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Dyan Williams

Dyan Williams’s Answers

508 total


  • If I get married to my kids mother, how fast can I apply for my residency? Also what is the best way to achieve this?

    Dyan’s Answer

    DACA does not give you any nonimmigrant status, but does provide authorized stay and tolls (stops) the accrual of unlawful presence. On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced an end to the DACA program and USCIS will not consider any new applications after this date. But existing DACA recipients with authorization set to expire before March 5, 2018, may apply for a two-year renewal if they apply by October 5. Once DACA (or any other authorized stay ends), the accrual of unlawful presence begins again.

    Your U.S. citizen spouse may file an I-130 immigrant petition for you in the immediate relatives category. But you do not qualify for I-485 adjustment to permanent resident status if you do not meet the lawful admission requirement. If you entered the U.S. illegally, you normally have to depart the United States to apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate. One possible exception is if you received Advance Parole (travel document) as a DACA recipient, left the United States, and then gained lawful admission to the country on Advance Parole.

    If you accrued unlawful presence of more than 180 days to less than 1 year, after you turned age 18, you will be subject to a 3 year bar to re-entry upon departure from the U.S. The bar to re-entry is 10 years if the unlawful presence lasts 1 year or more. (NOTE: Unlawful presence prior to age 18 does not count toward the 3/10 year bar, and while you are on DACA, unlawful presence is tolled/stopped.)

    If the 3/10 year bar applies to you, you may file a Form I-601A, application for provisional unlawful presence waiver, within the U.S. before you leave for the immigrant visa interview. To get the waiver, you must prove a qualifying relative (U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent) will suffer "extreme hardship" if you are not admitted to the U.S. as an immigrant.

    The green card/immigrant visa application process is long and involves several steps. Be sure to consult an experienced immigration attorney to discuss the eligibility requirements and the application process. With DACA coming to an end, it is now even more critical for you to determine how to legalize your status.

  • Do Voter histories get expunged once you unregister as a voter in FL?

    Dyan’s Answer

    On the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, you are asked if you have ever claimed to be a U.S. citizen; ever registered to vote in any federal, state or local election in the U.S.; or ever voted in any federal, state, or local election in the U.S. When you sign the N-400, you do so under penalty of perjury and certify the information is true and correct. During the N-400 interview, you will provide testimony under oath to a US officer (US government official). USCIS officers are trained to detect when an applicant is lying and they may also check independent sources, such as voter records, to verify your answers.

    Good Moral Character (GMC) is one eligibility requirement for naturalization. Deliberately providing false testimony under oath to obtain an immigration benefit, during the statutory period, bars you from showing GMC for naturalization. Normally, the statutory period starts 5 years prior to the date of N-400 filing and continues to the date of naturalization. USCIS may also consider conduct outside the statutory period if your present conduct does not reflect a reformation of character or the earlier conduct is relevant to the your present moral character. If you are caught lying on your naturalization application, you can expect USCIS to deny it and you will then have to wait at least 5 years to try again.

    Unlawful voting and falsely claiming U.S. citizenship for voting, during the statutory period, bars you from establishing Good Moral Character for naturalization, depending on totality of the circumstances. Perhaps more important, unlawful voting in a federal, local or state election in the U.S. or false claim to U.S. citizenship for voting may subject you to being found inadmissible to the U.S or removable from the U.S.

    Due to the potential risks and consequences of admitting to unlawful voting or falsely claiming U.S. citizenship, it might be tempting to lie in your naturalization application - which is what the paralegal is recommending you to do. But a paralegal is not authorized to provide legal advice or counseling.

    Before you file for naturalization, you must consult an experienced immigration attorney who will fully advise you on the legal, immigration, and ethical implications of your answers on the N-400 form. Telling the truth or lying about the particular issues you described could both lead to immigration consequences. It is best that you hold off on applying for naturalization until you get accurate and complete information from a qualified attorney.

  • Visit Visa person over stay?

    Dyan’s Answer

    Only U.S. citizens, age 21 or older, (not permanent residents/green card holders) may file an I-130 immigrant petition for a parent in the immediate relatives category. You first need to become a naturalized U.S. citizen before you may help your mom immigrate to the U.S.

    With an approved or pending I-130 in the immediate relatives category, the mother of an adult U.S. citizen may file an I-485 adjustment of status/green card application in the United States. She must be physically present in the U.S. following lawful admission (e.g. on a visitor visa). An overstay, by itself, does not prohibit adjustment of status in this category.

    But fraud/willful misrepresentation of material facts to gain immigration benefits (e.g. visitor visa or entry as a visitor) is a lifetime bar to immigrating to the U.S. under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i). For example, if the person specifically intended to overstay and eventually file for a green card, but tells the consular officer or customs officer that the purpose of the trip is temporary, this generally amounts to misrepresentation. An inadmissibility finding under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) requires the person to obtain an I-601/INA 212(i) immigrant waiver to get a green card or immigrant visa.

    An overstay subjects your mother to being placed in removal proceedings. And if she accrues unlawful presence of more than 180 days to less than 1 year, and departs the U.S. prior to commencement of removal proceedings, she will trigger a 3-year bar to re-entry to the U.S. The bar to re-entry is 10 years if the unlawful presence lasts 1 year or more.

    When the 3/10 year unlawful presence bar applies, the person must obtain an I-601/INA 212 (a)(9)(B)(v) immigrant waiver to obtain an immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate. (Current I-601 filing fee is $930). To qualify for the I-601 waiver, the person must present documentary evidence showing a qualifying relative (U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent) will suffer extreme hardship if she is not admitted to the United States.

    A U.S. citizen or permanent resident daughter/son is not a qualifying relative for I-601/unlawful presence waiver purposes. But the 3/10 year bar is not triggered until or unless the person departs the U.S.

    Even when the 3/10 year bar does not apply, the person may still be denied a new visitor visa or re-admission as a visitor due to an overstay of any length of time. Failing to depart on time often leads the U.S. Consulate to conclude the person will violate her status or the terms of her visa again.

    Consult an experienced immigration attorney to obtain specific guidance. The information you provided shows you are confused about how the immigration process works.

  • Need some one advice to move to F1

    Dyan’s Answer

    If you have spent the maximum allowable period of stay (i.e. 7 years) in the United States in L status, you may not be issued a visa, be readmitted, or be granted a change of status under the L category unless you have resided and physically stayed outside the U.S. for the immediate past year. There is no waiting period, however, to return to the U.S. in another category, such as F-2.

    You may accompany your family to the U.S. with a valid F-2 visa. But each time you request admission, the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has discretion to deny your entry if it determines you are likely to violate your status or the terms of your visa, e.g. work without authorization. You are subject to being questioned about the purpose of your stay and how you will support yourself during the stay (even if these issues were already addressed at the U.S. Consulate before you were granted the visa).

    A change of status from F-2 to F-1 is allowed by filing, with USCIS, a Form I-539, Application to Change Nonimmigrant Status, and the required documents (e.g. I-20 from the school). Nevertheless, some U.S. customs officers and consular officers frown upon status changes within the U.S., particularly when they view it as a circumvention of the visa application process. Depending on the circumstances, some might further conclude that you willfully misrepresented your intentions to the consular officer at the time of your F-2 visa application or to the customs officer at the port of entry when you sought entry on the F-2. Willful misrepresentation of material fact to gain immigration benefits is a permanent bar to gaining a visa or admission to the U.S. under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i).

    The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has a 30/60 day rule regarding whether a violation of status amounts to a willful misrepresentation. For example, if you enroll in school without the appropriate status change, within 30 days of entry, the officer may presume you misrepresented your intention in seeking a visa or entry. If there is violation of status more than 30 days but less than 60 days after entry, no presumption of misrepresentation arises. But if the facts of the case gives the officer reasonable belief that you misrepresented your intent, the officer will ask you to present countervailing evidence.

    At the time you request entry to the U.S. on an F-2 visa, you should have no specific intent to change to another status. The CBP may search your luggage and electronic devices (e.g. telephone, laptop) to confirm whether the true purpose of your stay is consistent with the terms of your status/visa. You should not bring any school applications, college brochures, resumes etc that would signal that your intentions are not in line with the status/visa granted.

    The CBP has discretion to deny your admission and even issue an expedited removal order if it determines you lack the proper travel documents and/or willfully misrepresented the purpose of your visit to get the visa or gain admission to the U.S. An expedited removal order due to lack of proper travel documents subjects you to a 5-year bar from the U.S. An expedited removal order due to willful misrepresentation carries a permanent bar to the U.S. For more information, see Expedited Removal: How Do You Avoid, Challenge or Overcome It? http://bit.ly/2ezshh9

    If you are granted admission to the U.S. on an F-2 status, you will continue to hold this status unless you switch to another. The mere filing of a Form I-539 or denial of the request for status change does not take away your F-2 status. But before you apply for a change of status, you should discuss the filing process, eligibility requirements, and risks/cons with an experienced immigration attorney.

  • How can I adjust my status from visitor (b2) to permanent resident?

    Dyan’s Answer

    In general, relatives (e.g adult daughter/adult son) of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in the family-based category may file for I-485, Adjustment of Status, if the priority date is current, they are physically present in the U.S. following lawful admission, and there are no inadmissibility grounds (e.g. certain criminal convictions or fraud/willful misrepresentation of material facts to gain immigration benefits). Except for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens [spouses, unmarried children under 21 years old, and parents (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older)], the I-485 applicant must normally be in lawful immigration status on the date of filing the I-485 application. If they have already fallen out of status (e.g. B-2 authorized stay expired), they are not eligible for adjustment.

    If you are truly eligible for and plan to adjust status with USCIS, you should notify the NVC of such intent and contact USCIS for more information. Instead of paying the DS-260 (Immigrant Visa) and I-864 (Affidavit of Support) fees, an eligible applicant may file the Form I-485 and required documents with USCIS and pay the I-485 filing fee and biometrics fee to USCIS.

    The timely filing of an approvable I-485 provides authorized stay, but does not extend lawful immigration status in the U.S. The person may still be subject to removal from the U.S., especially if the I-485 is denied. Furthermore, while adjustment of status is generally possible in the situation you described, you must be wary of USCIS finding that you committed willful misrepresentation to gain entry into the U.S., e.g. claimed you were coming to the U.S. for a temporary visit on a B2 visa, but really intended to remain in the U.S. and apply for a green card. Such a finding under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) is a permanent bar and would require a Form I-601/INA 212(i) waiver of inadmissibility. To get the waiver, the person must prove a qualifying relative (U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent or spouse) will suffer "extreme hardship" if he/she is not admitted to the U.S. and granted a green card.

    For general information, read Adjusting to Permanent Resident Status Under INA 245(a): Bars, Exceptions and Exemptions (http://bit.ly/2sh6AYU) and When do you need an I-601 Waiver due to immigration fraud or misrepresentation (and how do you get it)? (http://bit.ly/29qChBJ)

    A proper I-485 must be filed with USCIS before the I-94/authorized stay expires, so have an in-depth discussion with a qualified attorney way before that expiration date. You definitely need to consult an immigration attorney to confirm your eligibility for adjustment and help you prepare and file the proper forms and documents with USCIS. Although there are benefits to filing for adjustment instead of consular processing, there are also risks.

  • What happens of you file for Adjustment of Status 2 months before I-94 expires?

    Dyan’s Answer

    If you lawfully entered the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 visitor visa, you may normally file for a green card based on a bona fide marriage to a U.S. citizen. Overstaying your visitor status, in and of itself, does not prevent you from adjusting status in the immediate relatives (e.g. spouse of U.S. citizen) category. Your US citizen spouse must file an I-130 immigrant petition for you so you may concurrently or subsequently file an I-485 application for permanent residence. A properly filed I-485 provides authorized stay and tolls the accrual of unlawful presence.

    After USCIS receives your I-130 + I-485 one-step application, it will issue a receipt notice and then a biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment notice. Then in about 6 months from the date of filing, USCIS will send you green card interview notice, instructing you and your spouse to appear before a USCIS officer and bring certain documents.

    During the interview, the officer will verify whether you have a bona fide marriage, i.e. entered into with intent of establishing a life together as spouses, and not just to gain immigration benefits. The officer will also confirm whether you have any inadmissibility grounds to make you ineligible for a green card. One ground is fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact for immigration purposes.

    The B-1/B-2 visitor visa is for temporary visits only. If there was a specific intent to misuse the visa to enter the U.S., marry the citizen and apply for the green card - to circumvent the immigrant visa process - USCIS may deny the green card application.

    The U.S. Department of State adopted a 30/60 day policy regarding this issue. When a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen or applies for permanent residence within 30 days of entry, the DOS presumes that she misrepresented her intent in seeking a visitor visa or entry. If the marriage or green card application occurred after 30 days but within 60 days of entry, the DOS does not presume there was misrepresentation. But if the facts provide a reasonable basis to believe the foreign national misrepresented her intent, the DOS allows her to present rebuttal evidence. If the marriage or green card application occurred after 60 days, the DOS does not consider such conduct to constitute fraud or willful misrepresentation to obtain immigration benefits.

    USCIS is a separate agency from the DOS and the Board of Immigration Appeals has held that immediate relatives are exempt from the 30/60 day rule. Nevertheless, USCIS is often persuaded by the DOS policy.
    In your case, your boyfriend proposed two months after your arrival. This helps to show you did not misuse the tourist visa by claiming to be a mere visitor at the U.S. port of entry, when in fact you intended to remain in the U.S. and file for a marriage-based green card.

    Remaining in the U.S. beyond authorized stay does not prevent you from adjusting status based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. While the I-485 is pending, you must not leave the U.S without Advance Parole, which would result in abandonment of the application. If the I-130 + I-485 are approved, you will be issued a green card. If the I-485 is denied, for whatever reason, you are subject to being placed in removal proceedings and begin to accrue unlawful presence.

    Consult an immigration attorney to confirm your eligibility for marriage-based adjustment, prepare you for the interview, and maximize your chance for an approval.

  • Trump immigration- class b misdemeanor

    Dyan’s Answer

    Immigration law defines “conviction” as a formal judgment of guilt or, if adjudication of guilt has been withheld, where (i) a judge or jury has found the person guilty or the person has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or has admitted sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt, and (ii) the judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty, or restraint on the person’s liberty to be imposed.

    When you must admit guilt or you are found guilty before the pre-trial intervention, diversion program or deferred adjudication is imposed, this amounts to a conviction under federal immigration law. In this situation, a dismissal of the case — after you complete the program — does not wipe the slate clean for immigration purposes.

    Under section 237(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Immigration & Nationality Act, noncitizens (including permanent residents) are deportable from the U.S. if they were convicted of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (e.g. theft) that carries a potential sentence of a year or more, and the offense occurred within five years “after the date of admission.” Under Texas law, the maximum sentence for a class B misdemeanor is jail time of not more than 180 days, a fine of not more than $2,000, or both. Furthermore, your conviction occurred well after you were admitted to the U.S. (as an LPR) and you have no other criminal record (except for a few traffic violations). Based on these facts and under current law, you are not deportable.

    In addition, you should consider filing for naturalization, which protects you from removal. A person may apply for naturalization (citizenship) if he has been a permanent resident for at least 5 years (or 3 years if filing as the spouse of a US citizen) and meet all other eligibility requirements. Good moral character (GMC) is one of the eligibility requirements. A conviction or admission of one or more CIMTs (other than political offense), except for one petty offense​, that occurred during the statutory period conditionally bars a person from establishing GMC. Your conviction involves a petty offense that occurred 14 years ago (outside the statutory period for naturalization). Therefore, it does not make you ineligible for naturalization.

    Although the President may direct the Department of Homeland Security on how to prioritize enforcement of the laws, he has no authority to change them. Only Congress can change the laws. At this point, Congress has not expressed any plans or intent to modify or replace immigration laws relevant to your situation. But if you have concerns about potential changes in immigration law under a new Administration or Congress, this is a good time to file for naturalization, assuming you are eligible.

    Consult an immigration attorney to discuss the eligibility requirements and application process for naturalization, as well as to review your criminal record and verify whether you are removable.

  • Is there a fee to file Form I-129F when filed after I-130 for a non-citizen spouse’s K-3 visa?ARCHIVED

    Dyan’s Answer

    In general, if your wife is physically in the U.S. following lawful admission (e.g. on a visitor visa), she may file an I-485 adjustment of status/green card application based on a pending or concurrently filed I-130 petition by a U.S. citizen spouse. Preconceived intent to immigrate, by itself, does not prohibit the spouse of a U.S. citizen from filing for a green card while in the U.S. following lawful admission. An overstay also does not make the spouse of a U.S. citizen ineligible for a green card.

    The key issue is whether she willfully misrepresented the purpose of the visit when she obtained the visitor visa or sought entry as a visitor. Willful misrepresentation of material fact to gain immigration benefits is a lifetime bar to getting a green card. But under normal circumstances, if there was no misrepresentation, your wife is eligible for adjustment of status if she is here in the U.S. on an authorized visit. See article, Applying for a Marriage-Based Green Card Following Entry Into the U.S. as a Visitor: http://bit.ly/29zaHVT

    The immigrant visa process (based on approved I-130) and K-3 nonimmigrant visa process (based on approved I-129F) are alternative paths. Unlike the I-485 application (which occurs in the U.S.), they require consular processing abroad. There is no filing fee for the Form I-129F petition for K-3 status based on an I-130 immigrant petition filed by the same U.S. citizen. The K-3 visa, however, is just a backup option to the immigrant visa. Currently, these visas are taking just as or almost as long to process. See article, K-3 Nonimmigrant Visa for Spouse: Pros and Cons: http://bit.ly/2aPVzG0

    Consult an immigration attorney to discuss your wife's eligibility for adjustment of status (if she is in the U.S. following lawful admission) and to verify whether filing for the K-3 visa is a viable alternative.

  • The fbi background check on my wife shows that she has a clean record. Does this means that she was never deported?

    Dyan’s Answer

    An FBI background check focuses on criminal offenses (arrests, charges and convictions), but does not always show immigration violations, such as removal orders issued by an Immigration Judge or expedited removal orders issued by the Customs & Border Protection. Therefore, a clean FBI background check does not necessarily mean your wife has never been deported.

    As of April 1, 1997, reentering or attempting to reenter the U.S. illegally after accruing more than one year of unlawful presence in the U.S., or after being ordered removed from the U.S., subjects the person to a permanent bar. This lifetime ban prevents her from immigrating to the U.S. (obtaining an immigrant visa) until she is outside the U.S. and has waited ten years abroad before filing the Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal.

    To obtain immigration records, you need to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, e.g. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and U.S. Customs & Border Protection. For more information, go to https://www.foia.gov/report-makerequest.html

    Consult an immigration attorney for specific guidance on making a FOIA request and applying for any immigration benefits.

  • Can I get a U.S. Marriage License and Marry in Another Country?ARCHIVED

    Dyan’s Answer

    A US citizen filing an I-130 immigrant petition for a foreign national spouse must prove the marriage is valid and bona fide. In general, USCIS determines the validity of the marriage by the law of the place of celebration. You must submit a marriage certificate issued by the local authority in which the ceremony occurred. Divorce decrees for any prior marriages must also be submitted to show you were legally free to marry. In addition, you need to provide documentary evidence showing the marriage is bona fide, i.e. entered into with good faith intent to establish a life together as spouses, and not just for immigration purposes.

    For immigration purposes, you are not required to have a U.S. marriage license or to marry in the U.S. Under the place-of-celebration rule, the marriage just needs to be valid under the law of the jurisdiction in which it is performed. USCIS, however, does not recognize the following marriages even if they are valid in the place of celebration: polygamous marriages​; incestuous marriages and other marriages that violate the laws or public policy of the state of residence of the couple (except same sex marriages); ​civil unions, domestic partnerships, or other such relationships not recognized as marriage; proxy marriages (except when the relationship is consummated); and marriages for the purpose of evading US immigration laws or gaining immigration benefits.

    If you want to get married in a certain country, you must follow their laws, procedures and application process. Having a U.S. marriage license is specific to the locality where it was obtained; it will not allow you to legally marry in another country.

    Consult an immigration attorney about the filing process, eligibility standards, and documentary requirements for the I-130 petition and immigrant visa/green card application.