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Cleveland Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Ohio green card renewal process

People who have green cards will occasionally need to apply to have them renewed. Renewal is necessary for permanent residents whose 10-year cards have expired or will do so within six months. In order to apply for a renewal card, people must submit a Form I-90 either online or via postal mail.

While people may think renewal is automatic, it is not. An application to renew a green card can be denied, and occasionally, one will be. If a person's renewal application is denied, he or she is unable to appeal the decision. Instead, they may then file either a motion to reconsider or a motion to reopen with the office that first issued the denial. The person must submit additional documents outlining new facts that would be presented if the case were to be reopened.

Applying for a replacement green card

Foreign-born individuals who are living in Ohio as legal permanent residents will need to replace their green cards before they expire. A conditional green card will expire after two years, and a green card without conditions will expire after 10 years. To apply for a replacement green card, a person must submit Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, by mail or online.

There are some situations when a green card will need to be replaced for reasons other than an upcoming expiration date. A person may require a replacement green card because the original was lost, stolen or damaged. If a green card that was previously issued contains false information, or if the information that is listed on a green card has changed, a new green card will need to be issued.

Obtaining a 601 waiver to avoid deportation

Foreigners living in Ohio who have been targeted for deportation might be able to remain in the country by applying for a 601 waiver. Also referred to as an extreme hardship waiver, the 601 waiver allows undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation if they can prove that their removal from the U.S. would cause an extreme hardship to a qualifying member of their family.

A 601 waiver may be used to defer a pending deportation or allow a person who has already been deported to reenter the U.S. Normally, a person who has been deported from the U.S. is unable to return for 10 years. Although a 601 waiver can waive a person's reentry ban while they are caring for a qualifying relative, the waiver does not guarantee that an individual will be granted legal permanent residency later on.

Marriage fraud and immigration in Ohio

Because the immigration process can be long, complex and highly frustrating, some people decide to attempt a shortcut by entering into a fraudulent marriage in order to obtain a green card. If you have either done so or have been accused of entering into a fraudulent marriage, it is important that you start working to protect yourself against the allegations as soon as possible.

People who are charged with fraudulently attempting to obtain a green card through a marriage may face criminal charges in addition to possible deportation and removal proceedings. Your first indication that your marriage is being questioned may be when you receive a request for proof that the marriage was a bona fide one. Such proof may involve documentation of joint accounts, correspondence between you and your spouse. joint health insurance information and even copies of your wedding invitations.

Changes coming wth immigration reform

Ohio residents may be interested in the potential changes that could transpire due to the immigration reform proposed by President Obama in November 2014. On Feb. 24, the President presented a rule revision for visas that will allow highly skilled spouses to begin working in the U.S. this year. Some of these foreign-born spouses have been ineligible to work in this country because of existing immigrant laws.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director believes that the new changes may encourage more highly skilled employees to enter the country and work on H-1B visas or apply for a green card and remain in the U.S. He believes that accepting more of these highly skilled foreign workers into the U.S. may help bolster the economy. He also noted that many of these families experience financial struggles due to the employment constraints created by current laws. According to ABC News, there are approximately 85,000 of these visas issued every year.

Eligibility for temporary protected status

Foreign nationals in Ohio may be eligible for temporary protected status if they hail from a country that is currently involved in an armed conflict. When conditions in a particular country make it difficult for the country's nationals to return safely, the Secretary of Homeland Security may designate the country or a part of the country for TPS. In addition to armed conflict, an environmental disaster or an epidemic are potential reasons for a TPS designation.

When a country is designated for temporary protected status, nationals of that country may apply for TPS during a certain time period. If an application for TPS is approved, the person will not be removable from the United States regardless of his or her current immigration status. The individual will also be eligible for an employment authorization document and can be given authorization to travel.

Stays of removal in immigration cases

An immigrant in Ohio who is facing the possibility of being removed from the United States may be granted a temporary stay of removal. This type of action postpones what would have otherwise been done by the Department of Homeland Security so that an appeal of the immigration decision can be heard.

A stay of removal may be granted automatically or on a discretionary basis. An automatic stay of removal is only issued if an immigrant who was targeted for removal files an appeal within the proper time period. The Board of Immigration Appeals will hear the appeal of an immigration decision, and the automatic stay of removal will end once the BIA makes a final ruling on the case.

Applying for asylum with family members

Individuals may apply for asylum in the United States whether they are already in the country, even if their presence is illegal. Upon application in Ohio or any other state, asylum seekers must list their spouses and children on their applications, which is Form I-589. It is also on this application where they have the option to note that those immediate family members be included in the asylum decision.

Any children added to an asylum application must be younger than 21 and unmarried. The applicants have to provide proof of their relationships with spouses and children, such as marriage and birth documents. Otherwise, any children who are older than 21 or married and who wish to seek asylum along with their parents have to file their own applications.

Representing immigrants charged with falsely claiming citizenship

Ohio residents who have not yet attained citizenship status in the United States may have underestimated the severity of lying about this matter. You may be facing a charge of making a false claim to citizenship, causing you and your loved ones to develop concerns about your continued stay in the U.S. You may be accused of claiming citizenship on a job application or on an I-9 Employment Eligibility form. Authorities may have charged you with indicating that you had citizenship status to get a mortgage or a student loan in the interest of buying a home or furthering your education.

Some people believe that claiming citizenship status on a non-government document would not carry consequences as severe as those they might face for doing so on a government document. However, all false claims to citizenship violate federal law and could result in serious criminal penalties that may include deportation.

What citizenship means for Ohio residents

Anyone who becomes a United States citizen is entitled to additional benefits while living in the country. They also bear additional responsibilities that come with being a citizen. One of the prime benefits of obtaining citizenship is obtaining the right to vote in federal elections. In some cases, citizenship is the only way to vote in some state elections.

Another prime benefit of becoming a United States citizen is the ability to bring family members into the county and possibly starting them on the path to citizenship. Furthermore, a child who is born anywhere in the world may be considered an American citizen if he or she is born to at least one parent with American citizenship. In exchange for those rights, citizens are expected to register to vote and other take part in their communities.

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