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New Regulations Will Keep Immigrant Families Together, but Serious Legal Help is Still Needed, says Immigration Attorney Henry A. Posada

Department of Homeland Security to allow for provisional waivers permitting immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for permanent residency, but legal process will be complex

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a gesture that will improve the lives of countless immigrant families, the Obama Administration started out the New Year by making it easier for immediate relative family members to legally obtain permanent residency in the U.S.  Henry A. Posada, an immigration lawyer Los Angeles has turned to for over sixteen years, has a few thoughts on the subject.

Under immigration law, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who cannot legally apply for resident status from within the United States are faced with having to seek an immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate in their home country.  The problem is that, for people who have been unlawfully present in the U.S., the departure to attend the interview raises what is known legally as an "unlawful presence inadmissibility bar" which can, depending on how long the person was unlawfully present, lead to a 3 or 10 year period during which the individual is disqualified from applying for lawful permanent resident status.  Under the traditional waiver process, which remains available to those who do not qualify for the new process, immediate relatives cannot file a waiver application until after they have appeared for an immigrant visa interview from outside the United States, and the Department of State has determined that they are inadmissible.  The foreign national then must wait outside the U.S. for as long as it takes for the waiver to go through the legal process; only if the waiver is approved can the foreign national return to the U.S.  

The new "provisional waiver" process, which takes effect on March 4, 2013, allows a person who knows he or she will be inadmissible for unlawful presence to file for the waiver without first departing the U.S. To obtain a provisional unlawful presence waiver, the applicant must be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, inadmissible only on account of unlawful presence, and demonstrate the denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to his or her U.S. citizen spouse or parent. Under the new provisional waiver process, immediate relatives must still depart the United States for the consular immigrant visa process. However, they can apply for a provisional waiver before they depart for their immigrant visa interview abroad.

Henry A. Posada, an immigration attorney Los Angeles residents trust, is celebrating the provisional waiver rule changes. He is also, however, offering a few words of warning.  Mr. Posada believes that the work will still be difficult. "The administration really does seem to be committed to improving the immigration process and making things easier for families who have come to the United States in pursuit of a better life. But, immigrant families need to be aware that the administration hasn't exactly waved a magic wand over them to make it instantly legal for them to live together. There will still be significant hurdles that require the help of a qualified attorney," Mr. Posada said. 

"For one thing, it is anything but a given that a provisional waiver will be approved in the ordinary course.  Applicants and their families should keep in mind that, to be successful with the waiver, the applicant must prove that the qualifying relative would suffer 'extreme' hardship if the applicant were to be required to remain out of the U.S. for an extended period of time, 3 or 10 years as the case may be.  This is a tough legal standard to meet and many cases get denied because the claimed hardships are perceived as typical rather than 'extreme.'  And, as always, an applicant for a waiver must demonstrate that he or she is deserving of a favorable exercise of discretion," said Mr. Posada.

The Law Offices of Henry A. Posada is a boutique law firm that works on behalf of foreign nationals as well as businesses that employ immigrants.  Whether clients are working to obtain United States citizenship or residency, a work permit in California (beneficial for acquiring a driver's license) or resisting deportation, detention and removal, Henry Posada has been working on behalf of immigrants and immigrant families with consistent success since the mid-1990s. Such issues as the new provisional waiver rules are very definitely a part of the firm's expertise.

The provisional waiver is no doubt a beneficial move by the administration, and this will alleviate a lot of the risks and stresses to consular processing in furtherance of family unity.  Even so, individuals are encouraged to seek professional assistance if they believe they may qualify under the new rules.   "Homeland Security's provisional waiver rule is definitely a positive step forward, but obtaining the help of the most competent attorney available to you is more important than ever," Mr. Posada said.

A recognized authority on the legal rights of immigrants, Mr. Posada is certified as a specialist in Immigration and Nationality by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Posada's clients benefit from a wealth of experience gained working on behalf of numerous clients from a wide variety of backgrounds and situations.

Anyone with questions about the new Department of Homeland Security rules or pertaining to their or a loved one's immigration status can contact the Law Offices of Henry A. Posada by calling (562) 904-9080 or online at www.hposadalaw.com. Free initial consultations are available.

PR submitted by www.Cyberset.com

SOURCE Law Offices of Henry A. Posada

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