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Frequently Asked Florida Immigration Questions

The St. Petersburg immigration lawyers of answer your questions

With more than 30 years of legal experience, Eric Ludin offers unparalleled knowledge when it comes to issues facing international clients. If you’re considering seeking residency, citizenship, employment rights or an education in the United States, refer to the questions below, or contact a St. Petersburg immigration lawyer from our law firm for more information.

Representing you in your immigration matter

Immigration issues are often complex — don’t handle them alone. To consult with a knowledgeable Tampa immigration attorney
today, call Eric Ludin at 727-315-1005 or contact us online.

Q. How do I know if I need an attorney to assist me with an immigration matter?

The rule of thumb is to always have an experienced attorney represent you before a governmental agency. Eric Ludin will work to ensure that the process is as fair as possible. Going alone against the government is like having a little league pitcher face off with a major league slugger. Also, the immigration process is often complicated and a seemingly small error in completing a form can lead to big trouble.

Please beware of “notaries” who say that they can help with your immigration needs. These people are not lawyers and do not have the necessary training to represent your interests. As a result, they may actually harm your chances of getting the right result. Remember what is at stake in the process and do not be “pound wise and penny foolish.”

Q. What is a green card and how do I qualify to get one?

Although people commonly refer to immigration form I-551 as a “green card,” the card itself is not green. A “green card” indicates that you are a lawful permanent resident in the United States. There are several ways to acquire permanent residency in the United States, which include family petitions, investment, employment visas or a successful defense in removal proceedings. Eric Ludin has helped numerous immigrants attain permanent residency. Please give us a call if you have any questions. We have offices in St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida to serve your immigration law needs.

Q. I am in the United States on a visa and want to stay longer. Can I get it extended?

Depending on your particular circumstances, your stay in the United States may be extended if you are here on a temporary basis. The most important consideration is whether it will seem to immigration authorities that you intend to stay in the United States permanently. If so, your request for extension will likely be denied. An applicant must also show that he/she has the funds to finance the stay and has a bona fide reason for the extension. Please contact Eric Ludin if you need legal help to extend your stay in the United States.

Q. What does Prosecutorial Discretion mean and is it the same as amnesty?

Prosecutorial discretion is not amnesty. Although prosecutorial discretion has been on the books for decades, the Morton Memo, which was published last year, gives some additional guidance. The updated policy tries to prevent immigrants from being placed into Removal Proceedings, and if the immigrant is already in Removal Proceedings, the Department of Homeland Security would consider administratively closing the case. Factors such as family ties in the United States, the lack of a criminal record, business ties, and United States citizen spouse or children would be evaluated in making the decision. However, the decision is entirely up to the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security. Call the immigration lawyers in St. Petersburg if you have questions about Prosecutorial Discretion and whether it could benefit your case.

Q. I have been here in the United States for 10 years and I have a U.S. citizen child. Am I eligible for the 10-year green card?

People often ask us about the “ten-year green card.” However, contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a “ten-year green card.” The law allows the Attorney General to cancel the removal of an immigrant who has been in the United States continuously for ten years, who is a person of Good Moral Character, and whose removal would cause “extreme hardship” to his or her “qualifying relatives.” The person granted Cancellation of Removal for non-permanent Residents immediately becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident. This form of relief is highly discretionary and should only be filed by an experienced immigration lawyer in St. Petersburg. Please call Eric Ludin to assist you if you were placed in removal proceedings.

Q. How does Eric Ludin charge for their services in immigration cases?

We have several plans to ensure that you are getting the best immigration advice in the most suitable way. Our immigration attorneys in St. Petersburg will work with you to assess your needs and then put a plan together that will best help achieve success. Fees will depend almost entirely on the complexity of your individual plan. Therefore, it is difficult to quote a fee without meeting with you first. We typically charge a small fee for the initial consultation which is credited to your fee if we are retained to represent you. Please call us for a Consultation to see if we can help you make your dreams in the United States become a reality.

EL Salvador

Cualquier salvadoreño en los Estados Unidos con Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS) deben estar consientes de la siguiente noticia emitida por los Servicios de Inmigración y Ciudadanía de los Estados Unidos, la cual se presenta a continuación:

La Secretaria de Seguridad Nacional, Janet Napolitano, ha extendido el Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS) para aquellos nacionales de El Salvador por 18 meses adicionales, iniciando en Marzo 10, 2012, y finalizando en Septiembre 9, 2013.

Los actuales beneficiados del TPS Salvadoreños que busquen extender su estatus de TPS deben volver a registrarse durante el periodo de 60 días de nuevo registro que finaliza en Marzo, 12, 2012. El Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos (USCIS) alienta a los beneficiados a registrarse lo más pronto posible dentro del periodo de 60 días de registro. A pesar de que la noticia del Registro Federal (Federal Register por su nombre en ingles) erróneamente declara que las aplicaciones para volver a registrarse deben ser llenadas desde enero 9, 2012 hasta marzo 9, 2012, el USCIS aceptara aplicaciones completadas desde enero 9, 2012 hasta marzo 12, 2012. El USCIS esta trabajando para corregir la información publica acerca de las fechas para volver a registrarse.

La extensión de 18 meses también le permite a los reinscritos del TPS aplicar para un Documento de Autorización de Empleo (EAD) nuevo. Los beneficiados de TPS que sean elegibles que se reinscriban a tiempo recibirán un Documento de Autorización de Empleo (EAD) nuevo con una fecha de expiración en septiembre 9, 2013. El USCIS reconoce que no todos los reinscritos recibirán sus nuevos Documentos de Autorización de Empleo hasta que el Documento actual haya expirado. Como resultado, el USCIS esta extendiendo la portación del EAD actual del TPS salvadoreño con fecha de expiración en marzo 9, 2012, por seis meses adicionales, hasta septiembre 9, 2012.

Por favor, póngase en contacto con nuestra firma si necesita asistencia para aplicar para esta extensión o si tiene alguna pregunta con respecto a esta decisión.