Please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions and our Answers:
I received a Notice to Appear before the immigration court – what should I do?
If you received a notice to appear, this means that you are in proceedings for deportation from the US. We highly recommend that you find an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible and prior to the court date to review your circumstances and then represent you during the court hearing. You may be eligible for relief from removal, asylum, naturalization, withholding of removal, or another type of relief. Our law firm offers strong deportation defense and can help you navigate the complicated proceedings. Learn more during a consultation.
I have already received a deportation order. Can it be reversed?
Possibly – you have 30 days to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration (BIA). You should definitely meet with an immigration lawyer as soon as possible to determine if appealing the decision is a valid option. The appeals process can be long and complicated, and requires representation by an experienced attorney.
Can I stop my deportation by obtaining an employment authorization document under the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program?
You may be eligible to defer deportation by obtaining your employment authorization document (EAD), if you entered the country illegally before the age of 16. An EAD allows you to work in the US while pursuing legal residency. There are certain requirements for eligibility under the DACA program; please contact our offices to determine whether or not you are eligible to obtain legal status under this provision.
I have a valid green card. Can I apply to become a US citizen?
Yes, you can apply for US citizenship provided that you meet certain requirements. These include having lived in the US for a sufficient period of time, fluency in English (speaking, reading and writing), and the willingness to live by the principals of the US Constitution and laws. There are other requirements as well. Applicants who have not been living in the US long enough, or who have been accused of committing crimes are not eligible. Our law offices can provide you with more information.
I have a temporary visa but I want to obtain permanent residency. What must I do?
Many individuals who first come to study/work in the US on a temporary basis later decide to pursue permanent residency. This is known as change of status. Each individual’s situation is unique, so there isn’t a single uniform process that is followed. We do not recommend that you pursue permanent residency without the assistance of a knowledgeable immigration lawyer. Contact our offices for next steps.
Can I sponsor family members for immigration?
Family-based immigration is a common means of obtaining lawful permanent residency and citizenship in the US. In most cases, as a US citizen you may sponsor your mother, father, spouse, brother, sister, fiancée, or child for a green card. If you are not a US citizen but you are a lawful permanent resident, you may sponsor your spouse and unmarried children in most cases.
What factors does the US government consider during the immigration process?
Several different factors are considered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when reviewing an individual’s immigration petition, such as:
- Does the individual have a permanent job position that meets the eligibility requirements for occupations while in the US?
- Does the individual have an immediate relative who is a US citizen or permanent resident?
- Does the individual qualify for refugee status (someone facing persecution in his or her home country due to gender, religion, race, political opinion, or affiliation in a certain group or organization)?
The above is not a complete list of criteria; please contact our offices to learn more.
If my application for citizenship is denied, can I appeal the decision?
Yes. You can complete the required forms and request a new hearing in front of a different immigration officer, but you must do so within 30 days of receiving the notice of denial. If you haven’t been working with an immigration lawyer up until this point, now is definitely the time to find one. An experienced attorney may be able to help you get your citizenship application approved by representing you in your appeal process.
As a US business owner, can I hire foreign workers and bring them to live in the US?
Yes, provided that you first apply for an employment-based visa. There are a limited number of these visas, so following the proper procedures is critical to approval. A Petition for Alien Worker form must be properly filed with the Department of Labor. It is highly recommended that you do not attempt to petition for a green card for an alien worker without legal assistance.
Criteria for employment-based visas that are issued to foreign workers include:
- Unique or exceptional skills that will benefit the US economy
- Renowned researcher/professor with a minimum of 3 years’ education in the field
- Executive position at a business for more than one year and desired advancement in that field
- Specialized labor with at least 2 years’ experience in that skill set
- An unskilled worker who will be performing labor for a qualified, more specialized worker, and has less than 2 years of experience with that skill set
As the employer, you will be required to produce evidence as to the legitimacy of your business and of the job/position, as well as your ability to pay the salary/wages.
What questions should I ask an immigration lawyer in the initial meeting?
- Have you handled cases like mine in the past?
- What was the outcome/success rate?
- Are you informed of all relevant changes to immigration laws and regulations?
- What are the terms of working with you?
- Can I get a written contract in my preferred language?