Immigration Forms Help

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					                         Finding help for Immigration Problems

                                                                  Are attorneys the only people who
                                                                  can help me in my immigration
                                                                  problem?
                                                                  No. Non-attorney’s may be able to assist you in
                                                                  some cases. Non-attorneys can gain the legal
                                                                  knowledge and experience necessary to practice
Immigrants in Santa Clara County often need                       immigration law.

to work with an immigration attorney or                           Non-attorneys may help you by:
specialist to help them understand
                                                                       •   Working with an accredited agency by the
complicated immigration laws and
                                                                           Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in
requirements. Below are some questions and
                                                                           Washington, D.C.
answers about immigration specialists and how
to get the best immigration legal assistance                           •   An independent accredited representative
available to you and your family.                                          of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA.)

                                                                       •   Immigration Consultants can help you as
                          h                                                long as they don’t give you advise. The
                                                                           primary job is to give you information about
What is an attorney in the U.S.?                                           the law.

                                                                  Are there accredited agencies in
An attorney or lawyer in the U.S. is someone who
attended a graduate program in law and received a
                                                                  Santa Clara County?
Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. In order to practice
                                                                  The only three accredited agencies in Santa Clara
law in the U.S. the attorney must be a member of
                                                                  County are Catholic Charities, the Center for
the State Bar Association and must pass an exam
                                                                  Employment Training (CET), and the International
given by the State Bar Association.
                                                                  Rescue Committee.

A licensed attorney can:
                                                                  My friend told me of a notary or
    • give legal advice to his or her clients and
    • can represent them in court.                                “notario” that did work cheaply
                                                                  and quickly.
Usually an attorney is knowledgeable in only a few
                                                                  An immigration consultant (also called Notaries or
areas of law. For example, an attorney who can help
                                                                  Notario) without formal training or connection to
someone with a criminal problem may not know
                                                                  an attorney or accredited representative can help
immigration law.
                                                                  someone fill out an immigration form but cannot
                                                                  give legal advice. They typically do not have any
                                                                  formal legal training. For this reason, they may not
                                                                  know how to resolve a question, concern or problem
                                                                  with an application because they have no formal
                                                                  legal training.



                                                                                                                          107
           Need more information? Contact SIREN’s Immigrant Assistance & Information Line for updates on programs and
          general questions. All lines are open M-F, 10am – 4pm, and are bilingual English and the following languages:
        Spanish- (408) 286-1698 Vietnamese- (408) 286-1448 Farsi- (408) 286-5680 x108 Chinese- (408) 286-5680 x109
                         Finding help for Immigration Problems



          PROTECT YOURSELF!                                       How can I immigrate my family
  Beware of notaries or “notarios”                                members?
   who are scam artists and steal
          people’s money.                                         In order to be eligible to immigrate a family
                                                                  member, you must be a:

                                                                           a.   Permanent Resident (green card holder)
NO MATTER WHO assists you in your immigration
                                                                           b. U.S. Citizen
legal matters, always remember to:

    •   Ask for a copy of the service contract.                   A person with a green card can immigrate their
                                                                  spouse and their unmarried children.
    •   Keep your orginal documents (birth
                                                                  A U.S. Citizen can immigrate their spouse, their
        certificate…)
                                                                  unmarried or married children, their parents and
    •   Check with the better business bureau to                  their brothers and sisters.
        see if there are any complaints filed
                                                                  The petitioner, or the resident or Citizen, must file
        against the person.
                                                                  a family petition for their family member who is
    •   Talk to a community organization about                    usually in their native country. Because of current
        your options.                                             law in effect at the time this book was written,
                                                                  immigrating a family member who is currently living
    •                                                             in the U.S. without permission or a visa can have
                                                                  negative consequences. Contact an immigration
How does INS work?                                                specialist before you file a petition for this family
                                                                  member.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service is the
agency that grants immigration benefits, as well as               The current system for issuing greencards is based
enforces immigration law and oversees deportation                 on a system of categories and preferences. For
and border patrol. It has many different offices.                 this reason, the amount of time to immigrate your
The INS district office is located in San                         family member can be immediate or up to 20 years,
Francisco, although INS has an office in San Jose.                depending on your status, the relationship you have
The San Jose INS office covers four counties:                     with that family member, and your country of
Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito.                origin.

Generally, it is very difficult to speak to anyone by
telephone at the INS and it is better to go in
person. However, a person who is deportable
(undocumented) may be risking deportation if they
go to the INS office. It is safer to seek advise
from one of the immigration legal service providers
first, rather than going to INS.



108
           Need more information? Contact SIREN’s Immigrant Assistance & Information Line for updates on programs and
          general questions. All lines are open M-F, 10am – 4pm, and are bilingual English and the following languages:
        Spanish- (408) 286-1698 Vietnamese- (408) 286-1448 Farsi- (408) 286-5680 x108 Chinese- (408) 286-5680 x109
                         Finding help for Immigration Problems


Asian Law Alliance                                                East San Jose Community Law Center

184 East Jackson Street, San, Jose, CA 95112                      1765 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126
Tel: (408) 287-9710                                               Tel: (408) 254-0444
Website: www.asianlawalliance-ala.org                             Website: www.scu.ed/law/ESJCLC
Language(s): English, Vietnamese, Laotian,                        Language(s): Translation services for most languages
Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Japanese                            Services: Legal immigration services such as VAWA,
Services: N-400 Assistance, monthly legal clinics for             political Asylum, deportation defense and others. Also
immigration forms, VAWA petitions                                 provides clinics on Employment Rights, Workers
                                                                  Compensation, Consumer Rights, and Small Business
                                                                  Legal Assistance.
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County – San
Jose Office
                                                                  International Rescue Committee

2625 Zanker Road Suite 201, San, Jose, CA 95134-                  90 East Gish Road, San, Jose, CA 95112
2107                                                              Tel: (408) 453-3536
Tel: (408) 944-0691                                               Website: www.@theirc.org
Language(s): English, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog                Language(s): French, Laotian, Persian, Serbo-
and Vietnamese.                                                   Croatian, Thai, Vietnamese, Oromo, Somali, Amharic,
Services: Immigration legal services, citizenship.                Assyrian, Arabic
                                                                  Services: Immigration legal services, legal
                                                                  consultations, relative visa petitions, adjustment of
Gilroy: 7950 Church Street, Gilroy, CA 95020                      status,     consular      processing,     employment
Tel: (408) 842-4808                                               authorization, affidavit of support, removal of
Website: www.ccsj.org                                             conditional residence, refugee travel document,
                                                                  naturalization, alien registration card replacement,
                                                                  freedom of information act request, document
Language(s): Spanish                                              authenticity, notary, photos, information and referral
Services: Immigration legal services.                             (services are case by case).


Center for Employment Training (CET)                              Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office
                                                                  Consumer Projection Unit
701 Vine Street, San Jose, CA 95110
                                                                  70 West Hedding Street, West Wing, 4th floor
Tel: (408) 534-5451
                                                                  San Jose, CA 95110
Website: www.cet2000.org
                                                                  Tel: (408) 792-2880/299-2206
Language(s): Spanish and access to translation
services.                                                         Website: www.santaclara-da.org/consumer.html
Services: Legal consultations, representation, family             Language(s): Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Mandarin
visa petitions, affidavits of support, adjustment of              Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Laotian Tagalog, French,
status,     consular      processing,     employment              German.
authorization, general information and referrals,                 Services: Handles complaints regarding immigration
document notarization and translation, citizenship and            consultant fraud. Provides dispute resolution for uses
naturalization, general education, and other services             related to schools: students, parents, teachers,
case by case.                                                     administration, neighborhoods and businesses affected
                                                                  by schools.
                                                                                                                          109
           Need more information? Contact SIREN’s Immigrant Assistance & Information Line for updates on programs and
          general questions. All lines are open M-F, 10am – 4pm, and are bilingual English and the following languages:
        Spanish- (408) 286-1698 Vietnamese- (408) 286-1448 Farsi- (408) 286-5680 x108 Chinese- (408) 286-5680 x109
                          Finding help for Immigration Problems



Services Immigrant Rights & Education Network
(SIREN)

778 N. First St., #202, San Jose, CA 95112
Tel: (408) 286-5680
Immigrant Assistance Immigration Lines:
Spanish (408)286-1698
Vietnamese (408)286-1448
Language: Cantonese, Farsi, Mandarin, Spanish,
Vietnamese
Services: Citizenship information and referral hotline,
citizenship application assistance, and community
education on immigration, public benefits, civil
participation and citizenship. Training and technical
assistance on immigration and related issues.




110
            Need more information? Contact SIREN’s Immigrant Assistance & Information Line for updates on programs and
           general questions. All lines are open M-F, 10am – 4pm, and are bilingual English and the following languages:
         Spanish- (408) 286-1698 Vietnamese- (408) 286-1448 Farsi- (408) 286-5680 x108 Chinese- (408) 286-5680 x109

				
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