Immigration law is complex and is separated into various subsections of practice. There is business immigration, family based immigration, immigration court representation, and naturalization. The business based immigration is further categorized by those for temporary visas and those who seek to obtain permanent residency (green cards) in the United States. We have worked with clients in all aspects of immigration and can help you and your family as well.
Please note that the information in this section of the website contains a lot of information. However, it is not meant to be a comprehensive overview of immigration law or the various options available to you and your family. There may be options not discussed on this website. Your circumstances and your situation may require a different strategy. We will be happy to speak with you to discuss your particular situation and determine the best legal strategy for you.
There are two types of business based immigration matters – temporary work visas and residency visas. The temporary work visas typically are provided for one to five years, with many of them having the option of extending them for additional years. The residency visas can provide a permanent green card, but do not typically allow you to legally enter the US and work in the US until after the process is completed. This can take some time, and it might be in your best interest to seek a temporary visa prior to or while seeking your residency application. We can help you develop a strategy that best allows you to achieve your goals for coming, living and working in the US.
US immigration provides a variety of ways for foreign nationals to enter the US to legally work and remain in the US. There are temporary visas from letter A to V, with many of them having various subcategories. All of them have set restrictions and allow you to seek entry to or remain in the US. Not all visa categories allow you to work, such as the B1/B2 or tourist visa. If you wish to legally work in the United States, you will probably need one of the following types of visas: E visa, H visa, L visa, O visa, or P visa.
As with the temporary business-based immigration matters, the green card business immigration has several different categories, which includes the EB5 program. Some of these categories require you to have an employer sponsor you; while, some allow you to petition on your own behalf. The following is a brief description of the various employment based green card petitions.
If you are a US citizen or legal permanent resident, you can petition for green cards for certain members of your family. US citizens can petition for spouses, children, parents and brothers and sisters; while legal permanent residents can petition for spouses and children.
If you are a US citizen over 21 years of age, you are able to file for your parents’ green cards. If your parents legally entered the US, then they would be eligible to seek residency in the US based on your petition. Should you require more information about how to apply for your parents’ residency.
As a US citizen, you can petition for your children, regardless of age or their marital status. If they are unmarried and under 21 years old, your children will be immediately eligible to become a legal permanent resident of the United States. If your child is married or over 21, then they may need to wait some time before they can seek residency. In addition to applying for your direct descendants, you are also able to apply for your step children, provided that you married their biological parent before the child was 18.
If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you will also be able to file residency requests for your unmarried children and step children (if married to your spouse before the child’s 18th birthday). Your child may not be able to seek permanent residency when you file the green card petition, and if in the US, the child must be in lawful status in order to seek residency in the US.
Should you wish to file a green card petition for your children or step children.
If you are married to a US citizen or a legal permanent resident, you should be able to obtain your residency in the US based on this marriage. You must be able to provide evidence that you and your spouse married for love and not for immigration purposes. This means you should provide evidence to the officer of your relationship.
If you entered the US legally and married a US citizen, you should be able to seek your residency when your spouse files a green card petition on your behalf. You will likely have an interview with an immigration officer to determine whether or not the marriage was entered into for immigration purposes or because you generally love one another.
If you have been married for less than two years, after the interview, you will receive a temporary green card, which will expire in two years. Prior to your residency expiring, you must file a request for a permanent green card showing that the marriage you have entered into was for love. You do not have to remain married to file this request, you just have to show that the marriage was for love. It would be best of you provided additional documents from after your immigration interview showing your relationship to your spouse.
Marriage to a legal permanent resident is a little different, as you may not be able to seek residency when your spouse files a green card petition on your behalf. You will still have to provide documentation showing that it is a marriage based on love. When you are able to file for your green card, you will get a full ten year green card, and will not need to file any additional requests. However, you must be in lawful status in the US to seek permanent residency in the US based on your marriage to a permanent resident.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can become a US permanent resident based on your marriage.
As a US citizen, you are able to seek green card petitions for your brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, it may take years before your siblings are able to obtain residency in the US based on your request. However, it is better to start the process now, if your brother or sister is even remotely interested in moving to the US in the future. Should you need any assistance in this regard.
If you or a loved one have been placed in immigration proceedings, we may be able to help. There are a variety of options that could be available to you or a loved one. We would need to analyze the facts of your case and why the government is seeking to return you or your loved one to your home country. There are times when it is a misunderstanding and there are other times when you have relief because of your circumstances and how long you have been in the country. As each matter is different, it is important that you speak to an immigration attorney to determine your best course of action. We would be happy to speak to you to see what can be done in your case.
Sometimes people are forced to leave their country because they have been persecuted for their beliefs, their race, their nationality or some other reason. If this is you, we are sorry that you are placed in this situation. However, you may be able to seek relief in the US by filing an asylum application.
There are several important matters to consider when filing an asylum application. The first factor to consider is that if you obtain asylum, you may not be allowed back into your home country anytime soon. Another factor to consider is why you are being persecuted. You should be persecuted because of some inane right about your nature. This means if you are being persecuted because you own a business and you will no longer be persecuted if you give up the business, you may not be eligible for asylum. A third factor to consider is when you apply for asylum, as you must apply for asylum within one year of entering the US. If you do not file within the year, you may still seek other relief that is similar to asylum but does not give you some of the benefits of an asylum application.
If you have dual nationality, you will likely not be able to apply for asylum, unless you can show persecution in both countries. Furthermore, if you lived in another country for six months prior to coming to the US, you will not likely be able to apply for asylum unless you can prove that you were persecuted in your home country and the country you just left.
After applying for asylum, you will have an asylum interview. If approved, you will be eligible to obtain your permanent residency within one year of obtaining asylum. If the officer does not believe your claim, then your case will be submitted to immigration court.
Should you believe that you have a viable asylum claim.
When you have been a US permanent resident for at least five years, you become eligible for US citizenship. You must have spent at least half of your time in the US during your time as a resident, paid all taxes and been an upstanding and lawful resident. To become a US citizen, you will need to file a naturalization request, attend a naturalization interview and then be sworn in. Only when you are sworn in can you become a citizen.
The United States allows dual nationality, so you do not necessarily give up your home country’s nationality when you become a US citizen. There are countries, such as China, that do not allow dual nationality. As such, it is important to determine whether or not you can maintain your current nationality before seeking your US citizenship.
Other matters to consider for nationality purposes are your travel in and out of the US. If you have stayed outside of the US for six consecutive months since becoming a resident, you may need to wait some additional time before filing for your US citizenship. If you obtained your residency based on marriage to a US citizen and are still married to a US citizen, you can seek to become a US citizen three years after you became a resident, rather than five.
Becoming a US citizen is an important and memorable step in any person’s journey. If you are interested in naturalizing.