Practice Areas -
Immigration

Citizenship and Naturalization

  • Naturalization is the legal process of becoming a U.S. citizen if you don’t have a birthright claim to citizenship.

    • An applicant is eligible for naturalization if they:

      • Are 18 years or older

      • Have “good moral character” in the years leading up to your application

      • Have basic knowledge of U.S history and government and have proficiency in reading, writing and speaking English (Can be waived for elderly and those with mental disabilities)

      • Have remained physically present in the U.S

      • For at least 3 months have lived in the USCIs district where you are applying for naturalization

      • Have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years; or

      • Have been a permanent resident for 3 years while married to a U.S citizen

Green Card

  • Having a Green Card means you are a lawful permanent resident and you can live and work in the U.S. permanently. It gives you the ability to travel freely outside the U.S., to apply for naturalization and you will be protected by all federal, state, and local laws. There are many different ways to become a lawful permanent resident:

    • ​Family Based immigration

    • U.S. employer sponsorship

    • Investments in a U.S. commercial enterprise

    • Refugee/asylee status

    • Special Immigrant (Iraqi/Afghan translator, international broadcaster, religious worker)

    • Special immigrant Juvenile

    • Victim of sex trafficking or other serious crimes

    • Diversity visa program

    • Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

    • Other Categories

Family Based Immigration

  • A common way to establish permanent residency is through a permeant residence visa (Green Card). There are only a limited number of visas provided each year and is therefore very competitive. There are other ways to establish residency such as through asylum or sponsorship by a family member who is a citizen or has a green card.

    • 1. Immediate Relative of a U.S Citizen (Can get a Green Card):

      • The spouse of a U.S. citizen;

      • The unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen; or

      • The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).

    • 2. Non-immediate Relatives “preference immigrant categories” (MAY be eligible to get a Green Card)

      • First preference (F1)

        • unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens;

      • Second preference (F2A)

        •  spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents;

      • Second preference (F2B)

        •  unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents;

      • Third preference (F3)

        •  married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and

      • Fourth preference (F4)

        •  brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older).

 

  • 5. Fiancé Visa

    • A K-1 nonimmigrant visa allows for a foreign-citizen fiancé of a U.S citizen to enter the U.S. and marry their U.S citizen spouse within 90 days. The foreign citizen can apply for permanent residence. However, failure to get married within 90 days will cause the foreign citizen to leave the country. A K-2 nonimmigrant visa can also be issues for the child of the foreign fiancé.

  • 6. Marriage Visa

    • A K-3 nonimmigrant visa is issued for a U.S. citizen who is married to a foreign-citizen spouse. This visa will allow the foreign-citizen spouse to enter the U.S. while their immigrant visa is still pending.

Non-Immigrant visas

  • Non-immigrant visas are student and tourism visas. They give individuals the opportunity to visit, travel or study in the United Sates. The individual legally enters the U.S on a temporary visa for a specific length of time.

  • 1. Student Visas

    • The United States welcomes international students from all over the world to study at its various colleges and universities. Individuals who want to study in the United Sates will be required to get a student visa.

    • To apply for a F-visa or an M-visa, the individual must:

      • Be enrolled in an “academic” educational program, language training program, or a vocational program

      • Ensure the school they are applying for is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration and Customs Enforcement

      • Be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution

      • Be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency

      • Have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course study

      • Must maintain a residence abroad which you have no intention of giving up

    • J-1 visa (exchange visitors) are for those in an approved program who want to teach, instruct/lecture, study, observe, conduct research, consult, demonstrate special skills, receive training, or receive graduate medical education or training. Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:

      • Professors or scholars,

      • Research Assistants

      • Students

      • Trainees

      • Teachers

      • Specialists

      • Nannies/Au Pairs

      • Camp counselors

  • 2. Visitor Visas

    • There are two types of visitor visas.

      • B-1 Visa (Business)

        • Individuals can apply for a B-1 visa if they visit the United States to

          • consult with business associates

          • attend scientific, education, professional, or business conventions/conferences

          • settle an estate or

          • negotiate a contract

      • B-2 Visa (Tourism)

        • Individuals can apply for a B-2 visa if they visit the United States for

          • Tourism

          • Holiday

          • Visit family/friends

          • Medical Treatment

          • Participate in social event

          • Participate in musical, sports, or similar events/contests if not being paid

Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not towards a degree (i.e., a cooking class)

Work Visas

  • A non-immigrant work visa that allows a foreign citizen to live and work in the U.S. on a temporary basis. The type of visa depends on the type of work performed, the applicants’ qualifications, and if the applicant has a prospective job offer.

  • Types of Temporary Worker Visas

    • E-2 Investor Visa

      • Individuals who can invest a substantial amount of capital into a qualifying enterprise

    • H1-B Visa

      • Individuals who are in specialty occupations, research and development project worker for the U.S. Department of Defense, or a fashion model.

    • L-1 Visa

      • Individuals are employees of a U.S. company who are transferring from a foreign office to a U.S. office.

    • O-1 Visa

      • Individuals who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics or has demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry and has been recognized for those achievements.

    • P-1 Visa

      • Given to those who are coming to the U.S. as athletes, artists and entertainers for a specific event, competition or performance. 

    • TN Visa

      • Allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the U.S. to engage in business activities at a professional level.

Business Immigration

  • Being able work in the United States is an opportunity many people dream about, and it’s our goal to make to help make it possible. There are 5 types of EB preference categories to qualify for an employment green card.

    • EB-1 Priority Workers

      • ​Have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim; or

      • Are an outstanding professor or researcher; or

      • Are a multinational manager or executive who meets certain criteria

    • EB-2 Advanced Degree Professionals

      • ​Must be a member of the professions holding an advanced degree; or

      • Have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business; or

      • Are seeking a national interest waiver 

    • EB-3 Skilled worker, professional, or other worker 

      • ​“Skilled workers” are those whose jobs requires a minimum of 2 years training or experience;

      • “Professionals” are those whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree and are members of the profession;

      • “Other workers” are those who perform unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years of training, education, or experience

    • EB-4 Special ImmigrantsThe following special immigrants are eligible for the 4th preference visa:

      • ​Religious workers

      • Special Immigrant Juveniles

      • Broadcasters

      • G-4 International Organization or NATO-6 Employees and their family members

      • Employees of the U.S. government who are abroad and their family members

      • Armed Forces members

      • Panama Canal Zone employees

      • Certain physicians

      • Afghan or Iraqi translators or interpreters

      • Iraqis who were employed by or behalf of the U.S government; and

      • Afghans who were employed by the U.S. government or international Security assistance force

    • EB-5 Immigrant Investor

      • ​Have invested or in the process of investing at least $1.8 million (or $900,000 in a targeted employment area) in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. which will create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified workers.

Consular Processing

  • An applicant who is a non-U.S. citizen living abroad can use consular processing to apply for a temporary or permanent visa (green card). This is done at the U.S. consulate in the applicant’s home country. Only applicants who have already quailed for green card (i.e., by marriage or employment) should apply for consular processing.