World Journal September 19, 2010 Sunday

International Law Office explains the notice of affidavit of support

According to the U.S. immigration laws, aliens who apply for government assistance or benefit in the United States and become public charges of the United States are not allowed to enter the United States.  Therefore, aliens who are coming to the United States must produce some financial evidence proving that they will not become a burden of the U.S. Government.  Besides the few aliens who have a strong financial ability that can support themselves, most family-based immigrant applications and some of the employment based immigrant applications require an affidavit of support from a U.S. citizen sponsor.  International Law Office will specifically explain the application of an affidavit of support (I-864) and what we have to pay attention to when using affidavit of support in immigration cases.

There are two types of affidavits of support: Affidavit of Support for Non-immigrant visa and Affidavit of Support for Immigrant Visa. Form I-134 is used for Non-immigrant Visa. This form is for the student visa and tourist visa. Form I-864 is used for immigrant Visa. This form is for family-based immigration and employment-based immigration. All the family-based immigrations (including the immigration of a U.S. citizen spouse) are in need of form I-864 affidavit of support.

USCIS published new regulations on the Federal Register.  It states that the sponsor only needs to provide the most recent tax year’s, paystubs and employer letter to support the petitioner’s immigrant petitions.  In addition, the sponsor who provides the affidavit of support does not need to sign the affidavit of support in front of a notary public but the sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holders).  His or her income must meet the 125% of poverty guidance for the sponsor’s whole family and the intending immigrants.  If the sponsor’s spouse consents, the spouse’s income can be considered as a part of family income.  The intending immigrants’ income also can be a part of the guaranteed income as long as the intending immigrants are currently living in the sponsor’s residence.  If the sponsor’s annual income is not enough to achieve the requirement of the affidavit of support, capital assets (such as bank deposits and real estate) can be used. If sponsor’s income can not meet the requirement, sponsor also can find a co-sponsor to file the affidavit of support together with the sponsor.

Immigration experts from International Law Office remind the applicants who will be interviewed in the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou for immigrant visas; that the U.S.  Consulate in Guangzhou is very strict in reviewing affidavits of support before they issue any immigrant visas.  They usually require the sponsor to provide last three years’ tax returns.  In addition, immigration experts from International Law Office also remind all the sponsors that submitting an affidavit of support is a legal act; it is a contract signed between the Government and the sponsor. Therefore, the sponsor should seek legal consultations before submitting the Affidavit of support.  Selling or buying an affidavit of support is a serious crime.  If so, the USCIS authorities or consulates will deny the intending immigrants’ visa application.  Therefore, visa applicants should not take this risk. If the number in the tax return does not meet the same number as affidavit of support, the sponsor is not eligible to submit an affidavit of support.  They should seek the assistance of legal professionals to prevent this problem.

The International Law Office’s detail-oriented and specialized attorneys will provide accurate immigration consultations, and its Chinese lawyers are able to use Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Chouzhounese, Kejia dialect, Shanghai dialect, and Sichuan dialect will also provide the services for clients matrimonial agreements, property agreements, wills, adoptions, real estate closing , identity theft, debt settlement, administrative penalties, personal injury, bankruptcy, trademark registrations, incorporations, customs, bail and most of the civil and criminal cases. International Law Office Address: 45 W 34th St., Ste. 601, New York,, NY 10001; Tel: 212-563-3184, Fax: 212-244-8184.

 

The China Press August 8, 2010 Sunday

Experienced attorneys from International Law Office reminds all new immigrantsWhen facing governmental fines, do not risk big things for the sake of small ones

It is inevitable for new immigrants who live in the USA to deal with IRS, Medicaid investigations, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). However, due to the unfamiliarity of the USA government system and culture, new immigrants often make mistakes when dealing with those agencies. This leads to misunderstanding toward the new immigrants, or even severe penalties. Legal experts from International Law Office, who have extensive experience in dealing with various governmental penalties, remind new immigrants to pay attention to the investigations and fines of CBP, IRS and Medicaid. Do not think they are easy to deal with. The new immigrants should consult with lawyers who utilize the expertise and experience to solve their problems.

This firm once assisted a new immigrant to deal with the fines and forfeitures of products imported from his company. The client’s company imported some products from a foreign country to the USA. The US CBP suspected the imported products as counterfeits and the imported products were forfeited. The client later received a bill in the amount of several thousand dollars from the US CBP. The client came to this firm for a consultation. Our experienced attorney advised the client to promptly deal with this problem and negotiate with relevant authorities. However the client did not follow our advice. He thought it was only a several thousand dollar fine and the CBP would not take it seriously. If he postponed the payment of the fine, the CBP would forget this fine and the worst scenario is the loss of the imported products. However, the following fact demonstrated that the client’s assumption was completely incorrect! A few months later, the client received a bill from the CBP, and this time the amount of the bill came to several millions. The client was terrified when he received this bill. He was also very confused about why the amount of the fine became to such a huge amount in only a matter of few months. He came to our firm for assistance again. With the explanation of our experienced attorneys, he finally realized that he should have actively communicated with the governmental agency. His neglect toward this matter elevated the seriousness of the problem. Passive attitude will only make the fine increase tremendously, like a slippery slope which eventually directs the matter to an uncontrollable state.

The CBP is under the leadership of the US Homeland Security. It assists more than 50 governmental agencies to enforce hundreds of laws and regulations. The US CBP is the first threshold for foreign products to arrive in the US. It not only has the right to seize and forfeit counterfeits, but also has the right to impose civil penalties against the importing companies and other individuals. Those who import illegal products for the first time will be fined in the amount not exceeding the value of the same quantity of the true merchandise. The specific fine amount will be determined according to the regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury. Those who import illegal products the second time, or more than 2 times, the administrative fine shall not exceed two times the value of the same quantity of the true merchandise. The specific fine amount will be determined according to the regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the TreasuryThe US CBP has discretion to authorize its administrative fines as long as it does not conflict with  other civil , administrative and criminal penalties. Because the US CBP has authorized discretion, it has a right to subject neglectful parties to heavy penalties. That is why the aforementioned client was heavily penalized by the CBP.

This firm hereby reminds all the new immigrants that because the US is in economic recession, and all government agencies have increased the intensity of law enforcements. Besides dealing with CBP matters carefully, the new immigrants shall be extremely careful when applying for Medicaid or handling tax matters. Once receiving a fine from governmental agency, you should immediately ask for assistance from the lawyers and try the best to solve the problem.

The International Law Office’s detail-oriented and efficient elite attorney teams will provide accurate immigration consultation and service to help you and your family enjoy the privilege and dream to legally live and work in the US.  Beside immigration services, its Chinese lawyers are able to use Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Chouzhounese, Kejia dialect, Shanghai dialect, and Sichuan dialect to provide the clients matrimonial agreements, property agreements, wills, adoptions, real estate closings, identity theft, debt settlement, administrative penalties, personal injury, bankruptcy, trademark registrations, incorporations, customs, bail and most of the civil and criminal cases. International Law Office Address: 45 W 34th St., Ste. 601, New York,, NY 10001; Tel: 212-563-3184, Fax: 212-244-8184. You are welcome to visit us and consult any of your inquiries with our attorney.

 

The China Press June 20, 2010 Sunday

Senior Attorney from International Law Office reminds all immigrant workers: Understand the US Worker’s Compensation Act & Strive for Worker’s Compensation Benefits

New immigrants who just arrived in the United States, not only need to face culture, language, education and living barriers, but also work injury or occupational disease which increasingly make the immigrants’ lives more difficult. Some senior attorneys from International Law Office, in considering of many new immigrants who lack knowledge on the US worker’s compensation, would like to introduce the US worker’s compensation law and sincerely hope to assist all the immigrants to obtain the best benefit from worker’s compensation regulations.

“Work injury” and “occupational disease” mean any injury or chronic disease that occurs as a result of work or occupational activity. No matter whether the injured employee assumed liability of the injury by himself or herself, the injured employee is always entitled to be compensated under the worker’s compensation insurance. The employer can not claim that the fault of the injured employee to avoid the compensation.

In 1911, state of Wisconsin first passed the Worker’s Compensation Act in the United States, following the step of Germany.   Until 1949, all the states in the United States passed Worker’s Compensation Acts.  These Acts state that the compensation is not based on the fault of either the employer or the injured employee. As a compromise, weekly cash benefits and medical care are paid by the employer’s insurance carrier and the employee shall give up any of his or her right to sue the employer based on his or her work injury or occupational disease.

According to the Worker’s Compensation Act, employees can obtain two kinds of economic compensation. First: cash benefits, which are used to compensate the injured employee for his or her reduced salary. Usually the cash benefits are distributed weekly. The compensation amount is not less than 2/3 of the said employee’s average weekly salary. Completely disabled employees are compensated the 2/3 of the salary on a life time basis. Long term disabled employees are compensated from the time of injury or disease to his or her complete recovery. Presently, cash benefits in most of the states are automatically adjusted according to the average weekly wage of the state of New York for the previous calendar year as reported by the Commissioner of Labor and consumer’s price index. Second: medical benefits. Original Worker’s Compensation Act did not provide medical benefits, however Worker’s Compensation Acts in all states now require the employer to provide medical benefits. Currently, medical benefits take 1/3 of the total worker’s compensation distributions.

All states in the United State require the employer choose one of the following insurances to comply with the worker’s compensation regulations. First, private commercial insurance companies; although worker’s compensation insurance or employer liability insurance contract is signed by both the insurer and the employer mutually, the insurer will directly distribute benefits to the injured employee. Therefore, the injured employee’s benefits will be guaranteed even if the employer is dissolved. Second, State insurance fund or private insurance companies. Co-existence and competition between state insurance fund and private insurance companies exist in 13 states. Employers have their rights to choose private insurance companies or state-owned insurance fund for worker’s compensation purchase; Third, there are 7 states in the United States that have state-owned insurance funds. Fourth, in most of the states, employers can purchase worker’s compensation insurance from private insurance companies to comply with the Act.

The senior attorneys from international law office hereby remind all the immigrant workers to seek assistance from experienced attorneys when facing work injury incidents and not to accept employers’ settlement proposals without first consulting an attorney.

The International Law Office’s detail-oriented and efficient elite attorney teams will provide accurate immigration consultation and service to help you and your family enjoy the privilege and dream to legally live and work in the US.  Beside immigration services, its Chinese lawyers are able to use Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Chouzhounese, Kejia dialect, Shanghai dialect, and Sichuan dialect to provide the clients matrimonial agreements, property agreements, wills, adoptions, real estate closings, identity theft, debt settlement, administrative penalties, personal injury, bankruptcy, trademark registrations, incorporations, customs, bail and most of the civil and criminal cases. International Law Office Address: 45 W 34th St., Ste. 601, New York,, NY 10001; Tel: 212-563-3184, Fax: 212-244-8184. You are welcome to visit us and consult any of your inquiries with our attorney.

 

World Journal June 22, 2010 Tuesday

International Law Office points out the key factor in I-751 petition to remove condition of resident: To provide evidence and documents demonstrating the bona fide relationship to applicant’s best degree

Immigration experts from International Law Office would like to show some tips on how to file a petition to remove condition of resident (I-751).  An applicant who obtains permanent residency through marriage, if at the time of the interview or at the time of entering the US with an immigrant visa, has not been married to his or her U.S. citizen spouse for more than two years, he or she is only eligible to obtain a conditional permanent resident status. During this two year conditional residency period, if the USCIS considers the applicant’s marriage is void or not a bona fide one, his or her green card could be revoked. The conditional green card holders should file petitions to remove conditional of  resident before their conditional green cards expire, otherwise these green card holders would not only lose the US permanent residency, but would also be deported by the USCIS.

This law office believes that the Immigration and Nationality Act allows the applicants to file petitions to remove conditions of resident 3 months before their conditional green card expires. The law provides that the USCIS has the obligation to remind the petitioner to file a petition to remove condition of resident. The USCIS usually notifies the petitioner at their interviews for the adjustments of status by giving them a notice reminding them to file petition to remove condition of resident on time. The USCIS will not give any additional notice regarding the said petition.  The applicant’s attorney usually completes his or her service for the petitioner at the approval of the petitioner’s adjustment of status, therefore the attorney has no obligation to remind his or her client to file the said petition.  If, unfortunately, petitioners miss their deadlines to file a petition to remove condition on resident, they may explain to the USCIS the reasons for the delay, sometimes the USCIS will accept the reasons and allow the petitioner to file the petition.

Usually the petition to remove condition on resident is filed jointly by the US citizen and his or her lawful permanent resident spouse. The initial evidence along with the I-751 petition is as follow: 1) Evidence for joint ownership of assets. 2) Lease showing joint occupancy, the joint petitioners’ communal residence; if no lease, have the landlord write a letter indicating that the joint petitioners live together. 3) Evidence of financial unification, joint bank accounts, joint credit cards, joint tax returns. 4) Birth certificate of child born to the marriage. 5) Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by the joint petitioners’ friends or relatives indicating their bona fide marriage relationship. 6) Other relevant documents indicating that the marriage was not entered to evade the U.S. immigration law.

If the couple lives separately, they shall provide the following document: 1) Affidavits of the couple explaining why they are living separately. If this is temporary, when will the couple live together. 2) If the separation is because of some business reason, have the employer write a letter. 3) If the separation is because one party has to take care of his or her parents, have the doctor or the hospital write a letter. 4) Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by the joint petitioners’ friends or relatives indicating the bona fide marriage. 5) Evidence of the couple’s marital expenses, such as telephone bills, emails, air tickets, hotel receipts etc, which indicate that the couple meet often.  The US citizen spouse can file to waive the joint filing requirement if it is based on: 1) The termination of your status and removal would result in “extreme hardship”. 2) The marriage was originally a bona fide one, however, the marriage ended with divorced not due to your fault. 3) Because you and your conditional resident child were battered or were subjected to extreme cruelty.

The International Law Office’s detail-oriented and efficient elite attorney teams will provide accurate immigration consultation and thorough services to help you and your family enjoy the privilege and dream to legally live and work in the US.  Beside immigration services, its Chinese lawyers are able to use various languages to provide the clients matrimonial agreements, property agreements, wills, adoptions, real estate closings, identity theft, debt settlement, administrative penalties, personal injury, etc. Address: 45 W 34th St., Ste. 601, New York, NY 10001, Tel: 212-563-3184, Fax: 212-244-8184. You are welcome to visit us and consult any of your inquiries with our attorneys.

 

SingTao Daily June 18, 2010 Friday

International Law Office Analysis on Child Status Protection Act (CSPA)’s definition for “child” over the age of 21

Due to the wait for priority date, many family-based immigrants realize that some children, who are derivative immigrant visa applicants, reach age of 21 and become illegible to immigrate to the US with their parents. The reason being they are no longer classified as a “Child” under the US Immigrant And Nationality Act (INA). The promulgation of 2002 Child Status Protection Act actively protects the immigration benefits of those children. Immigration law experts from International Law Office interpret the INA provision in detail in order to have more benefit for children to enjoy under the United States immigration law when applying for an immigrant visa.

The contents of the Child Status Protection Act are as follow:

One: the USCIS and Department of State will decide whether an alien is considered to be an “immediate relative child” (under 21 years of age) at the date on which the I–130, Petition for Alien Relative is filed. For example, if a US citizen filed an I-130 for his or her son or daughter at their age of 20, the son or daughter’s age will be frozen at the age of 20 until the completion of the immigration process, regardless of the actual age of the child at the time of completion of the said process. The other condition for the said son or daughter to be qualified as immediate relative child is the unmarried status. If an US lawful permanent resident (LPR) parent filed I-130 for his or her alien son or daughter and the petitioning LPR parent was naturalized thereafter, the son and daughter’s age will be locked on the date of his or her parent’s naturalization. The beneficiary will automatically convert to the family-based first preference category (unmarried son or daughter of a United States citizen). In many cases, the priority date for family-based first preference is usually later than the priority date for the family-based second preference child. In order to adjust this situation, the USCIS later published an interoffice memo to modify the CSPA, allowing applicant to opt out the automatic conversion. In addition, if the beneficiaries of the family-based third preference were later divorced, the petitioning US parent filed I-130, the age of the beneficiary will be locked at the age of divorce.  For example, if the said son or daughter is under 21 years old at the time of divorce, he or she will keep this “child”’s age, the preference of his or her I-130 petition will convert to the first preference.

Second: In order to protect immigrant beneficiary’s benefits, the USCIS and Department of State apply the definition of “child” under CSPA to other immigrant categories. These children can immigrate with their parents, follow to join, apply employment based immigrant visa, or file separate immigrant visa petition. However, they must file immigrant visa applications or application for adjustment of status within one year of their immigrant visa becomes available. Unfortunately, the USCIS and Department of State only reduce the waiting period between the filing of the petition and the approval of the petition from the child’s age.  But the waiting period after approval of the petition and before the availability of the immigrant visa is not deductible. This is disadvantageous for immigrant visa applicants because they have to wait for a long time before their visa becomes available.

Third, the definition under CSPA also benefits the children of asylees and refugees. If the parent files the asylum application before his or her child reaches 21 years, even if the parent’s asylum status is granted after the child reaches 21 years, the child is still considered as a derivative asylum status. They are able to obtain asylum green card with their parents.

Fourth, CSPA applies to all cases which are pending before the USCIS and Department of State. These cases include the applicants who have not filed application for adjustment of status or immigrant visa applications but have a base to apply the US lawful permanent residency.

To understand the content of CSPA requires very professional knowledge and the calculation of how to freeze the child’s age is relatively complex. Therefore you should have experienced lawyers to help process your particular case. Otherwise, the child who reaches 21 years old would find it difficult to complete his or her dream of immigrating to the USA.

The immigration experts from the International Law Office are very experienced in dealing with cases concerning a child who has reached 21 years old. They have successfully helped many “child”I-130 beneficiaries, who have reached 21 years old to immigrate to the US. Some “child” beneficiaries chose the wrong lawyer at the beginning of their visa applications, which resulted in failure to obtain interview opportunity with the US consulate abroad. In many cases, this law office fully utilized related law and regulations and successfully persuaded the consulates to include these children into the interview. Thereafter, many of them have successfully immigrated to the US.

The International Law Office’s detail-oriented and efficient elite attorney teams provide accurate immigration consultation and thorough service to help you and your family enjoy the privilege and dream to legally live and work in the US.  Beside immigration services, its Chinese lawyers are able to use Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Chouzhounese, Kejia dialect, Shanghai dialect, and Sichuan dialect to provide the clients matrimonial agreements, property agreements, wills, adoptions, real estate closings, identity theft, debt settlement, administrative penalties, personal injury, etc.Address: 45 W 34th St., Ste. 601, New York, NY 10001, Tel: 212-563-3184, Fax: 212-244-8184. You are welcome to visit us and consult any of your inquiries with our attorneys.


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