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John W. Lawit

John Lawit’s Answers

9 total

  • Forgot to notify Immigration Services about my change of address through the years. Planing to file for citizenship.

    I have a green card. Will expire in 2015. Been married to US, Military citizen for over 12 years. Always moved to places as my husband's orders requested. Just recently found out, that I should have notified Immigration Services of all our change ...

    John’s Answer

    The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)does contain reporting requirements up until a person becomes a US citizen. However USCIS does not enforce this requirement except in cases where the failure to update the data base was willful and in an attempt to hide information from USCIS.

    Having said that, it is likely that if a question should come up, your explanation of blind reliance upon your former husband should suffice to excuse the minor infraction. In 33 years of practice not one Naturalization applicant was denied for failure to update information with USCIS. The key is that the failure to update was not willful at all.

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  • Should I change my name on the Spousal petition form or write my maiden ? Is my old passport (with my maiden name ) sufficient?

    I am an Australian citizen living in India. My Fiancée is an American citizen. We plan to get married in India and later immigrate to the states through the spousal visa. Should I change my name on the petition form or write my maiden nam...

    John’s Answer

    Upon your marriage you can keep your maiden name, use your husband's surname, or create a combination sirname that uses your last name and your husband's. Whichever combination you choose you must be consistent in using the same last name for all official purposes. This is a personal choice between you and your husband.

    Everything should be changed into the new name without exception. So long as all records pertaining to you are updated and all official documents are generated in the new name there should be no problems.The name on your spousal petition should reflect your new name. You will need your passport and visa(s)issued in your new name as well.

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  • I barely got the I-797 in the mail and i would like to know if i can cross border patrol checkpoints with in the united states

    i just need to know if i can cross border patrol checkpoints within the US. if you could reply that would be really helpful thankyou

    John’s Answer

    If your I-797 extended an existing status or it changed your staus from one nonimmigrant category to another you should be able to go through checkpoints without much trouble.

    If the I-797 does not fall into the criteria above then it may not be sfe to use the I-797.For example if you simply applied to have a new status and you indicated you would get your visa abroad and selected consular notification the I-797 probably would not be an appropriate document tu use to go through a checkpoint.

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  • I need an immigration lawyer.

    How can I find a good immigration lawyer. I went to two and on the first couple of appointments they seem very nice and willing to help. But then when I try to follow up with them they prognosticate on everything. Its seems like they only want my...

    John’s Answer

    I am sorry that you are experiencing such disregard for your case. This is a constant complaint among consumers of immigration legal services.

    Before hiring any immigration lawyer you should speak with your friends and see who they used and find out if they were satisfied with the firm's work. That is the best way especially if you friend had a case similar to yours.

    Beyond that you might want to find a lawyer that is highly rated by Avvo or another rating service like You can also Google any immigration lawyer's name and you will be able to find out much more about the lawyer you are considering.

    It is extremely difficult to find a competent immigration lawyer. Something like 80% of immigration lawyers practicing today have less tha 5 years experience.

    I would contact your present lawyer and talk to him/her of your concerns that your case is being ignored. If the lawyer won't meet with you to discuss the matter or if they make an excuse to avoid answering your questions , it's time to change lawyers.

    If there is a law school where you live and they teach immigration law you might want to contact the professor who is teahing immigration law and ask for some recommendations. There are some excellent immigration lawyers out there but finding and identifying them is a difficult time consuming process.

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  • Who get b1 b2 visa cancelled what our chance is there to get again b1 b2 visa


    John’s Answer

    Yes you can reapply for any type of visa you wish. When you do you must be prepared to address the consulate's concerns about working here illegally. You will need absolute proof that you were supported while in the US. as well as any other proof that you had the financial resources to support yourself during the year that you were in the US.

    However if they have actual proof of your working either through an I-9 or tax witholding you would have made a misrepresentation in conjunction with your B-2 aplication that will result in future visa denials unless you can get a waiver for the misrepresentation.

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    I submitted my Deffered Action form with my first and last name but didnt include my mothers maiden name (ex: John Doe- Smith). I submitted several report cards from school, which have my first and last name only. However, I also had to submit pro...

    John’s Answer

    For all immigation applications you must use your full name as it appears on your birth certificate unless you have undergone a legal name change or you were entitled to change your name through marriage.

    I would submit a copy of your birth certificate to USCIS immediately and ask that they amend your application to reflect yout true name. I also would submit your birth certificate to the IRS and ask that your ITIN records be changed to reflect your legal name. Once that is done all of your IDs and immigration applications will all match and the issues you are having will disappear.

    It is critical that your name be identical for all interactions with the US government.

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  • How long is an approved I130 good for?

    We filed the I130 when my husband was a green card holder and it was approved in 2009. Because I could not adjust in the US we waited and he recently became a citizen. Do we need to refile I130 or can we just include a leter with the other adjus...

    John’s Answer

    The I-130 approved in 2009 is still valid unless it has been revoked. Now that your husband is a citizen a copy fo his naturalization certificate must be filed so that the F2A case can be upgraded to an immediate realtive case. This will have theffect of making the wife's case an immediate realtive case, thus allowing for immediate visa issuance since the case is now outside the quota system.

    If you entered the US with a visa, your unlawful presence in the US is forgiven and you can apply for adjustment of status and obtain permanent residebncy from within the US.

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  • Does marriage to an illegal grant them the ability to stay in the US?

    Young woman has a child with an illegal who was brought here as a child. The young man's family wants them to marry and told them that there have been changes to the law and he would be allowed to stay. Does marriage change his status? If they ...

    John’s Answer

    Assuming that the father is a US citizen and a marriage takes place, the USC spouse could file for his wife and child. Unfortunately the child and the mother will have to obtain an immigrant visa abroad unless a qualifying relative had filed an immigarant petition on behalf of the undocumented wife before April 30, 2001.

    The mother will need a waiver for her unlawful presence that might be able to be processed in the U.S. if President Obama ever decides to live up to his promise to allow stateside processing of unlawful presence waivers.

    The mere marriage between the parents will not change the child's status. Upon a divorce any parent can apply for custody of theirt child. If the do not marry and separate so long as the father is named on the birth certificate he can apply to have custody of the child.

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  • E2 visa in consulate after E2 status extension denial due to poor response in RFE.

    My E2 status change extension denied because of not proper response to RFE then I got TD visa. Now Can I file for E2 in Toronto consulate for my currently owned business? Is status change extension denial will show up in consulate? Will I be still...

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes can can process you E-2 visa abroad. The Consulate will know that the change of status was denied. So bring the denial with you sop that you can demonstrate that the E-2 denial was based on an imoproper RFE response rather than a ground of ineligibility that would preclude visa issuance.

    If denied you should be allowed to return to TD status to reenter the US. Be aware that you may be questioned about working in your business with TD status. While you can own your business you are not allowed to work for it unless you can get a proper work visa.

    If you are Canadian you might want to see if you can make a TN entry and avoid the E-2 completely.

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