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Do you really need an attorney to apply for asylum in the United States? The simplest, correct answer is ‘No.’

Now, let’s ask the question in a slightly different way by adding one little word.

Do you really need an attorney to successfully apply for asylum in the United States? Now the simplest, correct answer is ‘Yes.’

Seeking asylum: hope and reality

As living conditions in various countries around the world become more difficult because of nationalistic, ethnic, and religious persecution, more and more people are seeking a safe haven for themselves and their families.

The unfortunate reality is that there are more people seeking asylum than there are safe haven countries willing or able to take them in. Every country has to measure and know their capability of taking in refugees without endangering the welfare and security of its residents.

Any well-meaning asylum-seeker hopes to find a safe place for their family to call home and enjoy a peaceful existence. The fact that countries offer asylum indicates that they understand the perspectives and needs of the asylum-seekers.

Nonetheless, each country has established procedures by which they determine the veracity of the asylum claim and also which admissions are in the overall best interests of the country. This slight differential of interests between the seeker and their preferred country of asylum becomes problematic only when the number of seekers overwhelmingly outnumber the number of civil servants required to process all the applications in a timely manner.

Applying for asylum: hope and facts

When you consider the already complex and detailed process, the asylum offices and courts cannot afford to squander their time handling cases with incomplete and inaccurately prepared documents. The unfortunate result of appearing in an Immigration Office or Court without adequate preparation is that it will not end well for the asylum-seeker. More than likely, the applicant will be deported.

Statistics prove an applicant with a licensed Immigration Attorney is five times more likely to be granted admission to the United States than a person acting on their own or using translators, paralegals, or other advisors.


Consulting with an Attorney before applying for asylum also increases the chances for success. We understand that this is not always possible. That doesn’t mean that an applicant should not hire an Attorney later. It actually means that the need to hire one later becomes significantly more important.

A good Immigration Attorney will help prepare the petition for asylum, ensure that all of the documentary evidence of the case is immediately available, and will counsel the candidate on how to respond properly to questions asked during their interview with the immigration authorities.

A reputable Attorney will also accompany his or her client to the interview to help ensure success. In the event that the client’s request is denied at the interview, the Attorney would also prepare the case for appeal and accompany the client to the hearing.

If you or someone you know wants asylum in the U.S., be sure to secure the services of a professional, licensed Immigration Attorney who is familiar with the laws and the immigration process.


Immigration Attorneys of ACS Law Offices are multilingual, including Chinese and Russian. They have over 100 years of combined experience and expertise. We are available to review your situation and advise you on the best and right way to resolve your tenuous status.


Published in Asylum

SAN FRANCISCO - Dr. Gregory Finkelson announced that American Corporate Services Law Offices, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, has added their third California location at 402 West Broadway, Suite 400, San Diego 92101. The company’s other California locations are in San Francisco and Sacramento.

American Corporate Services Law Offices, Inc. Announces New Office in Downtown San Diego

American Corporate Services has provided immigration and business consultation for over 7,000 clients since its founded in 1991. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company currently has branches in Sacramento and representative offices in Eastern Europe and China.

ACS Law Offices specialize in immigration, corporate law, and international tax planning. Services include the company formation in the U.S. and offshore locations, corporate law, legalization of documents, USA and offshore banking and international tax planning.

The company’s multi-lingual staff provides legal consultation and guidance to help clients determine the most appropriate type of visas for themselves and their families, legal structure for their company, to trademark or patent products and services, and to review contracts, employment agreements, NDAs, and whatever other legal support and documentation is necessary.

American Corporate Services Law Offices, Inc. Announces New Office in Downtown San Diego

Dr. Finkelson told reporters that “The need for Immigration Attorneys in San Diego is growing rapidly as more and more people understand the need to immigrate legally. Our country is not trying to keep people out. There is a process. It is not always the same for every individual, so it takes the expertise of experienced attorneys. The attorneys at ACS Law Offices have a combined experience of more than 100 years.”

He added, “We want to help people come to the United States legally, whether as a student, an employee, an employer, an investor, a refugee, or an asylum seeker. We understand the complexities of the law that each immigrant must face. An office in San Diego will make us more accessible to potential clients entering the U.S. via the Mexican border.”

Published in News

WASHINGTON, DC – The Justice Department announced on Thursday, May 17, 2018, that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ruled to foreclose the practice of Administrative Closure by Immigration Judges.

That ruling has raised the hue and cry from advocates and opponents to the ruling. Our purpose is to neither advocate nor oppose, but to explain what the ruling means and why it was imposed.

What Is Foreclosure?

Most people are familiar with the term “foreclosure” associate it with a practice that lending institutions use when homeowners fall in arrears on their mortgage payments. In a more general legal sense, applicable here, foreclosure means “to hinder or prevent.” In this case, the Attorney General’s ruling prevents Immigration Judges from exercising Administrative Closure.

What Is Administrative Closure?

Administrative Closure is a procedure by which an Immigration Judge may temporarily remove low-priority cases from the court docket. Typically, a low-priority case is one in which the defendant appealing deportation has been in the United States for an extended time and has not engaged in known criminal activity. Many of the cases also involve situations where the defendant fails to appear for his or her hearing.

Administrative Closure allows the judges to focus on high-priority cases, especially those involving known criminals.

Why Do Some People Agree with the Attorney General’s Decision?

Generally, those people believe that temporarily preventing discretionary Administrative Foreclosure will, indeed, allow Immigration Judges to focus on processing the most-likely candidates for deportation. This aligns with the administration’s agenda to find and return illegal immigrant gang members and law-breakers to their homelands.

In addition, proponents believe that the failure to adjudicate a case temporarily ends up with the case never being heard at all. They believe that using Administrative Closure simply because the respondent fails to appear (which may or may not be happening) may allow some of the criminal element to remain in the U.S. illegally.

Why Do Some People Disagree with the Attorney General’s Decision?

Generally, these people take one of two primary positions. The first is the claim that the administration is trying to turn the Immigration Courts into a “deportation machine.”

The other is that some believe that denying a respondent’s opportunity to move his or her hearing to a later date infringes upon the individual’s right to a speedy hearing.

There may also be some concern that this temporary foreclosure could become permanent.

The Problem Is the Backlog of Cases

It has become apparent that, because of the use of Administrative Closure, the actual number of cases requiring adjudication may be much higher than what had been reported by the previous administration because of failure to accurately report the number of cases in Administrative Closure.

The backlog of cases waiting to be heard was 212,000 at the beginning of 2006. By 2015, the backlog had increased to 437,000 cases with a median processing time of 404 days.

How this falls out remains to be seen. Attorney General Sessions is attempting to get all pending cases adjudicated. The unintended consequences may be that the backlog will, at least statistically, increase and that respondents who have no legal representation may find themselves being unwillingly exited from the United States.

The attorneys at American Corporate Services Law Offices, Inc. understand the complexities of U.S. Immigration Law and are highly skilled at ensuring that our clients are fully equipped to understand the process and prepared to succeed with their petitioning process as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you are notified that you must appear before an Immigration Court, we urge you to contact our Law Offices immediately for assistance.

Published in Immigration
Friday, 08 September 2017 14:44

Do You Need an Immigration Lawyer?


The next thing I’d like to discuss is: do you need a lawyer?

Well, naturally I think you need a lawyer because I make money, so I want you to have a lawyer, particularly me!

But, seriously speaking though, sometimes you need one, sometimes you don’t. Usually I think you do. But whatever you do, be very careful… if you’re seeking legal advice, do not go to somebody who is not a lawyer who claims to be giving you legal advice; do not go to an immigration consultant.

They’re not attorneys, and a lot of the business I get, a lot of the money I make comes from mistakes that are made by so-called “immigration consultants” who give you the wrong advice, who basically screw you up and you get to be in a very difficult situation. So, if there’s one thing I can tell you whether to see a lawyer or not, my advice is see a lawyer rather than an immigration consultant because an immigration lawyer will have the requisite, the necessary experience to give you advice.

For example; I’ve been in practice for 40 years… most lawyers I know have been in practice for ten or twenty years, they know immigration law, they’re members of the American immigration lawyers association and this is… they specialize in this type of law and they are not going to tell you then have a professional responsibility basically not to give you completely wrong advice. Sometimes lawyers make mistakes, not everybody has 100% success rate, but I would go to a lawyer if I were you then ask them what kind of success rate they have, what kind of law they specialize in – lawyers are pretty eager to tell you.

I’m often asked, ‘do you win 100% of your cases?’

Of course not. Nobody wins 100% of their cases, and if they tell you they do, be very careful – they’re probably not telling the truth.

A good lawyer will probably win most of his or her cases and will give you the best advice. One thing: a good lawyer… if you’re thinking about lying and you want the lawyer to be part of your ‘scheme’, so to speak, a reputable lawyer will not do this.

If somebody comes to me and says, ‘my marriage is a fake marriage, but I want to get a green card and I want you to be my lawyer’ I would say, ‘thank you, good bye, I’m not going to take the case, I cannot take the case because I value my law license in California, I value my license to practice anywhere in the United States and I will not take a case where I know the case is a fake case’.

No good lawyer, no professional lawyer will ever take a case that he feels is not a valid case, not a real case. Even beyond that: look for a lawyer who is experienced, look for a lawyer who has a lot of immigration cases.

There is nothing wrong with asking a lawyer, ‘how many years of experience have you had? How much experience in immigration cases have you had? And what type of immigration cases are you experienced in? Are you experienced in marriage cases? Deportation cases? Asylum cases?’

Some lawyers will specialize in one or two of these, some lawyers will do all of them but make sure the lawyer is experienced.

Don’t put any money down if you’re paying a non-lawyer, it’s just not worth it. I make money because the non-lawyer is likely to make a mistake. They may charge you less money but you’re probably going to have to go to a lawyer to try and rectify or to try and correct the mistake.

This is an extremely difficult situation. California, where I practice is considering placing limitations on legal consultants who are not lawyers. It will probably be passed next year that every legal consultant must be supervised by a lawyer, and this is better because it will negate, it will prevent fraud. There’s so much fraud in legal consultants, particularly for people who speak primarily Spanish, or people who speak primarily Chinese, they don’t know the difference.

For example; in Russia, in China, the title Notary Public is an important position. So if somebody is a Notary Public or a Notarius, they’re considered to be an expert in the law. In the United States, being a Notary Public is not important at all – anybody can study for a month to be a Notary Public to be able to sign papers. It does not mean that you’re an expert in law or basically that you’re an expert in anything. Judge yourself, I can’t advise you that you always need a lawyer in all cases – sometimes you won’t have the money.

If you think it’s a simple case, if you’re in love with your American citizen, your husband or wife that your marrying, it’s a first marriage for both of you – then you may not need a lawyer but you’ll still have to be careful.

Look for those danger spots… what is a danger spot? Well, for example, I have a 30 year old Russian who comes to the United States and marries a 65 year old American. The age difference of 30 or 35 years is certainly going to attract the attention of the immigration department in the interview. Does it mean you cannot be in love with somebody 30 years older than you? No it doesn’t, but there’s the likelihood that it will be investigated, so that’s the type of situation where you would definitely need a lawyer to advise you. Okay, I think I said most of the points. Thank you very much.

Published in Immigration
Monday, 07 August 2017 15:07

Top 3 Tips For New US Immigrants

For Foreign Investors, the EB-5 Program Is a Great Option

Instead of traditional employment visas, high net-worth immigrants, often from China Mainland, Vietnam, South Korea, and India, are increasingly using the EB-5 visa. For foreign nationals, involving themselves in the investment visa EB-5 can often be the most efficient way to a new American life for their family. With minimum capital investments of $500,000, families of the investors can get conditional green cards within several years after filing their I-526 petitions. Similar programs exist in other developed countries, but they can require up to three-four times as much capital and have more restrictions; the program remains at its most popular in the United States. Prospects for the program look good. Despite Trump’s hard-line talk on illegal immigration, he is a strong supporter of legal routes like the EB-5 Program. Dr. Finkelson has become well acquainted with these EB-5 visa developments, and he has written a book to educate those interested in EB-5: How to Find Chinese Investors, Agents & Clients for Your EB-5 Projects & Services, A Practical Guide for Regional Centers, Attorneys, Developers and Businessmen - http://biz-visa-usa.com/how-to-find-chinese-investors

Seeking Asylum Can be a Complicated Process

Applying for asylum is a route open to many immigrants in their first year of living in the United States, even if they are in the country illegally. However, immigration laws related to asylum are complicated, the system is overtaxed, and the process can take from 3 to 7, and sometimes, 9 years in an immigration court. Asylum seekers can also be subject to detention if they apply on the Mexican-USA border. For these reasons, Dr. Finkelson recommends that any person seeking asylum should speak with an experienced immigration attorney before attempting to apply and enter the process. The best option is to start working with your USA licensed immigration attorney before leaving your country. In such case, your story and your supporting documentation will be prepared well in advance. Gregory Finkelson also stresses the importance of getting an attorney who speaks your language. “Most American attorneys, born in the USA, can’t understand what it means to be fleeing Putin’s dictatorial regime, Jehovah’s Witnesses persecution or LGBT hounding in Russia, a real war in Ukraine, Tibetan refugees, or organ harvesting in China. We do understand, 100%.”

Deportation Prospects Haven’t Changed as Much as We May Think

Under United States Law, any immigrant in the country illegally is technically subject to deportation. The reality for illegal immigrants is quite different. Dr. Finkelson notes that cost of deporting an illegal immigrant can be up to $23,000. With 11,000,000 illegal immigrants in the United States, it is beyond impossible to account for everyone. Despite President Trump’s strong rhetoric, immigration enforcement’s focus has primarily been on immigrants that are deemed to pose a national security risk. This can include those who have committed crimes or abused public benefit programs. For many, the attitude of enforcement may simply be: “We have bigger fish to fry.” Still, the anxiety of deportation can be ameliorated if the proper routes are taken toward a legal residence. Dr. Finkelson leaves us with some words of encouragement to those seeking the American Dream. “Don’t waste your time playing the ‘Green Card Lottery’, don’t wait for the miracle, don’t delay. Contact your experienced immigration attorney today."

Published in Immigration

Dr. Gregory Finkelson

Immigration is a hot-button topic in 2017. However, despite constant media exposure, facts often get lost in the chaos of emotionally charged political debates. While constant controversy surrounds the Mexican border and the Syrian refugee crisis, the chief concern for most American immigrants is simple confusion on how to navigate the bewildering immigration process. To gain a better understanding, we caught up with Dr. Gregory Finkelson, President of American Corporate Services, Inc. Law Office.

Since moving to the United States from the USSR in 1991, Finkelson has acquainted himself with the fields of immigration and corporate law and helped over 7,000 clients through his San Francisco based legal & consulting firm. Much of the firm, including Dr. Finkelson, are 1st generation immigrants themselves, which has given them a unique bond with those they serve. Finkelson explains: “Most American attorneys, born in the USA, can’t understand what it means to be fleeing Putin’s dictatorial regime, Jehovah’s Witnesses persecution or LGBT hounding in Russia, a real war in Ukraine, Tibetan refugees, or organ harvesting in China. We do understand, 100%.” Dr. Finkelson’s background in the USSR was in engineering, but the salary for skilled workers at the time was small, and, as a Jew, he faced frequent anti-Semitism. He first began transitioning toward business during Gorbachev’s perestroika period, eventually moving to the USA to pursue his Doctoral degree.

The common understanding forged between Finkelson and his clients is essential to the process, he explains. “Let me give a piece of advice to immigrants, deal only with USA licensed immigration attorneys who speak your language.” At American Corporate Services, Inc. Law Office, the team has members who speak both Russian and Chinese. Strong communication is important, as the stakes can be high for asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants. Just a small slip-up, such as a missed court hearing, can cause a judge to give an unfavorable decision. “Immigration laws are complicated, the system is overtaxed, and the process is lengthy. For these reasons, we advise any person seeking asylum, or any other USA visa, to speak with an experienced immigration attorney before attempting to apply to enter the process.”

Finkelson makes other suggestions to help these groups on his web pages. For instance, he recommends that asylum seekers seek legal representation before attempting to enter the US, allowing them to be represented at detention centers or court hearings. He also lists statistics that help set the record straight in the midst of so much political hyperbole. “From the likely perspective of the average American citizen, the term ‘illegal immigrant’ refers to Mexicans or potential terrorists. Yet, the truth is an entirely different story.” He highlights other groups of undocumented immigrants, including ethnic Hungarians at risk of being deported to a country highlighted by amnesty international for lackluster human rights. Through working with an immigration law firm like American Corporate Services, Inc. Law Office, an undocumented Hungarian can stay in the country for 5-7 years as their petition as reviewed. They can also obtain work authorization in about 5 months.

Despite the high stakes, Finkelson retains an optimistic outlook. For instance, he points out that a wholesale deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants would cost over 100 trillion dollars. He also doesn’t think that the publicized nativism seen so often seen in political discourse should discourage people from seeking the American dream. “The earlier you move your family to the USA, the more thankful your children will be to your decision. Don’t waste your time playing the ‘Green Card Lottery’, don’t wait for the miracle, don’t delay.” To him, America still is synonymous with the land of opportunity. We couldn’t agree more and are thankful that Finkelson and his San Francisco based team of immigration attorneys are now in the States, fighting the good fight to keep it that way.

Published in Immigration
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