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Irene Arfaras Steffas

Irene Steffas’s Answers

418 total


  • How to I obtain a US declaration/affidavit from Department of Homeland Security that no naturalization occurred?

    I need to obtain a US declaration/affidavit from the Department of Homeland Security that no naturalization has taken place for me, my father and grandfather because I would like to become an Italian citizen and need this doc to prove uninterrupte...

    Irene’s Answer

    I would recommend that you begin by contacting the Italian consulate or Italian embassy in Washington, D.C. Although I am not familiar with the Italian regulations, other Mediterranean countries only require that you prove your grandfather was a citizen of the country. To determine whether or not your grandfather became a US citizen, you can request a FOIA - Freedom of Information Act - go to www.uscis.gov and find the block for forms - put in the search box FOIA -- this way you can find out if your grandfather was ever naturalized.

    The United States allows people to maintain more than one nationality - so from the American perspective you can be both a US and an Italian citizen. See what the Italians have to say

    good luck

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  • Do i need consent to change my son's name from an absent parent that's not in the country or hasn't been in his life since birth

    My son's biological parent was deported when he was born- 5 yrs ago. I want to change his first and last name . Do I need consent from the absent parent? I want to give my son my maiden name how do i go about doing this and do i need a lawyer. If ...

    Irene’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I am answering your question, because a few important issues were not previously discussed. First, were you married to the child's father? or did the biological father legitimate your son - get his name on the child's birth certificate? If he did, he is more than a biological father he has real rights. If he has rights, he is considered a Legal Father.

    Although a court has the ability to terminate his rights, he must be given notice properly - this is a very formal issue, if he lives in a country such as Mexico that has signed the Hague Convention on Service of Process. If you are going to do a stepparent adoption (which makes the most sense), you need to do it correctly.

    Best of Luck

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  • Overstayed B1/B2 visa for 1 month. Mom has schizophrenia. Is asylum/refugee case possible?

    My mother has schizophrenia and was treated poorly/persecuted in her home country because of it. We are currently on B1/B2 visa and has been overstaying for a month. Can I apply for asylum/refugee or other alternative?

    Irene’s Answer

    Must apply for asylum within 12 months of entering the US. Such cases are tough - please get an attorney to help you.

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  • My brother has a ten year visa from Jamaica. Is he eligible to file I-765 please?

    If granted a work permit. will he be able to file taxes?

    Irene’s Answer

    The 10 year visa is for permission to enter the US for a 10 year period as a TOURIST: come in and leave and reenter for the next 10 years. It does not mean that he can stay in the US for 10 years.

    In his passport there might be a stamp that says how long he can stay - that is authorized stay. If he does not have a stamp in his passport, then he can go on line to see how long his authorized stay is.

    Filing an I-765 is a waste of money - it will be denied.

    there are possibly other legitimate ways for him to obtain a visa.

    Best of luck,

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  • My girlfriend has dual citizenship in Brazil and USA. Can she bring her Brazilian son here to live?

    We are planning to marry. If she brings him here on a tourist visa, can she apply for his residency once they are here? What will happen if she does that without the father's consent? She will allow the father to see him, but she would prefer the...

    Irene’s Answer

    Whether she wants her son to visit the US on a tourist visa or get his legal permanent residency (green card) she MUST get the permission of the child's father. International Abductions have created a lot of new safeguards. I think this was your real question.

    Best of Luck

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  • I-485 Current USCIS status and Expires on...

    Hi, I came to US with J-1 visa, then had F-1 visa for many years. It expired few years ago, unfortunately. I recently got married to US citizen and applying for green card.Part 1 of I-485 asks Current Status, and expiration date... Since I'm o...

    Irene’s Answer

    You have found one land mind - there are more. This is the reason that it is wise to consult with an immigration attorney. Does your J visa require you to return to your home country? There are numerous issues that need to be addressed before you go for your AOS interview.

    When we tell you to lawyer up, it is not to collect fees. Having practiced immigration law for 3 decades I cannot count the time INS or USCIS gave clients wrong information.

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  • Is an adoption invalid if the Relinquishment and consent is void?

    Under MCA 42-2-409(2), a minimum of 3 hrs of counseling is required before a relinquishment and consent to adopt can be accepted by the court. If the requirements were not met, it is void. I think that if its ruled by the Judge as void then a m...

    Irene’s Answer

    The issue is whether Montana has a Statute of Repose. In many states there is a policy to maintain the legal viability of adoptions. A statute of repose - will say, you must bring up a deficiency, wrong forms etc within x number of months. Ask this question to an attorney in Montana sooner than later.

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  • Can my husband overturn an adoption?

    My husband unfortunately can not read very well. His mother took advantage of that fact and had him sign his parental rights away. His two daughters were adopted by my husbands parents. The girls now 14 and 12 came to California to live with us, t...

    Irene’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    There are two issues - First the issue of fraud in signing the Consent for Adoption. You must look to the state that finalized the adoption and determine if there is a Statute of Repose. What this means is that many states have a policy that an adoption cannot be voided even if there was a mistake or fraud. The Statute of Repose will say that this is for a period of x months. I am going to presume that the adoption was finalized in Kentucky or Arizona - that is where this issue must first be resolved. If there is a Statute of Repose and the time has passed, you will not be able to reverse or void the adoption.

    The 2nd issues deals with fraud for Medicaid or other government assistance - the two issues are not linked together. Meaning that the fraud your mother-in-law is committing will not be a basis for voiding the adoption.

    Best of luck,

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  • Can my daughters "step-father" get my daughter her visa without me signing for anything?

    My daughter (who is 7) was just given her visa/residency. Her mother married a resident of the US and he applied for her papers and was approved. I was not asked to sign anything or to be involved in any way. Is that possible. I ask because they t...

    Irene’s Answer

    Your daughter's stepfather can apply for her legal permanent residency and it 1) does not require your permission nor 2) does it compromise your legal rights to your child.

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  • Can we sue the State o New York for failing to notify our family when nieces were placed in Foster care.and one was adopted out.

    I have two nieces and one was placed in foster care and the other went to a friend when the mother was sent to rehab. a year later she went to court and gave up the girls. On was adopted the other was not. DSS in NY had my information to contact m...

    Irene’s Answer

    You may not have a case to sue, however, I would definitely write a complaint to the supervisor of the social worker and copy NY state's department of family and children services. Priority is supposed to be given to relatives. Nonetheless, this policy is seldom done in the US.

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