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Washington Immigration Law Questions & Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: Naturalization and public charge

I’ve been a lawful permanent resident since 2002. I’m planning to apply for naturalization in 2022. I’m concerned whether or not receiving MFTE housing assistance would affect my naturalization eligibility if the proposed immigration laws regarding public charge change under current... Read more »

Sheri A Benchetrit answered on May 20, 2019

There is generally no public charge bar to naturalization. And, housing benefits are specifically listed as not being categorized as evidence of public charge on the USCIS website ( That said, it is always a good idea to avoid receiving anything that may appear to public assistance for... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: My greencard expires in 3 months, do I need to renew it before I can apply for naturalization?

I moved to the US in 2005 from England, married a US citizen and have lived here ever since as a permanent resident. My greencard expires in August and I would like to take the US citizenship test to become naturalized. However, as my greencard only has a few months left on it, am I required to... Read more »

Hector E. Quiroga answered on Apr 30, 2019

Since it is less than six months before your green card expires, you must file the I-90. You don’t have to wait for it to be approved, though. You can file a copy of the receipt notice with the N-400 and other supporting documents.

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: Does leaving the US to visit Canada for 2 weeks count as sufficiently leaving the US when a M1 student visa is expiring?

I'm currently in the US on an M1 student visa which ends on July 1st and I have to leave the country before then. I'm wondering if leaving to temporarily visit Canada qualifies as leaving the US? Then also I have a US tourist visa that expires in 2022, I'm wondering if I can come back into the US... Read more »

Hector E. Quiroga answered on Apr 30, 2019

It is more a question of your reentry to the US. Would you be coming back to continue your studies under the M1, or would you be coming as a tourist? If your entry from Canada to the US is only as a temporary visitor for visitor or pleasure, you should be able to enter on that. You might want to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Washington on

Q: I have already applied for permanent residency through my spouse. Do I renew my DACA?

I hold a DACA status that expired last year. I'm assuming my work permit also expired. I didn't renew for 3 reasons: (1) My husband is an active military who applied for my residency a couple months before my DACA status expired. (2) I'm in grad school and was busy and without the financial means... Read more »

Hector E. Quiroga answered on Apr 2, 2019

There are two reasons why you might want to renew DACA:

1. So you can work; and

2. To avoid accruing unlawful presence.

If you don’t need to work, or if you applied for work authorization as part of your adjustment application, and if unlawful presence isn’t an issue...
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2 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: I am US citizen, my son is a green card son has a 2 years old child who was born and resides abroad

can I ( as US grand parent) apply for my granddaughter for citizenship ?

Kelli Y Allen answered on Mar 16, 2019

No, you cannot petition for a grandchild. Your son can petition for his child.

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: How long before I have to activate my H1 via consular processing? Can this H1 is transferred before it is active?

I am currently working on H4 EAD. My employer is filing my H1B this April with Consular Processing. If my H1B is picked in the lottery and is approved, how long do I have until I HAVE TO activate it (by going to a consulate out of the country for stamping)? Can I keep working on my H4 EAD as long... Read more »

Hector E. Quiroga answered on Feb 28, 2019

If you are in the United States, you can change your status; you don’t need to return home to get a visa. You say you are consular processing, however, which implies that you plan to return home. The I-129 approval notice should provide you with a window during which you must apply for the visa,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: My military husband will be deployed soon and wants to file I 130 for my teen daughter before he leaves

Will uscis process the petition since he will not be in USA physically. If he is able to file petition how will his deployment affect the case, even if we are able to submit documents and pay fees while he is on tour.

Kyndra Mulder answered on Feb 13, 2019

Yes. He can file the I-130 even though he is not in the USA. His deployment is temporary. As long as he has a permanent residence in the Usa he can use that address on the petition. He should include on the final page a note that he is on active duty and temporarily deployed outside the USA.

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2 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: how many years do i have to maintain a minimum income as a sponsor for green card application?

My current income for 2018 was about 25k and I am the sponsor for my husband. IN the previous years, i made less than 20k. Am I be able to sponsor my husband if we apply the green card in 2019?

Kelli Y Allen answered on Jan 8, 2019

Generally you must provide your income level for the past 3 years, current income, and your most recent tax return and W-2. If the amounts are pretty consistently at the required level of income, you probably will not have to provide anything else. If you previous income was below the required... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: If I believe I was unlawfully detained by ICE (I'm a naturalized US citizen), can I sue them or are they immune?

Allen C. Ladd answered on Jan 5, 2019

You will need a lawyer, if you can sue. Start out by asking a lawyer, in Washington State, in a consultation, even if you have to pay for it. I wish you well with this one.

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: If I hire my own attorney, would I still be req'd to work for my employer-sponsor (for employment-based GC application)?

The immigration attorneys at my company are currently waiting for my job posting phase to close out (already got labor cert), so my I-485 has not yet been filed. If I leave my employer before the I-485 is filed and find another employer-sponsor, would there be repercussions to my green card... Read more »

Allen C. Ladd answered on Jan 5, 2019

Big repercussions. You cannot "port" a PR case until you have filed I-485 and it's been pending 180 days.

As far as your "responsibilities," they are bringing you to permanent residence, so either you are with them or you aren't. Having your own attorney will allow you to explore other...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: I got IR5 for my mother ,I am her sponsor, her old is 62 can she apply for SSI?

Allen C. Ladd answered on Jan 5, 2019

I don't know. I think she must be a permanent resident for 5 years, but not sure. You need to ask a Social Security lawyer.

Note to Justia: Wrong field, should be Social Security. Thanks.

2 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: My wife is waiting for her adjustment of status and she has an advance parole document. Is she able to travel to canada

Lana V. Elliott answered on Nov 23, 2018

Yes, she is able to travel abroad as long as she not only filed her I-131 (Document for advance parole), but also received it. If she just filed and is waiting for it while her AOS is pending, if she travels, her adjustment of status application is considered to be abandoned, and unfortunately, she... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: Ive got a question on child US immigration (citizenship) that has been bothering me for a long time

Years back, my son's mother got her US citizenship through a marriage fraud and later on applied for my then 1 year old son for US citizenship. I ratified the consent to go ahead to grant my son US citizenship through an overseas consulate. Today my 6 year old son has US citizenship but I feel... Read more »

Lana V. Elliott answered on Nov 11, 2018

I am not aware of the process that would allow a minor to renounce their citizenship. Parents are not allowed to make this decision on behalf of their children. A child must be at least 16 years of age to present himself at the US consulate abroad and request renunciation of h their citizenship.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law and Social Security for Washington on

Q: I am international student who is issued social security card Can I apply for green card ?

Lana V. Elliott answered on Nov 8, 2018

Unfortunately,being an international student and having a social security card are not sufficient, on their own, grounds to apply for Green Card. There should be family, business, investment, or other relationship that would be a basis for a legal permanent residence (Green Card). I would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Federal Crimes, Immigration Law and International Law for Washington on

Q: I just learned that I inadvertently committed a federal financial crime. Should I write a letter of explanation to IRS?

I'm from Canada and a US permanent resident ( through marriage) since 2011. I made several money transfers from Canada of less than $10,000 not knowing that this was a federal crime to do so. No one at my bank ever notified me of the potential problem. I am seeking a divorce and my US citizen... Read more »

Hector E. Quiroga answered on Nov 8, 2018

You need to speak with an attorney familiar with federal law around international financial transactions.

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: What should I do in this complicated case?

I applied I130 for my wife since 11/18/2016 , when my daughter was born I added my daughter as a derivative to my wife on March 2018 and now the process in nvc for them is completed ,and they are waiting for interview at US embassy. I became aUS citizen on 10/23/2018 , as you told before that my... Read more »

Lana V. Elliott answered on Oct 31, 2018

Unfortunately, it is true that since you became a US citizen, a separate I-130 is needed to be filed for your daughter. You should:

1. Contact the National Visa Center and request to re-schedule your wife's interview.

2. File I-130 for your daughter ASAP.

3. After CIS...
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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: Can I apply for my daughter under 18 years old a US passport from US embassy if she was born before I got US citizenship

I applied for my wife on Nov 18th, 2016. My wife gave birth to our baby Sarah on Nov 6th, 2017. We added our daughter to my wife's application, and now they have case complete and are waiting their interview letter.

On Oct. 23rd , 2018 I became a US citizen, I have several questions... Read more »

Hector E. Quiroga answered on Oct 30, 2018

1. Do I have to upgrade their petition? and if I upgraded, will I have to apply a separate I-130 for our daughter Sarah?

You need to inform the Department of State that you are a citizen now. You have to file a separate petition for your daughter now that you are a citizen.

2. Is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: What happens if a foreigner intentionally overstays their tourist visa in the US?

Lana V. Elliott answered on Oct 25, 2018

If a foreign national overstays his/her tourist visa in the US, then their visa is cancelled and upon their return to the home country they have to reapply for a tourist visa (and it will be more difficult for them to obtain it). Also, after overstaying, while in the US, they will not be able to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: My wife recieved an I-797C form extending her 2 yr green card 18 months. If we travel abroad will she be allowed reent

2 year green card expired 2/18. I-751 recieved 11/20/18. I-797C notice 8/18/18 extends green card 18 months. We would like to travel to Thailand in January to visit family. Will she be allowed reentry to US with old green card and this document. Is there anything else we can do?

Noah Klug answered on Oct 11, 2018

Yes, she will be readmitted with the expired green card along with the I-797 receipt notice. No other document is required.

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Washington on

Q: Applied for Citizenship, my wife got the interview call, no movement on my case -2 mo? Reason and whats next?

I was the principle applicant, We filed in July 2017. She is already scheduled for an interview and my case is still showing in "Application Received" status.

Hector E. Quiroga answered on Sep 28, 2018

It is hard to say. 2 months is an extremely short time for a citizenship application to be pending, so you are still within normal processing time. The only thing you can do is wait until they issue your interview notice

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