Friday, October 16, 2015

Are You Eligible For Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident?

My office has helped many individuals who visited the US or have recently married a U.S. Citizen adjust their status to that of permanent resident.  In our experience, a few questions frequently come up with the adjustment of status cases we handle:

Question 1:  I have overstayed my visitor (or other non-immigrant), but I have recently married a US citizen (or my adult son/daughter is a US Citizen).  Will the overstay prevent me from adjusting status?    

A:  Generally no - even if you overstay, immigration law essentially will "forgive" the overstay as long as you are an Immediate Relative of a US Citizen.  Immediate Relative also applies to parents of adult US Citizens, so these individuals are also potentially eligible despite any overstay.  However, if you have overstayed you should have a consultation to be fully aware of what effect your overstay has had on your immigration status.

Question 2:  I have been working without authorization since coming to the U.S.  Will this prevent me from adjusting status?

A:  Generally no - even if you work without a permit for many years, like overstaying a visa, immigration law will essentially "forgive" the unpermitted work and allow you to adjust, as long as you are an immediate relative of a US Citizen.  However, you may not add the income you make to your household income for purposes of qualifying for the financial requirements of adjusting status.

Question 3:  I believe I am eligible for adjustment of status, but my US citizen spouse does not currently work or is not earning much income at the moment.  Can he/she still petition for me?   

A:  Yes, but in this case you will likely need another individual to be a Joint Sponsor.  The rules for Joint Sponsors can be a bit complicated, but in a nutshell the Joint Sponsor can help make up for a lack of income from your US Citizen Spouse or Adult son/daughter.  A Joint Sponsor can be anyone - a friend, family member, etc. - as long as he or she is a US Citizen or Green Card holder.

These are just some of the major questions that often come up with our adjustment of status clients, but certainly there are many more unique to each case.  If you have any questions please feel free to call or email at 323-863-3414 or, and we would be happy to help answer any questions and hopefully help you adjust your status!  Thanks for reading.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

No Expansion of the President's Deferred Action...Yet

For this entry I thought I'd address a common question I receive about the President's deferred action program and whether the President's expansion of the program is in effect.  In a nutshell, the President wanted to expand deferred action to undocumented individuals of any age (currently there is an upper age limit) as long as they entered as a child (age 16 or under) and have been here continuously since 2010.  He also wanted to expand the program to undocumented parents of US citizens or lawful permanent residents.  This would positively affect millions of undocumented individuals, allowing them to legally work among other benefits.

The answer as of the date of this blog entry is NO, the program has not been expanded to these individuals.  This is because a Federal court blocked the expansion and it is still being decided whether to allow the expansion to happen.  Below is the exact update from USCIS's website on the matter, so that there is no confusion.  Be very careful of anyone claiming that they can help you apply for the "Dream Act" based on "new developments."  Hopefully the expansion takes place soon so millions can apply for the immigration benefit.  For the latest update please check or please feel free to call my office at 323-863-3414.  Best of luck!

Update: Due to a federal court order, USCIS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on February 18 as originally planned and has suspended implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. The court's temporary injunction, issued February 16, does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA under the original guidelines. Please check back for updates.

Important notice: These initiatives have not yet been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. Beware of anyone who offers to help you submit an application or a request for any of these actions before they are available. You could become a victim of an immigration scamSubscribeto get updates by email when new information is posted.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Are you eligible for a U Visa?

Since I began practicing immigration law, I have had the good fortune of helping a number of good, hardworking individuals (and some of their family members) obtain a U visa. The U Visa was created to encourage undocumented individuals to come forward when they are the victim of a qualifying crime, have suffered physical or mental damage, and they have information that might be helpful to that criminal investigation.  

This visa's origins began in 2000 as part of the Violence Against Women Act, and currently 10,000 U visas are granted each year.  Qualifying crimes include domestic violence, felonious assault, and other felonies and serious crimes.  Certification is required from the police, prosecutor, or other certifying official that the individual has been helpful.  

The U visa can truly be an unexpected blessing and result of terrible circumstances for individuals seeking immigration status who normally have too many hurdles to obtain legal status.  With the U visa, a number of common deportable offenses such as unlawful entry into the US, attempted unlawful entry, using false documents, etc. can be "waived" or essentially forgiven.  If approved, the U visa applicant can receive legal status and work authorization for 4 years, and after 3 years can in fact apply for permanent residence.  Not only that, but derivative family members (including spouses) can also receive the same benefit and potentially permanent residence.

The U Visa is truly a small slice of humanity in the current immigration system.  If you were the victim of a serious crime and believe that you may qualify for a U Visa, please feel free to contact me to see if the U Visa is available for you and your family.  Good luck!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Introduction and Welcome!

Hello and welcome!  My name is William Yun.  I am an attorney, and I primarily practice immigration law as well as estate planning and litigation.  I am based out of Torrance, California but serve all of the Southern California area.  I received my law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and B.A. from U.C. Berkeley.

I started this blog to reach out to those interested in the latest immigration and estate planning related news.  The laws change frequently and can be complicated, so hopefully I can help with some useful information as you navigate your immigration journey or as you learn more about estate planning.

To start, I thought I would keep it simple and start with the basics.  Although I have been fortunate to help many individuals and families with a variety of immigration cases, most frequently I am asked about the immigration and/or adjustment of status process for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. I believe the best client is an informed and involved client, so I would direct you to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) website.  USCIS's website has a wealth of information which can be straightforward for some to navigate, but understandably daunting to others.  No matter what category you fall under, it never hurts to take a look at the primary source and be generally informed. It's also important that you don't go to websites pretending to be USCIS - pay close attention to the website address (USCIS's website will always include ".gov" - if not, you are probably looking at a business website trying to imitate USCIS).  Below is the direct link to the USCIS page which has general information about family members of US Citizens and what processes are available for those family members to receive immigration benefits.

If you have any questions or want to talk about the immigration process for you or your family member, please feel free to contact me at or 323-863-3414.  Best of luck!