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Cleveland Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Deportation in Ohio

In Ohio, any individual that breaks criminal or immigration laws and lack legal U.S. resident status may be subject to federal deportation. When deportation occurs, the removed individual's ability to reenter the country legally may be diminished.

Individuals that are subject to deportation include anyone who is residing in the U.S. illegally, who has entered the country under false pretenses, who has been convicted of certain criminal charges or who does not possess current legal status to reside in the U.S. The legal process of deportation affords individuals certain rights, including the right to contest the removal. Grounds for dispute could be based on constitutional or procedural arguments.

An outline of the process for seeking asylum in the United States

Ohio residents may be interested in some information about the process of applying for asylum in the United States. Following this application process properly can allow a person persecuted in another country to enter the U.S. along with their family and eventually seek permanent residency status.

The process begins with the fee-free application for asylum, which must be filed with US Citizenship and Immigration Services. This application must be sent within one year of the asylum seeker's entry into the country. Their spouse and any children under 21 years old may also be included on this application. Children and spouses may also be added to the application at any time until the USCIS makes their final decision. One year after asylum is granted, the person may then file for permanent residency status. Each family member that has been allowed into the country must file their own application for residency.

Many new immigration guidelines underway

Individuals in Ohio and throughout the country stand to benefit from a new immigration plan introduced by President Obama on Nov. 20 as well as a number of proposed changes from various agencies. Millions of individuals may be affected by new plans that will allow many parents of citizens and permanent residents to remain in the United States and keep highly skilled immigrants in the country as well.

Other aspects of U.S. immigration law reform proposed are extensive and complex and deal with entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers. Among these provisions are employment authorization for spouses of individuals who have the H-1B visa, greater stability for workers who have employment-based petitions and clarification on what is meant by a "same or similar" job in petition guidelines.

Getting a visa as a foreign student in Ohio

Foreign students who wish to study in the United States must have a student visa prior to beginning their studies. They will be granted either an M-1 visa or an F-1 visa depending on what they want to study. Those who are enrolling in a vocational or nonacademic training course will need to get the M-1 visa. Everyone else will have to get the F-1 visa.

Generally, students cannot study in the United States with a tourist visa. However, it may be possible for someone in the country with a B visa to enroll in short-term classes for recreational purposes. An exception to the rule is if a student is taking classes from home and must enter the United States for a short time to complete a program's requirements. Even if the stay is a short one, a student wishing to complete a program based in the United States must still get the F-1 or M-1 visa.

Consequences of felony convictions for immigrants

Immigrants in Ohio and throughout the United States should be aware of laws regarding felonies and immigration status. One important point that many individuals may not be aware of is that some offenses that are misdemeanors in certain jurisdictions can be considered aggravated felonies for purposes of deportation.

While the class of offenses categorized as aggravated felonies includes serious offenses such as murder and drug trafficking, they also include such offenses like failure to appear in court and filing a fraudulent tax return. Furthermore, unless specifically stated otherwise, these offenses are retroactive. In other words, after Congress adds an offense, an individual who has permanent resident status may be deported for having committed the offense in the past.

The impact of crime on an immigration case

Immigration can be challenging enough for an individualin Ohio who is dealing with an unfamiliar culture and a new language. Understanding the laws of the land can also create difficulties, especially if you find yourself on the wrong side of a situation. Because immigration law requires that a petitioner have a good record with regard to conduct and character while seeking residency or citizenship, a misunderstanding that isn't handled properly could create serious complications for your entire immigration case.

In some cases, activities deemed to be crimes can result in deportation. It is important to learn the laws in order to avoid such situations as you seek permanent status in the country. However, there may be instances in which you believe that the activity in question is something that would help your case. Examples include falsely claiming citizenship, marriage fraud or violations of protection orders. Additional activities that could result in deportation include crimes against children, stalking, domestic violence, drug or weapons offenses, and smuggling other non-citizens into the country.

Some immigrants may qualify for OWF and DFA benefits

Foreign individuals living in Ohio may be eligible to receive Ohio Works First and disability financial assistance benefits. In order to qualify for OWF and DFA benefits, the individual must meet certain immigration requirements.

A person who has citizenship in the United States or is a non-citizen national qualifies for both OWF and DFA benefits. When determining who is a citizen, it is important to understand the legal definition of the 'United States." In addition to the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the United States for this purpose includes the American Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. Individuals from Swain's Island and American Samoa are considered non-citizen nationals who are also entitled to receive OWF and DFA benefits.

Does the United States allow dual citizenship?

Although many people in Ohio may mistakenly believe otherwise, the United States government does allow people to have dual citizenship, also known as dual nationality.There are several situations under which this could be the case.

People who are born in a foreign country to parents who are U.S. citizens can be citizens of both the foreign country as well as the United States, for example. Other examples include when people become nationals of another country through marriage while still retaining their U.S. citizenship, or foreign nationals who become naturalized U.S. citizens without giving up their citizenship of birth.

What crimes can remove a person's immigration status?

Some individuals in Ohio may benefit from understanding which crimes warrant removing someone's immigration status. First, it could be useful to know which federal agencies oversee criminal cases involving people who have certain immigrant statuses. The Department of Justice's Office of Immigration Litigation has authority coordinating and managing federal court immigration cases, and it also upholds the Immigration and Nationality Act and the authority of the Executive Branch. Other agencies involved in these cases include the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S Attorney's Offices.

According to the OIL, in any case in which an immigrant is facing criminal charges, the defense counsel, prosecutors and other parties involved should all possess a basic comprehension of immigration law. Charges that are considered grounds for removal upon a conviction include aggravated felonies, crimes of moral turpitude, offenses involving controlled substances and those involving firearms or destructive devices. In addition, convictions related to domestic violence, child abuse, stalking, neglect and child abandonment, treason, failing to register as a sex offender, violating a protective order, fleeing from an immigration checkpoint and falsifying documents may also result in the removal of one's immigration status.

What is the process of renewing a green card?

Ohio residents who need to renew a green card, also known as a permanent resident card, should generally begin with the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, known as Form I-90. Individuals who have a 10-year green card that has expired or is set to expire within six months must apply for renewal.

The application may be filed online or submitted by mail and the process varies based on the physical location of the applicant at the time the application is filed. It is generally best for a permanent resident to apply for a renewal card prior to leaving the U.S. if the current card is set to expire during the time he or she is outside the country. A person who is physically outside the U.S. when his or her green card expires and who did not apply for renewal prior to departure should contact a USCIS office, U.S. port of entry or U.S. consulate prior to filing Form I-90.

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Cleveland, OH 44113
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