Now is Not the Time to Be Afraid

by W. John Vandenberg

“Don’t be afraid, John.”  That’s what a friend and client told me recently when she saw I was worried .  And I needed to hear those words.  It’s been a tough couple of weeks.  It’s been a tough few months.  And a tough several years, now that I think about it.  But she was right – now is not the time to be afraid.  Now is the time to be thoughtful, persistent, and bold.    

The “American carnage” spoken of by President Trump in his inauguration speech never described the America I know, I love, I fought for, and I believe in.  But carnage does accurately describe what is happening right now to America’s rich history of welcoming immigrants and benefiting from immigrants’ experience, education, and work ethic.  The Trump Administration is using every means at its disposal to delay, discourage, and deny immigrants a fair shot at making the United States their home. 

The list of changes – real changes – this Administration has made to the immigrant story in America is longer than most of us would believe. Here’s an incomplete list: 

  • Issuing a Presidential Proclamation on April 22, 2020 to ban issuance of new immigrant visas for 60 days.  The Proclamation keeps the door open for additional restrictions in 60 days (see below).  Members of Congress are pushing the President to make additional bars, including OPT for foreign students and EB-5 immigrant investors.
  • And now we have the Presidential Proclamation of June 22, 2020, which indeed enlarges the ban to cover H-1B‘s, L-1‘s, and H-2B‘s. These are work visas – work visas that U.S. companies use to innovate and propel the American economy forward.
  • The Muslim ban, which continues to bar legal immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Syria.  It was recently expanded to even more immigrants of color, many of them Muslims, including Sudan, Nigeria, and Eritrea.  This blanket ban prevents parents and children from reuniting – breaking families every day.
  • Imposing a “wealth test” on immigrants seeking to become U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents.  The new I-944 form places a major burden on families, increasing the time and expense to apply for a greencard, and discouraging families from even applying for loved ones because the rules are vague and difficult to understand. 
  • Vastly increasing the number of denials of work visas to immigrants already in the United States.  From 2015 to 2017, denial rates of H-1B visas never went above 8%.  And why would they?  These applicants all have at least a bachelors degree or the equivalent, they are sponsored by U.S. companies that need them, and many earned degrees at U.S. universities.  But the Trump Administration has quietly rewritten the rules, giving no deference to previously-approved petitions, issuing Requests for Additional Evidence with little support in the law, thereby raising the denial rate to 32% in early 2019.  These are the workers who power our economy, the workers who create jobs (some good news here – after getting thoroughly trounced in the Federal Courts, USCIS has rescinded the Memorandums it used to reach these denial rates – we’ll see what happens next).
  • Slowing the adjudication of applications for green cards and U.S. citizenship.  The USCIS changed its policy and made interviews mandatory for employment-based immigrants.  This increased USCIS’ greencard backlog more than 35%.  And is actively delaying greencards for families and workers, not to mention delaying citizenship
  • Actively eroding the Immigration Court system’s integrity.  The attack on the Immigration Court system is especially brutal.  Setting case quotas for immigration judges.  Hiring immigration judges with no experience in immigration law.  Hiring Appellate Judges based on their high denial rate for asylum, even when those Judges have a history of formal complaints against them.  Using the Attorney General certification process to erode protections for asylum seekers who are victims of domestic or gang violence.  Removing Immigration Judges from cases where the agency believes they will not make the predetermined decision they want. And raising fees for appeals to rates not even applied by the U.S. appellate courts, thereby seeking to choke off appeals before they are even filed. This attack on Due Process – a right guaranteed by the 5th Amendment – is an attack on justice itself.

And there are more.  Literally, too many to list in this blog post.  It’s easy to feel despair.  But despair is not the answer.

The answer, as long as there have been immigrants seeking to come to America, is “don’t be afraid.”  And Immigration Attorneys’ role in pushing back has never been more important. We must use every ounce of our skill, knowledge, experience, and devotion to keep their clients here and ultimately successful. 

Don’t be afraid to litigate every case.  Immigration attorneys are powerful.  We win cases in courts where judges are weak, the government is strong, and our clients are presumed guilty.  Litigation in immigration court was once described as trying to operate on a patient with an assassin in the room.  To win, we must be agile, resourceful, and persistent, using our knowledge, experience, and wits to find solutions that win cases for our clients.  We have to do so even in these times when Due Process, and the Rule of Law, is being actively corroded from the top.  We, as attorneys, must have the courage to fight the cases.  And to be there by our clients’ side when the judge grants their case, or orders them deported – effectively banished from family, friends, and businesses they have often worked for decades to build.  To litigate these cases makes us stronger.  We must remember that government or immigration judges don’t sit beside a client who broke down in tears preparing for trial, who developed blisters on their face and hands from anxiety over recounting the reason they fled their home country.  We do.  And that makes us better attorneys, because we understand what is at stake, even though over time we are ourselves traumatized by it.  Don’t be afraid.  Be a litigator.

Don’t be afraid to use all the tools at your disposal.  Immigration Law is not fair.  It was never fair.  I draw inspiration from HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.  In 1917, the U.S. Congress passed the Literacy Act, and this was quickly followed by the Immigration Act of 1924 which set harsh and unfair quotas intended to restrict immigration.  These restrictive measures led to many deportations from Ellis Island.  HIAS didn’t give up.  They went toward the fight, and even set up their own office on Ellis Island.  HIAS provided translation services, guided immigrants through screenings, lent them the $25 landing fee, obtained bond for others guaranteeing employable status, and argued before Boards of Special Enquiry to prevent deportations.  Between 1909 and 1919, HIAS interceded with 28,884 immigrants detained for a Board of Special Enquiry; they won 22,780 and lost 6,104 cases.  That means they lost more than a fifth of their cases.  But because they were not afraid to fight, they ultimately saved 22,780 souls – souls who built families and businesses and lives in the United States. The success of HIAS during a period of time very similar to the one we are living in now shows how valuable attorneys can be to the immigrants we serve.  We know the law – and the regulations, cases, memoranda, and operating instructions that control USCIS and the immigration courts.  We know how to enlist the help of Senators and Representatives for assistance moving a case toward completion.  And we know how to draft, file, and argue for assistance from Federal Courts, including Petitions for Writs of Mandamus, Petitions for Writs of Habeas Corpus, and Complaints for a Declaratory and Injunctive Relief. It is our responsibility to use all the tools we have to defend and advance the interests of our clients.   

Don’t be afraid to file applications.  The Trump Administration has made a concerted effort to kill legal immigration by all the means at its disposal.  An egregious example discussed above is he I-944, which has placed a great burden on families seeking to stay together and reunite.  As noted above, the requirements of the I-944 require extensive documentation, far more than required before, and more than is necessary to demonstrate sufficiency, and has been described as “an administrative strip search.”  The purpose of this form, clearly, is to dishearten, confuse, and intimidate immigrants seeking to file applications for their relatives and loved ones, as well as to make it more difficult for employment-based immigrants to complete the greencard process.  Again, don’t be afraid.  Remember that the adjudication of these forms is complex, and officers must weigh potentially unlimited factors to determine whether the applicant is or is likely to become a public charge.  That means it remains a gray area – the area where attorneys do our best work, because the answer can be what our clients need it to be.  Gray areas invite persuasion, and if that doesn’t work, litigation. Make a good faith effort, follow the law, and file the applications.  If we don’t file, the answer is always “no.”  That’s exactly what this Administration wants.  Don’t be afraid. 

Don’t be afraid to try again.  And again.  And again.  Because keeping our clients here in the United States is more than half the battle.  As immigration lawyers, we understand that Immigration Law changes every day, whether through memoranda, court decisions, or even a tip you learned from a USCIS officer at an interview. A client with an unwaivable ground of inadmissibility on Wednesday may be saved by a Board of Immigration Appeals decision on Thursday (I literally had this happen to several lucky clients when Matter of Arrabally was issued, drastically changing the consequences of traveling on Advance Parole).  A retired Chief of Cardiology at a prestigious hospital once confessed to me that as a young immigrant from Turkey he had been ordered deported.  But he had an excellent immigration attorney who obtained then-available “indefinite voluntary departure.”  The future physician managed to find relief while on indefinite voluntary departure, was granted a greencard, went to medical school, and no doubt saved thousands of American lives during his career.  It took persistence and grit for your client to get to the United States.  We have to show those same qualities as we advocate for our clients, because many of them, even most, they will eventually obtain legal status if they are here long enough.  Don’t be afraid.

Of course, there is a difference between being bold and being reckless. This Administration has made mistakes costly. For example, it moved to refer unsuccessful applicants for benefits to the Immigration Courts for removal (previously known as “deportation”) proceedings. This includes when an applicant for a U visa (victim of crime) and victims of domestic violence seeking VAWA (“Violence Against Women Act”) protection. Careful consideration must be given to weighing benefits against risks. Attorneys know this area well – risk management and mistake avoidance are the cornerstones of a good legal education. And we have an important role to play for our clients, because a good immigration attorney knows how all the parts of immigration work. As one former INS spokeswoman, Karen Kraushaar, stated in 2001, “”Immigration law is a mystery and a mastery of obfuscation, and the lawyers who can figure it out are worth their weight in gold.” There are no perfect lawyers (or perfect physicians, for that matter). But proficiency, passion, persistence, and experience can make all the difference in the decisions that we and our clients take.

In sum, the Trump Administration is far from finished in its crusade to delay, deny, and stop immigrants from making the United States their home. Their plan is well underway, and they are working furiously to implement as many changes as they can under the cover of COVID-19 and unemployment. Immigrants desperately need excellent immigration attorneys. Now, 110 years after HIAS opened its office on Ellis Island, it is time for immigration attorneys to step forward for our clients. Now is the time to push back and advocate for our immigrant clients and their families. Whether an immigrant investor or a victim of gang violence, our clients have already risked their education, their livelihood, and often their lives to join each of us in building America into a unique country that rewards ambition, investment, competition, and risk-taking to constantly improve and re-invent itself. Don’t be afraid.

If you need legal advice, or would like to review your immigration options, please contact our office at (610) 664-6271 or visit our website to schedule a consultation. 

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.  Readers of this blog should contact our office or their own attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.  No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.  Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, user, or browser and the law firm of Hogan & Vandenberg or its employees. 

Этот кризис пройдет- изменения Трампа будут длиться дольше.

У.Джон Ванденберг.

” Кризис пройдёт “.  Эти слова, которые я слышу снова и снова в сообществе, и это правда.  Однако во время COVID-19 в иммиграции произошло много изменений, которые влияют на сообщество, и эти изменения, вероятно, будут длиться дольше, чем пандемия.
Во-первых, все офисы USCIS закрыты, по крайней мере, до 4 июня, поэтому не нужно проводить собеседования по поводу гринкарт или натурализации.  Посольства и консульства также закрыты, поэтому никто не получает визу.  Иммиграционные суды по неподдерживаемым делам также закрыты, что для некоторых иммигрантов является хорошей новостью, но для других это означает, что они будут ждать месяцы или даже годы слушания.  Все будет перенесено, конечно.  До этого момента все в ожидании.
Во-вторых, USCIS теперь требует форму I-944 Декларации о самодостаточности для всех корректировок.  Это огромное изменение.  Раньше спонсору необходимо было предоставить только Аффидевит о поддержке I-864 членам их семей.  Теперь, с I-944, USCIS добавил огромное бремя времени и документации, требуя налоговые справки для членов семьи, полисы медицинского страхования, подтверждение текущего дохода, предыдущую историю занятости, кредитный рейтинг и отчет для иммигранта, подтверждение знания английского языка, образование и многое другое для доказательства того, что иммигрант не станет «лицом, находящемся на государственном содержании ».
В-третьих, администрация Трампа использует пандемию COVID-19 медленно и даже останавливает легальную иммиграцию.  Президентская Прокламация от 22 апреля – это только начало.  В настоящее время это касается только иммигрантов за рубежом, которые не имеют иммиграционной визы.  Прокламация явно не о защите американских рабочих;  Как сохранить работу родителям и родным братьям и сестрам граждан США, а также супругам и детям законных постоянных жителей.  И помните, президент Трамп сказал, что он собирается принять дополнительные меры через 60 дней.  И он, безусловно, будет.
Но сейчас не время бояться.  Сейчас настало время быть стойкими, продолжать подавать заявки и работать разумно.  Несмотря на то, что офисы USCIS закрыты, сервисные центры USCIS все еще работают, выдают рабочие карточки и обрабатывают дела.  Для иммигрантов, которые беспокоились о своем дне в суде, могут быть поданы ходатайства о переносе перенесенных слушаний на более раннюю дату.  Иммигранты со слабыми случаями получили время, чтобы построить более сильное дело, или надеяться на благоприятное изменение в законе или даже на нового, более доброго президента.  Что касается I-944, наш офис уже подает их, и сейчас самое время это сделать.  Сотрудники USCIS все еще учатся выносить решения по этим формам, поэтому они, вероятно, не будут судить слишком сурово, и ранние кандидаты смогут лучше аргументировать свою позицию.  И для Прокламации, будучи смелым будут платить дивиденды.  С учетом того, что администрация Трампа планирует запретить дополнительные классы иммигрантов и неиммигрантов в течение следующих нескольких месяцев, чем раньше будут поданы заявки, тем лучше.
В это время перемен и неопределенности наш офис здесь, чтобы помочь.  Мы по-прежнему планируем консультации по Whatsapp, Facetime, Skype и телефону.  И как только наш офис будет вновь открыт, мы не можем дождаться, чтобы снова увидеть наших нынешних и будущих клиентов и представить вас в вашем иммиграционном путешествии.
Если вам нужна юридическая консультация или вы хотите пересмотреть варианты иммиграции, свяжитесь с нашим офисом по телефону (484) 506-8419, чтобы назначить консультацию.
Информация, представленная на этом сайте, не является юридической консультацией и не предназначена для нее;  Вместо этого вся информация, контент и материалы, доступные на этом сайте, предназначены только для общих информационных целей.  Информация на этом сайте может не являться самой актуальной юридической или другой информацией.  Читатели этого блога должны связаться с нашим офисом или своим собственным адвокатом, чтобы получить совет относительно любого конкретного юридического вопроса.  Ни один читатель, пользователь или браузер этого сайта не должен действовать или воздерживаться от действий на основании информации, представленной на этом сайте, без предварительной консультации с юристом в соответствующей юрисдикции.  Только ваш индивидуальный адвокат может предоставить гарантии того, что информация, содержащаяся в данном документе, – и ваше толкование – применима или соответствует вашей конкретной ситуации.  Использование и доступ к этому веб-сайту или любым ссылкам или ресурсам, содержащимся на сайте, не создают отношений между адвокатом и клиентом между читателем, пользователем или браузером и юридической фирмой Hogan & Vandenberg или ее сотрудниками.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform? What can I do?

There is a way you can do something!  The American Immigration Lawyers Association website has a great tool for communicating with your Senator or Representative.  Go here, put in your zip code, and find out a lot of great information about those who represent you!  You can see a lot of great information, including how they have voted in the past on immigration legislation, and also useful background data like the schools they attended.

So now you can keep up to date, and let your opinion be heard!

 

 

Provisional Waivers — What is “Extreme Hardship?”

W. John Yahya Vandenberg, Esq.

In our previous post we dealt with Provisional Waivers.  So our readers should have a pretty good idea of who may qualify to file one; if you don’t, our article and the fact sheet from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (“USCIS”) can be found here.

But the next issue with Provisional Waivers, if you meet the criteria to file one, is that the immigrant has to show “extreme hardship.”  Now, what is “extreme hardship?”  That’s a legal matter, and if you haven’t made up your mind to get a good, experienced immigration attorney to help you, I hope this article will encourage you to do so.

Here’s why: “extreme hardship” in the case of Provisional Waivers will only accept “extreme hardship” to the U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (a greencard holder, also called an “LPR”) spouse or parent of the immigrant.  That means that if the immigrant needing a Provisional Waiver is the single mother of 10 U.S. citizen children, and her parents have died, she is not going to be able to get a Provisional Waiver no matter how sorry the USCIS officer feels for her.  Hardship to the immigrant his or herself doesn’t count; USCIS generally just doesn’t care, at least for the purposes of a waiver.  And hardship to U.S. citizen or LPR children doesn’t count directly, either.  Bottom line: no U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or parent, no Provisional Waiver.

Now, if the immigrant does have a qualifying relative – a U.S. Citizen or LPR spouse or parent, they get to the next step: a chance to demonstrate that if they leave the qualifying relative in the USA alone, or the qualifying relative relocates to the foreign country, the qualifying relative will experience “extreme hardship.”

What is extreme hardship?  That’s a nebulous term that is more often determined by what it’s not.  The USCIS is quick to point out that extreme hardship is not “the normal hardship” that one would expect a spouse or parent to experience if the immigrant doesn’t get the waiver.  “Normal hardship” is generally viewed by USCIS as economic disadvantage, inability to maintain one’s present standard of living, separation from family members, or cultural readjustment.  These “normal hardships” alone won’t generally constitute “extreme hardship.”

Helpfully, we do have some guidance on the factors that can show “extreme hardship.”  The classic analysis for “extreme hardship” is set out in the precedential case Matter of Cervantes-Gonzales.  There, the Board of Immigration Appeals set out the standards taken into account.  They are:

1)      If the immigrant has U.S. citizen or LPR family members, and how many;

2)      The qualifying relative’s family ties outside the United States;

3)      The country conditions where the qualifying relative would have to relocate, and their ties to that country, if any;

4)      The financial impact that the qualifying relative and/or the immigrant’s departure from the United States will cause;

5)      Significant conditions of health in the qualifying relative, particularly when tied to the unavailability of suitable medical care in the foreign country.

This list is not exhaustive, but it’s where the USCIS will start when analyzing an I-601A Provisional Waiver application seeking approval based on “extreme hardship.”  Not all of the factors have to be in the immigrant’s favor to get an approval, and the list is not all-inclusive.

It is also good to keep in mind that the above factors, and others, can also demonstrate “extreme hardship” when they are taken in the aggregate.  So there is a “totality” of the factors that is taken into account.  This means even though the qualifying relative may not have any one big, serious hardship, if they can show a lot of lesser ones, they may still meet the “extreme hardship” standard.

So what do you do, Mr. Vandenberg, when someone asks us if they qualify for a Provisional Waiver?  Well, the first thing we do is run through the qualifying factors we write about above.  Does the immigrant meet the qualifications for a Provisional Waiver?  If yes, we move to the next question: does the immigrant have one or more “qualifying relatives?”  If yes, then we go through the Cervantes Gonzales factors above.  We also have our own checklist, and here’s what I’ll be particularly interested in:

1)      If the immigrant has U.S. citizen or LPR relatives in the USA, how many do they have?  Are they all, or are many of them, willing to write a letter about how much the immigrant means to them and the qualifying relative(s)?

2)      What kind of health problems – physical, mental, emotional – do the immigrants’ relatives have?  Remember also that the qualifying relative doesn’t necessarily have to have a health problem.  The problem could be of someone who is not a qualifying relative, but someone the qualifying relative must care for.  For example, an immigrant’s wife may have to care for her ailing and elderly parent.  Or their sick child, or child who has autism or a learning disability.  And I’ll need to research if that condition be adequately treated in the foreign country.  This factor can provide very strong support for a waiver if the illness is serious and supported by trustworthy evidence.

3)      What does the qualifying relative do for the community?  Is the qualifying relative a nurse?  A social worker?  Someone who volunteers their time for their mosque or church or synagogue, or a local community organization? This is viewed very positively by USCIS, and also demonstrates the loss to the community if the waiver is not granted and the qualifying relative relocates to the foreign country.  And if the immigrant themselves is an integral part of the community it can at least be considered as a matter of discretion by USCIS.

4)      What are the education and/or career disruptions to the qualifying relative?  This can also be very powerful for demonstrating “extreme hardship.”  We might be able to argue that the if qualifying relative is without the immigrant, they will neither be able to complete a degree they are working on, nor be able to complete it in the foreign country because of language, cultural, or equivalency issues.  Or perhaps their degree or experience is only useful in the United States, no they would be unable to obtain meaningful work in the foreign country.

5)      Would there be serious financial problems caused by leaving the USA to be with the immigrant, or staying here alone?  Is a mortgage going to go into default?  Is the family going to lose their car or apartment?  Will a spouse or child have to drop out of school to help the family support itself?  While merely having to change a standard of living is not usually “extreme hardship,” losing a home or significant property or assets would likely rise to extreme hardship.

6)      What are social or cultural conditions like in the home country for the qualifying relative?   Is sexual harassment in the workplace rampant and generally accepted?  Are female students given the same chance to attend school and succeed as male students?  Would the qualifying relative be able to function if they don’t speak the language?

7)      What are the political conditions?  Is it a real possibility that if the qualifying relative relocates to the foreign country they could be targeted for political violence?  Is there a difference of religion, or a danger just in being identifiably an “American?”

Once we have the answers to these questions – and usually many more that come about because of the immigrants’ answers – we’re ready to move on to the hard work: proving it.

You can’t just fill out an I-601 form, pay the fee, and send in a letter that the qualifying relatives are really going to miss the immigrant.  A good, successful waiver application is a mix of “subjective” and “objective” evidence.  The affidavits (sworn statements) of the qualifying relative(s), other family members, witnesses, and professionals serve as a type of evidence, and help the USCIS understand the documentation.  The words in an affidavit may be personal views, but even so they can be taken into account.  The key to making those affidavits truly work as persuasive evidence is to accompany them with good quality evidence.

Talk is cheap when it comes to waivers.  USCIS officers have read more than a few exaggerations or even outright lies, so they can be skeptical.  To get an approval, the immigrant is going to have to prove each and every hardship.  Does the qualifying relative have a medical problem or disability?  USCIS wants to see the medical records and a detailed letter from the physician.  Your house is going to be foreclosed without the immigrant’s income? USCIS is going to have to see the mortgage paperwork, details of all your bills and income, and exactly how much money comes in and where it goes.  Qualifying relative suffers from depression?  USCIS will generally only give real weight to proof that shows that depression has been present over a longer term, and a one-time visit to a psychologist who you paid for an “evaluation” is unlikely to be trusted.

And a word to everyone here about proof.  USCIS officers are by and large good folks.  They believe in doing the right thing.  They are good at what they do, and don’t like it when applicants treat them as if they are foolish or gullible.  The USCIS officers believe, like most everyone else, that honesty is the best policy.  ALWAYS be truthful in everything you tell or submit to immigration, and to your lawyer for that matter.  If any lawyer ever asks you to lie about something, or they tell a lie, then immediately go to someone else.  Lying does not have any part in the immigration process, including waivers.  If you can’t tell the truth, you shouldn’t be submitting anything to USCIS or any other government agency for that matter.  And if your lawyer can’t give you a good chance of success by telling the truth, that means they are a bad lawyer, or just a crook who’s only after your money. To learn more about these crooks, the damage they cause, and how to spot them, go to the AILA’s Stop Notario Fraud website.

We are well aware that waivers are difficult.  We have had success with our waivers both locally and overseas.  Here is an I-601 Waiver Grant for Unlawful Presence by the AAO that we won; it shows how an actual USCIS adjudicator examined extreme hardship in a real case.  Our client, from El Salvador, was on Temporary Protected Status.  His wife is a U.S. citizen.  In order to get his greencard, he traveled back to El Salvador and came back for his adjustment of status (greencard) interview.  This exit and re-entry using Advance Parole made him eligible for Adjustment of Status, but triggered the 10 year bar due to unlawful presence (note that today, after Matter of Arabally and Yerrabelly was issued on April 17, 2012, that one brief, casual, and innocent trip abroad wouldn’t be a problem).  USCIS Philadelphia denied his greencard, saying he didn’t show “extreme hardship.”  We disagreed, so we appealed it to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office.  After a long wait, the Administrative Appeals Office sided with us, found extreme hardship, and sent the file back to Philadelphia.  Today, our client has his greencard because we showed extreme hardship in his case.

The Provisional Waiver program is trickier than the above client’s case.  For starters, there is no appeal if your Provisional Waiver is denied.  If you are denied, you are not eligible any more for the program.  You would at that point be stuck with the regular processing as it is now – meaning a long wait in the foreign country, if you still wished to proceed.

The bottom line: if you believe you or someone you know qualifies for the Provisional Waiver program, contact us and let’s sit down for a consultation.  We have coloring books for your children, my office is quiet, and we can see if the Provisional Waiver program works for you.  If you only speak Spanish, or Portuguese, or French, or Arabic, or Urdu, we have translators on staff.  The Provisional Waiver program is one of the most significant USCIS policy changes in a decade, and it’s important to utilize its full, humanitarian use.  However, even if you or your loved one do not qualify, a consultation is still a good idea.  There may be other options that we can explore; perhaps a waiver isn’t even necessary, or there is a better option.  Or my advice may be to just wait and see what happens next; Comprehensive Immigration Reform may be coming, and if it is, it will help even more families stay strong together.