By Reeves & Associates

The year 2013 is almost upon us and it is time to look forward and make plans for the upcoming year.  Will 2013 be the year you resolve your immigration problems?
Will 2013 be the year you consult an experienced and knowledgeable immigration firm about your immigration rights in the U.S.? The future for immigrants in the U.S. is full of hope.  Obtaining permanent resident status or becoming a U.S. citizen is a distinct possibility for many people.  However, too many people are afraid to confront their immigration problems and seek help.

Many of these people mistakenly believe that their case is hopeless because they entered the U.S. under an assumed name, or because they overstayed their allowable time in the U.S. by several years. Other people mistakenly believe they have no options because their U.S. citizen spouse has died, or they are simply afraid to apply for U. S. citizenship because of a prior criminal conviction.

Regardless of a person’s individual circumstances, what everybody has in common is that they have created a life for themselves in the U.S. and they want to continue that life. However, since problems don’t resolve themselves, continuing to live in the U.S. may only be possible if you confront your immigration problem.

The first step is to consult a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney. A good immigration lawyer will be able to tell the non-citizen what options are available to them. Relief is available for many immigration problems.  In fact, thanks to certain changes in 2012, more help is now available than it has been in many years.

One big developments in 2012 was the creation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is targeted to young people that were brought to the U.S. by their parents before they turned 16-years-old.

If a person qualifies for DACA, they will be entitled to deferred action and work authorization for two years. A second major change concerns the Child Status Protection Act (CPSA).  In an exciting victory  for Reeves & Associates and the members of the class action, the 9th Circuit, the court found that, under CSPA, derivative beneficiaries may recapture the earlier priority date of petitions filed for their parents.  This ruling holds great promise for the reunification of parents and children.

There are also many other immigration problem where relief may be available. Non-citizens who entered with a false name in their passport may be eligible for a waiver of that misrepresentation if they have a parent or spouse who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

The non-citizen must show that their parent and/or spouse will suffer “extreme hardship” if the non-citizen is forced to return to their home country. Another common problem occurs when some people obtain their green card by lying about their marital status.

Here, again, it may be possible to obtain a waiver if the  non-citizen has a parent, spouse, or son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.  They may be able to keep their green cards and even become U.S. citizens if they can show that they have more favorable than unfavorable facts in their case. Waivers are also available for both green card holders and those with no status who have criminal convictions.

However, you can’t receive any of these benefits if you don’t apply for them and you can’t apply for them if you don’t know they exist.  The only way to know if you qualify for an immigration benefit is to consult an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney. Hopefully 2013 will bring far reaching beneficial changes for immigrants.

But some immigrants need not need to wait any longer. Existing law may afford them an avenue for relief that will help them keep their resolution to resolve their immigration problem in 2013!

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