Tips to Find the Best Immigration Lawyer in Fort Worth

Finding the best immigration lawyer in Fort Worth seems like a big task – but you can use these tips to narrow your search and zero in on the right attorney for your needs.

Tips to Find the Best Immigration Lawyer

Whether you’re trying to get a visa to come to the U.S., you want to help your family immigrate, or you’re ready to sponsor workers from outside the country, you need an immigration lawyer in Fort Worth who can answer all your questions, file the appropriate paperwork with the right agencies, and make the entire process as smooth as possible. Use these tips to find an attorney who can get you the best possible outcome:

  • Be objective about what the lawyer promises you
  • Look at the attorney’s experience
  • Conduct an in-person or phone interview to get a feel for the lawyer’s personality and style

Be Objective

First things first: you need to make sure you’re dealing with an attorney, not someone billing him- or herself as a visa consultant, petition preparer or notario. These people are not attorneys and can’t give you legal advice. Worse, they may not even know what they’re doing.

When you are dealing with an immigration attorney in Fort Worth, he or she can only tell you the truth – and no attorney can ever guarantee you a certain outcome. Your case’s fate is in USCIS’s, Homeland Security’s, or an immigration judge’s hands… not your lawyer’s.Immigration lawyer Fort Worth SQ

Pro tip: Always watch out for lawyers who tell you to lie on an application or in an interview, or who ask you for money to bribe officials. If you encounter an attorney like this, run. Doing these things can get you into heaps of trouble, and you may even be barred from entering the United States in the future as a result.

Look at Experience

United States law can be complicated (have you seen the Immigration and Nationality Act?), so for most people, it makes sense to work with an experienced Fort Worth immigration attorney. That’s not to say that working with a new lawyer is bad – it’s only to say that lawyers who have filled out hundreds of immigration forms know what to look for, how to help prepare their clients for interviews, and understands what kinds of issues can trip up an application and drag out the process.

Conduct an Interview

One of the most important things you can do when you’re looking for the best immigration lawyer for your needs is to conduct an interview. You can set something up at the attorney’s office or you can conduct an over-the-phone interview – but you definitely have to do it. This way, you can get a good feel for how the lawyer communicates, ask all your questions and see whether you “click.”

Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Lawyer in Fort Worth?

If you’re considering immigrating to the U.S. or you want to sponsor foreign workers, we may be able to help you. Call 817-529-4509 to schedule a consultation with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney today.

USCIS REVISES FORM I-539 and I-539A, EFFECTIVE MARCH 11, 2019

The revised Form I-539 includes the following significant changes:

Every co-applicant included on the primary applicant’s Form I-539 must submit and sign a separate Form I-539A, which will be available on the Form I-539 webpage on March 11. Parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign.

Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85 biometric services fee, except certain A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants as noted in the new Form I-539 Instructions to be published on March 11.

Every applicant and co-applicant will receive a biometric services appointment notice, regardless of age, containing their individual receipt number. The biometric services appointments will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant’s address. Co-applicants who wish to be scheduled at a different ASC location should file a separate Form I-539.

Check-in with Department of State Charlie Oppenheim Regarding March 2019 Visa Bulletin

As predicted, there is only modest movement of one month for the EB-1 Worldwide Final Action Date in March, from December 1, 2017 to January 1, 2018. Similarly, the Final Action Dates for EB-1 China and EB-1 India creep forward only three weeks from February 8, 2017 to February 22, 2017.

 

Charlie underscores that we should expect EB-1 to move at the lower end of the projected range of 0-2 months for EB-1 Worldwide and 0-1 months for EB-1 China and EB-1 India. Based on the continuing high demand, we should expect “minimal if any’ movement in the EB-1 categories, and especially in EB-1 China and EB-1 India.

 

India EB-2 and EB-3 Remain Flipped

The EB-2 India Final Action Date advances only three days to April 9, 2009 in March, whereas the Final Action Date for EB-3 India, which was already ahead of EB-2 India in February, advances a full month to May 22, 2009. Although the possibility of this inversion was hinted at for some time, this phenomenon only occurred in February 2019, so it is too soon to know if EB-2 downgrades will be filed, and if so, how that might impact the relative Final Action Dates between these two categories

 

EB-2 and EB-3 China

The Final Action Date for EB-2 China remains ahead of EB-3 China, and continues to advance at a faster rate, with EB-2 China advancing three months to January 1, 2016 in March, and EB-3 China advancing only one week to July 8, 2015 for March. Given the projected advancements and barring any changes in the demand trends, members can expect this to continue for the foreseeable future.

 

EB-3 Philippines

Demand in this category continues to remain below the targeted level, requiring the Final Action Date for EB-3 Philippines to advance 4 months to December 1, 2017, in an attempt to generate demand.

 

EB-4

The Final Action Date for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras holds at March 1, 2016 in March, and EB-4 Mexico advances 4 months to January 1, 2018.

 

EB-5

EB-5 China advanced the Final Action Date by one week to September 8, 2014 for March. The Final Action Date had previously been advanced in January in anticipation of the Chinese New Year but processing was limited due to the sunsetting of the EB-5 I5 and R5 programs until very late in the month. Guangzhou is working to process as many cases as it can in February, but these may spill into March.

EB-5 Vietnam has less demand with early priority dates and as such reaches a Final Action Date of July 15, 2016.

Update on Rule Eliminating H-4 Dependent Employment Authorization

The rule was sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on February 20, 2019, and is currently pending review. Once OMB completes its review, a notice of proposed rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register and will be open to the public for notice and comment. The proposed regulation will not take effect until finalized by DHS, a process that typically takes several months.
Please note that the text of the proposed rule has not yet been made available to the public.

Potential Monthly Movement through May 2019

Family-Based Preference Categories:

Worldwide dates (except oversubscribed countries):

FB-1: Up to 5 weeks
FB-2A: Up to 1 month
FB-2B: Up to 2 months
FB-3: Up to 2 weeks
FB-4: Up to 6 weeks

Employment-Based Preference Categories:

Employment First (EB-1):
Worldwide: Up to 2 months
China and India: Up to 1 month

Employment Second (EB-2):
Worldwide: Current for the foreseeable future
China: Up to 3 months

Employment Third (EB-3):
Worldwide: Current
China: Up to 3 weeks
India: Up to 3 months
Mexico: Current
Philippines: Rapid movement to generate demand

Employment Fourth (EB-4):
Worldwide: Current
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: Up to 1 week
Mexico: Rapid forward movement until per country limit is reached

Employment Fifth (EB-5):
Worldwide: Current
China-mainland born: Up to 1 week
Vietnam: Up to 3 weeks

Members may wonder why EB-2 Worldwide would remain current “for the foreseeable future” while EB-3 Worldwide would simply be “current.” According to Charlie, both categories will remain current through May 2019 and are likely to remain current throughout this fiscal year. As a Final Action Date was imposed for EB-2 Worldwide during the last fiscal year, Charlie wanted to underscore the fact that based on current demand trends, he does not anticipate a Final Action Date will be imposed for EB-2 Worldwide during FY19. However, if USCIS demand significantly increases in the coming months, there is always the possibility that a Final Action Date will be imposed, in EB-2 Worldwide, or any other category.

Noteworthy Movement in February

Employment-Based Preference Categories:

India EB-2/EB-3 Flips!

For several months we have watched as the difference in Final Action Dates for EB-2 India and EB-3 India has become narrower. Charlie hinted at the potential for EB-3 India to surpass EB-2 India, and in February 2019 that finally occurs. EB-3 India will have a Final Action Date of April 22, 2009, which is roughly two weeks ahead of the EB-2 India Final Action Date of April 6, 2009. This situation has been created by the current overall low level of EB-3 Worldwide demand, which in turn is likely to make additional EB-3 numbers available for India.

It is unclear if this shift will spur downgrades from EB-2 to EB-3, and what the impact will be on the demand in these two categories. If this phenomenon leads to a significant number of downgrades, it would increase EB-3 India demand and could potentially bring the Final Action Dates for the two categories closer together. As of now, however, the anticipated forward movement through May 2019 for EB-2 India is “up to one week” in contrast to the “up to three months” movement expected in EB-3 India. Based on current demand trends, the Dates for Filing for EB-2 India is May 22, 2009, in contrast with the EB-3 India Date for Filing of April 1, 2010. We will watch this closely in the coming months.

No Flip for China (at least not in the foreseeable future):

The Final Action Date for EB-2 China advances two months to October 1, 2015, and remains ahead of EB-3 China, which advances only three weeks to July 1, 2015. That is not expected to change through May 2019, with EB-2 China expected to advance monthly “up to three months” in contrast with “up to three weeks” of movement for EB-3 China. However, the potential for a future “flip” of these two categories remains possible as according the February 2019 bulletin, the Dates for Filing for EB-2 China will be November 1, 2015, compared to January 1, 2016 for EB-3 China.

Charlie expects that dates for EB-2 China will start to move forward more rapidly to generate additional demand. Although EB-2 and EB-3 China demand declined in December 2018, it is starting to pick up again in January. While the increase in EB-2 China demand has been less dramatic, in the first 15 days of January, more numbers have already been issued for EB-3 China than throughout the entire month of December.

EB-1:

In February, the Final Action Date for EB-1 Worldwide advances two months to December 1, 2017. EB-1 China and EB-1 India advance 8 weeks to February 8, 2017.

The imposition of a final action date across all countries has been a significant concern among employment-based practitioners. Charlie continues to emphasize that this is likely to be “the new normal.” Based on the information provided by USCIS, it appears that there is sufficient EB-1 demand to reach the annual limits this year, which would prevent EB-1 Worldwide from returning to “current” status.

EB-1 China and EB-1 India numbers are being used up at a rapid rate. Charlie believes the EB-1 dates will advance again, with EB-1 Worldwide advancing up to two months, and EB-1 China and EB-1 India advancing up to one month.

Scheduled Expiration of EB-4 SR and EB-5 (I5 and R5)

Reauthorization of the EB-4 Religious Workers (SR) and EB-5 (I5 and R5) categories are currently impacted by the partial government shutdown. Until these categories are reauthorized by Congress, they remain unavailable. Should these categories be reauthorized, EB-4 SR would immediately become “current” for all countries except EB-4 SR El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which would have a Final Action Date of March 1, 2016, and EB-4 SR Mexico, which would have a Final Action Date of September 1, 2017. Similarly, EB-5 (I5 and R5) Worldwide would become “current,” with EB-5 (I5 and R5) China having a Final Action Date of September 1, 2014, and EB-5 (I5 and R5) Vietnam having a Final Action Date of June 15, 2016.

USCIS Using Tablets to Administer the English Reading and Writing Tests for Naturalization

On Oct. 1, USCIS began using digital tablets to administer the English reading and writing tests during naturalization interviews as part of the agency’s ongoing business modernization efforts. Although USCIS applicants already use digital tablets to sign or verify parts of their applications, this new approach expands tablet usage, allowing the device to be used for a greater portion of the application process. USCIS will be able to continue using the paper process on a case-by-case basis. While the eligibility requirements and the subject material of the naturalization test have not changed, applicants are now using a stylus on a digital tablet instead of a paper application.

Immigration Services Officers (ISO) will instruct applicants on how to use the tablets before administering the tests. For the reading test, a sentence will appear on the tablet and the ISO will ask the applicant to read it. For the writing test, several lines will appear on the tablet, replicating the appearance of a piece of blank paper. The ISO will read a sentence aloud and ask the applicant to write it on the tablet.