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Immigration Law

What Immigration Changes to Expect in the New Presidential Administration

When President-Elect Donald Trump is sworn into office on January 20, 2017, immigration policies will be at the top of the new administration’s agenda. We anticipate that changes in this uncharted post-Obama era will be announced gradually and will affect aliens in communities throughout California and across the country.

The legal team at Nalbandian Law, an immigration firm in the Los Angeles area, will be closely monitoring the changes in U.S. immigration policies and procedures on a daily basis. We will frequently post important breaking news and updates on our Nalbandian Law Facebook page , so we urge you to stay informed by following us on Facebook.
At this point in time, we do know that the following immigration issues are “red-flag” areas of real concern for aliens:

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA)

The DACA program was created by an executive order by President Barack Obama in 2012. DACA allows certain undocumented immigrants in the United States who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. DACA was met with tremendous relief and elation by this special group of immigrants. They would no longer have to worry about I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents knocking on their door in the middle of the night and taking them into custody to await deportation back to their native country.

How DACA Protection Could Change

During his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump repeated promised to “immediately terminate” the DACA program. Therefore, Nalbandian Law and many other immigration firms expect the Trump administration to discontinue President Obama’s executive order as soon as possible.

For undocumented non-criminal aliens who have DACA applications pending, the outcome is currently unclear. Many immigration attorneys are advising undocumented aliens eligible for DACA to not apply, because the biographic information on their applications could be used to track them down for deportation, which in the past DHS (Department of Homeland Security has promised not to do.

According to Department of Homeland Security statistics, more than 740,000 people have been approved to receive DACA status. The biggest fear is that the Trump administration will place this vast database in the hands of I.C.E. agents who then will go door-to-door, detaining and deporting hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who had finally felt safe and secure.

Criminal Aliens

If you have any conviction what so ever in your past (even if you have completed probation and the case has been dismissed), and you are not yet a US Citizen, follow us very closely on changes regarding the changes in criminal immigration laws that are expected in President Trump’s Election.

Non-Criminal Aliens With Final Orders of Removal

If your asylum case, for example, was denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals, don’t give up. You still may be able to have your order of removal reopened and remain in the United States. “Nalbandian Law has successfully represented asylum clients who had lost their final appeal when another attorney was handling their case,” said lead immigration attorney Sassoun A. Nalbandian, “and we were still able to have their cases reopened. So don’t give up.” In recent cases, Mr. Nalbandian has been able to prove to the immigration court that:

  • The asylum client had “ineffective counsel” and, therefore, was not adequately represented by the previous attorney
  • Conditions in the client’s native country had worsened to the point that sending the asylee back home would cause more even more persecution and potentially death.

If you are an asylee facing deportation, call the immigration experts at Nalbandian Law, (818) 244-0310, and schedule a consultation with Mr. Nalbandian. He will review your case carefully and only agree to represent you if he believes your case can be won.

What to Do if an I.C.E. Agent Knocks on Your Door

During the previous Bush administration, there was a major crackdown on aliens. I.C.E. agents went door to door, detaining aliens with final removal orders even when they had no criminal history. This could happen again when Mr. Trump is president!
These are your rights as an record if an I.C.E. agent knocks on your door:

  • You have the right not to open the door without an arrest/search warrant.
  • You have the right to ask for their warrant signed by a judge before you allow them to enter.
  • You have the right to call your lawyer.
  • You have the right to refuse to answer questions or even tell them your name.
  • You have the right to refuse to answer questions even when they are searching your home.
  • Make sure that you take pictures and videos to document everything the I.C.E. agents are doing.

As your immigration attorney, Nalbandian Law will file a motion for “stay of removal” so that you won’t be deported while your motion to reopen is pending.
Contact Nalbandian Law immediately—(818) 244-0310—if you are in any of the following situations:

  • You are an alien from a country that is considered a “high-risk country”
    Example: If you are from a Middle Eastern country or other “high-risk country”–even if you are not Muslim—you may contact us to discuss how to protect your rights in the face of possible immigration policy changes.
  • Waiting for a VISA for loved ones
    The Trump administration can take the action of temporarily suspending visas from countries with terrorist ties as well as introduce an ideological test for those entering the United States. Additionally, new U.S. immigration policies can quickly change the number of VISAs permitted from individual countries. Follow us on Facebook to be alerted about changes that can affect your loved one’s visa.
  • Changes at the U.S. border regarding arriving aliens seeking asylum
    It’s too soon to know if more detention facilities will be built to detain asylees for a longer period of time. It’s uncertain if the parole process will continue under the new administration or whether women with children under 18 and elderly individuals will still be paroled or will be detained in family detention facilities. These are all changes that could happen overnight, so make sure you follow us on Facebook for breaking news.

“Attorney Sassoun Nalbandian worked his magic! My uncle had been trying to get asylum for 14 years and could have easily been deported after such a long time… After hearing the facts about my uncle’s plight, he took his case. His fee was reasonable, and he was very responsible. He never promised us things he couldn’t deliver, and he never gave us the false security of a guarantee. He told us what to reasonably expect and what we could do if all our efforts failed. I’m happy to report that Mr. Nalbandian worked his magic. When my uncle was granted asylum, I can honestly say that Mr. Nalbandian was responsible for giving me one of the most joyful days of my life.” — Mariam, N. Hollywood, CA

Read more 5-Star Client Reviews

Schedule a Private Consultation Today!

Call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation with lead attorney and criminal immigration expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will review your situation carefully and determine the best course of action for you. Mr. Nalbandian has a 99% success rate* of winning cases for clients.

*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.

Are You Charged With a Criminal Offense?

Here’s How an Immigration Judge Will View Your Conviction

First, be aware of this important fact: your criminal lawyer is not an immigration expert. He or she does not understand the effect a guilty plea or a no-contest plea can have on your immigration status. You could soon be facing deportation and placed in removal proceedings.

Before you enter your misdemeanor or felony plea, talk to the experienced immigration lawyers at Nalbandian Law – 818-244-0310 – and learn exactly how a criminal conviction can affect your immigration status.

What Constitutes a Conviction to an Immigration Judge

  • Even if you have pled “no contest” or “guilty” to a crime, served time, and then after completion of probation, the case is dismissed, this still counts as a conviction for immigration purposes. Even if your probation was completed over a decade ago, your case was dismissed, and you think it will not count for immigration purposes, you need to consult first with Nalbandian Law’s immigration lawyers before you apply for any type of immigration relief.
  • Even if you have been in California’s Deferred Entry of Judgment Program (DEJ) for first-time drug offenders and you have successfully completed DEJ drug treatment and education program in lieu of jail time, this also typically counts as a drug conviction, even if the drug charge no longer counts as a conviction under state law. However, the law on this issue has recently changed as we will explain it below.

When a Conviction Does Not Count

The only time a conviction no longer counts against you for immigration purposes is when the conviction has been “vacated” under a) constitutional grounds or b) ineffective assistance of counsel and c) not just for rehabilitation reasons. “Vacated” means that the original verdict is set aside as if the first trial and conviction never happened.

UPDATE: New California Law Helps Aliens Vacate Drug Convictions

When California law PC-1203.43 went into effect January 1, 2016, it gave certain aliens with drug convictions a new legal avenue to fight deportation. The law states that if you have a controlled substance possession conviction and have successfully completed California’s Deferred Entry of Judgment Program, you may now have the option to take your case back to California state court and request that your drug conviction be vacated so that it no longer counts as a conviction for immigration purposes.

The Importance of Criminal Immigration Research

Before you plead guilty or no contest for any crime, before you travel, before you apply for any immigration relief, and before you take your case back to California state court, it is strongly advised that you hire an expert immigration attorney to conduct the appropriate Criminal Immigration Research on your behalf. For over 16 years, Nalbandian Law has helped thousands of clients overcome setbacks and continue on their path toward citizenship. Along the way, Mr. Nalbandian and his team have earned a 99% success rate for winning even the most difficult cases that other lawyers can’t handle. Clients praise his expertise with consistent 5-star reviews. This is just one recent example:

“One of the best attorneys! I was in removal proceedings and Sassoun Nalbandian won the case in court on March 16, 2016. He is very honest and a hardworking attorney. He always works hard to help his clients and solves their issues. Thank you Sassoun and God Bless You!”

Read more 5-Star Client Reviews

Success in Criminal Immigration Cases Is a Joint Effort

“I want to make sure that you and your criminal attorney understand the law as it relates to immigration issues,” said Mr. Nalbandian, “because a criminal plea that works well for a U.S. citizen often can have disastrous and irreversible consequences for an alien who has committed the same type of crime. We want to help provide you with the best legal advice possible and the best chance of staying in the U.S. and avoiding deportation.”
Constantly Vigilant About New Immigration Laws
Immigration laws change daily; it’s a reality which demands our unwavering attention to new laws and precedents and how they may affect our clients.

Schedule a Private Consultation Today!

Call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation with lead attorney and criminal immigration expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will review your situation carefully and determine the best course of action for you.

*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.

Motion to Reopen Based on Changed Country Conditions

  • Do You Have a Removal Order?
  • Has Your Asylum Case Been Denied at the BIA and the 9th Circuit?
  • Do You Need to Renew Your Work Authorization?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, keep reading because the expert immigration lawyers at Nalbandian Law in the Los Angeles area may be able to help you. Over the past 16 years, we have handled over 2,500 asylum and motion to reopen cases.

Filing a Motion to Reopen Your Case

U.S. immigration laws include the legal right to file a motion to reopen or reconsider a previous decision made about your case, even if you have a removal order and are facing deportation. In order for the motion to be approved, you have to show that substantial changes have occurred in your home country causing an increased fear of persecution when you return to your country. Filing a motion to reopen your case means you potentially may be able to file a new asylum application in immigration court even if your previous application was denied.

Specifically, recent case law concerning motions to reopen your immigration case indicates that you do not have to show new grounds for applying for asylum. You can use the same grounds as shown on your original application, as long as you carefully document how country conditions and/or your situation has changed for the worse.

Instability Increases Around the World

In recent years, many countries have destabilized and are going through tumultuous changes in their governments. As a result, aliens come to the United States seeking protection under our country’s asylum laws because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinions, or because they are part of a particular social group that has been targeted.

Aliens come to Nalbandian Law because they are in trouble. Their petitions for asylum were denied, and they are facing deportation. They live in constant fear of ICE agents knocking on their door and taking them to a detention center in preparation of deporting them. That is when their lives change forever, and dreams of a safe haven and eventual U.S. citizenship will be crushed. After all, how can you fight deportation?

Nalbandian Law handles many asylum cases for clients. “Recently we met with an alien who was facing deportation because his asylum application had been denied the first time,” said Sassoun A. Nalbandian, lead immigration attorney and founder of Nalbandian Law. “We reviewed his case to see if his situation had changed in any substantial way since he was originally denied asylum by the immigration and appeals courts. We learned that his home country had, in fact, increased persecution efforts against his particular social group. We determined that he now had just cause for fearing persecution should he be deported.”

The Meticulous Process of Filing Motions

When Nalbandian Law takes a client’s case, we provide thorough documentation of your situation and how conditions have worsened in your home country. We obtain affidavits from family, friends, police reports, hospitals, doctors and other sources such as news reports and articles to support your new reasons for reopening your asylum case.

Nalbandian Law will file for a motion to reopen or reconsider your case typically at the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). This is not a court appearance. The BIA will reach its decision in 3-6 months. If your motion is granted, you can then apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and start working legally once again.

Even if your motion to reopen is denied by the BIA, you can then appeal that decision to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Once you do so, you may be able to renew your work authorization once again, and you will most likely have a “stay in place” that protects you for 2-4 years from deportation and gives you tremendous peace of mind.

“Filing a motion isn’t appropriate for every asylum case,” emphasized Mr. Nalbandian, “because it depends on the conditions in the client’s home country as well as their personal
circumstances. Many cases are won based on a combination of changes in personal circumstances and deteriorating country conditions.”

Schedule an Asylum Consultation Today!

Call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation with lead attorney and motion to reopen expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will review your situation carefully and determine the best course of action for you.

*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.

The Key Steps to Preparing and Winning Your Asylum Case

Winning an asylum case for clients isn’t a matter of luck. It is the result of careful preparation and detailed documentation that paints a clear picture of the persecution you have experienced in the past or your reasonable fear of being persecuted in the future.

Persecution can take the form of threats, violence, torture, disproportionate punishment, economic deprivation, or denial of basic human rights or freedoms. The five protected grounds for asylum are race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Our Process for Preparing and Winning Your Asylum Case

Step #1: We meet you and discuss the facts of your case in detail

Sassoun A. Nalbandian, lead attorney and immigration expert at Nalbandian Law, will listen to your story and see if it meets the criteria for a credible asylum claim. Sometimes our clients do not realize that persecution doesn’t have to be physical; it can be psychological or financial. We carefully analyze your case to assess these questions:

  • Do the facts of your case rise to the level of past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution?
  • Is your persecution based on one of the five protected grounds mentioned above?
  • Is your persecutor the government or a private entity that the government is unable or unwilling to control?
  • Are there any bars to your eligibility for asylum?

Our extensive experience representing asylum clients has shown us that sometimes our clients do not know which facts of their life story are relevant or what to reveal or how much to reveal. That’s why Mr. Nalbandian asks detailed questions to help jar your memory and get many more details of your asylum claim into your written statement than you would have otherwise provided if you had filed your case on your own or with an inexperienced attorney. Our goal is to build a strong and convincing case for asylum. After we prepare the statement of your asylum claim, we proceed to the next step.

Step #2: We ask you to provide documents that support your story of persecution

  • Letters from neighbors or other political activists
  • Hospital records showing injuries caused by persecutors’ attacks
  • Police records showing any arrests due to protest demonstrations
  • We try to think creatively about what could help win your case including documents that you may not even have thought about, but which can help prove your claim, especially when other documents such as medical, political membership, or police records may be unavailable.
  • If necessary, Nalbandian Law can also help you obtain a detailed written psychological evaluation (10-20 pages) by a licensed psychologist which provides an assessment of the emotional toll of your persecution.

Step #3: We conduct diligent research online regarding articles that support your claim

We look for background articles about conditions in your native country that support your asylum claim, such as U.S. State Department annual reports, and include them in your asylum documentation.

Step #4: We submit your asylum application to USCIS and help you obtain your work permit

After we file your asylum application with USCIS (or the Court, if you are in removal proceedings already), there is a work authorization clock that starts running. 150 days after the filing of your asylum application, Nalbandian Law will help you apply for a work permit (known as an EAD or Employment Authorization Document).

Step #5: We prepare you for the asylum interview

“This is THE most important step in your asylum application process,” Mr. Nalbandian emphasized. “We thoroughly prepare you for your interview, asking you questions just like the Asylum Officer will ask in the real interview. In fact, we ask very difficult questions to our clients during our preparation so that they will be ready, relaxed, and confident during their interview.” Knowing what to expect and how to answer the questions will give you the confidence you need to make a good impression and show the credibility and sincerity of your asylum request.

“Remember, your preparation and the detailed documentation supporting your asylum claim are critical for your success,” Mr. Nalbandian stressed.

If your case is in immigration court, we also prepare you carefully for your trial. Most important, we talk to the U.S. government attorney before the hearing and explain the main issues of your situation. We take this extra step that a majority of attorneys do not take so that we know the government attorney’s perspective on your case and to know what issues are most important to them and to your judge on the day of the asylum hearing.

Over 95% Success Rate* with Asylum Case Approvals

We can still help you even if your asylum case was referred to Immigration Court. By adding important documentation missing from the original asylum application, especially if you prepared it yourself or with an inexperienced attorney, and by preparing you thoroughly for your court appearance, you will have a better chance of getting approved for asylum.

“Nalbandian Law brings the power of over 16 years of experience exclusively practicing immigration law to your asylum case,” Mr. Nalbandian said. “Our team of immigration experts handles more asylum cases from many different countries every year than any other kind of immigration issue. With an over 95% success rate for our asylum clients, we have proven that we know how to develop the strongest possible argument in your favor.”

Schedule an Asylum Consultation Today!

Call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation with lead attorney and asylum expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will review your situation carefully and determine if you have a strong case for asylum. We will do our very best to present the strongest possible case on your behalf and to help you win asylum in the United States.

*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.

How a 237(a)(1)(H) Waiver Can Stop Your Deportation

One minute you have your green card and you’re waiting at customs to re-enter the U.S. after a trip to your native country. The next minute, you’re detained because your passport has been red-flagged for green card fraud. One minute, you’re in the final stage of the long and arduous citizenship process. Next minute, you’re detained. In both scenarios, you suddenly find yourself in removal proceedings. How can you legally get out of this mess even though you originally got your card through fraud or misrepresentation?

Waiver of Forgiveness for Green Card Fraud

If you committed fraud or misrepresentation to obtain your green card, the best way to keep your green card is through the Immigration and Nationality Act 237(a)(1)(H) Waiver. Unlike other waivers of forgiveness such as the I-601 Waiver, you do not even have to demonstrate hardship to obtain an approval from the immigration court.

Who Qualifies for a 237(a)(1)(H) Waiver?

When Congress enacted this kind of forgiveness waiver, the intention was to help certain types of families stay together—families composed, in part, of U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents—despite having a close family member caught with an unlawfully obtained green card.

This special waiver of forgiveness is available if you are the spouse, parent, son, or daughter of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Benefits of 237(a)(1)(H) Waiver Approval

If Your 237(a)(1)(H) waiver is approved, you benefit in three Important ways:

  • Your removal proceedings are terminated.
  • Your fraud or misrepresentation is forgiven.
  • You DO NOT have to start a new 5-year green card waiting period because the waiver also will validate your LPR status back to the date of admission, even if that status was originally obtained through fraud or misrepresentation.

100% Track Record of Success with 237(a)(1)(H) Waivers

Nalbandian Law, an expert immigration law firm in the Los Angeles area with over 15 years of experience, has successfully represented many clients in 237(a)(1)(H) Waiver cases. For these cases, there is no specific form to fill out. Instead, it is done on a pleading before an immigration judge along with exhibits in support of the waiver. As a result of exceptional preparation and documentation, Nalbandian Law has never had a 237(a)(1)(H) waiver denied.

Waiver Approval Examples

Sassoun A. Nalbandian, founder and lead immigration attorney of Nalbandian Law, points to two recent 237(a)(1)(H) waiver victories.

Identity Fraud Case – In one case, the alien had applied for asylum, claiming that she was from a country that was not her real birthplace. She had subsequently claimed her green card through marriage. Years later when she returned from a trip abroad and arrived at the Los Angeles airport, she was detained by immigration, placed in removal proceedings, and facing deportation. Mr. Nalbandian explained, “For cases like this, a victory for our client required voluminous documentation such as extensive interviews and signed affidavits from family members and other witnesses. Even with detailed documentation, we argued back and forth repeatedly with government lawyers,” Mr. Nalbandian explained, “Eventually, as a result of our persistence and determination, our client’s case was approved and she was able to keep her green card.”

Marriage Fraud Case – Another waiver approval case concerned a client who obtained her green card through a fraudulent marriage. When immigration officials found out about it, they placed her in removal proceedings. Facing deportation, she retained Nalbandian Law to represent her. “Through the intense process of battling and debating immigration points with government attorneys and with the help of our unique preparation and documentation, our client’s 237(a)(1)(H) waiver was approved.” The judge forgave her and accepted her repentance. She was able to keep her green card.
Mr. Nalbandian emphasized, “As a client of Nalbandian Law, you can be certain that we don’t back down when we believe in your case. We fight hard on our clients’ behalf.”

Schedule a Consultation Today!

Not every case is suitable for a 237(a)(1)(H) Waiver. That’s why it is important to call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online for an expert consultation with lead attorney and immigration expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will carefully review your situation and evaluate if filing a 237(a)(1)(H) waiver is the best action to take in your case.

*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.

I-602 Waivers for Asylees Applying For Green Cards

If you have been granted asylum but have committed fraud or a crime in the U.S., you may still be eligible for a green card through the I-602 waiver process

How I-602 Waivers Help Asylum Seekers Remain in the U.S.

I-602 waivers are a legal way for asylum seekers to waive grounds of inadmissibility and receive forgiveness for certain crimes, fraud, or misrepresentation they committed that could prevent them from remaining in the U.S. and qualifying for a green card. However, a strong case must be made by their attorney that the waiver is warranted due to humanitarian reasons, family unity, or national interest. Fortunately I-602 waivers are usually easier to obtain than other waivers such as I-601 waivers (which are the waivers that are required in family and business adjustment cases).

Difference between I-602 Waiver (Asylum Green Cards) & I-601 Waiver (Business/Family Green Cards)

For an I-601 waiver, an immigration lawyer would have to prove:

  • An immediate family member (U.S. citizen) would suffer extreme hardship if the immigrant were denied admission or adjustment of status in the U.S.
  • That the alien was deserving of a grant of the waiver in the discretion of the officer
  • Aggravated felonies and false claims to U.S. citizenship cannot be waived, unlike with I-602’s

An I-602 waiver allows asylees who have been found inadmissible to the U.S. due to fraud or misrepresentation at any point during or after their entry into the U.S. or those asylees who have been convicted of felony convictions, including aggravated felonies, to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility on grounds of humanitarian reasons, family unity, or national interest.

  • Unlike with I-601 waivers, there is no need to show extreme hardship to get an I-602 approved
  • Aggravated felonies and false claims to U.S. citizenship can be waived (meaning, you can still get a green card), whereas with an I-601 waiver, those two categories cannot be waived under most circumstances

Help for Asylum Seekers With Previously Denied I-602 Waivers

Another important reason to apply for a waiver with Nalbandian Law is that we so often see very poorly prepared and poorly documented I-601 and I-602 waiver applications prepared by clients themselves without the help of an expert attorney or that were prepared by incompetent counsel and that have been denied by USCIS.

Nalbandian Law, a leading immigration law firm in the Los Angeles area, has re-filed many I-602 waivers on the grounds that their clients were inadequately represented by their previous attorneys. “Those clients have expressed deep regret for not having come to our firm in the first place to help file their waiver requests. We have enjoyed a 100% success rate throughout our entire 16 years in business with the I-602 waivers and have helped hundreds of asylees who had complex issues obtain their green cards,” said lead immigration attorney, Sassoun A. Nalbandian.

The Key to Success—Hard Work and Solid Documentation

Meticulous detailed documentation is the key to Nalbandian Law’s perfect track record with I-602 waivers. “Most attorneys don’t approach an I-602 case like we do,” Mr. Nalbandian explained, “because they just don’t take the time to prepare the kind of in-depth documentation that impresses immigration judges and convinces them to rule in our client’s favor.”

To build an I-602 case, Mr. Nalbandian and his legal team establish family unity and humanitarian reasons by submitting detailed affidavits from their client and family members. These personal stories help to paint a clear picture of the client’s circumstances. By thinking creatively and in-depth about the facts of your case, we often come up with very important arguments about why your waiver should be granted that other attorneys may have missed in their analysis of your case.

“No detail is left to chance,” Mr. Nalbandian emphasized. “To support the affidavits and make our case even stronger, we often submit medical documentation and comprehensive 15-25 page psychological evaluations prepared by renowned professional psychologists. We know from our many years of winning cases that our detailed documentation is exactly what officers and judges look for in order to be able to approve a waiver request.”

Are You Currently in Removal Proceedings/Immigration Court?

If you are in removal proceedings and…

  • Never applied for a green card after winning your asylum case and were placed in removal proceedings for having committed a crime, or,
  • Obtained your green card without disclosing that you had previously filed for asylum under a different name and identity,

you may still be eligible for an I-602 waiver, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Schedule an I-602 Waiver Consultation Today!

Call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online to schedule an expert consultation with lead attorney and immigration expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will review the facts of your case in detail and will honestly evaluate the likelihood of winning your case. Nalbandian Law will represent you and do our very best to help you receive a waiver of forgiveness and have the opportunity to remain in the U.S. and pursue your dreams of becoming a U.S. citizen.

*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.

Mandamus/Federal Lawsuits Against USCIS

Do not wait any longer – put a stop to unreasonable delays in your green card or naturalization process

You had no idea it would take this long for USCIS to make a decision about your application. But the question is: how long is too long to wait to receive your green card or your oath ceremony to become a U.S. citizen? And what can you do about it to speed up the USCIS officer’s decision-making process?

Most aliens do not realize that a decision on your application for citizenship or for a green card could be delayed for months or even years by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if they do not take action against USCIS to help speed up the process.

Lengthy delays can be the result of something as simple as a paperwork error or as serious as a fraud investigation. Delays can also be caused by USCIS being overwhelmed by a high number of naturalization cases and adjustment-of-status cases. Regardless of the reason for the delay, you do not have to wait for months or years after your interview to get a decision in your case. You can take control by filing a federal lawsuit and helping to get your green card or citizenship application approved ASAP without having to wait much longer. Take control over your case!

Client Could Have Had Green Card Years Earlier: Decision Delayed for Over a Decade

The expert legal team at Nalbandian Law recently represented a client who had filed for a green card through his employer. Unfortunately, USCIS was suspicious about the case and hadn’t made a final decision on his case in over 10 years. Multiple attorneys had previously told our client that nothing could be done to speed up the process. Frustrated, our client had tried to find out the cause of the delay by making INFOPASS and telephone inquiries. He even contacted his congressman with no luck.

“When he came to our office a few months ago and became our client,” said Mr. Sassoun A. Nalbandian, lead attorney for immigration law firm, Nalbandian Law, “we filed a Mandamus Action/federal lawsuit against USCIS for unreasonable delay. Less than two months after we filed a lawsuit against USCIS on his behalf, our client received his green card and was extremely grateful to us. He regretted having waited many years before coming to us to file the lawsuit!”

The three types of federal lawsuits are:

  1. Mandamus Actions
    Mandamus actions or “writs of Mandamus” are federal law suits that are filed in U.S. District Court.  Mandamus actions empower the federal court to instruct other agencies such as USCIS to perform its duties, exercise its judgement, perform its judicial functions, and follow the clear statement of the law. Mandamus actions can be used on behalf of aliens who have experienced unreasonable delays in the processing of a citizenship or green card application.
  2. Petition for Naturalization (Form N-400)
    If your citizenship application has been pending for more than 120 days after your interview or after you submitted additional documentation, you have the right to file a federal lawsuit to remove your case from USCIS and have an immigration court judge make a ruling on it. The judge will take one of three actions:
    • Grant your application, reverse USCIS’ decision, and naturalize you as a citizen
    • Deny your application if the court believes that you don’t meet the requirements for citizenship
    • Send your case to the USCIS with an order to speed up the processing of your case (this is the likely outcome, and in a majority of our cases, our clients received their oath ceremonies in just a few months after filing the lawsuit!)
  3. Actions Under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA)
    The APA is a federal statute that regulates the actions of federal agencies. The law allows an alien to file a federal lawsuit and have their case reviewed to determine if there was an unlawful action (including the unlawful failure to act) by federal agencies, agency officials, or employees. This lawsuit is typically used if an adjustment of status (green card) or naturalization application is denied and there is either no appeal allowed (such as with I-485 adjustment of status applications where an appeal is not permitted by law) or where your appeal has been denied (such as with an N-336 – appeal of an N-400 denial by USCIS.) This lawsuit is often the last and best option in such cases and has been a very effective way for us to get our clients case reviewed by a judge outside of USCIS.

In over 95% of Nalbandian Law’s cases, USCIS has reconsidered and reversed its prior unjust decision and has approved our client’s green card or citizenship application just a few weeks after we had filed the APA action on his/her behalf in U.S. District Court.

100% Success Rate with Federal Lawsuits

Nalbandian Law has represented hundreds of clients whereby USCIS had made a decision that was contrary to the law or had unreasonably delayed cases for months or years. Our clients’ prior attorneys unfortunately did not know or did not advise our clients about the federal lawsuit options discussed above. After our immigration experts filed the federal lawsuits—the cases were immediately reconsidered and settled in our clients’ favor over 95% of the time without even having to see a federal judge.  We are very proud of our near perfect success rate with Mandamus Action/Petition for Naturalization/APA Action lawsuits.

Schedule a Consultation Today!

Though not every case is suitable for a Mandamus action, most are suitable if they have been unreasonably delayed by USCIS. That’s why it is important to call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online for an expert consultation with lead attorney and immigration expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will review your situation carefully and evaluate if a federal lawsuit is the best action to take. If you have a case that can be won, Nalbandian Law will represent you. We will steer you on the right path and always advise you based of the best option for you.

*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.

2015: The Year in Review at Nalbandian Law

Celebrations and Victories

2015 was another very successful year for the immigration experts at Nalbandian Law and our victorious clients as we worked together to help our clients triumph along their journey toward becoming U.S. citizens.

Celebrating a Special Honor for Nalbandian Law

Our law firm experienced a special honor in 2015, too. Nalbandian Law enjoyed special recognition from the American Society of Legal Advocates, an invitation-only, nationwide organization of elite lawyers in practice today. Our firm’s founder and lead attorney, Sassoun A. Nalbandian, was honored with exclusive inclusion in their “Top 100 Immigration Lawyers in California” category. ASLA draws its membership from lawyers who combine stellar legal credentials with a proven commitment to community engagement and the highest professional standards.

The ASLA’s rigorous selection process includes an extensive manual review of information including law firms’ websites, client assessments, and publicly available filing (verdicts, settlement information, and transactions information). Each candidate is assessed “based on such criteria as educational accomplishments, involvement and leadership in bar associations and professional organizations, activities within their community, and demonstrated legal achievement.”

Thank you, ASLA, for honoring our passion and commitment to our country’s immigrant population!

Hundreds of Client Victories In and Out of Court

throughout 2015, the expert legal team at Nalbandian Law maintained our near-perfect success rate by winning victory after victory for our clients in a broad range of immigration cases including:

  • VAWA/U-Visa Petitions
    Nalbandian Law upheld our 100% track record in U-Visa and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) cases. We have represented numerous VAWA petitioners, female and male. Notably, in 2015, we won approval in a VAWA case where the husband had suffered emotional and psychological abuse by his spouse.
  • Detention/Parole/Asylum Cases
    With our help, dozens of immigrants who had turned themselves in at the border were able to apply for asylum, receive parole into the US, and eventually win asylum.
  • I-601 Fraud Waivers
    All fraud waiver applications that we submitted for our clients were granted last year. Nalbandian Law was able to get approval in cases where there was no actual medical hardship. We submitted documentation showing that their family member would suffer substantial emotional and/ or psychological harm if our client was deported.
  • Criminal Immigration
    Our experienced team of immigration experts helped dozens of clients avoid criminal deportation and, in some cases, even obtain their green card and citizenship.
  • Deportation Cases Reopened
    Some clients came to us because their loved one had been ordered deported in the past. Since then, their spouse or adult son or daughter (21 years or older) had become a U.S. citizen. We were able to get their deportation cases reopened so they could obtain their green cards.

Schedule a Consultation Today!

Call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online for an expert consultation with lead attorney and immigration expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will review your situation carefully. If you have a strong case, Nalbandian Law will represent you. We will steer you on the right path and will always advise you based on what the best is option for you.

*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.

Have You Been the Victim of a Crime?

We may be able to help you get your Green Card

If you are an alien who has been the victim of a crime, you may be eligible for a special “U-Visa”, a nonimmigrant visa, which puts you in a position to subsequently apply for a green card (permanent legal residency).
To qualify, you must be able to:

  • Verify you were a victim of a crime
  • Document substantial physical or emotional abuse as a result of the crime
  • Help law enforcement or government officials in their investigation or prosecution of the offender. Please note that you will still qualify for a U-Visa in these situations:
    • Even if the offender(s) is not caught, the government still recognizes that you reported the crime and helped in the investigation.
    • Even if the suspect was charged and tried, but not found guilty, you can still be eligible for a U-Visa.

History of the U-Visa

Your rights as an alien victim of a crime in the U.S. were established when Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in the year 2000. The new law was designed to strengthen the law enforcement agencies’ ability to investigate and prosecute more than 30 types of serious crimes listed below:

Qualifying Criminal Activities
Abduction Incest Sexual Assault
Abusive Sexual Contact Involuntary Servitude Sexual Exploitation
Blackmail Kidnapping Slave Trade
Domestic Violence Manslaughter Stalking
Extortion Murder Torture
False Imprisonment Obstruction of Justice Trafficking
Female Genital Mutilation Peonage Witness Tampering
Felonious Assault Perjury Unlawful Criminal Restraint
Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting Prostitution Other Related Crimes*†
Hostage Rape  
*Includes any similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially similar.
†Also includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above and other related crimes.
Source: http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/victims-human-trafficking-other-crimes/victims-criminal-activity-u-nonimmigrant-status/victims-criminal-activity-u-nonimmigrant-status

Your New Rights with a U-Visa

The U Nonimmigrant Visa gives you these important rights:

  • There is a quota of 10,000 per year for U-Visa. Once your petition is approved, you will be placed in Differed Action status until your turn is reached on the waiting list. During this time period, you will be entitled to receive work authorization.
  • Your U-Visa is valid for four years. However, in certain circumstances, you can apply for an extension if it is:
    • Based on a request from law enforcement
    • Based on exceptional circumstances
    • Due to delays in consular processing
    • Automatically extended upon the filing of an application for a Green Card
  • If you are a minor underage victim—not an adult—certain siblings and your parents may qualify for U-Visas as well, unlike other types of immigration relief.
  • You can apply for a waiver of other immigration problems you have; for example, if you are facing criminal deportation and have made false claims of US citizenship.
  • If you got married after filing for your U-Visa—but before obtaining your green card– you can file an I-929 petition for your spouse.

How to Be Eligible for a Green Card

According to USCIS, you may be eligible to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) if you meet certain requirements, including: 1) You have been physically in the U.S. for a continuous period of at least three years while in U nonimmigrant status, and 2) You have not unreasonably refused to provide assistance to law enforcement since you received your U visa.

100% Success Rate on U-Visa Approvals

Obtaining a U-Visa can be a positive turning point in your life in the U.S. That’s why you need a top immigration lawyer with an exceptional track record to make sure your U-Visa petition is approved.

Recognized as one of “Top 100 Immigration Attorneys in California” in 2015, Sassoun A. Nalbandian of Nalbandian Law, a Los Angeles area law firm, is an expert in immigration law. Over the past 15-plus years, Mr. Nalbandian has achieved a 99% success record in all types of immigration cases, and a 100% success rate for U-Visa approvals for clients.

“We’ve never been denied a U-Visa petition,” said Mr. Nalbandian, “because we thoroughly document both the criminal incident and the emotional and/or physical effects the crime has had on you. Our attention to detail and thoroughness of our supporting paperwork is the main reason we win every U-Visa petition. Getting the petition approved is an exciting moment, because it can be the first step in your journey toward U.S. citizenship.”

Schedule a U-Visa Consultation Today!

Call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online for an expert consultation with lead attorney and immigration expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will review your situation carefully. If you have a strong case, Nalbandian Law will represent you. We will steer you on the right path and will always advise you based on what the best is option for you.

*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.

Pros and Cons of Seeking Prosecutorial Discretion (PD)

In light of the Obama administration’s recent executive order that went into effect January 5, 2015, you may qualify to take prosecutorial discretion (PD), also commonly known as “freezing your case.” The executive order states that individuals with a criminal history who haven’t committed a felony or a “significant misdemeanor” and who entered the U.S. before January 1, 2014 are not considered to be an “enforcement priority.” In other words, if you fit this description, the U.S. government does not desire to deport you.

If your case is currently in immigration court, the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals), or at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or any other federal circuit court, it’s very important that you immediately consult with an expert immigration attorney like Sassoun A. Nalbandian, lead attorney for Nalbandian Law to discuss if seeking prosecutorial discretion is the right choice in your situation.

Understand the Pros and Cons of Freezing your Case

PROS
With prosecutorial discretion, you will be able to enjoy these advantages:

  • You will continue to obtain annual employment authorization.
  • You will not be at risk for deportation or denial of your case.
  • You will live and work freely in the U.S. until there is a change in the US immigration laws.
  • Freezing your case isn’t permanent. If you decide to proceed with your case for appeal any time after freezing your case, you have the right to ask the court to re-calendar your case. Please note that in order to go forward with your asylum or court case, you have to have very strong facts on your side; otherwise, PD is typically a safer option for you, especially if your spouse and children are already with you here in the U.S.

CONS
Prosecutorial discretion has its disadvantages, too:

  • You won’t be able to have your case heard by an immigration judge while your case is frozen.
  • Your status will be in limbo (undecided) until there is a change in immigration law or until you have another way of obtaining residency such as marrying a U.S. citizen.
  • You will not be able to travel outside the United States while your case is administratively closed.

Don’t Risk Deportation by Hiring an Inexperienced Lawyer!

Due to the complexity of Prosecutorial Discretion cases and the serious ramifications of making such a decision, we strongly advise you to seek the advice of an expert immigration attorney like Sassoun A. Nalbandian of Nalbandian Law. Call for an expert consultation today – (818) 244-0310 or contact us online. We will steer you on the right path and will always advise you as to what is the best option for you.

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Mr. Nalbandian was the lawyer who handled my wife's Green card case. Thanks to him everything went well and at very timely manner. I would recommend him with most confidence.

- Jose Garcia, CA