FAQs - US Immigration Law
In an effort to help you find as much information as possible, we have compiled some of our clients' most frequently asked questions. Feel free to browse through them and visit related pages for more detailed information.
Please note that some of the topics are closely related, so you might want to check different categories while looking for answers.
General Immigration Issues
When May Immigration Enter My Home?
Immigration officers may not enter your home unless they have “warrant.” A warrant is a document issued by a court or government agency. There are 2 types of warrant, one for when they are coming to arrest you, and another for when they have permission from a judge to search your home. (ICE) can issue arrest warrants, but only a court can issue a search warrant. Back to Immigration FAQs
Is There Anything I Can Do To Expedite My Case?
This is a question many people ask. In general, you can contact USCIS to ask them to expedite a case only if there is some type of extreme hardship, but this extreme hardship requirement is very difficult to meet. We have seen people with medical conditions on bed rest and USCIS still said that this was not sufficient to speed up the case. For those who have had immigration applications pending for a long time, over one or two years or in some very long cases even three years, a Writ of Mandamus may be filed. A Writ of Mandamus is a federal lawsuit filed against the Department of Homeland Security for basically not doing their job. Although it cannot be guaranteed that the case is going to be approved, but the Writ can almost guarantee that a decision will be made as to why the case is delayed. Back to Immigration FAQs
What Is A Master Calendar Hearing?
A master calendar hearing would be the equivalent of an arraignment, if it were criminal proceedings. In a master calendar hearing the judge will look at allegations and the charges of removability. They will want to know how you ended up in removal proceedings and what is your defense to deportation. If you do not present a form of relief or defense at your master calendar hearing it would be up to the judge to go ahead and issue an order of removal. If you do not attend, you are going to be ordered removed in absentia. Back to Immigration FAQs
Individual Calendar Hearing?
An individual calendar hearing is the trial. In an individual calendar hearing there will be testimony, evidence and legal arguments presented by the Department of Homeland Security’s trial attorney. You will be questioned by the trial attorney as well as the judge, and if you are represented, by your attorney as well, to determine whether or not you're eligible for relief. It is strongly recommended that you are also represented by an attorney. Back to Immigration FAQs
What Is A Merit Hearing?
A merit hearing is a proceeding where the judge, in most circumstances, will issue a final decision on your case on the merits of the facts presented. Back to Immigration FAQs
Adjustment Of Status
My I-485 Is Pending And My EAD (Work Permit) Card Is Expiring In A Week. I Applied For The Renewal A Bit Too Late, So It Is Not Going To Come By The Time The Old One Expires. My driver’s License Also Expires In A Week. Will I Be Able To Renew My Driver’s license?
Each state has their own guidelines for issuing driver's licenses. It is most likely you will need to wait for the new EAD However, if your application is based on an already approved I-130 for example, you may be OK. Check your State's acceptable documents table. The link for Florida’s acceptable documents is here. www.dmvflorida.org. Back to Immigration FAQs
My I-485 Is Pending And I Need To Renew My EAD. Do I Have To Pay The Tee For Renewal?
No fee is required, so long as the application for adjustment of status was filed after July 30, 2007. Back to Immigration FAQs
What Are The New EB-5 Program Changes Under The Final Rule Effective Date Of November 21, 2019?
- The standard minimum investment amount has increased to $1.8 million (from $1 million) to account for inflation.
- The minimum investment in a TEA has increased to $900,000 (from $500,000) to account for inflation.
- Future adjustments will also be tied to inflation (per the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U) and occur every 5 years.
How Can I Get A Copy Of I-797 For My Previously Filed H-1B When I Have A Case Receipt Number? I Filed My H-1B In June 2008 Through A Company In India. It Got Approved In The Lottery, But I Never Got My I-797 From Them. I Only Have My Receipt Number With Which I Can Track The Status On USCIS Website. Now My Current Employer Wants To Do My H1B For Which They Need The Old I-797. Can You Help Me Get A Copy Of My I-797? My H-1B Was Filed From VT Center.
You can make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. I would suggest filing a FOIA request with the USCIS and the DOS. It may be worthwhile to contact the previous petitioning company as well. Back to Immigration FAQs
I Would Like To Know When Is The Right Time To Apply Citizenship Again Because My First Application Was Denied Due To Lack Of Good Moral Character. I Was Given A Letter That I May Apply for An Appeal, But I Don't Have Money For The Application. How Long Should I Wait To Reapply?
One of the requirements of naturalization is a demonstration of good moral character. If the denial was based on criminal history which occurred prior to your application, but within 5 years of your application, you would need to wait 5 years from the date of your conviction. If the denial was based on a misrepresentation which occurred during the interview, you would need to wait 5 years from the interview date. It would be wise to consult with an attorney, to avoid any additional time or money waste. Also, please be advised some criminal history may make you removable. You would also want to have the attorney review this as well, prior to any application for citizenship. Best of luck next time! Back to Immigration FAQs
I Have Submitted My N400 Application More Than Five Weeks Ago. This Is My Second Time Applying. Will There Be A Fingerprint Appointment?
With COVID-19 USCIS was issuing notices stating that they will recapture fingerprints. If you received that notice then you will not have a fingerprint notice. If you haven't received it then you just need to wait until you receive your fingerprint application. Right now, it is taking four to six weeks for you to receive your receipts. You can expect your biometrics appointments to come later on after that. Your immigration attorney is not in control of when USCIS issues the receipts and they are often as frustrated as you are. If you haven't received a receipt notice within six weeks of USCIS accepting your money or your package you definitely want to call the customer service 1-800 number for USCIS. Back to Immigration FAQs
What Is A 601A Waiver?
A 601A waiver is basically a provisional waiver that you would apply here in the US, when you are about to travel to the consulate or the embassy to pick up your Immigrant Visa or your Green Card, after the interview has been scheduled. A 601A waiver waives the unlawful presence bar that you have accrued, so you won’t receive the 10-year bar. If you’re in this country and you’ve been here over one year, you know you’ve accrued unlawful presence for a year and if you depart the country, you have what is called a 10-year bar. So that’s essentially what this waiver would waive. This program started under the Obama administration. In the past, those who met this criteria were not eligible for adjustment, and if there was an immigrant visa available to them, they would have to go to their home country to apply for this waiver. Oftentimes, this resulted in being separated from their families for one to two years, and sometimes permanently, if their waivers are never approved. The provisional waiver allow people to wait inside the United States, without being separated from their families, and to travel for the appointment once it’s approved, for the sole reason of receiving their immigrant visa. The process takes about six months to a year. Back to Immigration FAQs
Writs Of Mandamus
What Is A Writ Of Mandamus?
A Writ of Mandamus is a lawsuit to force the U.S. Government to make a decision in your case. Usually you get a response within 60 days after filing a Writ of Mandamus. A Writ of Mandamus can be initiated when the case is outside of its normal processing time. Before initiating a writ of Mandamus, you should have a strong foundation showing that you have done everything you can possibly do, including having exhausted all the remedies
available to you, and that USCIS has delayed handling your case within the regular time-frame. This can be achieved documenting multiple inquiries to the USCIS, which take several months and even inquiries to your Congressional representative. You can even have an ombudsman, who would investigate your complaints about the reasons for the delay.
Mubarak Law has handled Writ of Mandamus for multiple clients, including some with cases stuck in administrative processing in an embassy abroad, like in Morocco. People can be stuck in this status for years. A lawsuit in a high court requires an additional investment, and not all attorneys are admitted to file lawsuits in your District Courts.
Contact Our Experienced Immigration Lawyer In Orlando
If you need help with any type of immigration matter or need additional information, please do not hesitate to call us today at (407) 502-3000. You may also fill out our online form and we will get back to you shortly. We have a 24-hour emergency service and can assist you in English, Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish.