• Home
  • Akrami and Associates

Posts Tagged ‘Akrami and Associates’

Travel Ban to Include Venezuela, North Korea, and Chad

Travel-Ban-to-Include-Venezuela-North-Korea-and-ChadTrump Adds Venezuela, North Korea and Chan to New Travel Ban

The list of countries that are directly affected by the travel ban enforced by Donald Trump, America’s President, has expanded to include Venezuela, North Korea and Chad. This severely limits the people from these countries from travelling to the United States. It also causes a concern for many Americans who live in the United States because this can disable them from bringing their family members to the United States. Therefore, in this article, I will address how this new travel ban with the new included countries affects Americans and foreign nationals alike.

How the Travel Ban will Affect Americans & Foreign Nationals

The primary individuals that will be affected by this new travel ban are the individuals that were already a part of the travel ban, including citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Earlier this year, Sudan was also included in this list of countries; however, this country is no longer in the list of banned countries. As of recent, Venezuela, North Korea and Chad were included in this list for several different reasons. For instance, the travel ban for Venezuela only affects government officials; the rest of the country’s citizens may travel to the United States but will undergo heightened security screening. Whereas for the other countries, such as North Korea and Chad, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will be enhancing vetting capabilities and processes for detecting attempted entry into the United States by terrorists and/or other public-safety threats. Therefore, on October 18, this new travel ban is set to be implemented and enforced throughout the United States. It is important to note that the previously travel ban that was enforced earlier this year was temporary in nature. However, this new travel ban is said to be indefinite. With this new travel ban, the United States have also implemented a regulation that allows for U.S. officials to assess each individual based on a country-by-country and case-by-case basis as opposed to the umbrella ban that was previously implemented. The new order is said to have the most strict guidelines and restrictions on Syria and North Korea. As a result, any citizen from either of these countries will be denied visas to enter the United States. To better understands the guidelines and restrictions for the current countries that have a travel ban, I have included a chart below.
Country Immigrant Visas Non-Immigrant Visas
Chad Suspends all Visas Suspends Business & Tourist Visas
Iran Suspends all Visas Allows Student Visas Only
Libya Suspends all Visas Suspends Business & Tourist Visas
North Korea Suspends all Visas Suspends all Visas
Somalia Suspends all Visas Allows Visas with Additional Sreening
Syria Suspends all Visas Suspends all Visas
Venezuela Allows Visas with the Exception for Select Government Officials Allows Visas with the Exception for Select Government Officials
Yemen Suspends all Visas Suspends Business & Tourist Visas
 

Venezuela

Interestingly enough, the United States is the largest trading partner of Venezuela. For instance, bilateral trade in goods and services between the United States and Venezuela had reached an approximate $23.9 billion in the year of 2015. Additionally, many Americans can trace their heritage back to Venezuela. Therefore, there are many significant ties between the United States and Venezuela. However, recently, Venezuela has succumbed to political and economic disorder. There are several anti-government protests in the streets of the South American country which occur on a daily basis. This has unfortunately caused inflation and a raise in unemployment rates and crime rates. Conclusively, the administration in the United States has concluded that Venezuela’s government does not consider nor share public-safety and terrorism-related information appropriately. Thus, the restrictions on Venezuela focus on specifically their government officials who are responsible for the inadequacies. It is also important to note that any citizens of Venezuela who are current visa holders may be subject to additional security measures and screening to ensure that traveler information remains accurate and current.

Consequences of the Travel Ban

In the U.S., there have been several cases where individuals who had valid visas to enter the U.S. were denied entry and in some extreme cases, their visas were cancelled because of this travel ban. These decisions were ultimately made by U.S. border officials. Many individuals as well as government officials in the United States actually feel as though the travel ban restrictions enforce discrimination based on religious grounds. For instance, the majority of the countries that are a part of this travel ban are Muslim-majority countries. For many Americans and American travellers, this travel ban can be extremely deleterious. As previously mentioned, there are many individuals that believe the travel ban is illogical, discriminatory, and very un-American. Consequently, there are several sentiments from individuals, either American or foreign, who truly believe that these exclusions and restrictions will not make America safer and it will cause further conflict going forward. Especially since this new travel ban is indefinite towards Syria and North Korea. There is already a large amount of conflict between the United States and these countries and this travel ban can ultimately cause more turmoil and conflict in the future which would not be very beneficial for the United States.

Contact Akrami & Associates

For more information on U.S. matters and different visa applications you can submit, please refer to our different blogs. If you would like more information on the travel ban that was implemented earlier this year, please refer to our blog “U.S. Supreme Court May Enforce Travel Ban.” To obtain any visa in the U.S., it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients visit the United States. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a visa to the U.S., please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice. With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

Can I Sponsor my Spouse to the United States

Can-I-Sponsor-my-Spouse-to-the-United-StatesHow to Bring your Spouse to the United States

Do you wish to have your spouse live permanently with you in the United States? Are you curious or confused on how to do so? The process can seem overwhelming and emotional; however in this article, I will explain the processes and steps in order to sponsor your spouse to the U.S. Specifically, in the U.S., a sponsorship is referred to as a petition and below will be a detailed explanation of who can petition, the requirements of the petitioner and the spouse, and more. At Akrami & Associates, we can try our best to unite you and your spouse permanently.

Who is able to Petition?

In the United States, your status determines who you will be able to petition for. In order for you to petition for your spouse to immigrate to the United States permanently as a green card holder, you must be a:  
  • U.S. citizen, or
  • Green card holder (permanent resident)

2 Main Ways to Petition for your Spouse

There are two main ways for one to sponsor their spouse in the U.S. This is subdivided by whether you are a U.S. citizen or a green card holder.

U.S. Citizen

If you are a U.S. citizen and you are looking to sponsor your spouse, there are 2 main ways to do so. The two main ways are: Inside the U.S.: You will have to apply to register as a permanent resident and also fill out the petition for an alien relative form, both at the same time. Outside the U.S.: You will have to fill out the petition for an alien relative form. If and once the application is approved, then it will be sent for consular processing and the consulate will communicate with the applicant with regards to processing information.

Green Card Holder

If you are a green card holder and you are looking to sponsor your spouse, there are 2 main ways to do so. The two main ways are: Inside the U.S.: You will have to fill out the petition for an alien relative form. Once you have done this, you will receive a visa number and then you must apply to adjust your status to permanent residency using the application to register as a permanent resident. Keep in mind, while waiting for your visa number, you must maintain your lawful status in the U.S. in order to proceed with adjusting your status. Outside the U.S.: You will have to fill out the petition for an alien relative form. If and once the application is approved, then it will be sent for consular processing and the consulate will communicate with the applicant with regards to processing information.

Required Documentation for Spousal Petition

Most of the required documentation is from the petitioner applying to sponsor their spouse. However, the spouse that is being sponsored must also provide some details on the forms. Below is a list of documents the petitioner must provide.
  • Completely filled alien relative form that is signed with the proper fee
  • Completely filled and signed biographic information form (one by the petitioner and the other by the spouse)
  • A copy of the marriage certificate
  • A copy of all divorce certificates for all previous marriages that the petitioner and the spouse were involved in
  • Passport style photos of the petitioner and the spouse
  • Documentation with regards to legal name changes for the petitioner or the spouse, if applicable
Furthermore, as a U.S. citizen as well as a green card holder, you must provide proof of your status within the U.S. For instance for a U.S. citizen, they may demonstrate their status with:
  • A copy of your valid U.S. passport
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • A copy of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • A copy of your naturalization certificate
  • A copy of your certificate of citizenship
Whereas, for a green card holder, they may demonstrate their status with:
  • A copy of the front and back of their green card
  • A copy of your foreign passport which includes a stamp showing temporary evidence of permanent residence

What Constitutes a Conditional Residence & How to Remove Conditions

Your spouse will receive permanent residence status conditionally if you have been married for less than 2 complete years at the time that your spouse received permanent resident status. In order to remove these conditions on their permanent residency, both you and the spouse must fill out the Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence form. On your spouse’s conditional resident card, there will be a date of expiration, and you must apply to remove the conditional status at least 90 days before that date. Keep in mind, if you forget or do not file for the conditions to be removed during this time frame, your spouse’s residency will unfortunately be void and terminated and they may be subject to removal from the U.S.

The Visa Petition is Pending – Can Spouse Live with Petitioner in the Meantime

Your spouse may be able to come to the U.S. to live with you as long as she/he is eligible and applies for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa. This is also only an option for petitioners who are U.S. citizens. Additionally, the spouse may be able to work in the U.S. with a K-3 visa. This may be a viable option for couples who wish to stay together while the spousal application is processing. On the other hand, if you are a permanent resident of the U.S. and wish to live with your spouse while their application is being processed, you must have filed an alien relative form on or before December 21, 2000. If this is the case, then your spouse and/or dependent children may be able to apply for the V visa classification, only if more than 3 years have passed since the form was filed.

Contact Akrami & Associates to Petition for your Spouse

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned requirements and documentation into consideration before you attempt to apply for a spousal petition. Spousal petitions are difficult applications to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients unite with their spouses and they are now extremely happy living together in the United States. If you believe that you may be eligible to petition for your spouse, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise. With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

How to Apply for a U.S. Waiver

How-to-Apply-for-a-U.S.-WaiverHow to Apply for a Waiver Application

Many foreign nationals can be extremely frustrated when they discover that they are inadmissible to the United States. There are a wide range of reasons for inadmissibility to the United States. In many circumstances, individuals can be completely surprised by the reasons for inadmissibility and can result in not knowing what to do in order to overcome the inadmissibility. It is important to note that a foreign national must overcome their inadmissibility issues prior to travelling to the United States. Therefore, in this article, I will address the different reasons for inadmissibility to the United States and ultimately how to apply for a U.S. Waiver.

Reasons for Inadmissibility to the United States

There are a variety of reasons to be deemed inadmissible to the United States. The reasons can range from not having your passport on you to having a criminal record. Regardless of the reason, if the Immigration officer determines that you are inadmissible to the United States, you will not be allowed entry. To better understand the reasons for inadmissibility to the United States, I have listed the reasons below with detailed explanations.

Not Having Passport on You

When travelling to the United States, as well as anywhere else in the world, it is extremely important to present your passport to any Immigration officer. Your passport will show the Immigration officer your identity, including your first and last name, date of birth, citizenship, and much more. Additionally, your passport should be valid and not expired while travelling as this may cause delays and complications for your travels. Therefore, if you are travelling to the United States either by car or by plane, you should carry your valid passport to avoid being inadmissible.

Criminal Record

This is one of the most common reasons for inadmissibility to the United States. Immigration officers in the United States are extremely strict with whom they allow to enter the country. This is especially the case if the foreign national has a criminal record and may cause a threat or a risk to American society. It is important to recognize that even if the foreign national has had a criminal conviction or offence from forty years ago, they may still be denied entry into America due to the criminal record. When arriving in the United States with a criminal record, the Immigration officer can give you two options. They can either detain you or they can give you a notice of refusal of entry into America.

Insufficient Funds

It is essential to have sufficient funds when travelling to any country. In the United States, Immigration officers will assess whether the foreign national has sufficient funds in order to travel to the United States and sustain their visit. If the Immigration officer determines that they do not have sufficient funds to do so, they can deem the individual as financially inadmissible to the United States. In order to adequately prove that a foreign national does have sufficient funds for their travels to the United States, they can provide bank statements or investment statements to show their funds.

Previous Immigration Violation

An Immigration officer in the United States can deny the entry of any foreign national that has previously violated an immigration law. For instance, if a foreign national previously entered the United States and overstayed their authorized travels, they have violated U.S. immigration law and as such they would be denied entry into the United States. Another common circumstance is when a foreign national is authorized to visit the United States and they begin to work without a valid work permit. In these circumstances, they would also be violating U.S. immigration law and thus will be denied entry into the United States. Conclusively, it is important to always understand the conditions of a visa or permit that is issued to you and especially look for the expiry date. The foreign national must leave the United States prior to their authorized visa or permit expiring.

Health Reasons

When a foreign national is travelling to the United States, it is important to be healthy. There are some health circumstances that can lead to inadmissibility to the United States. For instance, if the foreign national has a disease, sickness, illness or infection that can be potentially contagious or not contained effectively, the Immigration officer has the means to deem the individual as medically inadmissible. The Immigration officer must consider the safety for all Americans and must deny the entry of any foreign national that can impose a threat of spreading disease.

How to Apply for a U.S. Waiver

In order to overcome inadmissibility to the United States, the best solution would be applying for a U.S. Waiver. It is important to note that the U.S. waiver can only be issued only if the foreign national intends on:
  • Seeking an Immigration Visa for the United States
  • Aiming to adjust their status in the United States
  • Obtaining certain non-immigrant status in the United States
  • Seeking other certain immigration benefits
If you fall under any of the above mentioned factors, then you can proceed to apply for a U.S. waiver. By applying for the U.S. waiver, the foreign national must completely fill the Waiver for Inadmissibility Form. Keep in mind, there must not be any blanks left on the application as Immigration is very strict with this. Additionally, if something does not apply to you, it is best to put “Not Applicable” then leaving it blank. Additionally, you must ensure that all of the information you provide on the form is accurate and up to date.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration, if you intend on applying for U.S. Waiver to the United States. If you want to apply for a U.S. Waiver, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients obtain U.S. Waivers to successfully obtain entry into the United States with inadmissibility. If you believe that you may be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice. With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

Requirements for a TN Visa to the United States

Requirements-for-a-TN-Visa-to-the-United-StatesWhat is a TN Visa

Are you a Mexican or Canadian citizen and would like to work in the United States? Do you have a professional occupation that is recognized in the U.S. under the NAFTA agreement? Are you curious or unclear on how to apply or start working in the U.S.? This process is referred to as a TN Visa. Specifically, in the U.S., a TN Visa is defined as a visa that allows nonimmigrant NAFTA professionals, such as Mexican and Canadian citizens, to be authorized to work in the U.S. for a U.S. employer. Due to the North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as NAFTA, Canadians and Mexicans are able to create an economic relationship with the U.S. Thus, the TN Visa gives Mexican and Canadian citizens the opportunity to either pursue business or career opportunities or business activities within the U.S. for an authorized period of time. The process can seem confusing if you’re not familiar with immigration; however in this article, I will explain the processes and steps required in order to obtain a TN Visa in the United States.

Am I Eligible for a TN Visa

The NAFTA agreement between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico requires that professionals come to either country to better their economy. Professionals that are eligible for the TN visa can include professions such as accountants, lawyers, teachers, engineers, scientists, pharmacists, and more. If you fall under one of these categories, there are still some more requirements that you must consider before applying for a TN visa. For instance, you may be eligible for a TN nonimmigrant status if: you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico; your profession is listed within the regulations; an employment opportunity in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional; you have obtained a prearranged job opportunity in the U.S. with a U.S. employer; and you have the appropriate qualifications to work under the designated profession. Please note that if you are self-employed wanting to work in the U.S., you will not qualify as the employer issuing you the employment must not be yourself. There is a difference between a Canadian citizen applying for a TN visa compared to a Mexican citizen applying for a TN visa. Canadian citizens generally do not need a visa for admission to the U.S.; however, Mexican citizens do. Similarly, for a TN Visa, Canadian citizens are not required to apply either. Keep in mind, NAFTA will ultimately determine which evidence is required from Canadian and Mexican citizens to prove whether they are a professional that is qualified.

How to Apply for a TN Visa

Canadian Citizens As a Canadian citizen, as aforementioned, you do not need to apply for a TN visa in the U.S. Be that as it may, if you would like to qualify for the TN classification, you will need to present the appropriate documentation to the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP) officer at certain ports of entry or at a pre-clearance inspection station. Specifically, the documentation that you must provide to the officer is listed below.
  • Certification of Canadian citizenship
  • Employment letter describing your job title, description, duties, length of employment and educational qualifications while in the U.S.
  • Evaluation of Credentials (if this applies to you)
  • Proof of payment of application fees
You may want to apply yourself and submit the requested documentation on your behalf. Or, alternatively, you may allow your prospect employer to submit the application on your behalf from inside the U.S. However, the employer would have to submit their own applications forms as well, if they do submit on your behalf. If the application your employer submitted is approved, then you will have to also submit an approval notice from USCIS. Both you and your employer should have a record of the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker form to provide to the CBP officer, in addition to the required documents, should the officer ask you any follow up questions. Mexican Citizens Unlike Canadian citizens, Mexican citizens must obtain a visa prior to entering the U.S. as a TN nonimmigrant. In order to obtain the visa, Mexican citizens are required to apply at a U.S. embassy or the consulate within Mexico. After submitting the application at either location, and should the application be approved, then you are able to apply for admission at certain ports of entry or at a pre-clearance inspection station.

Period of Stay for TN Visa

When you finally receive your TN Visa to enter the U.S., the initial period of stay can be up to a 3 year period. There are ways for extending your period of stay in the U.S. while you are still working. You must first apply for an extension. The extension application can be submitted by you or your employer. In contrast, if you have already left the U.S. before your period of stay expired; you may once again apply, using the same initial application and documentation, for a TN visa at certain ports of entry or at a pre-clearance inspection station using.

Contact Akrami & Associates to Apply for a TN Visa

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned requirements and documentation into consideration before you attempt to apply for a TN Visa. TN Visas are difficult applications to pursue on your own, if you are unfamiliar, and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients travel to the U.S. for business matters through the TN visa and they are now happily working in the U.S. If you believe that you may be eligible for a TN visa, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise. With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!