FAQ

Can I obtain an E2 visa without an immigration lawyer, given that I meet all the criteria for it? What are the risks?
Good question. Hiring an immigration attorney to assist with the application process can get quite expensive so it makes sense to consider doing it yourself (DIY). Also, you are not required to have a lawyer when applying for an immigrant visa or green card in the United States or overseas. But, as you seem to be aware, DIY carries significant risk.All U.S. immigration applications involve filling out many forms, which require detailed instructions about gathering and including other paperwork and fees. The problem is that it’s easy to make a small mistake, which then can delay things and even your application to be rejected. Also, a veteran immigration attorney knows the ins and outs of with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which usually speeds up the process much more than someone submitted a bunch of forms from overseas.Immigration attorneys have maneuvered these forms many times before you so hiring a lawyer can be well worth it for not only getting it done quickly and effectively the first time, but also for your peace of mind. If you’re interested in possibly hiring an immigration lawyer or just curious how much it would cost then feel free to visit LawTrades. We offer free initial consultations with experienced immigration attorneys and our rates are a fraction of what large law firms will quote you. Good luck!
What's the weirdest question you've been asked when crossing an international border?
“Why do you want to enter the United States with a debit card?”The American immigration officer asked me. Both of us were sitting in a dungeon like room, the clock tick-tocking ominously. I was trying to think whether me being nervous would make me sweat and will undo the make-up I was wearing for the biggest occasion in the life of a Bengali.On top of that biggest concern of mine as described above, which I was having with a fasting stomach, I was being asked a question that made no fucking sense to my sense of logic. I thought I needed some air but too much air of the other kind was making me feel dizzy already.The immigration officer could have asked me other questions, but the logical progression of the question as stated above, was just meaningless. Because I was NOT trying to enter United States. Yes, I was carrying my debit card, but these two processes were just not related to be put into a single sentence.So, what happened?The Place—the international border between Canada and United States, and technically, it was in the United States part.The Time: Sometime in October 2004, the time when Bengalis (an ethnic group in India) have their biggest festival—Durga Puja—their own version of Christmas of sorts. Bengalis all over the world congregate and celebrate this occasion no matter what, and it usually doesn’t take more than 4 households to arrange this originally supposed to be, four-day festival. But I digress.This story is about understanding to the core that “it is a privilege to enter the United States of America”, as this was being told to me.Me= a poor International Graduate Student in CanadaI was doing my MA, in a border city of Canada—Windsor—which was just by Detroit, and the great Ambassador Bridge connected the two cities and the two countries, as shown in the map—the northern part is USA and the southern part is Canada:I was getting a ride from a friend, to go to the venue of Durga Puja, which was in a schoolground, in Windsor itself.Apart from me, there were two more people:A kid… a Bengali guy who was doing his undergrad.The person who was driving us to the venue.All 3 of us were eager to reach the Puja Premises in time.I was wearing a sari, and was in a very ethnic Bengali look, the guys being dressed in ethnic attire too. We were also fasting, because of the Puja as well as thinking of the good food that we’d get to eat in lunch.The person who was giving us a ride decided to fill his car before we headed to the venue where the Durga Puja was being held.The car was filled up. And then my friend asked someone which exit to take, to go to the venue, after we came out from the gas station. There were no signs. A samaritan lady was kind enough to tell us the exact direction.Except that, when we took the exit, we realized we have got no fucking choice, but to be in the inertia of motion in that highway, as that particular said exit put us to the great Ambassador Bridge.We knew we were entering United States.And this was our immigration and identity situations:The person who was driving the car had US visa. He didn’t have his passport with him though, but he had his driver’s license. And some credit and debit cards.The undergrad kid had his Canadian school ID. And some cash. No passport.I had no passport, of course, no US visa as well. No sort of ID. Just a debit card, because I remembered I had to pay the registration fee at the puja. Because I was wearing a sari, I was carrying a clutch bag, which could fit in only my phone and a card or two.Once we arrived in the United States, much alike the illegal immigrant fashion, and got to hear of our “privilege”, the three of us were taken alone in 3 different rooms for interrogation.The immigrant officers just couldn’t fathom the situation.Three Indians, who were scared like chicken shit at the situation (the undergrad kid had started crying), had entered the great United States, in ethnic clothing, without even some valid IDs.After 3 and a half hours of interrogation, and exchanging notes among themselves, the immigration officer asked me the question:“Why do you want to enter the United States with a debit card?”I repeated, “Sir, you don’t understand. It was definitely not my intention to enter the United States—it’s just the result of a wrong exit we took. Just let us go back to Canada.”“Why do you have just a debit card?”“Because I wanted to pay for the registration fee for a religious festival”.“What religious festival?”Repeat of history, geography and ethnicity followed.After cycles of repeating the same story over and over again, the officer said, “You should carry your passport all the time. Who travels to the USA with just a debit card? You are not even Canadian!”Lessons learnt from this?Immigration officers need some rest and time off to think clearly.Any food tastes good when you eat after a 15 hour fast.As well, it’s necessary to carry a piece of ID always, when on foreign soil.Which is what I do right now, even when I go grocery shopping.Image Source: Google Map screenshot and Google Images
What is the best thing you've looked forward to in your life?
Getting my medical license.The process is so painful that sometimes I feel like stabbing myself in the heart and gouging my eye out, and jumping off a bridge at the same time. And the most frustrating part of it is that there’s not a single thing I can do to speed things up.The website isn’t very user friendly.They request way too many documents. Like, you need to submit 6 different things to prove your citizenship. Can’t it be assumed that if the Federal Government gave me a passport, they know that it’s because I’m a citizen? Can’t it also safely be assumed that if I graduated from a residency program, I must have graduated from a medical school at some point?The website doesn’t tell you everything you need to send. After you’ve filled out the application online, there is a PDF you’re supposed to find somewhere. The PDF was the old application form. You’d fill it out by hand or by editing the PDF. If you did that, you’d see an number of appendices that told you what other documentation you were supposed to supply. But if you apply online, there’s nothing to let you know what you’re missing. So, you have to call them. When you do, they tell you that you need a bunch of stuff you’d never have guessed: a background check, forms you’re supposed to submit to your residency programs, etc. Why not put that in the online application?Then, after you do all that, you might wonder if your file is complete. So, you call. They’ll tell you that your application hasn’t been processed yet. How long till it gets processed? 3 to 4 weeks! So, they won’t even look at your file for 3 to 4 weeks. And, 3 to 4, of course, means 4. Then, when they look at your file, it might even be week 5 by the time they respond to you. At that point, they’ll tell your that your file is missing some stuff.You ask for clarification about the missing stuff, because you’re pretty sure you’ve already sent it. You hear nothing back for a week. You call them, only to hear that they thought they’d emailed you what you were supposed to fill out… You submit what they’re asking for, having wasted another week waiting. Then, they tell you that your file has been submitted for final approval. YAY!Then you’re told that, since you used to be a nurse, you should also submit a nursing license verification. Okay, no biggie, you think. You did a similar thing for Iowa a few years back. You’ll just go online and have the state of Michigan send the state of Tennessee some information about the nursing license that expired 6 years ago.You get on the Michigan website, and things are so disorganized that you can’t for the life of you figure out how to submit the verification request. Oh, and the process has changed. In 2015, you could use the Nursys verification site. But Michigan has pulled out of this process, because… just because. Now, you have to call during business hours, realize that you’re supposed to download and fill out a form, attach a money order (you can’t pay online anymore), and mail it to a P.O. Box.You do that, sending it by express mail. You call the next day to see if it’s been received. Now you’re told that if you want to send things by express mail, there’s another address you should have sent it to, an address that was never communicated to you when you talked to the Michigan people on the phone. You learn that sending mail to the P.O. Box means that it will sit there for a week, after which it will be processed by the Cashier’s office/Finance office/Treasury office, then slowly make its way to the Bureau of Licensing… this process might take 2 weeks. At this point, you’ve sent your initial application 8 weeks before. You wonder why it is that the process couldn’t be more streamlined. Why couldn’t they be a uniform process for all states? Why couldn’t they at least be a central database where healthcare providers could send their documentation, so that whenever they apply for licensing in a new state, that state can immediately receive all the relevant documentation. You’re powerless. You try to think of other things you might do.You remember that Iowa must have a copy of your nursing verification license. You wonder if you could talk to them and see if they’d share it with you. You’re told that they will emphatically not release the document to you. Why? Who knows. Anyway, they might consider releasing it to the Tennessee people if they are contacted directly by their Medical Board. You sheepishly ask the people in Tennessee if they’d be willing to contact Iowa, giving them a phone number, email, and fax number, knowing full well that it will be to no avail.You decide that maybe, if you were to track down the cashier’s office in Michigan, you could fly there and make the payment in person, in a bid to speed up the processing of your license verification request. It’s after hours now, so you can’t be sure. There’s a plane early in the morning. You could fly to Detroit, rent a car, drive to Lansing, and give it a shot. But… what if it doesn’t work? You decide to wait until the morning and call the office to see if getting there in person would make a difference. You are told that it is impossible to make a payment in person, because… rules. There’s literally not a damn thing you can do.And that, my friends, is the story of my life right now. The most frustrating part of this saga is that not only can I not work, but I’m sort of homeless right now. Let me explain. A while back, I bid on a house. I used what is called a physician loan. What my lender did not tell me is that you need an active medical license. So, we were a week from the closing date before I learned this. At this point, I had three options:Walk away from the home purchase and rent. This wouldn’t have been a terrible idea.Prolong my temporary lease at the place I was renting. I would not do this because I hated, hated, hated them with their nickle-and-diming tactics.Wait for my license.I opted for number 3, because I thought it couldn’t take much longer until I’d get my license. My belongings are currently in storage. I’m staying with my sister in Florida. It’s not the worst thing that’s ever happened to anyone in human life, but it’s still really frustrating. The only bright spot is that I get to spend time with my family. I have a nephew and two nieces here that I hadn’t seen in 9 months. They’re growing so very fast. I am constantly peppering them with mental math questions, but they seem to love me for some reason. So, all in all, things could be worse.
How can I obtain Japanese citizenship?
Great answers by Dick Karp and David LaSpina.I can only add my two cents of knowledge to their insights.The first thing: citizenship and naturalization are two different matters.You can only get citizenship if you were born from Japanese parents, AND being registered within 3 months with your local Japanese consulate.AND when you reach 20 years old, it's mandatory you choose whether lose your local citizenship or your Japanese citizenship.Should you not make a move, you lose your Japanese one by default.On the other hand, you might be naturalised Japanese (i.e.: become a non-born Japanese with a permanent visa) if all these criteria are met:- you're living for at least 5 years in Japan- you're at least 20 years old- you can read, write and speak Japanese fluently- you are willing to go through writing exams and interview processes- you have professional skills and $ to support yourselfEvery case is examined and weighed individually. Say, if one of your parents is Japanese (Japanese-born), the Ministry of Justice may wave the age and residence requirements. But again: it is a case-by-case process.Sources:Japanese nationality lawI want to become a Japanese nationalMany angles to acquiring Japanese citizenship | The Japan TimesAlso, I went myself to my local Japan consulate and talked with them.
How long does the processing time take to get a PR card if one was an asylum seeker?
Count on at least a year. You have to fill out the application forms completely and perfectly . If you are incomplete or an error, it is sent back and you start all over again. Once you get the PR card, the clock starts for you to apply for your citizenship. By the way, you will get your original passport back. But it is probably unwise to return to your home country to visit relatives.
How can I become a Canadian citizen?
The absolute easiest way is to marry one.My wife is a British Citizen who has serious skills in IT. She has a 1st class education & made a 6 figure income in the UK.When we looked into the various avenues for her to obtain legal Canadian residency, we discovered that many little things contributed to a lower than required score on the Canadian “Express Entry Program”.For example, you would get extra points if you spoke French as a 2nd language because French is one of Canada’s “official” languages. You can travel through over 80% of Canada without hearing a word of French spoken because French is primarily spoken only in the province of Quebec & areas close to it’s border in adjacent provinces. The only reason that French is an official language in Canada is that the government of the day wanted to appease Quebec, who frequently agitated to break away from Canada. (Quebec gets far more concessions than ANY other Canadian province).My point is, no matter how many languages you speak (even if your primary language is English), it’s only French that counts to the Canadian Government. It’s a form of official discrimination. Many governments in the world have some sort of overt discrimination in their immigration playbook.If you marry a Canadian citizen & can prove that the marriage is “genuine”, then you cannot actually be refused residency in Canada. You still have to jump through some hoops with the “process” though.This is the primary reason that I married my British wife after only 6 months of courtship. She has been a legal resident now for almost a year & is happily employed in the IT profession & once again is making a 6 figure salary.
How long does it take to from green card to US citizenship? Can you speed it up?
In order to get naturalized in the United States you need to:* Secure green card (permanent residency)* Live in the US for a certain amount of time* Apply for citizenship and get your application approvedOf the steps listed above, the most complicated part is getting your green card. You can get that in four ways:An employment-based green card. This process is done only through an US employer, but any person with extraordinary ability can also be self-sponsored. Keep in mind that UN never sponsors any green card, as it is not a US entity. All those who get their greencard through sponsorship through employer first start as employees of their companies, mostly under L-1 visa (intra-company transferee) or H-1B visa (temporary worker).Through some relative who is a US citizen (sibling, parent, married spouse or child), or a US permanent resident (married spouse or parent of a minor). The most immediate of all these options is through a above 21 US citizen child, a US citizen parent or a US citizen married spouse.Asylum/refugee process, for all those who’ve been persecuted in their home country.Diversity lottery, a process though which US grants 50,000 green cards to few lucky winners. Participation in this lottery is free.Once you have your green card, you must live continuously in the US. If you live with US citizen spouse, you will become eligible after three years for citizenship. Otherwise the duration is five years. Using form N-400, you can apply for naturalization 90 days earlier. You’ll have to fill out a lengthy form, including names of all organizations you’ve been affiliated with (outside the US) in the past five years, be background checked and fingerprinted. You will also have to learn towards English and civic test (not that difficult), and take a test, be interviewed, and so on. Finally, in the end your oath ceremony will arrive. It is presided over by a federal judge where pledge of allegiance is said. You will sing The Star-Spangled Banner!If you’re interested in potentially applying for a green card you should visit us at LawTrades. Our legal marketplace makes the most sense when it comes to the immigration process. We have skilled on-demand attorneys available to guide you through the application process for much less than a law firm. Visit us for a free initial consultation! Best of luck.
Which is the best immigration consultancy in India for Canada?
Hi,Rather than searching for the best immigration consultancy, you should focus on searching the right immigration consultancy. There are many consultation services that have fancy methods to attract you. However, if you go browse their success rate, your hands will be nil. We therefore advise you to always check a consultant’s positive PR cases first and then go ahead.This should be noted that Canada immigration process is an online system of filing and documentation and thus your consultant need not be from the same city in which you are residing. What is important is to search for a right immigration consultant who has every bit of knowledge about Immigration rules and procedures. An immigration consultant takes care of everything that may require you to comfortably go on with the whole process of immigrating and settling overseas. Immigration consultants provide valuable services making your visa application much easier than doing it yourself.Canada Immigration is an excellent choice! The country is rich in culture, people are helpful and there are many Indian fellows that are already settled in the country. When you first think of Immigration, an obvious question that pops up is why and how to hire the best immigration consultant. Let me give you a good hint on this. You can search for any consultancy online and read client reviews. You can also judge them after taking one or two session of counselling with their Immigration Experts.We are one of the known immigration consultant service which offers comprehensive and prominent services since 2010. We offer all kind of services such as business or skilled immigration, tourist visa, study visa, family immigration visa and work visa. We have highly advanced qualified and dedicated professionals who have already worked in immigration departments of different countries. Being one of the most bankable names in the Industry, we cater to all permanent immigration related services.We offer refine solutions to your immigration needs and hassle free immigration processing. We provide fast and economical services and understand the needs of our clients. We also provide services even after the immigrating i.e., post-landing services. We are one of the best in the industry as we have 100 % success rate and over 7 years of experience in serving our clients.What makes us one of the most trusted firms in the industry?Transparent Information: We believe in long term ties and formation of relationships based on trust and reliability. Hence, we provide transparent information about eligibility of the candidate and prospects or immigration.Documentation and processing: Experts working with us, We take good care of your application from pre-assessment of your application to documentation and finally to apply for a VISA.Whatever we promise is written in the legal contract and we assure you to protect from any illegal or bad experience. We make sure that there should be no legal papers missing throughout the process.Thanks…..
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