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Baton Rouge Legal Blog

Staying past visa expiration date violates US immigration law

Coming to the United States from another country can happen in various ways and for different reasons. Some people may come to Louisiana or other parts of the country for work or vacation, and in some cases, individuals who obtain visas for such purposes may overstay those visas. As a result, they may be violating U.S. immigration law, but many people often think of undocumented immigrants as people who sneak into the country illegally.

Even if individuals enter the country through proper means, such as by obtaining a temporary visa, they can fall into the category of undocumented immigrants if they overstay those visas. In fact, it is estimated that approximately half of the almost 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States simply stayed in the country after their visas expired. However, it is often the individuals who cross the border that are typically thought of when it comes to not following immigration laws.

Increase in processing time, increase in fees for immigration

The cost of immigrating to the United States is prohibitive to some individuals, and it seems as though this is a trend that will continue. Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an increase in the pricing that is likely going to make it even more difficult for people who need to apply for lawful entry into the U.S. to get their applications in.

The USCIS is increasing these fees by 21% overall for impacted applications. It should be noted that these increases don't include the cost of hiring legal counsel. The agency notes that the increases are due to the need to cover adjustments in the cost of vetting applicants and operational costs.

It will now cost more to become citizens as application fees rise

When it comes to immigration, there are many legal hoops that often need addressing. Even if individuals want to become citizens, they will need to file the proper paperwork, provide the necessary information and pay the applicable fees for the process. Unfortunately, many people hoping to make immigration changes may be seeing more of a financial burden associated with the process.

Louisiana readers may be interested in a recent report regarding the increased costs of immigration-related applications. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that an 83% increase in the cost of citizenship applications would be put into effect. As a result, the cost will increase from $640 to $1,170. Citizenship applications are not the only ones affected as a 21% increase overall is anticipated for other immigration applications.

Obtaining a U visa may not be as easy as hoped

Many immigrants have a fear of working with the police. They may worry that their immigration status will come into question and that they will end up facing detention, deportation or other negative outcomes. However, some individuals could benefit from working with law enforcement if it enables them to qualify for a U visa, which is a special visa for victims of crimes who help the police during the investigation.

As many Louisiana residents likely know, this type of visa could be immensely beneficial for individuals hoping to stay in the United States legally. Unfortunately, it appears as if this option is not being used as well as it could be. One woman gave her account of how two intruders entered her home and robbed the family of their savings and cellphones. The woman worked with police in hopes of applying for U visa afterward.

Family immigration form can now be filed online

Most people enjoy having relatives nearby. They can keep up with family news, have gatherings and generally spend time together and have the comfort that comes from family. Of course, if a person moved to Louisiana or another part of the United States from another country, their family members may not be with them for some time. As a result, family immigration may be important to them.

When it comes to helping a family member come to the United States, a naturalized citizen will need to take the appropriate steps to begin the process. The first step to becoming a sponsor is filing the correct form with the right agency. In this case, the form would be Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Once the form is approved by the government, the next steps can occur.

Immigration detention centers face claim of unsanitary conditions

Being detained in any capacity can be nerve-wracking. When individuals from other countries come to the United States in hopes of finding help, they may end up in more difficult predicaments than they faced back home. Unfortunately, this may be what many individuals feel as they are held in immigration detention centers in Louisiana and other states.

A recent report gave accounts of two individuals who have experienced these detention centers. The two individuals are doctors from Cuba, and they do not know each other but have had similar experiences. They stated that individuals being held in these centers do not receive proper health care and live in unsanitary conditions. These claims were made in a class action lawsuit relating to the practices of ICE detention.

Raid results in 14 people being taken into immigration detention

Many people do not have to worry about the possibility of being arrested when they go into work. Unfortunately, numerous immigrants in Louisiana and across the country may fear that raids on their places of employment could result in their being put in immigration detention. For many, these fears have comes true.

It was recently reported that a raid on a pallet supplier in another state resulted in over a dozen individuals being taken into custody by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Apparently, federal agents went to the business and took 14 people into ICE custody. It was unclear what may have prompted the raid on this particular business, but it was noted that many people in the community were left shaken by the event.

This is what you should know about seeking asylum

There is no question that U.S. politics have been in flux during the Trump Administration. With so many changes, it's no wonder that many immigrants are worried about coming to the United States or having trouble understanding what they need to do to be here legally.

During the years 2016 to 2019, there have been several executive orders signed with the intention of limiting legal and illegal immigration to the United States. It's argued that many of the changes have been made to combat fraudulent asylum claims and loopholes found in the asylum system.

Scammer targeted US immigration law clients

It can be difficult to make sure that paperwork for anything is filed correctly. Of course, paperwork is an important aspect of U.S. immigration law, and if individuals want to change their status, they need to make sure that they take the correct steps and provide the right information. Unfortunately, some immigrants may not turn to the right people for help and end up scammed.

Louisiana readers may be interested in a scam that affected numerous immigrants in another state. According to reports, a woman claimed that she was an immigration consultant and that she could help immigrants obtain citizenship, asylum or green cards. Of course, she also charged individuals a fee for her services. Unfortunately, the individuals who went to her for help only lost their money.

Family immigration difficult when interviews lead to detainment

Moving to a new country, building a life and changing one's immigration status is not easy. Many people rely on family immigration to help them through the process, including receiving a green card by marrying a United States citizen. However, some people are concerned about what has recently taken place at some marriage interviews with immigration officials.

Louisiana readers may be interested in one couple's difficult outcome after a marriage interview. The man, who is an immigrant, and his wife, a U.S. citizen, believed that they had successfully completed their marriage interview. The woman felt relieved and could not wait to tell their family members, but soon after, the man was arrested by officials for deportation. The woman stated that she felt the interview was set up as a trap so that her husband would be arrested.

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