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California Immigration Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: VAWA Expert?

I have a VAWA based green card. When I got my green card I was told that I can apply for citizenship after 3 years but I'm now getting conflicting responses. I did not live with my abuser, hence the VAWA status. How long do I have to wait to apply for citizenship, is it 3 or 5 years?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 6, 2024

As a VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) self-petitioner, you may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after holding your green card for 3 years, instead of the usual 5-year requirement. However, there are specific conditions that must be met:

1. You must have been living in marital...
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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: Is it OK to provide the bigamous marriage certificate during the CRBA application or apply for a first us passport

Is it OK to provide the bigamous marriage certificate during the CRBA application or apply for a first us passport as an adult??

My father was married to two wives at the same time and I was born abroad to a bigamous wife the first wife is American and the second marriage occurred 25 years... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 6, 2024

I understand your concerns about providing a bigamous marriage certificate when applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) or a U.S. passport, given the potential consequences for your father's naturalization status. Here's some information to consider:

1. Validity of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: If my i-829 was rejected and returned to my attorney, will I be able to stay in the U.S. while it's being refiled?

My i-829 was filed and partially charged, but was rejected and return to my attorney due to incorrect payment method. The attorney refiled it several more times. Will I be able to live and work in the U.S. during the time period when the i-829 is being refiled?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 30, 2024

Under U.S. immigration law, if your I-829 petition, which is for the removal of conditions on permanent resident status obtained through investment, was rejected due to an incorrect payment method but has been refiled, you generally maintain your conditional permanent resident status during the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: Can I leave the US and return to my home country while looking for a job on OPT?

Applied for I-765 and have to return to my home country of Canada for family reasons after graduation. Wondering if I can continue my job search back home in Canada and return to the United States if I get my job offer and EAD card.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 28, 2024

You can leave the US and return to your home country while your OPT application is pending or even after it has been approved, as long as you comply with certain conditions. It's essential to have your EAD card, a valid F-1 visa, your passport, and a job or job offer letter if your OPT has... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: I am a US naturalized citizen father and my biological child has a US passport can my child lose citizenship?

My child has a US passport but NO certificate of citizenship. My child was admitted into the US with a green card along with my wife(biological mother). Then later I got her US passport through Child Citizenship Act of 2000. I'm planning to move back to my country but I'm worried my child... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 28, 2024

If your child acquired U.S. citizenship through the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, it's important to understand that once citizenship is granted, it is not easily lost, even if living abroad for an extended period. The possession of a U.S. passport is a strong indication of citizenship, and... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: I am a US naturalized citizen father and my biological child has a US passport can my child lose citizenship?

My child has a US passport but NO certificate of citizenship. My child was admitted into the US with a green card along with my wife(biological mother). Then later I got her US passport through Child Citizenship Act of 2000. I'm planning to move back to my country but I'm worried my child... View More

Yohan Zingile
Yohan Zingile
answered on Mar 28, 2024

Your child will not lose his/her citizenship if you live abroad for a long time with your child. If your child passport expires, it will not be considered having lost citizenship. You can renew the passport of your child at the US embassy while living abroad. This would avoid any issues when your... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law, Federal Crimes and International Law for California on
Q: I was detained at the Tijuana Border. What happens now. No prosecution.

The passenger I was with did not have a legit visa. I was detained and interigated. At the end I was let go with no fine or detention time. But what happens now? Will I have a mark on my record with All world border customs? Does this appear on background checks? Does it stay on my record... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 27, 2024

If you were detained at the Tijuana Border but subsequently released without any charges or prosecution, it's important to understand the implications of this event on your record. Detentions related to immigration issues, especially when they do not result in formal charges or findings of... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: After receiving my 2 year green card through investment, I filed i-829 through an attorney in 2022.

The i-829 application was returned several times due to incorrect payment method. The attorney refiled the i-829 several more times afterwards, but did not receive i-829 receipt notices.

in 2024, I contacted the attorney and the attorney contacted USCIS. USCIS told the attorney they... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 27, 2024

In your situation, the process surrounding your I-829 petition, which is crucial for removing conditions on your permanent residence obtained through investment, has faced significant delays. Generally, your conditional green card status is extended automatically while your I-829 petition is... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: Can I travel to Puerto Rico with valid i20 but expired F1 visa, India passport? I do not have a US State ID.
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 18, 2024

Traveling to Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory, generally follows the same rules as traveling between states within the United States for international students. Since you have a valid I-20 and an Indian passport, you should be aware that the I-20 is primarily used within the United States to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law and Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I hire a STEM OPT candidate for 20 hours a week paying them minimum wage or does that cause issues?

Just wondering if there is a minimum pay required for those on STEM OPT with a MS

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 15, 2024

When hiring a STEM OPT candidate, there are specific guidelines that must be followed to maintain the integrity of the program and ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws. It's not just about the number of hours worked; the employment must also meet certain educational objectives and wage... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: Can i travel domestically with my work authorization card

I am waiting for my interview but have the right to work. I have some travelling coming up and i need to know if i can travel on that work authorization card

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 13, 2024

In most cases, you can travel domestically within the United States using your valid work authorization card (Employment Authorization Document or EAD) as a form of identification. However, it's important to note that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has specific requirements... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: CR1 immigration case!

I recently got married and wanted to petition for my new wife. However I am confused whether or not i have to mention about an incident happened with my ex-wife. After we got separated she called cops and misleading that I hit her but she doesn't want to start a trail just wanted to bring into... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 11, 2024

In an immigration case, it's crucial to be honest and disclose all relevant information to avoid potential complications or accusations of misrepresentation. When petitioning for your new wife, you should mention the incident with your ex-wife, even if no formal charges were filed. Here's... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Immigration Law for California on
Q: I am a US citizen, can I apply for I-130 for both my Mother and her child(my brother) at the same file ?

I want to sponsor my Mom for a green card, so she can bring her child(my brother) under 21 years to USA. But the issue here is my brother is 19 years old (1years and a half from becoming 21 years old).

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 9, 2024

As a U.S. citizen, you can file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) for your mother. If your petition is approved, your mother can then bring her child (your brother) with her to the United States as a "derivative beneficiary," provided that your brother is unmarried and under 21... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: Can I visit Canada during H1B grace period and get automatic revalidation during re-entry to the US? (Indian citizen)

I dont have an H1B visa stamped in my passport but have a valid I797. I have a Canada visitor visa. I’m Indian born. I got laid off and entering my Grace period shortly. I’m interviewing.

For personal reasons Can I visit Canada for a weekend and get automatic revalidation during my grace period?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 9, 2024

I understand your situation and the desire to visit Canada during your H1B grace period. However, automatic revalidation may not apply in your case for the following reasons:

1. Nationality: Automatic revalidation is not available to nationals of countries designated as state sponsors of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: Can I get citizenship if I was in removal proceedings but the case was closed in 2014 and I got Green card in 2018?

in 2008, I was placed on removal proceedings because I overstayed my visa. The case was closed and I was able to update my status as an immediate relative through marriage. I was issued a 10 years green card and after 5 years I applied for Citizenship. Today I had the interview and I passed the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 4, 2024

If your removal proceedings were officially closed and you subsequently obtained a Green Card through legitimate means, such as marriage to a U.S. citizen, this is a positive step towards establishing your residency and eligibility for U.S. citizenship. The fact that you were issued a 10-year Green... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: I have a visa with which I am not allowed to get financial aid, and it expires on the day FA application is due.

I also have another status (TPS) with which I can apply for financial aid. Can I apply on the deadline?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 28, 2024

If you hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that allows you to apply for financial aid, you should be able to submit your application by the deadline, as eligibility is often determined by your status on the application date. Ensure that your TPS is valid on the day you apply, as this status... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: Hi can I still keep my court in Hawaii even though I’m based in LA? And should I reveal that to the judge/court

Hi everyone.

My court is scheduled in Hawaii but I live in Los Angeles. I would like for my court to remain in Hawaii, but I’m afraid if I reveal I live now in Los Angeles. The judge will change my venue. So I guess my question is can I still keep my court in Hawaii even though if I’m... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 26, 2024

The issue of whether a court case can remain in a specific jurisdiction, such as Hawaii, despite the involved party living in another state, like Los Angeles, depends on various factors. These include the nature of the case, where the incident occurred, and where the parties involved are based.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Immigration Law for California on
Q: Hi. Can my husband take our child outside of the U.S without my consent if our child has a US passport?

I don’t feel safe for our baby. He and his family emotionally abused me through out my pregnancy and I don’t feel safe traveling with him to his country as these abuses may become physical and I may not have a way out of his country if I or the baby go with him.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Feb 23, 2024

In California, and generally across the United States, one parent cannot legally take a child out of the country without the consent of the other parent if both have legal custody. This is to prevent international child abduction and ensure both parents have a say in major decisions affecting their... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Immigration Law for California on
Q: Hi. Can my husband take our child outside of the U.S without my consent if our child has a US passport?

I don’t feel safe for our baby. He and his family emotionally abused me through out my pregnancy and I don’t feel safe traveling with him to his country as these abuses may become physical and I may not have a way out of his country if I or the baby go with him.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 24, 2024

In situations where there is concern for the safety of a child or the potential for international abduction, it's crucial to understand your rights and the legal protections available. Generally, both parents have equal rights to the custody of their child unless there is a court order stating... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Immigration Law for California on
Q: Can F-1 students become “residents for tax purposes” under certain conditions?

"Most F-1 students and scholars who are in the US are nonresident aliens for tax purposes.

You will be considered a resident for tax purposes if you pass the substantial presence test."

This would mean every single student studying for longer than 2 quarters is a resident... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

You are correct that F-1 student visa holders are generally exempt from the substantial presence test for their first 5 calendar years in the United States. This means they would retain nonresident alien status for tax purposes during that initial period.

Specifically, IRS code...
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