Immigration

Immigration law is more than form filling.  It is complex and changes rapidly.  Immigration applications and benefits have time limits and restrictions and the consequences of a denial of a case can be severe.  Focus on your life and close the door to worry. I understand the rules, requirements, and procedures of immigration law.  I prepare attentively and extensively for all filings, interviews, and hearings so that your immigration application(s) are accepted without unnecessary delay, saving you time and heart-ache.

ASYLUM

If you fear returning to your home country because you fear persecution on account of your race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group, then you may be eligible for asylum.  Asylum applications are filed with USCIS, or in Immigration Court if the applicant is in removal proceedings, and with limited exceptions must be filed in within one year of entering the US.  

Fear of poverty or random violence is not enough to qualify for asylum.  Asylum has many restrictions and difficulties.  If USCIS denies your case, you will be placed in removal proceedings in Immigration Court.  It is critical to consult with an immigration attorney prior to applying for asylum.

CITIZENSHIP AND NATURALIZATION

I can help a foreign citizen or national become a U.S. citizen through a process called naturalization.  A lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years (or, three if married to a US Citizen), may be eligible to apply to be a U.S. Citizen.  I can assist and advise on special issues such as if you have spent a lot of time abroad since becoming a permanent resident, if you been arrested by the police, or if you had a problem with the immigration authorities in the past.  

It’s possible that you may have acquired or derived citizenship through a parent or even a grandparent.  I can help research this issue and assist with your application for Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. Passport.

DETENTION AND BOND

When an immigrant is arrested by the police and booked into a facility, their name is run through a system to determine their immigration status.  If the immigrant lacks legal immigration status, or there are grounds to take away permanent residency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will place an “immigration hold” on the individual and hold the immigrant until Immigration determines if the immigrant should be put into removal (deportation) proceedings.  

If an immigrant is detained by ICE, I can help determine if they are eligible to be released on bond. 

DEPORTATION AND REMOVAL DEFENCE

If you have been issued a “Notice to Appear” or have received a notice scheduling you for a hearing in Immigration Court, you may be in Removal Proceedings (formerly Deportation Proceedings). Understandably, removal proceedings are stressful. However, if you do not attend your immigration hearing, the Judge may order you removed in absentia. I will work closely with you and your family to determine if you can obtain relief from removal, in which case would allow you to remain the United States. Forms of relief include asylum, adjustment of status, various waivers, cancellation of removal, relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and voluntary departure.

FAMILY-BASED VISAS

Love knows no geographic boundaries.  You don’t have to be apart – start building your future.

FIANCE’ VISAS

A U.S. citizen may bring a fiancé or fiancée to the United States on a K-1 fiancé visa. Many couples are unsure if they should marry in the U.S. or abroad. Is it best to marry and bring my loved-one in as a spouse, or shall I wait to marry and bring the loved-one as a fiancé? How long will it take? Can my loved one visit visit the U.S. while the case is pending? The choice will depend on your individual facts, circumstances, and timeline. At the consultation, I will give you an overview of the process and determine a legal strategy and whether or not your fiancé is eligible to apply for the K-1 visa.

MARRIAGE “GREEN CARD”

Otherwise known as adjustment of status, K-1 fiancée petitions, and I-751 applications. If you are a U.S. citizen, your spouse is an immediate relative thereby immediately eligible for an immigrant visa if your petition is approved. If you are a lawful permanent resident and your petition for your spouse is approved, your spouse will be notified by the Department of State when a visa number becomes available. Depending on whether or not your spouse is in the U.S., he or she will then apply for residence either through a consular office abroad, or through USCIS. If an immediate relative spouse of a U.S. citizen living in the United States, the applicant will generally apply for residence at the same time that the visa petition is filed. However, you must prove your marriage is bona fide and the spouse must prove they are admissible as an immigrant, or otherwise, eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or grandfathered under §245(i) of the LIFE Act.

CONDITIONAL RESIDENTS

If you and your spouse have been married for less than two years at the time the foreign national spouse was admitted as an immigrant, then he or she will be a conditional resident rather than a permanent resident. You and your spouse must apply to remove the conditions on residence during a 90-day window before the two year anniversary date of admission, otherwise, the resident status will terminate and the foreign national spouse will be put into removal proceedings in Immigration Court. If you are married two years or more at the time of the approval, then the spouse will be a lawful permanent resident. This process applies whether one applies for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa.

VISA CONSULAR PROCESSING

If your spouse is outside of the U.S., he or she may immigrate through a visa petition followed by an application for an immigrant visa. Once your spouse is approved as the beneficiary immigrant petition they must file an application for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This entails the completing a number of forms and submitting documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Upon entering the U.S. with the immigrant visa, your spouse will be a lawful resident. Your spouse must be eligible for immigrant status or may be refused a visa. Factors that can negatively impact your spouse’s eligibility to immigrate include previous unlawful presence in the U.S., fraud or misrepresentation, and certain criminal convictions.

Please consult with me, or another immigration attorney, if your spouse is in the U.S. and you are thinking of sending your spouse outside of the country to consular process. If your spouse has lived in the U.S. without any immigration status, he or she may not be able to return for a period of three to 10-years or longer without a waiver.

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