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J Thomas Smith Ph.D.
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J Smith’s Answers

3,435 total


  • How can I get a green card after being in states legally for 9 years ?

    I have been living in Victoria TX for 9 years. Started with J-1 then moved to F-1 and now on H1-B which will expire Sept 2017. What are my options for getting a green card or even citizenship ? I work in a small office and although they are great ...

    J’s Answer

    Obtaining an employment-based green card is a three step process. First, your employer files a Permanent Labor Certification Application to prove to the department of labor that there are no qualified workers in the U.S. to fill the position. The employer must also prove that the terms of your employment are not going to reduce the wages for that position or otherwise harm US workers.

    Second, once Labor Certification Application has been approved, your employer would then file the I-140 petition, asking USCIS for permission to hire you for this specific position. Finally, you would file Form I-485, the application for permanent residence. Application.

    In the third and final step, you the employee apply for a green card. Your company's immigration lawyer can handle the process for you.

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  • Questions about SSDI benefit & Tax return

    I'm getting SSDI benefits in each month($900) so i called social security and asked about how to do tax return about my ssdi income then they just told me they will send me SSA-1099 I guess SSA-1099 form is same as W2 form? my question is what...

    J’s Answer

    The Form SSA-1099 is used to report your Social Security benefits that you collected during the year. If taxes were withheld, that amount will also be shown. However, security benefits don't usually have money withheld.

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  • Insurance dragging feet on Personal Injury lawsuit. I am the Defendant. Having to file my own answer. How do I speed things up?

    I am being sued for an accident that happened 1 year ago. I turned the claim over to the insurance company I had at the time and believed they would handle it. I am not insured now because I do not own a car. I have contacted the old insurance com...

    J’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. Take your policy to an experienced attorney for review; contacting your insurance company and if necessary, file a timely answer to the suit. I do not recommend that you undertake this matter without the assistance of an attorney.

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  • What would the process be to bring my girlfriends daughter to the U.S after we get marry?

    I been dating with my girlfriend for a year now and we thinking about getting marry. I have a permanent resident card but she has no papers at all. And with thinking about bringing her daughter from El Salvador after we get married. Can it work i...

    J’s Answer

    You may be getting ahead of yourself. As a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), your spouse can qualify for "adjustment of Status " and receive a "Green Card" while in the United States (2nd Preference)”. However, this can only be done if you spouse entered the U.S. with a visa and remains in the U.S. legally. But, it your spouse entered illegally or is now out of status and an application for immigrant status was filed before April 30, 2001 with USCIS or the department of labor for Labor Certification or your spouse was a derivative beneficiary of a parent’s petition they may still qualify. If your spouse entered illegally or is out of status, the spouse will have to apply for a waiver of the 3/10-year bar.

    In order to obtain a Green Card for your spouse, an adjustment of Status application package should be filed with USCIS. You would include an application for Employment Authorization (EAD) Your spouse would have to appear for processing of the EAD, the taking of biometrics (fingerprints) and later appear with you for the adjustment interview. Assuming there are no issues, on the date of the adjustment interview your spouse should be granted a Green Card. Your spouse will be able to file for U.S. citizenship 5 years after the LPR Visa (Green Card) has been approved.

    As a stepparent holding LPR status, you can petition for your stepchild. If the child is outside of the United States, you file Form I-130. The petition will be sent for consular processing after it is approved and a visa is available. The U.S. Embassy or consulate will provide notification and processing information. I encourage you to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can address the specifics of your situation.

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  • How long would you advise that my spouse and I be married abroad, before we begin applying for the CR-1 visa?

    My foreign fiance and I are investigating our options between a K-1 versus CR-1 and are confused about a few things concerning the CR-1 visa process. My fiance actually has a Swiss work permit and is considering to bring me to Switzerland for the...

    J’s Answer

    As long as you are living together as spouses, their is no requirement as to how long you should be married before petitioning for your spouse. Nor does the length of your marriage have anything to do with the legitimacy of your relationship or marriage.

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  • Immigration child custody

    How are child custody disputes settled between non-Hague Convention countries or countries without a treaty agreement to resolve such disputes.

    J’s Answer

    This is not an immigration law question. The following link will take you to the American Bar Association's site that has an explanation of International Child Custody cases. http://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_home/gp_solo_magazine_index/oct99cro.html

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  • Can I get a green card after i failed to keep my F-1 status?

    i have a question on immigration status. Here is the situation: I came here on F-1 visa in 2008 and my mother got her green card in 2011. She then applied for a petition for me in 2011. I thought I was going to get a green card then without know...

    J’s Answer

    Possibly. But if you are over 21, it may be many years. When was the petition approved? What do you mean when you say you "dropped" your F1 status? Are you saying you overstayed? Did you finish school? What do you mean when you say that your "status (is) in progress for status adjustment"? Did you finish school? I suggest you consent with an experienced immigration attorney who can address the issues specific to your situation.

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  • Is it possible to simultaneously apply for my citizenship and green card for my husband?

    I am a US resident and will be due for citizenship in April 16, 2016 but I am planning to go the early filing in January which is 90 days before the 5 years anniversary. I also got married this year but my husband is a Doctorate student on F1 visa...

    J’s Answer

    It may more more practical to apply for citizenship. Once your citizenship is approved, you would then apply for your spouse who would be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizens. For this category, visas are always available. That means that your spouse does not need to wait in line for a visa. Your spouse, who is in the United States, can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status at the same time that you file Form I-130. Do consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can address the issues specific to your situation.

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  • Can US citizen sponsor illegal immigrant?

    my brother is over 21 years old and he initially came here as an international student. But in 2011 my mother got her green card and she filed for petition for my brother's green card. He did not keep his status since 2011 (which is a huge mistake...

    J’s Answer

    Possibly. “Immediate relatives” of a U.S. citizen (i.e., spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents) always have a visa number immediately available to them. However, if the family member of the U.S. citizen is not an immediate relative, in this case an unmarried son over the age of 21, the U.S. citizen may still be able to sponsor them by what is called a “family preference category.” The wait time can be many years, up to 10 or more. I would suggest that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can address the issues specific to your case.

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  • What my friend need to do if it works, thanks

    Good evening, my name is Mohamed Ali Salem, I'm 22 years old,from Tunisia. How can my us citizen friend sponsored me to bring me there. Thanks

    J’s Answer

    There are a number of ways to sponsor an alien. The term "sponsor" often means to bring to the United States or "petition for" someone, usually a spouse, relative, employee or orphan. There are no options to petition for a "friend." However, you may be able to obtain a visitor's visa. (B2) You would have to show that you have a compelling reason to return to your home country once your period of approved entry has ended. When one is the beneficiary of a petition that requires an Affidavit of Support, no special relationship is required of the one signing the affidavit.

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