Monthly Archives - April 2019

All About the Conrad J-1 Visa Waiver Program

In 1994, Senator Kent Conrad wanted to address the problem that many areas of the country have in trying to gain access to qualified health care professionals to serve the public. Thus, he created the Conrad J1 visa waiver program to do just that. And although the details of this annual program differ by state, the J-1 Visa Waiver Program is still an excellent way for healthcare facilities throughout the country to recruit and retain highly-qualified foreign physicians in certain disadvantaged areas. Here is more information about the program.


All 50 states offer the Conrad 30 program as a way to serve areas of the country that have a problem recruiting healthcare professionals to serve the public. These areas are often rural and the populations close to or at the poverty line. Specifically, the program seeks to allow doctors who have had residency training in family medicine, general obstetrics, general pediatrics, general internal medicine, and general psychiatry serve the public. Moreover, each state’s Department of Health can sponsor up to 30 international medical graduates (IMGs) a year.

J1 Visa Application Process

There are several steps that must be followed in order to obtain J1 Visa Waiver application status. These steps are as follows:

  • Choose an Exchange Visitor Program –There are several kinds of exchange programs including camp counselor, intern, physician, specialist, teacher, professor and research scholar and many others.
  • Determine Eligibility – Anyone applying for the J1 Visa Waiver program must be proficient in English and purchase J1 insurance. Applicants must also undergo an interview.
  • Find a Sponsor- Once the above steps are completed, applicants must find a state department approved sponsor who is authorized to supervise the application process
  • Complete Form DS-2019 – After receiving and application from a program sponsor, the applicant is provided with a DS-2019 form. This form contains information such as sponsor identification, category of exchange, duration of stay including the start and end dates of program, etc.
  • Pay Application Fees – A J1 applicant must pay several fees associated with the process including a program fee, a SEVIS fee and a visa fee.

Required Documentsamerica

An applicant for the J1 Visa Waiver must also submit the following documents as part of the application progress:

  • DS-2019 Form, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status.
  • Form DS-7002
  • Form DS-160
  • Passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the end date of the applicant’s intended stay in the US.
  • A current photograph

Finally, if you have any questions about the J1 Visa Waiver program contact me, attorney Erika Roman. The office of Erika Roman immigration lawyer handles all related issues and offers a free consultation to all who believe they may need my services.


Six Most Immigration Friendly Countries

Ever since President Trump has called for a shift from what currently makes the American immigration system distinct from that of other countries in the world – namely its inclusiveness – people have wondered if America is still the shining beacon of freedom that it was once reputed to be. Sure, every sovereign nation must exert some controls over who enters and leaves its borders, but it should do so in a humane and fair way that preserves human dignity and protects human life. To that end, it’s interesting to look at how some countries’ immigration policies may be even more enlightened when compared to the melting pot.

  • Canada: Canada has long been known as one of the most immigrant friendly countries in the world. Additionally, this northern neighbor has a healthcare system that serves its citizens much better than our does.
  • Australia: This country has a high standard of education and a very relaxed immigration policy. And although the standard of living there is relatively high, it has a high ex-pat community who are more than willing to pay that extra price for living with easy access to healthcare, beautiful scenery and great weather.
  • India: The standard of living may be relatively low, but India ranks rather highly when it comes to immigrant friendly nations. Many people who immigrate there are people who are fleeing from other, less enlightened countries in the region.
  • France: France currently has a population of 64,768,389, 6,684,842 of those peoples are immigrants from other nations. Many of these immigrants come from the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, etc. Moreover, many people immigrate to France from several African nations. Lately, there have been some anti-immigrant sentiments expressed by right-wing factions there but these have eased up in recent months.mexico
  • Mexico: Ironically as immigration policies are getting more severe north of the border it is relatively easy to migrate in the other direction to Mexico. All you need is an FMM Visa – which lasts up to 6 months – and some living expenses. (By the way, the FMM Visa aka tourist visa, can be renewed multiple times.) You can apply for permanent residency via a Mexican Consulate abroad.
  • Panama: Immigration to Panama is relatively easy as long as you are emigrating from a “friendly nation.” Citizens from 50 countries qualify for Panama’s “Friendly Nations Program.”

As an immigration attorney in Oxnard, I am proud to offer my services to those who may feel that their legal situation is otherwise hopeless. An immigration lawyer in Van Nuys is a guide you will need to navigate our complex immigration system especially as it promises to change once again in drastic ways. I will never stop fighting to ensure that our country remains an attainable goal for those who wish to cross our shores in search of shelter.


5 Consequences of Closing of the US/Mexico Border

For more than two years, President Donald Trump has demonstrated a knack for suggesting simple – and some even say dangerous – solutions to extremely complex issues. His latest threat is that he will close the border between the US and Mexico in order to stem the tide of immigration from Mexico and Central American. This latest proposal has drawn fire from experts and interest groups who are weighing in on how this act could be disastrous for people on both sides of the border. Here’s what they say would happen if the border was closed.

  • It would increase illegal border crossings: Closing the US would increase unemployment levels in Mexico. As most people know, economic hardship is one of the primary motivations for immigration.
  • Price surges in the US: Trump’s own Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue, has said that such a move could actually cause price hikes in the US since Mexico is a large exporter of corn, pork and dairy products. Many experts also believe that closing the border would cause other crops to skyrocket in price including tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, squash, eggplant, green beans, mangoes, melons, berries and chili peppers.
  • Border communities and Texans would take an economic hit: According the Texas Association of Business, 1 in 5 jobs are dependent on trade with Mexico. They go on to say that a shutdown would cause nothing short of a crisis for people in that state as well as people in border communities who rely on commerce between the two countries. This pinch would not just be felt among consumers it would also impact truckers and rail cars operator who transport those goods.border
  • It would impinge upon Americans’ right to move about freely: One of the greatest liberties that Americans have is the ability to move about freely throughout this country and to other parts of the world. A border closing would curtail that freedom. Moreover, some US citizens who are now in Mexico would be stuck there. For example, students in border schools and universities wouldn’t be able to get to class — or home.
  • Supply chains would be disrupted: The auto and farming industries would feel the impact of such a closing as their industries closely rely on travel between the two countries. For example, Mexico is the largest source of foreign components for U.S. manufacturers. A disruption of this sort would have long reaching effects for industries already affected by the tariffs against China the administration has already imposed.

It may be impossible to prepare for something as catastrophic as a complete border shutdown would be. Regardless of whether or not the border is closed, immigration rights in Los Angeles and throughout the country will be protected by attorneys like me. I am an immigration attorney in Ventura County who knowledge in all areas of immigration law.


How to Protect Yourself During an Immigration Raid

Immigration raids continue to be a hot button issue in this country as President Donald Trump strives to fulfill his campaign promise of deporting record numbers of immigrants from the United States. However, my office is dedicated to protecting and defending the constitutional and human rights of all persons in the US regardless of their immigration or refugee status. For this reason, we would like to provide with these general tips for protecting yourself during these raids. Keep in mind that the information contained here is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you need more information about this topic or have been the subject of a raid then contact me, Erika Roman, immigration lawyer in Los Angeles.

  • Stay calm: We realize that an unexpected raid by ICE is a very stressful event. However, for your own safety and the safety of all around you should try to remain composed. Do not make sudden movements or attempt to physically resist law enforcement officers as such actions could quickly escalate.
  • Do not open doors: If ICE comes for you at your home remember that you have rights. They cannot enter your premises without a warrant. Ask that they pass the warrant under the door before you letting them in. If they force themselves in then follow the above tip.
  • Look at the warrant’s top signature line: Determine if the warrant was issued by a court and signed by a judge. If it was issued by DHS or ICE or signed by DHS or ICE employees only then they are not allowed to enter your premises.
  • Do not sign anything: Always seek the advice of an attorney before signing anything.immigration arrest
  • Report the raid: Take pictures, videos and make notes when the raid occurs. Also be sure to get names, badge numbers and other details that may come in handy later.
  • Do not lie or show false documents: These actions could come back to harm you if you are taken into custody.
  • Refuse searches: If ICE forcefully enters your home without a warrant calmly assert your right to refuse searches. Say to them, “I do not consent to your entry or to your search of these premises. I am exercising my right to remain silent.” You are also entitled under the Constitution to request a lawyer be present during any and all questioning.
  • Assert your rights if you are detained: Even if you have been detained as a result of a raid you still have rights and should know and assert them. You have the right to contact an attorney. (Neither ICE nor the government are obligated to provide you with one.) You have a right to communicate with your consulate. You have a right to and should remain silent.

All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who know immigration rights in Los Angeles. We know that an ICE raid is scary but it does not mean necessarily mean that your life here has ended and it certainly does not mean that you have somehow lost your basic right as a human being.