There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and get some of your questions answered about Immigration, Family and Criminal Law. We hope this information is helpful to you.
What agency processes immigration green cards, visas, and citizenship?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is the government agency that oversees legal immigration to the United States. USCIS is primarily responsible for approving green cards, naturalization, work permits, travel permits, and other “immigration benefits”.
What is a green card?
A “green card,” issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provides proof of lawful permanent resident status, with authorization to live and work anywhere in the United States. Most green cards must be renewed every 10 years, but conditional green cards based on marriage or investment must be replaced after the first 2 years.
What is a lawful permanent resident?
A lawful permanent resident, also known as a “green card holder,” is a foreign national who is authorized to live and work anywhere in the United States, sponsor certain relatives for their own green cards, and ultimately apply for U.S. citizenship.
What documents do I need for a marriage green card?
The required documents for a marriage green card can vary by situation. A Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, must be filed. The couple must provide evidence, such as proof that the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; a copy of their marriage certificate; evidence that the marriage is authentic; and evidence that the sponsoring spouse can financially support the spouse seeking a green card.
What is conditional permanent residence?
A conditional green card is valid for only 2 years, and the designation “CR1” eon the physical card stands for “conditional resident.” A conditional green card holder must file Form I-751 to “remove the conditions” and obtain a permanent green card. In most cases, a conditional green card is issued to a spouse who has been married for less than 2 years at the time their green card was first approved.
Can I work in the U.S. while waiting for my green card?
Many immigrants can apply for a Work Permit from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Anyone who already has a valid work visa (for example, an H-1B or L-1 visa) can usually continue working in the United States even while applying for a U.S. green card. Otherwise, green card applicants aren’t allowed to start working in the United States until they obtain a work permit by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
What is a K-1 visa?
The K-1 fiancé visa is available to fiancés of U.S. citizens who are living outside of the United States and intend to get married within 90 days of arriving in the United States.
How does an immigrant become a United States Citizen?
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. Citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
How long does it take to get a divorce in Texas?
It takes a minimum of 61 days to get a divorce in Texas. It’s important to understand that the more conflict there is between both parties the longer it will take to meet an agreement and finalize the divorce decree.
What is conservatorship in a Texas custody case?
In Texas, the term “custody” is legally known as conservatorship. Conservatorship in Texas determines the legal rights and duties that each parent has regarding the child. In Texas, there are three types of conservators – sole managing conservators, joint managing conservators, and possessory conservators.
Sole Managing Conservatorship
In a sole managing conservatorship (SMC), one parent is appointed managing conservator and the other parent is appointed as the possessory conservator.
The parent who is named as the sole managing conservator has the sole legal right to make certain decisions concerning the child, including but not limited to medical and educational decisions.
Joint Managing Conservatorship
In a joint managing conservatorship (JMC), it is presumed to be in the best interest of the child for the parents to be named joint managing conservators.
With a joint managing conservatorship in Texas, the parents share rights and duties. However, exclusive rights—such as the right to designate the residence of the child and the right to receive child support—may be awarded to one party. A parent cannot be appointed a JMC if there is a history or pattern of past or present child neglect or physical or sexual abuse by one parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child.
One of the most common misconceptions of joint managing conservatorship is that the parents have equal or almost equal possession of the child. Conservatorship ONLY addresses the rights and duties of each parent regarding the child and has no effect on actual possession time.
A parent may be named the Possessory Conservator if the other parent was named the Sole Managing Conservator. In rarer circumstances where a non-parent — such as a grandparent — is named the Sole Managing Conservator, then the court may name both biological parents as Possessory Conservators.
In essence, Possessory Conservators have rights to possession and access of their child, but no rights when it comes to final decision-making on the child's behalf.
Can my child decide which parent he/she wants to live with?
In Texas, a child under the age of 18 may not determine which parent they will live with. However, if a child is over 12 years old, a Judge may meet with the child to gain insight on which parent would be best as primary custodian. The child’s input is only one factor, amongst many, that the court may consider to make the final decision.
How is child support amount determined?
Income subject to child support withholding includes money from the following sources:
*Income does not include Supplemental Security Income, return on principal or capital, accounts receivable, TANF, or payments received for foster care of a child.
Can I avoid paying child support in Texas?
Generally, child support will be ordered as the Court considers that to be in the best interests of the child. However, you may not be required to pay child support if any of the following applies:
(1) Agreement of the parties AND in the best interest of the child.
(2) The marriage of the child.
(3) Through removal of the child’s disabilities of minority by court order, or by other operation of law.
(4) Death of the child.
(5) A finding by a court that the child:
(A) Is 18 years of age or older; and
(B) Has failed to comply with the enrollment or attendance requirements for high school.
(6) DNA test excludes the person as the child’s genetic father.
(7) If the child enlists in the armed forces of the United States.
I owned my home before I got married. Can my partner take my home?
In Texas, marital property is considered any property purchased after the marriage. Any property purchased before the marriage is considered separate property and goes with the owner during the divorce. However, the partner may ask the Judge to order you to pay back money to him for making improvements on the house, paying bills, etc.
Can the police stop and detain me for no reason at all?
No. Officers can stop you only if they have a reasonable suspicion (that is, something more than a “mere hunch”) to believe that a crime may have occurred or is about to occur, and that you may be the perpetrator. They can only detain you briefly, in order to investigate, and must let you go if they are unable to develop full-blown “probable cause” to arrest you.
What should I do if I’m pulled over by the police?
If you are pulled over by the police, remain calm. Sit still and wait for the officer to approach your vehicle. Then:
• When you are asked to do so, produce your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. Do not fumble around for these items before the officer approaches and asks for them. If you do, the officer might think you are trying to hide something or, worse, looking for a weapon.
• Answer any “identification” questions. Otherwise, remain silent.
• Get out of the car only if the officer tells you to do so. If you are asked to exit the vehicle, the officer may pat you down for weapons.
• The officer may ask for your permission to search. If you are asked to consent to a search – of your purse/ backpack, the interior of the car, the trunk – say no.
• If the officer writes you a ticket (a traffic citation), sign it. Don’t try to fight the ticket there on the street.
What should I do if I am arrested?
Request an attorney! The Sixth Amendment guarantees your right to an attorney. You must verbally ask for an attorney. Say, “I want to speak to a lawyer.”
Remain silent! The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects your right to remain silent. Silence is not enough. Say, “I will not answer any questions.”
Once you have invoked your rights, stop talking!
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