Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

USCIS Announces DACA Renewal Process

Posted on: June 19th, 2014 by Sobel and Erwin

USCIS has announced the process for individuals to renew enrollment in DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).  The immigration agency has also released a new application form that will be used for both first time and renewal applications.

The DACA program is for individuals who meet the following requirements:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the U.S. before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of filing their DACA request;
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard  or Armed Forces of the U.S.; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

In addition to the above criteria, individuals may request DACA renewal if they meet the following additional requirements:

  • Did not depart the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously lived in the U.S. since they submitted their most recent DACA request that was approved; and
  • The individual has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

USCIS is encouraging individuals to file their renewal applications at least 120 days prior to the expiration of their current period of deferral in order to avoid a lapse in coverage.   However, USCIS will reject applications that are submitted more than 150 days (5 months) before the expiration date.

If you would like assistance in filing your DACA renewal, or if you have questions about whether you may qualify for DACA, please contact the Immigration Attorneys at Sobel & Erwin, PLLC to schedule a consultation.

Tulsa, Oklahoma Temporary Employment Visa Attorney

Posted on: August 5th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

There are many reasons a foreign individual might desire to apply for a non-immigrant or temporary employment visa.  A few of these include:

  • Visitors
  • Foreign individuals employed by companies with locations abroad and in the U.S.
  • Government officials from foreign countries and their staff
  • Treaty Investors and traders
  • Foreign exchange students
  • U.S. citizen’s foreign spouses
  • U.S. citizen’s foreign fiancés
  • Individuals with temporary employment
  • Foreign entertainers and athletes
  • Specific crime victims such as severe forms of human trafficking
  • Informants and witnesses

In order to obtain a visa, it is necessary to meet with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.  There are fees and specific documents that must be presented at your meeting such as your application, passport, and backup documentation delineating your financial status, employment, and purpose for travel.  If you are granted a visa, it normally takes a few weeks to receive it.

Temporary and Non-immigrant Employment Visas

Non-immigrant or temporary employment visas include:

  • O-visas:  This type of visa is for a foreign individual considered to be a professional possessing extraordinary skills and seeking temporary work in the U.S.
  • H-visas:  This visa is for foreign individuals and is for temporary employees being sponsored by their temporary employer.  H-visas include:  H-1B, H-2A, and H-3
  • TN-visas: For Canadian and Mexican professionals in the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) category.
  • L-visas:   High-level managers, and executives, in addition to individuals with training and knowledge in a specialized area, who are eligible for transfers within a company that has both U.S. and foreign entities.
  • E-visas:   For investors and traders from foreign countries who have temporary business in the U.S.
  • P-visas:  Are for entertainers, artists, and athletes from foreign countries.
  • R-visas:   Are for religious workers

Contact an Oklahoma Visa Lawyer

Contact Sobel & Erwin Tulsa temporary employment visa attorneys for information regarding the temporary employment or non-immigrant visa process.

Tulsa, Oklahoma Professional Green Card and Immigration Lawyer

Posted on: July 22nd, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

Professionals and skilled workers may be able to obtain permanent residency in the employment-based EB-3 category.  Depending upon your specific area of skill, and/or professional training it may be possible to obtain permanent resident or “green card” status based on an offer of employment.  Sobel & Erwin Oklahoma immigration attorneys are highly respected for their expertise in all areas of immigration law, and in obtaining all green cards and immigration status for their clients.

Necessary Steps for Professional Green Cards

There are several steps involved in the Tulsa professional green card and immigration status process:

  • Qualification for your skilled, and/or professional area of employment must be documented.
  • Degrees you received in a foreign country must be verified and documented.
  • You must have certification of labor or PERM.
  • Your prospective employer must provide documentation of a job offer.
  • Your prospective employer must verify their ability to pay your wages by providing financial statements that have been audited, annual reports, or federal income tax returns to immigration officials.

Obtaining a Tulsa professional green card and immigration status is not a simple process, and can become very lengthy if you are unfamiliar with immigration laws.

Oklahoma Immigration Attorney

Working with Sobel & Erwin, Tulsa, Oklahoma professional green card and immigration lawyers will alleviate your concerns throughout this sometimes stressful process.  We have a highly skilled and knowledgeable group of lawyers available to meet with you and expedite your obtaining a green card or immigration status.  Contact Sobel & Erwin today to set an appointment.

Permanent Employment Visa Lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Posted on: July 15th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

Sobel & Erwin have an expansive knowledge and expertise in immigration law, and we have worked with many individuals and employers to obtain permanent employment visas in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Five Classification Categories for Permanent Employment Visas (EB)

There are five EB classification categories as listed below:

  • An EB-1 classification is for professors and outstanding researchers, executives and managers who are multi-nationals, and other individuals from foreign countries with extraordinary and documented abilities in their specific area of expertise or field.
  • An EB-2 classification is for individuals from foreign countries pursuing employment requiring an advanced degree along with exceptional skills and knowledge.  A PERM is required unless the individual’s employment is beneficial to the interest of the U.S., and the PERM may be waived under this condition.
  • An EB-3 classification is for unskilled foreign workers, skilled and professional workers. Individuals who apply for permanent residency under this category are also required to successfully complete the PERM.
  • An EB-4 classification is for individuals who are religious workers from a foreign country.
  • An EB-5 classification is for investors and entrepreneurs from foreign countries desiring to do business in the U.S.

Sobel & Erwin has a team of highly skilled and successful permanent employment visa attorneys available to assist both employers recruiting workers from foreign countries and individuals from foreign countries pursuing employment in the U.S.

Each year, the U.S. immigration department allows a certain number of individuals from foreign countries to obtain a green card or immigration visa sponsored by prospective employers.  In a few situations, an individual from a foreign country may be able to petition the immigration department for permanent residency without an employer’s support.

Oklahoma Attorney for Visas

Contact Sobel & Erwin today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the requirements and process of obtaining a permanent employment visa with the help of our knowledgeable Tulsa lawyers.

Sobel & Erwin Tulsa Green Card Attorney

Posted on: July 8th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

Obtaining a green card does not mean that you are a United States citizen. It simply means that you are considered a permanent resident.  As a permanent resident, you are authorized to live and work in the U.S.

Eligibility for a Green Card

There are different ways to obtain a green card which include:

  • Engagement to a U.S. citizen
  • Marriage to a U.S. citizen
  • One or more of your immediate family members is a U.S. citizen
  • Qualifying employment or offer of employment
  • You are seeking asylum due to dangerous personal circumstances in your originating country
  • You are a religious worker
  • You are a military official
  • You are a government official
  • You are a physician
  • Other special circumstances

Once you receive a green card, you are granted certain U.S. constitutional rights, in addition to being protected by the laws governing all U.S. citizens.  You may also travel to and from you’re the United States, subject to certain restrictions.

Even though a green card does not qualify you as a U.S. citizen, you must abide by all U.S. laws, including filing and paying your income taxes: and males, ages 18 to 25, must also be registered with Selective Services which makes them eligible to serve our country via the armed services.  You are also eligible for United States citizenship if you fulfill citizenship requirements.  An Oklahoma immigration lawyer at Sobel & Erwin can provide you with the specific information you will need to pursue full citizenship status in the U.S.

Looking for an Oklahoma Immigration Lawyer

Sobel & Erwin have assisted hundreds of individuals in obtaining their Tulsa green cards and with other Oklahoma immigration issues.  Contact Sobel & Erwin today and set an appointment to discuss your immigration, and/or green card concerns.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense of Marriage Act

Posted on: June 28th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

On June 26, 2013, equality was affirmed among same-sex couples with the striking down of section three of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This section defines marriage as between a man and a woman, denying thousands of legally married same-sex couples marriage protections and responsibilities. “The DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal,” stated Justice Anthony Kennedy. The Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional, paving the way for major changes in the United States immigration system.

Under the Defense of Marriage Act, noncitizen spouses of gay and lesbian U.S. citizens have been hindered from obtaining immigration statuses.  Spouses have been deported, families have been separated, and same-sex couples have continued to endure the struggle against intolerance. “Far too often, expectations have been carved out to exclude immigrants from basic rights and protections. We are pleased that the Administration has made it clear that it intends for this important decision to apply fully to the immigration system” declared Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, Benjamin Johnson.

The federal government, as well as others, has set their sights on quickly fulfilling the Supreme Court’s ruling and applying equal protection principals to same-sex couples. “I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly,” confirmed President Obama. In an applaud of the decision, Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, assured that DHS “will implement today’s decision so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of our immigration laws.”

With the Defense of Marriage Act out of the way, same-sex couples are eager to taste their newfound equality and separated families are hopeful for a prompt reunion. President Obama concluded his press release by proudly stating, “the laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”

Family Immigration Lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Posted on: June 24th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

One of the main reasons an individual desires to immigrate to the U.S. is to reunite with family members. The United States Government sees reuniting of family members as a high priority. There are specific visas that can be sought for family members wanting to enter the United States. An Oklahoma visa attorney at Sobel & Erwin can greatly assist with the visa process.

Even though family members are given high priority in seeking visas, there is still a tremendous amount of documentation and paperwork that must be completed. The family immigration lawyers at the Tulsa office of Sobel & Erwin can relieve you from the complications of preparing proper documentation. Our staff and lawyers have the expertise to advocate for you and your foreign national family members.

Immigrant Visas for a Family Member

If you are seeking an immigrant visa for a family member or loved one as their sponsor, there are two things that must be accomplished prior to seeking an immigrant visa.

  1. You must seek approval from the USCIS of your immigrant visa petition.
  2. You must prove that you have the required income to support your family member or loved one.

Upon successfully completing both of these, your loved one or family member can proceed with the application for an immigrant visa to become a legal permanent resident.

Oklahoma Visa Attorney as your Advocate

Sobel & Erwin lawyers in Tulsa, Oklahoma want to advocate for you and your family. We have the expertise to navigate through this complex area of immigration. Without the help of our skilled attorneys, your visa process can be laborious and complicated. Contact our firm today to schedule an appointment.

What to Expect from the Senate Floor with Bill S.744

Posted on: June 24th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

In the month of June, Bill S.744, hit the Senate floor for discussion and debate. This bill for new immigration reform, “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” has to make it through the Senate and the House of Representatives and then receive the final approval of the President before it becomes a law.

  • The Senate voted to proceed with the debate and vote of Bill S.744 after Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture on the motion to proceed. A cloture is simply a procedure by which debate is formally ended in a meeting or legislature so that a vote may be taken on the bill.
  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will assess a score to estimate how much the bill will increase or decrease the deficit of the government over the next ten years.
  • Debate will begin with opening statements from both the Democrats and Republicans, and then each party will be given equal time to discuss and debate the bill.

Amendments to be filed on Bill S.744

It is anticipated that many of the amendments will be filed to S.744. It is a wide misconception that every amendment must be called to a vote. Most amendments will not ever reach the point of a vote.

  • Debate will take place for the amendments. Some of the non-controversial ones will be added based on bipartisanship. The more controversial ones will most likely be debated the third week of June just prior to the cloture vote on the bill.
  • Amendments are presented based on the availability of the Senator proposing them, not in any particular order according to their importance or the order of the bill.
  • Second-degree amendments may be presented to any amendments presented.
  • Some of the offered amendments may require more than the threshold of 60 votes. Others may only require a simple majority.

Final Voting on Amended Bill

In order to avoid a limitless length of debate and offered amendments, known as a filibuster, it is likely that Senator Reid will invoke cloture to end the debate of the bill. Barring an objection to cloture, the bill will be debated for up to an additional 30 hours. Once the bill has ripened (the 30 hours have expired), the Senate will make a motion to vote of the final bill. The vote only needs a simple majority to pass. If the bill passes, it will then go to the House of Representatives for their approval.

Help for Victims of Human Trafficking in Tulsa

Posted on: June 17th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

It is difficult to fathom that there are more people in slavery today than the total number of slaves held for the entire history of the slave trade. Even more surprising is the fact that many of these victims live in the United States. Human trafficking has become the second-largest criminal entity within the U.S. according to the United States Department of Justice. Children are thought to account for close to half of all human trafficking victims.

Human trafficking includes the sale, exchange, barter or lease of humans for acts of labor or sex. Victims are held against their will and considered prisoners. Human trafficking is a felony in the United States.

Immigrants or Illegal Aliens Targeted Victims of Human Trafficking

Many victims of human trafficking are U.S. citizens, but others are non-citizens brought to the U.S. against their will or under disguised and false pretenses. Great efforts are in place to try to stop human trafficking. While all victims need help, non-citizens need to know that they will not face imprisonment or deportation if they seek help or are uncovered by police.

In 2000, the U.S. Congress implemented the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act to assist non-citizens who have been trapped by human trafficking. Victims without a criminal record can apply for one of two types of visas, a T Non-Immigrant Visa or a U Non-Immigrant Visa.

A victim may apply for a T-visa if:

  • He or she is a victim of trafficking as defined by law.
  • The victim is in the U.S., America Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to human trafficking.
  • He or she is willing to comply and assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking violators.
  • They can demonstrate that they would suffer severe or unusual harm or extreme hardship if they were sent out of the United States.

A victim may apply for a U-visa if:

  • He or she has suffered physical or mental abuse directly related to a qualifying criminal activity such as human trafficking.
  • The victim can provide specific information relating to the criminal activity.
  • He or she responds in a helpful manner to the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
  • The criminal activity the victim was forced to be part of is unlawful within the United States.

Tulsa Immigration Lawyer

A Tulsa immigration lawyer at Sobel & Erwin can help with this complicated area of immigration. If you have been a victim of human trafficking, it is imperative that you seek the expertise of a lawyer who will advocate for your rights and your freedom. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Visas for Victims of Domestic Abuse (VAWA) in Tulsa

Posted on: June 10th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

The Violence against Women Act (VAWA) provides assistance for women and men immigrants who have been victims of domestic abuse. An immigrant visa petition may be filed by an abused spouse, child or parent without the abuser’s knowledge. The visa petition allows the victim to seek legal immigration and protection from the abuser.

Illegibility to File under VAWA

  • Spouse – a spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) who suffers abuse may file for help and protection. Children under the age of 21 who are not married will be included if they have not filed themselves.
  • Parent – an application for assistance may be filed by the parent of a child who has suffered abuse from a U.S. citizen spouse or a permanent resident spouse. All children, whether abused or not, may be included in the application.
  • Parent – assistance may be sought by a parent of a U.S. citizen or green card holder if they have suffered abuse by their U.S. citizen son or daughter
  • Child – a child may seek the benefits of VAWA if he or she is under the age of 21 and unmarried if he or she has suffered abuse by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent. A child under the age of 25 may still be allowed to file if they can prove that the abuse prevented them from filing earlier.

Immigration Attorney in Tulsa

An immigration attorney in Tulsa can assist in filing for a visa for Victims of Domestic Abuse. Sobel & Erwin recognize the trauma you have faced and want to advocate for you to present sufficient proof for your case. Upon final approval, it may be plausible to file for permanent residence. Contact our experts today for an appointment .