How to Prepare for Immigration Reform

Obama's Immigration Action Has Arrived!

The rumors about immigration reform are back again (were they ever gone?). Due to the aftermath of the Mid-term elections, the majority of both chambers of congress is held by Republicans; who have been generally opposed to a comprehensive Immigration Reform with a path to citizenship.  Consequentially, President Barack Obama is realistically left with only one option for immigration reform: Executive Action.

On Friday November 14th, 2014 the New York Times stated that President Barack Obama could be coming up with a plan to act on Immigration on his own as early as the week before Thanksgiving. It is hard to tell what exactly any type of Executive Action on Immigration could look like, so instead of speculating what the reform could actually be like; we would like to give you some tips on how to prepare for any type of immigration reform.

Identification Documents:
It is very likely that you will need at least a valid passport, but other documents may include: birth certificate, marriage certificate and even school or military IDs could be needed as well. Any document with your name and picture on it could be used, one should keep those together and ready to be used.

Residence documents:
Often, immigration programs require that the petitioner demonstrates entry to the U.S before a certain date and evidence of physical presence in the U.S for the past X number of years. First of all, any immigration receipts, forms, and stamps are very crucial and should always be kept. Additionally, to demonstrate physical presence, one may use bills, medical records, school records, driver licenses, work authorizations, or anything else with a name and date which can be used to demonstrate residence in the U.S.

Taxes
The government may also request that an immigrant provides proof of filing taxes for X number of years, this may serve many purposes. First, it will show good moral and adherence to American fiscal laws. Second, it could also serve as evidence of presence in the U.S for those years. Lost tax documents can be recovered from the IRS and years that have not been filed for can also be done with the help of a qualified tax preparer/accountant.
Job History
Some forms may require applicants to list their past X number of employers with the dates and addresses of those businesses. It is recommended to keep all of this information saved digitally.
Criminal History
Background checks are often required from USCIS, if a person has been arrested and/or charged with a crime, they should look to get the final disposition from the court or any other legal documents that can help them better explain the nature of the situation.
Money
Immigration form fees could be significant sometimes plus the cost of an immigration attorney may require some people to spend outside their budget. Saving money ahead of an immigration reform is always the best idea, however; one should be weary of giving attorneys money before the immigration reform actually happens.

As always, the Shirazi Law Group, INC recommends that people should hire a qualified immigration attorney; not a tax preparer, a notary or a translator. The Shirazi Law Group, INC under Immigration Attorney Amna Shirazi has acquired experience of more than 14 years working only on immigration law. We are experts on National Visa Center cases when a Legal Permanent Resident or an American Citizen want to petition for a family member. Additionally, we help our clients obtain Work Authorization, Legal Permanent Residence, American Citizenship through naturalization (N-400) and Political Asylum; among other cases with USCIS and removal proceedings with the immigration court and ICE.