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Josef N Wachsman

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As a battered spouse, child or parent, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

The provisions in the INA allow certain spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser's knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.

VAWA applies equally to victims of either sex. The VAWA visa is only eligible for non-citizens who have been battered or abused by a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.

  • As of July 2016, amendments regarding VAWA provides for continued eligibility for adjustment of status under section 1 of the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) for an abused spouse or child or a qualifying Cuban principal. The VAWA amendments establish divorce and death exceptions and remove the residency requirements for abused spouses and children.

Spouse: You may file for yourself if you are, or were, the abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You may also file as an abused spouse if your child has been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse. You may also include on your petition your unmarried children who are under 21 if they have not filed for themselves.

Parent: You may file if you are the parent of a U.S. citizen, and you have been abused by your U.S. citizen son or daughter.

Child: You may file for yourself if you are an abused child under 21, unmarried, and have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent. Your children may also be included in your petition. You may also file for yourself as a child after age 21 but before age 25 if you can demonstrate that the abuse was the main reason for the delay in filing.

Green Card is the informal name of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Card or Form I-551. It is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immigrants allowing them to live and work in the country permanently. A green card is a way to obtain lawful permanent residence status in the United States. It authorizes one to live and work permanently in the country. However, one has to apply for it at a US consulate and fulfill certain conditions to obtain a green card. These terms and conditions include:

  • The applicant has long-term employment in the United States.
  • The applicant is married to a US citizen or green cardholder.
  • The applicant’s immediate family members are lawful US residents.

A green card is the identification card for lawful residents in the United States. To know more about it and other visa conditions, get in touch with our Denver Immigration lawyers here to help you.

The adjustment of status means adjusting an applicant of one category into another category of visa. They can benefit by applying for adjustment into the green card category while staying in the United States. Immigrants can apply for the green card adjustment of status only when they satisfy the following conditions:

  • They are married to US citizens or lawful residents and entered the country lawfully irrespective of whether they have overstayed.
  • Those who entered lawfully, are not staying or working in violation of visa terms and are qualified to get visas.
  • Those eligible to get protection under Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The provision allows certain qualified foreigners to apply for the adjustment of status even though they violated entry and visa conditions.
  • Those who are allowed entry under the K-1 fiancee visa and married a US citizen within 90 days of arrival.

The adjustment of status is the only way for immigrants to apply for a green card while living in the United States and avoid issues associated with leaving the country and face re-entry issues. To know more about the entry regulations, waivers, and immigration rules, contact our office and speak with one of your immigration lawyers in Denver.

Marriage, family relationships, refugee status, and employment are important criteria to apply for a Green card while staying in the United States. The applicant has to undergo an interview by USCIS officials, a detailed medical exam, and a complete background verification. If you need to work or travel while your green card application is under process, you must obtain approved travel re-entry permits. The Law Office of Josef Wachsmann can help you or your loved one apply for Adjustment of Status in the Denver office and help you obtain the travel documents needed to re-enter the country.

Consular processing is the procedure through which foreigners outside of the U.S. may be able to immigrate to the U.S., including to Colorado, as a permanent resident (a.k.a. get a green card). Requirements for consular processing usually include (1) filing a work- or family-based petition, (2) paying filing fees, and (3) having an interview.

Consular processing is a method by which the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) permits foreigners residing outside of the U.S. to procure permanent resident status in the U.S. When a foreigner is granted an approved immigrant petition and an immigrant visa number, he/she may apply with the U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa so that he/she may come to the U.S. as a permanent resident.

Another way to obtain U.S. permanent residency is “adjustment of status.” But this is used when the foreigner is already in the U.S. and is permitted to apply for permanent resident status without needing to return to his/her home country in order to complete the process. In short, consular processing is for aliens outside of the U.S., and adjustment of status is for aliens inside the U.S.

Note that non-citizens are strongly advised not to attempt consular processing or adjustment of status without an immigration attorney helping them through the complicated and confusing process. One mistake can set applicants back months or disqualify them altogether from immigrating to the U.S.

When you are seeking to immigrate to the United States, it is crucial that you have a clean record. Even if you gain residency or have a valid green card, your status could be threatened if you are convicted of committing certain types of criminal activity. A criminal record or conviction may impede you from obtaining permanent resident status or could even result in you being deported from the country.

If you are not a United States Citizen, it is imperative that you consult a removal attorney experienced with criminal law to help reduce the chance you will be deported.

There are certain crimes that are considered more serious compared to other crimes. While a minor crime may result in a slap on the wrist, if you are convicted of a major crime, it could ultimately lead to your removal from the country. However, knowing which crime results in deportation requires a seasoned immigration attorney. Even "minor" offenses may have drastic consequences under immigration law.

The Law Firm of Josef N. Wachsmann P.C. can step in to provide the proven deportation defense you need to protect your status.

A person may become a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization. All persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and of the state where they reside.

Generally, people are born U.S. citizens if they are born in the United States or if they are children of U.S. citizens:

By being born in the United States

  • If you were born in the United States, you are an American citizen at birth (unless you were born to a foreign diplomat). Your birth certificate is proof of your citizenship.
  • Through birth abroad to TWO United States citizens
  • You may be a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true:
    • Both your parents were U.S. citizens when you were born; and
    • At least one of your parents lived in the United States at some point in their life.
    • Your record of birth abroad, if registered with a U.S. consulate or embassy, is proof of your citizenship. You may also apply for a passport to have your citizenship recognized.
    • Through birth abroad to ONE United States citizen
    • You may be a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true:
    • One of your parents was a U.S. citizen when you were born; and
    • Your citizen parent lived in the U.S. at least 5 years before you were born.
  • Your record of birth abroad, if registered with a U.S. consulate or embassy, is proof of your citizenship. You may also apply for a passport to have your citizenship recognized.

To naturalize, you must submit an Application for Naturalization. After submitting the application, the applicant will be scheduled for an in-person interview with an immigration officer. At this interview, the officer will review the application and administer English and Civics tests (unless an exception to the normal testing obligations applies). At the conclusion of the interview, a successful applicant will be instructed about upcoming naturalization ceremonies and the swearing-in process. An applicant is not a U.S. citizen until being officially sworn in as a citizen.

What are the requirements for becoming a citizen/naturalization?

  • You have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (with exceptions for spouses of U.S. citizens, and U.S. military personnel);
  • You have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the last five years (with exceptions for spouses of U.S. citizens and U.S. military personnel);
  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • You have good moral character;
  • You are able to speak, read, and write in English (with some exceptions);
  • You are able to pass a test covering U.S. history and government (with some exceptions); and
  • You are willing to take the oath of citizenship.

Your time as a Permanent Resident begins on the date you were granted permanent resident status. This date is on your Permanent Resident Card (commonly known as Green Card).

Please contact our office if you would like help with your application or interview

It is an unfortunate fact that, for one reason or another, events may transpire that make it unsafe or imprudent for a foreign individual visiting the United States, legally or illegally, to return to their native country or country of citizenship.

Occasionally, the United States government formally recognizes these types of unstable conditions in other countries and will offer Temporary Protection Status (TPS) to citizens or residents of these countries who are in the United States, so that they do not have to return to these countries when their current U.S. visas expire.

A country may be designated for TPS by the United States Secretary of Homeland Security for a number of reasons:

  • If there is political unrest or armed conflict in that country that presents a danger to individuals traveling there;
  • If a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or hurricane, has caused severe damage to a large portion of a country or to major cities making it impractical or unsafe for foreign visitors to the United States to return to their home countries for a period of time; or
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions exist in an individual’s home country that makes it impractical or unsafe to return.

In these cases, the Secretary of Homeland Security will designate residents and citizens of those countries as eligible for TPS.

Individuals who were previously granted deferred action under DACA may request renewal by filing with the appropriate fee. USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. USCIS will not accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients.

As of August 1, 2019, USCIS is returning to a one-year filing window across the board for requesting renewal of an expired period of DACA. If you previously received DACA and your most recent period of DACA expired one year ago or less, you may still file your DACA request as a renewal request.

Please note, if you previously received DACA and your most recent period of DACA expired more than one year ago, or your most recent DACA grant was previously terminated, you cannot request DACA as a renewal but you may file a new initial DACA request.

If you meet the initial 2012 DACA guidelines you can file for renewal:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; and
  • Do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.


An I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility allows a non-citizen alien to immigrate to the United States, adjust their status to permanent residence, or seek admission to the United States in a non-immigrant status, if certain grounds of inadmissibility, circumstances, or conduct prevent them from being otherwise admissible. The I-601 application applies to certain aliens who believe they are ineligible for admission to the United States based on certain grounds of inadmissibility.

The I-601 and I-601A waiver application process are notoriously complex primarily due to the high level of scrutiny these applications face when under review by an immigration officer. The process is emotionally charged, time-consuming, document-heavy, and extremely invasive. On average, the process takes approximately 12 months or more. This time frame does not take into account any delays that may be caused by requests for evidence or any delays that may be caused by the National Visa Center which processes thousands of applications every day. It is not uncommon for the National Visa Center (NVC) to misplace or altogether ignore important documents. It is strongly advised that applicants scan and make copies of anything sent to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the NVC.

If you are seeking a waiver for accrual of unlawful presence which has lasted a period of less than one year during a single stay, or a period of more than one year during a single stay, you CANNOT apply for a waiver using the I-601 application. Instead, you must use Form I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. If you are seeking a waiver due to a 3-year or 10-year bar based on your unlawful presence, you may file the I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility under INA section 212(a)(9)(B).

In order to qualify for the I-601 Waiver, you must have at least one qualifying relative through which you are making your claim for the waiver. K visa applicants are exempted from this requirement. In lieu of a qualifying relative, the K visa applicant must only demonstrate that the petitioner is an American citizen. For all other applicants, qualifying relatives may include a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) spouse, parent, or child.

Aliens who have been deported/removed from the United States have committed an immigration violation and are thus inadmissible and barred from seeking a United States visa (immigrant or non-immigrant) for a specified period of time. The period of time an alien is deemed inadmissible or ‘barred’ from seeking re-entry depends on the reason for the alien’s removal, circumstances surrounding their removal, and period of unlawful presence. Individuals may be barred from seeking admission to the United States for five, ten, twenty years, or indefinitely. This means that as a result of the immigration violation committed, the alien is required to remain abroad for a continuous period of time as required by the bar before seeking re-admission. Multiple immigration violations constitute multiple bars therefore it is important to fully disclose all crimes, misrepresentations, or fraudulent claims in the alien’s immigration history. If you do not know the provision of law that was the basis of your exclusion, deportation, or removal from the United States, review the official documents you received during your removal proceedings. These documents should specify under what section of the law you have been found inadmissible. The I-212 waiver allows certain aliens to seek permission to re-apply for admission to the United States before their period of inadmissibility has been reached (otherwise known as a ‘bar’).

Inadmissible to the U.S.? Call us for help