Monday, May 29, 2017
How Not To Be *That Immigrant* At The Airport Checkpoint
Flying within the U.S. this summer? You’re not alone. Experts estimate that more people are taking to the skies this year than ever before, with 40 million Americans traveling on Memorial Day weekend alone.
Want to get through security as fast as possible, while still being safe?
Check out these tips for domestic travel.
1. Get there early.
Why start your vacation stressed out? Give yourself plenty of time to park, check-in, and go through security. We recommend arriving two hours before your flight. If the lines are short, hey, more time for last minute gift shopping or to meet your fellow travelers.
2. Consider checking your bag.
More people flying = more carry-on bags = more time needed to get through the screening checkpoint.
3. If you must carry-on, make sure your bag is well-organized.
It takes time for TSA officers to make sure a jam-packed, cluttered, overstuffed bag is safe. And the more time is takes to screen your bag, the longer you—and everyone behind you—are stuck in line.
4. Get the 411 on 3-1-1.
3-1-1 is shorthand for the liquids rule. Basically, limit your liquids, gels and pastes to no more than 3.4 ounces, or 100 milliliters, in 1 bag that’s no bigger than 1 quart. That’s bigger than a sandwich bag, but smaller than a huge freezer bag. Sure, they could call it 1 bag-1 quart-3.4 ounces, but that’s much less catchy.
5. Be ready when you get in line.
Have appropriate ID and your boarding pass out and ready to go. Standard screening requires that you take your laptop out of your bag. Follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Wearing shoes you can get off and on easily also helps keep everyone behind you in line happy.
6. Now you’re ready for takeoff. Safe travels!
Monday, May 22, 2017
Who Can Apply for U.S. Citizenship
U.S. citizenship gives a person as many rights as the U.S. has to offer; for example, the right to vote, petition for family members to immigrate, and live abroad without losing the right to return. For these reasons, citizenship is not easily obtained.
To become a U.S. citizen through the process known as naturalization, you must first have a green card (permanent residence) and then meet other requirements, listed below. There are only a few rare exceptions in which a person goes straight from having no U.S. status to getting U.S. citizenship; some are discussed in U.S. Citizenship by Birth or Through Parents.
If you are interested in applying for U.S. citizenship, first make sure that all of the following apply to you:
•you have had lawful permanent resident status for at least five years (with exceptions for refugees, people who get their green card through asylum, spouses of U.S. citizens, and U.S. military personnel)
•you have lived in the U.S. continuously for the five years preceding your application, and during that you have not spent more than one continuous year outside the United States
•you have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the five years before filing your application
•you have lived in the district or state where you are filing your application for at least three months
•you are at least 18 years old
•you have good moral character
•you are able to speak, read, and write in English (with exceptions for certain long-term residents over a certain age, and persons with certain medical disabilities)
•you are able to pass a test covering U.S. history and government (with exceptions for persons with certain medical disabilities), and
•you are willing to swear that you believe in the principles of the U.S. Constitution and will be loyal to the United States (with modifications and exceptions in certain circumstances).
You'll need to complete a citizenship application on USCIS Form N-400 (see Filling Out USCIS Form N-400) and send it in with a copy of your green card, the required photos, and the appropriate fee. After filing your application, you will probably wait for many months, depending on your local USCIS office. First, you will be called in for a fingerprint appointment, and later an interview appointment.
At the interview, a USCIS officer will test your English language ability (unless you fit within an exception) and your knowledge of U.S. history and government (though with a shorter list of possible question if you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the U.S. for at least 20 years).
Applicants who are disabled can ask for accommodations at the interview, such as a sign language interpreter or wheelchair accessibility.
If all goes well at the interview, you'll receive an appointment for your swearing-in ceremony. At that time, you actually become a citizen, and receive a certificate of naturalization to prove it. As a citizen, you can petition to have close family members join you in the United States.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Guide to Reentry Permits
If you are a U.S. lawful permanent resident (LPR), there are at least three situations where applying for a reentry permit may be beneficial:
(a) if you will be abroad for one year or more;
(b) if you will be abroad for more than six months for two consecutive years; and
(c) if you have been warned by U.S. Customs and Border Inspection (CBP) officer that you are at risk
of abandoning your permanent resident status.
Who Should Apply for a Reentry Permit?
If you are a U.S. lawful permanent resident (LPR), there are at least three situations where applying for a reentry permit may be beneficial: (a) if you will be abroad for one year or more; (b) if you will be abroad for more than six months for two consecutive years; and (c) if you have been warned by U.S. Customs and Border Inspection (CBP) officer that you are at risk of abandoning your permanent resident status
If You Will Be Abroad One Year or More
A Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (i.e., green card) is only valid for entry after an absence from the U.S. of less than one year.If you have been abroad for one year or more, the CBP officer at the port of entry won’t let you enter by merely showing the I-551.
In contrast, a reentry permit can be valid for reentry to the U.S. for a period of up to two years. So, if there is a significant chance that you will be abroad for a year or more, we recommend applying for a reentry permit before leaving the U.S.
If You Will Be Abroad for More than Six Months for Two Years in a Row
To allow you to reenter the U.S. as an LPR, the CBP officer at the port of entry must determine that you are returning from a “temporary” trip abroad. If the trip abroad wasn’t temporary, then you have “abandoned” your LPR status, making you ineligible for readmission.
When is a trip abroad “temporary”? According to the courts, a trip abroad is temporary only if you possess an intention at the time of departure and throughout the entire trip to return to the U.S. as a place of employment or business or as an actual home “within a period relatively short, fixed by some early event.” If the return date “hing[es] on a contingency,” that contingency must have a “reasonable possibility of occurring” within a short period of time. It’s not enough that the intent to be to return “at some indefinite time in the possibly distant future.”And it’s not enough to intend to retain your LPR status.
if you will be outside the U.S. for more than 6 months for two consecutive years, there is a significant risk CBP may determine your stay abroad is not temporary, so you should apply for a reentry permit.
If CBP Has Warned That You Are at Risk of Abandonment
Another situation where you should obviously consider applying for a reentry permit is if a CBP officer has warned you that you are at risk for abandonment. This can happen at the port of entry when you are returning to the U.S. from abroad. The officer may notice that you have been abroad for a significant period of time and advise you that a non-temporary trip abroad will lead to abandonment of your LPR status.
USCIS may, as a matter of discretion, issue a reentry permit to a person meeting the following requirements:
1.You have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. as an LPR or conditional resident.
2.You have not abandoned that status, as discussed above.
3.You intend in good faith to make a temporary trip abroad.
4.You must be physically present in the United States at the time of filing. For this purpose, the
United States means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin
Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
5.Departing the U.S. after you file has no effect on the application, although you would need
to return to the U.S. for a biometrics appointment if you are between ages 14 and 79.
6.Issuance would not be contrary to the U.S. national interest
If you have any questions regarding Guide to Reentry Permits or any other immigration topic,
Please contact LEGiTiGO, today
Information contained here should not be construed as legal advice. Do not act or rely on this information without seeking legal advice from a qualified lawyer who learns your goals, investigates the specific facts of your case, researches how the law may apply to those facts, and then gives advice taking all that into account.
Monday, May 8, 2017
When ICE officials knock on your door, you don’t have to let them into your home. And in case a law enforcement officer stops you on the road and asks about your immigration status, do not provide any information without your immigration lawyer.
Those were the rights that undocumented Filipinos and all other immigrants in the United States can exercise to protect themselves, according to immigration and community advocates on Wednesday, in the wake of executive orders on immigration issued by Pres. Donald Trump that have sparked massive raids in recent days across the country.
“Don’t open the door to anyone you don’t know,”
Sally Kinoshita, deputy director of Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), told the ethnic press.
“Don’t sign any document that you don’t understand [because] that may give up some of your rights to a hearing [with an immigration judge] and other benefits.”
Every immigrant can deny ICE officials entry, especially if they don’t have a warrant issued by an immigration judge, advocates say. In most cases, because judges issue order of removals and not warrants, ICE officials do not have warrants with them.
Know your rights
“Immigrant communities,” Konishita added, “should know that these rights have not been changed.”
Giselle Ruiz, a staff attorney at ILRC, noted that these rights are rooted in the U.S. Constitution and that every individual in the country, regardless of immigration status, is protected.
If you have any questions regarding this BLOG or any other immigration topic,
Please contact LEGiTiGO, today
Please contact LEGiTiGO, today
Monday, May 1, 2017
Breaking: The number of states challenging Trump’s revised ban is growing
After Hawaii, five more states followed suit to boost the nationwide call to scrap the revised executive order that bars citizens from select Islamic nations from entering the US.
Washington, which played a significant role in suspending the first ban, initiated the move on March 9 just a few hours after Hawaii. The five other states to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the federal court are Oregon, Minnesota, New York, and Massachusetts, which all filed their respective complaints.
On Monday, California joined the six states, saying that a large fraction of its constituents will be affected by the ban. It will also inflict a financial harm that could cost up to over $US40 in tax revenues if visitors from several Middle Eastern nations will no longer be allowed to visit the country.
“The Trump Administration may have changed the text of the now-discredited Muslim travel ban, but they didn’t change its unconstitutional intent and effect,” California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra told the press right after the case was filed.
Every complainant echoes the same sentiment that the ban will hit the country in all aspects, including financial and moral, needless to mention how it aggravates the US’s waning global reputation.
The official implementation of Trump’s revised ban is on Thursday, March 16, 2017. The administration maintains its stance on the matter, saying that the new policies it wants to implement are indisputably constitutional and simply aim to protect the country from all forms of terrorist attacks.