Immigration lawyers help their clients with a wide range of issues relating to visiting and relocating to the United States. They may work with employment visas, deportation, naturalization, family- and marriage-based immigration, and asylum claims.
Various forms of visas are available to foreign national employees of US companies. Some of these involve temporary visas for employees with exceptional skills and visas for persons of extraordinary ability or talent in the arts, sciences, education, and athletics. It also covers visas for those with graduate degrees. Finally, you may apply as an investment immigrant if you invest at least $500,000 in a US enterprise that employs at least ten people within two years.
Family-based immigration is the heart of the American immigration system. Nearly two-thirds of US immigrants enter as family-based immigrants sponsored by a relative. There are two classes available: immediately relative and family preference categories. There are no caps on the immediate relative visas, but the government subtracts them from the annual limit of 480,000 family preference visas. Thus, it can take a very long time to achieve a family preference visa.
There are two tracks of marriage-based immigration: marriage inside and outside the US. If you marry outside the US, you then file for a green card, and your spouse applies a sponsorship application and affidavit of support. If you are married in the US, you must file for an adjustment of status. The latter is a slower process, and you must also be careful to avoid marriage within 90 days of entering the US. Doing that risks the denial of your application. There are no limits on marriage-based visas.
Asylum claims arise from a genuine fear of injury if forced to return to your homeland. An immigration attorney can help you meet the highly technical requirements of this procedure.
If you have violated specific immigration laws, the USCIS can process a deportation proceeding against you. The most common reason for it is a violation of the terms of the individual’s current immigration status. Other common grounds include marriage fraud, allowing your immigration status to lapse, helping smuggle aliens into the US, and being convicted of a crime of moral turpitude. Someone who should not have been granted a visa because of conduct before coming to the US is subject to removal rather than deportation.
If you have lived as a legal permanent resident for the requisite number of years, you may choose to seek naturalization as a US citizen. To achieve this goal, you must be of the required age; be continuously in the US as an LPR for a certain number of years; establish residency in a state or USCIS district from which you will apply; have good moral character; have a basic knowledge of English and American history and government and swear allegiance to the US. Note that although the Oath states you are renouncing other allegiances, you are not required to renounce your existing citizenship. US law does permit dual citizenship.
No immigration attorney can, of course, guarantee the speed or success of your immigration application. However, the complexities of immigration law and regulation mean that using an attorney increases the likelihood of success and speed. If you face an immigration issue, contact us to schedule an initial consultation and review your matter. Consult with us about how we can assist you in handling your immigration matter.
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