Showing posts with label US immigration lawyer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US immigration lawyer. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2018

How to Apply for Naturalization if your American Spouse is Stationed Abroad


How to Apply for Naturalization if your American Spouse is Stationed Abroad


Filipino spouses of American citizens are generally eligible for permanent residency and, eventually naturalization based on their marriage. In general, a Filipino spouse may only be naturalized after showing that they have resided continuously as a green card holders within the United States for a certain prescribed period of time. These requirements are called the residency and physical presence requirements. The issue then arises, what about those Filipino citizens who are married to an American citizen, but the couple is living and raising a family in the Philippines. How are they expected to meet the residency and physical presence requirements under U.S. immigration law? 

To address this situation, Act 319(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for an exception to the residency and physical presence requirements for a Filipino spouse of a U.S. citizen who is regularly stationed abroad under a qualifying employment. A qualifying employment abroad means that the American spouse must be stationed abroad for at least one year under an employment contract or order in any of the following entities or position: 

  • Government of the United States (including the U.S. armed forces); 
  • American institution of research recognized by the Attorney General; 
  • American firm or corporation engaged in whole or in part in the development of foreign trade and commerce of the United States or a subsidiary thereof; 
  • Public international organization in which the United States participates by treaty or statute; 
  • Authorized to perform the ministerial or priestly functions of a religious denomination having a bona fide organization within the United States; or 
  • Engaged solely as a missionary by a religious denomination or by an interdenominational organization having a bona fide organization within the United States. 

To qualify for naturalization under Act 319(B) of the INA, the spouse must establish that he or she meets the following criteria: 

  • 18 years or older at the time of filing; 
  • A lawful permanent resident at the time of filing of the naturalization application; 
  • Continue to be the spouse of the U.S. citizen regularly stationed abroad in qualifying employment for at least one year; 
  • Married to a U.S. citizen regularly stationed abroad in qualifying employment for at least a year; 
  • Has a good faith intent to reside abroad with the U.S. citizen spouse upon naturalization and to reside in the United States immediately upon the citizen’s termination of employment abroad; 
  • Establish that he or she will depart to join the citizen spouse within 30 to 45 days after the date of naturalization; 
  • Understanding of basic English, including the ability to read, write and speak; 
  • Knowledge of basic U.S. history and government; 
  • Demonstrate good moral character for at least three years prior to filing the application until the time of naturalization 
  • Attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S. during all relevant period under the law. 

If you are a Filipino spouse of an American citizen who is working in the Philippines simply like to know more about the topic, you may contact an US immigration lawyer in the Philippine for more advice or information on the procedures for availing the exemption discussed above.




Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Proposed USCIS Policy Changes on Accrued Unlawful Presence for J, F, and M Visa Holders To Affect Filipinos

Propose USCIS Policy Changes on Accrued Unlawful Presence for J, F, and M Visa Holders To  Affect Filipinos

Filipinos working and studying in the United States under the J-1, F, and M nonimmigrant visas should take note of the proposed changes in the manner of calculating unlawful presence by USCIS.

The policy memorandum which was posted on May 11, 2018 s in line with President Donald Trump’s Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States and is set to take effect on August 9, 2018.

The policy amends Section 40.9.2 of the USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual by adding a section concerning F, J, and M nonimmigrants and the manner of calculating their unlawful presence.

          Under the policy memorandum, individuals in F, J, and M status who failed to maintain their status before Aug. 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on that date based on that failure, unless they had already started accruing unlawful presence, on the earliest of any of the following:

  • The day after DHS denied the request for an immigration benefit, if DHS made a formal finding that the individual violated his or her nonimmigrant status while adjudicating a request for another immigration benefit;
  • The day after their I-94 expired; or
  • The day after an immigration judge or in certain cases, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), ordered them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).
Individuals in F, J, or M status who fail to maintain their status on or after Aug. 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of any of the following:      

  • The day after they no longer pursue the course of study or the authorized activity, or the day after they engage in an unauthorized activity;
  • The day after completing the course of study or program, including any authorized practical training plus any authorized grace period;
  • The day after the I-94 expires; or
  • The day after an immigration judge, or in certain cases, the BIA, orders them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence during a single stay, and then depart, may be subject to three-year or 10-year bars to admission, depending on how much unlawful presence they accrued before they departed the United States. Individuals who have accrued a total period of more than one year of unlawful presence, whether in a single stay or during multiple stays in the United States, and who then reenter or attempt to reenter the United States without being admitted or paroled are permanently inadmissible.

Those subject to the three-year, 10-year, or permanent unlawful presence bars to admission are generally not eligible to apply for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status to permanent residence unless they are eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or another form of relief.

Nonimmigrants holding F, J, or M as well as those who previously departed the United States are strongly advised to consult with a US immigration lawyer to verify their status or to clarify any questions that they may have.





Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Job Opportunities for Filipino Teachers in USA


Times in the United States have become more challenging for American teachers as more teachers protest low pay and education funding shortfalls. Moreso in Arizona where teacher pay is $10,000.00 less than the national average of $59,000.00. 

But what is too low for American teachers is a dream come true for Filipino teachers looking for U.S. Visas. At $40,000.00, the salary offered for teachers in Arizona is ten times more than what they would have made back in the Philippines doing the same job. 

The difficulties in finding American teachers to work for the pay offered has made school districts more creative and innovative in recruiting, looking to foreign teachers to fill the gap. The foreign teachers that the schools recruit enter and work temporarily under the J-1 visa, a visa that offers no path to citizenship. The J-1 visa for teachers lasts for three years, with the option to extend twice for one year. 

In 2017, more than 2,800 foreign teachers arrived in the United States under the J-1 visa. The top sender was the Philippines, sending 472 teachers under the J-1 visa, followed by Jamaica and China sending 324 and 321, respectively. 

School districts found it easy to find and recruit qualified teachers from the Philippines as they speak English, are willing to work and are purposefully trained to easily pass muster from licensing authorities in the United States. 

To qualify for a J-1 visa, candidates must: 

  • Meet the qualifications for teaching in primary or secondary schools in their country of nationality or last legal residence; 
  • Be working as a teacher in the home country or country of legal residence at the time of application, or, if not working as a teacher, otherwise meet the eligibility qualifications and (a) have recently (within 12 months of application) completed an advanced degree and (b) have two years of full-time teaching experience within the past eight years; 
  • Have a degree-equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which they intend to teach; 
  • Have a minimum of two years (24 months) of teaching or related professional experience; 
  • Satisfy the standards of the U.S. state in which they will teach; 
  • Be of good reputation and character; 
  • Be seeking to enter the United States for the purpose of full-time teaching as a teacher of record at a primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary accredited educational institution in the United States (pre-kindergarten teachers must teach full-time, and at the pre-kindergarten level, may teach only language immersion at an accredited host school); 
  • Possess sufficient proficiency in the English language. 

In the Philippines, the applicant for a J-1 visa must have their documents processed in the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration so they can be issued an Overseas Employment Certificate, which serves as the Overseas Foreign Worker’s travel exit clearance at the airport and immigration centers. 

The documents required for processing are: 

  • Passport 
  • Work visa or work permit 
  • Employment contract that has been verified or authenticated by the Philippine embassy or Philippine consulate in the country of destination. 

Aside from paying the fees, the applicant must also undergo a medical examination by a clinic or hospital accredited by the Department of Health and attend a pre-departure orientation seminar. 

Interested teachers should consult with a lawyer or an immigration consultant for more information on American immigration.



Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fraud in Obtaining US Visas

Fraud in Obtaining US Visas


Every year, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos apply for a U.S. visa, whether it be for tourist purposes or to become an immigrant to live out the American dream. However, some have found the process to be too long or the risk of denial to be too great. To ensure approvals, they look to other avenues for help in getting their U.S. visas approved so they can enter the United States. 

Some make use of visa agents who assure the approval of U.S. visas. Some visa agents provide their clients with documents such as fake passports or identities with an approved U.S. visa. They assure their clients that it is okay to travel under the fake documents. Other visa agents provide fake documents such as bank books, bank certifications, deeds of sale of real property, tax documents and business registration certificates to prove financial capacity to travel to the United States and to establish legitimate ties to their country of origin. Those seeking U.S. visas pay fees ranging from exorbitant, non-refundable fees for orientation, coaching and the fake documents. If they are successful in their visa applications, the applicants are required to pay their visa agents a “success fee,” which is just as exorbitant, if not more. 

In scenarios like these, it is not just the visa agencies that may be criminally charged. The applicants will also face consequences such as deportation for their use of fake documents.

On the other hand, some make use of recruiters who take advantage of the applicant’s economic needs. As it could take years for visas to be approved, it is hard to predict what needs will have to be met by the workers. Recruiters have the advantage of being able to move people around according to the demand. However, applicants don’t realize the underlying risks of signing with a recruiter. There are some instances where the applicant signs contracts wherein their recruiters take a percent of their salary or they are paid less than the minimum wage. The recruiters hold them hostage to their contracts through the constant threat of deportation. The workers become especially vulnerable due to their lack of knowledge and understanding of what it takes to get a new contract to maintain their visa. 

Applicants from the Philippines should be wary of visa agencies and recruiters that are using illegal means to obtain a visa to the United States. They should be more circumspect in choosing immigration consultants lest they fall victim to unscrupulous groups. In doing so, applicants should be informed that only licensed attorneys can legally offer immigration assistance. 



Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Changes in Immigration Policy

Changes in Immigration Policy

A series of small moves concerning the immigration policy of the US have been undertaken in the past week by the Trump administration. 

CNN reports the following actions made by the administration:

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a Decision directing the Board of Immigration Appeals to refer cases for his review when said cases have issues relating to when there is “good cause” to grant a continuance for a collateral matter to be adjudicated. Under this Decision, the Board’s decisions on the matter are automatically stayed pending the Attorney General’s review. 

  • On 27 March 2018, President Donald Trump issued a Memorandum finding that the conditions in Liberia no longer warrant the extension of the Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED).  Due to the conflicts in Liberia, the DED was first authorized by President Clinton in 1999 to allow certain Liberian nationals and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia to remain in the U.S when they would otherwise have been deported. The DED for Liberians were repeatedly extended by President Bush and President Obama. 

  • The Commerce Department announced that it will include a question on citizenship in the 2020 Census.

  • The Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced a new directive wherein immigration officers will no longer default to trying to release pregnant women in immigration custody but will instead require a case-by-case evaluation.

  • The State Department proposed that applicants for visas and alien registration be required to submit five years of identifiers for certain social media platforms, previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel.

  • The Department of Homeland Security confirmed that the White House is reviewing a proposal requiring immigration caseworkers to consider a wider range of factors to determine whether an applicant is likely to become dependent on public assistance. The proposal seeks to define the term “public charge” as used in the Immigration and Nationality Act and to define the types of public benefits that are considered in the determinations. U.S. Law authorizes the rejection of immigrants if they are likely to become a “public charge.”

  • The Department of Justice and the City of West Spring Palm Beach announced that it has reached an agreement regarding West Palm Beach’s Resolution Number 112-17. The City agreed to issue a memorandum stating its position that its local laws do not restrict information sharing with the DHS.

Immigration lawyers say that the greater scrutiny of visa applications have slowed down the process and have set the bar higher for longstanding categories of visas.


Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

U.S. To Require Visa Applicants To Disclose Social Media Handles

U.S. To Require Visa Applicants To Disclose Social Media Handles

             
In a notice posted on March 30, 2018, the State Department is proposing to revise the collection of biographical information from nearly all visa applicants by requiring them to provide their social media identities on certain social media platforms during the five years preceding the date of application – with an option to list handles not explicitly required.

The proposal follows the Trump administration’s promise of “extreme vetting” of foreigners entering the U.S. to prevent terrorism. 

It is also an extension of the previous administration’s instructions to collect social media identifiers when the State Department determines “that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting.”

Greater attention was placed on immigrants’ social media use after it was revealed that one of the attackers of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack had, under a pseudonym, advocated jihad in posts on a private social media account. Authorities did not find the account until after she was allowed entry into the U.S. 

If approved, approximately 15 million people will be affected annually, including applicants for permanent residency.

Some expressed their concerns on the proposal’s effects on freedom of speech and association and on privacy.

On a more practical note, critics also complain that the proposal would make it harder to legally immigrate to the U.S. as the proposal would make the process slower.

In addition, the State Department also proposes to require information on five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel, and whether specified family members have been involved in terrorist activities, regardless of visa application. For applicants for Immigration Visa and Alien Registration, applicants will be required to disclose all prior immigration violations while applicants for Nonimmigrant visa will be asked whether they have been deported or removed from any country.

The State Department intends not to routinely ask the question of applicants for most diplomatic and official visa applicants.

Upon its publication, the public has 60 days, or until May 29, 2018, to comment on the proposal. 




Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Trump's plan vs. chain migration to cost many Pinoys chance to live in US

The Trump administration's plan to end "chain migration" or family-based immigration could bring many Filipinos' pending immigrant petition to the US to naught, GMA News' Cedric Castillo reported on 24 Oras on Monday.

In his State of the Union Address last week, US President Donald Trump blamed the recent terrorist attacks in New York to chain migration, which allows an immigrant to bring to the US his or her distant relatives.

"In recent weeks two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration," Trump said. "In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can just no longer afford."

The report said Trump wants the granting of sponsorship to be limited only to the immigrant's wife and children who are minors.

There are two categories for sponsorship to the US: immediate relatives, which covers the wife, children and parents of a US citizen; and family-based immigration, which covers the US' citizen's children who are 21 years and above, as well as his or her. The latter also covers the family of a permanent resident.

Lawyer Ryan Barshop, an immigration consultant, said it is easier for immediate relatives of a US citizen to get an immigrant status.

"Let's say we have an American citizen who is living in the Philippines and wants to bring over his Filipino spouse or child to the US. The process can take as little as six weeks," Barshop said.
However, the process under the immediate relative category could last up to 25 years, he said.

The Philippines is fourth country that has the biggest number of petitions for immigration in the US.

Based on the latest visa bulletin of the US State Department for the F4 category, it is currently processing petitions submitted before October 1, 1994 — or almost 24 years ago.

MalacaƱang has yet to comment on Trump's immigration plan.

(Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/pinoyabroad/immigrationguide/642239/trump-s-plan-vs-chain-migration-to-cost-many-pinoys-chance-to-live-in-us/story/)
http://bridgewayimmigration.com

Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Trump’s immigration proposal could dash Filipinos’ “American Dream”


Filipino anti-U.S. activists sent a clear message ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s arrival in the Philippines: No, he isn’t welcome. But while many other Filipinos may share their contempt for Trump, they don’t share the anti-U.S. sentiment.

“Everyone’s dream — naman — is to go to the U.S.A.,” said U.S. immigrant-hopeful Jonalyn Caliwag.

It’s a dream that Caliwag’s mother and siblings, as well as close to 4 million other Filipinos, are living now. Filipinos make up the second largest Asian ethnic minority in America.

For those wanting to move to the United States, there is no more important building than the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

Caliwag was already approved as a minor petitioned by a parent living in the U.S. But then she turned 21, at which point she had to be moved to another visa category. Now she fears she may never set foot in the United States.

“From what I’ve seen in the news, Trump does not want more foreigners to be living in the U.S. So I’m worried my mother’s petition for me might never materialize or that I might have to wait a lot longer,” she said.

Earlier this month, Trump told Fox News he plans to also put a stop to chain migration, a policy that has allowed legal immigrants to apply for relatives to come to the U.S., as part of a plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program.

But Ryan Barshop, a U.S. immigration attorney based in Manila, says it’s not likely to be a doomsday scenario for petitioned relatives.

“If they did end it and it was passed by Congress, you would have a grace period,” he explained.

“Okay, we’re gonna allow 18 months, let’s just say 18 months to two years, we’re gonna push through all the backlog in that 18 months to two years, get everybody in, and you’re also gonna have 18 months to two years to file.”

But Barshop conceded that doesn’t mean people won’t be hurt.

“Now, if it does change the system, will there be innocent parties? Absolutely, there’s no question about it, people are going to be hurt. In that situation, there are no winners,” he said.

Caliwag has waited close to 20 years to be reunited with her mother. She says she wouldn’t mind waiting another ten, as long as her family can be together again.

(Source: https://america.cgtn.com/2017/11/11/trumps-immigration-proposal-could-dash-filipinos-american-dream)
http://bridgewayimmigration.com

Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Proxy Marriage?

Maybe a proxy marriage is for you, maybe not.
Proxy Marriage


A proxy wedding or (proxy marriage) is a wedding in which one or both of the individuals being united are not physically present, usually being represented instead by other persons. If both partners are absent a double proxy wedding occurs.

Marriage by proxy is usually resorted to either when a couple wish to marry but one or both partners cannot attend for reasons such as military service, imprisonment, or travel restrictions; or when a couple lives in a jurisdiction in which they cannot legally marry.

Proxy weddings are not recognized as legally binding in most jurisdictions: both parties must be present. A proxy marriage contracted elsewhere may be recognised where proxy marriage within the jurisdiction is not; for example, Israel recognises proxy marriages abroad between Israelis who might not have been permitted to marry in Israel. Under the English common law, if a proxy marriage is valid by the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated (the lex loci celebrationis) then it will be recognised in England.

United States
In the United States, proxy marriages are provided for in law or by customary practice in Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and Montana. Of these, Montana is the only state that allows double-proxy marriage. Proxy marriages cannot be solemnized in all other U.S. states.

In 1924, a federal court recognized the proxy marriage of a resident of Portugal, where proxy marriages were recognized at the time, and a resident of Pennsylvania, where common-law marriages could be contracted at the time. The Portuguese woman was allowed to immigrate to the United States on account of the marriage, whereas she would have been inadmissible otherwise due to being illiterate.

During the early 1900s, United States proxy marriages increased significantly when many Japanese picture brides arrived at Angel Island, California. Since the early 20th century, it has been most commonly used in the United States for marriages where one partner is a member of the military on active duty. In California, proxy marriage is only available to deployed military personnel. In Montana, it is available if one partner is either on active military duty or is a Montana resident.

Philippines
Marriage is an inviolable social contract and institution where a man and a woman enter into a permanent union governed by law to establish a conjugal and family life. Its consequences and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation except for the property relations between husband and wife in the marriage settlement.

The essential elements of marriage are the following: the contracting parties must be male and female with the legal capacity to enter into marriage and their consent must be given freely in the presence of the solemnizing officer.

Formal Requisites:
  1. Authority of the solemnizing officer
  2. Valid marriage license
  3. Inconsistencies between application and evidence
  4. The marriage ceremony must take place with both parties before the solemnizing officer and at least 2 witnesses of legal age where they (the parties) give their personal declaration to take each other as husband and wife
Marriage by proxy is not allowed in the Philippines; but such marriages are recognized here if valid in the countries where they're performed. The marriage license is issued by the local civil registrar of the municipality where either of the parties resides. The marriage license is valid anywhere in the Philippines for 120 days. It isn't an essential requisite but it's the best evidence of the marriage.


Don't waste your money
Contact an immigration attorney before you embark on any Proxy Marriage journey. A proxy marriage may add to proof of a bona fide relationship to obtain a K-1 Visa as it demonstrates commitment.


Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Adam Walsh Act!

What it might mean to you and immigration.


Adam Walsh Act

Walsh is known for his anti-crime activism and his extreme hatred of criminals, with which he became involved following the murder of his son, Adam, in 1981.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA) is a federal statute that was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on July 27, 2006 on the 25th anniversary of the abduction of Adam Walsh from a shopping mall in Broward County, Florida. Walsh, a six year old child at the time of the abduction was found decapitated 16 days after his abduction in 1981; his body was never found.
AWA Litigation in US Federal Court Is Evolving
Generally, a US citizen or permanent resident green card holder must file a petition to immigrate foreign family members to the United States. Such family members include spouses and children. However, the AWA prevents a family member from immigrating if that U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner has been convicted of a specified sexual offense against any minor child under 18. The AWA limitation also applies to fiancee petitions by US citizens.

Under the AWA, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must first determine that the US citizen or green card holder poses no risk of harm to the foreign family member before the petition to immigrate may proceed. Foreign family members cannot immigrate to the U.S. based on the family relationship if an application for a "no risk" determination pursuant to AWA is denied. Since 2011, the USCIS has denied the vast majority of applications to waive the AWA bar. Many petitioners who fall under AWA provisions are stuck.

According to the USCIS, a successful AWA waiver application requires that the U.S. citizen or resident petitioner show beyond a reasonable doubt he poses no risk of harm to the foreign family member. Often, a US citizen believes he has enough evidence to satisfy the USCIS because it seems obvious he is not a threat to his family member. However, USCIS has set the bar very high to the point that nearly all cases are denied. In its current state, the process seems unfair and unbalanced.

When USCIS receives an AWA Case, it will consider the following questions:
  • Whether the classification of a particular conviction as a “specified offense against a minor” was to be done using a “categorical” analysis, in which only the elements of the state crime were analyzed, rather than the actual conduct of the United States citizen petitioner;
  • Whether USCIS was correct in interpreting the “no risk” element of the AWA to mean that petitioners must provide evidence showing “beyond a reasonable doubt” (which is the standard used in criminal proceedings) that they weren’t a threat to their own relatives, or whether the ordinary “preponderance of the evidence” standard should be used;
  • Whether it was the government’s job to prove the existence of a disqualifying petition, or if that job fell to the petitioner;
  • Whether a petitioner could appeal certain legal aspects of a “no-risk” determination, or whether the BIA lacked jurisdiction even over these non-discretionary issues; and
  • Whether the AWA would apply to an individual whose disqualifying offense happened before the new law took effect.
Obviously, you should seek advice from an Immigration Attorney as soon as you can before you begin the process. Urinating in public when you were 19 years old at a Rock Concert might be enough to cause you problems today from the AWA when petitioning for your spouse in the Philippines to join you in the USA.


Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Pregnant Travel:What you need to know!

So you are pregnant and want to travel?


Pregnant Travel

Getting travel visa if you are pregnant

While you may not plan on giving birth while traveling, you need to keep some things in mind, especially when doing your interview with the admitting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer for travel to the USA.


Most important, do not lie in your Interview!!! 
- Ryan Barshop, Atty.


 Is this your goal?

Although there are no specific regulations prohibiting pregnant foreign nationals from entering the U.S., entry is allowed or denied at the discretion of the admitting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer.

If the interviewer thinks Citizenship  is your only goal, expect the tourist visa to be denied. If your due date is before your planned return date, expect the tourist visa to be denied. If you say your due date is beyond your travel return, yet your baby bump looks like a watermelon in your belly, expect the Visa to be denied. 




So can you tell the truth that you want to go to USA to give birth, and get that approved?  Yes, you can, here are some reasons that might justify that. 

You may get approved even if you are near term if:

  • Your spouse is a USA Citizen;
  • You want to use USA Doctor or Hospital for medical reasons;
  • You want to use USA Doctor or Hospital for personal or family reasons;
  • You can afford (including insurance) to get the medical procedures done in the USA;
  • Bottom line as long as you have a better reason that JUST USA Citizenship, you may be approved.

Also, Medical Tourism to the Philippines is common, but there is no advertised Medical Tourism to the USA so don't try to use that as a reason.

Best of luck, but to be safe consult and immigration attorney.



Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Guam for Quickie Divorce for Marriages in the Philippines?

The facts about getting a divorce in Guam.

Guam for Quickie Divorce for Marriages in the Philippines

So your marriage in the Philippines has broken down and is beyond the point of reconciliation. Not wanting to go through the complex and expensive annulment process to dissolve a marriage in the Philippines, you decide to look east towards the tiny United States Federal Territory of Guam for a divorce and you think that this should be easy.

But is it really that easy?

The simple fact that under current Guam law, an uncontested divorce may be granted if both parties are in agreement to the terms of the divorce and at least one spouse visits Guam for a minimum of 7 days prior to filing the petition. Spending at least 7 days on the island stay satisfies the residency requirement for an uncontested divorce.

So you may think you just take a week’s vacation, file some papers and poof you are divorced?


Well it is easy but not that easy, consider...

  • There is no such thing on Guam as a "non-resident divorce". However, under current Guam law, an uncontested divorce may be granted if both parties are in agreement to the terms of the divorce and at least one spouse visits Guam for a minimum of 7 days prior to filing the petition. The 7-day stay satisfies the residency requirement for an uncontested divorce. If either spouse does not agree to any terms, including child custody or property settlement, the petitioner must file for a contested divorce and must meet a 90 day residency requirement as well as provide reasonable notification to the off-island spouse.
  • Property and Custody Settlement. If both parties are in agreement, a property settlement and child custodial agreement(notarized) may be attached to the petition and become part of the divorce decree. If the parties have not come to agreement on division of property or custody of the children, but still desire an immediate divorce, a divorce may be granted leaving contested property, custody and child support issues for another court having jurisdiction over the children and or property.
  • Off-Island Spouse. An individual who has satisfied the residency requirements discussed above who desires to divorce a spouse who is not living on Guam, must give the spouse timely notice in the form of a Petition for Divorce. The spouse may consent to the divorce or may contest the petition by either appearing in person or by retaining a Guam attorney to appear for him/her in court. Should the spouse not respond within 30 days of the petition, the court may grant the divorce in their absence. The best way is to give ample notice and get an affidavit stating the Off-Island Spouse is not contesting the divorce or Property or Custody Settlement.
You may also be wondering that if your divorce is finalized on Guam, will it be recognized throughout the United States and of course, the rest of the world (minus the Philippines were divorce is not recognized. The answer is also yes because of the notion of full faith and credit. Under Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, it specifically states that:
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
This means that a divorce validly entered into in one state or jurisdiction shall be recognized by all other jurisdictions.

As with most legal matters, this information is provided for information purposes only and should NOT be considered legal advice. Please consult a reputable attorney to address your particular situation.

Ryan Barshop



Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Visa Denied What's Next?


Visa Denied What's Next?

So you applied for a tourist Visa to the USA for your spouse, paid the fee, filled out the application and did the interview. Then you are told the Visa application was denied. Most likely cause is the interviewer determined there was insufficient reasons to determine the applicant would return to the Philippines.

What do you do now?
  1. Contact an Immigration Attorney - They can review your application and analyze your interview and assist you in providing truthful and credible justification of the ties that were missed the first time
  2. Re-apply - Yes fill out a new application and pay your fee. There is no limitation on when, but your immigration attorney should help you, to avoid possible mistakes in the first application and interview preparation.
  3. Prepare for the interview - do NOT think you need to embellish or exaggerate. It may or may not be the same person to interview you, and the danger is that they may get suspicious if your story is radically different. Remember this is subjective so your job is to provide additional ties you may have missed the first time. Check the list of well known ties interviews are looking for.

The ties that bind
  1. Business Ties - do you run a business, have employees or have operational control over some part of an ongoing business where your return is necessary?
  2. Family Ties - do you have family members here that need you? Children alone may not be enough but dependents are a factor. Remember it is subjective and therefore it is the total impression.
  3. Home Ties - Are you an active member of the community or church? These ties may be the most influential but they also may not have come up in the first interview when asked,"Why do you think you will return?"
  4. Political Ties - Are you active in politics at any level? You may not want to tell others how active you are, you may not want it public. But if you are, that may be something you share with the interviewer.

Remember the interview is subjective, it is your job to convince the interviewer. Clearly if you did the first application on your own, this time do it better with the assistance of an Immigration Attorney!

Good luck!

Ryan Barshop
http://bridgewayimmigration.com/blog


Article Disclaimer: This article is made available by the lawyer publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this article does not create an Attorney Client Relationship. This article does not offer or dispense legal advice. By using the article, the reader agrees that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created. The article is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information on the article may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date. The opinions expressed at or through the article are the opinions of the individual author. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.