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Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "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

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family immigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution. A big thanks :)" Read More

Edison Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Latest Presidential Proclamation on Visas Bars Chinese Foreign Students

Last Friday, President Trump issued another proclamation suspending entry of certain foreign nationals. This latest salvo is directed, in particular, at certain Chinese nationals attempting to enter the US on F-1 student visas or J-1 visas. At first blush, the order appears to restrict such visas to all Chinese nationals, but upon closer reading, is narrowly tailored towards Chinese nationals associated with organizations or entities that implement or support China's military civil fusion strategy. Military fusion strategy is further defined as actions "by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC's military capabilities." Subject to certain exceptions, the order covers any Chinese individual seeking to enter on an F-1 or J-1 to study or conduct research and who "either receives funding from or who currently is employed by, studies at, or conducts research at or on behalf of, or has been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of an entity in the PRC that implements or supports" China's military fusion programs.

Is It Better To Apply For A Green Card Inside The US Or Through The Consulate?

When applying for permanent residence, it is critical to understand and distinguish between the two different agencies charged with processing green card applications. In general, after a petition is approved-whether though family or employment-an applicant must choose whether to pursue consular processing or adjustment of status (assuming that one's priority date is current). Put simply, consular processing refers to a process where an individual appears for an interview at a US consulate abroad. These types of cases are handled primarily through the Department of State through the National Visa Center, which collects certain documents and forms before forwarding them to the US consulate. In contrast, the adjustment of status procedure takes place inside the US. The case is filed with and adjudicated domestically by USCIS.

Will There Be Another Proclamation For Non-Immigrants?

This past April, President Trump issued his immigration proclamation suspending the entry of Immigrants into the US for sixty days. We covered the salient points in earlier posts. However, unless you have read the order in its entirety, you may not realize that the order was only the first volley of what may turn out to be a series of immigration related restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, even before this proclamation was issued, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) had already issued an order on March 20 suspending the entry of certain persons from where outbreaks exists. The effect of that order virtually expels individuals traveling from Canada or Mexico who would otherwise be processed at Port of Entry and Border Patrol stations. As a result, people traveling from those countries without proper travel documents or who have entered without inspection-even with meritorious refugee claims-will be summarily denied entry out of public safety concerns.

How Does Section 204l Work? | Humanitarian Reinstatement When Relative Dies

We recently received an approval of a 204l request on behalf of a widow whose husband was the primary beneficiary of an employment-based petition. Now that the petition has been formally reinstated by USCIS, our client will now be potentially eligible to file for adjustment of status as a derivative notwithstanding the fact that her deceased husband was the primary beneficiary of the employment-based petition. Under ordinary circumstances, this would not be possible since dependents cannot immigrate without the primary beneficiary, and petitions are automatically canceled/revoked if the primary beneficiary passes away. However, tucked away within the Immigration and Nationality Act is a special humanitarian provision, 204l, which addresses situations such as these and provides for restoration of what would normally be canceled files.

New Affidavit of Support Requirements Coming | I-864 and I-864A

Last week, USCIS quietly released for comments a proposed revision of the Affidavit of Support Form. The changes are purportedly to align with and have the forms better reflect the priorities emphasized in President Trump's Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens. The revisions will apply to Forms I-864, I-864EZ as well as I-864A for Household Members. All forms will incorporate new language clarifying and explaining to the sponsor what his/her obligations are (the affidavit is technically a legal contract) as well as legal consequences if the obligations are not met.

Who is and Who is Not Covered by President Trump's Ban on Immigration?

Now that President Trump's Executive Order is out, we now know the breadth and extent of its mandate. Fortunately, it does not appear as draconian as the President touted when he initially tweeted the pronouncement. The order does not ban or suspend all immigration. And as mentioned in our previous blog, the consulates are currently closed anyway due to COVID-19, so there is little practical effect to the proclamation at this time. It is when consulates start resuming operations that we will see whether the order has its intended effect.

President Trump Planning to Stop All Immigration Into the US

Just this week, President Trump declared via twitter at 10:06pm Monday night, that he would be suspending all immigration into the US. This fiat will presumably be implemented through an Executive Order--which as of now, has yet to be released-so there are naturally many unresolved questions. At this point, no one (arguably even staffers within the Administration) knows the extent or breadth of the forthcoming order, ie., whether it will provide "carve outs" (or exceptions) for certain classes such as medical and agricultural workers, or whether it will impose a blanket bar on all foreign nationals including but not limited to spouses, children and siblings of US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. It is conceivable that all non-US citizens, including green card holders may come under the scope of the interdiction. Litigation will likely ensue once the order is put out and the issue will be whether President Trump is within his powers to declare such a moratorium on immigration, which is statutorily provided for in the Immigration and Nationality Act. At issue will be the President's power under INA 212(f), which provides, in part:

Whenever the President finds the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

Can I Apply For A Visitor Visa Extension Due to Covid-19?

While there is still no formal policy granting automatic extensions of time to tourists who remain stranded inside the US due to Covid-19, USCIS recently clarified that it will, on a case-by-case basis, entertain extension requests even if not timely filed. As we wrote about earlier, visitors here on tourist visas whose periods of stay are due to expire-but who cannot depart due to conditions caused by Covid-19 (such as canceled flights or illness)-need to file for extensions on Form I-539 as early as possible. 

COVID-19 APRIL UPDATE: USCIS AND NVC STILL PROCESSING APPLICATIONS

Despite mass closures of businesses and organizations around the nation, many government agencies remain open and operational. Fortunately, USCIS is one of them. To be clear, previously scheduled in-person appointments at all USCIS offices remain canceled through May 3, 2020. However, USCIS is still processing cases and applications despite the moratorium on public interviews. What this essentially means is that applicants who were intending on filing for status extensions, especially if time sensitive, should by all means considering doing so. As of this writing, there is still no formal policy granting forbearance or automatic extensions to those whose authorized periods of stay are due to expire, even if an individual desires to leave in good faith but cannot (ie., flight canceled or the person or close relative sick with corona symotoms). If a person overstays on his/her visitor's visa, not only will the visa be automatically canceled but the person will begin accruing unlawful presence, which can potentially bar future entry into the US. Similarly, those whose conditional permanent residence are due to expire also need to apply within the ninety-day timeframe. Conditional permanent residents should not assume that they will be given extra leeway or time in which to file the remove conditions. If the I-751 is not timely filed, a conditional permanent resident's status will be revoked and he/she will, at some point, be referred to immigration court proceedings. (Fortunately, with respect to Requests for Evidences and Notices of Intent to Deny, USCIS has announced that applicants will be given extensions in which to file responses for notices received between March 1, 2020 to May 1, 2020.)

How Can I Prove My Status While My Green Card Renewal Is Processing?

One common misconception that many permanent residents believe is that permanent residence expires when their cards expire. This is not necessarily accurate. It is true that conditional permanent residents are in serious jeopardy of losing their status if they fail to file the I-751 to remove the conditions on their green cards before the 2nd anniversary of when their cases were approved. Otherwise, however, a green card holder does not lose his/her status upon expiration of the permanent resident card. As a practical matter, of course, not having a valid green card in one's possession can lead to a host of problems including not being able to renew one's driver license or furnish current proof of one's immigration status to an employer. Consequently, it is always prudent to consider filing to renew one's green card as early as possible, assuming there are no complicating legal issues, ie., criminal convictions. An application can be filed as early as six months prior to the card expiring.

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • 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
    • Nationally 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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