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Section 13 immigration is an asylum alternative for diplomats. It allows people who entered the United States under diplomatic status to obtain a green card.  You must be able to establish the following: You entered the US as an A-1, A-2, G-1, or G-2 nonimmigrant. You failed to maintain this status. Your duties were diplomatic or semi-diplomatic. There are compelling reasons why you or your immediate family member are unable to return to the country which accredited you as a diplomat. Your adjustment of status would be in the national interest. You’re a person of good moral character. You’re admissible to the US for permanent residence. Your admission would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States. You must begin the process by filing Form I-485 and by submitting the appropriate evidence. Once your form I-485 is pending, you’ll be able to apply for work and travel authorization. What counts as a “compelling reason?” The conditions in your country must be such that you can’t return. An example might be an invasion that left you both homeless and stateless. In addition, you must prove the danger is specific to you and your family. USCIS will not accept general unrest as a reason to give you a green card. You must be able to provide supporting documentation that both conditions are true. Unlike many other asylum categories, you will not have to draw a line between the feared harm and being part of a protected racial, religious, social, or political group. You only need prove that the danger is specific to you and your family.  Furthermore, those unsafe conditions must not have existed before your tour in the United States began. Section 13 is essentially for diplomats who have become stranded in the United States as a result of extraordinary circumstances back home.  Get Help Today While this all may sound straightforward enough, Section 13 denials are far more common than Section 13 approvals. Working closely with an experienced immigration attorney can help improve your chances of receiving a green card. We know how to present your case in such a way as to give it the very best chance of succeeding. We may also be able to identify additional visa categories that you might qualify for, which will open up your options if the Section 13 application seems like a long shot. You should never try to handle an immigration case alone. Reach out to our office to schedule a case review today.  See also: Can You Appeal Your Immigration Decision?  What’s the Difference Between an Asylum and a Refugee? What Happens When You Make Errors on Your Immigration Paperwork?   
Foreign entrepreneurs who can demonstrate that their stay in the United States will result in a significant public benefit may seek International Entrepreneur Parole. This program, which has been available since January of 2017, offers a path forward for foreign entrepreneurs who may wish to start a business here in the United States, or to expand an existing business venture. This program does not offer a path to a green card. It simply allows the foreign entrepreneur to stay in the United States. However, the lack of a green card will not stop you from conducting your business activities. How long does International Entrepreneur Parole last? The initial stay is 30 months, but you may apply to extend your parole. An extension lasts for another thirty months, to a maximum of five years.  The IEP program is not the same as an entrepreneur visa. It is a different program. There is no “start-up” visa in the United States, though you might find such programs in other countries.  If you are seeking a more permanent path into the United States a different program might be a better choice. Speak with our office to determine which program you should ultimately be applying under. Who is eligible for IEP?  To be eligible you must: Play an active, important role in a start-up in which you have at least 10% of an ownership interest. Apply for a business that was started in the United States within five years of your application. Play a significant role in any successes the business has had to date. Provide evidence that the start up provides significant public benefit through qualified investors making a minimum investment of $250,000 or through federal, state, or local government bodies offering $100,000 or more in government grants or awards. Your start up produces new jobs and is growing fast.  To apply, you must fill out a packet of applications, including Form I-941, Form I-131, Form I-765, and Form I-9. You should also provide relevant evidence to back up claims being made on each of these forms.  You may bring your spouse and children to the United States on an IEP, so long as you can prove that they share these relationships with you. Your spouse may apply for employment authorization as well.  Get Help Today It’s not easy to get an IEP application approved. If you’re serious about growing a business here in the United States, then you will need help from a qualified immigration lawyer. Reach out to our office to schedule a case review today. See also: What Happens When You Make Errors on Your Immigration Paperwork?  What is the Foreign Entrepreneurs Program?  Do Immigrants Have to Pay Taxes?
Customs and border officials have begun asking travelers about “termination of pregnancy.” Customs and Border Protection said that agents acted properly in their interactions with her.  Customs and Border Control (CBP) says they collect medical information from all travelers in their custody in regards to their medical issues. This includes pregnancy, postpartum, and termination of pregnancy information. They say they are doing this to protect the health and wellbeing of anyone under their custody.  A strange claim, given people often are unable to obtain adequate health care while in CBP custody, especially adequate reproductive health care.  According to CBP, the correct terminology is pregnancy loss, not termination of pregnancy. Pregnancy loss is defined as a stillbirth or miscarriage. There are no questions about abortion on the actual paper questionnaire. If you find yourself in this situation, you can answer, “I have never experienced a pregnancy loss,” if that is the truth. Word it in just that way, and you’ll be on the right side of the question whether you ever had an abortion in your home country or not.  The Australian tourist who made the news for this question was pulled aside in a Los Angeles airport on the grounds that she was seeking illegal employment. She wasn’t even staying in the United States. She was flying on to Canada, which makes the fact that she was singled out somewhat baffling.  Abortion is legal in Australia and in Canada. It is legal in California, where the tourist landed.  All immigration officials have the right to ask about illegal behavior. As of this writing, abortion is not illegal at the federal level. Immigration is a federal matter, not a state-level matter.  At this time, pursuing a legal abortion in your own home country should be no barrier to entry. However, if you are visiting a state or residing in a state where pursuing an abortion is illegal you could be arrested and deported on the grounds that you broke the law. In addition, some immigration officials may use an abortion to claim you don’t have the “good moral character” required for some immigration benefits. In today’s political climate, it is very wise to consult with an immigration lawyer if you have an abortion somewhere in your past. We can help you manage issues of disclosure, and manage the impact that past abortions could have on your immigration case. If you are already in the midst of an immigraiton case, you should consult with your immigration lawyer before seeking an abortion in the United States.  See also:  Can You Appeal Your Immigration Decision?  What Happens When You Make Errors on Your Immigration Paperwork How a Dismissed Criminal Charge Can Impact Your Immigration Case 
Immigration scams are very common. They not only waste your money, but at times they ruin your ability to come to the United States, or to stay here. It is vital for you to know exactly what scams are out there.  Here are the most common sorts of scams, as well as the ways that you can spot them and avoid them. Fake Government Websites Fake government websites may give you incorrect information, or ask you for money to get forms you could get for free. Look for the .gov extension before assuming any website is affiliated with the United States government.  Notarios In the United States, a notary public, serves as an impartial witness to the signing of certain documents. They have a seal that they can use to show that they are licensed notaries and that they performed this function. They have no authority to help you with any immigration matter.  This scam often works because in some Latin American countries a notario publico is an actual attorney with real legal credentials. That doesn’t mean that any American-based notary is going to be able to help you with your immigration case.  USCIS, Homeland Security, and ICE Phone Scams The US Government doesn’t call anyone. They send official notices through the mail. They never accuse you of violating the law over the phone, and they never demand money over the phone.  If anyone calls you claiming to be from any of these organizations, just hang up. Don’t talk to them and don’t give them the opportunity to let you start doubting whether or not you’re in trouble.  Remember, scammers can make the caller ID say anything they want: you shouldn’t trust these calls even if it looks like they’re calling from an official number.  Visa Lottery Scams The State Department doesn’t send emails when you win the visa lottery. The visa lottery program is also free.  The best place to learn how to enter the lottery is here, on the State Department website.  Guaranteed Outcome Scams No service, no provider, and no immigration lawyer can guarantee a positive outcome for your immigration case. Immigration is extremely complex. Laws and policies shift constantly, and small issues can trip you right up.  The only thing anyone can ever do is give you a good chance at succeeding with your chosen immigration route. If anyone says anything else, you should steer clear.  Other Signs of Scams There are a few more signs that the person you are working with may be trying to scam you. They don’t have an address here in the United States, or there’s a mismatch between the address they give you and the business that comes up on Google.  They talk about price, not services.  They ask you to pay for any immigration forms. All immigration forms are available, for free, online. At most, you might have to pay to print the forms out. This usually costs a couple of dollars, no more.  They promise they can make the immigration process move faster. While we’d all like that, nothing makes the immigration process move any faster.  Remember, if something seems too good to be true or doesn’t feel right, you should probably walk away.  Get Help from an Experienced Immigration Lawyer Working with an immigration attorney can shield you or your loved one from all of these scams. With a lawyer helping you with your case, you know you’re choosing the right forms and providing the right evidence. You’ll know you’re only paying what you absolutely need to pay in order to process your immigration case. If there are problems with your case, you’ll know you’re requesting the right waivers or are taking the right steps to reduce the impact of those problems. Don’t try to handle immigration on your own. Reach out to our office to get help today. See also: Can You Appeal Your Immigration Decision?  5 Mistakes Couples Make When Applying for a Green Card  What Happens When You Make Errors on Your Immigration Paperwork? 
The Uniting for Ukraine program provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who have fled the Ukraine to stay in the United States for a two-year parole period. Participants must have resided in Ukraine immediately prior to the Russian invasion and must have been displaced as a result of the invasion and must prove they are either a Ukrainian citizen or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen. They must also clear biographic and biometric security checks.  Ukrainian citizens who were already present in the United States and who cannot go home as a result of the invasion may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status, instead.  Each participant must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide financial support for the duration of their stay. This means they will provide safe and appropriate housing for the duration of their parole and initial basic necessities, help them complete necessary paperwork for employment authorization, a Social Security card, and services, meet their health care and health insurance needs, and assist them in accessing education, learning English, securing employment, and enrolling children in school. Supporters must file an I-134 on behalf of their beneficiary. This month, the Department of Homeland Security updated vaccination requirements. All beneficiaries aged six months and older must have proof that they received Covid-19 vaccinations prior to traveling to the United States and after arriving to the United States, unless they qualify for an exception. Previously all beneficiaries younger than age 5 qualified for an exception because the vaccine was not approved for children that young. On June 18, 2022 the CDC began recommending vaccines for children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years. Last month, DHS extended the time that beneficiaries had to attest their compliance for the medical screening and vaccinations, giving them 90 days after their arrival to complete their attestations of vaccination. Attestation is a condition of parole. DHS also requires medical screenings for tuberculosis.  If you have come to the United States under the Uniting for Ukraine program, you can upload your proof of vaccination to your USCIS online account.  Vaccines are still free in most places. You can use this link to find a location here in New York City.  If you are sponsoring a Ukrainian citizen reach out to our law office. Once they’ve been accepted there’s a multistep process that involves securing employment authorization and obtaining documentation. We can help the entire process move a lot more smoothly and can ensure that you get to help the person you’re trying to help. See also:  What’s the Difference Between an Asylum Seeker and a Refugee? Immigrating to the United States from Ukraine  How to Strengthen Your Asylum Case