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 imigration 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

January 2012 Archives

ICE guidance for Foreign Students on Driver Licenses

There is a very informative memo that may be of some interest to foreign/exchange students here on F, M, or J visas. The memo can be found at www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bm1112-05-dmv-timing.pdf. The purpose of the letter is to provide guidance to non-immigrants with the aforementioned visas in connection with applying for driver licenses and social security numbers. In brief, the memo advises students to wait at least 10 days after arriving in the US before applying for a driver license or social security number. This gives ample time for the government databases to be updated with each student's information. Secondly, students need to consult with their DSO or RO/ARO advisors to confirm that their status is "Active" before making a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration. If the student's status has just been activated, it is prudent to wait at least two days so that the databases can be updated. Although these best practices may seem common-sense, they are nevertheless worth repeating, as students may sometimes forget them in the midst of getting settled here in the US.

New Jersey upgrades penalties for unauthorized practice of law

Governor Chris Christie signed BIll A-1050 into law last week, upgrading the unauthorized practice of law penalties. The amendment to NJSA 2C: 21-22(b) now provides that it is a crime of the third degree to knowingly engage in the unauthorized practice of law and:
1) Create or reinforce a false impression that the person is licensed to engage in the practice of law; or
2) Derive a benefit; or
3) In fact cause injury to another.

New Policy Extends Validity of Medicals

There is a new Policy Memorandum regarding the validity of Medical Reports/Certifications on Form I-693. The memo, dated December 29, 2011, essentially extends the validity of civil surgeon endorsements contained on the I-693. An I-693, when submitted in support of an I-485 or I-687 application, will be deemed valid until the time of adjudication provided that: 1) the I-693 was included with the initial adjustment of status filing and 2) there is no Class A or B medical condition, other than a Class B condition in the Other Medical Conditions section of Form I-693. This policy represents a change from current practice in which medicals are deemed valid for only one year; with current delays associated with some I-485 applications, this is a welcome adjustment that will enable faster adjudication of cases once they are scheduled for disposition, sometimes past one year. This new policy will be in effect until January 1, 2013.

Elizabeth Immigration and Citizenship Lawyer

Next week, USCIS will be conducting another Naturalization Information Session for those interested in learning about the eligibility requirements for citizenship. The session will be held at the Elizabeth Public Library in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on January 24 at 6:00pm. The bilingual meeting (English/Spanish) is expected to last one and a half hours. If you are a lawful permanent resident, this is an excellent time to explore and learn whether you are eligible to naturalize. With the upcoming Presidential election, USCIS is expecting a surge in applications. With applications only taking 3-4 months to process--at least in New Jersey--there are many permanent residents out there who may be able to vote if they start applying now.

TPS for El Salvador Extended

Last week, USCIS extended Temporary Protected Status (or "TPS") for nationals of El Salvador. The extension will run an eighteen additional months from March 10, 2012 to September 9, 2013. In order to be granted protection under this program, eligible nationals from El Salvador must re-register during the re-registration period. (If an individual is not currently registered for TPS, he/she might want to consult with an attorney or USCIS to see whether he/she qualifies under "late registration".) As with other TPS eligible countries, re-registrants may also apply for a work authorization card. Applicants should note that the Federal Register erroneously indicates that the re-registration period is from January 9 to March 9, 2012. The correct dates are January 9 thru March 12, 2012. Obviously, applicants should not wait to the last second to apply.

Choosing an NJ Immigration Law Office

There are a number of qualified, excellent immigration practitioners in the State of New Jersey, and I am proud to say that I know and work with many of them. Unfortunately, there are also many notarios and consultants out there seeking to victimize and prey upon people's ignorance of the system. The Attorney General's Office has been much more active these days in prosecuting those who practice immigration law without a license. Even among attorneys, though, it is sometimes hard for the general consumer to distinguish who really does immigration work for a living from someone who is just trying to make a quick buck off someone's misfortune. For what it is worth, always look at the following:

New Proposed Immigration Law Change Could Help Thousands of Families in New Jersey

The Obama Administration has announced a MAJOR change that will potentially affect thousands of hopeful immigrants here. The rule change--which is not effective--would essentially allow spouses and children of US citizens who are affected by the three and ten year bars to file their "extreme hardship" waiver applications here in the United States. Applicants would receive a decision here in the United States, and if their waiver applications are approved, they would be able to go back to their home countries, pick up their immigrant visas, and return to the United States without being held back by the three or ten year bars. In other words, applicants would be able to know whether their hardship waivers are approved before taking a major risk in traveling back to their home countries, applying for a waiver there, and being stranded there separated from family if the waiver is not approved. It is important to understand that this is not law yet, nor is it some sort of amnesty. Nevertheless, this is a huge development and can potentially impact countless families here. Subscribe to or keep following our blog to remain abreast of the changes.

Immigration Consequences for Criminal Cases in NJ Municipal Court

There is a new Directive that governs informing municipal court defendants of the immigration consequences of guilty pleas. According to the directive, New Jersey Municipal Court Judges are required to inform defendants in municipal court that immigration consequences may possibly attach to certain offenses and that defendants have the right to consult with immigration counsel regarding those potential consequences. The judges themselves are not supposed to give legal advice to defendants of the actual consequences but rather make defendants aware of the potential for immigration consequences. If defendants express a desire to consult with immigration counsel, judges are instructed to give defendants an opportunity to do so before accepting a guilty plea. This directive in the municipal courts is modeled closely after an earlier directive governing pleas in Superior Court criminal cases. The fact that these warnings must be given now in our municipal courts underscore how conscientious foreign nationals must be of their status when answering criminal and quasi-criminal charges in our local town courts, which is commonly and mistakenly perceived as a venue where traffic tickets and "not so important " criminal cases are handled.

Deadline for TPS Reregistration for Honduras and Nicaragua imminent

Re-registration for TPS for nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua ends on July 5, 2012. If you currently have Temporary Protected Status as a person from Honduras and Nicaragua, it is extremely important that you re-register with USCIS in order to continue your protected status. As reported earlier in our New Jersey Immigration Lawyers Blog, TPS for Hondurans and Nicaraguans will be extended for an additional eighteen months from January 8, 2012 to July 5, 2013, provided that you are registered. More information can be found on the USCIS website. Alternatively, one should seek the advice of a qualified immigration attorney.

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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