USCIS Filing Fees Increasing, Forms Changing on April 1, 2024

New filing fee for USCIS benefits effective soon in 2024

On January 31, 2024, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued its Final Fee Schedule Rule, taking effect on April 1, 2024. The new fee schedule impacts several family, humanitarian, and employment-based immigration benefits. USCIS benefits requested with a postmark on or after April 1, 2024, must include the new filing fee amount. We at Ibrahim Law Office encourage any applicant or petitioner seeking an immigration benefit with USCIS to strongly consider filing as soon as possible before a possible fee increase takes effect.

As part of its public announcement, USCIS provided FAQs that include a chart detailing the new fees compared to USCIS’s current fees. These FAQs provide useful and important information about the new fee schedule, such as an informative chart, a summary of the changes, and information about the impact the new rule has on USCIS forms and deadlines.

Within the USCIS Final Fee Rule are several updates to USCIS’s forms. USCIS stated that the agency will post a preview of the Form Changes on its website 30 days before to their effective date. The new forms will take effect on April 1, 2024. USCIS states it will offer a grace period to accept prior editions for most forms through June 3, 2024, as long as the new, correct fee is included in the submission.

Finally, USCIS will use the postmark date of a filing, not the receipt date, to determine whether the correct form version and fees are submitted. This is not to be confused with deadlines, as USCIS shall use the received date to determine whether any regulatory or statutory filing deadlines have been met.

If you or a loved one have questions about your immigration case, contact Ibrahim Law Office to schedule a consultation today.

What Is the Difference Between a Green Card and a Visa?

In 2021, 740,000 immigrants became lawful permanent citizens of the US via a green card. Around 1 million temporary immigrant visas were issued the following year. You may be wondering what the difference between a green card and a visa is. If so, you’re in the right place!

Green cards and visas differ in many ways, which we’ll explain below. Each has a different meaning, application process, and set of requirements. Depending on a person’s long-term goals, a green card may or may not be appropriate.

If you are struggling to obtain a visa or green card and would like to speak to an experienced immigration attorney, we encourage you to request a consultation with Ibrahim Law Office at 312-767-8611.

What’s a Green Card?

green card is a permanent residency permit for the cardholder to live in the United States. A green card is a physical card issued to immigrants who receive this status. A green card allows the holder most of the same rights as a US citizen, such as the right to work and reside in the country.

After someone holds a green card for three to five years, they may apply for citizenship. Foreign nationals cannot apply for a green card while living abroad, they must reside in the US with a current visa.

Types of Green Cards:

There are different situations that allow someone to apply for a green card. These include:

Green cards are issued for humanitarian reasons to refugees, asylum seekers, human trafficking victims, and criminal or abuse victims. Immediate family members of persons holding a green card or citizenship status may apply for green cards for themselves.

How Do I Get a Green Card?

The first step is to determine if you are eligible for a green card. Then, depending on the reason for the green card, there are next steps to take. The process is different for everyone and some people require sponsors.

If you are unsure how to proceed with a green card application, we recommend you speak to an experienced immigration attorney. Call our office at 312-767-8611 to request a consultation with our knowledgeable attorney, Michael Ibrahim.

How Can a Green Card Lawyer Help?

Applications for residency in the US are often complicated and tedious. There are many steps required and no room for mishaps. Clients who work with a green card lawyer streamline the process and ensure there are no issues in the application.

At Ibrahim Law Office, our experienced attorney has the immigration law knowledge his clients need to get their green cards quickly. If you are in the process of applying for residence and need assistance, we want to help. Please contact us to request a consultation.

What’s a Visa?

A visa is an entry permit to the United States. There are numerous types of visas with varying conditions that fall into immigrant and non-immigrant visa status. A visa allows a foreign national to travel in the US for a specified length of time.

Types of Visas:

Someone can obtain a visa from the US embassy or consulates in their home country. Visas are often issued as a stamp on a person’s passport. The types of non-immigrant visas available include:

An immigrant visa allows the holder to move to the US. Immigrants must obtain this type of visa before moving to the US, which involves completing a complex application and may require sponsorship. Most people must hold a visa in order to apply for a green card.

How Do I Get a Visa?

To obtain a visa, you must apply for one through your local US embassy or consulate. You’ll likely have to complete an interview at that location before being issued a visa. During the interview, applicants are asked about their travel plans, study program, or work plans. Applicants may or may not be required to show proof of finances or other documentation depending on the type of visa being requested.

How Can a Visa Lawyer Help?

Applying for a visa can quickly become confusing and frustrating. There are many types available with individual requirements for each. Clients who work with a visa attorney are able to understand the visas they are eligible for and the application process. When working with Michael Ibrahim, clients know they are completing the process correctly. They not only gain his expertise, but also peace of mind.

Benefits of a Green Card:

A green card gives an immigrant most of the same rights as a US citizen. It also allows the green card holder to travel freely to and from the US and gives them the opportunity to become a US citizen in three to five years.

Benefits of a Visa:

A visa is the first step in becoming a US citizen, if that is the ultimate goal. A visa allows the holder entry into the US for a specified period of time. A visa allows someone to travel, work, or study in the US lawfully.

Green Cards vs. Visas: FAQs

Many people are confused by green cards and visas. They are not the same thing, as noted above. Our most commonly asked questions are:

Do I Need a Green Card or a Visa?

We cannot answer this question without knowing your specific situation. Some people may need a visa while others need a green card. In short, immigrants wishing for a short stay in the US probably need a visa. Immigrants who ultimately want to live in the US and already hold a visa probably need a green card.

However, many factors are involved that are best discussed with an immigration attorney. Ibrahim Law Office wants to help and encourages you to request a consultation at 312-767-8611.

Do I Need the Help of an Immigration Lawyer?

You may or may not need the help of an immigration lawyer. Every situation is unique and requires a personalized approach. We recommend you reach out to Ibrahim Law Office to request a consultation to discuss if an immigration attorney would be beneficial for your specific situation.

However, clients who work with an immigration lawyer do see faster application processes and fewer mistakes. An attorney helps their clients through the process, offering advice on their legal rights while guiding them in the application process for a green card or visa.

Advantages of Hiring Ibrahim Law Office:

Immigration laws are constantly changing with new requirements or guidelines. Ibrahim Law Office helps clients to navigate these changes while achieving their goals. Read more about the benefits of working with Michael Ibrahim below:

Protect Your Legal Rights

As an immigrant in the US, you have legal rights. When Ibrahim Law helps clients with their immigration legal needs, we ensure their rights are protected. We guide clients throughout the process to obtain green cards, citizenship, visas, and more while offering protection of their human rights.

Legal Advisement

Ibrahim Law Office advises clients on immigration law. We help clients to file documents or applications, navigate deportation situations, obtain asylum, and request appeals to reopen cases.

Our team is well-versed in immigration laws, and their constant changes, so we provide updated, current advice to our clients to ensure they complete the processes correctly the first time. We strive to make our client’s dreams come true and work tirelessly to achieve their goals.

Vast Legal Knowledge

Michael Ibrahim has vast legal experience and knowledge. After receiving his Juris Doctor, he worked with legal aid offices, was a clerk at a US Attorney’s Office, and worked as an attorney at a prominent removal defense firm.

He has helped thousands of clients with their immigration legal needs. He has experience in:

As the son of immigrants, Michael Ibrahim wants to help as many immigrants as he can to achieve their dreams of living in the US. He understands his clients needs, desires, and challenges. Michael is passionate about immigration law and is eager to assist clients however he can.

Experienced Immigration Attorney

Michael Ibrahim is well-versed in immigration law and has achieved many successes. He has aided thousands of clients with their immigration legal needs while showcasing compassion and ongoing support.

Since opening his office, he has helped 500+ clients avoid deportation and won green cards for 1,000+ clients. He speaks four languages (English, Spanish, Arabic, Syrian) and serves immigrants in 135 countries.

Call Ibrahim Law Office for Your Immigration Legal Needs Today

Now you understand the difference between a green card and a visa. If you are an immigrant and need assistance obtaining one or the other, we want to help. Our experienced immigration lawyer has helped numerous clients receive permanent residency. Contact our office today to request a consultation to discuss your immigration situation.

Who is Allowed to Vote in the U.S.?

Understanding Voting Rights in the U.S.

At Ibrahim Law Firm, we believe in empowering individuals by clarifying their rights and the processes that shape our democracy. This page is dedicated to helping everyone, especially immigrants, understand who is eligible to vote in the U.S., the importance of participating in the democratic process, and how to navigate potential legal hurdles with confidence. Whether you're a U.S. citizen, a green card holder, or on your path to citizenship, we're here to make sure your voice can be heard where it counts.

Understanding Your Voting Rights

Voting in the United States isn't just a right; it's a celebration of democracy in action. It's how you make your voice heard in shaping the future of the nation, your state, and your local community. Let's dive deeper into what it means to be eligible to vote and how you can participate in this vital process.

U.S. Citizens

If you were born in the U.S., congratulations, you're automatically granted the right to vote once you reach the appropriate age. But what if you weren't born here? The U.S. has a big heart and a wide embrace.

If you've become a naturalized citizen or acquired citizenship through your parents, you're just as eligible to vote as someone born on U.S. soil. This inclusivity ensures that every citizen has a say in the country's direction, regardless of their birthplace.

Residency Requirements

To vote, you need to have a connection to the place where you're casting your vote. This means living in the state where you want to vote and meeting any residency duration requirements they might have.

Why does this matter? Because local and state issues differ, and the laws want to ensure voters have a genuine stake in the decisions made. However, these requirements can vary, so it's crucial to check the specifics for your state.

Age Requirements

In the U.S., turning 18 is about more than just becoming an adult. It's your ticket to participate in the democratic process. If you're 18 by Election Day, you're eligible to cast your vote and help decide the country's future. This age requirement is a rite of passage into civic responsibility, ensuring that all voters have reached an age where they can make informed decisions.

Registration

Before you can vote, you need to register. Think of registration as your RSVP to democracy's biggest event. This process is how the government knows you're eligible and plans to participate. While most states require you to register, places like North Dakota march to the beat of their own drum, with no registration required. The registration process is straightforward but varies by state, so it's important to check the specific steps you need to follow.

Non-Citizens and Young Voters

While U.S. citizenship is a must for voting in federal, state, and most local elections, some places are writing their own rules. A few states and cities are opening the door for non-citizens to vote in certain local elections, recognizing the valuable contributions and perspectives of all residents. Similarly, a handful of areas are allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in local matters, empowering younger voices to be heard on issues that directly affect their futures.

What to Know About Non-Citizens and Voting

While non-citizens cannot participate in most U.S. elections, it's critical to know how to protect yourself from accidental registration or voting, which can jeopardize your immigration status. Ibrahim Law Firm is at the forefront, offering guidance and legal assistance to ensure your path to citizenship remains clear and unimpeded.

Sometimes, mistakes happen. Maybe someone at the DMV got mixed up and asked if you wanted to register to vote. If you said "yes" without realizing it was a no-go, it could be a problem, but it's one we can fix together. Here's a tip: Always double-check what you're signing up for, and if you're not sure, ask questions or reach out to us at Ibrahim Law Firm.

Why Choose Ibrahim Law Firm?

With years of experience in immigration law, Ibrahim Law Firm stands as a beacon of hope and guidance for immigrants navigating the complex landscape of U.S. laws. Our dedicated team understands the nuances of immigration statuses, rights, and the democratic process, ensuring you receive personalized and effective legal advice. Let us be your partner in securing your rights and future in the U.S.

Make Your Voice Heard

If you're seeking clarity on your voting rights or need assistance with an immigration matter, don't hesitate to reach out. Contact Ibrahim Law Firm at (312) 767-8611 for guidance and support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can green card holders vote in U.S. elections?

No, only U.S. citizens are eligible to vote in federal, state, and most local elections. Certain localities may have exceptions for local elections.

What should I do if I was mistakenly registered to vote at the DMV?

Contact Ibrahim Law Firm immediately for legal advice to correct the mistake and protect your immigration status.

How can I register to vote?

If you're a U.S. citizen and meet your state's requirements, you can register online.

How long does it take to file for residency?

Your Partner in Navigating U.S. Immigration

At Ibrahim Law Firm, we understand the dream of living and working in the U.S. isn't just a goal—it's a journey to a new life. With years of expertise in U.S. immigration law, we're here to turn your dream into a reality.

Our dedicated team specializes in guiding individuals and families through the complex process of obtaining Lawful Permanent Residency (LPR) status. Let us be your compass on this journey. Call us today at (312) 767-8611 to start your path to residency.

Understanding the Path to U.S. Residency

Navigating the journey to becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) in the U.S. can seem like navigating through a maze. At Ibrahim Law Firm, we're committed to lighting the path to your U.S. residency, making the process clear and straightforward. Here's a closer look at how we can help you achieve your dream of living in the U.S.:

1. Explore Your Options

The first step to U.S. residency is understanding which pathway is right for you. The U.S. offers several routes to residency, each with its own set of criteria:

Each pathway has its own eligibility criteria and application process. Our team at Ibrahim Law Firm will help you identify which option best suits your situation and guide you through the necessary steps.

2. Eligibility Check

Before diving into the application process, it's crucial to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements for your chosen path to residency. This step involves a detailed review of your background, employment history, family connections, and any other factors that could influence your application. Our experts will conduct a thorough assessment to ensure you're on the right track from the start.

3. Inside the U.S.? Adjustment of Status

If you're already in the U.S. on a temporary visa, you may be eligible to adjust your status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident without having to return to your home country. This process involves several steps, including filing the necessary forms, attending a biometrics appointment, and possibly an interview. Our attorneys will navigate you through each step, ensuring your application is handled efficiently.

4. Outside the U.S.? Consular Processing

For those outside the U.S., obtaining residency typically involves consular processing. This means you'll apply for a Green Card through a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Consular processing includes submitting forms and documents, attending an interview, and passing medical examinations. We'll prepare you for each stage, helping to minimize delays and improve your chances of approval.

5. Visa Availability and Wait Times

One of the most challenging aspects of the residency process can be dealing with visa availability and wait times. Certain categories of immigrants face long waiting periods due to annual limits on the number of Green Cards issued. Our team stays up-to-date on the latest visa bulletin updates and processing times to provide you with accurate timelines and strategize the best approach for your case.

6. Application Essentials

Every residency application requires meticulous preparation, from accurate completion of forms to gathering the necessary supporting documents. Key steps include:

Ibrahim Law Firm stands by your side through these steps, providing clear instructions, preparing you for interviews, and ensuring your application meets all requirements.

Why Choose Ibrahim Law Firm?

Expert Guidance

Navigating U.S. immigration law can be daunting. Our experienced team is here to provide personalized guidance every step of the way.

Comprehensive Support

From your initial eligibility assessment to your final interview, we're with you at every stage.

Trust and Integrity

Our clients' trust is our top priority. We pride ourselves on honest, transparent communication and ethical legal practices.

Start Your Journey to U.S. Residency Today

Your dream of U.S. residency is within reach, and Ibrahim Law Firm is here to guide you. Whether you're just starting to explore your options or you're ready to begin the application process, we're here to help. Don't let the complexities of immigration law stand in your way. Contact us at (312) 767-8611 for a consultation, and let's begin this journey together.

Frequently Asked Questions About U.S. Residency

For detailed answers to these questions and more, reach out to us. Each journey is unique, and we're here to provide the answers tailored to your specific situation.

How long does the residency process take?

The timeline varies depending on your application path, current backlogs, and individual circumstances. Contact us for a personalized estimate.

Can I work in the U.S. while I wait for my residency?

Many applicants can obtain work permits during the application process. Let's discuss your situation.

What if my case is delayed?

Delays can be frustrating, but we're here to help navigate and expedite where possible.

At Ibrahim Law Firm, we believe in making the complex process of U.S. immigration as simple and accessible as possible. With our expertise and dedication, your path to U.S. residency is clearer and more achievable than ever. Let's make your American dream come true together.

Tips for the Naturalization Exam

Your Path to U.S. Citizenship Begins Here

Welcome to Ibrahim Law Firm, where achieving your dream of U.S. citizenship becomes a reality. With years of expertise in immigration law, we're here not just to advise but to guide you through each step toward becoming a U.S. citizen. Dial (312) 767-8611 now for a partnership that turns your American dream into a tangible future.

Understanding the Naturalization Exam

The journey to U.S. citizenship is a milestone paved with dedication and hard work, especially when it comes to the naturalization exam. Comprising speaking, reading, writing, and U.S. History and Civics sections, this exam is your gateway to rights and opportunities in the U.S. Fear not! Ibrahim Law Firm is here to demystify the process and set you on a path to success.

How the Naturalization Process Works

Embarking on the road to citizenship might seem daunting, but with the right preparation, you'll navigate it like a pro. From understanding exam exemptions to mastering the material, we're with you every step of the way. Let's break down the exam components and how you can ace them with flying colors.

The Speaking Section

Clear communication is your ally in the speaking section. Engage in daily conversations in English, immerse yourself in English media, and practice, practice, practice! This will not only boost your confidence but ensure your interaction with the USCIS officer is smooth and successful.

The Reading Section

Reading out loud is the key here. Dive into materials that celebrate the U.S., like the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance. Explore the recommended word list by USCIS to sharpen your skills. Get started here.

The Writing Section

Writing in English is an art that requires practice. Engage with online resources, write daily, and familiarize yourself with the USCIS writing vocabulary. Click here for resources.

U.S. History and Civics

U.S. history and civics might just be the most thrilling part of your exam. Learn all 100 questions to ensure you can confidently answer the required six out of ten correctly. Flashcards, quizzes, and consistent reviews are your best friends. Discover the questions here.

Second Chances: Retaking the Exam

Didn't pass on your first try? You get another shot to succeed within 60 to 90 days. It's all about persistence and preparation, and Ibrahim Law Firm is here to support you through it all. Learn more about retaking the exam.

Why Choose Ibrahim Law Firm?

At Ibrahim Law Firm, we believe in your American dream. With personalized guidance, expert advice, and unwavering support, we stand by your side from consultation to citizenship. Our experienced team is committed to making your path to U.S. citizenship as smooth and straightforward as possible.

Start Your Journey to U.S. Citizenship

Your dream is within reach, and we're here to help you grab it. Contact Ibrahim Law Firm today at (312) 767-8611 or schedule a consultation online to take the first step towards your new life in the United States. Together, we'll make your American dream come true.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How can I prepare for the naturalization exam?
A: Engage with English in daily conversations, read U.S. patriotic materials, practice writing, and familiarize yourself with U.S. history and civics through study materials and quizzes.

Q: What if I don't pass the exam the first time?
A: You have a second opportunity to take the test. With additional preparation and support from Ibrahim Law Firm, you can increase your chances of success on your next attempt.

Q: How can Ibrahim Law Firm help me with my naturalization exam?
A: From guiding you through the exam preparation to advising on potential exemptions, our team offers comprehensive support tailored to your unique journey to U.S. citizenship.

Does Marijuana Consumption Affect Your Chance at Citizenship?

As more U.S. states welcome marijuana, a critical question emerges: Can using marijuana affect your journey to U.S. citizenship?

Understanding the Legal Landscape

First, let's break down the law. The big difference lies between using marijuana and other actions like possessing, selling, or transporting it. Most states and federal law consider the possession, sale, or transportation of marijuana illegal. Marijuana use itself isn't always a federal crime, but some states strictly prohibit it.

U.S. federal law is crucial in immigration matters. Regardless of state laws, the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. This classification puts it in direct conflict with federal law, the one that governs immigration.

The Role of Medical Exams in Immigration

How would authorities know about your marijuana use? Medical exams required for visas and residency can detect traces of marijuana. Testing positive often leads to denials. USCIS looks for applicants who demonstrate good moral character, and adherence to controlled substance laws, including marijuana, is a significant factor.

Impact on Different Immigration Applications

Marijuana use might not directly hinder your immigration application, but any legal issues related to marijuana likely will. For example, two Denver residents, legally employed in the cannabis industry, were denied citizenship due to their work conflicting with federal law.

Many Denver officials, including the Mayor and leading immigration lawyers, criticize these policies. They argue they unfairly target immigrants working in a legal state industry and call for a change as more states legalize marijuana.

Navigating State and Federal Discrepancies

It's crucial to understand the difference between state and federal laws. What's legal in your state could still be a federal offense. This discrepancy is particularly important for immigrants, as federal law takes precedence in immigration cases.

FAQs on Marijuana and Immigration

  1. Can using marijuana stop me from becoming a U.S. citizen?

    • It might. Even if your state says it's okay to use marijuana, the U.S. federal government still sees it as illegal. This can affect your citizenship application.
  2. What if I'm using marijuana legally for medical reasons?

    • This is tricky. While some states allow medical marijuana, the federal government does not. This can still be a problem for your immigration process.
  3. I live in a state where marijuana is legal. Does that matter?

    • For immigration, what matters is federal law, not state law. So even if your state allows marijuana, it's still illegal under federal law, which is what immigration follows.
  4. Will a medical exam for my visa show marijuana use?

    • Yes, it can. These exams can detect marijuana, and testing positive might lead to your application being denied.
  5. Is working in the marijuana industry a problem for immigration?

    • It can be. Even if it's legal in your state, working in the marijuana industry can be seen as a violation of federal law and affect your immigration status.
  6. Can I get in trouble for marijuana use in my past?

    • Possibly. Immigration officials look at your whole history, including past drug use. This can be considered when they decide on your application.
  7. What if I've never been arrested or convicted for marijuana use?

    • Even without an arrest or conviction, if there's evidence of marijuana use, it can impact your immigration process because of federal laws.
  8. Do all immigrants face the same risks with marijuana use?

    • Mostly, yes. Federal immigration laws apply to everyone, so the risks are similar for all immigrants.
  9. Are these laws likely to change soon?

    • It's hard to say. Laws change, but it's important to go by what the current laws are when applying for immigration.
  10. Where can I find more information or get help?

    • It's best to talk to an immigration lawyer for advice specific to your situation. They can guide you based on the latest laws and your personal case.

Seeking Professional Guidance

For tailored advice, contact Ibrahim Law Office. We can provide detailed information on how cannabis consumption and related criminal laws can affect your immigration case.

What to Do if Your U.S. Visa Application is Denied

Ibrahim YouTube What to Do if Your U.S. Visa Application is Denied

What to Do if Your U.S. Visa Application is Denied 

Navigating Visa Denials with Ibrahim Law Office

Understanding the Visa Process and Your Next Steps

Have you recently faced a rejection in your U.S. tourist visa application? It's a common hurdle many encounter. At Ibrahim Law Office in Chicago, we understand the mix of emotions and confusion you might be experiencing.

A visa denial doesn't have to be the end of your journey – it's a detour. Let's explore what you can do next and how our team can guide you through reapplying. Call us today at (312) 767-8611 to get started.

Why Was My Visa Denied?

First, it's vital to understand the reasons behind visa denials. Typically, the U.S. Embassy or consulate provides insight into the specific immigration law that led to the decision. Some of the most common reasons include the following:

Immigrant Intent Concerns

Many denials, particularly for B visas, arise from INA Section 214(b). This law requires applicants to show solid ties to their home country, ensuring they don't plan to stay in the U.S. indefinitely. If your application faces rejection, you can't appeal, but reapplying is an option. For a stronger subsequent application, you might need to present fresh evidence showcasing significant changes in your circumstances.

Documentation Issues

At times, applications get denied due to missing or incomplete information, falling under INA Section 221(g). If this is your situation, address the specified gaps promptly. You have a year from your denial date to submit the necessary documents. After this period, a new application process begins.

Navigating Administrative Processing

Sometimes, visa processing requires extra steps. This "administrative processing" needs additional information, typically not from the applicant directly. You'll receive a notice explaining the procedure, but remember, each case's duration varies.

Waivers for Ineligibility

If deemed "ineligible," in some situations, you might qualify for an inadmissibility waiver. While this doesn't guarantee future approval, it's a step toward a potential positive outcome.

What to do After a Visa Denial

Thinking About Reapplying? Here's What You Need to Know:

You can reapply for a visa anytime you want, but just doing it without any changes might not help. Think about why you were denied the first time. Was it because they weren't sure you'd return home after your trip? Or they may want to see more proof of how you'll pay for your trip. If these were the issues, make sure to show stronger ties to your home country and better financial plans the next time.

Visa Denied Because of Missing Papers?

In cases where your visa got denied because you didn't give all the needed information or documents, you will usually have up to a year to fix this. It's important to act quickly and provide all the documents they ask for. This way, you can avoid having to start over with a new application.

What is Administrative Processing?

Your application might sometimes need to go through a deeper check, known as "administrative processing." This is pretty normal for some applications. It's like a longer security check to make sure everything is okay. This process can take different amounts of time for different people, so you might need to be patient.

Got Labeled "Ineligible"?

Sometimes, you might be told you can't get a visa for certain reasons. But don't lose hope just yet! You may have a chance to apply for what's called a "waiver of ineligibility." This is like asking for special permission to get the visa despite those reasons. Whether this is possible depends on what the embassy official tells you. So listen carefully to their advice and instructions on how to go about this.

Why Choose Ibrahim Law Office?

At Ibrahim Law Office, we're not just experienced in immigration law; we're your allies in navigating the intricate visa application process. With a deep understanding of U.S. immigration law and a heart for those yearning to explore America, we provide tailored assistance to strengthen your visa application or tackle a prior denial.

Personalized Guidance Every Step of the Way

Our team at Ibrahim Law Office, located in the heart of Chicago, is committed to guiding you through reapplying. We know every case is unique, and we're here to ensure your application shines with the strongest evidence and preparation. Whether it's your first application or you're dealing with a denial, our expertise can be the difference between another refusal and a ticket to the U.S.

Accessible and Open Communication

U.S. immigration law can be confusing. At Ibrahim Law Office, we make sure you're never lost or overwhelmed. Our team believes in clear, open communication. We always explain things in a way that's easy to understand without complex legal jargon. This means you always know where you stand, what to expect next, and how best to prepare. We're here to answer your questions, big or small, ensuring you feel heard and supported throughout your journey.

Affordable and Honest Services

We believe that getting expert legal help should be affordable and fair. At Ibrahim Law Office, you won't find any hidden fees or surprises. We offer honest, upfront pricing so you can plan your budget without worry.

Our goal is to make quality legal assistance accessible to everyone dreaming of life in America. We work hard to provide top-notch services at a cost that doesn't break the bank, ensuring your path to the U.S. is smoother and more achievable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reapply for a visa after a denial?

Yes, you can definitely reapply for a visa if your application was denied before. It's important to understand why it was denied in the first place. We can help look into the reasons and give advice on how to fix any issues.

When you reapply, your application should be stronger and address the reasons for the previous denial. Feel free to reach out to us, and we'll guide you through the process to improve your chances next time.

How can I prove my ties to my home country?

To prove your ties to your home country, you should show that you have reasons to go back after visiting another country. This could be a steady job where you've worked for a while. If you have family, like kids or elderly parents that you take care of, that also counts.

Owning property like a house or land is another strong tie. If you've traveled and always returned home, this shows you have strong connections. We'll help you gather the right documents and present your ties clearly in your application.

Should I reapply immediately after a denial?

It's usually better to wait a bit before reapplying after your visa is denied. This gives you time to address the reasons why it was denied. You might need to get extra documents or fix problems in your application.

Rushing to reapply without making any changes might lead to another denial. We can work with you to identify what went wrong and help make your application stronger for the next time.

Do I need to pay a fee each time I apply?

Yes, there's a fee every time you apply for a visa. Fees can change, so it's a good idea to check the latest cost before you submit your application. We keep track of these fees and can tell you how much you'll need to pay. Paying the fee doesn't guarantee that your visa will be approved, so it's important to submit a well-prepared application.

How long does the visa process usually take?

The time it takes to process a visa can differ a lot. Some people might hear back in just a few weeks, but for others, it might take months.

The time depends on many things, like where you're applying from and the type of visa you need. We can take a look at your specific case and give you a more accurate idea of how long it might take for you.

Is there a limit to how many times I can reapply?

There's no official limit on how many times you can reapply for a visa. But keep in mind, if you've been denied several times, it could be harder to get approved in the future.

Each denial needs to be looked at to understand what went wrong. We can help figure out why you were denied and give tips on how to improve your application for better chances next time.

What happens if my visa gets approved, but then I can't travel?

If you can't travel after your visa is approved, don't worry too much. But remember that visas are only good for a certain period. If you wait too long and your visa expires, you'll need to apply again. It's best to let us know right away if your plans change. We can advise on the best steps to take so your visa doesn't go to waste.

Do I need to attend an interview for my visa application?

For most visa applications, you will need to go to an interview. Interviews help the people who decide if you get a visa or not. They will ask questions to learn more about you and your travel plans.

We can help you prepare for this interview by giving you tips on what to expect and how to answer questions. Being well-prepared for the interview can increase your chances of getting your visa.

Get Your Visa Journey Back on Track

Don't let a visa denial get you down. Contact Ibrahim Law Office at (312) 767-8611 for experienced legal guidance. Together, we'll navigate this challenge and work toward making your American dream a reality.

How Do I Find Someone Who Has Been Detained by ICE?

There are over 200 immigrant jails and detention centers in the US. It is terrifying to learn a loved one has been detained by ICE, or the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency. With so many centers, you may feel lost when trying to find out where they are and determine what is happening.

There are many reasons why someone may be detained. There is also an online locator to help family and friends find someone detained, though it doesn’t always give answers. If you have a friend or loved one detained by ICE, you may want to consider speaking to an immigration attorney about your options. Contact our office at 312-767-8611 to request a consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.

What Does It Mean If Someone is Detained by ICE?

When ICE detains someone, it means they are being held due to an immigration matter. This could be an illegal entry into the US, a mandatory hold, or a problem with a visa. ICE also detains immigrants subject to removal or deportation. People detained by ICE are held at a detention center until trial or the issue is resolved.

What Happens When Detained by ICE?

When detained by ICE, the person is taken into custody and held in the detention center. This could be for days to months, depending on the situation. If someone is detained for illegal entry into the US or for breaking immigration laws, they likely will face removal or deportation.

How to Find Someone Detained by ICE with ODLS:

ICE has an online detainee locator system (ODLS). This system can be accessed 24/7 and is updated daily. It can take 24 hours for a new detainee to enter the system. The online locator system is the best place to start after ICE detains someone. There are two ways to search for someone:

Search by Personal Information

You can search for someone with their name, country of origin, and birthdate. The first and last names must match exactly to find the person you seek. It’s best to check with and without spaces for hyphenated names if you are not finding a result.

Search by Alien Registration Number

The other option is to search for someone using their A-number. This is their alien registration number issued by the Department of Homeland Security. This number is found on employment authorization or residency cards. It is a 9-digit number. When using this option, you must also provide the country of birth.

What If You Can’t Find Someone In the Locator System?

More than likely, if you are not finding someone in the database, it is because of one of these reasons:

If you still struggle to find someone detained, it may be time to ask for outside assistance. The embassy in the person’s birth country can likely help find them.

How Long Can ICE Detain Someone?

Many factors impact how long ICE can detain someone. If they were arrested for a crime, the time would likely be longer than a visa issue. When detained by ICE, the detainee is subject to an investigation. If they are found to be in the country illegally, have expired documents, or return after removal, they face an immigration trial to remove them.

If you fear the detainee will be deported or removed, it’s critical you speak to an immigration attorney as soon as possible. They have many forms of deportation defense that may be able to help them stay in the US. While ICE detention is scary and overwhelming, there may still be hope. Ibrahim Law wants to help you understand your legal rights and options with this matter, so contact us today.

Can I Visit a Friend or Family Member Being Detained by ICE?

Yes, visits are allowed by family members, friends, consular officials, and legal representatives. Once you have found someone in the online locator database, you will determine which facility they are held at. You can find contact information, visitation guidelines, and the officer in charge of their case contact details.

If you must travel to visit a detainee, calling first and ensuring the visitation policies haven’t changed may be a good idea. Many facilities changed protocols during COVID-19. We encourage you to visit detainees if possible. Being detained is a traumatic experience, and visits from loved ones can help with their mental health.

It’s also important to note that visiting an ICE detention center gives the agency the right to conduct a background check on you. If you are also an immigrant, they can detain you or start removal proceedings if you are here illegally.

What Are Detainee Rights When In an ICE Detention Center?

People detained by ICE have the following rights:

The consulate from the detainee’s home country can help them to find a lawyer and navigate the situation. If they are unable or unwilling to call the consulate, they can call family members or lawyers directly for assistance.

Detention centers are supposed to be non-punitive. Detainees should be treated fairly and humanely when in these centers. If they are not, you may want to contact an attorney.

How Do I Find Out If a Detainee Was Deported?

Unfortunately, the locator system doesn’t indicate if someone was deported. A family member or legal representative can contact the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) agency to determine if a detainee was deported. The locator system also shows the ERO office responsible for the immigrant.

FAQs About ICE Detention:

Read more about the most popular questions people have about ICE detention below:

How Many ICE Detention Centers Are in the USA?

There are 200+ ICE detention centers in the USA. You can search all the locations here. The online detainee locator tells which center the detainees are located.

Can a US Citizen Be Detained by ICE?

In theory, no. ICE cannot detain US citizens. However…ICE has the authority to detain anyone they suspect is a threat to national security. Sometimes, this means US citizens are detained. ICE agents must have reasonable suspicion that the citizen was an illegal alien.

Why Are People Detained by ICE?

There are many reasons ICE may detain someone. The following are the most common reasons:

Each situation is unique. If you are unsure why ICE detained someone you care for, it’s best to search for them in the system and go from there to find as much information as possible.

Is the ICE Detainee Database Accurate?

Mostly, yes, but there is a delay after updating the information. Sometimes, the information takes 8 hours to show up in the system. New detainees are usually in the system after 24 hours.

How Can Ibrahim Law Help Clients?

Ibrahim Law helps clients with immigration matters, including deportation defense, residency, and visas. Michael Ibrahim has the expertise clients need to navigate immigration courts and laws without making a misstep. Read more about the benefits of working with Michael Ibrahim below:

Protect Your Rights

As an immigrant, you have rights. Many people are degraded or mistreated during ICE detention, which is unacceptable. Hiring an immigration lawyer helps protect clients' rights while ensuring they have all open opportunities.

Legal Expertise

Michael Ibrahim has extensive immigration law expertise. He has helped numerous clients with their immigration matters. He speaks four languages (English, Spanish, Arabic, and Syriac) and can help resolve global immigration issues across 135 countries. He supports clients with the following:

Michael Ibrahim has helped over 1,000 people obtain green cards and 500+ people avoid deportation. He wants to help you, too. Contact his office at 312-767-8611 to request a free consultation.

Case Preparation

Michael Ibrahim helps his clients prepare for interviews and trials. He is well-versed in immigration laws and leverages that knowledge to create strong, complete applications for his clients. He is proud to help immigrants start their new paths in the US.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you have a loved one detained by ICE, Ibrahim Law may be able to help. We understand how frustrating and scary the situation is. We work hard to help as many clients as possible with immigration troubles in the US. If you want to speak to an attorney in more detail about your immigration matter, schedule a consultation today.

How can the average person help support immigration reform?

In a world dominated by twenty-four-hour news cycles and held together by vast global connectivity, we can find ourselves feeling helpless. In terms of immigration issues, you can do a lot from your positions as a community member to change the status quo. The topic may be important to you for many reasons. Perhaps you yourself, a loved one, or family member is an immigrant. Maybe you have a co-worker or neighbor who has explained that they are an immigrant. Here are four simple ways to get involved in immigration reform efforts.

If you or a loved one have further questions, please reach out to Ibrahim Law Office to schedule a consultation today.

Tips to Help During Your Immigration Interview

You are close to potentially becoming a U.S. Citizen. The day of your immigration interview is near. You are going through all sorts of overwhelming emotions from nervousness to excitement. We understand how important this interview is to you and that everything goes as smoothly as possible. To help you prepare for this big day, below are tips to consider for your immigration interview:

Arrive Early: It is recommended to arrive between 30-45 minutes early to your appointment to get settled in. You do not want to arrive late. Not only would this create unnecessary stress to yourself, but Officers can legally deny your interview. You also want to arrive early in case there are long wait lines.

Dress Appropriately: Immigration interviews are formal, therefore, you want to dress professionally and make a good impression on the Officer. Men can dress in a suit or dress pants with a button-up shirt and tie. Women can wear a dress or skirt that goes past the knees, or slacks with a blouse and blazer. Whatever you choose to wear, make it appropriate.

Bring a Translator: If needed, have a translator attend your interview in order to best interpret the questions asked by the Officer. This will help with the language barrier and make the interview run more smoothly. It is best to have a translator that is not a relative.

Be Respectful: It is important to show respect to the Officer. You should not argue, lie, or make any jokes during your interview. The interview is an important matter that will determine the status of your naturalization, therefore it should be taken seriously.

Answering Questions: Give direct answers. You do not want to stray away from the point of the question. If the officer asks a yes or no question, only answer with a yes or no. If you do not understand the question asked, you may ask the Officer to repeat the question. If you genuinely do not know the answer to a question or cannot remember, simply say that you do not know. You should never lie or fake an answer. If you are applying for naturalization on the basis of marriage, be prepared to answer personal questions to prove your relationship is legitimate. Again, do not lie, as you may give an answer opposite of what your spouse said, which will raise questions to the officer.

Documentation: It is extremely important you have all the required documents needed for the interview. Bring originals as well as copies for the Officer. Make sure all the documents are accurate.

Supporting Documents: Bring supplemental documents that apply to your application in case the Officer may need any. If you are applying for naturalization on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen, have any birth or marriage certificates, tax returns, etc. It is best to have tax related documents completed by a Certified Public Accountant for accuracy. You should also bring any divorce or arrest records, etc. if such applies to you. However, it is important that you ensure any supplemental documents are relevant and contain only the information you used for your application. You do not want to bring a document that will confuse the Officer and have them question other matters unrelated to the reason why you are there.

Organize: Have an organized binder or folder that has all of your original documents as well as copies for the Officer. This will help you stay in order and avoid any inconveniences to yourself and the Officer.

Practice: It does not hurt to practice how to answer possible questions that will come up during your interview. It can be a very nerve racking process and sometimes can get the best of you if you are not prepared. You can ask your attorney to run by a few questions or even conduct a mock interview.

Know Your Application: You should know what you are applying for and what brought you to the interview. Make sure you are familiar with your application and the information you provided for it.

Wait for Your Attorney: Sometimes, the Officer will call you in for the interview before your attorney has arrived. Do not go through with your interview without your attorney present. Your attorney is there to protect you and your rights.

*This article does not constitute legal advice. Readers should contact their attorney in regards to their particular legal matters.

If you, or a loved one, have further questions on your immigration interview process, please reach out to Ibrahim Law Office to schedule a consutlation.