October 2010

A Success Story: Saving a Battered Spouse from Deportation

In November of 2008, a divorced woman of Egyptian origin consulted with us about her immigration options. She was in removal proceedings after her ex-husband, a U.S. citizen, had abandoned the immigration petition he filed for her. Her previous attorney, not seeing any form of relief, had abruptly withdrawn from her case, leaving her unrepresented.


Comprehensive Immigration Reform introduced in Congress

This month, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 (S. 3932) to the Senate. Also known as the Menendez-Leahy bill, it is the first bill for comprehensive immigration reform since 2007.

In an attempt for bipartisanship, the bill contains elements that both sides have called for. It proposes specific measures for enhanced border security, while granting legalization for many undocumented persons who do not have a serious criminal record. It also aims to fix the backlogged family and business visa system, and also incorporates the DREAM Act, which offers legalization for individuals who have been in the U.S. as minors. The proposed Act also raises penalties for illegal immigration.


Reminder: Filing fees go up in November

As advised in our previous newsletter, effective November 23, 2010, the filing fees for most applications will increase by an overall average of about 10%. To see our full article from last month, click here. Also available is the new schedule of filing fees.


In This Issue


Newsletter Issues

EB-5: Investing to Permanent Residency

During this time of economic challenges, any immigration policy must make economic and political sense. One such program is the EB-5, which is the fifth preference of the Employment-based classification of visas.

The EB-5 presents a win-win option for everyone. It offers permanent residence in the United States to an individual who invests 1 million dollars (or half a million in certain cases) into a new business enterprise. The purpose of this investment is to create jobs for U.S. workers.


Citizenship Q&A: Protect U.S. Residency Before Moving Abroad

Q: My wife, myself and our three minor children live in Florida. All but our youngest son, who was born in the United States, are permanent residents.

If we move back to Canada, we are concerned about how that would affect our youngest son, who is a U.S. citizen. Is it possible for him to hold dual citizenship with Canada and the United States?

P.L.
ORLANDO


A: Because your son acquired U.S. citizenship via birth in this country, he did not have to take a formal oath restricting him from acquiring foreign citizenship. He could hold dual citizenship if you move to Canada, since U.S. citizenship cannot be abandoned by living abroad.

But the rules are different for the rest of your family, both in terms of the consequences of moving to Canada and holding dual citizenship.

When a permanent resident of the United States starts living abroad, U.S. law may deem the U.S. residency to be abandoned, particularly if the stay is longer than six months. You can protect your U.S. residency status by naturalizing as U.S. citizens, but doing so would mean renouncing all other citizenships and loyalties to other countries.

Question answered by attorney Shahzad Ahmed of NeJame, LaFay, Jancha, Ahmed, Barker & Joshi.

www.ImmigrationCounselors.com
www.NeJameLaw.com

189 South Orange Ave. Suite 1800, Orlando, FL 32801 * Telephone: (407) 500-0000 * Fax: (407) 245-2980