Law Office of James A Roberts, PLLC

Law Office of James A Roberts, PLLC For more than 25 years, we have been assisting immigrants in defending and legalizing immigration status in the United State. Since 1994, the law office of James A Roberts, PLLC has provided creative and innovative solutions to the complex legal challenges that confront our clients.

We have represented clients across the world in their struggles with the convoluted immigration laws and have successfully concluded thousands of cases. We have attorneys barred in multiple states and have represented clients before immigration offices both nationwide and worldwide.

Mission: Assisting Immigrants In Defending And Legalising Immigration Status In The United States

Operating as usual

USCIS Fee increase is blocked by Federal Judge.  The government will appeal this to the Court of Appeals.  Stay tuned.  ...
09/30/2020
USCIS Fee Calculator

USCIS Fee increase is blocked by Federal Judge. The government will appeal this to the Court of Appeals. Stay tuned. In the meantime, you can always get the correct fee at https://www.uscis.gov/feecalculator

This tool will ask questions to help determine your fee; however, it does not store answers to the questions or any other personal information.

09/14/2020

New Action on Lawsuit Against New Asylum Rules and Asylum EAD Rules

As has been mentioned previously, there was a lawsuit against the US Government, filed to prevent new rules from taking effect. These new rules changed much, including:

* 365-day waiting period for asylum applicants to file work authorization applications. It was 150 days after filing for asylum under the old rules

* A one-year filing rule, which makes asylum applicants ineligible for work authorization if they filed their asylum application more than a year after arriving in the United States

* Under the old rule, initial work permit applications from asylum applicants should be decided within 30 days. The new rule discards that rule, allowing much longer delays.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland stated that it is likely that the government will lose the court case when a decision is made. Therefore, they are allowing class members of the lawsuit to apply under the old rules instead of the new rules. Importantly, they are allowing applicants to become members of the class. All of our clients affected by this rule should immediately contact our office to become part of the class and apply under the old rules.

08/19/2020

For those asking for a summary of the recent Presidential Proclamations

1/31/2020 : proclamation suspending entry into the United States of aliens who were physically present in the China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau, within the 14 days preceding entry or attempted entry into the United States. Took effect Sunday, February 2.

2/29/2020: proclamation suspending entry into the United States of aliens who were physically present in Iran within the 14 days preceding entry or attempted entry into the United States. Took effect: March 2.

3/11/2020 proclamation suspending entry into the United States of aliens who were physically present in any of the 26 countries that make up the Schengen Area within the 14 days preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. Took effect: March 13

3/14/2020 proclamation that restricts travel to the United States of foreign nationals who were physically present in the United Kingdom and Ireland within the 14 days preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. Took effect: March 16 – until terminated.

4/22/2020 Proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants (those with immigrant visas, not those with green cards) who present risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak. Took effect April 23 - exceptions: certain healthcare professionals, EB-5 immigrants, spouses and children of US Citizen categories (IR1, CR1, IR2, CR2, IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4) , members of the U.S. Armed Forces and any spouse and children the US Armed Forces, aliens seeking to enter with SQ or SI-SIV, any alien seeking to provide temporary labor services essential the United States food supply chain, and any alien whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees. In addition, the proclamation explicitly states that cases involving a child applicant who may age out may be considered for a national interest exception. Please refer to the text of each proclamation for a full list of exceptions.

5/24/2020 Proclamation suspending entry into the United States of foreign nationals who were physically present in Brazil within 14 days preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. Took effect: May 26, 2020

6/22/2020 Proclamation extending the 4/22/2020 order (see above), and also suspending entry to H, J, and L, visa holders. New Restrictions took effect on June 24 and expire on December 31, 2020, unless continued by the President.

NOTE
U.S. citizens are not subject to the proclamations. All proclamations provide exceptions to the restrictions for lawful permanent residents of the United States. Some exceptions include, foreign diplomats traveling to the United States on A or G visas and certain family members of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents including; spouses, children (under the age of 21), parents (provided that his/her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child is unmarried and under the age of 21), and siblings (provided that both the sibling and the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident are unmarried and under the age of 21). For the full list of exceptions please refer to the proclamations.

08/18/2020

Just a little update on the new rule, delaying eligibility for work permits for asylum seekers. As anticipated, the rule is the subject of a pending lawsuit.

Records of the case show that the plaintiffs have asked the Judge to issue a preliminary injunction, temporarily delaying the new rule. The government has opposed it, as of Aug 17 and now we wait for the Judge to rule. U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland 8:20-cv-02118

07/22/2020
asylumadvocacy.org

In June of 2020, The DHS has made a rule delaying the ability of asylum seekers to get work permits. It made the wait 365 days instead of the previous 150 (180). The rule is scheduled to take effect on 8/21/20. Luckily, they are being sued. The courts are being asked to force DHS to keep it at 150 (180) days.

Here is the lawsuit: https://asylumadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Casa-de-Maryland-v.-Wolf-Complaint.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2yPs0A04DdAK9fndDc4jTdfiLwwPVORbf8lvZlc7OSyaphJtpejOdVWS8

NEW DACA Cases for new applicants?  The US District Court ordered DHS to accept new DACA cases.  Based on this decision,...
07/20/2020
#97 in Casa De Maryland v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D. Maryland, 8:17-cv-02942) – CourtListener.com

NEW DACA Cases for new applicants? The US District Court ordered DHS to accept new DACA cases. Based on this decision, we will probably be taking new cases soon. However, let's wait a bit to make sure before we file any new cases.

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.mdd.403497/gov.uscourts.mdd.403497.97.0.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2P1K-S7F7h11hCYsUOn58Kdg9Cx-xLSVpRS8vZPkPR6FzMIsx1XTONCW4

ORDER vacating the rescission of the DACA policy; enjoining Defendants from implementing or enforcing the DACA rescission; directing the Clerk to close this case. Signed by Judge Paul W. Grimm on 7/17/2020. (dg3s, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 07/17/2020)

07/14/2020

We have received some recent questions about a new rule for Student Visa Holders.

The rule says that students on existing visas who want to remain in the U.S. must transfer to a school with in-person instruction or attend one that offers both remote and on-campus learning. This is a tough rule in a time of the COVID pandemic.

I have asked callers to be patient, because Harvard and MIT sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week after the agency issued the rules, . I wanted to wait and see what happens with the lawsuit.

Today, minutes ago, the government settled fully. This new rule will NOT go into effect.

06/25/2020

The Supreme Court made a decision today about asking for asylum while in a period of expedited removal.

People come to the United States and seek asylum in different ways. Some come to the US legally and then apply for asylum. Please understand that this group is not the subject of this decision.

Other people seek asylum at the border or getting caught soon after illegally coming to the US. These people may be placed in expedited removal proceedings. The decision applies to only a few of these people.

Generally, when a person is placed in expedited removal, they have pass an interview with an asylum officer before they can ask for asylum from a Judge. If the asylum officer thinks that they may win their case, then the applicants will have the opportunity to present their case to the Judge in a trial. This is what happens in most cases. The Supreme Court decision does not affect them.

But, if the officer thinks that there is an insufficient chance of success, then the applicant will not be able to apply for asylum. That adverse decision of the officer can be reviewed by a Judge. The Judge may disagree with the officer and allow the applicant to apply for asylum. The question is: what happens if the Judge agrees that there is not enough case, can you go to the Federal Court and ask them to review the Judge's decision? The Supreme Court today said no. There is Federal Court review of the Judge's review of the determination.

Important Changes to Asylum Based Work Permits!It is 328 pages, so this is VERY summarized
06/24/2020

Important Changes to Asylum Based Work Permits!
It is 328 pages, so this is VERY summarized

06/18/2020

As stated in my last post, The President does not always have the power that he thinks he does.

The US Supreme Court ruled today, June 18, that the administration can’t shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program without better justification.

The Department of Homeland Security failed to provide an adequate reason for shutting down the program when it declared an end to DACA in 2017.

06/16/2020

New Asylum Rules - over the years, it has been my habit to not look too closely at proposals to change regulations. This is because the final product is sometimes very different than the proposals.

Yes, last week there was a proposal to change the asylum laws, but nothing about it is final. Also, the amount of power that held by the President is actually less than he may believe it to be. For this reason, what he wants and what he gets from the final rule may be very different.

I am following this very closely and will immediately write on the topic if something does in fact change. So far, nothing has changed from last week's news.

If anything does come from these proposals, it will probably be effective sometime around this FALL

05/27/2020

USCIS Field Office and the Asylum Office Are Making Plans to Open on June 4 for in person, non-emergency interviews. Here is what they say:

Beginning June 4, 2020, certain USCIS field offices, application support centers and asylum offices will resume non-emergency face-to-face services to the public. USCIS has enacted precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in reopened facilities:

Visitors may not enter a USCIS facility if they:
Have any symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever or difficulty breathing;
Have been in close contact with anyone known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or
Have been individually directed to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider or public health official within the last 14 days.
Visitors may not enter the facility more than 15 minutes prior to their appointment (30 minutes for naturalization ceremonies).
Hand sanitizer will be provided for visitors at entry points.
Members of the public must wear facial coverings that cover both the mouth and nose when entering facilities. If they do not have one, USCIS may provide one or the visitor will be asked to reschedule their appointment.
There will be markings and physical barriers in the facility; visitors should pay close attention to these signs to ensure they follow social distancing guidelines.
Individuals may also have to answer health screening questions before entering a facility.
Individuals are encouraged to bring their own black or blue ink pens.

05/04/2020

Update as of today, May 4, 2020.

The Immigration Court will have non-detained hearings beginning June 1, 2020. Cases scheduled before that date will be re-scheduled.

USCIS Offices Preparing to Begin in Person Interviews on June 4.   U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily...
04/27/2020
USCIS Office Closings

USCIS Offices Preparing to Begin in Person Interviews on June 4.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). These interviews were scheduled to begin again on May 4, but have been pushed back one month.

USCIS Officers are continuing to process applications and perform other services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public.

USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency in-person services. Requests for emergency in-person services can be made at the USCIS main number: 800 375-5283 where an officer will begin the process of determining if you have an emergency.

USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies ihttps://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-office-closings.

We list offices that are closed or have temporarily changed hours. This information can change quickly, so please check this page on the day of your appointment.

The Executive Order on Immigration Was Signed Last Night.  It is not nearly as scary as the media seems to indicate.  Pl...
04/23/2020

The Executive Order on Immigration Was Signed Last Night. It is not nearly as scary as the media seems to indicate. Please look at the summary attached

Also, note that even for the categories that are temporarily blocked, the I-130 petitions are still being accepted and adjudicated

04/13/2020

Great News for those of you in Virginia:

As many of you may already know, for several years now, advocates have been working with the state legislature to get in-state tuition for certain asylum applicants and other undocumented students.

On friday, this bill (SB395/HB1547) was passed into law by the Governor of Virginia! Here is the official summary of the law:

Public institutions of higher education; eligibility for in-state tuition. Provides that any student is eligible for in-state tuition who (i) attended high school for at least two years in the Commonwealth and either (a) graduated on or after July 1, 2008, from a public or private high school or program of home instruction in the Commonwealth or (b) passed, on or after July 1, 2008, a high school equivalency examination approved by the Secretary of Education; (ii) has submitted evidence that he or, in the case of a dependent student, at least one parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis has filed, unless exempted by state law, Virginia income tax returns for at least two years prior to the date of registration or enrollment; and (iii) registers as an entering student or is enrolled in a public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth. The bill states that students who meet these criteria shall be eligible for in-state tuition regardless of their citizenship or immigration status, except students with currently valid visas issued under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(F), 1101(a)(15)(H)(iii), 1101(a)(15)(J) (including only students or trainees), or 1101(a)(15)(M). Information obtained in the implementation of the provisions of the bill shall only be used or disclosed to individuals other than the student for purposes of determining in-state tuition eligibility. This bill incorporates HB 1138 and is identical to SB 935.

THE EFFECTIVE DATE FOR LAW is 7/1/2020

The governor also signed a bill into law that will make it easier for undocumented people to get "driver's privilege cards"

Edit of earlier post to make it easier to follow
04/02/2020

Edit of earlier post to make it easier to follow

04/02/2020
www.governor.virginia.gov

The Virginia Executive (Stay at Home) Order 55.

found here:
https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-55-Temporary-Stay-at-Home-Order-Due-to-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).pdf

According to the new order, there is the potential for a criminal misdemeanor charge for violations of the following 3 clauses. Charges under this order could result in negative immigration consequences.

1. All public and private in-person gatherings of more than ten individuals are prohibited. This includes parties, celebrations, religious, or other social events,
whether they occur indoor or outdoor. This restriction does not apply:
a. To the operation of businesses not required to close to the public under Executive Order 53 (which includes law offices, which are not required to be closed); or
b. To the gathering of family members living in the same residence.

2.. Institutions of higher education shall cease all in-person classes and instruction, and cancel all gatherings of more than ten individuals. For purposes of facilitating remote learning, performing critical research, or performing essential
functions, institutions of higher education may continue to operate, provided that social distancing requirements are maintained.

3. Effective April 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., cessation of all reservations for overnight stays of less than 14 nights at all privately-owned campgrounds, as defined in §
35.1-1 of the Code of Virginia.

Again, in order to comply with these measures, our appointments will be remote; by skype, phone, or whatever other means is convenient for our clients.

Many of our clients, including those with pending asylum applications and green card applications should qualify for the...
04/01/2020

Many of our clients, including those with pending asylum applications and green card applications should qualify for the stimulus. There is a revision of the document above..

Address

9401 Lee Hwy, Ste 205
Fairfax, VA
22031

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 16:00
Thursday 08:00 - 18:00
Friday 08:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(703) 865-8962

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