Lataif, LLC Announces Office Relocation

Lataif, LLC is very pleased to announce the relocation of our Boston office, effective immediately, to:  

858 Washington Street

Suite 301

Dedham, MA 02026

tel: (781) 686-1449

fax: (781) 686-1643


Our new office is more convenient for our clients and visitors. We are now located just off of I-95 with unlimited, free parking. The Bank of America branch in the lobby is an added convenience.


Our email addresses and cell phone numbers remain unchanged, however please make note of our new address and office numbers above.


For those of you in the New England area, we look forward to meeting with you in our new office. For clients outside of New England and outside the United States, we have posted photos below.


We look forward to continuing to serve our immigration clients worldwide.

Main Office

LPL Wall



Waiting Room



Office Entrance

Conference Room

Reentry Permits: How Not to Lose the Green Card


One of the biggest myths about the green card is that once an individual has obtained it they can make unlimited trips outside of the U.S., so long as the individual does not stay outside of the U.S. for a trip lasting longer than 6 months.


Unfortunately, many individuals find out that this is not the case only when confronted by a customs official at the U.S. border. A green card holder can be detained and questioned for hours at a time and ultimately have their green card confiscated. At that point they are either able to agree to the confiscation and enter the U.S. as a visitor, or fight the confiscation and be allowed into the U.S. for a determination of whether they abandoned their U.S. residence in Immigration Court.


This problem often arises for business executives and scientists who have international business and research concerns requiring extensive travel or temporary assignments abroad. It can also be a problem for green card holders who need to care for sick or elderly family members outside the U.S. As globalization and ease of international travel have increased this issue has become common.


The solution for green card holders planning on being outside of the United States for significant periods of time is to apply for a reentry permit. A reentry permit is initially granted for a period of two years and can be renewed for one or two year periods at the discretion of USCIS. There is no limit for the number of renewal reentry permits a green card holder can apply for.


A green card holder applying for a reentry permit must file the application while they are in the United States, but is not required to remain in the United States while the reentry permit is adjudicated. Applicants are also required to be photographed and fingerprinted before the reentry permit can be issued.


A reentry permit does not shield a green card holder from questioning at the border regarding the length of their absence, but it does prevent the length of the absence from being the sole criteria used for deeming that the green card holder has abandoned their U.S. residence.


The reentry permit coupled with evidence of residence within the United States can prevent confiscation of the green card at the border.  It is an essential tool that provides peace of mind, for green card holders who must spend significant amounts of time outside the United States.




The Green Card Lottery: A 50 Cent Gamble


The green card lottery is an annual program run by the State Department since 1990 randomly allocating 50,000 green cards to individuals from countries that have a low rate of immigration to the United States. It is officially known as the Diversity Visa Program.


The program is not without controversy and has been an opposed by Republicans and supported by Democrats.


This year registration opened on October 1, 2013 and remains open until November 2, 2013. There is no cost to participate and the requirements are minimal. An applicant must have a high school education or its equivalent or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years' training or experience.


Natives of the following countries are excluded this year from applying, because they have sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the past five years:


  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China (mainland-born)
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
  • Vietnam


Applicants can apply for the lottery from anywhere in the world, and can reapply every year.



If an individual "wins" the lottery they have an approximately 50% chance of getting the green card because  twice as many people are selected than there are visas available in order to meet the full visa quota. Winning applicants can bring their spouse and children under the age of 21 with them to the United States.


This program is particularly useful for individuals who wish to come to the United States but do not have the possibility of family or employer sponsorship. It is advisable if a married couple is applying, for both spouses to register separately because if either is selected they will be able to bring their spouse. Since the repeal of DOMA same-sex spouses are also now eligible to accompany their spouse to the United States.

The Government Shutdown and Immigration


The agencies handling immigration matters under the Department of Homeland Security are largely unaffected by the government shutdown.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is open for business for all fee for service activities. This means that applications and interviews for various benefits including the green card and naturalization are moving forward.


Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) is also continuing its detention and enforcement operations.


Meanwhile, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) or Immigration Court, which is under the auspices of the Justice Department, is only handling removal cases for individuals who are in custody. Removal cases for individuals who are not detained are being continued or held in abeyance.


The Washington Post has a great round up of how other government agencies are impacted by the shutdown.

Immigration Debated, Not Much Said


President Obama and Governor Romney addressed immigration in a debate setting for the first time Tuesday night. The transcript of their remarks can be found at ABC News Univision , and further coverage and commentary can be found from the New York Times, Washington Post, ImmigrationProf Blog, Colorlines, Greg Siskind, and the Huffington Post.


The National Journal reports that of all the topics hitting twitter during the debate immigration had the largest response. This is not surprising given the lack of attention the issue has gotten in the current election cycle. However, I hardly think this is surprising due to the rather sad state of the U.S. economy.


At any rate, I didn’t find anything either candidate said that surprising or compelling. Both began with the oft used “we are a nation of immigrants” and touted their desire to streamline the system, secure the border, and fix illegal immigration.


I would be impressed if either candidate presented a vision for an immigration system that is compatible with today’s global reality.


Missing from the immigration conversation is that the US is bleeding entrepreneurs due to the byzantine labyrinthine immigration system. Missing was attention paid to legal immigrants who have spent thousands of dollars on filing fees, legal fees and played the immigration waiting game for years in order to come here legally. Missing was acknowledgement that Americans do not have a desire to live in a society where we are constantly asked for our “papers.” Anyone who thinks this burden would not fall disproportionately on Latinos and other minority groups are kidding themselves – perpetual paper showing is not a hallmark of a free society. The headaches this mentality causes is on display in Georgia where residents in need of professional licenses are experiencing massive delays in renewing and obtaining new licenses due to new proof of legal presence in the U.S. requirements.


Victor Johnson at NAFSA sums it up well:


The truth is, today’s world of global mobility bears little resemblance to where we were generations ago when the basic structure of U.S. immigration law was created. We need a new, sustainable national policy now. NAFSA supports comprehensive immigration reform that is based on facts, fairness, and a shared future. True comprehensive reform must address the three pillars of border security and enforcement, broad visa reform, and resolution of undocumented persons.


I hope whoever is elected in November is able to move beyond talking points and craft a practical and just solution.