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

Visa Issues Archives

Consulate Will Deny Visas to Immigrants Without Health Insurance Plan

On October 4, 2019, President Trump issued an immigration related proclamation that will affect nearly all family-based cases being processed abroad once it goes into effect. Titled "Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System," the order directs immigrant visas to be denied to individuals who cannot demonstrate that they will be covered by approved health insurance within 30 days of the alien's entry into the United States or unless the individual possesses the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs. What this essentially means, in layman's terms, is that immigrants who cannot prove that they are covered by health insurance or have financial means to pay for their medical costs will be barred from entering the US.

New U Visa Policy | I-918 Application Will Not Stop Deportation

This month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced an important policy change pertaining to enforcement against individuals who have filed for protection under the U visa program. The changes are formalized in Directive 11005.2 and summarized in a Questions and Answers Fact Sheet issued by the agency on August 2. In a significant reversal of the former practice, ICE officers are no longer required to interact with USCIS to request a prima facie determination of eligibility for U status before executing a removal order against an individual who has lodged a Stay of Removal. Effective immediately, ICE officers and attorneys are now accorded a wide berth of discretion to determine what action to take against such individuals. Enforcement are to consider the totality of circumstances, including both positive and negative factors; the beneficial impact of an applicant's assistance to law enforcement; and whether a temporary reprieve from removal is appropriate-all this without input from USCIS, which is in charge of adjudicating the U visa application. As a consequence, a sizeable population of U visa applicants with outstanding removal orders but who have legitimate pending U visa applications, may be expeditiously removed notwithstanding that they may have meritorious, approvable cases.

Emergency Travel Outside of US While Green Card Case Pending

With few exceptions, leaving the United States while a green card case is pending can be fatal to one's case. In general, departure from the United States without an advance parole document normally results in a denial of the adjustment of status petition. USCIS will determine that the individual has abandoned the application. Moreover, in some cases, if an applicant has overstayed and accrued too much "unlawful presence," he or she may trigger a three or ten-year bar from returning (depending on the length of the unlawful presence). So, in most cases, if an individual foresees that he/she will need to travel outside the US during the pendency of an adjustment of status case, advance parole should be strongly considered.

New Question on DS 260 on Visa Form About Social Media

Applicants for immigrant visas may be surprised to see a new question on the electronic DS 260 application pertaining to social media. As of May 31, 2019, the immigrant visa application (and reportedly the electronic DS 160 nonimmigrant visa application as well) now feature arguably invasive questions requesting information regarding social media platforms used within the last five years. Applicants are requested to list their usernames (or "handles") for the following sites/apps/programs:

Will New Jersey Drunk Driving (39:4-50) Affect H-1B Stamping?

This is a very common question that we deal with in the ordinary course of our business. Unfortunately, it is also one that is extremely complex and heavily dependent on a number of factors, including but not limited to the nature of the offense; one's immigration history; as well as one's criminal history. In general, in this climate, any arrest-even for offenses which may not be deportable-can potentially have an impact on one's immigration stay here.

New Version of I-539 Application to Change or Extend Status Coming

USCIS recently announced plans to update Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. This change is particularly important to any foreign national currently here on a temporary basis who is intending on changing or extending his/her status. Apparently, the form has already been revised but will not be released until the same day the changes become effective, which is March 11, 2019. As of that date, any applications to change/extend non-immigrant status must be filed on the latest version. USCIS will not accept previous editions of Form I-539 and accordingly reject applications with the older version or applications that are missing required signatures or filing fees.

NJ State Police May Not Inquire Into Immigration Status

On November 29, 2018, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal drew a proverbial line in the sand by issuing a new directive that clearly demarcates criminal law enforcement from federal civil law compliance. Under Directive 2018-6, which supersedes Attorney General Ann Milgram's obsolescent 2007 directive, law enforcement is essentially instructed to limit cooperation with federal authorities unless such assistance furthers state criminal law enforcement. As the Attorney General makes clear: "New Jersey's law enforcement officers protect the public by investigating state criminal law offenses and enforcing state criminal laws. They are not responsible for enforcing civil immigration violations except in narrowly defined circumstances. Such responsibilities instead fall to the federal government and those operating under its authority." As such, the directive sets forth important new parameters under which law enforcement may or may not interact with the Department of Homeland Security when dealing with foreign nationals in New Jersey.

What If My Passport and Visa Are Lost Or Stolen?

During the Christmas vacation, a number of our clients had the unfortunate experience of either losing or having their passports stolen. Their next natural question was, what was their status? A few were understandably concerned (given the current atmosphere) that they might be deported. Some also h ad previously scheduled trips/cruises abroad that they had eagerly been looking forward to.

Consular Posts To Begin Heightened Screening and Extreme Vetting of Visa Applicants

Due to the controversy surrounding President Trump's "2.0 Muslim Ban," the press devoted very little attention to a Presidential Memorandum signed the same day (March 6) ordering the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security to develop and implement protocols and procedures to "enhance the screening and vetting of applications for visas and all other immigration benefits." From March 15 through March 17, 2017, Secretary of State issued a series of important cables to consular posts around the world in accordance with the memorandum, directing consulates to immediately implement measures to ensure that all visa applicants are properly vetted. Two of the most important cables can be viewed here and here.

Canadians need to check for I-94 too | Visitor's Visas

The American Immigration Lawyers Association recently issued a Practice Pointer to attorneys that is especially relevant to visitors from Canada. The advisory relates to Canadians and the legal consequences of unintentionally overstaying their visits here. The intent of this week's blog is not to go into the intricacies of the law, but some of the main points covered are worth reiterating because Canadians are sometimes treated differently than other foreign nationals.

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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