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Help for families going through immigration issues

Help for families going through immigration issues

3 Tips On How To Prepare For Your Master Calendar Hearing

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips On How To Prepare For Your Master Calendar Hearing

Have immigration officials taken action against you to start the removal process? If so, one of the first events in the process will be something called a master calendar hearing, also known as an MCH. An MCH is a brief appearance in front of an immigration judge and a federal attorney. The purpose of the meeting is to set the schedule for all further court appearances. During this meeting, the judge doesn’t consider the facts in the case or make any kind of ruling on whether you should stay or be removed. However, your actions in this meeting can influence the final decision. Here are three tips to help you successfully manage the MCH and move forward in a positive manner: Get there early. You will have a set time for your MCH to start. However, it’s advisable for you to get there with plenty of time to spare. The MCHs are usually held in a large courtroom and the judge may have dozens of MCHs scheduled throughout the day. When it’s your turn to appear in front of the judge, there will be other people in attendance waiting for their MCH to start. It’s important that you’re there early because the schedule can vary wildly. People scheduled before you may not show up, putting the judge ahead of schedule. If you’re not there when your name is called, the judge has the authority to immediately rule for removal, ending your appeal before it even begins. Don’t take this risk. Be there plenty early so you’re there when your name is called. Ask for a translator. Even though this isn’t a trial or a hearing where a major decision is made, you will still be asked questions by the judge. Most of these questions will be about whether you are innocent or guilty of certain charges. Your answers will be on the official court record, so it’s important that you get them right. If you’re not comfortable answering questions in English, you have the right to ask for a translator. They may have an interpreter in the building, but if not, they will get one on a speaker phone. Don’t answer any questions that you don’t understand. You have the right to ask the judge or the interpreter to rephrase the questions as many times as you need them to. Be careful about bringing family. An MCH hearing usually isn’t a good setting for children. While you wait, you’ll be in a courtroom where silence is mandatory. Also, if the judge is running behind schedule, you may need to wait for several hours. Also, be careful about bringing family members who may not have entered the country legally. If they are identified at the court building as being wanted by immigration officials, they could be placed under arrest. If you want support during the MCH, your best option may be to hire an immigration attorney, such as Carmen DiAmore-Siah Attorney At Law. They can speak on your behalf at the hearing and can help you decide how to respond to certain...

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Sponsoring An Immigrant? 3 Things You Need To Know Before Filling An Affidavit Of Support

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sponsoring An Immigrant? 3 Things You Need To Know Before Filling An Affidavit Of Support

If you wish to sponsor a close family member, child, spouse or fiance who wants to move to the United States, you will likely have to file an affidavit of support. This affidavit is a legally-binding contract that basically says you are financially stable and will financially support the immigrant for a specified amount of time. If you’re thinking about sponsoring an immigrant, following are a few things you need to know about an affidavit of support. Proof of Income Is Required While you don’t have to be rich to qualify as a sponsor, you do have to prove that you can support another person. To qualify as a sponsor, you must have income that is equal to or greater than 125 percent of the poverty guidelines for your family size. If you are actively in the military, you may only have to prove that your income is 100 percent of the poverty guidelines. You can count most types of income, including that from employment, alimony, disability, child support, interest, welfare and retirement. If you meet these income requirements on your own, you will probably qualify as a sponsor. There Are Other Ways to Meet Income Requirement If you don’t make enough money to meet the guidelines for the affidavit, you may count income earned by other people in your household. You can also ask people outside of your household to stand in as a joint sponsor. However, the joint sponsor must meet the income requirements. You cannot simply combine your income to come up with the total amount.  If the immigrant has income that will continue, you can count this as well.  The Affidavit Has Long-Term Implications As a sponsor, you are basically saying you will financially support the immigrant for a designated period of time, and the government will hold you to it. If you fail to support the immigrant, you may end up having to make support payments directly to them. Such payments may be large enough to bring the immigrant’s income up to the poverty guidelines. If the immigrant ends up on public assistance, you may have to reimburse the government for benefits they receive. In most cases, you will be financially responsible for the immigrant until they become a citizen or they have earned 40 work quarter hours toward Social Security, which equals approximately 10 years of work. You should never sign an affidavit of support without completely understanding the implications involved. Since it is a legal, enforceable contract, an affidavit may affect your own financial situation for years to come. For more information, talk to an immigration...

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