November 1, 2014

Family-Based Immigration: An Introduction to Concepts and Procedures

Family-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are one of the major ways foreign nationals enter, remain, and obtain permanent residence in the United States. The policy behind family-based visas is family reunification. All family-based immigrant visas require a petition to be filed in the United States, proving eligibility for the benefit.

  • There are sponsor-based family immigrant visas whereby the petition is only filed by a qualifying family sponsor or petitioner. Such sponsor-based applications involve spouses, parents, children, and siblings of U.S. citizens, and spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
  • There are some petitions that do not necessarily require a family sponsor but require a qualifying family relationship to be eligible for this “self-petition.” Such petitions would involve those exposed to domestic violence who qualify under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
  • Widowers and other qualified family members of deceased petitioners may be eligible as self-petitioners as well.

Whether sponsor-based or self-based, the petition must first be filed and approved. A visa must be available before the foreign national can obtain a visa or adjust status to permanent residence. At this stage, the foreign national applicant must meet certain admissibility requirements to enter on a visa or to obtain permanent residence in the United States, unless waived under certain circumstances. One of these admissibility requirements, public charge, is applicable to all family-based immigrant applications and requires the submission of an affidavit of support. After obtaining permanent residence, some family members are subject to a two-year condition and must take proactive measures in the future to maintain their residence in the United States.

If you are a family law or immigration law practitioner, consider attending this short, 90-minute presentation to get the fundamentals of family-based immigration on February 6, 2012. The program, Family-Based Immigration: An Introduction to Concepts and Procedures, will cover:

  • Qualifying relationships to sponsor a family member
  • The process for those family members sponsored
  • The Affidavit of Support requirement
  • Other options to family sponsorship
  • Conditional Residence Status
  • K-1 Fiancé Visas
  • The concept of admissibility

This program is based on a chapter from the new CBA-CLE book, Immigration Law for the Colorado Practitioner. This indispensable reference, written with the Colorado lawyer in mind, covers a wide range of practice issues, providing the orientation, analysis, and authorities for immigration lawyers and lawyers whose practice overlaps with immigration law. Click here for more information about the book.

A free portion of the Family-Sponsored Immigration chapter, written by the program’s faculty, Catherine O. Brown, is available below for your reference, along with details about the program.

Family-Sponsored Immigration Chapter Segment

CLE Program: Family-Based Immigration – An Introduction to Concepts and Procedures

This CLE presentation will take place on Monday, February 6. Participants may attend live in our classroom or watch the live webcast.

If you can’t make the live program or webcast, the program will also be available as a homestudy in two formats: video on-demand and mp3 download.

State Judicial Amends More Forms to Comply with New Civil Procedure Rules and Fee Changes (Part 3)

Colorado State Judicial continues to issue forms that have been amended to comply with fee changes and the new civil procedure rules adopted as part of Rule Change 2011(18), effective as of January 1, 2012. The changes are being made to time calculation requirements in the forms, which now must reflect the “rule of 7″/multiples of a week.

State Judicial is reviewing all JDF forms and instructions, however it is always the Parties’ responsibility to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court rules. It is therefore important to review the time calculation rule changes prior to filing, as many of the forms have not been reviewed and changed yet.

Below is a list of the latest forms to be amended. Earlier amendments can be found here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). Most forms are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word formats; Word templates are forthcoming. Download the new forms from State Judicial’s individual forms pages, or below.

Probate

  • JDF 875 – “Instructions for Appointment of Conservator – Adult” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 887 – “Instructions to File a Petition to Terminate Conservatorship” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 906 – “Instructions for Probate with a Will” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 907 – “Instructions for Probate without a Will” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 957 – “Instructions for Closing an Estate Formally” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 958 – “Instructions for Closing a Small Estate Informally” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 959 – “Instructions for Closing an Estate Informally” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 989 – “Instructions to Re-Open an Estate” (revised 1/12)

Protection Orders

  • JDF 395 – “Instructions for Restrained Person Motion to Modify / Dismiss Protection Order” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 400 – “Instructions for Obtaining a Protection Order” (revised 1/12)

Small Claims

  • JDF 248 – “Small Claims Instructions” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 250 – “Notice, Claim & Summons to Appear for Trial” (revised 1/12)

Water

  • JDF 295W – “Standardized Instructions for all Colorado Water Court Divisions” (revised 1/12)

Governor Hickenlooper Signs First Bill of 2012 Legislative Session

On Monday, January 30, 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper signed SB 12-014, the first bill to emerge from the 2012 General Assembly, into law.

  • SB 12-014
    • Sponsored by Sens. Bacon, Roberts,  and Morse and Reps. Levy and B. Gardner. The law moves the date for candidates, committees, and political parties to begin filing biweekly campaign finance disclosure reports from the first Monday in July to the first Monday in May.

e-Legislative Report: Week Three, January 30, 2012

The latest Legislative Video Update recaps Military Day at the Capitol and Phase 2 of the SMART Act. Additionally, it reviews which bills the Legislative Policy Committee moved to support during their January 27 meeting.

Military Day at the Capitol

The Senate and House honored Colorado veterans on Monday with what is affectionately called “Military Day at the Capitol.” Both Houses take time to celebrate service men and women, active and retired, through several joint resolutions. The presentations are a welcome relief from the day to day operations at the Capitol and an appropriate way to say “Thank You” to our veterans. Here is a list of the resolutions:

  • Concerning recognition of Military, Veterans, and MIA/POW Appreciation Day.
  • Concerning recognition of military personnel from Colorado who died during specific military conflicts, including those killed after September 11, 2001, during the War on Terrorism, including but not limited to those killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Concerning the U.S.S. Pueblo.
  • Concerning the designation of Interstate 70 across Colorado as part of a nationwide system of “Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trails”.

The presentations are a welcome relief from the day to day operations at the Capitol and an appropriate way to say “Thank You” to our veterans.

SMART Act

Again, the floor was light and the committees of reference were busily working through Phase 2 of the SMART Act review process. In case you missed last week, HB 10-119, or the State Measurements for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act, was adopted in 2010 and part of the act requires departments of state government to suggest improved efficiency or administration through line item consolidation in the budget bill. The presentations to the committees of reference include information about:

  • The departments’ strategic plan;
  • A review of the departments’ performance-based goals and measures; and
  • A report on actual outcomes.

Phase 2 of the meetings with the committees of reference call for the committees to recommend or vote their support for the various budget priority requests from the departments they oversee; e.g. Judiciary Committees oversee the Judicial Branch (Judicial Branch, Public Defender, Alternate Defense Counsel, Office of Child Representative), Department of Corrections, and the Department of Public Safety. The committees met to discuss recommendations and votes but this process is new and the kinks are being worked out. We are hoping for a comprehensive statement from each committee detailing their votes and recommendations to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC).

As the legislature moves to the fourth week of the session, the committee calendars are starting to look like they are in midsession form in terms of workload.

CBA Legislative Policy Committee

For followers who are new to CBA legislative activity, the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) is the CBA’s legislative policy-making arm during the legislative session. The LPC meets weekly during the legislative session to determine CBA positions from requests from the various sections and committees of the Bar Association.

At the January 27 meeting of the LPC, the Committee voted to adopt as Bar Sponsored legislation a proposal from the Trust and Estate Section. The proposal is designed to put “guard rails” around the search a personal representative, trustee or their legal counsel is required to undertake when searching for a filed Designated Beneficiary Agreement (DBA). To be effective, DBAs are filed with a clerk and recorder where one of the parties is domiciled. When the law was passed in 2009 the law was silent on the duty to search for a filed DBA; as a consequence, the fiduciary or their attorney could conceivably be required to search all 64 counties in Colorado. The Trust and Estate section is seeking to limit the number of counties being searched and to limit the time frame to make the search. This situation arises when there isn’t actual knowledge of the existence of a DBA.

The LPC also voted to support the study committee or Task Force on Abuse of the Elderly that is contemplated in SB 12-078, Protection of At-Risk Adults. The sponsor of the bill is searching ultimately for a way to move the reporting of elder abuse from the current state of “urge” to “mandatory” reporting. The fiscal impact for such a change has moved the focus from a substantive change in this legislation to finding solutions through the Task Force process.

Click here for the full e-Legislative Report.

Tenth Circuit: Post-Departure Bar from Reviewing Motions to Reopen Filed by Noncitizens Outside the United States Impermissibly Interferes with Congress’ Intent to Afford Such a Statutory Right

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Contreras-Bocanegra v. Holder, Jr. on Monday, January 30, 2012.

The Tenth Circuit granted the petition for review and vacated the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision. Petitioner, a citizen of Mexico, became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 1989. Two years later, he received a suspended jail sentence for attempted possession of a controlled substance. In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security detained him upon his return from a visit to Mexico and placed him in removal proceedings on the ground that his conviction rendered him inadmissible. An Immigration Judge ordered him removed from the United States, and the Board affirmed. The Tench Circuit subsequently denied Petitioners’ petition for review. From Mexico, Petitioner filed a timely motion to reopen his removal proceedings based on ineffective assistance of counsel. The Board denied the motion on jurisdictional grounds, “concluding pursuant to the post-departure bar that it lacked authority to review a motion to reopen filed by a noncitizen outside of the United States.” He then “petitioned for review of the Board’s decision, arguing that 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(d) improperly curtails his right under 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7) to file a motion to reopen. . . . [T]he panel denied his petition, concluding that it was bound by circuit precedent to uphold the post-departure bar,” relying on Rosillo-Puga, 580 F.3d 1147 (10th Cir. 2009).

The Tenth Circuit granted rehearing en banc to reconsider its decision in Rosillo-Puga, and now overturns it and its progeny. The en banc rehearing considered “whether the so-called postdeparture bar regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(d) remains valid in this circuit considering Congress’ 1996 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act. The amended Act grants noncitizens the right to file one motion to reopen their immigration proceedings. However, the Board of Immigration Appeals contends that it lacks jurisdiction to consider motions to reopen filed by individuals who have already departed the United States, despite the fact that such a limitation appears nowhere in the statutory text.”

In Rosillo-Puga v. Holder, a divided Tenth Circuit panel upheld the post-departure bar as an authorized exercise of the Attorney General’s rulemaking authority. However, since then, six circuits have consecutively invalidated the regulation. “Rather than stand alone in upholding the post-departure bar, [the Tenth Circuit chose] to overturn Rosillo-Puga, . . . [holding] that the subject regulation impermissibly interferes with Congress’ clear intent to afford each noncitizen a statutory right to pursue a motion to reopen under 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7).”

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 1/30/12

On Monday, January 30, 2012, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and four unpublished opinions.

Unpublished

United States v. Matthews

Patillo v. Larned State Hospital

United States v. Croucher

Showalter v. Addison

No case summaries are available for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.