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Legal Services

To implement the Church’s commitment to social justice and its emphasis on “welcoming the stranger,” Hogar’s Legal Services program has as its mission to offer immigration legal assistance at a reduced rate to those who could not afford it otherwise.  Hogar's Legal Services program aims to reunite families separated due to their immigration status and to assist people in obtaining immigration status so that they can work legally and provide for their families.

Group at CapitalThe Legal Services team provides assistance with the following types of cases, among others:

  • Adjustment of Status
  • Consular Processing
  • Fiancé Petitions
  • FOIA Requests
  • Immigration Court Representation
  • Immigration Interview Representation
  • Legal Permanent Residency Card Renewals (I-90)
  • NACARA
  • Naturalization
  • Relative Petitions
  • Removal of Conditions (I-751)
  • Requests for Evidence (RFEs)
  • TPS
  • U-Visa
  • VAWA

At this time, Hogar is not accepting the following types of new cases: Asylum, Detention, or Labor Certification.  If you require these services, please see our referral lists below.

Please note that we can not provide legal advice over the phone, by e-mail, or via the Internet.  If you would like to discuss your case with a Hogar immigration caseworker (staff attorney or BIA-accredited representative), please visit our office during intake.


INTAKE

Hogar Legal Services will be opening for new cases effective May 1st, 2012!

AS OF MAY 1ST, WE WILL BE SEEING NEW AND RETURNING CLIENTS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY!
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WE WILL NOT HAVE “WALK-IN” HOURS ON TUESDAYS OR THURSDAYS ANYMORE.  AFTER MAY 1ST, PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE OFFICE WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT AS WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEE YOU IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN APPOINTMENT.
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TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, PLEASE CALL HOGAR’S MAIN NUMBER ON OR AFTER APRIL 16TH:  
703-534-9805

* If you are a returning client, you may call the main number and ask to speak directly to your case worker, or, if you get our voicemail message, dial the 3-digit extension of your case worker. If you are a returning client and do not know who your case worker is, please call the main number.  If your call is not answered immediately, please leave a voice message and we will return your call as soon as possible. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE DURING HOGAR’S TRANSITION!!

So that the Hogar immigration caseworker may provide you with the best service and most accurate advice, it is important to bring to Intake as much documentation and information about your case as possible Such documentation may include:  

  • Passport
  • I-94 form (if any)
  • Copies of any applications, petitions, or other materials which you have filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly INS)
  • Copies of all correspondence that you have received from USCIS
  • Court records, civil and/or criminal (if applicable)
  • Birth and/or marriage certificates
  • Divorce papers (if applicable)

We also encourage you to bring an interpreter if you do not speak English, French, Portuguese or Spanish.

 

NATURALIZATION

Learn more about Hogar Immigrant Services' Naturalization program and what you need to know to become a citizen by going to the Naturalization page.

 

REFERRALS

At this time, Hogar is not accepting the following types of new cases: Asylum, Detention, or Labor Certification.  However, Hogar maintains contact with other legal service providers who are able to assist with these types of cases.  Please click on the appropriate link below to find contact information for one or more of these providers.:

 

CASE STATUS

Individuals may check the status of their pending application by going to the USCIS website.  The only information you will need to enter is your application receipt number (13 characters long starting with three letters).  Applicants may also speak with a Customer Service representative by calling the National Customer Service Center at 1 800-375-5283.

Once a case has been submitted to USCIS, you can discover how long your case will take to be processed. Processing dates are estimates made by USCIS based on their current caseload.  They are dependent on the type of case you have and which center received your application. Make sure you have all this information when you visit the USCIS website.

A "priority date" refers to the initial date an immigration petition was filed.  Each month, the US Department of State releases a Visa Bulletin listing the priority dates of the applications that are currently being processed.  A person’s priority date may be current based on their visa category and their country of birth.  To see if your priority date is current, please visit the website of the US Department of State. 

INFOPASS is a free, easy, and convenient Internet-based system that allows the public to make an appointment to speak with an Immigration Information Officer about a case that has already been filed.  The four reasons to make an INFOPASS appointment are:

  • Order from Immigration Court - If you were directed to us for processing based on an order from the Immigration Judge. You must bring all documents required in the post order instructions given to you by the court. 
  • Case Processing Appointment - If you received a notice to go to your local office for further case processing.
  • EAD inquiry appointment - If your I-765 employment authorization application has been pending for more than 90 days.
  • Case Services follow-up appointment - If it has been over 45 days since you contacted NCSC and have not received a response to your inquiry. You must bring the Service Request ID Number related to your inquiry to the appointment.

For any other questions about the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), please visit the USCIS website.

 

IMPORTANT ADVISORIES

Travel Advisory

Although you may be approved for a travel document or advanced parole to leave the country, you may still encounter a three- or ten-year bar upon re-entry to the United States. It is imperative that you are knowledgeable of your traveling capabilities. Please consult an immigration legal professional about traveling before leaving the country.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is for foreign nationals currently residing in the US whose homeland conditions are recognized by the US government as being temporarily unsafe or overly dangerous to return to (e.g., war, earthquake, flood, drought, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions). TPS does not lead to permanent resident status. Also, TPS alone does not give you the right to travel abroad. As the name indicates, TPS is temporary, granted anywhere from 6-18 months, with extensions.

Should you have any questions, please consult with an attorney.  For more information, consult the USCIS website.

Notarios

In Latin America, a “notario público,” refers to a highly trained attorney who performs many of the services an attorney in the United States does. However, a “notary public” in the United States has a much different role than those in Latin America. They cannot give legal advice to clients. People who exploit this confusion and falsely represent themselves as “notarios” victimize thousands of immigrants.

Common schemes by “notarios” include promising a quick work permit, filing a fraudulent asylum application leading to an order of deportation, filing petitions for people barred by law from getting the benefit they seek and falsely representing to immigrants that they can reduce sentences/convictions. Their practices jeopardize immigrants’ status because they lack substantive knowledge of relevant issues and are often unable to stay abreast of the frequent changes in immigration law.

To read more about choosing a proper legal representative, visit the following link:  www.americanlaw.com/howtochooseuslawyer.html.

 

OTHER HELPFUL LINKS

CATHOLIC LEGAL IMMIGRATION NETWORK (CLINIC) : CLINIC’s mission is to enhance and expand delivery of legal services to indigent and low-income immigrants principally through diocesan immigration
programs and to meet the immigration needs identified by the Catholic Church in the United States.

DETENTION WATCH NETWORK : The Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to educate the public and policy makers about the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for humane reform so that all who come to our shores receive fair and humane treatment.

JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS : This website provides tools and information for diocesan and community-based advocacy efforts.  You will find proposals from the Catholic Bishops to achieve reforms in our nation’s immigration laws and policies that better reflect our values as a nation of immigrants.

NATIONAL IMMIGRATION LAW CENTER: This organization is dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of low income immigrants and their family members and has become a leading expert on immigration, public benefits, and employment laws affecting immigrants and refugees.

NATIONAL IMMIGRATION PROJECT: Established in 1980, the National Immigration Project is a national membership organization of lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers working to defend and expand the rights of all immigrants in the United States.

UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS: Founded in 2001, the USCCB has as its mission "to unify, coordinate, encourage, promote and carry on Catholic activities in the United States; to organize and conduct religious, charitable and social welfare work at home and abroad; to aid in education; to care for immigrants; and generally to enter into and promote by education, publication and direction the objects of its being."

 

VOLUNTEER

Interested in volunteering for the Legal Services Department? Fill out Hogar's Volunteer Application Form and email it to volunteer.hogar@ccda.net or learn more about the volunteer opportunities we have available by clicking here.