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Practice Areas/Legal Services

Deferred Inspection Arrest & Detention
Deportation/Removal from the United States
Immigration Relief from Deporation/Removal
Bond Hearings
Appeals and Petitions for Review
Family based immigrant visas (Green Cards)
K3 visas for spouses abroad
Fiancee Visas
V visas
U visas
VAWA (Domestic Violence)
Work permits
I-601 & I-601A Waivers
Travel documents
Deferred Action for Young Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Immigration Reform News

Deferred Inspection, Arrest and Detention

If you have a criminal conviction or convictions, you should not travel outside the United States without first consulting with an experienced immigration attorney. A non-citizen may be questioned regarding their immigration status by an immigration officer either at the border, airport or any place within the U.S. A person arriving at the airport or at a border crossing may be detained immediately or referred to deferred inspection if a computer check reveals a criminal conviction, pending criminal case or criminal arrest warrant.  Deferred inspection refers to an interview at the local U. S. Customs and Border Patrol office (CBP) to address the immigration problem in more detail.  The CBP is a division of the United States Department of Homeland Security. A person with a criminal conviction will likely be asked to show up at the local CBP with a copy of their criminal disposition record.

If you have a criminal conviction and need to travel outside the United States, contact our law office at (408) 279-5793.

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When an individual is placed into removal proceedings the wheels of uncertainty begin to spin.  Family members are often left in a state of panic and confusion, and don’t know who to turn to for help. 

Getting information or simply trying to locate an individual who has been taken into custody can become time consuming and frustrating. We have successfully represented many clients placed in removal proceedings nationwide.

We take on cases that we believe we can help the client remain in the United States. Generally, our clients are informed at the initial consultation if we can help them or not with their removal case.  Before we agree to represent a client in removal proceedings, we evaluate the client’s case to determine whether immigration relief is available to the client and the chances of getting that relief granted by the immigration judge.  We also determine whether a detained client can be released on bond and whether the case, if located in another city or state can be moved to an immigration court closer to the client’s home.

The Department of Homeland Security often transfers aliens in removal proceedings out of State and houses them in detention centers located throughout the country.

An alien or non-citizen may be placed into removal proceedings for many reasons.  These reasons are referred to as grounds of inadmissibility and grounds of removability. In many instances, individuals are placed in removal proceedings because of their criminal history and/or illegal status. For example a lawful permanent resident can be placed in removal proceedings for having a certain criminal conviction or convictions.

If necessary, we will order a client’s immigration file from the Department of Homeland Security and their criminal histories from the FBI and California Department of Justice to assist us in evaluating their removal case.  We will also obtain a client’s criminal record from criminal court.

For individuals placed in removal proceedings because of a criminal conviction or convictions, our  immigration attorneys are highly experienced in determining the effect that a conviction or convictions will have on an alien’s immigration status. In addition, if necessary, our attorneys will explore with a qualified criminal attorney the possibility of vacating, expunging or reducing a criminal conviction or convictions when it would be beneficial to the alien to do so.

Immigration court proceedings generally consist of bond, master calendar and individual hearings. At a bond hearing, the immigration judge will decide whether the alien should be released on bond while removal proceedings are pending. At the Master Calendar hearing, an alien will admit or deny the allegations in the charging document called the Notice to Appear, concede or deny removability and inform the immigration judge of the immigration relief that the alien will be applying for to avoid being removed from the United States.

At the individual hearing, (also referred to as the Final, Regular or Merits hearing), the immigration judge will determine if the alien gets to stay in the United States or will have to leave after hearing all the evidence presented by the attorneys for the alien and the U.S. government.  At the hearing, the alien’s attorney will present documents, take testimony on direct examination from the alien and the alien’s witnesses, including family,  friends and any expert witnesses.  The government attorney will also be given an opportunity to cross-exam any witnesses presented by the alien’s attorney.

We can represent clients at all stages of removal proceedings anywhere in the country. Aliens placed in removal proceedings or their family members can contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793 at anytime during the week or on weekends or email us at raulray@deportationattorney.com

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Immigration Relief from Removal/Deportation

If you are challenging your removal from the United States and will be applying for immigration relief to avoid removal, it is very important to prepare your case well. The immigration judge will set an individual hearing to determine whether you should be allowed to stay in the United States. 

There are various forms of immigration relief that an alien can apply for in removal proceedings in order to preserve their legal status or to obtain their permanent resident status. We know what it takes to win in removal proceedings.  We assess the best immigration relief available to our client, prepare that relief with help from the alien and their family members and aggressively represent the alien at the final hearing.

During removal proceedings, the immigration judge has the final say to grant or deny immigration relief. An alien may be eligible for immigration relief including but not limited to the following: Cancellation of Removal, Adjustment of Status, Asylum, Withholding of Removal, Convention against Torture and waivers under INA Section 237(a)(1)(h), 212(i), and 212(h).

1. Cancellation of Removal

This is an important legal relief  for both permanent and non-permanent residents who are in removal/deportation proceedings. This form of relief is available for lawful permanent residents who have resided continuously in the U.S. for at least five (5) years as permanent residents and have resided continuously in the U.S. after admission in any lawful status for at least seven (7) years.  In addition, the alien must essentially demonstrate that there are more positive than negative factors to justify being allowed to stay in the United States. Finally, a lawful permanent resident must not have been convicted of an aggravated felony.

In order for a nonresident to qualify for Cancellation of Removal for Non Permanent Residents, an alien must have resided in the U.S. continuously for ten (10) years after entering the United States without inspection, (illegally). The alien must establish good moral character during the 10 year period preceding the date the application for this relief was filed with the immigration court. The alien must also demonstrate that his/her removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a qualifying relative(s), such as a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, spouse or child residing in the U.S. The hardship requirement is a very difficult standard to meet and aliens are encouraged to consult an experienced attorney to evaluate whether they are eligible for this and any other relief.

2.  Adjustment of Status

If eligible to apply in the United States, an alien can apply again for a green card through a family member.  For example, a lawful permanent resident in removal proceedings could apply to readjust his or her status again through an immediate family member such as a U.S. citizen spouse, U.S. citizen child, 21 years or older or in the case of a U.S. citizen parent, only if the alien is under 21 years old. An alien in removal proceedings with no legal status could apply to adjust his or her status for the first time, if eligible to apply in the United States, through an immediate family member such as a U.S. citizen spouse, U.S. child, 21 years or older or in the case of a U.S. citizen parent, only if the alien is under 21 years old.

3.   212(c ) waiver

A 212(c) waiver is available to eliminate certain criminal convictions including those considered to be aggravated felony convictions if the alien:

a. Pled to criminal charges or was convicted aftera jury trial (depending on Appellate jurisdiction) before April 24, 1996.
b. Is a lawful permanent resident.
c. had a green card for at least seven consecutive years prior to the date of a final order of removal.
d. Is not subject to deportation or removal on the grounds of terrorism or national security.
e.  Is not unlawfully present in the United States after a previous immigration violation for which the alien was previously granted 212(c ) or cancellation of removal, or has  been convicted of an aggravated felony offense (or offenses) for which the alien  served at least five years in prison.

4. 212(i) and 212(h) waivers

  1. 212(h) waiver: An alien with a criminal conviction that falls under the crime of moral turpitude or prostitution ground of inadmissibility, or concerns a single possession of marijuana conviction involving less than 30 grams of marijuana or occurred 15 years or longer since the conviction, may be eligible for a waiver pursuant to INA section 212(h).
  1. 212(i) waivers:

An alien may also apply for a waiver under section 212(i) of the INA for fraud or  Misrepresentation.

5.  237(a)(1)(h) waiver

INA § 237(a)(1)(H) provides a discretionary waiver in removal proceedings for lawful permanent residents  who commit certain misrepresentations and fraud at admission that would otherwise render them inadmissable.  A waiver will be authorized if the lawful permanent resident can show that

  • he or she is the spouse, parent, or son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident;
  • he or she was in possession of an immigrant visa or equivalent document at the time of admission; and
  • he or she was otherwise admissible at the time of admission except for
    inadmissibility under INA §§ 212(a)(5)(A) and (7)(A) that was a direct
    result of the fraud or misrepresentation.

6. Asylum

Asylum may be granted to aliens who are already in the United States and are unable to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. 

An alien must file an asylum application within one year of arrival in the United States.  An asylum application may be filed later than a year, if conditions in the home country have changed or if the alien’s personal circumstances have changed within the past year prior to requesting for asylum and those change of circumstances affected the alien’s eligibility for asylum.

Furthermore, an alien may be excused from the one year filing deadline if extraordinary circumstances prevented the alien from filing within the one year period after arriving in the United States, so long as asylum application is submitted within a reasonable period of time in light of those circumstances.

An alien granted asylum will be able to apply for permanent resident status one year after being granted asylum status.

7.   Withholding of Removal

Withholding of Removal is an alternative form of relief for an individual fearing persecution in her country of origin.  To win “Withholding” an alien must demonstrate that he or she is “more likely than not” to face persecution account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion if returned to his or her country.  An individual is not eligible for withholding of removal if he or she has been determined to be a persecutor or has been convicted of a particularly serious crime.

Aliens granted “withholding” have a final order of removal (deportation) against them.   However, they can remain in the U.S. and work legally. Unlike asylees, however, aliens granted “Withholding” do not have the right to apply for lawful permanent residence status. 

8. Convention Against Torture, (CAT)

To obtain C.A.T. relief, an alien must demonstrate that it is more likely than not that he or she will be tortured, killed or sustain great bodily injury if returned to their home country and the government is responsible for the torture or is powerless to stop others from committing it.

An alien who has been granted CAT cannot be removed to the country in which he or she would face torture. However, a CAT grantee will not be able to obtain lawful permanent resident status, travel abroad or sponsor family members in that status. Furthermore, CAT grantees are not guaranteed that they will receive an employment authorization card or even be released from ICE custody.

9. Voluntary Departure

This form of relief, if granted by an immigration judge, will avoid a removal order and thereby allow an alien to return to the U.S. without a mandatory 5 or 10 year bar of reentry which would otherwise result from a removal or deportation order. Of course, the alien will still have to show he or she is not inadmissible because of other immigration violations if they want to return to the U.S.A.

An Immigration Judge can grant up to 120 days of voluntary departure time if voluntary departure is requested at the Master Calendar hearing, (prehearing voluntary departure) or 60 days if requested  at the Individual hearing.

A showing of good moral character is not required for prehearing voluntary
 departure.  However, good moral character is required if voluntary departure
is requested at the Individual hearing, along with a showing of being
physically present in the USA at least 1 year prior to being served with the  
Notice to Appear. 
A $500.00 bond will also be required by the Immigration judge if voluntary     departure is requested at the Individual hearing. An alien convicted of an aggravated felony is ineligible for voluntary departure.  

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Bond for Aliens in Custody

A person can be placed into removal proceedings without being taken into custody. On the other hand, Immigration Customs and Enforcement, (ICE), can take an alien into custody and set a bond amount if the alien is not subject to mandatory detention.

ICE will initially set bond at an amount that they believe will ensure the alien’s appearance at future immigration court hearings.  If an alien establishes that they are not a flight risk and a danger to the community, then there is a good chance that ICE will grant a bond.  If ICE grants bond the bond money, will be paid directly to ICE and not through a bond company, will be returned to the person who paid it after removal proceedings are completed and bond conditions fulfilled.

If ICE grants a high bond or denies bond, the alien can request a bond re-determination hearing before an immigration judge after being placed in removal proceedings.

The minimum amount required for an immigration bond is $1,500.

If an alien is subject to mandatory detention, no bond will be permitted. An immigration judge has no jurisdiction to grant bond if the alien is subject to mandatory detention unless, depending on appellate jurisdiction, the alien has spent at least 180 days in custody. Furthermore, the alien will still have to show he or she is not a flight risk or danger to the community.

ICE must take into custody without bond, all aliens who are inadmissible because of a criminal conviction that involves a controlled substance or is found by the immigration judge to be a crime of moral turpitude or aggravated felony. Lawful permanent residents are also subject to mandatory detention without bond if they have been convicted of an aggravated felony, two or more crimes of moral turpitude or a drug relate offense and the completion of sentence occurred after October 18, 1998.

Our attorneys represent clients at bond hearings nationwide. If you need help, contact the Law Office of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.

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BIA Appeals and Petitions for Review

When an alien loses their case before an immigration judge, the next step is to file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals, (BIA) within 30 days of the immigration judge’s decision.  If the BIA appeal is denied, the alien can file a Petition for Review with the appropriate Federal Circuit Court of Appeals within 30 days of the BIA’s decision.  We prepare and file appeals with the BIA.  We also assist clients with filing Petitions for Review and Request for Stay of  Removal with the appropriate Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

If you need help with filing an appeal or petition for review, please contact our office immediately at (408) 279-5793. 

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In order to apply for naturalization, an applicant must be at least eighteen years old and must produce proof of being a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Applicants must have resided continuously in the U.S.A. as a lawful permanent resident for the last five years immediately prior to applying for naturalization.  For applicants married to U.S. citizens, the continuous residence period is three years.  In addition, applicants must have been physically present in the United States for at least thirty months out of the previous 60 months or 18 months out of the previous 36 months if the applicant is married to a U.S. citizen.  Applicants must live in the district or state for at least 3 months prior to applying for naturalization.

An applicant must be a person of good moral character. The commission of certain crimes, lying to gain an immigration benefit, failing to pay court ordered child support or alimony or failing to pay taxes are just some examples of the problems that could cause an applicant to be denied naturalization because of a lack of good moral character. 

Applicants must also demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including the ability to read, write and speak simple English. They must also pass a test on United States History and Civics.

Finally, applicants must prove that they are attached to principles of the United States and swear allegiance to the United States.   For more information about applying to become a naturalized citizen, contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.

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Family Based Immigration

A person granted a green card has the right to live and work in the United States permanently. Through family-based immigration, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident can help certain family members immigrate to the United States. The process for applying for permanent residence in the United States is called adjustment of status. The process for applying for an immigrant visa at a consulate or embassy abroad is called consular processing.

An alien who is otherwise eligible to do so, can apply in the United States to adjust their status to permanent resident either as an immediate relative or under the family preference system.

Immediate relatives are able to apply for a green card immediately, and there is no numerical cap on the number of immediate relatives admitted annually to the United States as immigrants.

Immediate relatives are spouses, children under 21 years of age, and parents of US citizen children 21 years and over.

Spouses of permanent residents, siblings and children 21 years and over are not considered immediate relatives. They fall under the family preference system. If they desire to live and work permanently in the USA they will have to wait for a visa to be available before they can seek adjustment of status or by immigrating to the United States through consular processing. An alien seeking to adjust status in the United States must be eligible to do so. Not all aliens are eligible to apply for a green card in the United States even if they are applying as an immediate relative such as the spouse of US Citizen.

For more information about whether an alien is eligible to apply for a green card in the United States or whether it is advisable to pursue an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy, contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.

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I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence

If an alien received a two year conditional permanent resident card because his or her marriage to the U.S. citizen spouse occurred within two years of the date the alien was granted permanent resident status, the alien and his or her spouse must file a jointly signed I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).   If granted, the alien will receive a ten year permanent resident card.

If the petition will be filed jointly by both spouses, then it must be filed within 90 days of the two year anniversary date the alien was granted conditional permanent resident status.

If the alien and US citizen spouse separate or divorce, the alien can apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirement.  If the waiver is granted, the alien will receive the 10 year permanent resident card.

If you have a two year conditional resident card and need assistance with filing the I-751 Petition jointly or requesting a waiver of the joint filing requirement, contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.

K-3 Spouse Visas

The K-3 visa was created to reduce the separation immediate family members may experience while waiting abroad for an immigrant visa.  The K-3 visa benefits spouses  and children under 21 of U.S. citizens, who are waiting abroad for an immigrant visa. This visa allows them to come to the U.S. as non-immigrants, re-unite with their family members here, and then apply for permanent resident status while in the United States.  

Pursuant to this nonimmigrant visa classification, spouses of U.S. citizens are granted “K-3” visa and the unmarried children (under age 21)  are granted a “K-4” visa. In order to qualify for the “K-3” visa, the U.S. citizen spouse must first file a visa petition (Form I-130) for the alien spouse  and then file a K-3 Petition (Form 129F), after receiving the I-130 receipt notice from the USCIS.  The USCIS must approve the K-3 Petition before the spouse and children become eligible to apply for a “K” visa from the Consulate abroad. To be eligible for a “K-4” visa, a child applicant does not need to have a separate Form I-130 or Form I-129F.  “The K-4” applicant must be the unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of  the  “K-3” visa applicant. 

If you have any questions about the K3 visa, contact the Law Office of Raul Ray at (408)279-5793.

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K-1 Fiance(e) Visas

A U.S. Citizen considering marriage to a foreigner can petition their fiance(e) to come to the USA and get married. If the petition is approved the fiance(e) can apply for a K-1 visa at the US Consulate or Embassy in their country. 

The K-1 visa allows a fiancé(e) enter the USA for up to 90 days during which time he or she must get married to the U.S. citizen petitioner or return to the home country.

A fiancé(e) visa is a temporary visa that permits a fiancé(e) to travel to the USA.  After traveling to the USA and getting married, the fiancé(e) can apply for his or her permanent resident card. If approved, the alien spouse will receive a conditional permanent residence card valid for two years.

If the U.S. citizen petitioner and fiancé(e) are still married two years from the date the conditional permanent resident card was granted, the fiancé(e) can apply for his or her 10 year permanent resident card by filing the I-751 petition to remove the conditions of residence.  Both spouses need to sign the I-751 Petition in order for the alien spouse to obtain the 10 year permanent resident card. If the alien and US citizen spouse separate or divorce, the alien can apply for a waiver of the joint filing rquirement.

For more information about fiancé(e) visas, contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.

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“V” Visas

The “V” visa was created to allow spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of legal permanent residents to enter the U.S., or stay in the country if they are already here. The “V” visa applicant is  allowed to work in the U.S. while waiting for the immigration process to be completed.  To obtain a “V” visa, a Petition for Alien Relative  (Form I-130) must have been filed on the alien’s behalf with the appropriate USCIS Service Center on or before December 21, 2000 and the petition must have been pending for at least 3 years from the time it was filed.

“V” visa applicants who reside abroad must apply for this visa at the U.S. consulate.  After submitting the application for the “V” visa, the consulate will request the applicant to do a medical examination, and submit evidence of financial support.
Aliens who have resided unlawfully in the United States since April 1, 1997, should seek legal advice before planning to leave the country after receiving “V” status to determine if any bars to admission would be triggered by departing the USA.
If eligible, an alien living outside the USA,  may apply for V visa at the U.S. consulate in the home country.

If you would like more information about V visas, contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408)279-5793.

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U Visa Application

The U visa status was created by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000.  It is designed to provide lawful status to noncitizen crime victims who are assisting or are willing to assist the authorities in investigating crimes.

The U nonimmigrant status covers a broad range of serious crimes. To qualify for a U visa status, you must be a victim or the victim of an attempt of one of the following felonies or any similar criminal activity:

•Abusive sexual contact
•Domestic violence
•False imprisonment
•Felonious assault
•Female genital mutilation
•Hostage situations
•Involuntary servitude
•Obstruction of justice
•Sexual assault
•Sexual exploitation
•Slave trade
•Unlawful criminal restraint
•Witness tampering
-Attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any of these  crimes

In addition, U visa regulations require that:

•The victim suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of the crime.
•The victim has useful information concerning the crime which occurred.
•The victim has helped, or is likely to help, in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
•The crime committed violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States.

An immigrant who is the victim of one of the crimes listed above must obtain a law enforcement certification from a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency.

U visa applicants also must show that they are "admissible" or that they qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility if they are not admissible because of a criminal conviction, fraud or misrepresentation or unlawful presence.

Certain family members can qualify for derivative U nonimmigrant status.

The Law Offices of Raul Ray will be happy to consult with you to determine whether you are eligible to apply for U nonimmigrant status.

For more information contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408)279-5793.

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VAWA Applications

If your United States citizen spouse or lawful resident spouse abused you physically or mentally, you can file a self-petition, form I-360,  as an abused spouse and if granted by USCIS, would allow you to pursue your permanent resident card without any involvement from the abusive spouse.

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), permitting alien battered spouses and children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to petition USCIS on their own behalf rather than relying upon the abusive spouse/parent's petition. However, the provisions of IIRAIRA made self-petitioning difficult. The Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000) was enacted to remove some of those obstacles and to strengthen the original VAWA legislation

There are several requirements for the self- petitioner, among them that the marriage was entered into in good faith, that the petitioner has good moral character and is otherwise eligible for immediate relative status or preference status.

To inquire about eligibility to file a VAWA petition, please contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.

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Employment Authorization Card (Work permit)

In general, it is unlawful for a person or a company to recruit or hire an alien who does not have permission to work in the United States.  It is also unlawful for the alien to work in the United States without being authorized to work.  In order to prove eligibility to work in the United States, certain categories of aliens have to obtain an “Employment Authorization Document” also known as Form I-765.  

Aliens in removal proceedings may be eligible to apply for a work permit depending on the immigration relief they are applying for in immigration court. Lawful Permanent Residents and conditional permanent residents do not need to obtain a work permit.  

To find out about if you're eligible to obtain a work permit, please contact The Law Office of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.

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3/10 Bars to admission to the USA and I-601 and I-601A Waivers to overcome those bars

The Illegal Immigration and Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) enacted in September 1996 provides that an alien who resides unlawfully in the United States for 180 days or more but less than a year after April 1, 1997, is inadmissible for 3 years if he/she subsequently leaves the USA and reenter legally or attempt to reenter legally.  If an alien who has resided unlawfully in the United States for one year or more after April 1, 1997, is inadmissible for 10 years if he or she subsequently leaves the USA and reenter legally or attempt to reenter legally.   

If an applicant is pursuing an immigrant visa at the consulate and is subject to the 3- or 10-year bar, the applicant will need to have an I-601 waiver granted to clear the bar.  Typically it can take anywhere from 6-12 months or longer to get an approval on the I-601 waiver.  During this time the applicant must remain outside the USA until the immigrant visa process is completed. 

Great News!!  As of March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants, subject to the 3 or 10 year bar, who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) can apply for an I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver in the USA. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver and wait for the decision in the United States rather than having to wait in their home country. If the I-601A waiver is approved then the applicant can proceed with the interview at the consulate.  In order to get the I601A provisional waiver approved, the applicant will have to demonstrate that either a U.S. citizen spouse or parent will suffer extreme hardship if the applicant is not allowed to remain in the USA.

The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are seeking immigrant visas at the US consulate abroad..

The Law Offices of Raul Ray will be happy to consult with you to determine whether you are eligible to apply for the I-601A waiver in the USA or if you have to go through the regular I-601 waiver process while remaining outside the USA. You can contact our office at (408) 279-5793.

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Travel Document

Aliens with a pending adjustment application cannot  leave the United States without permission from the Department of Homeland Security.  This permission is called advance parole or travel document.  Not all aliens are eligible to obtain advance parole. On the other hand, not all aliens with a pending adjustment application need advance parole to travel.

The Law Offices of Raul Ray will be happy to consult with you regarding your eligibility to obtain a travel document while your application for permanent residence status is pending. You can contact our office at (408) 279-5793.

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Deferred Action for Young Childhood Arrivals (DACA)


Starting August 15, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officially began accepting applications for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals.  On June 15, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain people who came to the United States as children before age 16 and who meet other key requirements may apply for consideration of deferred action. 

Those who demonstrate that they satisfy all the requirements will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal and work authorization if they can establish economic necessity.

What is  Deferred Action

Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual. Additionally, although an alien granted deferred action will not be considered to be accruing unlawful presence in the U.S. during the period of deferred action is in effect, deferred action does not absolve individuals of any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence.
Under existing regulations, an individual who has been granted deferred action is eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action. Deferred action can be terminated at any time at the agency’s discretion or renewed by the agency.

Requirements for requesting consideration for deferred action
An alien may submit an application for consideration of deferred action if you:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; 
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Note: These requirements must be met for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. USCIS retains the ultimate discretion on whether deferred action is appropriate in any given case.

Deferred Action For Young People: Document Checklist

You must prove your identity and age (including that you were under age 31 on 06/15/2012.) You should collect all your identity documents.
___ Birth Certificate
___ Passport (expired and current)
___ Matricula Consular (expired and current)
___ Any other official photo ID

You must proof you arrived in the United States before age 16
___ I-94, Visa, Border Crossing Card
___ School records / School ID Card
___ Vaccination Records
___ Medical Records
___ Pay Stubs
___ Rental Receipts

You must prove you have continuously resided in the United States from 06/15/2007 to present

___ Driver’s license or other government issued ID documents
___ School ID card
___ Certificates / Awards from school
___ Tax returns, W-2s, pay stubs from June 2007 to June 2012
___ Insurance (car / health / home)
___ School Records (cumulative transcripts are helpful)
___Medical Records (including vaccination records)
___ Church Records (including baptism, communion or confirmation records)
___ Community Service Records (from youth group i.e. Boys/Girls Scouts, or ___services organizations i.e. Boy and Girls groups)
___ Sports Record i.e. Little League
___ Bank account and/or credit card statements from June 2007 to June 2012
___ House title or lease/rental agreement
___ Utility bills (gas, water, electricity, phone etc)
___ Memberships (gym, blockbuster, Sam’s club, etc.)
___ Birth Certificates of children born in the US
___ Names of people who can provide declarations to support your case

___ Any receipts for purchases or ATM receipts made on June 15, 2012
___ Pay stubs or official time card showing June 15, 2012
___ Date-stamped photos taken within the U.S. in an identifiable place
___ School records showing attendance on or around June 15, 2012

You must prove you are in school, graduated from high school, have a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the military.
___ Proof of school enrollment (i.e. current transcript, proof of school registration)
___ High school diploma
___ GED certificate
___ Military discharge documents


If you have an immigration history as follows:

___ Entered USA with lawful entry documents (visa, I-94, border crossing
___ Filed immigration application with DHS
___ Were or are in removal or deportation proceedings
___ Results of an FBI background check shows that you were detained at the border
___ Received voluntary departure order from an immigration court

If you would like more information about deferred action, contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793 to request a consultation.

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Immigration Reform News

On April 16, 2013, the Senate Gang of 8, consisting of 4 republican senators and 4 democratic senators,  introduced  S. 744,  the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.   This bill is the first step towards creating an immigration system that will meet the needs of the U.S. economy, businesses, and the undocumented who strive to integrate or have integrated into our society and worked  very hard to build a better life for themselves and their families.

The Senate voted to pass S. 744 on June 27, 2013.   Immediately after the bill was passed, the Republican controlled House of Representative declared that this bill would not be accepted in the house.  Instead the House committees in the past year have taken to a piecemeal approach to immigration reform passing several immigration bills none of which address the overall legal status, including a pathway to citizenship, for the 11 million plus undocumented immigrants in the USA.  However, a compromise to achieve immigration reform is not impossible based on recent remarks by both parties. Stay tuned.  We will keep you posted on important legislation developments from Washington.

What you should do to prepare for immigration reform?

An immigration reform plan has not been approved yet and it could take many more months. While we are waiting for Congress to approve immigration reform, undocumented immigrants should start preparing for reform by collecting the following documents listed below which are only a sample and not exclusive of the kinds of documents that may be needed for reform:

Identity Documents
Birth certificate, a photo identification (ID) or, passport, school or military ID, identification document from your country of origin like a matricula consular, or any U.S. document with your name and photo, like a driver’s license or ID.

Documents Proving Entry to the United States
Immigration record or documents with your date of entry, passport with admission stamp (Form I-94/I-95/I-94W), or travel records.
You can also use medical records (including immunization record) or school records to show that you entered the USA before the date required by reform.

Presence and Residence in the United States

You should have records for the past 10 years.  Proof of presence with names, dates and addresses on immigration documents, government records, medical records, military records, employment records, religious or community organizations records, insurance policies, tax records, etc. Bank receipts, financial records, credit card receipts, money order receipts, rental agreements, deeds, mortgages, utility bills and club memberships, etc.

Tax Filings
If you do not have copies of your past filings, call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)at 1-800-908-9946 to order a transcript for free.
If you have not filed your taxes, ask for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) by calling 1-800-829-1040 and file them.

Employment History
Record dates, names, and addresses of the places where you have worked.

Possible English Knowledge Requirement
You may have to take a basic English course or exam.

Application Fee and Fines
Start saving money for the application fee and for any fines.
Also save money in case you need it for an attorney.

Record Keeping
Record all of this information in a notebook, keep the original documents, and store them in a safe place.

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United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS)

Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE)

Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)

United States Department of Justice – Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)

Visa Bulletin

American Immigration Lawyers Association

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