Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Immigration News and Questions

By Atty Beverly Byrd

Question:  Thank you for your column Attorney Byrd.  My wife and I read it every week.  I would like to know if I can file for naturalization, or U.S. citizenship, if my green card is expired?  Kind regards, Ernesto.
Answer:  Thank you for your question Ernesto.  The answer is no.  USCIS requires that your permanent resident card have at least six months validity left on the card for you to file for naturalization.  You should first file to renew your permanent resident card and obtain a temporary permanent resident stamp in your passport from USCIS
Question:  I am a non-conditional lawful permanent resident and my green card expired last month.  I have filed an I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  I am awaiting the arrival of my new card.  My employer wants to re-verify my employment and will not accept my expired card as evidence that I am a legal permanent resident.  I do not have any other proof of residence.  What can I do?
Answer:  The fact that your permanent resident card is expired does not mean you are no longer a lawful permanent resident.  The card may be expired, but your lawful permanent residence status is not expired.
You can show your employer the I-90 receipt saying that you have filed to replace your card.  You can also make an appointment with the nearest USCIS office and ask them to stamp your passport with temporary evidence of lawful permanent residence, or you can ask the USCIS office to put an extension sticker on your expired permanent resident card, then show the passport or card to your employer.
The American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) has conducted preliminary research to determine how local ICE offices and Chief Counsel offices have been implementing the new Obama Administration’s enforcement priorities and whether they have been granting requests for prosecutorial discretion.  It appears that many offices are moving forward with business as usual, and are making no attempts to review cases to determine which might be administratively closed.  
In San Francisco, the Chief Counsel’s office (government attorney) has a policy to contest Motions to Continue for those in deportation proceedings in order to await a decision for prosecutorial discretion from the Chief Counsel’s office.  It would be up to the immigration judge to grant or deny the request.  This means that if one plans to ask for prosecutorial discretion and close their case, that it should be done as soon as possible before the next court hearing in order for the government to decide the motion.  Seek a competent immigration attorney to further explain requests for prosecutorial discretion and how you might benefit from such a request.
Attorney Beverly Byrd has exclusively practiced U.S. immigration law at Byrd & Associates for over ten years, helping thousands in the Filipino community.  She obtained a law degree and then graduated with a Master’s in International Law from the prestigious Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.  Georgetown Alumni include Philippine President Gloria Arroyo and President Bill Clinton.
Attorney Byrd is also active in the immigrant community, and has served on the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s Extended Board for the past several years as a liaison to the DHS San Francisco Asylum Office, DHS Customs and Border Protection, DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and currently as the Continuing Legal Education liaison.
Attorney Byrd currently offers for a limited time a $25 consultation on the phone or in the office.  Please contact her to schedule a consultation via e-mail at info@byrdassociates.com, or call toll free 877-987-9906.  You can also see her website at www.byrdassociates.com for more information and to read her immigration blog, see her LinkedIn profile and follow her on Twitter.
San Jose Office   
95 S. Market Street, Suite 300 
San Jose, CA 95113   
(Toll Free) 877-987-9906  
San Francisco Office
One Embarcadero Center,
Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94111
(Toll Free) 877-987-9906

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