Atty Gurfinkel Immigration Updates.
(Updated 1 November, 2017)
- 0.1 Why Am I Writing About Attorney Gurfinkel?
- 0.2 But I Love To Help People
- 0.3 Most attorneys Don’t Share Much
- 0.4 Are These Worth My Time?
- 0.5 Samples of Atty Gurfinkel’s Immigration Updates
- 0.6 Do You Need an Annulment?
- 0.7 You don’t need a Philippine annulment to get married in the U.S.
- 0.8 Do You Need To “Show Your Papers” Inside The USA?
- 0.9 CBP “inspects” domestic flight from SFO to JFK
- 0.10 When The Answer Is “Denied”, Can You Appeal?
- 0.11 Appealing Visa Denial
- 0.12 Do You Have a Same-Sex Partner?
- 0.13 How to bring your same-sex partner from the Philippines
- 0.14 Again, I learned a lot here.
- 1 Related Posts
- 2 Share this Article:
Attorney Michael Gurfinkel ia a US-born attorney with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Manila.
He specializes in US immigration law and the hurdles Filipino citizens face in getting to the US (legally) and staying in the USA.
Why Am I Writing About Attorney Gurfinkel?
That’s an easy question.
I’ve been working on PhilFAQS.com and have worked a lot on some other sites about living in the Philippines for something like 15 years now.
The number of stories I’ve heard about families torn apart by US Immigration laws is both amazing and heart breaking.
Obviously, as a layman (and a damn poor typist as well) I am not qualified to help people on issues with the law.
But I Love To Help People
I’m sure not running this site to seriously make any money, personal blogs are not very highly recommended as an income source.
So when I found Michael Gurfinkel’s company website, and I saw the number of helpful articles he has published on US immigration laws an issues, I just could not resist sharing it here.
And,of course, there’s a few good reasons for that.
An attorney has nothing to sell except his or her knowledge and time.
But Attorney Michael has been very generous with his time. He writes articles every few weeks or so on all sorts of immigration subjects.
Technically, what Atty Gurfinkel is doing is producing what could be called a blog, but he chooses to call it “Articles” and many people call these mini-articles his “Immigration Updates”.
Are These Worth My Time?
Oh you bet they are. There’s actually several thousands of dollars worth of consultation time out there for all to learn from.. I’ve spent many hours there and learned a lot myself, and I haven’t read them all.
Samples of Atty Gurfinkel’s Immigration Updates
Do You Need an Annulment?
Dear Attorney Gurfinkel:
I have been out of status in the U.S. since 2010. I’ve been separated from my husband since 2003, and he already has another family in the Philippines.
I have a boyfriend here in the U.S., and we have been living together for about two years. We’re planning to get married, but I know that since I was married in the Philippines, I need to annul my marriage in the Philippines before I can marry my boyfriend. Is there any hope for me?...
The attorney has a very interesting, and to me, very surprising answer for this reader. Totally new to me, and his advice makes perfect sense, with I had known that years ago.
Do You Need To “Show Your Papers” Inside The USA?
On October 12, 2017, several passengers aboard a domestic Delta flight from San Francisco to New York, filed a lawsuit against US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), alleging a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure.
According to the allegations/claims in that lawsuit, on February 22, 2017 CBP stopped and searched every passenger on board that flight (including U.S. citizens) before allowing them to deplane. CBP officers stood at the exit door, and would not let passengers off until they produced identification documents. This was despite them already showing ID to TSA before boarding the flight in San Francisco….
This one was a real surprise to me. I’ve been out of the USA for 11 years now.
I see, occasionally, flashes on the news about the growing fervor to “round up” illegal aliens, but I never thought the USA was going to start to resemble Nazi Germany, with armed guards stopping people goingabout their everyday, lawful business and demanding they “show their papers”.
All I can say is, read the article and TnT’s, be very afraid.
When The Answer Is “Denied”, Can You Appeal?
Ordinarily, there is no appeal process for visa refusals at the Embassy. Under the doctrine of “consular non- reviewability”, a person cannot even sue the embassy or appeal their visa refusals in US federal courts. The US Supreme Court ruled the Embassy is not even required to provide a “detailed explanation” of the reasons for the visa refusal.
So what can a person do if their visa was refused, and they believe the consul’s decision was wrong? There could still be hope. It is possible, in some limited situations, to seek reconsideration from the Embassy or to “appeal” a visa refusal to the US State Department in Washington DC. The limited situations deal with whether the consul’s “interpretation or application of immigration law” was correct. The State Department will only entertain requests for reconsideration involving legal issues, not factual determinations…..
Here’s an article on something I always just “knew” I was sure about.
There is really no appeal of a decision to deny a visa. Period.
But, it turns out that there indeed MAY (emphasis on the “MAY”) be a way in some cases.
Read the article and learn.
Do You Have a Same-Sex Partner?
When the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), their ruling enabled same-sex couples to marry and, for immigration purposes, to petition one another for green cards.
However, what happens if one partner is a US citizen, living in the US, and the partner is living in the Philippines? To file a spousal petition, the couple is supposed to get married, but same–sex marriages are not recognized in the Philippines. So, how does this couple get around that obstacle? The answer is a fiancé(e) (K–1) visa. The basic requirements for a K–1 visa are:
The petitioner (the person filing the petition) must be a US citizen. Fiancé visas are not available if the petitioner is a green card holder.
The couple must have met each other, in person, within 2 years of filing the petition. Therefore, the American would need to take a trip to the Philippines to visit their partner, and make sure the trip is well documented, with entry stamps, pictures together, etc.
When the US citizen returns to the US, the K–1 petition is filed, hopefully approved, and the partner in the Philippines goes to the US Embassy for his or her K–1 visa interview.
Once the K-1 visa is issued, the alien fiancé enters the US, and must marry the US citizen partner within 90 days of entry. If the fiancé does not marry the American who filed the petition, the petitioned partner must return to the Philippines. The sponsored partner cannot obtain a green card or other visa status in the US in any other way except through the petitioning US citizen. (i.e., they cannot marry another American, be petitioned by an employer, change to student visa etc.)
The couple would then file for adjustment of status and will eventually be scheduled for an interview. They will be questioned about the “bona fides” of their marriage, i.e. if it is for real or fixed. If the officer is satisfied it is a true love relationship, the green card will be issued….
Again, I learned a lot here.
I had heard there were now provisions under the law for same-sex couples and the K-1 Visa. but I had no idea how it worked.
You may think this article “strange” or discomforting to some, but on this little blog, with my very limited exposure to the world, I have already had many queries from people seeking to bring a same-sex partner to the USA.
If you fall into that category, or have a friend who has questioned you about it, just send them to Atty. Gurfinkel’s site.
I hope many of you can get some valuable information from Atty Gurfinkel Immigration Updates.