GREEN CARD

Lawful permanent residency; or as it is also known, the green card, is many of our clients’ goal.

With a green card, an immigrant can work in the United States with very few restrictions; can obtain a driver’s license; can petition family members. And in three or five years, can seek to obtain United States citizenship.

The immigration statute and the process for obtaining the green card contains four options:

    • The first option is family unity. For that reason, green card holders and United States citizens are permitted to file petitions for qualifying relatives.
    • The second option is matching qualified workers with United States employers. The process known as the labor certification process requires the employer to test the United States labor market and if United States workers are not available permits employers to hire and petition workers born abroad.
    • The third option is diversity. And for that reason, the immigration statute contains the Diversity Visa Program. Under this program, citizens of underrepresented nations may obtain lawful permanent residency.
    • The fourth option is humanitarian relief, which permits the Immigration Court or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant an immigrant permanent residency if he or she is fleeing persecution and his or her family would suffer the requisite hardship.

    These are only two examples of the numerous immigration statutes that grant immigrants humanitarian relief. The importance of hiring an experienced attorney to obtain a green card cannot be understated. The immigration statute contains provisions which would bar one class of immigrants from seeking a green card and yet for the same conduct, a second class of immigrants could obtain the green card. For example, if a United States citizen spouse petitions her husband and the husband has a marihuana conviction for more than thirty grams, the husband will be barred from obtaining the green card. Yet, if the husband files for the green card under the NACARA statute and the conviction is older than 10 years, it is unlikely that he would be barred from receiving the green card.

    Yacub Law Office has the expertise to guide you through the maze of immigration law and decide the best path for you to obtain lawful permanent residency. We will work with you and discuss the process for obtaining lawful permanent residency in the United States and abroad at the consulate. We will discuss the pitfalls for each process and recommend the best option for your needs.

PROVISIONAL WAIVER

The provisional waiver process filed on Form I-601A became a game-changer in immigration law.

Immigrants who in the past were unsure whether to legalize their status saw a fantastic opening with the creation of the provisional waiver program. Before the enactment of the provisional waiver, immigrants who resided unlawfully in the United States for many years and left the country were barred from returning.

These bars are commonly known as the three and ten year bars. An immigrant could obtain a waiver of the three and ten year bars, but the waiver was obtained abroad at the consulate. Because immigrants did not know whether the waiver would be approved or how long it would take for the approval, many immigrants did not travel and file for the waiver. Recently, the provisional waiver was enacted. The waiver allowed immigrants to seek the waiver in the United States. If approved, the immigrant would travel to his or her home country and be interviewed for the green card.

The provisional waiver became a game changer in the field of immigration law for two reasons:

  • First, immigrants wait for the approval of the waiver in the United States with their families. There is no issue of separation.
  • Second, the immigrant knows whether the waiver is granted or denied before leaving the United States. If the waiver is granted, the immigrant can make plans accordingly. The same is true if it is denied. The fact that the provisional waiver is granted does not mean that a person can travel safely to the consulate and obtain lawful permanent residency.

The provisional waiver only waives the three and ten year bars. This waiver does not waive immigration fraud, alien smuggling, criminal inadmissibility grounds or other grounds of inadmissibility. For that reason, before preparing a waiver package, the attorneys discuss the possible pitfalls of filing a provisional waiver. The provisional waiver pitfalls are discussed in two separate meetings with the clients. First, they are discussed in the initial intake and second, they are discussed when preparing our clients before the trip abroad.

If you have any questions regarding the provisional waiver, make an appointment with our attorneys to further discuss this process.

REMOVAL DEFENSE

The most stressful moment for an immigrant is when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), at 6:00 am knocks on the door and searches the home.

In these home raids, ICE often finds someone out of status and issues the charging document known as the Notice to Appear or NTA, placing the immigrant in removal proceedings. Many times, the immigrant is sent off to an immigration detention, hundreds of miles away from his or her family.

The attorneys at Yacub Law Offices have successfully handled hundreds of removal cases.

We have represented clients fleeing persecution in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and countries in South America, Asia and Africa. We have represented families whose children, parents, or spouses would suffer hardship and convinced the Immigration Court to give them a second chance.

In removal proceedings, our experienced attorneys will chart a path forward towards lawful permanent residency, asylum, or other forms of relief in the Immigration Court. We know the stress you are suffering, and we have an empathic ear and will create a strategy for your loved ones to be reunited and obtain safety in the United States.

Make an appointment and we will discuss your case. At the consultation, the attorneys will discuss the best strategy for the case, the chances of success – without promising an outcome – and the estimated fees for the case. For your convenience, every attorney and staff member of the Yacub Law Offices speaks Spanish.

CITIZENSHIP

The naturalization or citizenship process, which once simply required filing the form N-400 and attending an interview, has become fraught with danger for the immigrant.

In today’s immigration world, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) examiner not only reviews the naturalization application, but also reviews the underlying immigrant or non immigrant applications. This process, if not well prepared, could devastate the immigrant.

The importance of obtaining United States citizenship cannot be underestimated. United States citizens can petition numerous family members. A United States citizen is a qualifying relative for waiver purposes. And a United States citizen can vote and participate in the democratic process in the United States.

There are typically two areas of concern, which the Yacub Law Offices reviews before filing the citizenship application. The first area of concern is whether there is a discrepancy between the residency application and the naturalization application. The discrepancies, which may seem minor, could result in the denial of the person’s citizenship or revocation of the green card.

Today, USCIS takes the position that if a person does not lists all children in the underlying visa petition, it could be fraud and grounds for denying and revoking the green card.

The second area of concern is the person’s criminal record. Yacub Law Offices will review the entire criminal record before filing an application for citizenship. Our expertise in citizenship cases is well established, as Yacub Law Office has litigated U.S. citizenship cases within the agency and in the United States District Court.

More on citizenship will be discussed periodically at the Yacub Law Offices blog, and Facebook and Facebook Live postings. However, if your citizenship has been denied or you if you have questions about citizenship, make an appointment and let’s create a clear strategy before you begin the process.

ASYLUM

Adeep rooted commitment to human rights and the protection of refugees is the DNA of Yacub Law Office. For that reason, Yacub Law Offices is on the vanguard of asylum law litigation.

Our first major victory and expansion of refugee rights happened while Ivan Yacub was a law student and worked in conjunction with a newly minted attorney from Baltimore. The issue in that case was whether a Romanian refugee who arrived to the United States shores as a stowaway could obtain an asylum hearing in front of the Immigration Court. The regulations did not permit stowaways to challenge their deportation or exclusion in immigration court. However, it was argued successfully in a habeas corpus petition that the regulations were not consistent with the statute.

After that case, in Maryland, refugee stowaways began to have adversarial hearings in front of the Immigration Court. This was the first of many decisions which reshaped asylum law in the United States. In 2015, Tamara Jezic argued successfully that a woman who refused to permit the criminal gangs to recruit her son qualified for asylum (Hernandez Avalos v. Lynch, 784 F.3d 944 (4th Cir. 2015)).

In 2017, Yacub Law was again at the Fourth Circuit arguing a precedent setting case in asylum jurisprudence. Again, Tamara Jezic successfully argued, (Zavaleta Policiano v. Sessions, 873 F.3d 241 (4th Cir. 2017)). This time, Yacub Law Offices argued that the daughter of a businessman who was targeted by the gangs because of her familial relationship qualified for asylum. The Fourth Circuit agreed and remanded this case to the Immigration Court for the issuance of a new opinion.

Our asylum victories are a result of the office’s commitment to human rights and the rights of individuals to seek protection if they fear persecution in their countries. These principles in conjunction with hard work and zealous advocacy is what makes Yacub Law Office a distinguished firm in the field of asylum litigation.

“As such, the Court declares as a matter of law.”

That USCIS improperly denied his application for citizenship on the ground his embezzlement conviction was a ‘theft offense,’ and therefore an aggravated felony that precludes his qualifying for citizenship. . .  For the above reasons, the Court denies USCIS’s motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment grants judgment in favor of petitioner, vacates USCIS’s decision denying petitioner’s application for citizenship, and remands this case to USCIS for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

— Penarrieta v. United States Citizenship & Immigration Services, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10124, * 17-18 (EDVA 2012).