Immigration

Immigration

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Employment-Based Immigration Petitions

Non-immigrant employment visas allow an individual to temporarily work in the United States.  An immigrant petition is required to permanently stay.  We work with small and large employers to help them fulfill their employment needs.

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Temporary Employment Visas: There are many temporary employment visas that enable foreign nationals to enter the United States to train, work in a professional or seasonal capacity, and/or manage or direct investment.  A specific offer of employment through a U.S. employer or sponsor is typically necessary to start the employment-based process.  This will then enable a foreign national to obtain a visa at a consulate aboard or change his/her status if the individual is already in the United States in a different capacity such as a student.  Understanding the need of the employer and individual is critical in determining which visa category is the most appropriate in securing an employment visa.  We can assist you with this process!  Common temporary employment visas include B-1 (Business Visitors); E-1 and E-2 (Treaty Traders and Investors); H-1B, E-3, and TN (Professionals); L-1 (Executives, Managers, and Specialized Knowledge Personnel); O-1 (Extraordinary Ability); P (Performers, Athletes, and Artists); Q-1 (Cultural Exchange); and R-1 (Religious Workers). 

Permanent Residence through Employment: While you may have started your employment in the United States on a temporary visa, an individual is very limited with how long he/she can continue to work without permanent residence.  These valuable employees may be eligible for a green card with the help of his/her employer.  Employers often choose immigrants based on their skills and expertise, and may wish to keep them in a permanent capacity to remain competitive.

Legal permanent residence (also known as a “green card”), is typically a three step process with some exceptions.

Labor Certification: For most individuals, the first step in employment-based permanent residence is the labor certification process (PERM).  The labor certification is a determination from the U.S. Department of Labor that there are no qualified and available U.S. worker at the prevailing wage in the area of intended employment, and that the employment of the individual will not adversely affect job opportunities, wages, and working conditions of U.S. workers.

A labor certification is not required for employment-based petitions in the first preference category such as EB-1-1 (Aliens of Extraordinary Ability in the Sciences, Arts, Education, Business, and Athletics); EB-1-2 (Outstanding Professors and Researchers); and EB-1-3 (Multinationals Executives and Managers), as well as some employment-based second preference category such as EB-2 with a National Interest Waiver.

Employment-Based Categories: After your labor certification is approved (if one is required), the employer then files an I-140 immigrant petition based on your employment category and your country of birth.

Adjustment of Status: Lastly, you and your immediate family will be able to apply for adjustment of status to become permanent residents when a visa is available in your employment category.  There may be a long wait for individuals born in certain countries such as China and India, and cross-chargeability may be used to eliminate or minimize the wait.  Cross-chargeability allows the government to move a family’s immigrant visa chargeability country to another if the spouse was born elsewhere to prevent family separation.

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Family-Based Immigration Petitions

Protecting and uniting families is near and dear to our heart.  We can help you assess your needs and analyze your case to determine the best family-based option for you.      

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When it comes to our immigration services, protecting and uniting families is near to our hearts.  Family-based petitions include the following:

Immediate Relative Immigrant Petition: This category allows a U.S. Citizen to petition for a family member without waiting for visa availability, as visas are always available if the U.S. Citizen is petitioning for his/her (1) spouse, (2) unmarried child under the age of 21; and (3) parent if the Petitioner is over the age of 21.

Preference Category Immigrant Petition: This category allows an individual to petition for family member(s) but his/her family member(s) is subject to a visa backlog based on family category and country limitation.  These categories include: (F1) U.S. Citizen parent applying for his/her unmarried child over the age of 21; (F2A) Lawful Permanent Resident applying for his/her spouse and/or unmarried child under the age of 21; (F2B) Lawful Permanent Resident applying for his/her unmarried child over the age of 21; (F3) U.S. Citizen parent applying for his/her married child; and (F4) U.S. Citizen applying for his/her sibling.

Fiancee Petition: This is a non-immigrant visa that permits the fiancee of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States and marry the Petitioner within 90 days of arrival.  Once married, the spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while the government process the application.

Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence: Individuals who obtained permanent resident through marriage must apply to remove the conditions of his/her residence 90 days prior to the expiration of your permanent residence.  The petition can be filed jointly with your spouse or your parent’s spouse OR a waiver must be requested if you are unable to file a joint petition.  If your petition is denied, your rights and privileges of permanent residency is terminated and you may be place in removal proceedings.  We can provide assistance at any part of this process!

Waivers of Inadmissibility: Despite a successful immigrant petition, your family member may be inadmissible and forbidden to enter the United States for various reasons such as a prior removal from the United States, criminal conviction, unlawful presence, health-related issue, immigration fraud and misrepresentation, etc.  We have successfully put together many waiver of inadmissibility application(s) to unite family members.  Before you start the immigration process, you must be aware of circumstance(s) that may prohibit your loved ones from entering or re-entering the United States if he/she must leave to consular process.  Do not wait until your family member is stuck outside of the United States.  Contact us so we can discuss your situation today!

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Removal Defense

When facing deportation, you do not have the right to counsel.  Having legal representation can vastly improve your chance of success.  Trust in us to help you understand your options so that we can work to keep you from being separated from your family.

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When facing deportation, you do not have the right to counsel.  It is critical to consult an experience attorney to vastly improve your chance of success.  Trust in us to help you understand your options, so that we can work to keep you from being separated from your family.  We have assisted clients with adjustment of status, asylum, cancellation of removal, prosecutorial discretion, waivers of inadmissibility, withholding, and relief under various sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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Citizenship/Naturalization

Naturalization often signifies the end of a long journey for many immigrants, including the end of applying for a visa to enter the United States, extending one’s status, and/or being subject to U.S. immigration laws.  It also offers many benefits such as the ability to vote, qualify for public benefits, and obtain a U.S. passport.

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For many immigrants, citizenship is a sigh of relief and the end of a long journey.  It means the immigrant can permanently live in the United States; is no longer subject to any grounds of deportability; is eligible to receive a U.S. passport; is eligible to vote in any state or federal election; may hold certain government job and serve on a jury; and qualify for public benefit.

Citizenship may be acquired at birth, derived from parents, or through the naturalization process.

  • Acquisition at birth occurs when (1) you were born in the United States or certain territories subject to U.S. jurisdiction OR (2) if you were born abroad and had a parent or parents that were citizens at the time of your birth and meet other requirements.
  • Derivative citizenship occurs when citizenship is given to children through the naturalization of parents if certain conditions are met.
  • Naturalization is the process that enables a permanent resident to apply for U.S. citizenship.  Generally, an applicant must be at least 18 years old; permanent resident for at least five years (three years if based on marriage to a U.S. citizen); physically present in the U.S. for at least half the time; reside at least three months in the jurisdiction of the USCIS office in which the application is file; a person of good moral character; able to demonstrate an understanding of the English language through reading, writing, and speaking; has knowledge of U.S. history and government; and takes the oath of allegiance.  Exceptions and accommodations to the naturalization requirement are available for those who qualify, including English language exemption, medical disability waiver, disability accommodation, and oath of allegiance modification.

To get started on your naturalization application or if you have questions pertaining to possibly being a citizenship, contact us immediately to discuss the process.  We can help you get on the right track to becoming a U.S. citizen.

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Miscellaneous Immigration Options

Other immigration options to help you enter or remain in the United States.

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Asylum: If you are afraid to return to your home country, we may be able to help you!  To qualify for asylum, you must prove a well-founded fear of persecution based on one or more of the five grounds: race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or social group.  An application for asylum must generally be filed within one year upon arrival into the United States.  If asylum is granted, the individual may apply for a green card in one year.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): On June 12, 2012, President Obama created this policy to allow certain undocumented young people brought into the United States as children and who meet certain requirements to apply for work authorization and two year protection from deportation.  You may request for DACA if you: (1) were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2015; (2) came to the United States prior to age 16; (3) continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007; (4) were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of your request; (5) had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; (6) are currently in school, have graduated, obtained a certification of completion from a high school or general education development (GED) program, or are an honorably discharged veteran; and (7) have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, as well as pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Humanitarian Parole: If you have no other options, we may be able to help you enter the United States through the use of humanitarian parole.  It is sparingly used to temporarily bring someone otherwise inadmissible for a period of time due to an urgent or compelling humanitarian reason or a significant public benefit.  This process cannot be used to bypass immigration processes or procedures.

U Visa/T Visa/Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Have you or a family member been a victim of a crime?  We may be able to help you.  We can analyze and assess your case to determine if you qualify for a U-Visa (victim of a serious crime), T-Visa (victim of human trafficking), or VAWA (self petition for abused spouses and certain parents and children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents).  It may be difficult to determine which category is best for you, as you may qualify for more than one category.  Contact us to help you determine if you qualify and which category is best for your unique situation.

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