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Immigration Law for Individuals

Immigration Law for Individuals

Immigration services are available that cover the broad spectrum of individual needs, including family-based petitions, applications for permanent residence or “green card” status, applications for citizenship, travel documents, consular processing of non-immigrant visas, such as student, and visitor/business visas. Assistance with Investor visas, employment-based visas, and intra-company transfers for individual employees. Services also include the filing of asylum applications, refugee family reunification applications, special immigrant juvenile status applications, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications.

Representation of foreign nationals who are involved in removal proceedings before the immigration court or who wish to appeal their cases to the Board of Immigration Appeals is also provided, in addition to representation of individuals who are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Services also include the representation and assistance with interviews required by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for the full range of employment and family-based petitions.


Frequently Asked Questions About Immigration

How can I obtain permission to work in the United States?

A: There are many different ways for foreign nationals to work in the United States. H-2A and H-2B visas can be issued for temporary and agricultural workers. For those who have bachelor’s degrees, H-1B visas may be available for “specialty occupation” work. Foreign workers can also obtain L visas to work for an associated or affiliate office in the United States. Permission to work in the United States can also be obtained by an employer-sponsored green card application or incident to status in another visa category.

How can I get a green card?

A: There are several paths to obtain permanent residence or “green card” status in the United States. Family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents can file an immigrant petition or “I-130” so that you may be able to obtain your green card. Employers can also file immigrant petitions for sponsored employees to obtain permanent residence. Refugees and asylees may obtain green cards after a certain amount of time in the United States. Thousands of people every year obtain permanent residence through the Diversity Visa Lottery, which is offered through the Department of State. Finally, green cards can be obtained for applicants of the “EB-5” program, which grants permanent residents to investors who create new jobs.

How can I help my employee get his green card?

A: The employment-based green card process begins with the PERM application, which is a certification from the Department of Labor that there are no willing and able U.S. citizen or permanent resident applicants for the position. Prior to obtaining this certification, the employer must conduct defined recruitment steps in an attempt to employ any willing and able U.S. workers. Following the labor certification process, the employer must file an I-140 Immigrant Petition on behalf of the worker, which, if approved, the worker can then use to obtain his or her green card when a visa is available.

How do I know if I qualify for the Dream Act?

A: On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced a new program for Dreamers called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” or DACA. In order to qualify for DACA, you must prove that: 1) you were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012; 2) you came to the U.S. before the age of 16; 3) you have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2012; 4) you were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of applying; 5) as of June 15, 2012, you had previously entered without inspection or your previous status had expired; 6) you are currently in school or have graduated; and 7) have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors.

What do I need to do to apply for U.S. Citizenship?

A: In order to apply for naturalization, you must be at least 18 years old, you must have your green card for at least 5 years or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen, you must show that you have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months/18 months if married to U.S. citizen, and you must have lived in the state where you plan to apply for at least 3 months. You will have to file Form N-400, and, along with a civics and English test, you will have to prove that you have been a person of Good Moral Character prior to applying. If approved, citizenship is granted at an oath ceremony, and you can then apply for your U.S. passport.

Immigration Law Attorney

Kim Alabasi, Of Counsel

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