Naperville Law Blog

Getting a green card as the child of a diplomat

Those who are born in Illinois or any other state to a foreign diplomat may be entitled to receive a green card. A diplomat can be an ambassador, counselor or any other individual who has diplomatic status with the United Nations. Furthermore, children of diplomats must have resided in the United States since birth and maintained that residence prior to applying for their green card. Those who ask for permanent residency in the United States must give up their diplomatic immunity.

They must also renounce any other privileges granted to them as the child of a diplomat. Applicants must file Form I-485 to have their status in the United States adjusted. In addition to the form, an individual must provide two photos, a birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID. He or she must also provide evidence of continuous residence in the United States.

Understanding U.S. immigration rules for temporary performers

It's common for entertainers and artists from other countries to come to Illinois to perform. Given the current climate regarding immigration, there can be confusion as to how those who are entering the United States as performers will be treated. Adhering to the law based on the required P-2 classification is critical to avoid legal violations.

When an individual comes to the U.S. as an entertainer or artist, they will be classified as P-2 granting temporary status to perform. It can be an individual or within a group. An organization based in the U.S. and one in a different country will have an exchange. The person must have skills that compare to counterparts in the U.S. A U.S.-based labor organization must sponsor the person to work under P-2. A Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker, Form I-129, must be filed.

Changes coming to religious worker visa program

Religious workers in Illinois, including ministers, may be eligible to apply for a specific type of employment-based visa. Called an EB-4, or employment-based fourth-preference visa, this option can enable religious workers to immigrate to the U.S. or adjust their status once they are in the country. It requires them to have a full-time, compensated job in their religious profession for acceptance. While there is no cap on this visa program for ministers, a cap has been in place for non-minister religious workers of 5,000 special immigrant visas per year.

However, non-ministers may also be concerned as the special immigrant visa program is scheduled to end on Sept. 30, 2019. The category was extended by President Donald Trump after an earlier planned expiry on Feb. 15. Non-ministers who wish to immigrate or adjust their status to become permanent residents in this category should be sure to do so before Sept. 30 in order to protect their eligibility. This change applies to people with a religious occupation or vocation working in professional and non-professional positions and their spouses. It does not apply to ministers and their spouses, however, for whom the visa program will continue without interruption.

Illinois child support and extracurricular activities

Even though your marriage did not succeed, you always put the interests of your children first. If you are going through a divorce, you likely want to be certain your kids continue to have the financial resources they need to thrive. You should not, however, pay more than your fair share in child support. 

When planning your financial future, you must understand how Illinois law treats child support. As you may have heard, the state uses income shares guidelines to determine how much each parent owes. There are some instances, though, that may require you to pay less or more. 

Green card processing times and status changes

Getting married or divorced may change the wait time for a green card for some Illinois people. This was the case for one man whose mother, a U.S. citizen from the Philippines, had filed an immigrant petition for him in 2005 when he was unmarried. As the unmarried adult child of a citizen, this placed him the category "First Preference".

Green card eligibility

When people in Illinois talk about getting a "green card" in connection with immigration, they are referring to the process of obtaining permission to live in the United States as a permanent resident. This can be a complex process that differs greatly depending on a person's status.

Supreme Court rules in immigrant gun case

The Supreme Court has ruled that undocumented immigrants in Illinois and around the country cannot be deported for possessing a gun if they were not aware of their illegal status. The 7-2 decision, which was handed down on June 21, was made in the case of an Emirati man who entered the United States on a student visa and faced deportation proceedings after being expelled by the Florida Institute of Technology.

The ruling ruling means that federal prosecutors in such cases must now prove that undocumented immigrants both possessed a firearm and knew that they were in the United States unlawfully. In his opinion for the majority, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that immigrants facing deportation in these situations would not have the required wrongful mental state because of their lack of knowledge. Chief Justices John Roberts and Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor joined Associate Justice Beyer in the lead opinion.

Students suffering due to visa delays

Longer visa processing times at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services have left many international students in Illinois searching for solutions. Graduates and students from some of the most prestigious institutions nationwide have been forced to delay summer job start dates, and some have missed out on educational or career opportunities because their visa applications have been delayed. Some say they have lost money on housing and transportation.

Processing times for green cards, visas and other immigration documents have climbed to record levels since 2017 according to a study by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The AILA found that foreign visa processing times have increased by 46%, which causes problems for people who need new permissions to enter or stay in the country when they graduate. Under the terms of the Optional Practical Training program, international students are allowed to work in a job that is related to their field of study for as much as one year.

3 wills filed on behalf of Aretha Franklin's estate

Some Illinois fans of singer Aretha Franklin may have heard that when she died in 2018, she did not have a will. However, on May 20, three wills that were found in her home were filed in court. Franklin's longtime attorney has asked the court to rule on their validity.

Proposed legislation could protect some immigrants

Dreamers in Illinois and throughout the country will have a pathway to citizenship if the American Dream and Promise Act becomes law. It was passed in the House of Representatives by a count of 237-187, and the vote was largely along party lines. It is unlikely to be passed by the Senate unless the legislation includes more funding for border security. Republicans also expressed concern that the proposed law would undercut those who have attempted to gain legal status properly.

The American Dream and Promise Act would protect roughly 2.5 million people from possible deportation. This includes those who are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It would also include about 1.5 million who are not eligible for DACA or who didn't apply. Others who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or similar authorization to be in the country would also benefit from this proposed law.

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