Clawson and Staubes Immigration Group
Frequently Asked Questions
The Clawson and Staubes Immigration Group does a weekly question and answer show in Spanish on Facebook Live with Progreso Hispano News. Below are some of the frequently asked questions from our show. If you wish to watch the show live, follow Progreso Hispano News on Facebook and tune in to our show on Mondays at 1:00pm EST. The frequently asked questions below will be updated on a weekly basis.
- Q: My parents brought me to the United States when I was only three years old. Am I eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status?
- A: You may be eligible to apply for DACA status. However, USCIS is not currently accepting initial DACA applications. USCIS is only accepting DACA renewal applications. To see whether you qualify for DACA status, you should talk with an immigration attorney. You can also visit the USCIS website here: https://www.uscis.gov/archive/consideration-of-deferred-action-for-childhood-arrivals-daca.
- Q: I am currently in the United States on my tourist visa but my flight back to my country was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My I-94 will expire in one month. What should I do?
- A: If your flight was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and you will not be able to depart the U.S. before your I-94 expires, you should apply to extend your status with USCIS before your I-94 expires. Before applying to extend your status, though, you should talk with an immigration attorney regarding the potential consequences of applying to extend your status. If your application to extend your status is denied by USCIS, you may be placed in removal proceedings.
- Q: My I-94 expires in two months. Is USCIS automatically extending I-94s due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
- A: No, USCIS has not automatically extended the validity period for I-94s or visas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you remain in the United States without lawful status after your I-94 expires, you may be placed in removal proceedings.
- Q: I am a lawful permanent resident of the United States and I was recently laid off from my work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If I receive unemployment benefits, will that affect my lawful permanent residence?
- A: No, receiving unemployment benefits will not affect your lawful permanent residence. Lawful permanent residents are eligible to receive unemployment benefits, and receiving unemployment benefits does not make a lawful permanent resident removable from the United States.
- Q: I live in the United States and do not have any lawful immigration status. I have a son that is an 18-year-old United States citizen. Can my son file a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for me?
- A: A U.S. citizen may file a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on behalf of his or her parents. However, the United States citizen must be 21 years old to file the petition with USCIS.
- Q: I have been waiting for over 6 months for my Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative to be approved by USCIS. How much longer do I need to wait?
- A: It can take months or years for USCIS to process an I-130 petition, depending on the type of petition. You can check on processing times for a specific type of application at the USCIS Case Processing Times website found here: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/. If your case is outside of normal processing times, you can submit a service request with USCIS online or by calling the USCIS hotline at 1-800-375-5283.
- Q: My father is a United States citizen and filed an I-130 petition for me many years ago. I am now married to a United States citizen. Can my United States citizen wife file an I-130 petition for me as well?
- A: Yes, your wife may also file an I-130 petition for you. USCIS generally allows people to be the beneficiaries of multiple I-130 petitions. Before your United States citizen wife files a new I-130 petition for you, you should talk with an immigration attorney to discuss the best way to proceed with your immigration case.
- Q: I am married to a United States citizen and I just received my green card. How long do I have to wait until I can become a U.S. citizen?
- A: A lawful permanent resident who received their lawful permanent residence (their “green card”) based upon their marriage to a United States citizen can normally apply for U.S. citizenship after 3 years as a lawful permanent resident, so long as he or she continues living with his or her spouse and is otherwise eligible to apply for United States citizenship.
- Q: I was convicted of a crime. Can I still get a green card?
- A: The intersection of criminal law and immigration law is an extremely complex area of law. A crime that is a misdemeanor under state law may or may not affect a person’s application for lawful permanent residence. Likewise, a crime that is a felony under state law may or may not affect a person’s application for lawful permanent residence. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime and wish to apply for lawful permanent residence, you should first speak with an immigration attorney to discuss how your criminal history may affect your application.
- Q: I lost my green card. What should I do?
- A: First, you should file a police report so that you have proof that you lost your green card. Then, you should file Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card with USCIS. Once you file Form I-90 and receive a receipt notice, you can contact USCIS to schedule an InfoPass appointment where you can obtain a stamp in your passport as proof of your lawful permanent resident status.
- Q: My green card application was denied by USCIS. What should I do now?
- A: When a person’s green card application is denied by USCIS, he or she is normally placed in removal proceedings. If your green card application was denied by USCIS, you should speak with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to discuss the best way to proceed with your case.
- Q: I have been waiting for over four years for my asylum interview with USCIS and still have not received my interview notice. I had my fingerprint appointment a month after I filed my asylum application. Is this normal?
- A: Processing times for asylum applications vary widely from case to case. While some asylum applicants receive their interview notices just a few months after filing their applications, other applicants have been waiting years for their asylum interview notices. If you have a pending asylum application, it is very important that you make sure that USCIS has your current address and update USCIS any time you change your address.
- Q: My attorney filed my U visa application two years ago. How much longer will I have to wait for my U visa?
- A: The U visa is for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and have helped law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Due to an annual cap of 10,000 U visas and a significant backlog of pending U visa applications, it is currently taking USCIS approximately 4 to 5 years to issue decisions on U visa applications.
- Q: Can I apply for a U visa a year and a half after the incident?
- A: Yes, you can still apply for a U visa a year and a half after the incident. Immigration laws allow someone to apply for a U visa even if the crime happened many years ago. However, to apply for a U visa, you must first obtain a U visa certification. Some police departments, prosecutors, judges, and other law enforcement offices have developed policies that limit the types of cases where they are willing to sign U visa certifications. If you have been the victim of a crime and think you may be eligible for a U visa, you should speak with an immigration attorney regarding your case.
- Q: My daughter was the victim of domestic violence in the United States, and she has DACA. Which is the better route for her, continue with DACA or apply for a U visa?
- A: A person may apply for both DACA and a U visa. While a person may receive a work permit based on DACA faster than a work permit based on a U visa, a U visa is a direct route to permanent residence. Your daughter should talk with an immigration attorney to determine the best way to proceed with her case.
- Q: My cousin, who does not have lawful status, was arrested while protesting in Los Angeles. Can ICE deport him?
- A: The immigration consequence of a criminal conviction is a very complicated area of law. If a person without lawful status is charged with a crime, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may place the person in removal proceedings or try to deport the person.
- Q: I am in the United States on a tourist visa, and my children are still in Peru. My children also have tourist visas. Are my children allowed to come visit me in the United States?
- A: Yes, your children may visit you in the United States on their tourist visas. Your children should be prepared to demonstrate to United States immigration officials that they only intend to visit temporarily, and will depart the United States at the end of their visit.
- Q: My Immigration Court date is soon, but I forgot what day it is. How can I figure out when is my next Immigration Court hearing?
- A: Using your alien registration number, you can call 1-800-898-7180 or go to the EOIR Automated Case Information website to find out the date of your next Immigration Court hearing. If you move, you must update your address with the Immigration Court.
- Q: I came into the United States illegally with my 9-year-old daughter. I have immigration court scheduled for next year. I did not apply for asylum because it does not apply to my case. I have been advised to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for my daughter. Can my daughter apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status even if I do not apply for asylum?
- A: Yes, you may apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for your daughter, even if you do not apply for asylum. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is for a person who is in the United States and needs the protection of a juvenile court because the person has been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, and meets all of the other requirements for Special Immigration Juvenile Status.
The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. Immigration law is a constantly changing area of law. The information provided at this website may not reflect the most current legal developments. Do not act or refrain from acting upon this information without consulting with an attorney. Please contact our firm by telephone at (704) 940-9128 if you wish to schedule a consultation to discuss your individual immigration case. Contacting our firm or reviewing the information in this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This website may contain links to third-party websites that are not operated by Clawson and Staubes, PLLC. These links are included only for convenience. Clawson and Staubes, PLLC is not responsible for the content found on third-party websites.
The attorneys responsible for the content of this website are Douglas B. Thie, Partner, and M. Grayson Gibson, associate, in our Charlotte office (756 Tyvola Road, Suite 130, Charlotte, NC 28217). Douglas B. Thie is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Michigan. M. Grayson Gibson is licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Their practice in other states is limited only to federal immigration matters.