The immigration attorneys of the AMA Law Group are ready to provide you with cost effective and experienced immigration law representation. Our team can provide legal services and solutions for your employment-based immigration applications and procedures, and we have a proven track record of assisting our clients in navigating the complex immigration laws. Our immigration lawyers have helped many clients secure naturalization as well as immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
We have a proven record in assisting our clients navigate through the complex areas of immigration law. We’ve helped our clients secure naturalization, immigrant and non-immigrant visas and look forward to assisting you in your immigration matter.Our firm handles all areas of immigration cases.
If you are a foreign national, seeking entry into the United States, permanent resident status, citizenship, or looking to protect your status as a resident, the entire process can be very confusing. Below is a general overview of how the immigration process works in the United States.
The essential aspects of the immigration process include
- Immigrant and non-immigrant visas
- Citizenship and naturalization
- Removal or deportation
Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas — Under U. S. immigration laws, you may apply for permanent or temporary residency status.
- Permanent residency status is generally available based on a family or work relationship. Family-based visas are available to children, spouses of U.S. citizens or residents, parents of siblings or U.S. citizens only. Employment-based visas are available for a broad range of occupations and professions, but customarily require that the employer obtain a labor certification with the U.S. Department of Labor. You may also seek permanent resident status based on investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States.
- Temporary or non-immigrant visas are granted to people who seek entry into America for a specific purpose, and include student visas, exchange visas, transit visas, intra-company transfers, and other temporary work visas.
You may seek to change your status from temporary to permanent, and may also seek to extend the term of your visa.
Citizenship and Naturalization — If you have lived in America for five years (or three years if married), you may be eligible to have all rights as a citizen. You must demonstrate an ability to read, write and speak English and must pass a U.S. history and civics exam. Because you must also be “of good moral character,” certain criminal convictions may prevent you from obtaining citizenship.
Deportation or Removal Proceedings — If, as a foreign national, you violate state or federal laws in the United States, or the terms of your visa, the Department of Homeland Security can seek to have you deported from the United States. If deported, you may be prevented from ever returning, even to visit.
CRIMES AND YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS:
Being charged with any kind of crime, from drug possession to theft, could affect your immigration status and lead to deportation. Our goal is to protect your immigration status and avoid deportation. We assist clients with bond hearings, helping them get out of jail. We will represent you in deportation hearings or help you obtain a waiver to stay in the U.S.
We work closely with criminal defense attorneys, advising them on how to handle your criminal case. We evaluate the facts involved and help develop effective strategies in criminal court, from plea negotiations to getting charges reduced. We address the immigration issues while your defense attorney handles your criminal charges. If you do not have a criminal defense lawyer, we can recommend someone for you.
Even if you have already been convicted, it may still be possible for us to help you avoid being deported. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may be able to file a motion to vacate your conviction, if we can prove that the judge or your defense attorney failed to warn you about the effect a guilty plea would have on your immigration status. Whether you are seeking this type of post-conviction relief or if you have recently been arrested, we urge you to seek our help immediately. You have a great deal at stake in this situation, and you deserve to have a dedicated advocate on your side, fighting to defend your rights.
Removal proceedings are the process of removing a person from the United States and returning them to their country of origin. A person cannot be removed from the United States if they are legal residents. However, if they are in the United Stares on a permanent resident visa and were convicted of a felony, deportation is possible.
All things considered, removal proceedings are concerning for anyone who faces them. While reasons can vary, there are more common ones such as:
- Overstaying a visa
- Residency ineligibility
- Criminal convictions
- Repeat immigration violations
Removal Defense can be a stressful and confusing time for individuals and families facing potential deportation from the United States. If you have an upcoming case, it is important that you are represented by an experienced and trustworthy Immigration Attorney who will diligently fight for your rights. Our team at AMA Law Group, PLLC will make every effort to resolve your case favorably in Immigration Court. We have filed the necessary applications to allow many of our clients to stay in the United States, as well as to receive a work permit and potentially a green card. We are here to help you, so don’t attempt to do this alone.
How To Qualify For A Green Card
A green card — technically called “lawful permanent residence” — is available to those who meet specific criteria. Generally, there are four paths to obtaining a green card:
- Through a family member: Many people obtain green cards through family members — either blood relatives or spouses — who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
Who qualifies for a family visa?
A United States citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) may be able to sponsor their family members for visas. The two types of visas are Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas and Family Preference Immigrant Visas. Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas may be issued to the following types of family members of a U.S. citizen:
- Unmarried child under the age of 21;
- Foreign orphan legally adopted in a foreign country;
- Foreign orphan who will be legally adopted in the U.S.; and
- Parent of a citizen who is at least 21 years of age
Family Preference Categories
Family Preference Immigrant Visas may be issued to the relatives who qualify under the following family preference categories:
- Family First Preference: Unmarried children and minor grandchildren of U.S. citizens
- Family Second Preference: Spouses, minors and unmarried children over the age of 21 of LPRs
- Family Third Preference: Married children of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children
- Family Fourth Preference: Siblings of U.S. citizens over the age of 21, and their spouses and minors
- Through work: Employers can sponsor certain workers to obtain a green card. However, this process is typically long, complicated and extremely selective.
- Through the official green card “lottery”: Residents of certain countries can enter to obtain a green card through the federal government’s diversity visa lottery. Up to 50,000 people are selected each year
- Through asylum: Asylum opens the door to permanent residence for those who suffered persecution in their home countries on the basis of certain grounds.
Asylees may qualify to apply for lawful permanent residency one year from the date of granted asylee status. Spouses and children may also apply if included in the asylum grant.
Asylees may qualify for lawful permanent residency status if the following requirements are met:
- They have been physically present in the United States for one year from the date they were granted asylum
- They are admissible to the United States
- Their asylee status has not been terminated
- They continue to meet the definition of asylee
- They have not abandoned their status as an asylee (i.e. returned to the country from which the individual sought asylee status)
- They have not firmly resettled in another country.
Asylees must pay both the USCIS filing fee and the biometrics fee. If an individual is approved for lawful permanent residency, the date of their adjustment of status will be recorded as a date one year prior to their actual approval date.
For example, if an individual is approved for lawful permanent residency on January 1, 2010, the date of their residency will actually be recorded as January 1, 2009.
Individuals who initially obtained asylee status as the spouse or child of a principal applicant for asylum, may still qualify for lawful permanent resident status even if they are no longer married to the principal applicant or in the case of a child, even if they are now over 21 years old or married.
In order to do so, an individual will need to file a new Form I-589 Application for Asylum with their local asylum office. Once the new I-589 is approved, an individual may apply for adjustment of status. If you think this situation applies to you, you may want to consult our office for assistance in this process.
The Green Card Process
Getting a green card involves much more than submitting a petition. The process can be extremely complex, especially if you have special circumstances such as a criminal history or unlawful presence in the United States. Undocumented immigrants often must return to their home countries to pursue a green card through consular processing.
Because each situation is unique, you should begin by seeking qualified legal guidance. Our team can take a close look at your situation. We will walk you through the process and let you know what to expect, helping you avoid the stress and uncertainty of tackling such an important matter on your own.
The fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa allows the foreign national fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen to travel to the U.S. in order to marry their U.S. sponsor within 90 days of their arrival. As a fiancé(e) visa enables the holder to immigrate to the U.S., they must meet some of the eligibility requirements of an immigrant visa.
After they have married their sponsor, they will need to apply for an adjustment of status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). A fiancé(e) visa automatically expires after 90 days, and if the two have not married by that time, they’re in violation of immigration law and could face deportation and possible ineligibility for immigration.
USCIS is very thorough in their examination of fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa applications, to ensure that those applying are seeking real and lasting marriage, and not merely looking for a way to con the immigration system. Applicants will be required to provide sufficient evidence of their commitment to true union, and may have to undergo a thorough interview process.
There are two types of immigration appeals:
Administrative Appeals Office
One appeal you may be able to make is for the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) to reopen or reconsider your immigration application. This kind of appeal must be filed with the office that made the initial decision within 30 days of the original decision, and you must be able to provide new information to support your petition for an appeal.
Citizenship & Immigration Service
You may be able to file an appeal with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) as well. With this kind of appeal, one of three decisions can be made: agreement resulting in a reversal of decision; disagreement resulting in the affirmation of the original decision; return of the case to the original office for review.
The forms and procedures for either of these kinds of appeals can be very confusing, but accuracy and punctuality is vital. Any mistakes made on an appeal form could cause your request to be delayed, and if it ends up being submitted after the deadline, it will cause it to be dismissed altogether. So, if you are seeking to appeal a decision made on your immigration application, be sure that you have the counsel and representation of a qualified Miami Immigration Appeals lawyer.
Before you can apply to become a citizen, you must prove that you have lived in this country with a green card for at least five years. This is reduced to three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen. It is also possible to qualify by providing certain types of service in the United States military, as well as through supplying proof that your parent is a citizen.
To qualify, you must also:
- Have lived in the state or district in which you are filing your application for at least 3 months
- You have not spent more than 12 months outside the U.S.
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have proof of your status as a Permanent Resident of the U.S.
- Pass a test of your ability to read, write, and speak English
- Demonstrate your knowledge of U.S. history and government
- Show that you are person of good moral character
- Take the oath of allegiance and swear to obey all laws of the U.S.
- Forsake any foreign allegiance or loyalty
A large percentage of our clients use USCIS Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, though others may need Form N-600, which is used by individuals whose parents are already U.S. citizens. We understand how important it may be to you to become a citizen, and will work diligently to help you achieve this goal.
Immigrant Business visas
There are five main types of immigrant business visas:
- Employment First Preference (E1): Priority Workers
- Persons with extraordinary ability
- Outstanding professors and researchers
- Multinational managers or executives
- Employment First Preference (E1): Priority Workers
“Priority workers” include managers and executives who have worked with an overseas employer in a managerial or executive position for at least one year out of the past three (3) years. It also includes individuals of “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics and also “outstanding professors and researchers.”
- Employment Second Preference (E2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
The Second Preference “advanced degree professionals and aliens of exceptional ability” category includes individuals who hold a U.S. academic professional degree at the Masters level or higher, as well as those individuals whose expertise is significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts or business. Individuals immigrating in this preference will be required to obtain labor certification.
- Employment Third Preference (E3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers
The “skilled workers, professionals and other workers” category is split into two subcategories: (1) skilled workers and professionals, and (2) other workers. The skilled workers and professionals subcategory includes individuals with offers to work in U.S. in jobs requiring two years or more of post-secondary education, training and/or experience. The unskilled workers subcategory includes individuals in positions requiring less than two years of experience, post-secondary education and/or training. A total of 30,000 visas per year are available to individuals immigrating in the skilled workers and professionals subcategory; only 10,000 visas per year are available in the unskilled workers subcategory.
- Employment Fourth Preference (E4): Certain Special Immigrants
Special interest workers include certain individuals who have been employed by the U.S. government, religious workers and other groups of special concern to the U.S.
- Employment Fifth Preference (E5): Immigrant Investors
The investor category is for individuals who invest $1 million or more in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S., creating employment for not less than ten (10) U.S. employees. The investment can be as low as $500,000 in designated areas of high unemployment or rural areas. The investment must be active and not passive and must be ongoing for two years before unconditional LPR status will be granted.
Consular Processing Waiver:
If you are denied an immigrant visa because you’re deemed “inadmissible” to the U.S., you have options. When informed of a denial, you’ll also be told why you are inadmissible — it may be related to your health, past criminal charges or other grounds. You have the option to file for a waiver of those grounds that make you inadmissible. We will help you prepare the waiver that suits your case and properly file it with appropriate supporting documents. We understand the forms don’t tell your whole story, and we will do everything in our power to make sure the USCIS appreciates your unique circumstances.