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Family Immigration For Experts

Speakers: Sardar Durrani, Vishal Chander, Salima Khakoo, Juan J. Mendoza, J. Bradley Pace, Karen Pennington and Steven C. Thal

Available on CD

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Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers from participants.


FIRST Phone Session on August 27: Relatively Speaking

  • Fiancé Visa or Spousal Petition:
    • Crucial questions to ask
    • To see any issues, inconsistencies
    • Not to rely solely on client statements
    • Document review, prior divorce, etc.
    • To see how to assemble the documents based on their facts
  • Immigration "Red Flags":
    • Prior marriage petitions
    • Spouses residing separately
    • Married under state law but religiously not married
    • NSEERS registration
    • Prior removal proceedings
    • Inconsistent responses to interview questions
  • Petitions for Children:
    • Stepchildren
    • Illegitimate children
    • Adopted Children
    • Derivative Applications [concurrent form I-824] and following to join
    • Married children
  • Death of the Petitioner
  • Documentation
  • Update on CSPA
  • I-864
    • Beside income, what else may qualify
    • Attorney responsibility to inform (Sponsors obligations, when can be withdrawn)
  • Medical examination
  • Inconsistent information on forms
    • Amend or Withdraw form
  • If marriage fails:
    • VAWA
    • U visa

SECOND Phone Session on September 17: Inadmissible Aliens

  • How to get a conviction record
  • Conviction Disclosure
    • Should convictions be reported
    • Reporting Juvenile convictions
    • Reporting expunged convictions
  • Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility:
    • Aggravated felony conviction
    • What is a crime involving moral turpitude
    • Multiple offenses
    • Trafficking in Persons
    • Drug Convictions
  • Criminal Inadmissibility Waivers:
    • Petty Offense Waiver
    • Juvenile Offense Waiver
    • 212(h) waiver
  • Non-Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility:
    • Inadmissible at time of entry
    • Unlawful presence [six months to one year, and more than one year]
    • Misrepresentation
    • Document Fraud
    • False Claims to U.S. Citizenship
    • Unlawful voting
    • 212(a)(9)(c) [ten-year bar]
  • Waiver of Non-Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility:
    • Extreme Hardship [601] (Hardship to eligible relatives, Family Separation, Hardship to children, Medical Conditions, Conditions in Home Country, Community Ties, Non-eligible relatives, Documenting Your Case)
  • Obtaining a 212(h) waiver
  • After AOS interview:
    • If I-130 denied, should Appeal/MTReconsider or file new I-130
    • If I-130 denied and NTA issued
  • Other problems:
    • False SS#
    • Passport shows entry in home country while in US
  • Effects of crimes such as:
    • Domestic violence
    • Prostitution
    • Fire arms offenses

THIRD Phone Session on October 22: Removing Conditions

  • How to process an I-751 where the parties are separated or divorced at the time of petition
  • What to do when a joint petition is filed but the parties divorce before an adjudication
  • Filing for citizenship while an I-751 is pending
  • Filing an I-751 for a resident when the resident is temporarily assigned abroad
  • Extending proof of residence where the I-751 is pending more than a year
  • Documentation to support an I-751 where the parties do not have joint accounts or joint taxes
  • Adjudicating an I-751 in proceedings
    • Burden of proof
    • Getting the judge to terminate proceedings so that an I-751 waiver can be processed by CIS
    • Judicial review of I-751 denials
  • Untimely filed I-751 petitions
  • If children when they will be joined in same or need to file separate I-751
  • When an attorney would withdraw and how

Citations for Session 1        Citations for Session 2        Citations for Session 3       


Sardar N. Durrani (Discussion Leader) is an immigration attorney. Mr. Durrani is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Hispanic Lawyers Association. He is admitted in Wisconsin, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Vishal Chander is Managing Attorney of The Chander Law Firm. His principal area of practice is Immigration and Nationality Law. Mr. Chander sits on the State Bar of Texas standing committee on Laws Relating to Immigration & Nationality. He is also Young Lawyers Division Chair of the Texas chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Mr. Chander has been recognized by Texas Monthly magazine as a Texas Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in 2008 and 2009. Mr. Chander is a graduate of Southern Methodist University School of Law. He was formerly judicial law clerk to the Honorable Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez of the Texas Thirteenth Court of Appeals. Mr. Chander is admitted to practice law in the states of Texas and New York.

Salima Khakoo is an associate attorney at Aronson & Associates, P.A. Ms. Khakoo is an immigrant to the United States, Tanzanian by birth, East Indian by ethnicity. Raised in New York City and a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School, Ms. Khakoo received her Bachelors Degree with honors at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York in 1993. She was admitted to the Minnesota bar in October 2002. She received a J.D. Degree (Cum Laude) in 2002 from Hamline University School of Law, in St. Paul, MN, and served as Primary Editor of the Hamline University Journal of Public Law and Policy. Ms. Khakoo also attended the prestigious Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota where she received a Masters of Arts in Public Affairs in 1997. She serves as immigration counsel for area law firms and welcomes opportunities to assist law firms in providing immigration services to its clients through Aronson & Associates’ legal talent.

Juan J. Mendoza is partner in Mendoza & Associates. Mr. Mendoza has over fourteen years of experience as an immigration attorney. He practices exclusively in the area of immigration law and has extensive experience representing clients with USCIS with their applications for adjustment of status, asylum, cancellation of removal, naturalization, temporary protective status, and petitions for alien relatives. Mr. Mendoza has a successful body of experience representing American companies with Labor Department and petitions to USCIS. He also represents clients with non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications with the Department of State, applications with the Immigration Court during removal proceedings, and appeals with the Board of Immigration Appeals, Federal District, and Circuit Courts. Mr. Mendoza was born in Managua, Nicaragua and as a native Spanish speaker, he effectively utilizes his bilingual skills in working with clients.

J. Bradley Pace operates the Pace Law Firm, LLC, in Mission, Kansas, and also serves as "Of Counsel" to the immigration law firm Versfeld & Hugo, LLC, in Kansas City. He has represented businesses, individuals, public employers, and non-profit agencies before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. He provides comprehensive immigration representation including the full range of employer based worker petitions, family based relative cases, individual applications, as well as overseas consular processing. He also advises corporate and public entity human resources departments regarding compliance with federal and state immigration laws. He has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1999, and is a member of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association International Law Committee.

Karen H. Pennington is a 1986 graduate of University of Texas School of Law. She is currently a sole practitioner in Dallas, Texas, practicing primarily immigration law and representing immigrants before the immigration service, immigration courts and federal courts of the United States. As well as representing clients in Dallas, Ms. Pennington represents detainees in the large detention facilities of South Texas in Pearsall and Raymondville, Texas.

Steven C. Thal is an attorney practising immigration law in Minnetonka, Minnesota. He is a 1982 graduate cum laude of the University of Minnesota Law School. Prior to law school he spent two years in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, South America. He received a Bachelor of Elected Studies Degree from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts in 1977. He is a past Chair of the Immigration Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. He is a past Chair of the Minnesota/Dakotas American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Chapter and has previously served as Vice Chair and Secretary/Treasurer. He has served on various AILA National Committees including USCIS liaison, Nebraska Service Center Liaison, Essential Workers, Family Committee and has served on Conference Committees for various AILA CLE's including the Annual Conference for 2009. He is an AILA mentorand has served as an AILA mentor on immigration issues to Congressional offices. Mr. Thal edits articles for AILA's publication, Immigration Law Today as part of the editorial advisory board. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and various other professional and civic groups. Mr. Thal holds an "A-V" rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in their Directory of Preeminent Lawyers. Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Monthly have recognized him as a "Super Lawyer" in immigration law. He has received the AILA National Presidential Commendation for "creative and tireless advocacy" on behalf of immigrants. He is a Trustee Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Law Foundation.


50% discount to attorneys working for a non-profit organization
50% discount to any attorney employed by any government agency
50% discount to an attorney that is unemployed

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Cancellation/Return/Shipping Policy
$199 Seminar Package 
Includes all three dates:
Audio CD of Thur, Aug 27, 2009 (90 Minutes)
Audio CD of Thur, Sep 17, 2009 (90 Minutes)
Audio CD of Thur, Oct 22, 2009 (90 Minutes)

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Disclaimer: participation in this seminar does not create an attorney-client relationship with the speakers