Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
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  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

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March 2016 Archives

Defective Notice To Appear Does Not Stop 10 Years | Green Cards

Last week, the Third Circuit issued an important precedential decision regarding the "stop-time rule" and cancellation of removal. In Orozco-Velasquez v. Attorney General, the Court held a defective Notice to Appear ("NTA") did not effectively stop the clock for purposes of showing the requisite ten years physical presence for cancellation of removal. (According to our immigration laws, any period of continuous physical presence shall end when the alien is served with a Notice to Appear.) In the case, the government had initially served an NTA that not only listed the wrong location for the Court hearing, but lacked "fundamental, statutorily required information" necessary to give the alien reasonable notice of the charges against him and "the basic contours of the proceedings to come." To be more specific, the notice did not inform him of the specific date and time of the removal proceedings, only that they were "to be set." Nearly two years later, the government served a second NTA that listed the correct location and a specific time and date. In the course of litigation, Mr. Orozco-Velasquez submitted an application for cancellation of removal, which the government argued he was precluded from filing, due to the first NTA. The Judge agreed with the Department of Homeland Security.

Do Religious Marriages in India have to be registered for US Immigration? | Spouse Visas

One very common misunderstanding regarding marriages in India is the legality or validity of certain ceremonies. In general, the United States will recognize, for immigration purposes and otherwise, marriages abroad provided that the marriages performed abroad conform to and are considered legal in the foreign country. In India, like many other countries, marriages may be conducted via religious or civil ceremonies. Contrary to popular belief, religious ceremonies are, as a general matter, legal and recognized as legal. In fact, the US consulate in New Dehli notes that:

Court Rules TPS Meets Inspection and Entry for 245 Adjustment of Status

A District Court out of Minnesota recently issued a significant decision regarding the eligibility of those who hold Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") to adjust status in the US notwithstanding a prior lack of entry. This case, Bonilla vs. Johnson, et. al, follows the logic of a similar Circuit case (Flores v. USCIS) that holds that the plain language of 8 USC 1254a(f)(4) clearly allows an individual who is granted TPS to satisfy the inspection and entry requirement for adjustment of status. The section says, in part: "for purposes of adjustment of status under section 1255 of this title and change of status under section 1258 of this title, the alien shall be considered as being in, and maintaining, lawful status as a nonimmigrant." The government argued, unsuccessfully, that a grant of TPS did not constitute inspection and entry for purposes of adjustment. The Court held otherwise, noting that the statute was clear and unambiguous.

New I-864 Sponsorship Guidelines for I-864 Released

Last week, USCIS released the 2016 HHS Poverty Guidelines. As expected, the numbers have risen slightly. It is critical to look at the most current poverty guidelines for each year, as they determine whether a sponsor will be able to demonstrate sufficient income to satisfy the Affidavit of Support requirements (I-864). In most family based cases, the petitioner must show that he/she earns at least 125% of the HHS Poverty Guidelines, which is determined by the number of people in the petitioner's household. The new guidelines are as follows:

Immigration May Look At Facebook and Social Media | Visa Screening

bigstock-KIEV-UKRAINE--MAY-----Col-94375841.jpgAn intriguing article came out last week in the New York Times regarding the use of social media by the Department of Homeland Security to identify and root out potential terrorists. According to the article, the DHS is considering new policies to scrutinize the social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) of potential visa applicants and those seeking refugee or asylum status here in the US. Interestingly, DHS already has four pilot projects, one of which has been active since December, and which examines the social media accounts of those wishing to enter under a fiancé or K-1 visa, which was the type of visa that the San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik had entered the country on. Moreover, USCIS already scours the social media of Syrian refugees when the applicant is flagged for something, whether due to a hit in a security background check or due to questions raised by an immigration officer.

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • The National Advocates | Top 100 Lawyers
    • Rated by Super Lawyers | Angie Garasia | 5 Years
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationaly Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
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Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

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