Lee & Garasia, LLC
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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

New Public Charge Law Will Also Apply to Consular Cases | Form DS-5540

Applicants for permanent residence should be aware that the new public charge guidelines are intended to apply to all applicants for admission. Technically speaking, the new I-944 Declaration of Self Sufficiency and revised guidelines will be going into effect February 24, 2020, for nearly all adjustment of status applicants (that is, applicants who are applying for their green cards from within the US.)

Does Applying For Public Benefits Mean My Citizenship Case Will Be Denied?

Last Thursday, USCIS announced that it will be implementing its Final Rule on Public Charge Inadmissibility on February 24, 2020 (except in the state of Illinois, where the rule remains currently enjoined). Under the new regulations, USCIS officers will have expanded authority to determine whether an applicant is likely to become a public charge by evaluating a number of factors including but not limited to an individual's age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education, and skills. Additionally, a noncitizen who receives a specified public benefit for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period will practically be presumed to be someone more likely than not to become a public charge in the future. 

Notice to Appear Missing Immigration Court's Address Does Not Warrant Termination

In yet another decision diluting the Supreme Court's holding in Perreira v. Sessions, the Board of Immigration Appeals recently ruled that a Notice to Appear that does not include the address of the Immigration Court or where the government will file the notice does not deprive the Immigration Court of subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case. In Matter of Vargas, 27 I & N Dec. 745 (BIA 2020), the Respondent argued that the lack of information in the Notice to Appear rendered the charging document invalid, thereby defective for purposes of opening a matter before the court's jurisdiction. The Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") argued, on the other hand, that the defects were cured by a subsequent Notice of Hearing that was later sent to the parties that informed them of the time, date, and place of the hearing.

New Tourist Visa Rules Will Ban Some Pregnant Women

Last Friday, the Department of State published its final rule implementing new regulations regarding "birth tourism." Effective now, the new rule amends how and whether B nonimmigrant, or tourist, visas are issued, particularly to those who may be pregnant. The new language clarifies that applying for or entering on a tourist visa for the primary purpose of granting a child US citizenship (via birth in the US) is not within the scope of permissible activity for a visitor's visa. Pleasure may refer to legitimate activities such as sightseeing, amusement, visiting friends/family, even medical treatment-but not to give birth in the US so that the infant becomes a US citizen. This latter practice has become common enough that national security and law enforcement concerns are now implicated.

Is Terroristic Threats a Deportable Crime?

On January 2 of this new year, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued an important decision that signals an increasingly elastic understanding of just what constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude. In Matter of Salad, 27 I & N Dec. 733 (BIA 2020), the Court ruled that a Minnesota statute proscribing the making of terroristic threats is categorically a crime of moral turpitude ("CIMT"), a holding that may have significant ramifications beyond the facts of the case itself. Residents of New Jersey should be especially wary given that the New Jersey terroristic threats statute (NJSA 2C:12-3) generally tracks the language of the Minnesota law.

New Bars On Asylum

Continuing its assault on asylum, the Trump Administration has proposed new regulations that would further restrict an individual's eligibility to file for asylum. Under the proposed rule, the regulations would create an additional seven categories that would bar a person from filing for asylum. It is important to note that these new bars would be in addition to the current bar against applicants who have been convicted of "particularly serious crimes." The new bars would apply non-US citizens convicted of

You Can Be Denied Citizenship For Bad Acts

Late last year, USCIS adopted two significant policy changes pertaining to Good Moral Character for naturalization petitions. (Every applicant must demonstrate Good Moral Character in order to become a US Citizen.) The first one, which we previously covered, pertained to drunk driving convictions and how two or more convictions raised a rebuttable presumption against a finding of good moral character. The second change is equally troubling and concerns unlawful bad acts which can militate against and render someone ineligible to naturalize. In its new policy guidance, the agency has gone ahead and fleshed out examples recognized by caselaw that can constitute a disqualifying "unlawful act." Some of them include but are not limited to:

Filing for Citizenship After 3 Years If Separated

Under certain circumstances, a lawful permanent may apply for naturalization after only three years versus the requisite five years that is normally required. In order to qualify, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has been a green card holder for at least three years and been married and living with a US Citizen spouse for at least three years. The policy manual refers to this requirement as the marital union requirement. In this climate, where adjudicators have been scrupulously examining everything on a micro level, satisfying these criteria can be problematic, especially when the couple are not physically together.

Citizenship Denied for Two or More DWI Convictions

Not too long ago, Attorney General Bill Barr issued an important decision regarding good moral character determinations within the context of cancellation of removal. Under Matter of Castillo-Perez, the Attorney General held that two or more drunk driving convictions create a rebuttable presumption that an applicant does not possess good moral character. USCIS has now officially adopted and incorporated this principle into its own Policy Manual, specifically Volume 12 which pertains to Naturalization matters. According to the USCIS Policy Alert, the new policy regarding DUI good moral character determinations will apply to any cases filed or pending on or after October 25, 2019.

Can I Travel Out Of The Country After Applying For Citizenship?

One of the most common questions that our citizenship clients ask is whether there are any travel prohibitions after they have filed for naturalization. At the risk of oversimplifying matters, the short answer is that applicants are allowed to travel outside the US even after their N-400 applications are lodged. That being said, individuals need to remain cognizant of the eligibility requirements for naturalization, some of which extend up and through to the time of the interview. In some cases, conduct after an application is filed can seriously impact the application and ultimately form the basis of a denial. When it comes to international travel, remember that an applicant must not only satisfy the physical presence requirement, but also the continuous residence requirement.

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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