Newsletter Vol I #2

pic4In our January issue I notified you of the government’s intention to change the way it processes certain waivers of inadmissibility, “pardons” for people who are currently in the United States illegally. The purpose for these changes is to reduce the hardship of family separation and relieve the bureaucratic strain. For example, the United States Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, the largest in the world, processes 23,000 waiver/pardon applications per year with only 10 officers. Furthermore, applicants waiting abroad may be separated from their loved ones in the US for over a year. These new changes if approved will be called “provisional waivers.”

This month, the government published a detailed proposal of those contemplated changes and invites you to comment until June 1st of this year, for more information go to www.uscis.gov. Other related proposals by the government, which I discuss below, are further evidence of the likelihood a provisional waiver taking effect later this year.

Last month, I attended a teleconference with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and discovered that that the new filing location for I-601 waivers/pardons for people who are currently abroad, will be Phoenix Arizona. The government anticipates this new location will begin accepting I-601 applications in late spring or early summer. This does not mean that the provisional waiver we have all been waiting for will be in effect by then. What it means is, by this summer, if you are applying for a visa and need a waiver/pardon, you will no longer present the waiver/pardon personally to the consular officer, rather, you or your representative will mail it to the Phoenix lockbox. Once the new rule is in effect, there will be a six month window for immigrants currently in process to choose between the old or new way. As I said, the change in filing location, expected by summer, does not mean the provisional waiver process will be in effect then. We can however see these related changes as strong evidence that the provisional waiver we are all anticipating will likely occur.

Eligibility for the Provisional Unlawful 

Presence Waiver 

i. Their sole ground of inadmissibility is unlawful presence.

ii. They are the beneficiary of an approved Form I-130 classifying them as immediate relatives.

iii. They are physically present in the United States when they file the application for the provisional unlawful presence waiver.

iv. They appear for biometrics capture in the United States.

v. They establish that a U.S. citizen spouse or parent would experience extreme hardship if the individual is denied admission to the United States.

vi. They warrant a favorable exercise of discretion.

vii. They are 17 years or older at the time of filing an application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver.

Money does not grow on trees. We have to work hard for every dollar. As soon as our paycheck comes in, it seems to dissolve: We have to pay our mortgage, our car payments, credit card bills, and many other usual expenses. Our kids need new shoes or a new bike. To make a long story short: We work long hours to make money and then within minutes it fades away from our bank account. The average American does not even make enough money to cover all their expenses. The result is: DEBT. While you can eventually catch up with small amounts of debt by spending your tax returns or your bonus on it, the larger the debt, the harder it is to catch up on the payments. Have you considered Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy as an option? You can wipe out your debt quickly and start fresh. By filing for bankruptcy, you can get rid of your debt, stop the harassing calls from creditors and become debt free.

What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy? 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is designed to give you, the debtor a fresh start. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all dischargeable debts will be canceled. Creditors are prohibited from try-ing to collect any pre-bankruptcy debt in the future. Most people will also get to keep all of their property including their home in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

How it works 

pic5To find out whether you can cancel all of your debt under Chapter 7, you must first calculate your current monthly income. Then, you compare your monthly income to the average (median) income for a similarly sized household in California. If your monthly income is higher than the average income in California, the filing of the bankruptcy petition will be presumed to be an abuse of process unless you can show that you passed the means test. Median income figures are published at the U.S. Trustee’s website at www.usdoj.gov/ust. It is important to know the local rules and the controlling court decisions to avoid dismissal of your case. What constitutes income and what is an allowable expense varies to a certain degree from district to district and even from one judge to the other.

Examples of income include:

1. salary, wages, commissions, bonuses

2. gross income from a business

3. regular payments to you or to your dependents

4. workers’ compensation insurance

5. state disability insurance

6. rent, leases

7. retirement income

8. windfall payments e.g. lottery winnings

9. unemployment compensation

IRS allowable expenses 

Families, or individuals are given certain dollar amounts for allowed expenses. For example, food, clothing, rent, and car expenses are all determined by the IRS standards. These expenses change every year. To find out the most recent dollar amounts go to the U.S. Trustee Website listed above or call us at 415-291-9992. Michael Rinne, Bankruptcy Attorney

pic6Has US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied your application because of a mistake they committed? This happens all too often, and when it does, a costly and lengthy appeal may be your only recourse to correct their mistake. Fortunately, the federal government last week announced an expedited review of cases affected by administrative errors. For example, was your case denied because immigration accuses you of missing a fingerprinting appointment but you properly requested a date change? Do they accuse you of not responding to a request you never received, even though you properly notified them of your change of address? Now you or your attorney can call The National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5382 and request that an expedited service be created, saving you a lot of time and money. In 1989, the cost of an appeal was $50. In 2004, it was $382. Since 2010, the price has increased to $630.

The contest invites young adults ages 14-25 to explore the role that immigration plays in their lives and communities through photo/video essays. Projects should focus on celebrating America as a nation of immigrants and exploring immigration’s impact on our everyday lives. Your story and the way you tell it matter more than how sophisticated your technical abilities are. Entries should be no more than 5 minutes in length and will be judged on the basis of concept, originality, creativity, aesthetics, technical execution and relevance. There are first ($1,000), second ($500) and third place ($250) prizes! The deadline is 11:59 EST, October 31, 2012. For full details, email submissions@immcouncil.org

1 thought on “Newsletter Vol I #2”

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