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Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
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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

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Green Cards Archives

DNA Tests May Be Considered for Sibling Petitions

The Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") issued an important precedential decision last month regarding sibling DNA test results. The decision is Matter of RUZKU, 26 I & N Dec. 731 (BIA 2016). The holding basically establishes that direct sibling DNA test results that indicate a 99.5 percent probability that the parties are related as siblings should be taken into consideration by USCIS and accorded proper weight. In the case at hand, USCIS declined, in accordance with its official policy, to give any evidential weight to a DNA test result submitted by the petitioner in support of his I-130 application for his sibling, even though the results indicated a 99.8114 percent probability that the parties were full biological siblings. The government memorandum which USCIS relied upon to support its decision states that USCIS may not afford any weight to sibling-to-sibling DNA test results and will only evaluate parent-child DNA results, which presumably are more reliable.

Green Card After Deportation? | Motion to Reopen

Here's the transcript to our latest video on Youtube.  Many people are under the misimpression that despite a removal or deportation order, it is quite easy to fix one's status if married to a US Citizen.  The reality, of course, is that these types of matters are much more complicated.  Like everything in the law, everything is case and circumstance specific.  Is the person still here in the US? Has the person already left the US?  In the latter, a departure under an order will usually execute a ten year bar: in order for the individual to return to the US, even with an approved petition, he or she must usually request special permission on Form I-212 to return to the US before the expiration of the ten years.   If the person has stayed in the US in violation of the order, things can get dicey:  if ICE were to apprehend the person--who is, in essence, a fugitive--the government would normally just take steps to execute the order.  On the other hand, depending on the circumstances, ie., an approved I-130 filed by an Immediate Relative, there may be an opportunity to reopen the court case, rescind the order, and possibly apply for relief.   

Brazilian Jiujitsu Visa Lawyer | Mixed Martial Arts Immigration Attorney

BJJ.jpgSome foreign athletes who excel in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts ("MMA") may, depending on the strength of their accomplishments, potentially qualify for status here in the US. The O and P visas are temporary visas that authorize a practitioner to stay in the United States beyond what would be permitted on a typical tourist visa and more importantly, allow the person to work for a sponsor, which in this context, is usually a martial arts school or team. Depending on the person's credentials and sponsor, permanent residence may also be a viable path to pursue. Employment-based petitions generally fall into three major categories or "preferences." The category that is arguably the hardest to qualify under is the EB-1, or employment-based first preference, which is reserved for athletes of extraordinary ability. Individuals who are able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field of expertise, (whether it be Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Judo, MMA, etc.) through sustained national or international acclaim, may merit classification under this ground.

I-751 Hardship Waiver Option for Conditional Residents Who Can't File for Divorce

One aspect of the I-751 Extreme Hardship waiver that conditional green card holders should be aware of is that divorce is not a prerequisite in order to file under this ground. Whereas a conditional resident who intends on filing for the good faith marriage exception must ordinarily be divorced before filing the I-751, an individual who wishes to self-petition based on hardship can still be married to the spouse who originally petitioned for his/her green card. For example, it is not uncommon for a conditional resident to find him/herself in a situation where the US citizen /lawful permanent resident spouse refuses to cooperate or join in the I-751 petition to remove conditions. The couple may be experiencing marital difficulty, maybe even considering divorce, but no concrete steps have been taken towards a dissolution of the marriage. In this particular type of instance, especially if the green card is about to expire, the conditional resident would not be eligible to file under the good faith marriage exception because that waiver generally requires the divorce to be finalized. (There are limited exceptions where USCIS may accept the waiver if a divorce is in progress, but that is beyond the scope of this discussion.) If, however, the conditional resident can demonstrate extreme hardship, he/she may be eligible to file the I-751 on this ground.

What if I forgot to renew my green card?

If you are a permanent resident and fail to renew your permanent residence, you may be at risk of losing your permanent residence. It depends on whether you have permanent lawful permanent residence (reflected by a green card that is normally good for ten years) or conditional permanent residence. We have already covered renewal of an expired permanent 10-year green card in a previous post. This discussion pertains to the consequences of failing to remove the conditions on a green card.

I-751 Affidavit

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Marriage.jpgWhen conditional residents file together with their US Citizen or Permanent Resident spouses to remove the conditions on their permanent residence, they must not only file the appropriate form but also enclose supporting documentation. This supporting documentation is also known as the "bona fides" of the marriage-in other words, proof that the couple has entered into the marriage in good faith and have a genuine relationship, and not just one formed to obtain an immigration benefit. One integral piece of this package is an affidavit executed by someone in support of the couple.

Section 245(i) and Proving Physical Presence

For individuals seeking to pursue permanent residence in the United States, the eligibility requirements of Section 245a of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") must normally be satisfied. While Immediate Relatives of United States Citizens generally enjoy broader protection than most other types of applicants, any irregularity or defect could potentially complicate and possibly disqualify an individual from adjustment of status. Typical problems include but are not limited to:

Can I Get My Permanent Green Card If I am Abused By My US Citizen Spouse

Too often, many conditional lawful permanent residents remain trapped in abusive marital relationships because they believe that they will lose their status if the USC/LPR spouse "cancels their file" or fails to file for their permanent green cards. It is true that in general, the I-751, or Petition to Remove Conditional Residence, is a joint petition that is normally signed by both the USC/LPR spouse and conditional resident. However, a victim of extreme cruelty or battery has the option of requesting that this joint requirement be waived. In other words, this waiver ground does not require that the USC/LPR spouse participate or petition to remove the conditions on the immigrant's residence because the regulations recognize the plight of abused spouses, who should not be expected to remain married to or expose themselves to continued abuse solely in order to secure the abuser spouse's signature on the I-751. Furthermore, the law does not require that the marriage be terminated for these reasons in order to apply under this ground.

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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