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Philip C. Curtis

Philip Curtis’s Answers

47 total

  • Filing IT returns

    I am on L1 visa here in Bellevue, WA and my wife is also here with me on L2 visa. I have declared her as a dependent during my joining formalities. She doesn't have an SSN yet. I wanted to know if I can file IT returns without her having an SS...

    Philip’s Answer

    This is a better question for a tax attorney with experience with filing tax returns for non-resident aliens. I would encourage you to find an account with the relevant experience. That being said, there are provisions for dealing with tax returns where the filing party and dependents do not have SSN#s so that should not be a problem. Sorry I can't provide you with a more detailed answer but this is more of a tax law/accounting issue than an immigration law issue. Good luck.

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  • Wife entered U.S. illegally 8 years ago, what is the process of making her legal

    I am a US citizen. My wife of almost three years is not. We have a child whom is almost 2 years old. My wife entered the country illegally in 2000. How do I start going about the process of making her legal? Can she become legal without having to ...

    Philip’s Answer

    These are very tough cases under current immigration law. If your spouse enter the country illegally then she cannot obtain lawful permanent residence without leaving the U.S. This creates a problem because if she has remain in the country illegally for more than 6 months she will be barred from obtaining a visa for 3 years (10 years if she stayed illegally for more than 1 year.) In cases like these you have two options:

    1. She can leave the country and you can apply for an immigrant visa and a waiver of the 3/10 year bar. The fact that she is married to a U.S. citizen and has a U.S. citizen child should weigh in her favor in the application for a waiver but there is no guarantee. Also, the process could take a year or more and this may not be a feasible option unless you are willing to relocate.

    2. She can remain in the U.S. illegally, hope she doesn't get caught, and hope for a change in the immigration law.

    I realize that neither are attractive options. There are many people in your situation and it is a difficult one.

    If you decide to try to legalize her status now it is critical that you retain an attorney with extensive experience with 3/10 year bar waiver cases. Best of luck.

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  • Terminating a lawyer

    Does anyone know how to terminate service from a lawyer? I hired a lawyer for a lawsuit but I'm not happy with her service. I have signed a contract with her when I hired her. The contract says I will pay the initial 30 hours of her service and...

    Philip’s Answer

    Generally speaking you should be able to terminate your attorney at any time. The rules regarding client fee agreements and termination of the attorney client relationship vary from state to state but I am sure your attorney would be entitled to a reasonable fee for her services. The other issue you may face in this case is that you may have to request permission from the judge to change attorneys if the trial date is coming up. This is especially true if it is a complex case.

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  • Can a person who serves for the U.S. military in a combat zone qualify for U.S. citizenship

    I recently asked a question on this site regarding options for changing my status. Question asked was; I received a C-1D Seamans visa to work on (name withheld) cruise ship. I jumped ship 8 years ago. With the enforcement of immigration getting t...

    Philip’s Answer

    I don't know a lot about visas available to people serving in the U.S. armed forces, but that is not where I would start. Are you married to a U.S. Citizen or do you have any close relatives that are U.S. Citizens?

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  • Is it possible to petition in a parent if i have been a green card holder for the last 7 years

    I'm 27yrs old green card holder for seven yrs. I would like to petion my father. It is possible to petion my dad,

    Philip’s Answer

    There are no immigrant visas available for parents of lawful permanent residents. However, if you have been a U.S. Citizen for 7 years you may qualify for naturalization. If you become a U.S. Citizen then your parent would be considered an immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen and an immigrant visa would then be immediately available for your parent. The naturalization process may take up to 1 year if you qualify and the application process for the immigrant visa for your parent after that would probably take another year or so. It would take some time but it seems like the only option for you. I would advise you to look into whether you may qualify for U.S. Citizenship as a first step. I've included a few links to some information about the Citizenship requirements for your information but you may also want to contact an immigration attorney. I hope this helps.

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  • Green card holder married to a U.S. citizen for 18 months, how will a divorce affect my status

    I have been married to a us citizen for 18 months and been living here in the us for 13 months,We filed all the paperwork for green card 6 months ago but I have not received it yet. Now me and my husband are having problems and we might end up get...

    Philip’s Answer

    Good question. Assuming that you application for the green card was based on your marriage to your U.S. your initial green card, if approved, will be conditional. Under the Marriage Fraud Act, all green cards issued based on marriage to a U.S. citizen are conditional for two years. Prior to the expiration of your conditional green card (assuming it is granted) you would have to file a petition to remove the conditions on your residency. With a few exceptions this petition must be filed jointly and therefore if you are no longer married you could encounter problems and be unable to obtain a permanent green card. This isn't anything to take lightly and I would encourage you to consult with a qualified immigration attorney to discuss the possible effects a divorce may have on your legal status. I have included a link to an article I wrote about this that provides some more information. I hope this helps. Feel free to email me with additional questions.

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  • DUI conviction for alien resident, would marriage to a U.S. citizen allow alien to stay in the U.S.

    Is there any way that can help my partner get an approval of some kind to stay in the U.S? Since He has just gotten his first DUI. We have been together for about 3 years and I'm having his daughter and he has gone to Tacoma where they keep all Im...

    Philip’s Answer

    You will need to provide some more information in order to get any valuable input on this case. It is not clear from your question what the immigration status of your partner is. I would assume that he entered the country illegally or was otherwise out-of-status since he was sent to an immigration jail. Knowing his current immigration status is critical to determining what remedies, if any, might be available. It is also important to know whether you are a U.S. Citizen. Feel free to email me with some more information and I'll try to give you a little more guidance. Thank you for your question.

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  • Can a student on a H4 visa volunteer as a EMT or firefighter

    I have been studying on my H4 to be an EMT - until I get my EAD can I do unpaid work as a volunteer EMT or Firefighter

    Philip’s Answer

    There is no prohibition against volunteer work as long as it is true volunteer work and there is no compensation.

    Good luck with your EMT training.

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  • Is it possible to change status after entering the U.S. illegally

    I entered into this country illigally and now have a child and family that are legal US citizans. What, if anything, can I do to change my status? What does the future hold for my family? For my son? I have been a loyal, honest and law abiding...

    Philip’s Answer

    These types of cases are very tough under current immigration law and that's why you haven't received much optimistic news. As the law stands now, if you entered the country illegally and stayed for more than 180 days you are barred from obtaining legal status for 3 years. If you stayed illegally for more than 1 year you are barred from obtaining legal status for 10 years. If you are married to a U.S. citizen you would be considered an immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen and therefore would qualify for immediate lawful permanent residency. However, to obtain LPR status you would have to return to your country and the 3/10 year bar would apply. There are waivers available for this bar but they are difficult to obtain and there is no guarantee. We all hope that the law will change in the future to help people that are you in your situation, but right now it is very difficult.

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  • F1 visa and I-20 end dates different

    I am on a F-1 visa - am currently enrolled in a PhD program with an expected graduation date of this November. My F-1 visa expires today, i.e. July 09, 2008. My I-20 is valid until June 2009. Do I need to do anything at this moment to ensure conti...

    Philip’s Answer

    That's basically correct. It is not uncommon for F1 students to have expired visas and still be in the U.S. in their program of study. Your I-94 which is the document that determines how long you can stay in the U.S. should be marked "D/S" which means duration of status. This means that your status in the U.S. is legal as long as you remain in the specified program of study. However, if your F1 visa expires it means that you will have to go to the U.S. embassy abroad if you leave the country and apply for a new F1 visa in order to return to the U.S. This is usually quite simply and routine. Hope this helps.

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