Serrano Law Firm, LLC

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690 Flatbush Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06110-1308

27 Holmes Avenue, Waterbury, CT  203 756-6100

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690 Flatbush Avenue West Hartford, CT  06110-1308

860 236-9350             800 856-6400  toll free     860 523-9101  fax

27 Holmes Avenue Downtown Waterbury 203 756-6100

 

IMMIGRATION

New In Immigration Law:  

Dream Act 

Obama's Immigration Plan 

Process Waivers In The U.S.  

 

       Our Hartford, Connecticut immigration services at the Serrano Law Firm focus on helping United States citizens and legal residents unite their families by obtaining legal residency (green cards) for their spouses (marriage immigration), children and parents.

    We assist legal residents achieve United States citizenship through the immigration naturalization process.

    We provide immigration help to clergy members and other religious workers seeking to obtain a visa or legal residency.

    Immigration to America is handled by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), previously known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

    As a Hartford Immigration Attorney, I offer the following services.

Residency:  Green Cards Marriage Immigration Legal Immigration

    A citizen of the United States can file an immigration residency petition (green card) for the following alien relatives:

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A husband or wife (marriage immigration).

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A biological child of any age, whether single or married.

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An adopted child, if the child was adopted before turning 16 and has lived with the citizen for at least 2 years.

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A parent (if the U.S. citizen is over 21).

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A brother or sister (if the U.S. citizen is over 21).

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A step-child (a child of their spouse from another relationship) if the citizen married the spouse before the child turned 18.

 

    A legal resident of the United States can file an immigration residency (green card) petition for the following alien relatives:

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A husband or wife (marriage immigration).

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An unmarried son or daughter of any age.

 

    After the immigration forms and the petition are approved, the alien relative must wait until an immigrant visa number is available.  How quickly the number becomes available depends on whether the immigration petition was filed by a U.S. citizen or a U.S. legal resident, on the relationship between the petitioner and the alien, and on the alien's country.  Alien relatives are classified by immigration law according to the following preference system. 

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Immigrant Visa Number Available Immediately:
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Spouses of U.S. citizens (marriage immigration).

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Unmarried children under age 21 of U.S. citizens.

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Parents of U.S. citizens.

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First Preference:
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Unmarried sons and daughters over age 21 of U.S. citizens.

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Second Preference:
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Spouses of lawful permanent residents (marriage immigration).

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Unmarried children under age 21 of the spouses of lawful permanent residents.

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Unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.

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Third Preference:
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Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.

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Fourth Preference:
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Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.

 

    How long people in each immigration preference must wait depends on their country.  People from countries where large numbers are attempting "usa immigration" — such as China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines — will wait much longer than people from other countries.  Information regarding immigration visa availability, including marriage immigration, can be found at the U.S. State Department website.

 

Dream Act - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

    On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration said it would not move to deport young illegal immigrants who met certain conditions.  The administration also said it would allow immigrants who qualify under the new policy to get immigration work permits.  Although somewhat similar to the "Dream Act," this new immigration policy, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is not a change in immigration law but a change in how the Obama administration enforces the law.  A new administration could reverse this policy.  (The policy is also popularly referred to as  the immigration law for children or the kids immigration law.)

    To qualify under this new immigration policy, a illegal alien would have to meet the following conditions:

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Have entered the USA before age 16.

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Be younger than 31 as of June 15, 2012.

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Have lived in the USA continuously for the 5 years before June 15, 2012.

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Be in school, or have graduated high school, or have a GED, or been honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces.

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Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors.

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Not be a threat to national security or public safety.

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS, previously known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service or INS) expects to have the application process for the new immigration policy set up by August 14, 2012.  The deferred action would last 2 years, meaning that a renewal applications would have to be filed.

    The new policy does not do any of the following:

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Make it easier for anyone to become a legal resident (to get a green card) or to become a US citizen.

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Let illegal immigrants leave and return to the USA.

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Give any immigration benefits to the relatives of the young people who qualify under the new policy.

    People who may qualify under the new policy are urged to act with caution.  Advice should only be obtained from an experienced immigration lawyer or from official US government websites.

    Call us today to make an appointment to see if this new immigration policy can help you.

 

Obama's Immigration Plan - Deferred Action for Parents of Citizens of Legal Residents

    On November 20, 2014, the Obama administration said it would not move to deport illegal immigrants who met certain conditions.  The administration also said it would allow immigrants who qualify under the new policy to get immigration work permits.  This new immigration policy, known as Deferred Action for Parents, is not a change in immigration law but a change in how the Obama administration enforces the law.  A new administration could reverse this policy.  (The policy is also popularly referred to as  Obama's immigration plan.)

    To qualify under this new immigration policy, a illegal alien would have to meet the following conditions:

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Have entered the USA before January 1, 2010.

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Be the parent of a US citizen or legal resident (green card holder).

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Have lived in the USA continuously since before January 1, 2010.

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Be physically present in the United States on the date you file for deferred action.  

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Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors.

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Not be a threat to national security or public safety.

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS, previously known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service or INS) expects to have the application process for the new immigration policy set up by May 19, 2015.  The deferred action would last 3 years, meaning that a renewal applications would have to be filed.

    The new policy does not do any of the following:

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Make it easier for anyone to become a legal resident (to get a green card) or to become a US citizen.

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Let illegal immigrants leave and return to the USA.

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Give any immigration benefits to the relatives of people who qualify under the new policy.

    People who may qualify under the new policy are urged to act with caution.  Advice should only be obtained from an experienced immigration lawyer or from official US government websites.

    Call us today to make an appointment to see if this new immigration policy can help you.

 

Process Waivers in the United States

    A new immigration rule will make it easier for people who entered illegally or have overstayed their visa to become legal residents (to get a green card).  The rule only helps spouses and children of U.S. citizens.  Before the new rule, spouses and children of U.S. citizens who were in the U.S. illegally would need to go to their home country to apply for an immigration visa and to apply for a waiver to come back to the U.S.  Under the new rule, the waiver process will be done in the U.S.  Although the immigration visa must still be obtained in the home country, this change in immigration law will shorten the time that the spouse or children must wait before returning to the U.S. with a green card.

    The new rule, known as stateside I-601 adjudication, will allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to request provisional immigration waivers prior to departing the U.S. for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications. Applications for this new immigration waiver rule will start being accepted on March 3, 2013.

    Call us today to make an appointment to see if this new immigration law can help you.

Immigration Naturalization (Citizenship)

    As an immigration attorney, I encourage legal permanent residents to become United States citizens by applying for immigration naturalization.  Naturalized citizens have all the same rights as native born citizens (except for the right to serve as President).  Many countries allow dual citizenship.

    Citizens have the following important rights and advantages that permanent legal residents (persons with green cards) do not have:

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The right to vote.

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The right to receive many government benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and certain student loans and grants.

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The ability to apply for many government jobs.

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The right to file immigrant petitions for their married children and for their parents, brothers and sisters.

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The right to have immigrant visas immediately available for their spouses, unmarried children under 21 and parents.

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The ability to avoid being deported if convicted of a crime.

 

    As your immigration attorney, I will help you file the necessary immigration forms and prepare for the test and interview required in the immigration process.

    If you are a legal permanent resident and want to become a naturalized United States citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

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If married to a U.S. citizen (marriage immigration), you must have lived continuously in the United States for the past 3 years.  (Absences of 6 months or more may interrupt residency.)

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If not married to a U.S. citizen, you must have lived continuously in the U.S. for the past 5 years.  (Absences of 6 months or more may interrupt residency.)

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You must have lived in the state where you submit the application for at least 3 months.

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You must not have broken any immigration laws.

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You can show evidence of good moral character for at least the past 5 years.

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You can speak, understand, read, and write simple English.  This requirement does not apply if you are over age 55 and have been a permanent resident for more than 15 years or if you are over age 50 and have been a permanent resident for more than 20 years.

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You can pass a basic test about U.S. history and government.  (An exception may apply if you are over age 65). 

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You are willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

 

West Harford Farmington Wethersfield Newington Criminal DUI DWI Lawyers

Recent Connecticut Cases Affecting Immigrants

Hartford Waterbury New Britain Manchester Criminal Lawyer

State v. James  To accept a guilty plea in a criminal case, a judge must give the defendant an opportunity to discuss the possible immigration consequences of pleading guilty to a crime with the defendant’s criminal defense lawyer if the judge is made aware that the defendant has not discussed those immigration consequences with his or her lawyer.

Langley v. Langley  In setting alimony and entering other financial orders, the divorce court properly took into account the wife’s difficulty in communicating in English as a factor directly affecting her employability, which is a mandatory statutory criterion that the court must consider when fashioning financial orders.

State v. Ramos  Connecticut criminal courts cannot vacate a criminal conviction and allow the withdrawal of a guilty plea for a legal or illegal alien who was not properly advised of the possibility of deportation or other immigration consequences of pleading guilty to a crime if the motion to vacate the conviction and withdraw the plea was filed more than three years after the plea was accepted by the criminal court.

State v. Jordan  In a criminal case, the immigration status of a witness is not a proper subject of questioning because the fact of non-citizenship by itself does not suggest someone will lie.  To allow questioning, there must be a link between the witness’s immigration status and a tendency to lie, such as being an illegal alien allowed to remain in the country while helping the police.

State v. Rodriguez  The attorney for an illegal alien, who was the victim of an assault and who committed medical fraud by using a false identity to obtain medical care after the assault, was allowed to testify in the criminal case against his attacker because the attorney’s testimony would help the jury understand why the illegal alien testified even though he could face criminal charges for fraud and would help the jury evaluate the alien’s credibility.  The alien, who had overstayed his visa, was given immunity from prosecution for testifying and, as a witness in a criminal case for assault, was given the opportunity to become a legal U.S. resident (to get a green card), pursuant to immigration law.

 

When You Need a Connecticut Immigration Lawyer,

Rely on Us for Skill, Determination and Experience.

 

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Find Out About:

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How to get a green card through marriage immigration

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How to get a green card for your fiancee.

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When is an affidavit of support necessary.

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Immigration law and battered spouses.

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Do illegal immigrants have any rights.

 

Attorney John Serrano - Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Immigration, Workers Compensation.  Hartford, Waterbury

Please note that our law firm's website is designed to provide only general legal information.

This information is not intended to be legal advice for your individual situation.

Call us for personal injury, Social Security, divorce, bankruptcy, immigration, workers compensation and criminal cases.

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