Wake Up, Philippines!

Filipinos not among top US illegal entrants

Posted in Immigration by Erineus on June 17, 2009

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:44:00 06/17/2009

MANILA, Philippines—Filipinos were not among the top nationalities arrested for trying to cross the United States border illegally, the latest report by the US Office of Immigration Statistics said.

In it June 2009 report, the agency said that apprehensions made by the Border Patrol declined in 2008 at 723,840 persons from the 2007 figure of 876,803 persons. In 2005, apprehension reached its peak of 1,189,000.

The decrease in apprehension can be attributed to the financial crisis in the US and enhanced border enforcement efforts, according to the report.

There are close to three million Filipinos in the US, including 156,000 who are undocumented, according to 2007 figures.

Mexicans topped the nationality arrested in 2008 with 661,773 persons (91 percent), followed by Honduras (19,351), Guatemala (16,395), El Salvador (12,684), Cuba (3,351), Ecuador (1,579), Nicaragua (1,467), Brazil (977), China (836), Dominican Republic (819), Canada (610), and other nationalities (3,998).

Person apprehended are subject to deportation from the US for violating the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Most apprehensions, occurring near US borders shortly after an illegal entry, are made by the Border Patrol of US Customs and Border Protection.

Apprehensions beyond US borders, involving foreign nationals illegally present in the United States who may have entered without inspection or entered legally but lost their legal status, are handled primarily by Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security.

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20090617-210967/Filipinos-not-among-top-US-illegal-entrants

What to do if your visa is refused/denied Part 3

Posted in Immigration, visa by Erineus on March 10, 2009

IMMIGRATION CORNER By Michael J. Gurfinkel Updated March 08, 2009 12:00 AM

In previous articles, I discussed some items or suggestions that could possibly increase your chances of obtaining a visa, avoiding a refusal, or overcoming a refusal. Here are some more pointers:

6. Retain copies of the refusal and any affidavits you’ve signed.

I have had many people come to me, crying that their visa was refused. When I asked them for a copy of the refusal or sworn statement, they say that, “I was so upset, that I tore up all the paperwork and threw it into the Pasig River.” Therefore they do not have a copy of any documentation relating to the refusal. Obviously, it is difficult to evaluate whether a person could possibly overcome the refusal, if they threw out or destroyed all the paper work.

Under the FAM, consuls do provide people with written notice of the grounds or reasons for the visa refusal. In addition, an applicants’ sworn statement is “deemed releasable to an applicant as they constitute the applicant’s original source documents.” In other words, if you sign a confession or sworn statement, you should be given a copy of that sworn statement, which you must keep.

7. It is up to you to establish your eligibility for the visa.

As a visa applicant, it is your burden to establish eligibility for the immigration benefit you are applying for. If you are not able to properly present, package, or document your eligibility, you run the risk of having the visa refused. However, in my experience, consuls are fair, reasonable, and open minded and would normally grant the visa, if you are able to properly prove, document, and establish that you have met all legal requirements. And even after a refusal, you still have the chance to prove eligibility. As the FAM states, “If a visa is refused, and the applicant within one year from the date of the refusal adduces [presents] further evidence tending to overcome the ground of ineligibility on which the refusal was based, the case shall be reconsidered.” Therefore, not only are the consuls willing to take a “second look” at a refusal, but the FAM also states that the case “shall be reconsidered,” so long as you present proper evidence and documentation establishing eligibility.

That is why it is so important that if your visa is refused, you seek the advice of a reputable attorney, who can evaluate your case, and advise if there is “hope” in overcoming the refusal, and assisting you in presenting your case to the consuls for reconsideration.

* * *

WEBSITE: www.gurfinkel.com

Four offices to serve you: PHILIPPINES: 8940258 or 8940239; LOS ANGELES; SAN FRANCISCO; NEW YORK : TOLL FREE NUMBER: 1-866-GURFINKEL (1-866-487-3465)
View previous articles of this column.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=446543&publicationSubCategoryId=64

What to do if your visa is refused/denied (Part 2)

Posted in Immigration, visa by Erineus on March 10, 2009

IMMIGRATION CORNER By Michael J. Gurfinkel Updated February 22, 2009 12:00 AM

In a previous article, I discussed some items or suggestions that could possibly increase your chances of obtaining a visa, avoiding a refusal, or overcoming a refusal. Here are some more pointers:

4. If you were refused a visa, make sure you understand the reason why you were refused.

Whenever a visa is refused, the consul provides an explanation to the person as to reasons that the visa was refused. In fact, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) states that, “Posts [the Embassy] must reveal information in visa records in communicating with a visa applicant regarding such matters as… reasons for findings of ineligibility, availability of waiver relief, etc..” So, if you were refused a visa, make sure you understand why you were refused. You cannot overcome the refusal (or prove your eligibility for the visa), unless you know the grounds for the refusal. I had a case where a person had been charged with alien/human smuggling. He was given a sheet of paper from the consul, noting the refusal for alien smuggling. However, the person told me he had no idea who he was supposedly “smuggling” or when it happened. Since he failed to get details at the interview, it would be extremely difficult to try to go back and obtain that type of information, as the Embassy may no longer have the file. I remember one case where a woman had been refused a visa for alien smuggling. After retaining us, it took several months to find out who she was smuggling. It turned out that the smuggling charge was based on her bringing her children to the US. While ordinarily, alien smuggling could be a lifetime ban, there is a waiver available if the person you are smuggling is your child or spouse. So, eventually, we were able to clear her name. It is therefore, very important that you understand the underlying facts upon which the refusal is based. In fact, the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual also instructs that, unless the information is classified, “The consular officer must inform all visa applicants orally about the section of law under which the visa was refused and the factual basis for the refusal.” The FAM also instructs consuls to attempt to explain the reason for the refusal in “plain English or in clean layman’s terms. ”

5. Don’t sign an affidavit/confession unless the information is “true.”

I have had many people come to me, crying that their visa was refused and that they had signed a confession, admitting guilt. When I asked them if the information in their affidavit was true, they said, “No.” I asked them why they signed the affidavit, and their response (or excuse) was that they were nervous, felt pressured, or just wanted to get out of the Embassy as quickly as possible and, therefore, signed anything that was put in front of them.

Please note that the consular officers do not force or pressure people into signing anything. They are only after the truth and simply want to determine a person’s eligibility for a visa. Trying to overcome a refusal with the excuse that you were forced or pressured into signing anything will never work. Instead, as previously stated, you should of course tell the truth, but should not sign anything unless it is true.

In future articles, I will discuss more items that can help you possibly avoid or overcome a refusal of your visa.

That is why it is so important that if your visa is refused, you seek the advice of a reputable attorney, who can evaluate your case, and advise if there is “hope” in overcoming the refusal, and assisting you in presenting your case to the consuls for reconsideration.

* * *

WEBSITE: www.gurfinkel.com

Four offices to serve you: PHILIPPINES: 8940258 or 8940239; LOS ANGELES; SAN FRANCISCO; NEW YORK: TOLL FREE NUMBER: 1-866-GURFINKEL (1-866-487-3465)

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=442420

What to do if your visa is refused/denied – Part I

Posted in Immigration, visa by Erineus on March 10, 2009

IMMIGRATION CORNER By Michael J. Gurfinkel Updated February 15, 2009 12:00 AM

Having your visa refused (denied) could be a traumatic and life-altering experience. Sometimes after waiting sometimes for more than 15 years, a person is turned away at their Embassy interview, with all hopes and dreams of ever going to America (and being reunited with the family) going up in flames.

While no one can “guarantee” that a person will be issued a visa, the following could assist you in increasing your chances for being issued the visa, or overcoming/avoiding a refusal:

1. Are you entitled to the benefit you are applying for?

Some people apply for a visa when they are clearly not eligible, or they are no longer eligible. For example, if a person was petitioned by his immigrant parent as “single,” but he got married before arriving in the US, the marriage voids the petition. Therefore, if you are married (even if you believe it is a “secret” marriage), you are simply not entitled to an immigrant visa as a “single” person. Therefore, it is important that you know what the requirements are for the particular visa or immigration benefit you are seeking, and you need to meet and prove your eligibility for that visa. If you are not eligible, you should not apply.

2. Tell the truth.

I have come across many cases where a person had applied for a visa and would have been eligible, but he decided it would be “better” for his case if he lied. And his lie really did not help his case. For example, a person applying for a visitor’s visa exaggerates his income or assets, thinking that it would be “better” for his case, or will increase his chances. But the consul discovers the misrepresentations. This, alone, is enough to refuse the visa, and possibly result in a lifetime ban. Had he told the truth about their assets, it could have been possible that he would have been eligible or qualified for the visa. So, a person who could have been eligible for a visa could get refused, simply by not telling the truth.

3. Make sure all your documents are true, genuine, and correct.

The Embassy is well aware of Recto Street, and that sometimes people, in their desperation, obtain fake, altered, or manufactured documents from Recto Street and submit those documents to the Embassy. The documents could include birth certificates, certificates of no marriage (singleness), land titles, tax returns, etc. But the Embassy has seen these documents many times over, and probably even knows the shop owner who sold you those documents. Again, I have seen many cases where a person probably would have qualified for the visa, but submitted fake, altered, or manufactured documents (which constitutes fraud/misrepresentation), which resulted in the visa refusal, and possible lifetime ban.

In future articles, I will discuss more items that can help you possibly avoid or overcome a refusal of your visa.

* * *

WEBSITE: www.gurfinkel.com

Four offices to serve you: PHILIPPINES: 8940258 or 8940239; LOS ANGELES; SAN FRANCISCO; NEW YORK : TOLL FREE NUMBER: 1-866-GURFINKEL (1-866-487-3465)
View previous articles of this column.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=440511

What to do if your visa is refused/denied – Part I

Posted in Immigration by Erineus on February 15, 2009

Having your visa refused (denied) could be a traumatic and life-altering experience. Sometimes after waiting sometimes for more than 15 years, a person is turned away at their Embassy interview, with all hopes and dreams of ever going to America (and being reunited with the family) going up in flames.

While no one can “guarantee” that a person will be issued a visa, the following could assist you in increasing your chances for being issued the visa, or overcoming/avoiding a refusal:

1. Are you entitled to the benefit you are applying for?

Some people apply for a visa when they are clearly not eligible, or they are no longer eligible. For example, if a person was petitioned by his immigrant parent as “single,” but he got married before arriving in the US, the marriage voids the petition. Therefore, if you are married (even if you believe it is a “secret” marriage), you are simply not entitled to an immigrant visa as a “single” person. Therefore, it is important that you know what the requirements are for the particular visa or immigration benefit you are seeking, and you need to meet and prove your eligibility for that visa. If you are not eligible, you should not apply.

2. Tell the truth.

I have come across many cases where a person had applied for a visa and would have been eligible, but he decided it would be “better” for his case if he lied. And his lie really did not help his case. For example, a person applying for a visitor’s visa exaggerates his income or assets, thinking that it would be “better” for his case, or will increase his chances. But the consul discovers the misrepresentations. This, alone, is enough to refuse the visa, and possibly result in a lifetime ban. Had he told the truth about their assets, it could have been possible that he would have been eligible or qualified for the visa. So, a person who could have been eligible for a visa could get refused, simply by not telling the truth.

3. Make sure all your documents are true, genuine, and correct.

The Embassy is well aware of Recto Street, and that sometimes people, in their desperation, obtain fake, altered, or manufactured documents from Recto Street and submit those documents to the Embassy. The documents could include birth certificates, certificates of no marriage (singleness), land titles, tax returns, etc. But the Embassy has seen these documents many times over, and probably even knows the shop owner who sold you those documents. Again, I have seen many cases where a person probably would have qualified for the visa, but submitted fake, altered, or manufactured documents (which constitutes fraud/misrepresentation), which resulted in the visa refusal, and possible lifetime ban.

In future articles, I will discuss more items that can help you possibly avoid or overcome a refusal of your visa.

* * *

WEBSITE: www.gurfinkel.com

Four offices to serve you: PHILIPPINES: 8940258 or 8940239; LOS ANGELES; SAN FRANCISCO; NEW YORK : TOLL FREE NUMBER: 1-866-GURFINKEL (1-866-487-3465)

IMMIGRATION CORNER
By Michael J. Gurfinkel
Updated February 15, 2009 12:00 AM
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=440511&publicationSubCategoryId=64