La Hermandad is an organization recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to provide immigration legal services. All staff and volunteers at La Hermandad are supervised by BIA-accredited representative. We also continues to assist eligible permanent residents apply for U.S. Citizenship and renew their permanent residency card. Through this program La Hermandad has assisted thousands of people become citizens and empowers them with the right to vote.
Family Petition I-130 – For citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States to establish the relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.
Note: A separate form must be filed for each eligible relative. USCIS processes Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, as a visa number becomes available. Filing and approval of an I-130 is only the first step in helping a relative immigrate to the United States. Eligible family members must wait until there is a visa number available before they can apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident.
Adjustment of Status: The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) permits the change of an individual’s immigration status while in the United States from nonimmigrant or parolee (temporary) to immigrant (permanent) if the individual was inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States and is able to meet all required qualifications for a green card (permanent residence) in a particular category. The common term for a change to permanent status is “adjustment of status.”
The INA provides an individual two primary paths to permanent resident status. Adjustment of status is the process by which an eligible individual already in the United States can get permanent resident status (a green card) without having to return to their home country to complete visa processing.
The first step in consular processing is to determine if you fit into a specific immigrant category. Most immigrants become eligible for a green card (permanent residence) through a petition filed on your behalf by a family member or employer. Others become permanent residents through first obtaining refugee or asylum status, or through a number of other special provisions. To see the many different ways to get a green card,
Consular processing is an alternate process for an individual outside the United States (or who is in the United States but is ineligible to adjust status) to obtain a visa abroad and enter the United States as a permanent resident).
La Hermandad Hank Lacayo Youth and Family Center’s Secure Lives for Immigrant Women is a project that provides accurate filing under the Violence Against Women ACT (V.A.W.A.) for permanent residency for immigrant women who have been abused by a married partner and protection for women under the U visa program who have witnessed violence in order that they can feel secure in helping the police.
This allows immigrant women to live without fear of deportation, to be more effective for themselves and their families. Also having newly granted legal status, and received temporary work permit and ability to gain a social security number with these same benefits accruing to their children allowing them to enter into the civic life of the United States.
Being the immigrant spouse of a United States citizen comes with many benefits, but also many drawbacks. Many foreign nationals are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with American customs or procedural matters, and instead rely on their spouse to be the intermediary between themselves and the outside world. In the most unfortunate of these cases, spouses who are United States citizens may commit crimes that victimize their immigrant spouses such as domestic violence, sex crimes and virtually any other crime that causes damage.
Battered immigrant spouses who are able to obtain legal help from La Hermandad Hank Lacayo Youth & Family Services may find success in being one of the 10,000 yearly individuals granted a U-Visa, which allows for temporary legal status within the United States so that the individual may seek employment and decide whether they would like to leave the United States or seek permanent residency. The Violence Against Women Act is an important piece of legislation that allows immigrants who are victims of spouse-related crimes to petition for legal status within the United States without having to depend on their ties to their spouse in order to acquire the freedom offered in legal residency.
A U-Visa is a type of visa that applies to any immigrant in the United States who has been victimized by a crime committed against them. The primary requirement is that this crime victim has cooperated with the police or other authorities by reporting the crime and following up with them if so requested. In addition, the victim must suffer emotional or physical damage as a result of the crime against him or her. There are many different types of crimes that qualify.
What is important to understand about the U visa is that it applies to much more than just domestic violence or other violence by a US citizen family member. Rather, it applies to any serious crime committed against someone, even some nonviolent crimes, and even in situations where the person who committed the crime is unknown and is not caught by the police.
NATURALIZATION CHECK LIST
• Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”)
• Social Security Card
• California Driver’s License or I.D. Card
• Addresses and dates of where you have LIVED the last five years
• Addresses and dates of where you have WORKED the last five years
• Dates of ALL trips outside of the U.S. (for more than 24 hours) in the last five (5) years
• If you are married, know the date of marriage, your spouse’s date of birth, Alien Registration number (A#), date spouse became naturalized citizen, if applicable
• If you and/or your current spouse (if applicable) were married before, know the date marriage began and ended, and prior spouse’s date of birth and immigration status
• If you have children, know dates of birth, A#s, and current addresses
• If you have ever been arrested, in jail, or in court you need documents showing the date of arrest and/or disposition of the case
• 2 passport-style photos
• $680 money order or check payable to Department of Homeland Security, if you do no qualify for a Fee Waiver (Form I-912)
• Tarjeta de residencia permanente
• Tarjeta de seguro social
• Identificación o licencia de manejar de California
• Direcciones y fechas en donde ha VIVIDO los últimos 5 años
• Direcciones y fechas en donde ha TRABAJADO los últimos 5 años
• Fechas de viajes (de mas de 24 horas) que tomo fuera de EE.UU. desde que se hizo residente permanente legal
• Si ha estado casado necesita saber la fecha del matrimonio e información de su pareja: fecha de nacimiento, numero de seguro social, A#, fecha que su pareja se hizo ciudadano
• Si tiene hijos, necesita saber nombre(s), fecha(s) de nacimiento, A#s, y direccion(es) actual(es)
• Si alguna vez ha sido arrestado o estado en la cárcel, necesita documentos que muestren la fecha de arresto y disposición del caso
• Dos fotos estilo pasaporte de EE.UU.
• Giro postal o cheque por $680 hecho a nombre de Department of Homeland Security si no califica para no pagar (Fee Waiver – Forma I-912)
Other Legal Services
After President Obama’s announcement regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012, La Hermandad D.A.C.A. program which aims to assist eligible immigrant youth and community members in applying for Deferred Action. The program provides DACA-related education and procedural assistance to thousands of applicants, families, and service providers. Over the past two years, La Hermandad’s legal services has helped provide information about DACA and successfully submitted hundreds of DACA applications.
The D.A.C.A. program provides free and open orientations for interested immigrant youth and community members every week. The orientation provides comprehensive information about the necessary documents as well as the process for applying for DACA.
Additionally, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS), the completion of the DACA application comes with a $380 fee for the Form I-765 and an $85 biometrics services fee, totaling $465.00.
Individuals who have been approved for Deferred Action should renew their application with no less than 120 days, but no more than 150 days before the expiration date of their DACA and Employment Authorization Document (EAD). At La Hermandad, processing for applicants eligible for renewal are now available for all applicants
Since March 4, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have allowed certain foreign citizens who have entered the country without a visa status or inspection by an immigrant official to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, also known as a stateside waiver. Previously, foreign nationals hoping to obtain permanent residency through a U.S. citizen relative would have to leave the U.S. and apply for re-entry at the U.S. embassy in his or her home country. This process was fraught with uncertainty and would separate families for months or even years.
If you or a loved one is considering filing for a provisional waiver, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your circumstances. Immigrating to the U.S. does not have to be as complex and troublesome as it may seem.
In order to qualify for the waiver, an individual must meet all of the following requirements:
• Must be physically present in the U.S.
• Must be at least 17-years-old
• The immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, such as a spouse, child over the age of 20, or parent
• Your immediate relative’s I-130 petition was approved
• Have a pending immigrant visa case with the Department of State and paid the immigrant visa application fee
• Can demonstrate that your U.S. citizen spouse or parent will suffer some extreme hardship, such as medical, emotional or financial issues, if your waiver is not granted
Unfortunately, you will not be eligible for a waiver if you already have pending removal proceedings or have past issues with criminal activity, drugs, deportation, fraud, or other immigration law violations. An experienced attorney from our office, however, may be able to administratively close your deportation case or seek post-conviction relief for your past criminal conviction.
The petitioner of a family – sponsored petition (I-130) must submit an affidavit of support (I-864). This requirement also applies to the petitioner of an employment-based petition (I-140) if the petition is submitted by a relative or by a company in which a relative holds a significant ownership interest.
An affidavit of support permits government agencies to request reimbursement from the petitioner if the beneficiary receives means-tested public benefits.
The petitioner’s income must be no less than 125% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines based on household size. If not, he may include the income and assets of a qualifying household member who has signed form I-864A. In addition, the value of any asset can be counted as 20% of income. If the petitioner is unable to meet the income requirements, a co-sponsor is required.
Supporting documents for an affidavit of support include certified income tax returns, W-2s and 1099s.
A beneficiary who has paid into the Social Security system for a minimum of 10 years, or 40 quarters, does not require an affidavit of support.
The petitioner’s obligation to support the beneficiary terminates if any of the following events occur to the beneficiary: (1) He naturalizes; (2) He dies; (3) He leaves the U.S. permanently; or (4) He is credited with 40 quarters of work in the US. A divorce does not terminate the petitioner’s obligations under the affidavit of support even when the petitioner and the beneficiary were a married couple when the affidavit of support was submitted.
A person can submit an I-864EZ affidavit of support form if he is sponsoring a relative using form I-130, there are no derivative beneficiaries (spouses and children) immigrating within 6 months of the sponsored relative and the funds used to support the affidavit are based entirely on income/pension supported by W-2 forms.