Your Immigration Lawyer
Alice Antonovsky
New York, NY

FAQ

Q?

What kind of benefits do I get from becoming a temporary resident?

A.

As an illegal immigrant, you are infringing on the law and at permanent risk of deportation. The immigration reform offers a three-year work permit to illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. for 5 years or more. Eligible individuals will no longer live in fear of immediate removal and will become lawful taxpayers. What that means for an undocumented immigrant is that they do not have to live in hiding and are capable of applying for a broader range of employment options. Further actions may be announced in the future, but for the time being, it is best to seek legal advice before submitting any information.

Q?

What is the difference between a citizenship and a permanent residence?

A.

A permanent residency allows eligible immigrants to live and work in the United States. Permanent residents are commonly known as Green Card holders and there are certain rules they should respect to maintain that status. For example, they can travel overseas, but not for unlimited amounts of time, as it would risk their residency. A US citizen is allowed to vote, apply for federal employment and run for publicly elected positions. Some advantages that citizens have over permanent residents are a U.S passport and the right to apply for certain federal aid programs.

Q?

How do I choose the visa category that works for me?

A.

USA visas are either immigrant or nonimmigrant. If you intend to visit the country for a specific purpose and period of time, then you need a nonimmigrant visa. If on the contrary, you intend to permanently live and work in the U.S., you must apply for an immigrant visa. Keep in mind that these are only broad categories, there are numerous visa types and you must select the one that best fits your case. If you need immigration advice, contact our team for a consultation.

Q?

What happens if I decide to take a different job offer after my H1b is granted?

A.

Having a valid H1b visa, you can switch jobs. However, you need to apply for a transfer with all details and documentation from your new employer. It does not mean that you have to wait for that decision. Once the transfer application is submitted, you can start working with the new company. Your H1b visa is not a permanent residence. If you cease to work and can’t get another employer to petition you as a specialized worker, the visa will be revoked.

Q?

Do I need a Lawyer to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery Program?

A.

No. You can complete the application by yourself on the official DV Lottery website. The process is free and easy to complete. You can however ask an immigration lawyer to clear any doubts in advance or to confirm application due dates. At the moment of applying, you’ll need your personal information, family details, education/work information and a digital photo. Keep in mind that if you get selected, you’ll need to attend an interview and take all relevant documentation with you to back up what you entered on the online application. The process is the same for everyone around the world, don’t trust anyone with promises of a guaranteed win or privileged draft spot.

Q?

What should I do once my I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver is approved?

A.

USCIS will notify the National Visa Center (NVC) your I-601A is approved. If NVC has received all required forms and documents for your immigrant visa case, NVC will schedule your immigrant visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate you designated before. You will be notified of your interview appointment date. You will need to abandon the United States to attend your immigrant visa interview at the designated location. If you fail to attend the visa interview, the approval may no longer be valid.

Q?

May I travel outside the country if I am granted TPS?

A.

A person who is granted Temporary Protected Status must stay continuously in the U.S. Although, permission to travel abroad could be given by the district director, according to the advance parole regulations. The district director’s decision cannot be appealed. If you fail to obtain advance parole before you leave the United States to travel abroad, this could result in the removal of your Temporary Protected Status.

Q?

Can I travel abroad with an asylum status?

A.

If you were granted political asylum in the US, you will have to request a travel document before you go abroad. You must submit the Form I-131 to get your Refugee travel document and guarantee that you will be allowed in again. That document will be valid for 1 year. Please note that if the place you intend to visit is the country you fled from, it might hurt your asylum status if it is determined that you lied about the persecution risk.

Q?

Can I start a home-based business while on H4 visa?

A.

No, you can’t. Since you are not authorized to generate any kind of income, you cannot run a business from your office or home. However, according to the new regulatory changes, effective May 26, 2015, eligible H4 candidates can file the form I-765 to receive an authorization to work and receive a salary in the United States. However, whether you receive the EAD or not, you are able to study in the US in any field. If you need further information on this, schedule a consultation with a reliable immigration lawyer at (718) 924-2896.

Q?

Can I legalize my status as an undocumented immigrant?

A.

It depends on your situation. There are available mechanisms for undocumented immigrants to change their status. For example, an unlawful presence waiver for those who can prove there is a direct relative who would experience extreme hardship if they were removed from the country. Before going forward with any application, we strongly recommend that you visit an immigration attorney who can explain all pros and cons. As well as detail every step of the process.

Q?

What happens after the naturalization interview and citizenship test?

A.

After your interview, USCIS will hand you a Form N-652 that gives you information about the results of your interview. Based on your English and civics exam results, USCIS can grant, continue, or deny your naturalization application. If you pass the civics exam and your English interview goes smoothly, you will receive a form that says that your application has been recommended for approval. In some cases, USCIS may need more information from you, so you must follow instructions in Form N-14.

Q?

How Can I Submit My EAD Application?

A.

You can submit your I-765 application form in two ways: by regular mail or by “e-filing.” E-filing is convenient and you can submit payment online; however, you still need to send supporting documents by regular mail. If submitting by regular mail, be careful with the type of address you are using. It is based on your eligibility category and is different for people using a U.S. mailing address and those using a package or courier service.

Q?

Can an investor include family members in the same application?

A.

Foreign investors are allowed to include spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old as dependents. They will also be screened before being granted a visa. Dependents are granted the same length of stay as the main applicant. If the main applicant gets a conditional visa, the dependents will also have to wait until such conditions are removed to get a permanent status.

Q?

Can any immigrant get immediate legal status after marrying a US citizen?

A.

No, you will have to submit an application with all requirements and wait for approval. You might have to attend an interview and convince the immigration agent about the legitimacy of your union. Spouse petitions are carefully scrutinized to avoid immigration fraud and the interview is a crucial step for approval. You will also be asked to provide proof of your life together.