Immigration Family Law

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How to Sponsor Same-Sex Spouse for Green Card

Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor in June 2013, in which the Court struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex married couples were not allowed to seek a green card on behalf...more

Michigan Court of Appeals Reverses Termination of Parental Rights; Cites Indian Child Welfare Act Standard

In any child custody proceeding involving Indian children, all parties should understand there are significant legal and procedural requirements that must be met before parental rights to Indian children may be terminated....more

International Estate Planning Decisions: Create a QDOT or Get Citizenship?

If you are married to a non-U.S. Citizen, estate planning in California is going to be more complex for you than it is for other couples, especially if you have a significant amount of property and assets. However, you do...more

How to Avoid Estate Taxes if You Have a Non-Citizen Spouse

In our last blog post, we discussed estate taxes, federal gift taxes, and how non-citizen spouses are treated differently in the eyes of the law. Unfortunately, while husbands and wives can leave an unlimited amount of money...more

Does the recognition of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania have any effect on immigration visa petitions for Pennsylvania citizens?

Immigration visas, unlike marriage recognitions, are regulated by the federal government, not the individual states. This means that the Pennsylvania Whitewood decision, albeit groundbreaking on a state level, has no effect...more

More Executive Action on Immigration Reform: Work Authorization For H-4 Spouses

In a new draft rule notable not only for its substantive content but also for the fact that it represents another incremental immigration reform measure undertaken by executive action in lieu of stalled Congressional...more

BIA Holds Physical Presence of Parent Cannot be Imputed to Child for TPS Purposes

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held recently in Matter of Duarte-Luna, 26 I&N Dec. 325 (BIA 2014), that the continuous physical presence of a parent could not be imputed to a minor child for purposes of Temporary...more

Significant Changes to South African Immigration

The Critical Skills Work Visa is a newly introduced category which will replace the Quota and Exceptional Skills work permits. The role must be listed on the current Critical Skills list, and the applicant must obtain written...more

ICE Will Agree to Reopen Removal Proceedings in Same-Sex Marriage Cases

Generally, a 90-day deadline applies to filing a Motion to Reopen Removal Proceedings after a respondent has been ordered removed. One of the exceptions to this rule allows for the filing of an untimely Motion to Reopen if it...more

H-4 Visa Holders May Soon Be Authorized To Work in the U.S.

On April 7, 2014, the White House made an exciting announcement about a proposal to grant employment authorization to spouses of H-1B workers. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been working on amending its...more

What Happens to Permanent Resident Status after Divorce?

Divorce is an unfortunate reality for many couples. In fact, approximately 41 percent of first marriages and 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce. Divorce is a stressful and unsettling time for anyone, impacting a...more

What to Do and Not to Do When Filing for a Marriage-Based Green Card

The process of obtaining a marriage-based green card can be long and fraught with challenges. Married couples seeking to obtain a green card for one of the spouse should keep in mind the following do’s and don’ts when...more

Affidavit of Support (I-864) Enforceable Despite Pre-Nup, Divorce and Potential Marriage Fraud per California Court

Most people who immigrate through family sponsorship (and a few that immigrate through employment sponsorship) must have a sponsor that agrees to make sure they do not rely on public benefits. This sponsorship is...more

Utah Employment Law Letter - February 2014: WORKPLACE ISSUES: Legalization of same-sex marriage in Utah will affect employers

Traditionally, marriage has been defined in the United States and in the state of Utah as a legal relationship between a man and a woman. In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which allowed states to...more

Eleventh Circuit Court Holds That Remarriage Does Not Bar Green Card Eligibility for Surviving Relative

In Williams v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment and remanded the case, finding that remarriage does not bar...more

Unpublished BIA Decision: E-2 Spouses Not Required to Obtain EAD

On November 5, 2013, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), issued an unpublished decision reversing the denial of an adjustment application and holding that the respondent was not required to obtain an employment...more

Illinois Passes Legislation Approving Same-Sex Marriage: What Does This Mean for Binational Same-Sex Couples?

On November 5, the Illinois legislature voted to pass legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage in Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn plans to sign the bill into law on November 20, 2013, and effective June 1, 2014, same-sex couples...more

LGBT Workplace Legal Developments - Senate Passes Employment Non-Discrimination Act – What’s Next?

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”) passed the United States Senate on November 7, 2013, but is expected to languish and fail in the House. However, even if ENDA fails, this does not mean that employers need not...more

What You Need to Know about Your Marriage Green Card Interview

An interview with a U.S. Customs and Immigration Services official is a critical part of the marriage-based green card application process. The USCIS considers the interview to be an opportunity to confirm that the...more

USCIS Begins Approving Green Card Applications for Same-Sex Married Couples

A California professor was one of the first binational couples to have their marriage recognized by federal immigration officials. Although Tom Knutson and his partner Phan Datthuyawat have been together for more than 20...more

Bromance Gone Bad: The Immigration Bunkers of a Golfer’s Marriage

The P-1A visa category is reserved for those “internationally recognized” individual athletes or teams that seek to enter the United States temporarily for the sole purpose of performing in a competition, event, or...more

Windsor & DOMA: Issues for Cross-Border Employers

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which defined “marriage” as strictly between opposite-sex couples and “spouse” as referring only to a...more

Florida DMV Will Not Accept Immigration Documents Based on Same-Sex Marriage

Part of the driver license application process in Florida involves proving lawful status in the U.S. There are many documents or sets of documents an applicant can provide to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to...more

What You Should Know About Family-Based Immigration

There are a number of ways that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident can bring family members into the country. The Chicago immigration lawyers at Shapiro Law Group help families stay together through a wide variety of...more

Annual Diversity Visa Lottery to Start Oct. 1st

Online registration for the DV 2015 lottery will begin on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and conclude on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). See the...more

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