Oct
20

Breaking News: "TPS as Status" Adjustment Approval Received!

We are happy to report that Wilson Law Group received a “TPS as status” adjustment approval from the USCIS office in Bloomington, Minnesota. The person never traveled with parole, and relied exclusively on this TPS status to assert he could proceed under section 245 to adjustment his status to a lawfully admitted permanent resident with an approved immediate relative I-130 petition.  This is a complete change in the government's approach to temporary protected status and the ability to apply for residency.  

Now, one approval is not a pattern of acquiescence; however, it is a harbinger...

Oct
15

Why is it taking so long to get my U visa?

The short answer is that visa numbers are limited and there’s a substantial waitlist.

Congress capped the number of U visas at 10,000 per year (INA § 214(p)(2); 8 C.F.R. § 214.14(d)(1)). This means that only 10,000 applicants may be granted U visas each fiscal year. Only principal applicants (U-1) are counted toward the 10,000 visa cap. Derivatives (U-2, U-3, U-4, and U-5) are not counted towards the cap. A backlog has developed because the demand for U visas exceeds the supply.

If you apply for a U visa today, you can expect to wait at least nine months for USCIS to determine whether...

Sep
15

Fact or Fiction: Can I Qualify for a U Visa if I was a Victim of a Crime?

Wilson Law Group is separating fact from fiction in a series of blogs to clarify some common questions and misconceptions of various topics in immigration law.  The short answer to the question above is "maybe".  There are several requirements for a U visa; each situation is different and needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.   

To be clear, being a victim of a crime alone does not qualify someone for a U visa.  It is more complicated than that.  Being a victim of a crime is just one of several requirements to qualify for a U visa.  Before discussing the requirements,...

Sep
4

Real Estate Update | Why Hire a Real Estate Attorney?

The median sales price for homes in the Minneapolis area from May 14 to Aug 14 increased slightly over 10% compared to the prior quarter and approximately 7.5% compared to the prior year. The five-year sales prices trend shows appreciation, on average, of 14.1% over the last 5 years in Minneapolis. The median home value in the Minneapolis area is $199,800, an increase of just over 6% from the same time last year. The average sales price per square foot in Minneapolis was roughly $147, an increase of 14% relative to the same period last year.

Average listing prices have increased at a...

Sep
4

Does Social Media Affect Our Criminal Justice System?

Social media plays a central role in the disbursement of news these days, but does it have an effect on the investigation and outcome of criminal activity? Think of how quickly you learned about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut or how much you learned about the Trayvon Martin shooting and subsequent criminal prosecution of George Zimmerman through social media. Traditional news sources like newspapers and radio now also seemingly rely on social media not only to disseminate information, but also as a source of newsworthy stories. How many You...

Sep
3

Could Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Affect Me?

The news has been rife with headlines about President Obama taking executive action on immigration reform.  If he does take action, whom would it affect and when would it occur?

Like many years before, the Congress talked extensively about immigration reform this year, but failed to take any action.  What is different now is that President Obama has stated he will takesome sort of action on his own.

So, what can the President do without the Congress’s approval, and who will it affect?

The President cannot unilaterally change who can become a legal permanent resident or a citizen.  He...

Aug
22

USCIS Announces Ebola Outbreak-Related Immigration Relief Measures

Last week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the availability of limited immigration relief measures to nationals of three West African countries affected by the current Ebola virus outbreak.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013.  The virus has since spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone and become the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded.  Experts report 2,473 suspected or confirmed cases, including 1,350 deaths, prompting WHO to declare a public health emergency of international concern.

In...

Aug
18

Are Prostitution Stings by the Police “Entrapment?”

Wilson Law Group has posted about solicitation of prostitution issues in the past, but we are still seeing new clients come in whom the police have caught in backpage.com stings. Law enforcement uses that controversial website to lure unsuspecting “johns” to hotels in the metro area and records the entire interaction to ensure criminal prosecution. If you are caught soliciting prostitution at a hotel, which qualifies as a “public place” under Minnesota law, the State will charge you with a gross misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for a gross misdemeanor is one year in jail and/or a...

Aug
15

Obtaining a Passport for a Minor Child

When planning an international vacation, travelling parents should ensure that their U.S. citizen children have passports and be aware of the special requirements for minors under the age of 16.  There may be hurdles if the child’s parents are not married; renewing a passport can be an issue since passports for children under 16 are only valid for 5 years and the parents’ relationship may have changed since the issuance of the first passport so mutual consent (or even communication) is nonexistent.  To make it even more cumbersome, parents of minors under 16 must apply in person for...

Aug
1

Visa Interview Waiver Program Continues to Expand & Streamline Nonimmigrant Visa Process

The Interview Waiver Program (IWP) was first introduced in 2012 as a pilot program in an effort to promote travel and tourism to the United States for certain nonimmigrant applicants.  The IWP was made permanent this year in 2014.  The criteria for the IWP is published in the Foreign Affairs Manual, although it is important tocheck the consulate’s requirements because they can vary. 

Generally, all foreign nationals applying for a nonimmigrant visa (e.g. B-1/B-2, E, L, TN visa, etc.) must appear in person at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad for an interview by a consular officer. ...

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