE OF HIS OCCUPATION IN THAT ROLE.

The Court took its holding from Quintero-Correa (see previous MIA article) regarding the coincidental seaman, and made a stiff 2-prong test. An alien who is admitted with a nonimmigrant visitor’s visa (B-2 visa) cannot be statutorily precluded from receiving adjustment of status as a crewman, because he did not seek or gain admission to the U.S. because of his occupation as a crewman. Similarly, if, like in Quintero-Correa, an alien was not serving aboard a vessel in order to maintain the vessel’s normal operation (e.g. passengers, workaways, etc.), then the alien cannot be denied AOS.

REBELO’S BACKGROUND TO THE U.S.

A crewman operates the ship's throttle in the ...

A crewman operates the ship’s throttle in the main engine room aboard the USS NEW JERSEY (BB 62). Behind him is the engine oil inspection station. The NEW JERSEY, after recently completing renovation and modernization, is undergoing sea trials prior to reactivated in January 1983. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rebelo, the alien that brought the case, was a 59-year old man, and a native of Portugal. Rebelo had spent 25 years as a crewman by occupation, often as an engineer.

Rebelo arrived in the U.S. in 1965, with a B2 visa (a nonimmigrant temporary visitor for pleasure). Rebelo had obtained a B2 visa from an American Consul in Japan. Rebelo arrived as an engineer on a vessel, and was listed as a member of the crew on the vessel’s manifest. Upon presentation of the B-2, the U.S. authorized Rebelo to stay for 17 months, but Rebelo never left the U.S. thereafter.

MATTER OF QUINTERO-CORREA EXPANDED

When Rebelo applied for AOS, the U.S. denied him based on his 25-year history as a crewman. However, at trial, the Court held that Rebelo was still eligible for AOS, under the new 2-prong test. (NOTE: remember Matter of Quintero-Correa, discussed by MIA in a previous article, where the Court held that a workaway who enters on a B-2 visa could not be denied AOS as a crewman, be cause he was coincidentally, not occupationally, a seaman).

CONVINCE THE CONSULAR OFFICER YOU’RE NOT A CREWMAN

The Court found that he was not statutorily precluded from receiving adjustment of status, primarily because he had convinced a consular official that he was eligible for a visitor’s visa, and because he was properly admitted as such.

A B1/B2 visa to the United States

A B1/B2 visa to the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The crew reaffirmed that an alien who happens to be serving as a crewman at the time of his entry is barred from AOS to permanent resident only if he has been inspected and admitted or paroled into the U.S. as such. Here, Rebelo was admitted as a B-2 nonimmigrant for pleasure, and not as a crewman, and thus was not ineligible for AOS based on his crewman status.

2-PRONG TEST OF THE DOUBLY COINCIDENTAL CREWMAN

The Court set up a 2-part test to determine whether an alien is a crewmember: (1) he must be serving aboard a vessel in a capacity required for its normal operation, and (2) he must be seeking (and gain) admission to this country because of his occupation in that role.

After consideration of these two factors, the Court held that the alien’s formal visa entry, decided by the consular officer, controlled, rather than the fact that he arrived as a listed crewman engineer, and that Rebelo was eligible for AOS.

This case was the last major ruling favorable to aliens. After 1968, the rules get stricter.

Next Case: Matter of Campton, (1970).

Until next time. Stay tuned.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

MIA

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

President Obama and Former Governor Romney Clash on Immigration Reform During Debate


During the presidential debate last night, former governor and Republican candidate Mitt Romney battled with President Barack Obama on Obama’s current immigration policy and any plans Mr. Romney may have for the future.

Immigration

Immigration (Photo credit: lcars)

President Obama was particularly harsh on Romney regarding Romney’s professed position on

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the V...

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the Values Voters conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

immigration. Romney had originally taken a very hardline against immigration, criticizing President Obama’s reprieves for immigrant families. During the debate last night, Romney attempted to soften his line. Yet, Romney still promised reform of current immigration laws, if Romney is elected. In fact, Romney promised swift action against immigration: “I’ll get it done. First year,” Romney said.

Romney also supported a theory of self-deportation, which involves immigration laws so harsh that aliens will voluntarily leave rather than face the punishment. Romney stated that “self-deportation says let people make their own choice. What I was saying is, we’re not going to round up 12 million people, undocumented illegals, and take them out of the nation. Instead, let people make their own choice.” Perhaps it was an unfortunate use of the word “round up,” but Romney stood his ground.

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Obama, taking the opposite side of immigration reform, stated that he supports citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Romney admitted that he does not support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

President Obama, a supporter of the DREAM Act, which promotes a pathway to citizenship for children brought into the U.S. at a young age, pointed out that Romney would veto the DREAM Act.

Romney also supported an Arizona law that required employers to use electronic federal verification to verify all of their workers. Kris Kobach, Romney’s key immigration adviser, is actually one of the authors of Arizona’s recent tough immigration laws.

How each candidate will pan out with immigrant and former alien voters will be seen soon enough.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

MIA

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Why Crewmember Status Counts: Ineligibility for Cancellation of Removal or Adjustment of Status.


Simply put, an alien who enters the United States as a crewman, either in form or in circumstance, is ineligible for adjustment of status and cancellation of removal. See INA Section 240A(c)(1), 8 U.S.C. Section 1229b(c)(1); INA Section 245(c), 8 U.S.C. Section 1255(c). Congress’s basic purpose behind these crewmen provisions was an attempt to deal with the problem of the alien who uses the seaman’s route to gain relatively easy access to the U.S. and to enter for the purpose of residing permanently. Matter of Loo, 15 I. & N. Dec. 601, 602 (BIA 1976).

The USS Columbus (1819) and a crewman in Edo B...

The USS Columbus (1819) and a crewman in Edo Bay in 1846. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For anybody hoping to cancel their removal or adjust their status to permanent residency and fighting against this rule, the defense options are limited. Just look at the limited language of the law itself, and you can see that few challenges lie in the wording. Are you an alien? Most likely. Did you enter the U.S.? If not, you wouldn’t be challenging a ruling to deport you or denying your adjustment of status (“AOS”).

But, did you enter as a crewman?

Bingo.

As to be expected, the question of whether an alien qualified as a crewman is the great sticking point. As the Supreme Court has stated, whether or not a person is a member of a crew turns on questions of law and fact and “does not have an absolutely unvarying legal significance.” South Chicago Coal and Dock Co. v. Bassett, 309 U.S. 251, 258 (1940); Matter of M/T “Rajendra Prasad”, 16 I. & N. Dec. 705, 707 (1979). What formalities and circumstances are encompassed in a “crewman” status is the subject of substantial legal debate and case law. This large body of case law and administrative decisions have formed a general consensus that the prohibition on AOS or COR (“Cancellation of Removal”) includes any alien who, on arrival in the U.S., was serving in any capacity on board a vessel or aircraft or was destined to join a vessel or aircraft in the U.S. to serve in any capacity thereon, as well as an alien admitted to the U.S. on a crewmember visa. Thus, an alien admitted to the U.S. with other than a crewmember visa, but entering for purposes of being a crewmember, is barred from AOS or COR. In order to be subject to this bar, the alien must be serving, or be destined to serve, aboard a vessel in a capacity required for the vessel’s normal operation, and must be seeking to enter, or have entered the U.S. because of his or her occupation in that role. However, an alien crewmember who presents a valid B-2 visa and is admitted to the U.S. as a bona fide temporary visitor, and is not admitted in order to pursue his or her calling as a crewmember, is not statutorily barred from applying for AOS or COR.

View of SS MONTORO showing six crewmen leaning...

View of SS MONTORO showing six crewmen leaning on the ship’s rail, 1920-1950 (Photo credit: Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons)

The Test

If you, the reader, take anything from this article, it should be the following two-prong inquiry in determining whether an alien was admitted as a crewman: the Court MUST examine both (1) the alien’s visa, as well as (2) the circumstances surrounding his entry into the U.S., to ascertain whether they entered in pursuit of their occupation as a seaman. This plainly ambiguous test leaves lots of room for factual differentiation on a case-by-case basis. Thus, to help flesh out the circumstances that have led to a ruling of eligibility or ineligibility, we have described 19 key cases from the annals of crewmember case law (SEE NEXT ARTICLE). Before we get to the cases, we should cover some beginner’s ground.

A Crewman’s Definition

Cruise Ship - Celebrity Infinity

Cruise Ship – Celebrity Infinity (Photo credit: blmiers2)

The general rule is that the term crewman is defined as “a person serving in any capacity on board a vessel or aircraft” “who intends to land temporarily and solely in pursuit of his calling as a crewman and to depart from the United States with the vessel or aircraft on which he arrived or some other vessel or aircraft.” INA Section 101(a)(10), (15)(D)(i) 8 U.S.C. Section 1101(a)(10), (15)(D)(i). In determining whether an alien should be considered a crewman, the type of visa the alien possessed and the circumstances surrounding the alien’s admission into the United States are examined. In re G-D-M-, 25 I. & N. Dec. 82, 84-85 (BIA 2009). See e.g. Chica-Roman v. Attorney General of U.S., 462 Fed. Appx. 221 (3d Cir. 2012).

Notice the double-quote and double-cite in the general rule. The term crewman is defined twice separately in the Immigration and Nationality Act.  The first INA section describes a crewman as “a person serving in any capacity on board a vessel or aircraft.” 8 U.S.C. Section 1101(a)(10). The second INA section defines an “alien crewman” as an individual “serving in good faith as such in a capacity required for normal operation and service on board a vessel . . . who intends to land temporarily and solely in pursuit of his calling as a crewman and to depart from the United States with the vessel or aircraft on which he arrived or some other vessel or aircraft.” 8 U.S.C. Section 1101(a)(15)(D)(i).

Keep In Mind the D-1 Crewman Versus the C-1 Transit Alien Versus C-1/D

Also, remember that it is the D-1 classification that provides a crewmember status. A “D-1” classification is given to “an alien crewman . . . who intends to land temporarily and solely in pursuit of his calling as a crewman and to depart from the United States with the vessel or aircraft on which he arrived or some other vessel or aircraft.” 8 U.S.C. Section 1101(a)(15)(D)(i); see also 8 C.F.R. Section 214.1(a)(2). On the other hand, a “C-1” classification is given to “an alien in immediate and continuous transit through the United States.” 8 U.S.C. Section 1101(a)(15)(C); see also8 C.F.R. Section 214.1(a)(2).

Novara_barge

Novara_barge (Photo credit: Alphast)

Nowadays, an alien crewman traveling to meet a vessel in the U.S. is issued a “C-1/D” visa, which is a dual “C-1” and “D” visa. A “D” visa is given to a nonimmigrant alien serving aboard a vessel or aircraft “who intends to land temporariy in pursuit of his calling as a crewman and to depart from the U.S. with the vessel or aircraft on which he arrived or some other vessel or aircraft.” A “C-1” visa is given to a nonimmigrant alien in immediate and continuous transit through the U.S. If you get the D on your visa, it indicates that a consular officer gave you “alien crewman” status under the INA. See 22 C.F.R. Sections 41.12 and 41.41; see also Petitson v. U.S. Atty. Gen., (11th Cir. 2012).

The BIA “examines an alien’s visa and the circumstances surrounding his entry into the United States to determine if he entered as a crewman.” Matter of G-D-M-, 25 I. & N. Dec. 82, 85 (BIA 2009). “If it is apparent . . . that the alien was issued a visa as a crewman and entered the United States in pursuit of his occupation as a seaman, then he is to be regarded as an alien crewman.” Id. If you are determined to be a crewman or crewmember, then you will not be eligible to apply for the standard Cancellation of Removal, nor will you be eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status to become a permanent resident. The Courts consistently hold that by choosing to seek entry to the U.S. as a crewman, a person agrees to the limitations associated with that status, and he will not be later allowed to avoid the consequences of those restrictions in removal proceedings by claiming that he may not be a crewman after all.

Prior Crewman Are Not Crewmen Now, Right? – The B-2 Exception

However, an alien may not be a “crewman” even if his means of arrival in the U.S. was as a crewman or he had previously entered as a crewman, provided that his most recent admission was not as a crewman; in particular, if he was admitted as a B-2 visitor. Matter of Rebelo, 13 I. & N. Dec. 84 (BIA 1968) (holding that an alien admitted with a B-2 nonimmigrant visitor’s visa was not entering as a crewman, even though he was serving as a ship’s engineer); Matter of Quintero-Correa, 11 I. & N. Dec. 343 (BIA 1964) (finding that an alien admitted with a B-2 nonimmigrant visitor’s visa was not entering as a cewman arriving aboard a freighter, although he earned half his fare by serving meals to the crew and washing dishes).

Crew and Queensland Airlines DC3 plane, 'Wide Bay'

Crew and Queensland Airlines DC3 plane, ‘Wide Bay’ (Photo credit: State Library of Queensland, Australia)

Although the B-2 exception has succeeded in limited cases, it is still an option. Nevertheless, the Courts will exhaust a fact-intensive review of your immigration and occupational history in the search for circumstances that show your intent to enter as a crewman. Adding to the challenge, the alien must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he did not intend to enter as a crewman.

Next article, the Crewman Cases. Here’s a preview:

1. Matter of Tzimas, 10 I. & N. Dec. 101 (BIA 1962).

2. Matter of Goncalves, 10 I. & N. Dec. 277 (BIA 1963).

3. Matter of Quintero-Correa, 11 I. & N. Dec. 343 (BIA 1964).

4. Matter of Rebelo, 13 I. & N. Dec. 84 (BIA 1968).

5. Matter of Campton, 13 I. & N. Dec. 535 (BIA 1970).

6. Matter of Loo, 15 I. & N. Dec. 601 (BIA 1976).

7. Matter of M/T “Rajendra Prasad”, 16 I. & N. Dec. 705 (BIA 1979).

8. Parzagonis v. I.N.S., 747 F. 2d 1389, 1390 (11th Cir. 1984).

9. In Re: Rehman Saidur, 2005 WL 649059 (2005).

10. Matter of G-D-M-, 25 I. & N. Dec. 82 (BIA 2009)

11. Rodriguez v. U.S. Atty. Gen, 355 Fed. Appx. 372 (11th Cir. 2009).

12. Sarup v. Attorney General of U.S., 423 Fed. Appx. 231 (3d Cir. 2011). [3/6/11]

13. In Re: Everton Dane Henry, 2011 WL 1373664 (2011).

14. Beri v. U.S. Atty. Gen., 438 Fed. Appx. 841 (11th Cir. 2011) [8/23/11]

15. Lewis v. U.S. Atty. Gen., 2012 WL 2946062 (2012)

16. Gonzalez v. Holder, 673 F. 3d 35 (1st Cir. 2012).

17. In Re: Andrius Urvakis, 2012 WL 1495515 (2012).

18. Petitson v. U.S. Atty. Gen., 2012 WL 2890568 (11th Cir. 2012).

19. Chica-Roman v. Attorney General of U.S., 462 Fed. Appx. 221 (3d Cir. 2012).

Until next time.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Where do nonimmigrant visas get their names?


Have you wondered where the visas get their names?

It’s a rather trifling matter, but the alphabetization of the nonimmigrant visa classes can create anonymity and an impersonal tone to the entire visa application process right from the beginning. Knowing where the visa names come from, and the foundation of their meaning, can make them seem less unfamiliar and less intimidating. Less intimidation means more comfort and confidence, which in turns makes your immigration experience more enjoyable and successful (we hope).

US Immigration and Customs at Shannon Airport,...

US Immigration and Customs at Shannon Airport, Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The root of the visa names is based on their placement in the INA Code (that’s INA for Immigration and Nationality Act, the major piece of U.S. law governing immigration in the U.S. – for more on the INA, see this article).

Welcome to Immigration 101

As with many pieces of legal code, the INA begins with a section 101, where all the major words used in the code are defined. Not surprisingly, this section is called “Definitions“.  Going from A to Z, Section 101(1) starts with “administrator”, and by 101(38), you’re at “United States”. Unfortunately, thereafter the alphabet is lost to later add-ons, such as the ever-extensive “aggravated felony” and the ironically forgotten “stowaway”.

Actuating Anonymity by Alliteration and Alphabetization of Areas

Logo of ICE

Logo of ICE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Section 101(15), one comes to the meaning of “immigrant”, which is defined by what it is not, rather than that which it is. Pursuant to Section 101(15), the term “immigrant” means every alien except an alien who is within one of the following classes of nonimmigrant aliens: Ambassador, temporary Business or pleasure, Continuous transit, Deckhands and crewman, trEaty traders and investors, Foreign students, Government diplomat, Highly skilled workers, International exchange program people, Karat-laden fiancées, Long-term employees of foreign companies, Mixed studies vocational and nonacademic students, Non-separated families, extraOrdinarily able people, Photogs and athletes, Qultural exchange visitors, Religious visitors, Snitches, Trafficking victims, abUse victims, and permanent Visa families. Now obviously, some of the above alphabetization requires a stretch of the imagination. But the notion is there. A through V is the list of different ways you can be a temporary visitor of the U.S. under Section 101(15)’s definition of (non)immigration.

Ambassador,

Business or pleasure,

Continuous transit,

Deckhands and crewman,

trEaty traders and investors,

Foreign students,

Government diplomat,

Highly skilled workers,

International exchange program people,

Karat-laden fiancées,

Long-term employees of foreign companies,

Mixed studies vocational and nonacademic students,

Non-separated families,

extraOrdinarily able people,

Photogs and athletes,

Qultural exchange visitors,

Religious visitors,

Snitches,

Trafficking victims,

abUse victims, and

permanent Visa families.

Most of these apply to few people, and a few of these apply to almost everybody. We hope that our breakdown helps break down the wall of anonymity behind the nonimmigrant visa titles. Considering the alliteration employed, we have to imagine that even the drafters of the legislation hoped to bring a bit of personality to the code.

Best of luck.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Immigration Lawyer Miami

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Potential TPS Petitioners Take Precaution – considerations on letting your visa lapse


Potential TPS Petitioners Take Precaution! Before you let your status lapse, consider the options, the financial stresses, and the immigration risks.

We have recently been fielding questions regarding TPS filings and the effect of a TPS application on an alien’s current immigration status. Predominantly, these questions have involved individuals with nonimmigrant visas determining whether to renew their nonimmigrant status or risk lapse during an application for TPS.

Those seeking TPS should first note that a decision either granting or denying your TPS status may take 3 months or more. Thus, if your status is set to expire within the next 6 months, it may be worthwhile to renew rather than risk it.

Please also note that the USCIS states that where an alien has periods of time without lawful immigration status before or after being granted TPS, those periods of out-of-status or unlawful presence may adversely affect the alien’s ability to adjust to permanent status or attain other immigration benefits, depending on the circumstances of each specific case. Although the alien may petition for a waiver of inadmissibility (where based on unlawful presence), this is no safe bet. Moreover, there does not appear to be an express provision tolling the expiration of your current nonimmigrant status during your TPS application. What on-point equitable tolling there does appear to be, it seems to be dependent on a successful TPS application, a determination of prima facie eligibility, or government error.

If you still feel determined to risk living out-of-status, you may wish to research your options under INA Section 245i and 245k, cancellation of removal, or asylum. You may have other options if you are an immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen. If you get into a bind (e.g. removal proceedings), you may also wish to research rules on equitable tolling of removal. But these efforts may be difficult routes to pursue.

Although having to renew your nonimmigrant status may be costly financially, consider the benefits: you may still file for other immigration benefits during TPS, including non-immigrant petitions, adjustment of status, asylum, or otherwise. TPS is considered lawful nonimmigrant status during its pendency, and thus does not affect other applications.

Most immigration attorneys will provide a consultation free or for a limited fee to discuss your case in more detail.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

The Dreaded RFE; immigration shorthand for “Request for Evidence”


What is the RFE and how should I react to the RFE?

During you visa application, a USCIS adjudication officer will review or visa application. If the adjudication officer feels that something is insufficient in the visa application, the officer may issue an RFE letter. This usually spells delays, but such delays can be overcome.

Common circumstances for issuance of an RFE letter are: unclear descriptions in your application, missing documents in your application, and out-of-date documents or information in your application. The officer may also wish for you to provide an affidavit swearing to the bona fide nature of a relationship at the foundation of your application, or simply evidence of eligibility, vaccination, or birth country.

  1. As one can see, making a complete and correct first application is the key to avoiding the RFE letter. However, should you receive an RFE letter and feel that you application was correct, please be aware that some RFE letters are issued by mistake. Even if you think your RFE was issued in error, you should treat the requests seriously and respond in full.
  2. Do not panic. Please also keep in mind that an RFE is better than an NID (Notice of Intent to Deny). The RFE often times just means that an officer needs clarification, while the NID generally means that you must perfect your application or likely face denial.
  3. Should you receive an RFE letter, please ensure that you respond within the time-frame indicated in the request. If you ignore the time limits, you run a high risk of having your application denied. If you receive a denial, you may have to appeal or move to reopen your denied case. Appeals cost more time and money, and may have limited success.
  4. Moreover, pay close attention to the instructions and explanation in the RFE. The USCIS may give precise information regarding how to overcome the deficiencies in your application. Before answering, review the requirements of the particular visa, and be sure that you are not only meeting such requirements, but making apparent that you meet such requirements. You should try to organize your answer for the reader, and keep in mind that the reader’s mindset is to not let you in if you do not meet all of the requirements.
  5. Finally, patience is paramount. With patience comes politeness, and most immigration lawyers agree that a polite answer to an RFE is the safest route. Further, taking the time to make a full and complete response to the RFE, rather than sending your response in pieces, should be far more effective to achieve a positive result from your application.

Most immigration attorneys will provide a consultation free or for a limited fee to discuss your case in more detail.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Nonimmigrant Visas, from A to Z


Superman likely first visited the U.S. with an O Visa… aliens with extraordinary abilities

The U.S. Nonimmigrant Visa, with 23 main categories (only 4 of which are limited in number), there’s something for everyone. The ticker at the gate shows the same. Some 40,000,000 (40 million!) nonimmigrants come to the U.S. each year.

The letter appellation of each visa reflects the code section of federal legislation providing for the same. Google CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 214 or INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) 101 to check it out.

Below is an alphabetical listing of the major visa categories:

A: career diplomats

B: temporary visitors for business and plaure

C: aliens in transit

D: crew members

E: treaty traders, investors, and temporary Australian workers

F: students

G: international organization representatives

H: temporary workers

I: foreign media representatives

J: exchange program visitors

K: fiancé(e)s or spouses (and their children) of U.S. citizens

L: intracompany transferees

M: students in non-academic institutions

N: parents and children of special immigrants

O: aliens with extraordinary abilities

P: entertainers and athletes

Q: cultural exchange program participants

R: religious workers

S: aliens coming to the U.S. to provide information for a criminal investigation

T: victims of human trafficking

TN: for NAFTA professionals

U: victims of domestic abuse or crime

V: spouses and children of permanent residents who filed an immigration petition more than 3 years ago.

IF you want more information, please contact your local Florida immigration lawyer at Miami International Attorneys, P.L. via email. Andrew John Bernhard, immigration lawyer Miami, is available at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com. Or go to the website at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Photo courtesy of http://www.watchingamerica.com/thenationpk000025.shtml.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Visas – Info on Each Visa Available

Andrew John Bernhard, Esq.

Welcome to MiamiVisaHelp.com’s Blog!

Welcome to MiamiVisaHelp.com’s law blog … discussing everything visa from the perspective of those that have a need, desire, or tendency to move from country to country for the purpose of work, survival, education, living, play, and everything in between. Please feel free to send Andrew John Bernhard, Esq. a message! We are always trying to enhance your experience, and help all of us movers, migrators, immigrants, ex-pats and travelers have an easier, happier, and more satisfying experience in the often confusing world of U.S. Immigration. Please feel free to visit our friends at USImmigrationMiami.wordpress.com and TheMitochondrialMigrator.wordpress.com to see more from similar minded people like yourself! Most of all…ENJOY! - Andrew John Bernhard, Esq.

Miami Visa Help by Miami International Attorneys focused on immigration law in Miami and South Florida, discussing visas, citizenship, green cards, and immigration law news