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Central Florida Immigration attorney > Articles posted by Immigration attorneys

MMPA News Release: MMPA managing attorney to speak at 2019 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law

On January 21, 2019, our managing attorney for the immigration division at Martinez Manglardi PA’s, Francisco F. Symphorien-Saavedra, Esq., B.C.S., accepted an invitation to speak at the 2019 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the leading national organization representing and training immigration attorneys throughout the United States. Mr. Symphorien-Saavedra will be speaking on a panel discussing advanced issues with persons seeking EB-1 visas based upon their extraordinary talents in diverse fields. We are proud to have Mr. Symphorien-Saavedra representing our EB-1 clients who have extraordinary talents. ...

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MMPA News Release: After shutdown ends, Immigrants must attend scheduled Immigration Court hearings starting Monday, January 28th

The Executive Office for Immigration Review, the managing agency for Immigration Courts nationwide, has indicated that immigration hearings will proceed on Monday as scheduled.  According to Martinez Manglardi’s managing attorney, Frank Symphorien-Saavedra, anyone scheduled for a hearing on Monday, January 28th and thereafter must appear or they could be ordered deported from the United States in their absence. As reported by the Washington Post and various other media sources, the current shutdown has resulted in thousands of immigration court hearings being cancelled, exacerbating a tremendous backlog in immigration courts.   Before the shutdown, the courts were already struggling to keep up...

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MMPA News Release: MMPA managing attorney to speak at AILA 2019 Inaugural Sports Immigration Law Conference

On January 11, 2019, Francisco F. Symphorien-Saavedra, Esq., B.C.S., the managing attorney for Martinez Manglardi PA’s immigration department accepted an invitation to speak at the 2019 Inaugural Sports Immigration Law Conference for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is the leading national organization representing and training immigration attorneys throughout the United States. Mr. Symphorien-Saavedra will be speaking on an advanced panel discussing options for litigating visa matters in federal court. The invitation reflects Mr. Symphorien-Saavedra’s standing and leadership in the field as determined by other immigration attorneys. We are proud to have Mr. Symphorien-Saavedra representing our sports related clients. ...

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MMPA News Release: Supreme Court issues major 8-1 decision in favor of immigrants.

On June 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued a major decision that could affect hundreds of cases filed in immigration courts. The case involved an immigration benefit called cancellation of removal, which is sometimes called “la ley de 10 años, ” and allows immigrant to gain resident status.

In the specific case before the Court, Wescley Fonseca Pereira arrived in the United States in 2000 and overstayed his visa. In 2006, the government served Pereira with a “Notice to Appear” in immigration court but did not specify a time or place. Pereira sought to defend himself by filing an application for cancellation of removal.

One requirement of this law, among others, is that immigrants establish physical presence in the United States for 10 years. Pereira argued that the notice to appear was defective and did not trigger what is known as the stop-time rule. The stop-time rule would have prevented him from accruing the necessary 10 years in the United States.

Asylum: What You Need to Know. You must be very careful to get it right the first time.

Filing a basic asylum application can be simple; however, understanding the complex consequences of your answers will likely determine the fate of your asylum case from the outset.  If you misstate a simple fact in your original application and you wish to correct it at a later time, immigration authorities are likely to accuse you of lying on your asylum application.  Many immigration “notaries” or questionable processes can help you complete the required forms, sometimes at an exorbitant cost, but they are seldom competent enough to warn you about the dire consequences of not analyzing every legal aspect of your asylum application. Sometime notaries charge for simple forms, even though they are well aware that the government provides these forms at no cost. If you are considering filing for asylum, it is immensely important that you understand the overall asylum process to avoid being steered down the wrong path.

Supreme Court  Sessions v. Dimaya. Can legal immigrants be deported if they are convicted of certain crimes?

On April 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a provision of U.S. immigration law requiring that legal immigrants convicted of violent crimes be deported even if they have lived in the U.S. for decades. The particular provision in question before the Court pertained to people who are convicted of certain crimes that present a “substantial risk of force against the person or property of another.” The case involved an immigrant from the Philippines, James Garcia Dimaya, who became a legal U.S. resident when he was a young teenager. Later, Dimaya was convicted of first-degree burglary in California. An immigration judge ordered him deported, declaring that the burglary was “an act of violence.” 

H-1B Visas: The Fight to Save Spousal Work Permits

The Trump Administration’s plan to scrap an Obama era rule permitting the spouses of H1-B visa holders to be legally employed is causing a lot of anxiety in the immigration community, but there is hope. For years, spouses of immigrants who came to work in the U.S. were themselves prohibited from seeking employment because of the way the H1-B laws were written. The situation strained the marriages and finances of many couples who sought to build lives and careers in America. President Obama tried to remedy the situation by allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders with pending green card applications to be issued temporary work permits. The new permits, called H-4 visas, allowed approximately 100,000 women to find work. 

MMPA News Release: Attorney General Sessions moves to add thousands of non-priority cases closed by the Obama administration back on Immigration Court Calendar

May 19, 2018 Orlando, Florida On May 17, 2018, United States Attorney General Jeff sessions issued an order overruling immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals. The move concerns Immigration Judge’s authority to manage their dockets and “administratively close” cases over the objections of government attorneys. Sessions essentially stripped the judges of their independent authority to close cases, and potentially grants ICE attorneys unfettered discretion to place thousands of cases that were previously administratively closed during the Obama administration because they were considered low priority. While there are significant questions and potential procedural violations in the way Sessions referred the matter to...

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MMPA News Release: Trump administration adds Honduras to unprecedented list of 6 countries denied TPS protection.

On May 4, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an agency managed by a Trump appointee, announced that it would end Temporary Protected Status for Honduras effective January 5, 2020. Temporary protected status is a temporary reprieve against deportation that can be authorized by the Secretary of Homeland Security to persons of countries affected by strife or humanitarian catastrophes. While hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras in 1998, and the Country remains in turmoil, somehow the DHS secretary concluded that the situation in Honduras has improved to the point that it warrants seeking the return of nearly 60,000 Hondurans who have...

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I am a lawful permanent resident (LPR) but I was arrested for a misdemeanor.   Can I fly to my Country? Is there any risk when I return?

Persons who have been convicted or charged with crimes after gaining resident status should be extremely careful in traveling.  Certain crimes can render you inadmissible to the United States, and the government may be able to charge you with being subject to removal when you seek to return. This is the case even if they could not have sought to remove you if you had not traveled, or even if your conviction is extremely old.  You could also be detained at the port of entry and held without the right to seek bond. It is extremely important that you have...

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I have been a Legal Permanent Resident for almost 15 years, but I was arrested 10 years ago. Can I apply for my Citizenship?

Answer:  If your arrest happened more than 10 years ago, you likely do qualify for citizenship. Applying for citizenship generally requires that you prove that you are a lawful permanent resident, that you have been a person of good moral character for the past 5 years, (3 years if you’re married to U.S. a Citizen, 1 year if you are in the military), and that you have been physically present for half of the required time of permanent residence.    However, you must be careful to ensure that your criminal arrest would not render you subject to removal from the United...

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When I file a petition, will I be able to have a driver’s license?

Answer:  Filing a petition alone will not allow you to gain a Florida driver’s license at this time. Florida has sought to comply with the federal requirements of the Real ID Act, which requires proof of immigration status for state agencies to issue driver’s licenses. Florida maintains a list of acceptable immigration documents that is updated regularly to allow its license examiners to determine which applicants have the required immigration status. As of March 2018, a petition is not on that list....

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I was arrested, but I married a USC. Can I get a green card?

Answer:  Even if you have been arrested, you may still qualify for resident status (green card) after you marry a U.S. Citizen in good faith. While certain arrest can render you ineligible for resident status, not all crimes have this effect and you may be able to seek a waiver for certain crimes that would otherwise make you inadmissible to the United States....

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If I applied for asylum, can I visit my family from my home country?

Answer:  Traveling to the country from which you gained asylum will likely raise serious questions regarding the credibility of your asylum claim. It is generally not advisable to travel to the country from which you sought asylum, as it may suggest that the country could offer you adequate protection or that your application for asylum was without merit....

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I have the conditional green card for two years but I am having trouble with my wife/husband. If I get divorced, how can I still keep the green card?

You may be able to retain your resident status (Greencard) if you entered the marriage in good faith and were not at fault in failing to file a joint petition to remove the conditions on your residence. You and your spouse are required to file a joint petition to remove the 2 year condition on your residence card 90 days before the two year anniversary of receiving your residence. There are generally three exemptions to this requirement as follows: Where you entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage has been terminated, and you were not at fault in...

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I got married to a US Citizen. How long does the green card process take?

Over the past year, we have seen a significant delay in most immigration processes, including those based on marriage to a US citizen. Realistically, current government processing times, from filing to receipt of the permanent resident card, average 7-12 months. You must enter into a good faith marriage and be prepared for delays, given the recent emphasis on “extreme vetting” of immigrants...

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Can I drive an Uber on by B1/B2 visitor visa?

Answer:   A person visiting the United States under B1/B2 status is generally not permitted to work in the United States. In most instances, driving an Uber would be considered a violation of the person’s B1/B2 visa status.  If such work is discovered, it would likely result in the person being denied entry to the United States and/or having their visa revoked.  In the worst case scenario, the person could be charged with being subject to removal in Immigration Court....

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Can I send an invitation letter to my uncle to visit me in the U.S.?

Answer:  A person seeking to visit the United States must generally obtain a visa from a U.S. consulate abroad.  At the consulate, they will be required to overcome a presumption that they intend to immigrate or remain in the United States beyond the time of their intended visit or work illegally. An invitation letter is only one factor that may be considered in evaluating a person’s true intent when they seek to visit the United States. The foreign consul will generally scrutinize the person’s ties to their home country closely, and whether they have the economic means to full fill...

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I have been in the United States for 10 years. Do I qualify for a greencard?

Answer:  You do not qualify for residency simply because you have been in the United States for 10 years. However, you may be eligible for Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment of Status (“Cancellation”) if you are faced with deportation charges in Immigration Court. Cancellation applicants must generally show the following: Physical presence in the United States for a minimum of ten years; No convictions for specified crimes; Good moral character, as defined in immigration law; A qualifying relative, which must be a spouse, parent, or child, who is U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident; AND That their deportation would result...

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I received a work permit. Does that mean I have the right to stay in the United States and that I am legal?

Work permits are not considered evidence of your legal status in the United States and they merely establish that you are eligible to accept employment in the United States. However, there are codes on work permits that provide the legal basis under which work permits are issued, which are generally closely tied to your legal status in the United States. For example, a C10 code suggests that the person has a cancellation of removal case pending with the U.S. immigration Courts. A C9 code suggests the person has an application for permanent residence pending, and a C8 code suggest the...

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I’m Venezuelan. Do I qualify for asylum?

Answer: Not all Venezuelans qualify for asylum. To qualify for asylum you must establish that you cannot return to your native country due to past (or future) persecution specifically because of a protected reason, which includes your political opinion, race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group (for example homosexuals). You must also establish the government authorities in your country are the persecutors, or that they are unable or unwilling to control your persecutors. As a result, general crimes, including kidnapping and theft—when not connected to a protected reason—would not qualify for asylum. It is also important to note...

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White House Immigration Proposal Pits Dreamers

MMPA News Release: White House Immigration Proposal Pits Dreamers (DACA) Children Against Their parents and siblings.

January 26, 2018,
Orlando, Florida

On January 25, 2017, the Trump administration released a bullet point list of requirements for a limited immigration reform.  The plan limits family based petitions to just spouses and children, doing away with long-ago establish visa petitions for siblings, parents, and adult sons and daughters. The plan also does away with the diversity visa categories, also known as the visa lottery. Additionally, the plan provides $25 billion in funding for border security measures. In exchange for all of this, the Trump administration would allow dreamers or children presently protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to gain resident status and possible citizenship in 10-12 years.

The best lawyer!!!

Frank is a great lawyer he kept me very well informed on everything and was always coming up with different ways to come up with a great solution anytime u need him he's right there for you answering any questions you may have for him he would never beat around the bush and that's what I really enjoyed about him he's such a genuine person. I'm very thankful that he got to represent me! ...

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Zaeem Siddiqui

Having a complicated immigration situation which I had failed to successfully resolve on my own and with the help of other attorneys in the past, I contacted Frank Symphorien-Saavedra for his consultation and opinion on the matter. From the onset, Frank had a clear idea and game plan as well as experience with very similar matters in the past. Impressed by his transparency and detail orientation I quickly hired Frank based on his timeline of when he thought he would be able to successfully conclude my case. Suffice to say, Frank not only delivered on his initial game plan but...

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Asylum

[vc_row triangle_shape="no"][vc_column width="1/2" css=".vc_custom_1548188744487{background-image: url(https://florida-immigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Asilo-Político.jpg?id=3051) !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}"][vc_empty_space height="850px"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]As most of our attorneys are immigrants themselves, our firm is intimately aware of the plight of persecuted people throughout the world. Martinez Manglardi attorneys have won asylum cases before U.S. Immigration Courts and Asylum Officers all across America. Lead Immigration Attorney Francisco Symphorien-Saavedra has successfully processed asylum cases for immigrants from nearly every country, including Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Sudan, Eritrea, Turkey, Sri Lanka, China, Albania, Syria, Palestine, Egypt Honduras, and many others. To apply for political asylum, immigrants must show that they would be at significant...

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Humanitarian Options

The United States has traditionally led the world in providing humanitarian aid and encouraging democracy, as well as providing a haven for people fleeing repression and strife. At Martinez Manglardi, our own families have been deeply affected by the humanitarian crises in Cuba, Venezuela, and other nations. We care deeply about people suffering from political conflicts and natural disasters around the world.  Our immigration professionals are driven to help families abroad escape desperate circumstances because we know what it's like. We've been there. Our staff has succeeded in representing the plight of immigrants and we would be delighted to assist you in starting...

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Naturalization or Citizenship

The path to United States citizenship involves a complex web of laws that date back to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of clients navigate the complicated journey to citizenship. We have attorneys who are certified experts that can confirm your legal status and determine if you qualify for naturalization. Whether acquired at birth, through blood (jus sanguinis), or through birth on U.S. soil (jus soli), qualifying for citizenship depends on many factors, including the particular date you were born, the length of time your parents resided on U.S. soil, the specific U.S. territory in which you...

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Investor Visas

With the largest economy in the world, the United States continues to present an attractive choice for immigrants who hope to earn competitive returns on their capital while benefiting from America's infrastructure, a stable legal system, and an education for their children in our schools. Immigrant investors were a major source of capital that helped propel the American economy out of the recent great recession. Martinez Manglardi's team of immigration professionals, including our Board Certified Immigration Expert, have helped hundreds of immigrants to safely invest in the American economy by starting new businesses, establishing U.S. affiliated businesses, or investing in limited partnerships through the...

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Business and Work Visas

[vc_row triangle_shape="no"][vc_column][vc_column_text]We believe that immigrants are the engine that drives the American economy and increases our competitiveness in world markets. America’s sizable immigrant populations and the thousands of highly educated immigrants drive this country’s innovation and set us apart from other countries. Martinez Manglardi has a team of professionals who have extensive experience in gaining employment-based visas for employees. We have a team composed of a Board Certified Immigration attorney; an attorney who graduated in the top 5% of her class, and staff members with over 18 years in the immigration field. We have the necessary knowledge and expertise to help...

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Deportation/Removal Defense

Immigration enforcement activity has increased significantly in recent months. People who arrived here as children and those who had been protected from humanitarian catastrophes in places like Honduras or Haiti are now facing the real possibility of detention and removal proceedings. With the dire consequences of deportation to a country which you left many years before — one you may know nothing about —  it is extremely important to be represented by an attorney who is passionate about the plight of immigrants in this country.

Family Based Immigration

An overwhelming majority of immigrants come to America through family-based immigration. At Martinez Manglardi, many of our own employees and attorneys have brought family members from their native countries to the United States through family petitions. If you live in the United States, chances are you know someone who arrived in the United States through a family-based petition.

Our team of immigration professionals, including our Board Certified Expert, has gained approval for hundreds of families who have petitioned on behalf of their loved ones. We have helped many families who have been turned away by other law firms.

Extremely knowledgeable, thorough and resolute.

Having a complicated immigration situation which I had failed to successfully resolve on my own and with the help of other attorneys in the past, I contacted Frank for his consultation and opinion on the matter. From the onset, Frank had a clear idea and game plan as well as experience with very similar matters in the past. Impressed by his transparency and detail orientation I quickly hired Frank based on his timeline of when he thought he would be able to successfully conclude my case. Suffice to say, Frank not only delivered on his initial game plan but also stuck as...

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