Resources & FAQ
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) www.uscis.gov
- For information on visas and basic immigration to the U.S. http://www.uscis.gov/newimmigrants
- Information Regarding Visas from the US Dept. of State http://travel.state.gov/visa/questions/questions_1253.html
- Colorado Bar Association Attorney Directory http://www.cobar.org/directory
- Servicios de la Raza
Servicios de la Raza offers a comprehensive outreach program for those in the Metro Denver community in need of healthcare, mental health services, job preparedness, and peer support. These services can be accessed in Spanish and English.
- Clínica Tepeyac
Clinica Tepeyac serves Denver’s most underserved, providing quality, affordable healthcare to minority families of all kinds. Services are provided in Spanish and English.
- Clínica Campesina
Clinica Campesina quality, inexpensive dental and medical care for Broomfield, Boulder, and western Adams counties. Preventative care and other services are provided in Spanish and English.
- Sisters of Color
Promoting healthy lifestyles and access to health services for the Latino community through community leaders, Sisters of Color is a resource for individuals and families seeking to improve their physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Services are provided in Spanish and English.
The Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights promotes social justice and reproductive health education in the Latina community, empowering all women to take control over their health and their bodies. ColorLatina provides educational services, outreach, and a political voice to Latinas in Colorado.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I be represented by a good attorney?
The immigration process is complex and confusing, and the power that the USCIS officers exercise over your case is huge. They have the authority to decide whether a noncitizen is entitled to stay in the United States—or not. Your attorney should be competent dealing with the USCIS and the Immigration Court, and be able to prepare you for your interview or your hearing.
An attorney who has experience and knowledge of the immigration process; and especially one who deals in one area of immigration law is the best resource to assure your case is successful and timely. Many noncitizens file “pro se” which means on their own without an attorney; however, be advised that this can hold up the process or even lose the case. A good immigration attorney knows exactly how to file a petition right the first time. She knows how to approach a difficult case, how to deal with all the agencies under the Department of Homeland Security, and she will be at your side in your interview or your court appearance.
What is a visa?
A visa is a like an invitation to be a guest in this country; depending on the type of visa, one can stay for a short while, a long while, or indefinitely. There are non immigrant visas and immigrant visas. Please see http://travel.state.gov/visa/questions/questions_1253.html and/or http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html
How do I know my attorney is qualified?
Do research on your attorney if possible. If your attorney is a member in good standing of the local bar association and has favorable reviews from an independent source, then you are probably in good hands. You can search the Colorado Bar Association’s Find A Lawyer Directory. http://www.cobar.org/directory/
Not all licensed attorneys in the state of Colorado are members of the Colorado Bar Association. In Colorado, bar association membership is voluntary, but attorneys practicing in Colorado must be licensed through the Colorado State Supreme Court. If you are looking for attorney registration information, please go to www.coloradosupremecourt.com.
What is Deferred Action?
A deferred action simply means that the Department of Homeland Security has temporarily put off making a final decision on a person’s immigration status, because the person has met certain requirements. When granted a deferred action, a non-U.S. citizen can temporarily remain in the United States and, for example, apply for employment authorization (a “work permit”) — but remember, this is temporary. Under a deferred action, a non-U.S. citizen is not a lawful permanent resident, nor has he or she been granted U.S. citizenship. Once again, there are specific eligibility requirements for a deferred action, so consult your attorney!
What is Prosecutorial Discretion?
Prosecutorial discretion means that the Department of Homeland Security is allowed to make its own decisions regarding whether to pursue or suspend specific immigration cases. In August of 2011, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland security were directed to review 300,000 immigration cases, and focus on “high priority” deportations — deportations that would improve national security or public safety. As a result, “low priority” cases were to be temporarily suspended.
What is the Dream Act?
The DREAM Act is a proposed bill that would “provide conditional permanent residency to certain immigrants … [who] arrived in the United States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for five years prior to the bill’s enactment” among other possible immigration situations. As of July 2013, the Dream Act has not been passed by the United States Congress.
If I have children who were born here in the USA, is there an immigration benefit for me?
This varies on a case-by-case basis, so be sure to consult your attorney!
Why did my cousin’s/friend’s case go faster than mine?
Without knowing the details of another’s case, it is impossible to give an opinion. Keep in mind that immigration law is complex and many factors can influence the outcome of a case, its processing time and its requirements.
Why did my friend adjust here, but I have to go back to my home country for my visa interview?
For immigrants who entered with a valid visa, they may process their residency application here in the U.S.
What is notario fraud?
Notario Fraud refers to individuals who represent themselves as attorneys, legal advisors, or service providers for immigration cases — but who, in fact, are attempting to victimize immigrants. The simplest way to put it is, be absolutely sure that your attorney is qualified! In the United States a “notary public” — or “notario publico” — does not mean someone who has a law license, and such individuals are not authorized to represent you before the court. They’re not even authorized to give legal advice!
This is especially dangerous, because you could face criminal or civil charges, if act on advice from a fraudulent source. Do your research!