Unraveling the Mystery of the Automatic Employment Authorization Extension

The value of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for the millions of individuals living in the United States without permanent status cannot be overstated. With a valid EAD comes a social security number, greater work opportunities, and the ability to obtain a driver’s license.  USCIS issues EADs under nearly sixty categories, so when it comes time to renew, it can be difficult to untangle which rules apply to each category. Because of USCIS’s ever-increasing processing times, the most common concerns among renewal applicants are whether the automatic extension applies, what...


How to Make a Foreign Divorce the Official Record

As a law firm with an international focus, Wilson Law Group frequently sees family court orders from other states and even other countries. Typically, clients want to know “is my order from this other place enforceable in Minnesota?” The answer is almost certainly yes.Per Minnesota Statute 518D.305, orders regarding child custody from another state may be registered in Minnesota. Orders from another country may also be registered, though if the law of the foreign country violates fundamental principles of human rights, the Minnesota court does not need to register or enforce the...


And Behind Door Number Two - a New Path to Post Conviction Relief

Many criminal convictions carry severe consequences for non-citizens. These range from not being able to adjust status to mandatory detention and removal from the U.S. The problem for non-citizens with a criminal history is compounded by the fact that the federal definition of what a conviction is sweeps much broader than the definition in Minnesota and other states. The Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) defines a conviction as a formal judgment of guilt of the alien entered by a court or, if adjudication of guilt has been withheld, where:

  a judge or jury has found the alien...

It is about who you know - understanding qualifying relatives for provisional waivers

The path from undocumented immigrant to lawful permanent resident can be full of obstacles, especially if the undocumented immigrant enters the United States without a visa and remains in the United States without status. Many believe that they have no chance of becoming a permanent resident due to their unlawful entry and presence. Others believe that they may simply become permanent residents when their twenty-one-year-old United States citizen children submit a petition for them. Regrettably, both undocumented immigrants here are wrong; they must submit a waiver before becoming...


Matter of A-B- III - the everchanging legal standards for asylum and domestic violence

Matter of A-B- III -  What Is Old Is New Again?

To qualify for asylum, a person must have a “well-founded fear” of persecution based on past persecution or risk of persecution in the future “on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” While gender is not one of the protected grounds, survivors of domestic assault, for example, would sometimes qualify under the “particular social group” rubric.

In Matter or A-R-C-G-, which was decided in 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) found that “married women in...


Finally! Temporary Work Permits for Pending U Visas

Relief for U Visa Applicants – USCIS Finally Issuing Temporary Work Permits Following Bona Fide Determinations

Waiting for a U visa approval—and the work permit that comes with it—can seem like an eternity.  The government continues to report that it is taking 60.5-61 months or just over 5 years for USCIS to issue a decision on a U visa application, with some applicants waiting much longer.  After 10 years, and quite a bit of urging from Wilson Law Group and other stakeholders, USCIS finally authorized what is known as the (p)(6) work permit.  This is a work permit for individuals...


Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, and the Threat of Deportation Stronger – Understanding the Effect of Omission in Visa Applications

The journey from visa applicant to American citizen can be long and arduous. At best, it takes years, and in some cases, decades. So, receiving a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court after your naturalization interview is incredibly frustrating. After applying, often multiple times, for a visa, finally receiving it, arriving in the United States, and spending years as a green card holder, the next step should be simple: you file your N400, attend your interview, swear the oath, and become a citizen. However, many applicants stumble at this last step and find themselves facing...


The Scarlet W Plate - Understanding Whiskey Plates and New Options in MN

Whiskey Plates – or Not?  When charged with a DUI in Minnesota, you face “collateral” consequences even before you are convicted – during that time of being presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Your driver’s license will be revoked.  In certain first-time situations or subsequent offenses, your license plates may be impounded or your vehicle forfeited to the State.  If your plates are impounded, you may need to get “special registration plates,” often called “whiskey plates,” on any car registered under your name during the period of impoundment.  These plates...


Moving Forward After Loss: What Happens if the Petitioner Passes Away while the Case Remains Pending

Moving Forward After Loss:  What Happens if the Petitioner Passes Away while the Case Remains Pending?  During the COVID-19 pandemic, families across the globe are facing loss in record numbers. Faced with this reality, many US citizen and Lawful Permanent Residents who have filed for loved ones now wonder: if my relative passes while applying for me, what happens then?  Does my petition pass away too?

Overview of Section 204(l) Relief

Years ago, the answer to this question was “yes.” Now, however, when the qualifying relative passes away before the applicant receives their green...


Why Is My Case Moving so Slowly - Understanding the USCIS Tortoise

Why Hasn’t Your Case Been Decided Yet? Nationwide, you and millions of families, businesses, and individuals applying for immigration benefits are waiting longer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process and approve applications and petitions.  It has been a difficult time for many and created undue stress.  Many people have had issues with their employers, and the constant shifting of standards has only created confusion.

Based on previously available USCIS data, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, an average case took about five months to process. In FY2020, an average...