The Basics: Understanding How Immigrants Obtain Green Cards

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THE BASICS: UNDERSTANDING HOW IMMIGRANTSOBTAIN GREEN CARDSGeneral Practice, Solo, and Small Firm SectionVinesh PatelThe Vinesh Patel Law Firm PLLCDallasFrancisco AlvillarAlvillar Law, PCSan AntonioThursday, June 22, 201710:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Vinesh PatelVinesh practices immigration law in Dallas, Texas. He graduated with distinction from StanfordUniversity, and cum laude from The University of Michigan Law School. His immigration practice has adual focus: on representing non-citizens in complex deportation matters; and in counseling clients andattorneys on the immigration consequences of criminal arrests and convictions.Vinesh's parents lived on three continents before immigrating to the United States. They finally settledin Midland, Texas, where Vinesh grew up and did not play high school football.Vinesh is a licensed member of the California and Texas Bars. He has also been admitted to practicebefore the Fifth, Tenth, and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals, the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas,and the Central District of California. He is an active member of the American Immigration LawyersAssociation.

Francisco was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and currently lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. Heobtained his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Law Degree from theUniversity of Arizona College of Law. He earned his board certification in Immigration law by the TexasBoard of Legal Specialization in 2016. He has practiced immigration and naturalization law since 2007and has worked hard on behalf of his clients from all over the world including countries such as Mexico,Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Somalia, France, Germany, United Kingdom,and Spain in matters ranging from investor visas to naturalization to federal immigration appeals.

FRANCISCO ALVILLAR11724 Persuasion Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78216 512.507.4368francisco@al-pc.com /21/218CERTIFICATIONS & BAR ADMISSIONS Board Certified: Immigration & Nationality Law TX Board of Legal Specialization (2017) United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2014) Western District of Texas Federal District Court (2011) State Bar of Texas (2007)EDUCATION University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law Tucson, AZJuris Doctor, May 2006 University of Texas at Austin Austin, TXBachelor of Science in Corporate Communication, August 2000PROFESSIONAL LEGAL EXPERIENCEAlvillar Law, PC San Antonio, TXOwner/Attorney (2008–Present) Serve as client representative in wide-ranging immigration matters involving family-based petitions,applications for Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) and submissions for Naturalization. Assistclients to obtain Unlawful Presence and Criminal Waivers, Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status,U Visas, Asylum, status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Deferred Action forChildhood Arrivals (DACA), benefits under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) and relief underthe Cuban Adjustment Act. Provide legal services to businesses in applications for employmentbased visas including the Permanent Labor Certification Process through Program Electronic ReviewManagement (PERM), Investor Visas (E1/E2), TN Visas, and H1B Visas. Appear in immigration court to defend clients from removal (deportation) in detained and nondetained settings involving, but not limited to, Cancellation of Removal (INA § 240A(a) and INA §240A(b)), Adjustment of Status (AOS), Criminal and Fraud Waivers, Asylum, INA § 237(a)(1)(H)Waivers, INA 212(k) Waivers as well as challenges to removability pursuant to Descamps v. UnitedStates and Moncrieffe v. Holder. Handle appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), Petitions for Review to the United StatesCourt of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and immigration based claims in U.S. District Court for theWestern District of Texas including complaints pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA),Declaratory Judgments, and release from detention through Writs of Habeas Corpus.De Mott, McChesney, Curtright and Armendariz, LLP San Antonio, TXAssociate Attorney (2007–2008) Represented clients in removal (deportation) and exclusion proceedings before immigration judgesinvolving, but not limited to, Cancellation of Removal (INA § 240A(a) and INA § 240A(b)),Adjustment of Status (AOS), Criminal and Fraud Waivers. Employed best practices in analyzing and drafting appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals(BIA). Offered hands-on support to clients for interviews with the United States Citizenship andImmigration Service (USCIS).Page 1 of 2

VOLUNTEER LEGAL EXPERIENCERAICES Immigration Law (nonprofit organization) San Antonio, TXPro Bono Attorney/Contract Attorney (2010–Present) Provide legal representation for detained and non-detained unaccompanied minors in theirapplications for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status and Asylum as well as other matters such asmotions to reopen and appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Manage all aspects of complex cases for detained and non-detained clients including gang relatedand domestic violence asylum claims associated with women and children from Central America atthe South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio (nonprofit organization) San Antonio, TXPro Bono Attorney/Referral Attorney (2014–Present) Attend various public events to provide free legal services and consultations in low income areas ofSan Antonio, Texas for immigration related issues including, but not limited to, Lawful PermanentResidence and Naturalization. Provide pro bono and discounted legal services for specific cases upon request of local staffattorneys.PROFESSIONAL LEGAL AFFILIATIONS American Immigration Lawyers Association (ALIA) (2008–Present) Immigration and Nationality Law Section of SABA (2009–Present) AILA Federal Court Litigation Section (2015-Present)PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS “The Basics: How an Immigrant Obtains a Green Card,” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting CLEPresentation (2017) “The Basics: How an Immigrant Obtains a Green Card,” San Antonio Bar Association CLEPresentation (2015 & 2017) “What Now? Options for DACA & Dreamers Under the New Administration,” University ofIncarnate Word, Public Presentation (2017) “Life After F-1 and J-1 Student Visas,” The University of the Incarnate Word & Texas StateUniversity International Students Presentation (2013-Present) “Divorces Involving Lawful Permanent Residents: Obligations and Impact of Form I-864, Affidavitof Support,” San Antonio Family Law Section CLE Presentation (2016) “Practical Advice in Representing a Noncitizen in Criminal Court,” San Antonio Criminal BarAssociation CLE Presentation (2015) “Preguntas A Un Abogado” (“Ask a Lawyer”), Catholic Television of San Antonio,Archdiocese of San Antonio (2015)Page 2 of 2

The Basics:Understanding HowImmigrants ObtainGreen Cards

Presenter – Vinesh Patel Office Location: Dallas, TexasLicense: Texas (2008)Undergraduate: Stanford UniversityLaw School: University of MichiganFocus: Deportation Defense, FederalLitigation, and Affirmative Filings

Presenter – Francisco AlvillarOffice Location: San Antonio, TexasLicense: Texas (2007)Undergraduate: University of TexasLaw School: University of ArizonaFocus: Federal Litigation, NIV, andAffirmative Filings Board Certified by TBLS (2016)

What are Green Cards? AKA “Immigrant Visas” or “LawfulPermanent Residence” (“LPR”). “Reside” permanently in the U.S. Live, work, and establish life here in U.S. May not live outside of the U.S. May not take trips longer than 6 months. May only lose these LPR status throughformal renunciation or IJ

Green Cards areNot Nonimmigrant VisasDon’t Be Confused,NIV’s Have SeveralCategories!!!

Nonimmigrant Visa Categories ABCDEFGHIJKLMDiplomatsVisitors (bus/pleasure)TransitCrewmanTreaty trader/investorsAcademic studentsInternationalOrganizationTemporary workersJournalists/MediaExchange visitorsFiancés/fiancées ofUS citizensIntracompany transfereesVocational students NParents or children of specialimmigrantsOPersons of extraordinaryabilityPAthletes or entertainersQInternational culturalexchange visitorsRReligious workersSFederal witnesses (sneakysnitches)TTrafficking of persons victimsTN NAFTA professionals (Mexicoand Canada)UCertain crime victimsVCertain spouses/childrenwaiting for green cards

Procedure to Obtain a Green CardEstablishQualificationfor ImmigrantVisaImmigrantVisa Petition(USCIS)NOTE: Even if an individualestablishes that he or shequalifies as a beneficiary of animmigrant visa petition, thisdoes not mean that she willnecessarily be approvedAdjustmentof StatusAOS(USCIS)ConsularProcessingOverseas(DOS)

How to Establish Qualifications foran Immigrant Visa Family RelationshipEmployment (Sponsored by Company)Invest under EB5 CategoryDiversity LotterySpecial Visas

Family Relationship Based Immediate Relatives:children, spouses, or parents of US citizens (no limit peryear, no wait other special benefits)Preference Categories:Unmarried sons & daughters of US citizens (23,400 visasper year)Spouses/minor children & unmarried sons and daughtersof US permanent residents (114,200 visas per year)Married sons and daughters of US citizens (23,400 visasper year)Brothers and sisters of US citizens (65,000 visas per year)US citizen son or daughter must be age 21 or over

Family Relationship Based Immediate Relatives: No wait and may doAOS even if out of status as long as havelawful entry or 245i ProtectionPreference Categories: Must wait for visaavailability and may not AOS if out of statusunless have 245i Protection

Employment BasedPriority Workers (EB-1)Skilled & unskilled workers (EB-3)40,000 visas per year40,000 visas per year Extraordinary ability (self-sponsor) Skilled workers in short supply Outstanding professors & Professionals with bachelor’s degreeresearchers (tenure-track Unskilled workers in short supplyposition)(all require labor certification) Business executives & managers(no labor certification required)Special Immigrants (EB-4)10,000 visas per yearAdvanced degree holders (EB-2) Religious workers; certain US govt.40,000 visas per yearemployees; Panama Canal Professionals with advancedemployees; plus certain dependentdegrees or exceptional ability injuvenilessciences, arts & business (laborcertification required) National Interest Waiver of laborcertification requirement

Employment Based Majority of EB immigrant visa applicationsare completed through AOSCannot have been out of status for morethan 180 days in order to AOS. INA 245K.Reason: Immigrant Visa Petition process islong and expensive so majority are filed forcurrent employees

Employment BasedPriority Workers (EB-1)Skilled & unskilled workers (EB-3)40,000 visas per year40,000 visas per year Extraordinary ability (self-sponsor) Skilled workers in short supply Outstanding professors & Professionals with bachelor’s degreeresearchers (tenure-track Unskilled workers in short supplyposition)(all require labor certification) Business executives & managers(no labor certification required)Special Immigrants (EB-4)10,000 visas per yearAdvanced degree holders (EB-2) Religious workers; certain US govt.40,000 visas per yearemployees; Panama Canal Professionals with advancedemployees; plus certain dependentdegrees or exceptional ability injuvenilessciences, arts & business (laborcertification required) National Interest Waiver of laborcertification requirement

Invest under EB-5 Category Reserved for immigrants who invest in and manageU.S. companies that benefit U.S. economy and createat least 10 fulltime jobs. Also allowed to invest inregional centers (799 in the U.S.). 1 million normally required to invest; can be 500,000in rural or poor areas Get conditional residence for two years; then mustprove investment worked to get condition removed Law allows up to 10,000 EB-5 green cards per year

Diversity Visa Lottery This program is run by the Department of Stateeach year to diversify the range of countriessending immigrants to the US. 55,000 visas are made available. Individuals send entries to DOS during a onemonth entry period (usually in fall). DOS draws names; individuals whose names aredrawn can apply for visas at the US consulate oftheir country.

Special Visa Categories U Visa – Victims of Crimes in the U.S. T Visa – Victims of Human Trafficking VAWA – “Violence Against Women Act” Refugees/Asylees – Victims of Persecution Cuban Adjustment Act – One year of PT afterAdmission The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central AmericanRelief Act (NACARA) Cancellation of Removal of Non-LPR Special Immigrant Juveniles - UAM

Procedure to Obtain a Green CardEstablishQualificationfor ImmigrantVisaAdjustment ofStatus AOS(USCIS)or EOIR

Questions?

Appear in immigration court to defend clients from removal (deportation) in detained and non-detained settings involving, but not limited to, Cancellation of Removal (INA § 240A(a) and INA § 240A(b)), Adjustment of Status (AOS), Criminal and Fraud Waivers, Asylum, INA § 237(a)(1)(H)

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