Green Card Application Process for Family Members
Family immigration petitions are the fundamental way in which to enable a loved one to immigrate. Typical family petitions involve a mother, father, spouse, brother, sister or child of a parent over 21 years old filing a petition. The petition will be approved if the petitioner can establish that a bona fide blood or marriage relationship exists. Other issues also come into play, such as whether the spouses were legally free to marry, whether the petitioning parent supported the child during its formative years, and other factors concerning financial responsibility. You still may successfully seek the immigration of your family member even if the petitioner has died, because under the humanitarian revalidation of U.S. immigration law, another family member or close relative may continue the petition. We also help with special filings of widowers, battered spouses and children, and special juveniles for permanent residency.
Citizenship and Naturalization
An applicant is eligible for naturalization where he or she can meet the following requirements:
- Must be 18 years old
- Must have Permanent Residence Status (Green Card) for five years subsequent to application. If married to a U.S. citizen, the permanent residency requirement is three years
- Must have resided for at least three months within the state the petition was filed
- Must be physically present in the U.S. for at least one-half of the five years (one half of the three years for spouse of a citizen)
- Must have resided continuously within the U.S. from the date the application was filed up to the time of admission to citizenship
- Must not be absent for a period more than one year during the period residence is required (five years or three years)
- Must be a person of good moral character.
The fiancé(e) (K-1) non-immigrant visa is for the foreign citizen fiancé(e) of a US citizen. A K-1 visa allows the foreign citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the US and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The foreign citizen will then apply for an adjustment of status to a permanent resident LPR with the Department of Homeland Security. In general, the foreign citizen and U.S. citizen must have met in person in the past two years.
The Work Visa Process for US Employment
The Immigration and Nationality Act allows a minimum of 140,000 work or employment-based visas every year. Anyone interested in entering the U.S. for the purpose of working here needs to apply for and obtain a work visa.
There are many different types of work visas. Depending on your qualifications, field of expertise, and the need or demand for such skills, you may be eligible to obtain a work visa. Preference for work visas is given to individuals who fit into one of the following categories:
- Priority workers (those individuals who have extraordinary skills and abilities, professors and researchers considered outstanding in their field, and multinational executives)
- Individuals who have exceptional abilities or who hold advanced degrees
- Skilled workers, professionals in a given field and unskilled workers
- Special immigrants such as ministers of religion, persons recruited outside the country to serve in the U.S. armed forces, certain relatives of NATO-6 civilian employees and others.
Deferred Action for Child Arrivals
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status.
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Anyone requesting consideration for deferred action under this process must have been under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012. You must also be at least 15 years or older to request deferred action, unless you are currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order.
The asylum applicant must demonstrate that he or she is unwilling or unable to return to his or her home country because of past persecution or a “well-founded fear of persecution” on account of the following:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
The fear of persecution must be either by the government of his or her country or by a group that the government is unable to control.
If a person is in removal proceedings before an immigration judge, in addition to applying for asylum if he or she fears persecution, he or she may also be eligible to apply for withholding of removal and for relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). However, in order to qualify for withholding of removal, the person must demonstrate that it is more likely than not that he or she will be persecuted if he or she is forced to return to his or her country. This is a higher standard than the “well-founded fear” standard for asylum which can be met if the person has at least a 10 percent chance of being persecuted.
We have successfully handled asylum cases from various countries including Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Laos and Columbia.
We provide services to anyone requiring an experienced immigration trial lawyer in complicated deportation and removal cases. We are dedicated to defending the rights of immigrants in deportation and removal cases. We can represent you in every aspect of immigration trials.
Success Depends on Experience and Dedication
One of the most stressful and frightening experiences a non-citizen and his or her family faces is the prospect of forced deportation from the United States. We have been representing clients facing deportation for many different reasons for over 25 years. Defending the deportation requires experience in providing a proper and aggressive defense. Assistance is provided for cases were the deportation is based upon illegal entry, overstay or violation of visa, fraud, and criminal conduct.
We use many strategies in defending my clients:
- Cancellation of removal for both lawful and non-lawful permanent residents
- Political asylum
- Termination of deportation
- Adjustment of status
- Temporary protection status
- Suspension of deportation
- Withholding of deportation
- Application for waivers
- Voluntary departure
- Bond hearings