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Amy L Becerra

Amy Becerra’s Answers

128 total


  • I am currently in the US, in a F2(dependent) status, wanting to know if I can change that to a R1 (religious) status.

    Current status: F2 Inquiring status: R1 Have offers: few ministries offering ministerial positions.

    Amy’s Answer

    While you may change status from F-2 to R-1, due to a great deal of fraud over the last years in the religious workers nonimmigrant and immigrant categories, getting an R-1 is not as easy as it used to be so I would highly recommend consulting with an immigration attorney who is experienced in this particular area of immigration as there have been changes in recent years to the religious worker provisions. The level of scrutiny of these applicants is much higher and will require not only a great deal of documentation but likely an on-site visit of the employer as well. Be sure that the ministry or congregation looking to hire you has either done so successfully with others in the past or is willing to go the distance with you in applying for such a visa. I've seen a lot of churches/organizations put all the work and expense of trying to get one of these visas on the applicant and those situations rarely meet with success. Have a very candid conversation with those ministries who are hiring about your immigration situation. Investing in a consultation with an immigration attorney experienced in this class of visas is very worthwhile. Best of luck!

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  • Do they test for marijuana at the green card exams?

    I'm getting a test next week

    Amy’s Answer

    I've not seen it happen yet, but if you're worried about this then you may have some issues to speak to an attorney about before going to USCIS for your interview. You can find an experienced immigration attorney near you at www.aila.com, the website for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. I would advise a consultation and, depending on your situation, hiring someone to accompany you to the interview.

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  • Any really experienced lawyer in Chicago that help me regarding denial in my green card marriage intervew?

    I was in the green card marriage intervew a week ago. The offcier was rude, and said they will send us the notice , which 90% I believed was denial. Please advise me of my case for a good laywer in Chicago.

    Amy’s Answer

    A great place to start your search (as it is geographical) is www.aila.com, the website for the American Immigration Lawyers Association where you can search for an attorney based on a variety of factors. You might also consider contacting the Illinois state bar for a lawyer referral. Best of luck!

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  • I have questions about marriage to my immigrant fiancee

    I am engaged to a man from Bahrain who is here on a student visa. We met a year ago and now we want to get married and I know that we can. He is worried that since I am not working due to a medical condition that immigration will deport him if we ...

    Amy’s Answer

    Congratulations on your engagement. While I agree with the other attorney that it's a good idea to consult with an experienced immigration attorney prior to filing an adjustment of status package when there may be red flags to consider (such as a great difference in age), an age difference alone is no reason to worry about your spouse's permanent residence application. What is far more important to concentrate on is proving that your marriage is bona fide (ie., not for the sole purpose of gaining an immigration benefit). As the petitioner, yes, you will be responsible for filing an Affidavit of Support and proving that you have income/financial resources sufficient to meet 125% of that year's federal poverty guidelines, but if you are unable to meet this requirement by yourself, you may have a joint sponsor who can meet that requirement and who is a US citizen, such as a parent or close friend. If this is the case, it is important they understand the responsibility they are taking on. A good attorney will be able to give you advice as to what sort of documents/evidence to file in support of your adjustment of status package as well as prep you for the interview. Best of luck!

    For assistance in preparing an adjustment of status package, contact Amy L. Becerra, Esq.; (757) 345-9019; amy@alblawoffice.com.

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  • My mom was interviewed for her adjustment of status under the 245-i but she was denied and arrested .

    because she had been deported back in 1997 when she was cought crossing the border illegally. My question is. Is there anyway they can let her stay? Me and my sister are both US citizens, and we have a little brother 11 years old citizen also. My ...

    Amy’s Answer

    Make sure that the attorney you hire is not only experienced in deportation but in immigration detention and bond hearings as well! For help in locating such an attorney locally, consider searching www.aila.com--the website for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Best of luck!

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  • Can I get divorce after being married to U.S citizen for five years?

    I have been married since 2005, I got my permanent resident card in 2006. I would like to know if I can get divorce and how it would affect my status. Can I still travel to Poland and back without any problems?

    Amy’s Answer

    There's nothing that says you have to remain married to someone and the responding attorneys are correct in how divorce may (or may not) affect your status. However, I would recommend speaking with an experienced divorce attorney from your state who can give you far better information about what the ramifications of divorce may be in all the other areas of your life. Best of luck!

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  • When applying for a K-1 is it ok if i am working in Costa Rica until the paper work gets approved for my fiancee.?

    I am a US citizen and my fiancee is Costa Rican. So i decided to move down here to Costa Rica and begin the process of engagment then marrage. It sounds like the K-1 visa is the way to go due to the fact it takes less time. I hope this is the r...

    Amy’s Answer

    All your options are viable, but if it comes down to a question of getting a job to live in the States, you'll need to consider the present economic situation and the difficulty with which many people are currently meeting in locating a job. Much of the decision in a situation such as yours (with options) comes down to personal preferences of where you want to live together, how frequently you want to travel outside the US, whether you have family and friends in the US whom you'd really like to attend the wedding, etc. You can figure on 5-6 months for USCIS to process the K-1 petition, but add another 1-2 months for the National Visa Center and the US Embassy to process and assign an interview date, etc. before an actual visa is placed in your fiancee's passport. You'll need to consider whether expenses are an issue or not. They may be ultimately more or less depending on whether you file the IR-1 overseas or go the K-1 to Adjustment of Status (or even K-3?) route. Either way, an experienced immigration attorney can help walk you through the situation if need be. Best of luck!

    For assistance in preparing a K-1 fianc(e)e visa petition, contact Amy L. Becerra, Esq.; (757) 565-4442; amy@alblawoffice.com.

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  • Travelling with extension of conditional green card?

    I have an "expired" 2 yr conditional green card. I Filed for removal of conditions in the 90 day window and received the paper notice of 1yr extension (so technically the card is not expired since it has been extended, although it is beyond the 2 ...

    Amy’s Answer

    I would make an INFOPASS appointment either through USCIS' website or by calling the I-800 number (National Service Center) to go in and have the temporary I-551 stamp placed in your passport before traveling. Also, be sure not to travel if you have accrued any unlawful presence in the past, without first consulting with an immigration attorney. Check also the current status of your case against USCIS' processing guidelines for the location where you filed to be sure that you don't have a biometrics appointment or interview likely to happen while you're away, particularly should you decide to travel for more than a few days. Best of luck!

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  • Has anyone heard of the immigration office calling someone to cancell their upcoming appt for interview(citizenship) .What dire

    What dire circumtances could result in the immigration office calling to cancell till further notice.my greencard has expired ,I was suppose to go for my citizenship interview but i received a call saying that my appt was cancelled till futher not...

    Amy’s Answer

    You might consider calling the National Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to see if you can get any more information about the matter and see if you can get your interview rescheduled. USCIS is supposed to adjudicate naturalization applications within a certain timeframe. In the meantime, you can make an INFOPASS appointment either online at www.uscis.gov or through the 1-800 number to go into your local USCIS office and have a temporary I-551 stamp placed in your passport as proof of your permanent resident status. That stamp is good for traveling out of the country or as proof for an employer. If you believe there is some dark, lurking reason hiding in your file or application and that actual dire circumstances are warranted, then I would suggest consulting with an experienced naturalization attorney before making that INFOPASS appointment as it is possible to go from naturalization interview to removal proceedings if there is cause. If you know there's no skeletons in that closet then it's probably just another bureaucratic bump in the road--welcome to the US :) Best of luck!

    For assistance in preparing a naturalization application package, contact Amy L. Becerra, Esq.; (757) 565-4442; amy@alblawoffice.com.

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  • Immigration Naturalization

    Hi. I am currently a permanent US resident and eligible to apply for citizenship February 2010. However, I am planning on moving to Asia for a few years to be with family. Can I apply for US citizenship while I am living overseas?

    Amy’s Answer

    If you spend too much time out of the United States as a permanent resident, you risk losing your permanent resident status, especially if you're thinking of being gone for years at a time. If you're going back to Asia simply to be with family, then yes, consider whether or not you would like to naturalize before then, or whether you even wish to be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. If you're returning because you're going there on a work assignment for a U.S. based company, you may be able to preserve your permanent resident status (for future naturalization purposes) before you leave by filing the N-470. You will not be able to naturalize overseas.

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