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Washington, DC Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Visas & Viruses - How to Navigate Your Visa or "Non-Visa" ESTA Status During the Pandemic

visa virus 2.jpg"All flights are cancelled; I am here on a 90-day visa waiver; and it expires next week what should I do"? Our lawyers at ScottVassell & LeeCC answer these questions daily. We hope this short article post will reduce anxiety and allow you to safeguard your current U.S. ESTA visa waiver or temporary visa status set to expire amidst the pandemic.

It is very important to keep an eye on 'future reentry' to the United States versus the short-term crises. While overstaying a visa or visa waiver without acting seems plausible due to COVID-19, it should not be an option. Temporary visas are issued by the Department of State ("DOS") at U.S. Consulates abroad. The decision by DOS to extend a visa in the future is solely discretionary with no right of appeal. It is therefore incumbent upon any individual in the United States holding temporary visa status or registered in the ESTA visa waiver program to take aggressive steps to protect your status.

Frequently Asked Questions March 2020 Part-I Re: Current Pandemic COVID-19 Impact on U.S. Immigration Status

1.  What Should I do? My U.S. visa is set to expire, and I am ready to leave the United States, but I'm caught in the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot leave. Do I have to file an extension with USCIS?

Yes. While U.S. Immigration laws allows for an individual on a B-1/B-2 visa to later argue why they overstayed their visa, the U.S. Consulate abroad may still deny reentry. It can get complicated for a temporary visitor to reenter the United States in the future. Rather, our lawyers here at ScottVassell &LeeCC Law Firm, are actively renewing visas in advance of expiration to ensure future travel to the United States will be hassle free with little to no risk of denial for reentry after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed over.

When Saying Goodbye to Your Beloved Au Pair Causes You to Weep...Can You Help Them Stay?

svlcc2.jpgWe have had the privilege of working with many families over the years who have hired Au Pairs to care for their young children. But then, the working relationship becomes more than that of a mere employee-employer. In fact, the Au Pair becomes a part of the family. At the end of the authorized J-1 Visa work period as an Au Pair, it's time to say goodbye and everyone starts to weep. I mean everyone... the children, the parents and the Au Pair.

Believing there is no way for the Au Pair to remain in the United States; U.S. Citizens desperate for options contact us. The lawyers here at ScottVassell Law Group have successfully navigated the complex J-1 Visa Department of State Rules to help. Specifically, we have helped Au Pairs remain in the U.S. with their "newfound" family through a change of status. If you want to learn how...keep reading!

From Thrilling to Chilling I-140 Employment Based Sponsorship

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You receive the good news...

Your U.S. employer has agreed to foot all the legal fees to sponsor you in Employment Based ("EB") Permanent Status in the United States. What could possibly go wrong? Your position is approved as an EB-2 or EB-3 category I-140 for adjustment of status purposes; and now all you have to do is sit back and wait as your employer and their lawyer handle 'everything'. Well... not so fast. If you want to know the risks associated with having your U.S. employer's lawyer handle your delicate status in the United States...keep reading!

First, it's important to know that from the start you and your U.S. employer have potential conflicts of interest that should be resolved prior to entering into a dual representation. The employer's immigration lawyer immediately becomes your immigration lawyer but they are there to represent the employer despite conflicts of interest from the outset.

Why Wedding Bells Suddenly Stop Ringing Despite an Approved I-129F Fiance Visa

bell photo.JPGExcitement begins to run through your veins as you just received the 'final' approval notice for your K-1 fiance visa...or so you thought.The K-1 fiance visa is actually a 3 step process before a final fiance visa is issued for an intended spouse to travel to the United States to marry.

First, an I-129F is filed. Once approved, the approval is routed to the Department of State ("DOS") National Visa Center("NVC"). Finally, the selected Consulate abroad conducts an in person interview in order for the K-1 fiance visa to be issued. It's important not to set a concrete wedding date and venue. Send out invitations only after the issuance of Visa at the U.S. Consulate.

This is Why E-2 Investor Visas are Causing Millennials & Generation Z to Jump for Joy!

purple.JPGWith the rising popularity of Shark Tank, Creatives, Entrepreneurs & IPOs being lauded as lucrative career goals for young people; the ability to forge international business relationships has become invaluable. The reality is that young people connect with each other internationally every day, and they are starting to realize they're not bound within his or her own country when leveraging resources and strategic partnerships to launch a start-up company.

When a Non-US Citizen Needs to Hire Both an Immigration & Criminal Attorney...Is it Possible to Hire Two for the Price of One?


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Does Your Immigration Lawyer Have The Deer In The Headlight Look?

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The Critical Link between Conditional Green Card & Applying for U.S. Citizenship

The Critical Link between Conditional Green Card & Applying for U.S. Citizenship 

The N-400 Application to become a U.S. Citizen can be a landmine for Permanent Residents who do not understand the critical link between the I-751 Removal of Conditions and Citizenship process. An N-400 Naturalization Application often resembles an audit. Hopefully, with the help of experienced immigration counsel you will file for Naturalization successfully without delay or surprise based on the below pointers.

Playing the 6th Month Travel Game As A U.S. Permanent Resident? Not a Good Idea

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Becoming a U.S. Permanent Resident of the United States is a very exciting accomplishment- that is until you can't find work, qualified affordable child care, or a close family member abroad falls ill unexpectedly. These are a few of the reasons Permanent Residents often leave the United States for extensive periods of time despite the risk of abandoning their U.S. Permanent Resident Status. Unfortunately, it is a popular myth that U.S. permanent residents need just return to the United States every six months to avoid the risk of being stripped of permanent resident status by U.S. Customs Border & Patrol ("CBP").

It's important to note that the requirements to not lose permanent resident status versus the rules to apply for Naturalization are very different. First, Permanent Residency requires a reentry permit and proof of continuous residency. Working with experienced immigration legal counsel is an essential step before relocating abroad for even a short period of time.

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