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COVID 19 Leads to Increase in Domestic Violence: VAWA Can Help
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 20, 2021

There has been a substantial increase in domestic violence cases as a result of COVID-19. The inequalities and issues related to domestic violence have always been there, but the pandemic has brought them to light. Comprehensive data is not available because many cases go unreported. However, now that family members are stuck at home with their attackers, the numbers are on the rise. The National Domestic Violence Hotline reported a 9% increase in calls between March and May of 2020. Cities across the country are experiencing an increase. The New York City Police Department reported a 10% increase in domestic violence reports. Police in San Antonio reported an 18% increase in family violence cases. VAWA Can Help If you are an immigrant who has suffered from domestic violence, then the… Read More

Differences Between a U Visa and VAWA
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 20, 2021

U visas and VAWA petitions are different in many ways. If you have been the victim of a crime, determining which avenue is best for you can be complicated. You may want to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine which immigration path is right for you. No Limit on VAWA Petitions U visas have an annual 10,000 visa cap. VAWA petitions have no cap. This means that a U visa applicant may have to wait until the following year if the cap has been met. Faster Path to a Green Card With a VAWA Petition After your U visa application is approved, you may be placed on a waitlist for several years before the visa is actually available. This is due to the 10,000 visa cap. After receiving… Read More

Differences Between a T Visa and a U Visa
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 20, 2021

Both the T and the U visas were created by Congress to encourage the victims of certain serious crimes to cooperate with law enforcement in exchange for legal status in the United States. There are important differences between the two visas, and different types of evidence are necessary to establish eligibility. You should consult with an immigration attorney to determine which is the right visa for you. T Visa Holders Must Have Been “Trafficked” Into the United States The T visa is only available for the victims of human trafficking. An individual must be present in the United States as a result of the trafficking. This differs from the qualification for a U visa, which may include someone who was in the United States for a vacation or another purpose… Read More

3 Reasons to Hire an Attorney for Your DACA Petition
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 20, 2021

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an agreement by the U.S. government not to deport certain individuals. It is not a guarantee of a green card or citizenship. Having an attorney for your DACA petition is not required. However, if you would like to eventually achieve legal status in the United States, having an experienced immigration attorney on your side can be helpful for you and your family. Here are some reasons you should consider hiring an attorney for your DACA petition: Experience With the System You likely have little experience dealing with United States immigration law and may not know all the necessary processes. An experienced immigration attorney knows the hurdles that lie ahead and how to approach each step. An attorney deals with these laws every day… Read More

FAQs About DACA
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 12, 2021

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a useful immigration tool for young people who were brought to the United States as children. What is DACA? DACA is a program created by the Obama administration in 2012 to protect from deportation certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. In addition to protection from deportation, DACA recipients are eligible for a social security number, work authorization, and a state-issued ID or driver’s license. Do DACA Recipients Have Full Legal Status? No. DACA does not grant lawful status such as a visa or a green card and does not provide a path to United States citizenship. Who Qualifies for DACA? In order to be eligible for DACA, applicants must meet the following criteria: Entered the United… Read More

Applications Being Accepted After Court Reinstates DACA
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 12, 2021

In 2017, the Trump administration stopped accepting first-time applications for DACA and left the program in limbo. But in December of 2020, a federal court signed an order reopening the door for first time DACA applicants. Under the order, the Department of Homeland Security had three days to post a public notice that it was accepting new applications. A Big Win The court ruling was a big win for young people who were brought to the United States when they were children. The program shields about 650,000 people from deportation and allows them to legally work in the country. In compliance with the court order, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service updated its website with a notice confirming it will take new DACA applications. New applicants are advised to act… Read More

T Visas for Trafficking Victims
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 12, 2021

The T visa was established to help combat human trafficking. It is intended to provide immigration relief to those who are the victims of human trafficking. A T visa allows a survivor to work temporarily in the United States and provides a path to a green card. The Benefits of a T Visa A T visa allows a holder four years of lawful immigration status and four years of employment authorization. A T visa holder can also apply for a green card if they meet certain criteria. A holder may be eligible for federal refugee benefits, which include cash assistance, food stamps, and job training. With a T visa, a holder also has the ability to petition for certain family members. For applicants over 21 years old, these family members… Read More

4 Reasons You Need an Attorney For Your VAWA Petition
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 12, 2021

While an attorney is not required for your petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), there are some important reasons you should consider hiring one. Determining Your Potential Eligibility There are some distinct requirements that are necessary to establish that you qualify for a green card under VAWA. An attorney can look at your situation before you even begin the application process and determine whether you have a chance of being successful in your application. If you’re not eligible for VAWA, the attorney may find another visa program you can consider. Determining What Evidence You Need Applying for VAWA doesn’t just involve filling out a few forms and hoping for approval. You must provide concrete evidence establishing all of the necessary elements in order to qualify. This can be… Read More

Motions to Reopen Removal Orders
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 6, 2021

Navigating through the immigration process can be extremely complex and frustrating. This is made even worse if you have already had an order of removal issued against you by a judge. This order may cause you to be detained by ICE, deported, and make it so you can’t seek out immigration relief, petition for a status that would let you stay, or take other actions that could help your situation. If you or a loved one is facing this situation, you will eventually have to file a motion to reopen removal orders. This will help you to be able to get your case looked at again, so you can argue for the right to stay in the country legally. While successfully filing this type of motion is not always easy,… Read More

5 Things to Look for in an Immigration Attorney
  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: December 2, 2020

The decision to hire an immigration attorney is a personal one, and you want to make sure that you hire the right one for you. Here are some things to look for when deciding who to hire: Experience The most important thing to look for in an immigration attorney is experience, especially with the type of matter you are seeking help with. Check out the attorney’s website or talk to the attorney to get more information about the types of matters they handle the most and see how long they’ve been practicing. Past Success You want to make sure that the attorney you hire has been successful in their practice. The best way to determine this is to look at testimonials from past clients. Were past clients happy with the… Read More

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