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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) at the US Immigration Law Office of Lena Korial-Yonan, P.A.

A. Our Legal Fees and Procedures

1. I called your office today and I was told by the case manager that you have no hidden fees. How can I trust that you will do as you say?

Our immigration law office has no hidden fees because we offer flat rate fees according to each case type. When you call our office, we will ask you some questions and then be able to quote you the legal fees for your case. We will not charge you more than you are initially quoted, unless you do not disclose criminal issues or deportation issues from your past. Otherwise, the legal fee quoted is the fee that you will pay.

We also will "hold your hand" throughout the process to ensure that you are informed throughout your case. We are family run and family owned, so we value our clients and value our reputation. One look at our client references section will show you that we do as we say.

2. Do you accept credit cards?


3. I read in your team profile that there are two immigration attorneys present at your office. Who will I meet with during my consultation?

You will meet or speak telephonically with our Senior Attorney Lena Korial-Yonan, Esq. She is the immigration attorney who founded our office almost 10 years ago and has almost 10 years experience practicing ONLY 100% US immigration law.

4. I live in California. Can you handle my case?

Yes we accept and handle US immigration law cases from all over the U.S. We offer Telephonic consultation appointments for our clients who cannot come to our office located in Jacksonville, Florida.

5. I need a divorce. Can you help me?

No, I do not handle any area of law except immigration law. Our law office practices 100% Immigration Law. If you reside in Jacksonville, Fl, then we can refer you to a reputable divorce attorney if you call our office at 904-448-6646. We do not receive any commission by providing a referral for your family law or criminal law attorney.

B. Fiancé or Fiancée Visa

1. I have a fiancée in china. I heard that I can file a fiancée visa without a lawyer. Do I need an immigration lawyer to file the paperwork?

You need an immigration lawyer to file your fiancée visa case because one small mistake can cost you your case and possibly being together with your loved one. The price is higher than the cost if something goes wrong! Our extensive immigration law experience is teaching us that USCIS officers and especially US Embassy officers are now extremely well-trained. They are no longer the over-burdened, untrained Officers of the past. Indeed, they now check every detail of the case and even do extensive background checks. Even though your background check may be "clean," in some cases someone with a name like yours can mixed up with your case by accident.

One small mistake or omission can make the officer suspicious and this mistake can result in huge delays in your fiancée's case or even a denial if the situation is not properly handled.

An example that I have is that a client contacted me over 6 months ago with a case for his fiancée who is in China. He did not hire any lawyer and chose to do the paperwork himself. Needless to say, six months later, he has called and retained our office (at higher legal fees than initially quoted!) because of a big mess in his case. Yes, we can still help him, but his fiancée is not very happy with him and he is not very happy that this process is now costing more than he initially would have paid. Not to mention the time lost and his having to travel to China to keep his fiancée happy...hardly worth the small initial "savings."

Another important point is that the US Embassy in China is extremely difficult in dealing with fiancée visas. Hire an experienced immigration lawyer, because even if USCIS approves your case here in the U.S., the US Embassy in China has the right to refuse to issue the visa. Indeed, all US Embassy Officers can refuse to issue a fiancée visa, even if it has been approved by USCIS here in the US.

At our immigration law office, we handle filing the fiancée visa, preparing the Embassy forms, and even preparing you for what to expect at the interview, so that your fiancée can feel prepared during the interview. Preparation is 99% of the success at the fiancée visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in China and all other U.S. Embassies.

C. Marriage "Green Card" cases & Travel Info while Green card is pending

1. I am married in good faith to a US citizen. I entered the US with a valid visa (visitor visa) but that was over a few years ago. Can you help me get my green card?

Yes, we can help you get a green card even if you have overstayed your visa. There are issues that the US Immigration Officer will have, but we will prepare your marriage "green card" (i.e. adjustment of status) case in order to handle these issues successfully. One of the issues may have to do with working in the US without valid employment authorization, and we address this issue and other anticipated issues as well.

2. I am married to a US citizen in good faith. I have been in the US for over one year out of status because my visa as shown on my I-94 card expired over one year ago. We just filed for my green card some months ago and even my travel permit was approved. Is it OK for me to travel now?

NO, you absolutely CANNOT travel internationally. The reason is that you were out of status in the US for over 180 days. Even though USCIS issued the travel permit, if you travel overseas, you will harm your immigration case in big ways. Call our office for more information. You can travel within the US, though, as long as you do not miss your fingerprint or interview appointments.

3. I am married to a US citizen in good faith. I did not enter with a valid visa. In fact, I entered through Miami, Atlanta or other port of entry where I was inspected but I did not present my real documents. Instead I used a fake or fraudulent passport or green card. Can I still get my green card in the US through marriage to a US citizen?

If your marriage to the US citizen is real, then there is a way for you to get your marriage green card case approved here in the US. You will need to file the fraud waiver. The fraud waiver requires a lot of evidence as to your good moral character and other highly relevant factors. We have handled these cases and have had successful results. For fraud waiver cases, you must hire an immigration lawyer who has experience with your exact case situation, as there are many factors and issues present, including research on country conditions in your home country with focus on specific issues

4. I am married to a US citizen but I entered the country illegally through Mexico. Can I file the entire green card application here in the US?

The answer is no, you cannot file the entire green card petition here in the US at one time even if you are married to a US citizen and even if you have 10 US citizen kids with your spouse. The only exception is if someone filed a case for you before April 30, 2001. Please contact our office for the step-by-step process of the paperwork that needs to be filed on behalf of individuals who enter the US illegally and then marry a US citizen in good faith.

5. I have heard that I can file the marriage green card application along with my spouse and that we do not need a lawyer. What do you think?

The best way to answer this question is to provide an example of a case I was retained for recently. The couple had initially filed the case on their own without an attorney, and then at the marriage interview, the Immigration Officer separated the couple, made up a lie about the husband telling his US citizen wife that he is a terrorist and criminal in his home country. Because she could not ask her husband about that during the interview with the Immigration Officer, the USC wife withdrew the case (i.e. closed the case) and the husband was placed in removal proceedings. ALL of this could have been avoided had an experienced immigration lawyer been present, as Immigration Officers have to follow certain rules that are enforced when an immigration attorney is present. Now the couple must re-file the case and comply with the Immigration Court removal procedures as well, as it turns out that her husband is not a criminal or a terrorist in any country.

Of course, not all cases are handled this way by the local USCIS Immigration Officers, but the problem is that once you enter the USCIS building for your interview, you do not know how your case will be treated. It is advisable to take precautions when filing paperwork with USCIS and when appearing at USCIS for an interview, because if something goes wrong, it is much more difficult to fix the problem than just to take the proper steps in the beginning.

It is also much more costly to fix cases that clients have filed on their own. Now when a marriage green card case is denied, the USCIS office is MUCH more likely to send that individual's file to the Immigration Court and have that person placed in removal / deportation proceedings. As shown on our blog listed on our home page of our website, immigration prosecutions are on the rise in increased amounts as of June 15, 2010.

While you may not want to pay for an immigration attorney to file the marriage green card on your behalf, imagine how much it costs for that same immigration attorney to re-file a marriage green card case and handle the removal / deportation proceedings on your behalf. The cost is at least four to ten times the amount of what it would have cost to retain the attorney for the initial marriage green card case. Of course having an immigration attorney does not guarantee that your marriage green card case will not be denied, but certainly your chances of approval will increase because the Immigration Officer will not be able to do the above tactics or any other tactic where your rights are not being protected.

6. So in the above situation when the Immigration Officer separated the couple, how can your office or an experienced immigration attorney help me or my spouse?

Another example will help explain the importance of having an experienced immigration attorney being present. The situation explained below does not guarantee approval of your own case. The clients were young and when they were separated, it became clear after a few hours of questioning that the couple is no longer residing together, even though they had both told the Immigration Officer that they resided together, were happily married, etc. The Immigration Officer began explaining to the US citizen wife that if she would just sign this paper closing the case, that she would not get in trouble with the Immigration officials. At that time, an experienced immigration attorney would usually request a few minutes with the client alone. When that happened, the client was asked a few questions by the attorney in confidence to prove that the marriage was not fake from the beginning but that instead the couple is now separated. When the Immigration Officer returned, the information was explained to the Immigration Officer. The couple left the Immigration Office without being arrested.

In fact, in less than 30 days, the couple received the green card in the mail for the husband. Had an experienced Immigration Attorney not been present at the interview, the Immigration Officer would have used more scare tactics against the young wife and she would have most likely signed any document placed in front of her. Her husband would then have been ARRESTED (and her too as well regardless of the verbal "promise" made by the Immigration Officer) and the husband would have immediately been placed in removal / deportation proceedings, required release from immigration jail, etc. In this situation, the presence of an experienced Immigration Attorney was worth that attorney's weight in gold!

D. Divorce After Getting the Conditional Two-Year Green Card

1. I am getting a divorce now from my US citizen spouse. I already have the conditional green card, which is a two year green card. My green card will expire soon. Will I be deported?

No, you will not be deported, if you take the proper steps that USCIS wants you to follow. There is an application that you can file to renew your green card and even obtain the 10 year green card, even though you are now separated or divorced. Please call our office at 904-448-6646 and schedule an appointment to discuss your immigration law case with Senior Attorney Lena Korial-Yonan, Esq. so that you can obtain the permanent, ten year green card. If you fail to take the proper steps, the USCIS can revoke your current conditional green card due to your divorce from your US citizen spouse.

E. Name Changes

1. I am now applying for a green card through my marriage to a US citizen. Do I have to change my name to my husband's name?

No you do not have to change your name to your husband's name. USCIS Officers usually will not make any assumptions about whether your marriage is real or not based alone on whether you changed your name to your husband’s name.

2. I already have the green card but now want to change my name. How can I do that?

The best course of action would be to change your name at the time that you apply for citizenship. The N-400 form asks on the first page whether you want to change your name. In this way, you are legally changing your name and at the same time ensuring that USCIS will also update your name change in their own system.



Lena Korial-Yonan, P.A.
9425 Craven Road, Suite 5
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Phone: (904) 448-6646
Facsimile: (904) 448-8221

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