Immigration Tips

Category • Immigration Law Blog

Selecting an Immigration Attorney

When you are going through the process of becoming an American citizen, there are many legal quandaries you might find yourself facing. Make these issues easier to tackle by working with an experienced immigration attorney. But you might feel overwhelmed when choosing an attorney amid the seemingly endless lists of individual and firm names your searches turn up. How can you know which attorney has the resources and the expertise to effectively help you with your case?

Use the following guidelines to direct your lawyer search. Finding the right attorney to handle your case can be difficult, but it is well worth the time and energy you put into it. Choosing an inexperienced or inadequate attorney can cost you money, time, and put you into a difficult legal position.

Read Reviews of Lawyers

In this day and age, it is easy to find reviews of lawyers and other professionals on the internet. Search Google Reviews,, and any other review website you can find that has information about a prospective attorney from clients who have worked with him or her in the past. You can find out approximately what his or her services cost and how well previous clients felt he or she handled their cases. Do not believe everything you read online, but do take these reviews into consideration when you interview prospective attorneys.

Choose an Attorney who is Responsive

You want to work with a lawyer who cares as much about your case as you do. Lawyers show their dedication to their clients by responding to their phone calls and emails in a timely manner. If you do not receive a response from an attorney or his or her office within 24 hours or so of inquiring, this could indicate that he or she will not be responsive about your case later.

Talk About Money

Although you might have been told that it is rude to discuss money, you need to discuss it with an attorney you are considering hiring. Ask your attorney for an approximate quote for your case before you begin to work with him or her. He or she might not be able to give you an exact price, especially if he or she bills by the hour, but your attorney should be willing to come up with a quote and talk to you about how he or she reached that figure. Be wary of attorneys who are not willing to discuss how they come up with prices or attempt to brush off any questions about money you ask – you could find yourself facing a much steeper bill than you initially imagined.

Work with a Immigration Attorney

To work with an immigration attorney who has the knowledge and experience to help you, contact The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C. to set up your free legal consultation today. Mr. Goldstein has significant experience working with immigrants in the area and can help you through the legal issue you are facing. Do not wait to make the call – contact The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C. today.

Credit Building Tips for Los Angeles Residents

Whether you are a recent immigrant to the United States or you have been here for a long time, you can take steps to build positive credit. Having a high credit score will help you with your financial decisions in the future, whether you need to take out a loan to go to college or apply for a mortgage to purchase a home.

Many individuals, both immigrants and native-born Americans alike, do not know how to build their credit. If you are not sure where to start with building your credit, apply the following tips to your everyday life.

Consider a Secured Credit Card

If you do not have sufficient credit to qualify for an unsecured credit card, apply for a secured credit card. A secured credit card is a credit card that an applicant can obtain by putting down a sum of money as collateral with the lender. That sum of money then becomes his or her credit limit. For example, you can apply for a secured credit card with a $500 credit limit with the bank by giving the bank $500 in cash to use as collateral. Because of this collateral, anybody can open a secured credit card and begin building positive credit.

Pay your Bills on Time

Your rent, your utility bills, your credit card bills, and any other bills you have need to be paid on or before their due dates. This is key to building and maintaining positive credit. With credit card bills, it is possible to pay less than what is due, known as the “minimum payment.” This amount is printed on your credit card bill, but do not let yourself get into the habit of only paying the minimum payment each month – allowing your debt to accrue will actually cost you more money in the long run because you will need to pay interest on the balance you carry on your credit card.

Pay your Bills in Full

This goes with the issue above – not only should your credit card bills be paid on time, they should be paid in full. Alongside the issue of having to pay interest on debt accrued, you can also lose track of how much you owe to your lender and reach the point of “maxing out” your credit card.

Become an Authorized User on Another Person’s Card

If possible, you can also build your own credit score by becoming an authorized user on somebody else’s card. This other party could be your spouse or another relative, such as a parent or a sibling. Establish an agreement with this other party beforehand. As an authorized user of their credit card, you are not legally obligated to pay for the charges you make – they are. Discuss how you will reimburse him or her before you become an authorized user.

Work with a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney

Having a strong credit score can help you immensely when you need to take big steps with your finances. For guidance with the legal issues that can accompany these steps or other types of help during the immigration process, contact immigration attorney Joshua L. Goldstein at The Law Offices of Joshua L.Goldstein, P.C. today to set up your free legal consultation.

How to Succeed in Los Angeles: Tips for Latinos

Moving to a new country is a significant milestone in your life. After working through the complicated processes of getting your paperwork in order, starting a job, and finding a house or apartment, you will likely find yourself still dealing with the struggles of assimilating to a new culture. Minor issues, such as difficulties related to the language barrier or cultural expectations that are unfamiliar to you, can complicate even simple tasks like applying for a job or conducting a bank transaction.

Keep the following tips in mind throughout the immigration> process. By preparing yourself for the challenges you will face in Los Angeles, you can make them much easier for yourself.

Immerse Yourself in the Latino Community

Los Angeles is a large, culturally-diverse city. It is home to many different ethnic groups. Find other people who immigrated from your home country or those who simply share your language to ask questions and seek advice about any issues you face. You can find others in LA’s Latino community at church or at community events. Make an effort to be an active part of the community, and you will have connections who can help you when you need it.

Save Money

Moving to a new country is expensive, especially moving to a city that has a high cost of living like Los Angeles. If you are not careful with your finances, you can find yourself in debt very quickly. This can make it extremely difficult to build positive credit, which can in turn make it impossible to buy a home in the future, if this is a goal of yours.

Make Sure your Immigration Paperwork is Correct and Up-to-Date

If you are not yet a citizen of the United States, be sure that your necessary paperwork to complete the naturalization process does not lapse. Allowing your files to expire can put you in a difficult position, at best inconveniencing you and at worst, putting you in a position where you could be deported. Work with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that all of your paperwork is up to date.

Build the Skills you Need to Work in the U.S.

Finding and maintaining a job in the United States is so much easier if you have a strong command of English. Other skills that can help you include computer and customer service skills. Find conversation groups for English learners at your local library or community center. These venues often also provide instruction in other vocational skills, such as computer literacy.

Work with a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney

Adjusting to life in a new city and country is not easy. However, you can lessen the burden by seeking guidance from an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney. At The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., we are dedicated to working with recent immigrants to smooth out the naturalization process and resolve any issues they face. Contact our firm today to discuss the issues you are facing during your free legal consultation.

Five Resume Tips for U.S. Immigrants

One of the first things you will probably do once you are in the United States is look for work. The job search process differs from country to country and once you begin your search in the United States, you might find that you are not receiving calls back or job offers. This could be because your resume does not fit with the standard American resume template or because it contains grammatical, syntax, or spelling errors. For guidance with the job search process as well as with any legal issues you face, work with an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney.


Having a native English speaker proofread your resume is an important step in writing a resume that will help you get the job you seek. Minor grammatical errors can reflect negatively on you and hurt your chance of being hired.

Research American Resume Templates

These can be found on the internet for free. It is important that you write your resume using a template that is appropriate for the type of job you are seeking and that you follow standard American conventions in it. For example, resumes in the United States do not include photographs or personal information like the applicant’s religion or marital status. In fact, it is actually illegal for your employer to ask you to provide this information.

Be Direct

Your resume should be straightforward and list your education, previous positions held, experience, and skills. This is all. It should not exceed one page for junior employees or two pages for senior employees. Employers only look at resumes briefly, so yours should communicate your skillset in a concise manner.

Provide Contact Information

Include your phone number and email address at the top of your resume along with your name. It is important that this information is easy to quickly locate for your employer – again, employers do not spend much time reading their applicants’ resumes, so you want to write yours in a way that it is extremely easy for an employer to determine if he or she wants to contact you, then shows him or her how to do so.

Be Honest

It might be tempting to exaggerate your accomplishments, but do not do this. Be honest about your skills and accomplishments in your resume. During an interview, you will be asked about the information included in your resume – if you cannot answer a question because it is based on inaccurate information, you will likely not be hired.

Work with an Experienced Los Angeles Immigration Attorney

When you are working through the legal aspects of living and working in the United States, such as ensuring that you can work in this country, seek help from an experienced immigration attorney. At The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., we are dedicated to working with recent immigrants to smooth out the naturalization process and resolve any issues they face. Contact our firm today to set up your initial legal consultation.

The Traumatizing Effects of Immigrant Detention Centers

Immigration detention centers are often used in the United States to hold immigrants whose status is unknown or court dates are pending. Unfortunately, many reports details these detention centers as places that are not only uncomfortable, but downright traumatizing. If you or a family member is being held in a detention center and need legal help, the immigration attorneys at the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C. can help.

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Immigration Reform in the 2016 Presidential Election

For undocumented immigrants in America, 2016 is a year full of unknowns. If Donald Trump gets the republican bid for president—and is elected as such by the Electoral College—things could change dramatically, and fast. That’s because Mr. Trump has adamantly declared that he would force all immigrants who are undocumented to return to their home countries if elected. While Trump has yet to propose a strategic plan of how he would make this happen—and find and deport between approximately 11 to 12 million people—he’s made it clear that he’s a man on a mission. To counteract his hardheaded and—as some would claim—callous approach, Hillary Clinton has vowed to tackle Trump’s plan.

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2015 Boston Immigration Law Scholarship Winner!

The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein are pleased to announce that we have chosen Zulma Munoz as the 2015 winner of our Boston Immigration Law Scholarship! We were overwhelmed by the excellent applications we received for the scholarship, all of which evoked the struggles and challenges of the immigrant experience. Over 150 deserving students applied!

Ms. Munoz is the child of Mexican immigrants and was born in Oakland, California. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 2012 with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. She will be attending University of San Francisco School of Law in the fall of 2015.

Our office recognizes that the U.S. immigration process is stressful for families and can have traumatic outcomes that can impact a child’s potential to seek an education and succeed in the United States. As an office that specializes in family-based immigration and deportation defense, we’re dedicated to helping hard-working and ambitious immigrants and children of immigrants attain their goals for higher education. We are so happy to help Ms. Munoz achieve her dreams of attending law school and we know she will accomplish big things in her future!

Zulma Munoz’s Winning Essay

At an early age, I learned that education was a ticket out of poverty.  When my mother was seventeen, she and my father carried my brother across the border to the United States.  I was born three years later in Oakland, California.  At age two, my father died in a car accident.  When I was seven, my mother married a wonderful man and I was delighted to have a new father.Maya Immigration Scholarship Winner

I remember dreading adulthood because I believed it meant washing dishes for endless hours.  For twenty-five years, my father cleaned dishes as a utility worker.  Since my parents worked long hours, my mother desired to keep my brother and I away from the streets so she had us join a soccer team.  I soon realized that my teammates’ parents did not have jobs my parents did.  I also discovered something that I had never seen in my house: university diplomas.

Being a part of a team exposed me to the first injustice that would shape my desire to become an advocate.  I realized that low-income immigrant parents often suffered from unjust work situations.  The second injustice emerged in school with my older brother.  My teachers assured me that I could become a doctor, dentist, or lawyer, while my brother faced criticism from his teachers.  I was forced to comprehend why someone would be treated and live differently just because of where they were born.

When I was a freshman at UC Berkeley, officials arrested my brother for marking the streets with graffiti.  Within a week, the case was transferred to Immigration Court and my brother’s deportation followed closely thereafter.  The next few months and years of my life were dominated by court proceedings, translating for my parents at attorney consultations, and supporting the emotional well being of my mother and 11-year-old brother.

In many ways, I am privileged that my life’s circumstances taught me about the immigration, education, and labor systems in American because it motivated me to start my career early.  My brother’s case catapulted my knowledge and frustration with the legal system, so I decided to pursue a career through which I could influence the outcomes of individuals with similar stories.  Whether I was organizing students to journey to Washington DC to lobby for immigration reform or providing immigration relief to youth without legal citizenship, my mission was clear.

After my brother’s deportation, I was determined to ensure other families did not suffer as my family did.  Consequently, I dedicated myself to direct-service work and now have a strong working knowledge of immigration remedies, education reform, and about the systemic challenges underserved communities face that I bring with me to the law school.  I am committed to attaining my law degree in order to continue giving back to the communities, schools and families from which I come.  My journey demands that I engage in work I can believe in and becoming a lawyer will strengthen my ability to do so.

5 Things That You Need to Know About Your Master Calendar Hearing

A master calendar hearing, or MCH, is the first step in any legal action involving immigration matters. Typically, a MCH is the primary occurrence in an immigrant’s deportation hearing – if the U.S. government is trying to deport you, you’ll get a master calendar hearing.. If you’re an immigrant to the United States who will be attending your own master calendar hearing, here are five things you need to know:

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Deportation Updates

In 2014, unprecedented legislation on immigration reform was signed into law. The legislation, which was opposed by many, granted relief from deportation for more than four million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. As a result, those who support deportation have argued that Obama’s immigration policy is too soft, and that it doesn’t address the real problem. However, the number of illegal immigrants deported under the Obama administration suggests otherwise. If you’re facing deportation in Boston, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein can help. Continue reading “Deportation Updates”

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