Legal Services

ASIA's Legal Department provides comprehensive immigration legal services to low– and moderate-income immigrants and refugees across Ohio.

We offer statewide services and consultations from our offices in Northeast Ohio. Additionally, we provide interpreters for those whose primary language isn't English.* Our services include:

  • Consular processing;
  • Applying for U.S. citizenship or Naturalization certificate;
  • Applying for or renewing a green card;
  • Applying for Employment Authorization Document;
  • Applying for travel documents/reentry permits;
  • Immigration case follow-up with USCIS representation;
  • Family-based immigration case including fiancee visas (K-visa);
  • Humanitarian immigration benefits including Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), self-petitions, U/T visas; and more
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* Note: We cannot pay for interpreters for clients, but we have the resources to request interpreters when needed/requested.

Legal Programs

IMMIGRATION ADVOCACY & POLICY EXPERIENCE

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Citizenship & Immigration

SERVICES & RESOURCES

ASIA's Legal Department offers tools, educational opportunities, and counsel to help New Americans address their challenges with immigration and citizenship.

One of the general eligibility requirements of becoming a U.S. citizen stipulates that the applicant must be able to speak, read, write and understand the English language and have knowledge of U.S. government and history.  However, this eligibility requirement may be a prohibitive obstacle for legal permanent residents (LPRs) who are elderly, low-income, low-literate or illiterate, limited English proficient (LEP), and/or have a disability.

ASIA has created the information sheets below to provide information regarding options available to vulnerable LPRs pursuing their pathway to U.S. citizenship:

MATERIALS IN TRANSLATION

*The services described above in this webpage are supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Grant Award Number 2011-CS-010-000035.  The views and conclusions contained in this webpage are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this webpage.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

U.S. Citizenship | Information

Documents: Citizenship & Study Materials

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)has a new Multilingual Resource Center which contains all materials offered in foreign languages. The following resources are excerpted from the USCIS website:

To learn how to apply for U.S. citizenship, click here.

To download the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, click here.

Study materials for the English Test, click here. (Helpful videos, publications and practice tests are available)

A Guide to Naturalization, click here.

To download the Instructions for N-400, click here.

Naturalization Practice Test for Civil Portion for Ohio residents (97 multiple choice questions), click here.

Bilingual Citizenship Preparation | Classes

Funded by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), ASIA, Inc. offers bilingual and English citizenship classes throughout Northeast Ohio. Eligible Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) are encouraged to apply for the class.

As a participant, ASIA, Inc. can additionally provide legal assistance with the naturalization process. The six-week course prepares students to take the oral and written ctizenship test and classes are available at various locations throughout Northeast Ohio. As a student, you will learn about American history, how the U.S. government operates, and practice the 100 civics question for the naturalization test. The program

For more information, please contact Bhim Sharma at 216-881-0330 (ilsadmin@asiaohio.org).

*The project works in partnership with Cleveland Catholic Charities’ Office of Migration and Refugee ServicesCommunity Legal Aid and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

Bilingual Citizenship Preparation | Flyer

Asian Language Hotlines | List

DAPA & DACA Asian-Language Hotlines

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles can answer questions about the new DAPA and DACA programs through their Asian language hotlines, which also offer assistance in the following areas of law: family, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights. Those interested in receiving information as it becomes available email immrelief@advancingjustice-la.org.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals | Information

DACA Guides & Background Materials

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been accepting “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) applications since August 15, 2012.  DACA-eligible individuals are also known as ‘DREAMers’.

DACA FAQ (Immigration Equality)
What is DACA, who is eligible, what eligible youth can do next

DACA FAQs

USCIS Guides: How Do I Request Consideration for DACA?

Avoid Scams Against Immigrants

Avoiding Scams

Use these Federal Trade Commission (FTC) resources to spot and avoid scams against immigrants, and find the right kind of help. 

Resources available in English, Español, 中文, 한국어, and kreyòl ayisyen:

Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest

Translated Materials on the MAVNI Program

The MAVNI program which allows certain legal, non-citizen to enlist in the Army and apply for expedited citizenship without obtaining a green card. Eligible individuals may participate in MAVNI through one of two tracks: 1) Language Recruits; and 2) Healthcare Professionals.

Data on New Americans | Information

Task Force on New Americans Campaign Release

White House released translated fact sheets about the report from the Task Force on New Americans in the following languages: EnglishSpanishSimplified ChineseTraditional ChineseVietnameseKoreanTagalog

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Green Card

APPLICATIONS & SUPPORT

Having a Green Card (officially known as a Permanent Resident Card) allows you to live and work permanently in the United States.

ABE

ASIA's work is supported by a generous grant from American Bar Endowment's Opportunity Fund.

The steps you must take to apply for a Green Card will vary depending on your individual situation. Each year, through its Immigration Legal Services Program, ASIA, Inc. hundreds of AAPIs with low or no-cost immigration legal services, including, renewing a green card. The USCIS Form I-485 is used by immigrants and refugees who are already in the US to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status, also known as a “Green Card”.

Our lawyers work with clients their application process. These services are free, or available at low cost, to eligible applicants. Through ASIA, Inc.’s Interpretation and Translation Services, ASIA, Inc. has access to translators who are trained in translating legal documents. Notify our team that you are seeking legal help and we will schedule you an appointment with an attorney.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

American Bar Endowment | Grant Announcement

ASIA, Inc. Selected To Provide Critical Legal Services To Advance The American Justice System

 

APRIL 6, 2019

Asian Services In Action, Inc (ASIA, Inc.) is pleased to announce a grant from the American Bar Endowment (ABE) that will expand the capacity of its legal services program to assist specifically with green card application, a process which is undergoing substantial changes. 

The USCIS Form I-485 is used by immigrants and refugees who are already in the U.S. to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status, also known as a “Green Card.”. In 2017, this form was expanded from 5 pages to 18 pages. The expanded form is much more difficult to complete and contains complex legal concepts that may not be familiar or easily explainable to limited-English proficient (LEP) applicants. All LPR applicants are required to complete an in-person interview with a USCIS representative after submitting their Form I-485. Interpreters for these interviews are permitted, but not provided by USCIS. 

Because the expanded Form I-485 is new, very few translations of the questions and instructions are available to assist attorneys, BIA-accredited representatives, and interpreters as they work with LEP individuals to understand and properly respond to the application’s questions. Through the American Bar Endowment’s Opportunity Fund, ASIA, Inc. will develop simplified instructions for the I-485 form and translate the form and instructions into five high-demand languages, currently anticipated to include Nepali, Burmese, Mon, Arabic, and Kinyarwanda.

In addition to being used directly by ASIA, Inc.’s Legal Services staff to assist immigrants and refugees completing and submitting the LPR application across Ohio, ASIA, inc. will freely distribute this to its network of local, regional, and national partners. In Northeast Ohio, ASIA, Inc. partners directly with immigration legal service providers at Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland’s Migration and Refugee Services, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Community Legal Aid (Akron), and Building Hope in the City. Across the State, ASIA, Inc. has immigrant and refugee-serving partners in all major metropolitan cities including Columbus, Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati. Nationally, ASIA, Inc. is connected through funding collaboratives such as Asian Americans Advancing Justice, American Immigration Lawyer’s Association, National CAPACD, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, and more. By creating a digital version of the translated document, ASIA, Inc. will be able to efficiently distribute the document for use by partners across the country.

Over the next five years, these translated application questions have the potential to benefit tens of thousands of low-income, limited English proficient refugees and immigrants who are seeking U.S. citizenship after arriving from impoverished and war-torn countries. ASIA, Inc. is grateful to the American Bar Endowment (ABE) for its support through the American Bar Endowment’s Opportunity Fund.

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Victims of Crime

SERVICES & RESOURCES

ASIA received a 2-year Enhancing Access to Services Program Grant from the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to provide legal services to crime victims experiencing crimes other than domestic violence and sexual assault.

This funding expands ASIA’s culturally appropriate, linguistically specific, trauma-informed legal services for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)and other immigrant victims of crime. The Legal Services Department at ASIA can now provide legal services for victims of most crimes, including but not limited to victims of:

  • Theft
  • Property Crimes such as Robbery, Burglary, and Vandalism
  • Elder Fraud and Abuse
  • Hate and Bias Crimes

ASIA continues to offer services related to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and sex trafficking – which gives ASIA the ability to provide a more comprehensive and holistic menu of services.

MATERIALS IN TRANSLATION

If you witnessed or were the target of a hate crime, report it here.

*This website content was produced by Asian Services in Action, Inc. under grant number 2018-V3-GX-K055, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website content are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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LEP

LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY

SERVICES & RESOURCES

This section provides resources that highlight the rights of LEP persons and responsibilities of federally conducted and assisted programs to overcome language barriers so that their services are equally accessible to limited English proficient individuals.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Limited English Proficiency | Resources & Tools

LEP Resources

This page includes documents pertaining to persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) from OCR, other federal resources and other organizational resources. It helps persons who are unable to communicate effectively in English because their primary language is not English and they have not developed fluency in the English language. This pages provides resources for effective communication and also the effective communication skills in hospitals. Information on OCR’s work in the area of nondiscrimination on the basis of national origin can be found at www.hhs.gov/ocr/nationalorigin.

Choosing a Language Access Provider | Guide

Barriers to Access for Immigrant and Refugee Women

Choosing a Language Access Provider (Download PDF)

From the Federal Interagency Working Group on LEP, this resource provides guidelines and tips when choosing and working with a contract third-party language provider.
As most organizations do not have enough bi-lingual staff to accommodate all language assistance needs, utilizing a third-party language provider is an effective solution in working with LEP persons.

Dept. of Justice Materials | Brochures

Department of Justice: Publications of Interest

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in English and Spanish
  • Federal Protections Against National Origin Discrimination in 17 languages
  • What Federal Agencies and Federally Assisted Programs Should Know About Providing Services to LEP Individuals
  • Language Access Know Your Rights Beneficiary Brochures in 10 languages
Executive Order 13166 | Overview & Guide

Executive Order 13166

Overview of Executive Order 13166

From the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, this resource provides a brief overview of Executive Order 13166 which states that LEP persons should not be excluded from receiving public services due to language barriers. Programs that receive federal financial assistance must ensure their services are accessible to all eligible persons, including those with limited e=English proficiency.

Executive Order 13166 LEP Resource Document: Tips and Tools from the field (Download PDF)
Also from the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, this is a great resource for organizations seeking to improve the accessibilty of their services for LEP individuals. This document provides various tips and tools that can help as a guide for organizations or other federally assisted programs in their process of implementing an effective language access system to comply with Executive Order 13166.

Federal Citizen Multilingual Gateway | Translated

Federal Citizen Multilingual Gateway (Translated materials)
This resource provides a wealth of federal resources that are translated in 87 languages. These federal resources include civil rights and laws, employment information, educational materials, food assistance programs, health and saftey programs, and a range of other important topics.

Increasing Access to Justice for LEP AAPIs| Report

Increasing Access to Justice for LEP Asian Pacific Americans
The purpose of this report from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is to identify the importance of improving language access in the national court system to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with limited english proficiency.

All resources cited at www.lep.gov. Please visit this informational website for more resources.

Allies in the quest for immigration rights.