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September 20, 2011

FAQ: ¿Si soy una víctima de violencia doméstica, debo aplicar para un caso VAWA o una visa U?

El Violence Against Women Act de 2000 creó ambas visas no-inmigrantes, pero la visa U y el caso VAWA existen para víctimas en circunstancias diferentes. Para empezar, si una persona es la víctima de abuso doméstico de un(a) hijo(a), esposo(a) o padre quien es ciudadano de los Estados Unidos, la persona está elegible para peticionar un caso VAWA. Aunque esta visa solo cubre una demográfica específica, tiene unas ventajas sobre la visa U. Primero, un solicitante de VAWA no necesita obtener la forma de certificación I-918 Supplement B firmada por un oficial de la policía o de la corte como un solicitante de visa U. La certificación es la parte más difícil en peticionar una visa U; por esta razón, la aplicación para un caso VAWA es más simple y fácil. Segundo, alguien con visa U tendrá que estar presente en los Estados Unidos continuamente por 3 años antes de peticionar residencia permanente, pero alguien con caso VAWA puede aplicar para residencia permanente inmediatamente. Por ejemplo, uno de nuestros clientes fue abusado por su esposa estadounidense, pero nunca lo reportó a la policía por miedo a ser deportado. Finalmente, su esposa dejó a nuestro cliente y a sus dos hijos. Él calificaba para un caso VAWA, y ahora tiene permiso de trabajo y residencia permanente para apoyar a sus hijos y vivir sin miedo de deportación. Sin embargo, la mayoría de nuestros clientes no califica para un caso de VAWA sino para un caso de visa U. La visa U es ventajosa porque incluye la violencia doméstica y más tipos de crímenes, y no hay una regulación sobre el estatus legal del perpetrador. Si la víctima tiene un reporte de una oficial de la policia o la corte, puede peticionar a visa U. De ese modo, más clientes nuestros peticionan por medio de la visa U porque las regulaciones de crimen y de estatus legal son menos restrictivas de los casos VAWA. En adición, una ventaja de la visa U es que la victima puede peticionar para más familiares de los solicitantes de VAWA. En total, las dos peticiones tienen ventajas, pero la decisión entre las dos depende en la relación del perpetrador a la víctima y el estatus legal del perpetrador.
Emily Hogan
Special Case Manager
Mario Ramos PLLC

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

FAQ: If I am the victim of domestic violence, do I apply for a VAWA case or a U visa?

Both of these nonimmigrant statuses were created in the 2000 Violence Against Women Act, but they exist for victims in different circumstances. To begin, if you are the victim of domestic abuse by a U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child, you are eligible to apply for a VAWA case. Although this type of case only covers a narrow demographic, it also has a few advantages over a U visa. First, a VAWA applicant need not obtain an I-918 Supplement B Certification Form from a law enforcement official like a U visa applicant must. This is usually the hardest part of the U visa application, so a VAWA case is much simpler and easier for this reason. Second, a U visa applicant must be continuously present in the United States for a 3 year period until they are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency, while a VAWA applicant can apply immediately once a visa become available. For example, one of our clients who received a VAWA approval had been abused by his U.S. citizen wife, but never reported the abuse in fear that the police would uncover his status and deport him. Finally, his wife left him, and he was forced to raise his 2 children alone. Since applying for a VAWA case, he has received permission to work in the U.S. and will become a legal permanent residency, so now he can support his two children without fear of deportation. Nevertheless, most of our clients do not qualify for a VAWA case and instead apply for a U visa. The U visa is advantageous because it applies to a wider variety of crimes, including domestic violence, and there is no regulation on the legal status of the perpetrator. If the victim of domestic violence (or another crime) has a police report or court records, he or she may apply for a U visa. Thus, more of our clients apply for U visas since the regulations on qualifying crimes and legal status are less restrictive than VAWA cases. Additionally, an advantage of the U visa is that it allows a victim to petition for a wider variety of family members, whereas in a VAWA case, the victim may only petition their children under 21. All in all, each of these applications has advantages, but deciding between the two depends on the victim’s relationship to and the legal status of the perpetrator.
Emily Hogan
Special Case Manager
Mario Ramos PLLC

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2011

7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration/Business Awards - October 13

NAHCC Kicks-Off Hispanic Heritage Month with Partnerships, Special Programs, Call For Nominations

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - September 15, 2011 -- The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will mark the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month this year with special announcements of new partnerships, programs, panels, networking events and a Hispanic visual art exhibit in partnership with Metro Nashville Arts Commission.

To close the month long festivities the NAHCC plans to host its 7thAnnual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration and Business Awards on Thursday, October 13, 2011, at the Nashville City Club. The event will include, a reception with special guest speakers, live music, food and business and community awards. The event is open to NAHCC members and guests.

"Tennessee's future economic and cultural strength will also be shaped by our emergent Hispanic community. New 2010 U.S Census data shows a steady population growth; and the more we grow as a business community, as individuals and residents of Nashville, the more we will be able to give back. It is a continuing trend, and now Hispanics represent more than 50.5 million in the nation and 10% of Nashville's population. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate and recognize the importance and influence of Hispanics in our communities. Having a wide variety of business and community partners participating this year will help us raise the awareness and significance. With every person, we build one more bridge for the common good", said Yuri Cunza, President of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

During Hispanic Heritage Month the NAHCC recognizes the professional, civic and business contributions of members & non-members in our community. To nominate someone who has demonstrated commitment and leadership to the advancement of our organization, Hispanic community and city, please contact: Loraine Segovia-Paz at: nominations@nashvillehispanicchamber.com

Following Mayor Karl Dean Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation, The Afro-Hispanic Review a Vanderbilt University academic journal that will present its newest issue featuring "Nueva Vida, Nuevo Trabajo" (New Life New Work) a collective art exhibit of 19 local Hispanic artists currently on display at the Metro Nashville Arts Commission. A reception honoring the event will follow. The media is invited to attend this event at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center - Vanderbilt University 2301 Vanderbilt Pl. Nashville, TN 37235.

For more Hispanic Heritage Month events and program visit www.nashvillehispanicchamber.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2011

FAQ: ¿Si soy la víctima de un crimen, puedo aplicar para visa U para mi familia también?

Dependiendo de la edad de la víctima al momento de aplicar para la visa U, miembros específicos de la familia pueden aplicar para la visa U con su familiar. Una víctima que tiene menos de 21 años de edad puede peticionar a sus padres, su esposo, sus hijos y sus hermanos solteros que tienen menos de 18 años de edad. Por ejemplo, uno de nuestros clientes de la visa U fue acusado de un crimen de odio en su escuela secundaria. Sin investigación, la escuela le expulsó y la policía le detuvo. No obstante, las autoridades descubrieron que el niño fue inocente y otros estudiantes fueron responsables para el crimen, y el niño podría aplicar para la visa U por ser víctima de falso arresto y falsa acusación de un crimen de odio. Él podría incluir en su aplicación su madre, su padre y sus dos hermanos menores, permitiendo toda su familia obtener estatus legal. Sin embargo, si la víctima tiene más de 21 años de edad, el número de dependientes en su caso disminuye. Una víctima con más de 21 años puede peticionar su esposo y sus hijos menores de 21. Un ejemplo es un cliente nuestro que fue víctima de robo a mano armada en un restaurante. Ella aplicó para una visa U para ella misma, pero también aplicó para su esposo y sus dos hijos en colegio. En total, el proceso de aplicar para dependientes en un caso de visa U es muy beneficial para familias porque pueden quedarse juntos en los Estados Unidos sin miedo de deportación ni la policía.
Emily Hogan
Special Case Manager
Mario Ramos PLLC

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

FAQ: If I am the victim of a qualifying crime, can my family members apply for U visas with me?

Depending on the victim’s age at the time of filing the U visa application, certain members of the victim’s family are allowed to apply for a U visa along with their qualifying family member. A victim who is under the age of 21 is allowed to petition his or her parents, spouse, children, and unmarried siblings under the age of 18. For example, one of our U visa clients was accused of a hate crime at his middle school. Without investigation, he was expelled from school and detained by the police. Nevertheless, the authorities finally discovered the real criminals and our client was proven innocent. This middle schooler was able to apply for a U visa based on being the victim of a false arrest and false accusation of a hate crime. He was able to include in his application U visa requests for his mother, father, and two younger siblings, allowing his entire family to gain legal status. However, if the victim is over the age of 21, the number of dependents allowed to apply decreases. A victim over 21 can apply for his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. One example of this is a client of ours who was the victim of armed robbery at a restaurant. She applied for a U visa not only for herself, but also for her husband and two children in high school. In sum, the process of applying for dependents in U visa cases is incredibly beneficial for families because it allows them to remain together in the United States without fear of reporting crimes to the police.
Emily Hogan
Special Case Manager
Mario Ramos PLLC

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:27 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2011

FAQ: ¿Quién puede certificar la visa U para un víctima de violencia doméstica?

Muchos de nuestros clientes potenciales no saben que pueden aplicar para la visa U por ser una víctima de violencia doméstica. Sin embargo, la mayoría de nuestros casos de visa U es mujeres (y hombres) que han sido víctimas de abuso por su pareja. El primer paso para aplicar para una visa U es obtener la “I-918 Supplement B” forma de certificación firmada por un oficial del departamento de policía o un oficial de ley. Obviamente, nuestra primera pregunta a una víctima es: “¿Reportó el crimen a la policía”? Si la respuesta es “si”, la victima puede peticionar una visa U.
El primer paso que hacemos nosotros es pedir al oficial de la policía que completó el reporte de la policía que firma la certificación. Para muchos de nuestros clientes, los oficiales de la policía quieren ayudarlos con la aplicación para la visa U. Uno de nuestros clientes recientes, un hombre que sostuvo arañazos y golpes de su novia, reportó el crimen a la policía local y el oficial firmó la certificación con gusto.
No obstante, unas veces los oficiales de la policía niegan a firmar la certificación para víctimas de violencia doméstica o no había ningún reporte de la policía en el caso de la víctima. En este caso, si la victima fue a corte, podíamos pedir certificación del juez o del abogado fiscal. Esto fue el caso para otro cliente, la víctima de violencia doméstica con órdenes de protección contra su esposo, quien recibió certificación del abogado fiscal cuando su esposo quebrantó estas órdenes. Aunque la policía no estaba involucrada en su caso específicamente, ella tuvo derecho a la visa U por el crimen.
En total, las víctimas de violencia doméstica tienen muchas oportunidades a obtener certificación para la visa U, si se reportó el crimen. No tiene nada de malo en aplicar para una visa U; si una víctima califica bajo estas regulaciones para víctimas de abuso doméstico, ¡debe llamarnos hoy para que podamos ayudarle en la aplicación para la visa U!

Emily Hogan, Special Case Manager

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

FAQ: Who can certify the U visa case of a victim of domestic violence?

Many of our potential clients do not know that domestic violence is a U visa-qualifying crime. Nevertheless, the majority of our U visa cases are women (and men) who have been victims of the abuse of a significant other. The first step in applying for a U visa is getting the I-918 Supplement B Certification Form completed by a law enforcement official, so obviously, our first question to victims of domestic violence is: “Did you ever report the crime to the police?” If the answer is yes, then the victim may apply for a U visa.
The first step we take is to ask the police officer who filled out the police report to sign the certification. For many of our clients, the police officers are happy to oblige and help them with the U visa application. One of our more recent clients, a man whose girlfriend hit him and scratched him, reported this abuse to the local police, and the reporting officer happily certified his case.
However, sometimes police officers deny victims of domestic violence the necessary certification, or a police officer was not involved in the case at all. In this instance, if the victim took the case to court, we can ask the judge who handled the case or the District Attorney to sign the certification form. This was the case for another client, the victim of domestic violence with orders of protection against her estranged husband, who was granted certification by the District Attorney when he violated those orders. Although the police were not specifically involved in her case, she still qualified as a victim, so her case went forward.
All in all, victims of domestic violence have many options to obtain certification, as long as the violence was reported. There is no harm in applying for a U visa, so if a victim fits into these specific regulations for domestic violence, she or he should call us today for help with applying for a U visa!

Emily Hogan
Special Case Manager

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)