All about Green Cards

Anyone who knows anything about the immigration system in the United States has probably heard the term “green card.” Despite how frequently we use the term, very few people know what a green card is and the process for obtaining one.

Whether you’re embroiled in an immigration battle yourself or have a loved one looking to immigrate to the United States, keep reading to learn more about green cards.

What is a Green Card?

While many people use the term “Green Card,” the actual name is a “Permanent Resident Card.” A green card is used as proof that an immigrant has been given permission to reside permanently within the United States. Those with green cards are known as permanent residents.

Those with a green card have certain rights that other immigrants without them do not have. For example, those with a green card or permanent residency have the right to work inside the United States. In addition, they have the right to petition their spouse and any unmarried children become permanent residents as well.

However, it is important to note that there are some rights that those with green cards do not have. Green card holders do not have the right to vote in any U.S. elections, and if they do so, they could be charged with election fraud and prosecuted under the law. This could cost them any chance at U.S. citizenship in the future.

Permanent Residency vs. U.S. Citizenship

It is important to note that being a permanent resident and U.S. citizenship are not the same. Here are some of the privileges that U.S. citizens have that permanent residents do not:

  • Obtain a United States passport
  • Leave the country at any time without needing a reentry permit
  • Vote in U.S. federal and local elections
  • Hold government jobs
  • Serve on a jury
  • Receive certain grants and scholarships
  • Not be deported from the United States, unless you were found to commit fraud to obtain either your green card or U.S. citizenship

How to Obtain Permanent Citizenship

Permanent residents, meaning those with a green card, are eligible to apply for permanent United States citizenship after holding a green card for a period of five years. However, holding a green card for a period of five years isn’t the only requirement. Those applying for U.S. citizenship must also:

  • Be 18 years old 
  • Have lived in the state in which they are filing for at least 3 months (though students may apply where they go to school or where their family lives if still financially dependent)
  • Be present in the United States for at least 30 months during the 5 years with a green card period
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English and demonstrate knowledge of U.S. government and history (done through a test)
  • Be a person of good moral character 

If you’re interested in applying for permanent U.S. citizenship, you should reach out to a trusted immigration attorney as soon as possible. 

Read More

Why You Need a Visa Attorney

There is a good chance that someone is an immigrant in your family or in your ancestral history, If not, it is a strong bet that a close loved one or someone in their family lineage has an immigrant history. America is an amazing country and has truly been a land of opportunity for so many generations of immigrants.

No matter the current political climate, America will always be a land of immigrants and a country whose citizens will welcome newcomers with open arms. Part of this desire to promote immigration to this great place drove me to write this piece, in which I will outline the reasons you must hire a visa attorney or immigration lawyer.

A great country it may be, America has one of the most complex immigration systems in the world. Barriers are common and the average person does not know how to properly traverse these barriers. Othe reasons you need an attorney include:

  • Complexity
  • And consequences

In this article, I describe at-length the nature of these complex and consequential situations.

Too complex

The visa process in America is complex, to say the least. There are nearly 200 different variations of a visa available to foreign nationals wanting to enter American territories! As a result, some of the different visa types have overlapping requirements and qualifications. If you are a student seeking to come to America to study, it should be simple to determine what visa or specific paperwork you need to seek out.

But if you are also going to be employed while in the United States, this can affect the type of visa for which you qualify. Additionally, the type of education are you attempting to pursue (undergraduate, graduate, vocational, etc.) affects your visa categories.

One of the most common divergences in the visa categorization process is determining your length of stay — if you are seeking to stay in America only for a short, temporary period (such as the aforementioned educational pursuit), then you need a non-immigrant visa. These visas are much easier to obtain!

Large consequences

The system is too complicated for a non-lawyer to understand. But the implications of making a mistake are an even bigger reason to get a visa lawyer like those at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC.

You have probably heard stories discussing immigration enforcement, including raids or forced deportations. While this is not likely to occur to you, it is still important that you follow immigration and visa laws. This also includes subjecting yourself to regulations you may not understand. Unfortunately for those who cannot understand the complexity of the visa system in the United States, ignorance of the law does not provide innocence before the criminal justice system.

If you are caught knowingly or unwittingly violating the law by being in America on the incorrect visa, you could potentially be fined or face other punishments. It is just not worth the hassle or the potential error; you need to find a reliable legal professional with experience in immigration and visa matters!

Read More

Protection from Disability Discrimination

Sometimes when I’m running errands or shopping, I’ll notice that an employee has a disability of some sort. I have always thought it was cool that stores are making efforts to empower and normalize those with disabilities. I recently learned, however, that’s it’s illegal to use a person’s disability against them when making a hiring decision.

The Americans with Disabilities Act outlines that employers must not take disabilities into account when making a hiring decision. Every state may have their own laws regarding these policies, but the ADA is a standard that all state laws must hold to. I wanted to learn more about the ADA so I went searching online for more information. I found a great post from The Melton Law Firm. The attorneys at that firm work in disability discrimination. That means that they represent and help those who have been discriminated by employers for their disabilities.

It turns out, people with disabilities have many protections under the ADA. For example, if an employer is found to have discriminated against you, you can pursue restitution for your lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, pay until you find a new job, and punitive damages in harsh cases. It’s great that the law helps those who have been discriminated against stay afloat financially while they recover from a horrible situation.

I have to mention, employers can choose not to hire a person if their disability prevents them from performing the main tasks of the job. For instance, an employer can choose not to hire someone who is unable to walk or stand if the job requires that the employee stands throughout their shift. Employers cannot, however, choose not to hire a person if their disability prevents them from doing side tasks that are unrelated to the main job. Let’s say that a person with disabilities is hired as a bank teller. They are able to do all the main jobs of a bank teller, but they are physically disabled and cannot perform heavy lifting. An employer may not fire the worker for being unable to do a side task that requires heavy lifting because the main function of a bank teller never requires heavy lifting.

If people with disabilities need accommodations, the employer must provide them as long as they do not cause “undue stress” on the employer. For example, someone with a physical disability may need a couple minutes of extra break time during a shift so that their heart rate stays at a safe level. They may need regular, short breaks in order to take prescribed medication. These types of accommodations do not cause employers undue stress, and they are legally obligated to provide them. Employees with disabilities must ask for these accommodations though. Employers are legally responsible for not providing accommodations if they weren’t told what they needed to provide.

Read More

Why Prenuptial Agreements Need to Lose Their Negative Stereotypes

Everyone knows a good story about a bad divorce. Maybe it’s their own divorce, maybe it’s one from a friend or from their parents, or maybe it’s just one of the famously ugly divorces the famous go through routinely in the tabloids.

In the end, these stories lead to one obvious conclusion: divorce is unpleasant and has all the potential to get particularly ugly and traumatic. Divorce is hard on both spouses, on any kids in the relationship, and on family and friends watching on.

Considering how common divorce is and how awful it can be when people go into marriage unprepared for that eventuality, it’s somewhat odd how some people still regard prenuptial agreements negatively.

Before getting into why the prenup is actually a positive for couples and for society, it’s important to outline just what a prenup is. A prenuptial agreement is an arrangement set up before a marriage that sets out the terms if a divorce occurs. That can include spousal support, child custody, the division of property, and any other issues that might normally be fought over during a divorce. As this prenuptial agreement lawyer shows, the process is very thorough and usually requires a good lawyer to make sure it covers all aspects the couple wants to be settled before saying “I do.”

Prenuptial agreements may lack a certain amount of romance, yet, anyone who has had one and had to use it will swear by them. Not only do they protect property and income for those who might otherwise see a significant loss when a marriage collapses, not only do they remove the suspicion in some marriages that the relationship is based on anything other than love and affection, not only do they provide the couple comfort knowing how everything stands on a financial level, a prenuptial agreement is wonderful because it gets rid of all the ugliness of divorce.

A divorce can be a much faster and less bitter proceeding with a prenuptial agreement involved. With all the important questions resolved, no one leaves the marriage thinking they’re going to get one deal or another and being dissatisfied. There’s simply nothing to fight over. The prenup also has the benefit of being far fairer for both parties, since it was decided in a moment of love and compassion between the two when things were good between them instead of acrimonious. There will be no avoiding spousal support out of spite or an attempt to take a small business just to hurt someone. The deal is done, so all that’s required is signing a few documents, and saying goodbye.

For all that, a prenup can be a somewhat complex process to set up and follow through with. It’s best if you’re considering one to hire an expert prenuptial agreement lawyer who can guide you and your future spouse through all the various intricacies of the process.

The prenup may not be the way people traditionally begin marriages, but it is perhaps the most responsible way to do so. Think about it. If your marriage had to end, even if it seems inconceivable now, wouldn’t you like it to be quick and as painless as possible?

That’s what you get with a prenup.

Read More

Major Causes of Truck Accidents

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatal truck accidents happen almost 11 times a day. This means more than 100,000 injuries and more than 4,000 deaths every year, despite the laws created and strictly enforced by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on the safe operation of trucks.

If federal and local government agencies, and traffic enforcers remain determined in their pursuit to ensure safety on the road, then how is it that the number of truck accidents still remains so high? The answer is a combination of bad driving performance and company or employer negligence.

With regard to bad driving behavior, it has been discovered that many truck accidents are caused by drivers with multiple violations and who have very recently received warnings from their safety officers; despite these violations and warnings, they have been allowed to continue operating their vehicles.

In 1986, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which strictly mandates that bad truck drivers be removed from the road, was passed into law. Allowing drivers to continue operating a truck despite multiple traffic violations, especially a DUI or driving under the influence, is a violation of this law, to which drivers, safety officers and employers can be held liable.

Many small truck companies, though, are able to evade liability for accidents wherein their drivers are at fault, and escape legal responsibility for company violations of federal laws. They accomplish this by ceasing operation and then re-registering under a new name and changing their corporate structure.

Semi-trailers, also called a big rigs or 18-wheelers, can easily damage and crush smaller vehicles, severely injuring or killing their occupants. Accidents, injuries and deaths are not just statistical data. In each accident, many lives are affected: the lives of victims and of the members of their respective families. It will be in the best interest of victims to get in touch with a highly-skilled personal injury lawyer (as soon as possible) after an accident for them to immediately receive justice and the compensation which the court may find them worthy to claim.

As explained by the law firm Williams Kherkher, accidents involving passenger vehicles can result in serious injuries, but when an average sized automobile collides with a commercial truck, like an 18-wheeler or garbage truck, the consequences are frequently devastating. Victims of truck accidents may face life-threatening health problems, require costly medical treatment, and need time away from work to heal. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help these people file a compelling lawsuit against the negligent party that caused their 18-wheeler accident in order to get financial compensation for these damages.

An article posted at, says, depending on the details of an accident caused by a large truck, it is possible for responsibility to rest with: the truck driver; the trucking company that hired, trained, and employed the driver; the company responsible for maintaining the truck; or the auto manufacturer / parts manufacturer. Determining who is responsible for the accident that harmed you can seem overwhelming, but fortunately, there are personal injury lawyers always ready to help.


Read More

Why the Philippines is a Top Offshoring Terminal for IT-BPO and many Other Services

Why the Philippines is a Top Offshoring Terminal for IT-BPO and many Other Services

In 2013, the Philippines took the third spot in the top 100 global outsourcing destinations in the world, edging New Delhi; and while the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry believes that the Philippines is a very strong contender in the top five most cost-competitive termini for IT-BPO services, one US-based company boldly predicts that by 2030 IT-BPO will be a trillion-dollar economy in the nation.

The ushering in of the practice of outsourcing or offshoring in the Philippines during the last 10 years of the 20th century has led to the unprecedented growth of this business strategy in the country, which also continues to benefit developing foreign companies and third party organizations.

Began by only a substantial number of Fortune 500 companies, top companies in Australia have now also started to outsource in the country, services that include call centers, customer relationship management, back office/chat support, creative processes, HR solutions, application maintenance, healthcare information management, medical transcription, software development, legal services, research, content writing and blogging.

Outsourcing, is a business strategy wherein a host firm contracts out a business process to another organization, called a third party. This third party organization may be located within the host firm’s own country or in another country, thus, the term offshoring.

Host firms usually resort to outsourcing or offshoring of certain company projects or services due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of the necessary expert or skilled individuals needed for the job;
  • Outsourcing is much more economically favorable – both for the host firm, which is able to save much from company expenditures, and the third party organization, which is able to create jobs while earning profits at the same time;
  • Hired employees in a third party organization are well aware of the business culture in western countries, have strong skills in the English language, have high literacy and are experts in various areas;
  • Competitive labor rates, and a firmly established telecommunications infrastructure

Outsourcing Philippines started in the 1990s, becoming more famous at the turn of the century. By 2004 the industry’s worth was estimated at $1.5 billion. In 2009, after only five years, its worth ballooned to about $9 billion.

Today, the Philippines is one of the top countries in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. Besides non- voice and call center services, the country is also an emerging top competitor in the area of 24/7 live chat support, phone services, medical billing, records retrieval/collection, data entry, web and IT services, which include application maintenance, software development and web design, and in many other types of services, like computer animation, medical transcription, legal services, research, blogging and content writing. Besides these services, many other outsourcing companies, like Pinoy Partners Outsourcing Center Inc., for example, has grown to include in its list of services, Construction Estimating, which is handled by team of on-screen-take-off specialists who are ready and can help and allow construction companies bid on more projects.

Read More

All About Whistleblower Lawsuits

There are state and federal laws that protect employees from unfair employers, but for some reason, employment disputes still occur. These disputes can happen intentionally or not, but either way, they put the employee in a disadvantage, because the employee has less resources and experience to handle such things.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher business lawyers, the most common forms of employment disputes include wrongful termination, non-compete provisions, executive compensation issues, and whistleblower lawsuits.

All of these disputes are complicated in their own right, but whistleblower lawsuits can get more attention because of controversy, and how this controversy can affect both the employee and the employer in a significant way.

Whistleblower lawsuits are lawsuits concerning individuals who have knowledge of an organization’s illegal doing and have decided to come forward because it is the right thing to do. These individuals are called whistleblowers.

Most of the time, whistleblowers are current or former employees of the company that is committing or has committed a wrong in the government or private industry. As such, the employer can have the tendency to retaliate by terminating the whistleblower, which can be against the law. The whistleblower can be demoted, discriminated in the workplace, or be put in an inconvenient situation.

President Lincoln requested the enactment of the False Claims Act to eradicate fraud in government. Any individual who files under the act can receive up to a 25 percent portion if the government recovers the damages done from the fraud, to encourage more individuals in coming forward.

But not all those who come forward experience a happy ending. According to an article from the Huffington Post, James Holzrichter became a whistleblower after stepping forward to expose the dirty secrets of his employer. He did receive $6.2 million under the False Claims Act, but only after about 16 years.

Holzrichter, at his lowest point, was forced to put his family into a homeless shelter, because he could not find proper work after the incident. He believed that it had something to do with employers not wanting to hire a “snitch.”

You can get millions of dollars. You could be labeled a snitch for the next decade or so. Or you can experience both. Before making your move, it is still the best option to get legal guidance in the matter of whistleblower lawsuits, to help you get through a time that can easily turn your life around.

Read More

Types of Real Estate Disputes

Disputes involving real estate properties will most likely be heated and stressful. After all, who would want to lose a property? According to the website of Slater Pugh, Ltd., LLP, real estate disputes can be complicated and technical for a common individual. Although they can be resolved out of court, some disputes do end up in the court room. In this article, we shall tackle the different kinds of real estate disputes.

  1. Non-Disclosure of Defects
    • Once the property has been sold, the seller allegedly did not disclose property defects, such as structural issues or additions made without permits.
  2. Quiet Title
    • Quiet titles are unsettled claims that cloud the buyer’s ownership of the title. Litigation is required to invalidate unsettled claims.
  3. Disputes with Agents or Brokers
    • While they are esteemed for their high standard of professionalism, most claim that they do not live up to these standards. There are various claims such as breach of fiduciary duty, errors and omissions, or undue pressure to buy.
  4. Easement and Neighbor Disputes
    • The buyer of the property can get into disputes with neighbors regarding a wide range of issues such as boundaries, fences, and easement.
  5. Zoning and Land Disputes
    • There are legal use restrictions that every developer and homeowner should abide with in order to obtain permits. To prevent unlawful use, they need to enforce zoning laws and when the parties do not comply, this is where disputes arise.
  6. Foreclosure
    • When proper procedures in foreclosing a property is not followed, the aggrieved party will usually resort to legal remedies to keep them from losing their property.
  7. Condemnation
    • This is a step that the government undertakes to get hold of privately held property. It is the court who will determine the amount to be paid or when the owner seeks compensation.

These are just some of the common disputes that arise in the real estate industry.

Read More

Life After Burn Injuries

Most people have experienced a burn injury in their lifetime. Whether they were scalded by a hot pot, shower, or perhaps they got sunburned at the beach, many people know what it feels like to be burned. But what about the times when a burn results in substantial injury? A severe burn can result in life-altering consequences.

There are many ways that a burn can occur and different causes range in injury severity. According to Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., chemical hazards, electrical hazards, explosions, and malfunctioning equipment are some of the most common causes of more severe burns. According to the American Burn Association, there were 486,000 burn injuries receiving medical treatment:

These circumstances often place the liability another party, such as an employer or business owner. You can hold the liable party responsible for your suffering. If you are able to receive compensation, it could go toward one or more of these areas:

  • Disfigurement, physical impairment, paralysis, disability, and general loss of enjoyment in life post-injury: Compensation for pain and suffering not only for what has occurred in the past, but the quality of your future life post-injury.
  • Medical: Compensation for current and future medical bills including hospitalization, medical and/or cosmetic surgery, physical and/or occupational therapy, pain management and prescriptions, and ongoing medical care may all be covered.
  • Loss of income: Compensation could be collected for past and future lost wages in relation to time spent away due to your injury. Financial assistance could also go toward being re-trained into a new occupation.
  • Family loss: If the burn is severe enough to causes changes to the routine of your family, as in they are now required to perform services they wouldn’t have to do if the injury didn’t occur, they may be entitled to compensation for the interference.
Read More

What you need to know when you see asbestos in your home or work

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber found on the surface of the Earth. These durable, heat-resistant fibers were used for insulation in many commercial and residential houses until after scientists discovered toxicity associated with inhaling or ingesting the material. Although asbestos use has been banned for many years in the building and construction industry (many are using fiberglass as an alternative), industries such as shipyard and automotive are still enjoying the benefits of these highly toxic fibers.

Houston personal injury lawyers would probably say that inadvertent exposure to asbestos may result in life-changing chronic illnesses, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Whether you are an employee working in a shipyard or a homeowner living in a house constructed before the 70s, protecting yourself from these harmful fibers is a must. To protect yourself better, here are the things that you should and should not do when you see asbestos:

If you see asbestos in your property/workplace, never:

  • Use power tools to drill, sand, or saw the asbestos-containing material. Doing so would disturb the fiber, making it become airborne
  • Remove asbestos alone. Removing asbestos requires skills and experience by asbestos removal experts. Seek professional help always
  • Vacuum or sweep asbestos-containing debris. Again, this is a work that should be done by asbestos professionals

If you see asbestos in your workplace/home, remember these safety tips:

  • If at work, report asbestos occurrence to your immediate supervisor. If at home, contact your local council or an asbestos removalist for assessment and decontamination
  • Wear mask and other protective equipment until after cleanup to prevent asbestos exposure
  • You may also consider washing your hands, face, or taking a shower
  • All apparels (boots hand gloves etc.) should be placed inside an asbestos waste bag to prevent air contamination
  • Surfaces suspected to be contaminated with asbestos fibers should be wiped down with clean, damp rag. DO NOT sweep or vacuum the surfaces, as it may contaminate the air
Read More