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  • How Can I Get Representation in Immigration Court?

    If your presence is required in immigration court, either due to an issue with your visa status, a crime you have committed, or if you are facing deportation, you may be feeling scared and anxious about the legal proceedings and the penalties you may face. In a situation where you have been asked to appear in immigration court, it is important to make sure you are being represented by an immigration lawyer with the knowledge and experience to help you win your case.

  • Are You Eligible for a P Visa? Find Out if You Qualify

    Obtaining a visa to work in the United States can be a tricky and difficult process. It’s important to know which visas you are eligible to apply for so that the process can go more smoothly from start to finish.

  • Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Citizen Through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

    If you’ve heard about the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program and want to find out if you are eligible to obtain citizenship, you’ve come to the right place.

  • Attorney Explains the H1B Visa

    Who is Eligible for an H1B Visa and How Long Can I Be in the United States on an H1B?

  • Need Immigration Help From a Tampa, FL Attorney?

    Why Do I Need an Immigration Attorney and Can an Immigration Attorney Help With Deportation?

  • Green Card Rules: What You Really Need to Know

    Are you considering a green card or have one already? If so, you need to know what the green card rules are in the United States. 

  • Immigation and Divorce: Will Your Status Change?

    Are you getting a divorce? Concerned about your immigration status because of it? This article can help you understand what will happen after the divorce is finalized. 

  • How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help with Citizenship

    Becoming a U.S. citizen isn't easy, but an immigration lawyer can help make it much easier for you. Learn how an immigration lawyer can help you with citizenship. 

  • Temporary Visas for Athletes and Entertainers

    Have you ever wondered how athletes, singers, actors and other entertainment and sports industry professionals from other countries are allowed into the United States? You might think that these individuals have to go through the same process as everyone else who applies for a standard temporary work or student visa; however, there is a type of temporary visa available exclusively to athletes and entertainers who are going to be in the U.S. for a short period of time, either for a competition, performance or paid job pertaining to their talent or skill. The P-1 classification of temporary visa applies to any athletes or entertainers on an internationally recognized level of performance (such as a pro baseball player or a dancer with Cirque du Soleil or a similar type of troupe).

  • What is a U Visa?

    When looking into U.S. immigration laws and policies, you may come across something called a U Visa. This type of immigration visa is lesser-known than some of the other types of visas that immigrants to the United States can apply for, but it is a very important one. If you or a loved one qualifies for a U Visa under the guidelines, you may be granted one in order to enter and stay in the U.S.  Here is what you need to know about U Visas, and how you can obtain one.

  • Finding the Right Immigration Lawyer

    If you are facing a serious immigration-related court case, are looking to gain U.S. citizenship, or if you simply would like professional help obtaining or renewing your temporary visa, hiring an immigration attorney to assist you is a good idea. Immigration law can sometimes be difficult to understand, with many steps that are necessary to take in order to ensure the outcome you desire from your case. The legal process for immigration, visa renewal, and citizenship can be overwhelming and confusing, and an immigration lawyer can help explain what is going on and talk you through what steps to take and when. More importantly, if you are involved in any court case where you are facing deportation, hiring an immigration lawyer is a must if you want to be sure you will be fairly represented in court. But how do you choose an immigration lawyer? Here are some things to look for when you meet with an immigration attorney so you know you will be receiving the very best care, dedication and excellence from your legal professional every step of the way.

  • What You Need to Know about Employment-Based Immigration

    If you are a citizen of another country trying to immigrate to the United States for work-related reasons, it is important to know exactly what you are facing when applying for your visa. There are currently several different categories of employment-based visas, and it is important to know the differences between them in order to make sure you are obtaining the right one for your situation. Here is an in-depth look at the different types of employment-based visas, so you can determine which one is right for you.

  • Benefits of Getting a Green Card

    If you are living in the United States as an immigrant, obtaining permanent residency status in the United States, otherwise known as a green card, is extremely beneficial for you and your family. Perhaps now more than ever, having a green card affords you the same freedoms and rights as natural-born American citizens, and protects you against immigration-related legal issues. Here are just some of the many benefits that come with applying for permanent U.S. residency status.

  • Immigration in St. Pete: Can You Pass the U.S. Citizenship Test?

    For an immigrant trying to obtain citizenship in the United States, there are many challenges and obstacles to be overcome. One of the most important components of the process of becoming a U.S. citizen is taking and passing the U.S. Citizenship Test. This test is comprised of four parts: speaking, in which a USCIS officer assesses your ability to speak English; reading, in which you must read aloud one out of three sentences in English; writing, in which you must write one out of three sentences in English; and the civics test, which is designed to assess your knowledge of the various legal and governmental processes of the United States. The civics exam is well-known for being somewhat difficult- in fact, many natural-born American citizens may not know the answers to all 100 questions presented in the test. You will be asked 10 of the 100 questions at random, and must correctly answer at least 6 of them in order to be granted citizenship. Here is an overview of what you should study before you take the civics test, so you can pass with flying colors and be welcomed into the United States as an official citizen.

  • When is the Best Time to Get an Immigration Lawyer?


    Throughout your immigration process, you may encounter certain obstacles that cause you to wonder if you may require legal representation. But how do you know when you should seek professional legal advice from an attorney with experience in immigration law? While you are not required to have a lawyer when applying for a green card or a United States immigrant visa, you may find that there are a number of situations in which it is extremely beneficial to have an immigration lawyer representing you and helping with the often overwhelming paperwork and hassle that comes with the immigration process.

  • Justice Department Inserts Untested Evidence in Immigration Case at Supreme Court
    09/07/2016 | Wall Street Journal

    Slated for the Supreme Court’s next term, Jennings v. Rodriguez concerns the government’s power to imprison aliens without bail while their immigration cases are pending. The Obama administration is asking the justices to overturn a 2015 lower court decision holding that the Constitution’s due-process guarantee entitles aliens to seek, if not necessarily obtain, bail after six months of detention.

  • Ancient Mayan Languages Are Creating Problems For Today's Immigration Courts
    08/09/2016 | Los Angeles Times

    Successive waves in recent years of more than 100,000 immigrants from Central America — many of them boys and girls who came without their parents — have created a shortage of people who can translate Mayan languages

  • EB-5 Industry Speaks with One Voice on Renewal and Reauthorization
    07/06/2016 | National Law Review

    Yesterday, the leading EB-5 Trade Associations/Coalitions sent a letter to the Senate and House Judiciary Committee Leaders and Members expressing support for extending the EB-5 Regional Center Program and recommending concrete changes.

  • Attorney Shafer has been awarded Board Certification for her work in Immigration and Nationality Law.
    06/01/2016 | The Florida Bar Legal Specialization & Education Department

    Attorney Vitalia Diaz-Shafer is Board Certified by the the Florida Bar Legal Specialization & Education Department.  

  • Lawsuit Seeks Transparency in H-1B Lottery Process
    05/23/2016 | American Immigration Council

    The American Immigration Council (Council) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have teamed up on a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking information about the government’s administration of the H-1B lottery. 

  • What the New Citizenship Fee Structure Means for Aspiring Americans
    05/11/2016 | Immigration Impact

    Earlier this month USCIS announced they have completed their “fee study” and have proposed raising fees across the board by an average of 21 percent.

  • New immigration fight looms in Congress Explained by Tampa Immigration Attorney
    05/03/2016 | Politico

    A proposal for low-skilled worker visas threatens to drive a wedge through both parties


  • USCIS Message: Processing Times and Delays
    04/28/2016 | United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

    USCIS addresses concerns about processing delays, stating that it is working to address the staffing shortages and workload issues that are causing the delays. USCIS recently transferred cases between all of its service centers in an effort to reduce backlogs and ensure consistent processing times.

  • Family Immigrants, Only one a Citizen, Anxiously Awaits Supreme Court Ruling
    04/16/2016 | New York Times

    FAIRFAX, Va. — Jerry Pinto, an immigrant from Bolivia, has visions of opening a spacious carpentry workshop in this suburban city, with his name in bold letters over the door.


  • New U.S. Rule Extends Stay for Some Foreign Graduates
    03/09/2016 | New York Times

    The federal government will publish the rule on Friday, saying that international students earning degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields in the United States will now be eligible to stay for three years of on-the-job training. This is seven months longer than under the 2008 rule it replaces for the STEM Optional Practical Training program, known as OPT. The new rule will take effect on May 10.

  • Back to immigration basics – Why the DAPA/DACA case is simpler than it seems
    02/10/2016 | SCOTUSblog

    The Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari in United States v. Texas signals an important and hopeful turning point in the case and provides a long-overdue opportunity to set the record straight on the scope of executive authority in the immigration arena. The case concerns a challenge by Texas and twenty-five other states to the lawfulness of President Barack Obama’s deferred action initiatives – Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – which were announced in November 2014, but enjoined before they could be implemented.

  • Supreme Court Immigration Case Will Have Profound Impact
    01/15/2016 | Huffington Post Opinion

    On Tuesday the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether a single state can sue the federal government to block the government’s setting of immigration enforcement priorities nationwide. The stakes are momentous, and they go far beyond immigration.

  • DHS chief: 'Legal limits' on scrutinizing immigrants' Web postings
    12/15/2015 | Politico

    'We are dealing with private communications and things for which there is an expectation of privacy,' Jeh Johnson says in an interview.

  • Obama threatens veto on new refugee requirements
    11/18/2015 |

    The White House is warning Congressional Republicans the President would veto a bill calling for additional background checks on Syrian refugees. That bill was introduced this week following the attacks in Paris. The administration said there are already stringent background checks and more would just cause unnecessary delays.

  • Has the U.S. Really Shifted on Deportations?
    10/21/2015 | PBS Frontline

    After six years of taking a tougher stance on deportations, the Obama administration last year changed its policy on which undocumented immigrants it would target.

    “Felons, not families,” the president said last November. “Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.”

  • BIA Says Inter-Proceeding Similarities Can Be Considered in Credibility Determination
    09/08/2015 | American Immigration Lawyers Association

    The BIA held that, in making an adverse credibility determination, an IJ can consider significant similarities between statements submitted by applicants in different proceedings, as long as the IJ gives the applicant meaningful notice of the similarities and a reasonable opportunity to explain them prior to making a credibility determination that is based on the totality of the circumstances. Matter of R-K-K-, 26 I&N Dec. 658 (BIA 2015)

  • After snafus, feds strip 'deferred action' from 22 immigrants
    08/02/2015 | Politico

    Hoping to head off an angry judge's demands for top Obama administration officials to appear in his courtroom later this month, the federal government is arguing that it has taken "extraordinary measures" to remedy a series of foul-ups that led to the issuance of about 2,700 three-year work permits to illegal immigrants despite the judge's order in February to stop granting such permits.

  • Immigration Reform 2015: Tijuana, Mexico Border Security To Be Tightened Over Pedestrian Foot Traffic

    Mexican immigration officials will be stepping up their inspections of foreigners entering the country on foot, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. A new building for Mexican immigration and customs inspection stations is scheduled to open at the Tijuana pedestrian entry located in Baja California in September.

  • Questions linger for tens of thousands of Cubans facing deportation as US-Cuba relations thaw

    With the United States and Cuba inching closer to fully restoring diplomatic ties, including re-opening embassies for the first time in 54 years, the future is murky for tens of thousands of Cuban immigrants who have been ordered by immigration authorities to leave the country.