General Questions

I am a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), which family members may I sponsor for permanent residence?

Not all familial relationships may serve as a basis to apply for permanent residency. Under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, there are two primary categories

(a) immediate relatives and

(b) preference immigrants.

Immediate relatives are not subject to numerical limitations. They include:Spouses of US citizens;

Minor unmarried children (under 21); and

Parents if the petitioner is at least 21 years of age.

Preference immigrants are subject to preference provisions that specify the number of immigrant visas allotted to each of the family preference categories. The category affects the waiting period for each type of immigrant. The categories include:

(1)First Preference: unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens who are 21 yrs of age or older;

(2)Second Preference: spouses or children of LPRs (2A) and unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs (2B);

(3)Third Preference: married sons or daughters of US citizens; and

(4)Fourth Preference: Siblings of US citizens, if the citizens are at least 21 years of age.

If you would like to sponsor a family member, call today at (713) 909-0752 or email at admin@nslawpllc.com to schedule a consultation.

I am a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and I stayed outside of the United States longer than 1 year, does that mean I lost my permanent resident status?

Not necessarily. Absence of greater than one year outside the United States breaks the continuous presence requirement for naturalization. In order to reenter the United States, you must apply for a Returning Resident Visa (SB-1) at the local US consulate.

If you know you will be outside of the United States for longer than six months and still plan to apply for naturalization, the best practice would be to file for a re-entry permit and ensure it is granted prior to leaving the country. For more information regarding the requirements of returning to the United States following a one-year absence, see the link below.

If you plan on leaving the United States for a period of time extending beyond six months and call today at (713) 909-0752 or email at admin@nslawpllc.com to schedule a consultation.

United States Department of State: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/returning-resident.html

Does my divorce from a United States citizen effect my ability to apply for naturalization?

This one is complicated. Each situation is unique depending on the reason for the divorce and date of separation and divorce. First and foremost, the applicant will always have to prove they entered into a bonafide marriage prior to applying for naturalization. Depending on whether the application for adjustment of status was approved, it could affect the applicant’s ability to naturalize. If an applicant in still within the conditional permanent resident status stage, the applicant will still need to file an I-751 joint petition to remove the conditions on residency within a specific time period.

The joint requirement may be waived as long as the applicant can show they were not at fault for failing to file a joint petition.

For more information regarding the divorce and naturalization, call today at (713) 909-0752 or email at admin@nslawpllc.com to schedule a consultation.

Tourist & Visitor Visa

Will my spouse and I be interviewed together or separately in order to determine the validity of our marriage?

In most cases, spouses are interviewed together in order to determine the validity of their marriage. In certain situations, such as missing documentation, suspicious circumstances, or if beneficiary is subject to a ground of inadmissibility, the USCIS officer may decide to interview the spouses separately. In either case, both individuals will need to be ready and able to answer specific details regarding the relationship. For more information regarding the adjustment of status and interview process, call today at (713) 909-0752 or email at admin@nslawpllc.com to schedule a consultation.

I am a lawful permanent resident, when can I apply for naturalization?

Depending on how permanent resident status was granted, the earliest date to apply for naturalization will be as follows:

Under the three- year requirement (marriage/VAWA): two years and nine months after grant of LPR status

Under the five-year requirement: four years and nine months after grant of LPR status

If the continuous presence requirement is broken, the applicant must wait four years and one day following the applicant’s return to the United States

What is going on with DACA (December 2020)?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an executive order issued by President Obama in 2012 that allowed for undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children to apply for a two-year deferred action from deportation. Under the Trump administration, no new applications to the DACA program were accepted. Additionally, DACA recipients were required to reapply every year and only if they met more rigorous requirements than those imposed under the Obama administration. Currently, DACA is in the process of being restored to its original terms. For now, applicants can go back to reapplication every two years instead of every year. Acceptance of new applications will follow shortly.

If you have questions regarding DACA eligibility or would like to file for permanent residence through the program, call today at (713) 909-0752 or email at admin@nslawpllc.com to schedule a consultation

PR & Migration Visa

If I was only arrested but never charged, why should I get my record expunged?

An arrest will still show on your record and could prevent you from applying for housing, certain certifications, and when applying for jobs.

What is the effect of an expunction?

An expunction will remove the incident from the arresting agency’s records

Am I eligible for an expunction?

The most common incidents that lead to expunction include those listed below. Further instances are listed under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure section 55.

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