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!

Visitor Visa for USA

Non Immigrant Visa

Millions of individuals every single year travel to the United States for a variety of reasons including for work, school, or simply for a vacation. Although these are all wonderful reasons to travel to the United States, it is very important before doing so, that you ensure your eligibility by having all of the necessary documentation. Individuals who wish to travel to the United States for tourism purposes need to apply for Non-Immigrant Visa DS-160. To travel to United States as a visitor you need demonstrate your intent is for temporary purposes and able to take care of your expenses for the trip. If you are unable to support yourself during your trip than as the visitor you must provide affidavit support and relevant documents from the relative or friend in the U.S. Citizens of some countries may not need visitor or business visa, as they may qualify for visa waiver program. These individuals qualifyas long as the terms of non-immigrant visa have not been violated in the past such overstaying their welcome stay. These countries include:  

Andorra

Hungary New Zealand

Australia

Iceland

Norway

Austria

Ireland

Portugal

Belgium

Italy

San Marino

Brunei

Japan Singapore

Chile

Latvia

Slovakia

Czech Rebulic Liechtenstein

Slovenia

Denmark

Lithuania

South Korea

Estonia

Luxembourg

Spain

Finland

Malta

Sweden

France

Monaco

Switzerland

Germany

Netherlands

Taiwan

Greece

United Kindom

Visitor Visa Documents for United States

The mandatory documents include:
  • Your current valid passport and old passports –for most individuals the passport has to be valid for 6 months while some countries are exempt from this rule and their passport has to be valid up to their period of stay in the United States. One blank page must be available.
  • One Passport size picture- cannot be older than 6 months and must be in colour
  • Your online confirmation page of DS-160 with CEAC bar code
  • Visa fee receipt
  • Original appointment interview letter
Other Documents
  • Purpose of travel
  • How long you remain to stay in the United States
  • Prove that you will go back to your home country once your visa expires
  • Able to support yourself during your time of stay
  • Copy of your travel itinerary
  • Bank statements
  • Property you own
  • Employment or professional documents
  • Family documents
  • Travel history
  • Travel documents
For the immigration officer to issue a visitor visa for United States, you have to make clear indication that you are only coming for temporary purposes and will exit once your visa expires. For example, if you are student and like to travel to USA for tourism purposes the immigration officer will know that as student you may not be able to provide most of the documents. So during the interview the officer will focus on the credibility and not the documents presented. They understand that young individuals may not be able to provide ties to their home country. In such cases the immigration officer may rely on the applicants grades or status, long term plans, parents status, prospects in home country, previous travel history etc.

Can I travel to United States if I don’t have sufficient funds?

If you are travelling to USA and you do have sufficient funds to support yourself during your time of stay, you must present credible evidence that you will be will be supported by family or friend in USA. The sponsoring person needs to send all original documents to the applicant and not to the consulate office. The applicant will then submit all documents together with their application. Some of these documents include:
  • Form I-134 Affidavit of support form (in this form you will be indicating you are able to support the persons you are inviting to USA as a visitor). You must use separate form for each person, even though some consulates like to have one I-134 but it is better to be safe and just submit separate forms. It does not need to get notarized
  • Employment letter from your employer that will state date you were employed, your salary, full-time or part-time position, temporary or permanent position
  • Pay stubs- 3 to 4 should be sufficient
  • Letter from the bank that will show when you open your account, how much you have deposited in the past year, present balance, last year balance
  • Bank statements from last 6 months- there is no specific amount how much you should have but having $5000 at least is recommended. How much you have to show also depends on how long you plan to visit for.
  • Letter to the consulate that will explain that you will take care of your friend or family personal expenses. This should be addressed to the consular that your friend or relative will be visiting at
  • Invitation letter that will explain on how you will accommodate them in your house and tourist place
  • Income tax documents – copy of last three years of your income tax, if you did not file your taxes explain why you have not, if you are self-employed include self-employed schedules with income tax returns or financial records or business accounts
  • Identity , legal and relationship documents

Can I be Denied Entry to USA for past Criminal Record?

There are many reasons you can be denied entry to USA these include:
  • Have health inadmissibility (communicable disease)
  • Possession of or trafficking in a controlled substance
  • Participating in terrorism or terrorist organization (waivers are not issued for this category)
  • Money laundering
  • Overstayed welcome stay in the past
  • Not meeting financial requirements
  • Misrepresentation
  • Prostitution
  • Fraud
  • Manslaughter

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you are looking to travel to USA as visitor and need assistance with obtaining your non-immigrant visa then contact us today for more information. Akrami & Associates has assisted many foreign travellers and we can definitely assist you too. With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

US Supreme Court May Enforce Travel Ban

US-Supreme-Court-May-Enforce-Travel-Ban

Supreme Court Rules Trump May Enforce Travel Ban

Since Donald Trump has become the President of the U.S., there has been continuous speculation about travel bans towards Muslim-majority countries. This has caused an enormous amount of discussion and concern for many Americans as several of them have immigrated to America from these countries. Recently the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Trump’s travel ban, which targets six Muslim-majority countries, may possibly go into effect. This is specifically with respect to any foreign national who lacks any bona fide relationship with a person in the United States. Therefore, in this article, I will address who will be affected by this travel ban and when it will come into effect.

Who will be affected & when will it come into effect

The travel ban is specifically targeting citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The travel ban, as stated by Donald Trump, will come into effect within three days of the court ruling. The travel ban excludes any foreign nationals, from these designated countries, in relationships with citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. However, any foreign national that wishes to travel to the U.S. with an accompanying visa, who had never visited the U.S. before, has no family in the U.S., or any business or other ties, may be prohibited from entering. The new order is speculated to explain the ties each of the six countries has with terrorist organizations. For instance, Iran’s support of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, ISIS activities in Libya, al-Qaeda offshoot operating in Yemen, and the active combat ongoing in Syria and Libya have made these countries targets of the travel ban. Therefore, as a result of these ties, immigrants from these countries cannot be adequately vetted. It is important to note that the U.S. Supreme Court can overturn lower court orders that have attempted to block the implementation of the travel ban; the U.S. Supreme Court is the highest federal court in the U.S. and therefore is permitted to do so. There was an order made on March 6, which followed an order previous made that included Iraqi citizens, announced a 90 day travel ban on travellers from the six aforementioned countries, as well as a 120 day ban on all refugees. Going forward, Syrians will no longer be subject to an indefinite ban, as they were in the first order. Additionally, Iraq will not be included in the newest travel ban as there have been negotiations between the Iraqi government and the American government. Iraq has consequently vowed to improve the security of its travel documents and share more information on its citizens with the U.S. government. This order was supported by the U.S. government as they believed it would enforce stronger vetting procedures to be implemented going forward. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme court will hear a handful of cases in which lower courts have blocked the travel bans; however, there is no guarantee that these arguments will come out successful. The previous bans are said to be going into effect this summer.

Consequences of the Travel Ban

This travel ban unfortunately will cause confusion and concern for many Americans and prospect visitors to the U.S. Due to the previous speculation and discussion within the past few months of Trump’s administration, there is no doubt that there will be more confusion and discussion going forward. Two justices from the U.S. Supreme court have confirmed that it will be very difficult to determine who exactly has a bona fide relationship with the U.S. A bona fide relationship includes parents, children, in-laws and step-relations but does exclude grandparents, nephews, nieces, cousins, and others. Additionally, fiancés were originally placed in the excluded group of family members, however, as of recently they are now determined to be a bona fide relationship. Therefore, it is extremely important for the individual to have a clear understanding of who classifies under a bona fide relationship. This will place a significant burden on any executive official who is entitled to decide whether an individual who is attempting to enter the country from any of the six aforementioned countries indeed has a sufficient and genuine connection to a person or entity within the U.S. 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. These decisions were ultimately made by U.S. border officials. Trump is extremely enthusiastic and adamant about the travel ban. He states that it is in fact a victory for American security. On the other hand, for Americans and American travellers, this travel ban can be extremely detrimental. Many individuals believe that the travel ban is, in contrast, illogical, discriminatory, and very un-American. Others find it extremely exclusionary to determine which relationships are bona fide and which are not. This can cause extreme heartbreak if grandparents or grandchildren are banned from the U.S. due to their relationships not being bona fide. As a result, there are several sentiments from individuals who believe that these exclusions will not make the country safer and it will cause further conflict going forward.

Contact Akrami & Associates to Petition for your Spouse

For more information on U.S. matters and different visa applications you can submit, please refer to our different blogs. For 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 client 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!

Who can sponsor family to United States

Sponsoring Family to USA?

Are you a United States of America citizen looking to sponsor your Canadian fiancée? Do you know if you are eligible to sponsor your family member? Do you think your family member is eligible to be sponsored? Many people do not know most of these things which is the number one culprit of failed sponsorship applications. Another reason many people receive unsuccessful applications is because they misunderstood a section of the application or forgot to include an important documents. Do not worry, if you contact Akrami & Associates we will determine both yours and your family member’s eligibility and help you by providing step-by-step assistance throughout your sponsorship process and ensuring that you are not missing any documentation.

The Different Types of Visas under the US Family Class

For United States family-based visas, there are four different types you can choose from depending your situation/which family member you are going to be sponsoring. Let’s start off by talking about each type of visa. The four different visas are, the Fiancée Visa, the Spouse and Children Visa, the Immediate Relative Visa (also known as IR), and the Family Preference Visa.

US Fiancée Visa

The fiancée visa is issued to a person who is engaged to an American citizen. When you, the sponsor (American citizen), apply to sponsor your spouse to the states, you need to marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days of them coming to America. Once your fiancé(e) is in America, they will then need to apply for a Green Card. A green card is also known as a permanent residency card. A permanent residence card is a card that allows an individual to work and live in the United States. Fiancée visa is also known as a K-1 visa. A K-1 visa if you do choose to sponsor your foreign fiancée, you are required to complete an application called “petition for alien fiancée”.

Spouse and Children Visa

The spouse visa, likewise its name, is a visa you may choose to apply for when you wish to sponsor your spouse (who resides in a different country) to the United States of America. To be eligible to sponsor your spouse you have to be married to the partner and having the marriage certificate.

Immediate Relative Visa

An immediate relative is a family member who is either your spouse, parent or unmarried children. The main requirement to obtain an immediate relative visa is that you, the sponsor, must be a US citizen. In order to acquire an immediate relative visa, you are required to complete the I-130 form. An I-130 form is a Petition for Alien Relative form. Basically, what this form consists of is a lot of space for you to provide your own personal information such as you name, address, date and place of birth, security number etc. Along with these personal questions there are also many spaces to provide information on the person you are going to be sponsoring. The immigration officers/government wants to know if you and the “family member” you are going to be sponsoring are legitimately relatives and not just pretending to be for the sake of the sponsorship. In order to prove that you both are immediate relatives, you will need to provide a lot of documentation proving that you two are indeed related and are immediate relatives.

Family Preference Visa

A family preference visa is much like an immediate relative visa however it has two main differences than that of the immediate relative visa. The two main differences is that for an immediate relative visa, you need to be a United States of America citizen whereas for a family preference visa, you (as the sponsor) do not have to be a U.S. citizen, instead to only have to possess a green card. Spouses and children are eligible to be sponsored by a U.S. green card holder. All in all, a family preference visa is very similar to an immediate family visa.

Who is eligible to sponsor or be sponsored?

In order to be eligible to be sponsored, or vice versa (to sponsor) you have to meet certain requirements. In order to be eligible as a sponsor, the first and most important requirement is that you have to be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States of America. As the applicant, or the person being sponsored, there are quite a few requirements in order to be eligible for sponsorship. You, as the sponsor, must be the age of 18 or over to be eligible for sponsorship. Instead of talking about who is eligible for sponsorship, let’s talk about who is not eligible. If you have committed a previous offence (whatever it may be) depending on how long it has been from the offence and the severity of it, you may not be eligible to sponsor. Another circumstance in which you cannot sponsor a member of the family-class is if you did not pay off an immigration loan, or if you declare bankruptcy, in which case you are financially unstable to take care of anyone you are thinking of sponsoring.

What Documents are Required when applying for US Sponsorship?

As with every government application form you have to include the required and mandatory documentation that is related to your case/situation. Documents are very crucial to your sponsorship process. The main source of documentation includes a photocopy of your current valid passport, a nonimmigrant visa application, which is the DS-160 form, confirmation page. Confirmation and Instructions page printed from this website, you also are required to include a colour photo of you which has been taken within the last 6 months. Family members of the applicant should present an original marriage certificate, if they are the spouse, and/or birth certification for the accompanying unmarried children under the age of 18 (if applicable). Many visa types require additional documents. The most important piece of documentation you are required to include is a copy of proof of your legal status in Canada. As you may know by now, in order for you to be eligible for sponsorship, you must be a permanent resident or citizen of Canada. The most common type of sponsorship is spousal sponsorship. The extra documents required for spousal sponsorship are two petitions, the first being the petition for alien relative, Form I-130, and the second being a petition for alien fiancé(e), which is form I-129F.

Contact Akrami & Associates Today!

At Akrami & Associates, we understand how intimidating and confusing it may be to sponsor a family member who falls under the family-class especially because there are so many categories that one can/may fall under. When you choose to work with the staff at Akrami and Associates, we will tell you which category you or your family fall under and we will help you with your sponsorship by providing you with our knowledge and experience on the topic of sponsorship. At Akrami and Associates we have dealt with over 15,000 cases and the firm has a very high success rate. We have helped hundreds of people with their cases and can help you with yours too! Don’t take any chances by completing the application by yourself, hire Akrami & Associates to increase your chances of a successful application and sponsorship. Remember, it doesn’t matter how big nor how small your case may be, at Akrami & Associates we will do our absolute best to solve your case with a successful outcome because 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!