Are you interested in immigrating to the United States or want to sponsor someone? The United States provides immigrant visas based on family ties, employment, adoption, special immigrant categories, and diversity visas.
We understand that it can be quite challenging to achieve citizenship in a country like the United States of America. Therefore, you need someone who can reduce the complication of this process for you. Whether it’s for work, to be with family, or to secure better living situations and a brighter future, immigration needs are always unique and equally important. From business visas to political asylum, you can trust our team to have the skill and resources to handle your case correctly.
What is a U.S. Visa?
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States must first obtain a U.S. visa, placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.
There are two main categories of U.S. visas:
Nonimmigrant visas – For travel to the United States temporarily.
Immigrant visas – For travel to live permanently in the United States.
A person born in the United States becomes a U.S. citizen at birth, and their birth certificate serves as evidence of citizenship.
A person born in countries other than the United States may claim U.S. citizenship if either parent is a U.S. citizen under U.S. law.
How long does it take for an immigrant to petition a spouse?
When petitioning your husband or wife, the total wait time for a marriage-based green card ranges between 10 to 38 months, depending on whether you are married to a U.S. citizen, green card holder, and where you are currently living and not including possible unforeseen delays.
Can My Spouse Come to the United States to Live While the Visa Petition Is Pending?
If you are a U.S. citizen, as soon as you file Form I-130, your spouse becomes eligible to apply for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa. Because the spouse of a U.S. citizen applying for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa must have an immigrant visa petition filed on his or her behalf by his or her U.S. citizen spouse and pending approval, a K-3 applicant must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa. Note that under U.S. immigration law, a foreign citizen who marries a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. must apply for the K-3 visa in the country where the marriage took place.
A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the U.S. port-of-entry, and the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection immigration inspector will authorize or deny you admission to the United States.
How much does a US immigration lawyer cost?
An immigration lawyer charges between $150 and $300 per hour and has a typical 30-min consultation fee of $75 to $150. When filing primary immigration forms, legal assistance costs $250 to $800, while green card assistance runs from $800 to $5,000, plus the USCIS fees of $460 to $700.
- Family Petitions: If you want to sponsor a loved one for a family visa, an immigration lawyer will assist you. Every year, the United States grants visas to millions of immigrants from all over the world. Nearly two-thirds of these immigrants are related in some way or another to a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident. We understand being away from those you love for too long can be brutal, which is why it is our number one duty to help guide you through all the procedures necessary to be near your family and have peace of mind once again.
There are two types of family-based immigrant visas:
Immediate relative visas are based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen, such as a spouse, child, or parent. And family preference visas are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful permanent resident.
How do I start the petition application process?
To begin the application process to petition a family member, the petitioner must fill out the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, Form I-130. The petitioner must then provide documents supporting that they are indeed citizens of the United States or someone with permanent residency and, finally, paying a filing fee to commence this process. Once the USCIS endorses the petition and receives the payment, then the case may continue.
What Is The I-130 Form?
The USCIS form I-130 is a document used to prove a real familial relationship between the petitioner and the petitioner and demonstrate that a beneficiary is a real person. This form can be filed by the sponsor or by the beneficiary; however, there are certain restrictions upon who a petitioner can file. A U.S citizen can petition anyone in their immediate family, but a lawful permanent resident may not file for individual family members such as married children, parents, or siblings. A U.S petitioner must be over the age of 21 when filing for a sibling or parent. Immediate family relatives don’t have visa restrictions. In contrast, preference relatives do have them. Still, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, in-laws, or cousins do not fall under immediate family and are not eligible to be petitioned as such.
What are the differences between American citizenship and permanent residence?
Usually, permanent residents have the same rights and duties as American citizens. Still, the resident individuals are not entitled to vote for their leaders and cannot hold public office within the territory. Relatives of citizens can get a visa to enter the country and residents but perhaps with a little more difficulty for the lack of nationality.
In some cases, the beneficiary is an immediate relative to a U.S citizen, such as a child or spouse, which means they may be eligible to live lawfully in the United States while waiting for the USCIS approval. When the visa appeal has been approved and becomes granted or available to the foreign-born relative, they must also file for permanent residency. The National Visa Center and the consulate then would contact the beneficiary, informing them of how to prepare before an in-person interview is held.
The processing time will vary depending on crucial factors such as the petitioner’s status, whereabouts of the family member, country of origin, your relationship with the immigrant, and other specific requirements your immigration lawyer will handle.
Family preferences are categorized as follows:
F1 – Unmarried children of United States citizens.
F2 – Spouses, whether same-sex or opposite sex, minor children, sons and daughters (21 or older), and unmarried.
F3 – Children that are married with their spouses and small children.
F4 – Siblings of a United States citizen with their spouses and small children.
The application process can be burdensome, necessitating great attention to detail, which is why most people choose to hire an immigration attorney. But you can rest easy in the trust we will handle your immigration needs with utmost efficiency and care.
- Work Visas: A work visa is a type of non-immigrant visa which allows an individual to live and work within the United States for a while.
Applying for a work visa requires exactness and knowledge, which is why a lawyer can be of great aid to both the employee and the employer. If you desire to immigrate, you should apply for an immigrant visa or a dual intent visa, which allows you to apply for permanent residency and a work visa.
An employer must first file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration. Once approved, you can then continue the work visa application process. A U.S. embassy or consulate in your country will interview you to determine your eligibility for a work visa. Our clients will always be given the highest level of professional service and solid legal counseling. We pledge to do all we can for our clients so that we may be able to help you obtain the employment visa and jumpstart your new career in the United States.
What type of Work Visa is right for me?
Employment First Preference
(E1): Priority Worker and Person of Extraordinary Ability
- A person with extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, or athletics. Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in their expertise fields. Such applicants do not have to have specific job offers, so long as they are entering the U.S. to continue work in the areas in which they have extraordinary ability. Such applicants can file their I-140 Form with the USCIS.
- Outstanding professors and researchers with at least three years of experience in teaching or research recognized internationally. Applicants in this category must be coming to the U.S. to pursue tenure, tenure track teaching, or a comparable research position at a university or other higher education institution. Their employer must provide a job offer and file an I-140 with the USCIS.
- Executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer. The applicant’s employment outside of the U.S. must have been in a managerial or executive capacity, and the applicant must be coming to work in an administrative/executive capacity. The prospective employer must provide a job offer and file an I-140 with the USCIS.
Employment Second Preference
(E2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
A Second Preference applicant must generally have a labor certification approved by the Department of Labor. A job offer is required, and the employer must file an I-140 Form on behalf of the applicant. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. They refer to professionals holding an advanced degree or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years of progressive experience in the profession or persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
Applicants may apply for an exemption known as a National Interest Waiver from the job offer and labor certification if the exemption would be in the national interest. In this case, the applicant may self-petition by filing the I-140, along with evidence of the national interest.
Employment Third Preference
(E3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers
A Third Preference applicant must have an approved I-140 filed by the prospective employer. All such workers generally require labor certification approved by the Department of Labor.
Skilled workers are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years of training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal.
Professionals whose jobs require a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree.
Unskilled workers (Other workers) are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years of training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal.
Employment Fourth Preference
(E4): Certain Special Immigrants
A Fourth Preference applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form I-360, except for Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad.
The caliber of your immigration lawyer highly reflects the outcome of your case. Applying for a work visa is a multistep process that requires exactness and knowledge, which is where we come in.
- Deportation: A formal legal status is essential for immigrants looking to extend their stay in the U.S. Deportation is not an overnight process. Those facing deportations do have a right to defend themselves.
Before a non-citizen is removed from the country, the government must prove a valid reason for deportation.
There are many ways to face deportation. Legal permanent residents are deportable after certain criminal convictions or other activities violate the Immigration and Nationality Act. Undocumented immigrants are removable at any time.
Generally, a few things can spark up removal proceedings. Violation of immigration law, criminal conviction, overstaying a visa, status violation, prohibited employment activity, and illegal entry or re-entry are valid reasons for deportation.
What happens if I am guilty of a violation?
Removal proceedings are initiated by filing a Notice to Appear or NTA. After the NTA is filed, Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE have the authority to arrest the individual and place them in custody.
After the arrest, the individual will be assigned a deportation officer. The deportation officer has the authority to grant the individual a bond. However, if no bond is set, they will likely be taken to a Detention Center in Miami, FL. A court date will be placed in the near future. If the person is out of custody, a hearing will likely be set at Immigration Court in Orlando, FL.
Hiring an experienced immigration attorney that can argue on your behalf, create the best possible defense strategy, and provide some sound legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances could be very advantageous at this point in the process.
What can I expect at the hearing?
At the hearing, the immigration judge will ask the individual to admit or deny specific factual allegations and to concede or deny removability from the United States. If the immigration judge determines that the individual is removable based on the person’s plea or evidence submitted to ICE, he will ask what immigration relief is requested. If immigration relief is requested, then the case will be set for an individual hearing. If immigration relief is not requested, the judge will sign a deportation order unless the voluntary departure is granted.
What Is Voluntary Departure?
There are three stages at which voluntary departure may happen:
Voluntary departure while in removal proceedings before an immigration court hearing, voluntary departure at the first appearance in court, or during the Master Calendar hearing, and voluntary departure after the removal proceedings, after the alien, has been found removable from the United States. (These all require the consent of both the alien and the Immigration Judge, and the alien needs to satisfy more requirements to be allowed to depart voluntarily at this stage.)
Voluntary departure after court proceedings is the hardest to obtain. To be eligible for this, the alien must:
- have been present in the U.S. for at least one year
- produce the required travel documents
- show the financial means to depart
- have been a person of good moral character for the previous five years, and
- post a bond in an amount set by the immigration judge.
If granted, the immigrant will be required to leave the United States within 120 days. The benefit to the immigrant is that they will avoid an order of deportation and immediately be eligible to return to the United States if they are eligible for a visa or green card.
In some cases, undocumented immigrants can prevent removal from the United States by adjusting status to a legal permanent resident. The most common form of status adjustment is an “immediate relative” who is a United States citizen and above 21 years of age.
An individual applying for adjustment of status has to prove to the immigration judge that they are eligible. Typically, the applicant just has to prove “it is more likely than not” that the relationship is real. However, if a marriage was entered into during removal proceedings, the applicant must prove by “clear and convincing” evidence that the relationship is real. Specific documentation must be filed with USCIS and the court to satisfy the burden to adjust status.
Immigrants who hire a deportation defense can fight for their right to experience the freedom to live with dignity and in peace.
- Political Asylum:
When a person has faced persecution or fears of persecution in their native country, they may be able to file for asylum. The U.S. accepts a specific number of legally qualified refugees to immigrate under asylum each year, determined by the President and Congress and could change for any given year.
Who is an asylee?
An individual who sought and obtained protection from persecution from the United States is an asylee. Who meets the international definition of refugee – a person with a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. In the U.S., asylum seekers apply for protection from inside the country or at a port of entry.
Does the government provide defensive asylum seekers with appointed immigration lawyers?
Asylum seekers may hire an attorney if they can afford to do so, but they are not provided an attorney by the government, as criminal defendants are. Some attorneys offer pro bono services to asylum seekers and UACs in immigration proceedings.
Suppose you can establish that the government is causing your persecution or that the government cannot control the actions of those responsible for your persecution. In that case, you are well underway to achieving asylum.
You must prove that you are being persecuted based on your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group. You may not qualify for political asylum if you have participated in others’ persecution or “firmly resettled” in a country other than your home country. This means you’ve obtained permanent residency in a country other than your home country or the United States. You must also prove that the government is causing your persecution or that the government cannot control the actions of those responsible for your persecution. If you meet the qualifications, you may be approved for political asylum unless the USCIS proves that your home country has substantially improved conditions.
What will be my status after I am granted asylum?
You will have an asylee status. You will receive an I-94 Arrival and Departure record documenting that you can remain indefinitely in the United States as an asylee. You will be authorized to work in the United States for as long as you stay in asylee status. You may obtain a photo-identity document from USCIS evidencing your employment authorization by applying for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). You will also be able to request derivative asylum status for any spouse or child who was not included as a dependent in your asylum decision and with whom you have a qualifying relationship. That means that you will be able to petition to bring your spouse and children to the United States or allow them to remain in the United States indefinitely incident to your asylee status.
What benefits may I be entitled after I am granted asylum?
Asylees are eligible to apply for certain benefits, including an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), an unrestricted Social Security card, cash, medical assistance, employment assistance, and a Refugee Travel Document. For more information on the benefits and responsibilities of asylee status, see Types of Decisions, Grant of Asylum, or information for asylees on the Office of Refugee Resettlement website.
Seeking asylum can be a very delicate and tedious application process. Before embarking on this journey, a potential applicant should seek legal advice to determine eligibility. Our attorneys can help you demonstrate the validity of your fears of persecution and get you the asylum you need. We have the resources and experience to take your case to immigration court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, or any federal appellate court.
- Investor Visas: In the U.S., the visas for entrepreneurs who want to invest their capital in the United States business are as follows: The E1 visa is for treaty traders, E2 investor visa, and EB 5 investor Visa.
The investor visa in Miami, or the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa, is for people and their immediate families (spouses and children under 21 years of age). The latter invest in a commercial enterprise in the US and create or maintain ten permanent full-time jobs for US qualified employees. The investment has to be in the value of USD 1,000,000 or at least USD 500,000 in a targeted employment area (high unemployment or rural area). If you do not qualify for this type of visa, you might apply for another visa, such as a work visa for an extraordinary ability person.
The migration process involved in applying for an investor visa in Miami is a bit complex; it takes time to gather all the necessary information to evaluate all the conditions that apply for a foreign investor visa. The migration team at the Embassy of the applicant’s country must review and confirm that all the information is accurate. If they do not comply with all rules to be eligible for these visas will be denied. Depending on your personal or business needs and goals, either the EB-5 or E-2 visa can provide you with authorization to enter the United States to oversee and develop your investment.
Before applying to the investor visa program, a potential investor has to pass an initial qualification stage. The prospective investor has to meet the following criteria:
- He or she has to be a foreign citizen;
- He or she must have a net worth of a minimum of USD 1,000,000;
- The foreign investor must have gained a minimum of USD 200,000 in the previous two consecutive years and should anticipate earning a similar sum in the present year;
- He or she is applying together with a spouse and should have gained a minimum of USD 300,000 per year together and anticipate to achieve a similar sum in the current year.
When you apply for an investor visa in Miami, there are two possibilities:
- Applying from abroad: you can receive an investor visa in the US through the consular process if you live outside the country.
- Applying from inside the US: you can receive the investor visa if you already live in the US by adjusting your status.
- Naturalization: When a person is not born in the U.S. or does not obtain citizenship immediately after birth, they will be forced to obtain citizenship through other means if citizenship is desired. There are many paths to a U.S. green card and citizenship. Considering the numerous pathways an individual can use to achieve business and immigration goals, investors need to select an immigration option that aligns with these pursuits.
The naturalization process starts by filing Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization). As a general rule, the person should meet several criteria, as mentioned above, but it is essential to know that the age is also relevant, as the applicant should have at least 18 years old.
The process of receiving citizenship in the United States of America requires several mandatory steps, which have to be fulfilled by the applicant. Firstly, to acquire U.S. citizenship, you must verify if you can receive this legal statute. A foreign citizen can obtain citizenship in Miami, U.S., if the person qualifies under the requirements established by the Immigration and Naturalization Act.
Foreigners can receive the American citizenship under specific conditions. The most common ways refer to the following:
- the person has received a green card for Miami, U.S., for at least five years at the time when the holder applies for citizenship;
- the holder of a green card is married to a U.S. citizen;
- the green card holder is a representative of the U.S. arm,
- the applicant is the child of an American citizen.
It is also compulsory to know the English language, the American Constitution, and American history; when applying for citizenship, you must take an oath of allegiance. You also must have proof that you are the owner of a Green Card.
What is a green card?
A “green card,” issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provides proof of lawful permanent resident status, with authorization to live and work anywhere in the United States. Most green cards must be renewed every ten years, but conditional green cards based on marriage or investment must be replaced after the first two years.
Why would a green card application be denied?
A green card application may be denied by the U.S. government for several reasons, including but not limited to mistakes on the required forms, missing documents, insufficient financial resources, or failure to demonstrate eligibility in the relationships you claim to have.
Upon obtaining citizenship, you can earn a U.S. passport and will be eligible to vote in addition to the other rights a U.S. citizen enjoys. Your child may also qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other requirements are met.
Meeting these requirements means that you are eligible to apply for Citizenship. However, if you have any criminal convictions, tax problems, have not paid child support, or if you have traveled abroad extensively during your U.S. residency, this may adversely affect your application.
Although it is not compulsory to hire a naturalization lawyer when applying for U.S. citizenship, we strongly advise you to ask for legal assistance from a professional immigration law office like ours