The Central Louisiana Interfaith Immigration Center was founded in 2009 in partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria, the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and Northern and Central Louisiana Interfaith. It is a collaborative effort serving individuals of all races, creeds, ethnic, religious, and geographic backgrounds. Our mission is to welcome immigrants into our communities by providing affordable, high-quality immigration legal services, education and advocacy. The program provides a broad range of immigration counseling and representation to immigrants and their families. Services we offer include:
● Family Visa Petitions
● Adjustment of Status Applications
● Consular Visa Processing
● Representation of Abused Women /Victims of Violent Crimes
● Naturalization/Citizenship Applications
● Applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
● Permanent resident applications for refugees and asylees
● Document renewals and replacements
● Education and Outreach about immigration law
Our program is designed to advise and guide clients through the immigration process. We consider client participation a critical piece to success. Therefore, we explain to all clients our expectation that they remain truthful in all information disclosed to us throughout the entire process. We can only serve our clients effectively when we have their full and total cooperation. We cannot be held responsible for the outcomes of cases in which facts and information have been misrepresented. We expect clients to remain in close contact with us and to inform us of any relevant changes pertaining to their cases. In the event that we do not have the client's full cooperation, we reserve the right to discontinue work on a given case and to withdraw as the representative in the case.
Family Visa Petitions
Our caseworkers provide assistance to those looking to obtain immigrant visas so they may unite with family members already living in the United States. A United States citizen may petition for his or her: spouse, children (including step-children), siblings, and parents.
A Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S. may petition for his/her: spouse, unmarried sons, and daughters. Waiting times depend on what family relationship the petition is based on and the nationality of the beneficiary.
Adjustment of Status Applications
If a person wishing to immigrate to the U.S. is already in the U.S. and has an approved family-based petition for which the priority date is current, he/she may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Complete consultations are necessary to assess an individual's eligibility for adjustment of status. Not everyone qualifies for adjustment of status.
Consular Visa Processing
Persons outside the United States and certain persons in the United States conclude the processing of their visas at American consulates abroad. Our program staff can help these persons with the final documentation necessary for consular visa appointments.
Representation of Victims of Domestic Violence and Violent Crimes (VAWA, U VISA)
Special provisions in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allow abused immigrant women and children to self-petition for permanent residency without relying on the abusers participation in their case. Our program assists such persons in applying for permanent residency under these special provisions.
Our accredited staff is available to help individuals determine their eligibility for United States citizenship. Basic requirements for U.S. citizenship include:
- Lawful permanent residence in the U.S. for at least 5 years (3 years, if married to a U.S. citizen);
- Actually reside in the U.S. for at least one-half of the last five years;
- Good moral character;
- Basic knowledge of U.S. history and civics;
- Ability to understand, speak, read and write basic English.
The word “notario” is the Spanish-language equivalent of notary public. In most Latin American countries a notario is a highly trained legal professional, like an American lawyer. Notarios working in the U.S. sometimes take advantage of those who may not know the distinction. This can also happen with certified document preparers, who sometimes bill themselves as notarios to attract business.
Often using false advertising and fraudulent contracts, notarios represent themselves as qualified individuals to help immigrants obtain lawful status, or perform legal functions such as drafting wills or other legal documents. Unethical notarios are known to scam individuals, charging a lot of money for help that they never actually provide. Often, victims permanently lose opportunities to pursue immigration relief because a notario has damaged their case.
Unscrupulous notarios have become an increasingly serious problem in immigrant communities throughout the United States.
"Quick List" Prep Checklist
Planning a visit to our office? Great!
We look forward to helping you with your immigration counseling needs.
Immigration law is often very overwhelming, but our accredited and experienced staff is here to help you understand the immigration process and the best options available to you.
We ask all individuals planning a visit our office to review our "Quick List" checklist. It outlines some basic intake procedures and will help you gather any necessary documents or information commonly required during preliminary case preparations.
Familiarizing yourself with our intake process and procedures will help expedite your visit and allow our staff to assist as many individuals as possible.
- You must bring with you all documents related to your immigration case (copies of applications, visas, passports, criminal records, etc.). If you do not have your documents, we will not be able to assist you properly.
- If you are petitioning for a relative and your relative is in the United States, he or she should come with you.
- If you return to open your case within 30 days of your initial consultation, and you have all the items we instructed you to gather at your first consultation, we will open your case on the day that you come.
- If you are returning to our office after your first consultation with us, please remember:
1. Always have your case number.
2. Bring any letter you received from us.
3. Bring your colored checklist.
Standard consultations are about 45 minutes and cost $30.00. If we take the case there will be an additional charge depending on the complexity of the case.