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My experience at L.A. Immigration Legal Assistance Project with the LACBA

My experience at L.A. Immigration Legal Assistance Project with the LACBA

Old May 25th 2001, 5:58 am
  #1  
Rina Z.
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We went to the LA Immigration Legal Assistance Project (LACBA) today. We arrived
there at 7:30 a.m. and parked right across the street in a garage parking at the LA
Mall (paid $7.70 for 2 1/4 hours). There was a huge line up outside the building. I
asked an Officer who was outside where I can find the Immigration Legal Assistance
Project. He directed me to the other door, go through the metal detectors and up to
the 3rd Floor(they do search all electronic devices i.e. cell phones, PDA's, etc).
The office is located in Room 3107. There is also a snack bar, instant
passport/immigration photo place that also does faxes and copies and an ATM machine
all on the 3rd floor.

When we arrived, there was only one other person waiting in line. We were the second
ones there. Shortly after two other people came. Their office opens at 8:00 a.m. to
noon and then at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00
p.m. If you are filing AOS,they suggest to get there before 9:00 a.m.

When the office opened we were told to sign in. Shortly after, we were called and
asked what the purpose of our visit was. I explained that I needed to file adjustment
of status, work authorization and advance parole. I wasn't charged the $20
consultation fee since I knew what I needed to do and had all documents with me. It
was a $150.00 fee to fill out the forms. I was then asked to fill out the 'biographic
information' to help the lawyer fill out the forms. Luckily I had already filled this
out. He took all of our documents and forwarded to the lawyer who was completing the
forms on our behalf. We were then called in to the office 8:45 a.m.and she went over
all of the forms and made up copies. We were out of there at
9:30 a.m.

What I brought:
- copy of my birth certificate
- copy of my husband's birth certificate
- copy of my husband's divorce decree
- copy our marriage certificate
- copy of the Approval Notice of the petition
- copy of my passport (canadian passport)
- copy of my I94 card (both sides)
- copy of my visa
- copy of my husband's pay stub (3 most recent)
- copy of my husband's income tax returns (3 most recent)
- US postal services money order in the amounts of: $220 (AOS), $95 (AP), $100 (EAD),
$25 (Fingerprinting fee).
- I had also printed out all of the forms and filled them out as best I can. This was
greatly appreciated since it speeded everything up and helped them out alot.

We were told:
- they will hand deliver everything to INS
- i will receive my EAD within 5-6 weeks and that I can start looking for job.
- i will receive my AP before my departure to Canada on August 24th (if not, I was
given instructions on what to do if I haven't received it 2 weeks prior to my
departure).
- i will need all original documents for the interview. She didn't include any of the
paystubs or the income tax return copies with the affidavit of support. She stated
that it is not needed at this time since we will have to do another affidavit at
the time of the interview and they will require it then.
- the AOS interview is running 2 1/2 years

Other costs:
- $30 for filing advance parole
- $30 for filing AOS

We really recommend those of you who live in the L.A. area to take advantage of this
service. They were a great group of professionals!!!

Hope this helps out!!
 
Old May 26th 2001, 5:21 am
  #2  
EA
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It must be humiliating for people with a law degree to fill out forms for a living.
Too bad Mr. Udall isn't around. We could ask him.

I like not having to stand in line, but for $60, maybe it would be ok to mail it. I
find it ironic that their most valuable service , the consultation, is the cheapest
at $20. It hardly seems worth prosecuting people who give such advice for free.

Kirby

"Rina Z." wrote:

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I can imagine that it did!
 
Old May 26th 2001, 5:14 pm
  #3  
nunyerbidnez
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We parked right across the street from Union Station (also only a block from the
LACBA/Immigration building) for $4 for the whole day. Went to Olvera Street and China
town afterwards...
 
Old May 26th 2001, 5:19 pm
  #4  
nunyerbidnez
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    >

It isn't just a matter of not having to stand in line. It is also a matter of LACBA
making sure all the forms are filled out correctly, and hand-delivered. As is usually
the case with attorneys, you are paying not so much for their time, as for their
experience and knowledge.

I'm going to use LACBA because I prefer to make sure all the forms are filled out
correctly, and hand-delivered. For a couple hundred extra dollars, it gives me more
peace of mind.
 
Old May 26th 2001, 8:03 pm
  #5  
Rina Z.
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The LACBA Immigration Legal Assistance Project is a project which L.A. lawyers
volunteer their time to help out. I personally don't think it's humiliating to fill
out forms (for a living); I think that it's great to finally find kind hearted
people; not too many of those people around who volunteer their time. The fee that
they charge goes to help fund other projects that they do. As far as me filling out
as much as the form that was was MY decision to do so and it was in very rough draft
it not only helped them out but it allowed be to get in and out of there. If I didn't
have that form ready, I would have had to fill out a basic info sheet anyways. Better
to be prepared....I agree with you that the consultation is very important however
not all people need a consultation and beside filling the forms out is more work than
consulting..
 

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