Category Archives: Immigration Tips

Want a green card through marriage? How your tax return might help or hurt.

Green Cards, Marriage and Taxes As an immigration lawyer in Boston, I know next to nothing about accounting and tax law. But I do know a lot about how your tax return may impact your immigration case. If you are going through any immigration process, you should expect immigration judges and officers to scrutinize your tax returns. For those who are in the process of applying for a green card through marriage to a permanent resident or to a U.S. citizen or who have filed an I-751 petition to remove the condition on permanent residency, I have 3 tips that may help you: READ MORE

How to get to Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Burlington, MA using public transportation

In 2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement--the agency, which handles immigration bonds and is in charge of deportation--moved its offices from the centrally-located JFK Federal Building in downtown Boston to a remote office park way out in the boonies of Burlington, Massachusetts. In my years of experience as an immigration lawyer specializing in deportation cases, I've noticed that many of my clients don't have cars and rely on public transportation. My clients need to travel from Boston area to the Burlington, MA immigration office to post immigration bonds or to report in for orders of supervision or orders of recognizance. My immigration clients often ask me how to get to ICE's Burlington office from Boston using public transportation. READ MORE

Why I usually don’t recommend Voluntary Departure

When I go to Immigration Court in Boston, my goal is to protect my clients from deportation. I work hard to explore all options, to come up with a winning strategy and to prepare my cases in a way that ensures success. Of course, I want my clients to come away with a green card. But the sad reality is that for some people who must appear in Immigration Court, the facts of their particular cases render them ineligible for any relief from deportation. For such cases, there is simply no way under the current immigration laws to prevent deportation. And, when faced with limited options, many lawyers routinely ask the Immigration Judge for an order of voluntary departure. READ MORE

How to win or lose in Immigration Court

If you are facing deportation or removal from the United States and have a hearing in Immigration Court in Boston or elsewhere, your fate is in the hands of an Immigration Judge who will weigh the evidence and reach a decision. Immigration lawyers refer to this process as the Court's or the Judge's discretion. People often underestimate the power of an Immigration Judge's discretion. So I'd like to give you three specific examples of how Immigration Judges have the discretion to decide deportation cases: READ MORE

The K3 Visa is a Waste of Time and Money

The K3 visa and the K-4 visa are completely useless, particularly for Massachusetts residents. I say this with confidence as an immigration lawyer in Boston with extensive experience in marriage-based immigration. I've prepared countless green card cases at consular posts around the world. To explain why I believe filing a K-3 or a K-4 visa is a waste of time and money, let me first provide some background information on the K-3 and K-4 visas. The K-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter the U.S. while an immigration petition (Form I-130) is pending with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS; the immigration agency formerly known as the INS). The I-130 is a petition that U.S. citizens with foreign spouses must have approved in order for their foreign spouse to be eligible for an immigrant visa in the United States. The K-4 visa is available for the children (unmarried and under 21) of a K-3 visa holder. Ideally, a U.S. citizen would submit the I-130, get the receipt notice shortly thereafter, and then apply for a K-3 and/or K-4 visa so the non-american citizen spouse and/or children could reside in the U.S. while the I-130 is pending. READ MORE

Tips on Naturalization / Citizenship from Boston AILA Conference

In Boston, Massachusetts, I recently spoke at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Conference on Immigration Law. The topic was citizenship and naturalization. Several immigration lawyers from Massachusetts have sent me follow up questions. In response, here are a few tips that will help you successfully handle an application for naturalization, N-400. READ MORE

Just got your Green Card? Some tips from a Boston immigration lawyer.

On behalf of the lawyers in my Boston immigration office, I say congratulations! You just got your green card and are now a lawful permanent resident of the United States! Below are some general tips to avoid future immigration problems and continue on a smooth path towards citizenship. I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residency--Get Ready! If you have a two-year green card (i.e., conditional residency based on marriage), remember that 90 days before the expiration of your green card, you and your spouse, together, will need to file a petition to remove the conditions on your permanent residency. This petition is called an I-751. In order to get your I-751 petition approved, USCIS will expect you to submit extensive documentation to show that the underlying relationship between you and your spouse has been on-going since your I-485 was approved and that you continue to share your lives together. READ MORE

Tips on Adjustment of Status / Consular Processing from Boston AILA Conference

I was in Boston today at the Fundamental of Immigration Law Conference sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). I spoke at a seminar entitled "Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing Workshop with the Experts--I-485, I-864, DS-230." The immigration lawyers in attendance asked me some great questions, mostly about the I-864. Here is some follow-up information: 1. I-864, Affidavit of Support. For questions on completing the I-864, I refer to an excellent 2006 USCIS memo available here which consolidated and revised USCIS policy regarding the I-864, Affidavit of Support. Although more recent updated on the I-864, I find that this guide answers most basic questions. READ MORE

Boston Immigration Court Schedule

As an immigration lawyer In Boston focusing on deportation defense, I know that each our Immigration Judges has a particular reputation and perspective. The Immigration Judge to which your deportation case is assigned will have a great bearing on how your case is handled as well as the ultimate outcome. Immigration Court in Boston currently has the following six Immigration Judges: Matthew J. D'Angelo Leonard I. Shapiro Paul M. Gagnon Robin E. Feder Eliza C. Klein Francis L. Cramer Boston Immigration Court - Schedule of Non-Detained Master Calendar Hearings: To figure out which Boston Immigration Judge will be handling your deportation case, (assuming you a not detained) use the following schedule for master calendar hearings (FYI: your first appearance is called a master calendar hearings): READ MORE

Your biggest immigration mistake: Marriage fraud

With my experience as a Boston immigration lawyer, I know that many people in Boston and throughout Massachusetts mistakenly believe that marriage to someone with U.S. citizenship is a relatively easy and fast way of obtaining permanent residency or green card status and other immigration benefits. Stop by City Hall in Boston, pick up your marriage certificate and you are automatically entitled to a green card. And it is believed that once you get married, a work permit will arrive soon after you put your immigration petition in the mail. Despite this persistent fantasy, a green card through marriage often proves to be difficult path. For starters, it can be extraordinarily hard to convince U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the Boston District Office that your marriage is truly based on a real and bona fide relationship. The immigration authorities will be expecting you to produce extensive documentary evidence that you and your spouse have a shared life that involves love and companionship and that your relationship is not just a sham to obtain permanent residency. At a bare minimum, you can be sure that USCIS will scrutinize all Massachusetts public records to confirm that you and your spouse truly live together in marital union. READ MORE