Read articles about new immigration laws and issues affecting you and your family.


Navigating the area of immigration can be confusing and frightening. It is extremely complex and the answer can turn on one simple fact. For this reason, it is important to always consult a licensed attorney. It is tempting to go for a lower priced option and pretty words promising you the legal status that you have been dreaming of, however, this often time comes at a higher cost: the loss of a lot of money or worse yet the denial of your case and possible deportation.

Avoid being a victim of immigration fraud and always make sure to consult a licensed attorney who practices immigration law. Do not be afraid to ask where they went to law school and what state they are licensed to practice in. Notarios or immigration consultants are not licensed to practice law and cannot represent you at a USCIS interview or in Immigration Court.


Getting free legal advice for complicated matters such as immigration can be difficult.  It is important to always insure that you are consulting with a licensed attorney. Unfortunately, most attorneys charge for their consultations.  This can make it difficult for low-income individuals to consult with one.  If you are in a situation where it is not possible to pay for a legal consultation, my advice is to contact local non-profits that have an attorney on staff and specialize in immigration law.  In Los Angeles, such non-profits include Carecen, Chirla, Catholic Charities and Legal Aid.


The Department of Homeland Security has published a proposal for fee increases to several USCIS forms in the Federal Register. There will be a period of 30 days to receive public opinion, with a final decision being issued as soon as December 16. 2019.

Proposed Rate Increases affect several forms, but most notable are the I-485 (adjustment of status) and the N-400 (naturalization application). The I-485 will go from $1,140 to $1610 and the N-400 will go from $640 to $1,170. Also worth noting is that for the first time in history, there will be a fee for the filing of an asylum application.

If you are eligible for naturalization or adjustment of status, it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible.

    Examples of Application increases are as follows:

  • Form I-290B (Notice of Appeal or Motion) from $675 to $705.
  • Form I-485 (Application for Permanent Residence Registration or Adjustment of Status) from $1,140 to $1,610.
  • Form I-589 (Asylum Application) from $0 to $50.
  • Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditional Residency) from $595 to $760.
  • Form I-765 (Work Permit) from $410 to $490.
  • Form I-821D (DACA) from $0 to $275.
  • Form N-400 (Naturalization Request) from $640 to $1,170.


TPS was officially extended for nationals of El Salvador. The extension is automatic through January 4, 2021. This means that work authorization is automatically extended as well. TPS recipients can demonstrate the Federal Register notice to employers as a confirmation of their work authorization extension.

Current TPS recipients who live within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (This includes California, Arizona and Nevada among others) and are married to a United States citizen or are the parents of a United States citizen over the age of 21 can apply for the lawful permanent residency without having to leave the country. It is important to act on this as soon as possible.


Yesterday, November 12, 2019, The Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding whether the DACA program will be terminated. In 2017, President Trump issued an order officially ending the DACA program. Due to a Court injunction, DACA recipients were able to continue renewing their DACA until the issue is resolved.

Based on the questions asked during the oral arguments, it seems as though the conservative justices on the Court are inclined to end the DACA program. It was indicated the Justice Roberts might be the deciding vote and that the decision is likely to come down in early Spring 2020.

It is important that all current DACA recipients consult an immigration attorney to determine if they are eligible for any other immigration relief should DACA be terminated.

Family Based Adjustment of Status Filings in November 2019

In the month of November 2019, USCIS is accepting adjustments for family petitions based on the filing date and not the final action priority dates. This is extremely important because you can file your adjustment of status application and obtain your work authorization between 1-4 years earlier than you otherwise would be able to. In the case of Lawful Permanent Residents filing for a spouse or child under the age of 21, the priority date is current in the month of November. It is important that you check your priority date and act immediately. Your adjustment of status must be mailed and received prior to the end of the month in order to qualify.


On January 13, 2018, USCIS announced its process for accepting DACA renewal applications. If you were previously granted DACA and it has not expired, you may submit an application to renew your DACA. You must also meet the following requirements in order to qualify for DACA renewal:

1. You must not have departed the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without first having been granted advance parole;

2. You must have resided continuously in the U.S. from the time you submitted the initial request for DACA up until the present time; and

3. You must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and must not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

You should apply for your DACA and work authorization renewal at least 120 days prior to its current expiration.

September Visa Bulletin


Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
1st 10-01-05 10-01-05 06-08-93 11-08-94
2A 05-08-10 05-08-10 04-15-10 05-08-10
2B 09-15-04 09-15-04 08-22-92 01-01-02
3rd 05-15-02 05-15-02 01-22-93 07-22-92
4th 03-08-01 01-22-01 06-15-96 02-01-89



Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
1st Current Current Current Current Current
2nd 1-01-09 Unavailable Unavailable 1-01-09 1-01-09
3rd 10-01-06 12-15-05 10-08-02 10-01-06 08-01-06
Unskilled 10-01-06 6-22-03 10-08-02 10-01-06 08-01-06
4th Current Current Current Current Current
Religious Current Current Current Current Current
5th Current Current Current Current Current


Deferred Action for Certain Young People

The Obama Administration announced today that it will grant deferred action to certain young people. They announced that effective immediately, young people who are between the ages of 15-30 will qualify for deferred action and will be able to apply for work authorization. It will be granted for a 2 year period and can be renewed every 2 years.

The requirements to qualify for deferred action are as follows: 1. residency in the United States for more than 5 years; 2. came to the United States prior to the age of 16; 3. they are currently in school or have graduated from High School; 4. they have not been convicted of a felony or multiple misdemeanors; 5. they are younger than 30 years of age.

Bankruptcy and Naturalization

With the slow economy, many people are considering filing bankruptcy in order to save the little they have. At the same time, they are concerned that this might affect their ability to achieve one of the American dreams of becoming a naturalized United States citizen.

Let you fears subside, filing bankruptcy will not affect your ability to become a United States citizen. In order to qualify for naturalization you must have five years of good moral character. As far as finances are concerned, the only thing that is looked at for naturalization is if you file your income tax returns. As long as you file your federal and state income tax returns every year, the filing of bankruptcy will not have any negative impact on your application for naturalization.