Previous arrests and criminal convictions, even for misdemeanor offenses, may affect an individual’s ability to apply for immigration status. Likewise, immigration law violations or contact with Immigration officials may negatively affect an immigration case. If an individual has previously been arrested by the police or Immigration authorities, it is important to review those records and asses any effect on an immigration application. Our firm offers assistance with comprehensive background checks and evaluation of the results.
We represent clients in bond negotiations with ICE officers and before the Immigration Court. There are many factors that may influence the amount of an immigration bond, including the existence of positive factors such as an individual’s family and property ties in the U.S. and their eligibility to apply for immigration status.
Our attorney successfully advocates for clients before the Immigration Court. We defend clients from removal/ deportation through requests for prosecutorial discretion, cancellation of removal, waiver applications, voluntary departure or any other type of benefit that may be available to an individual.
This benefit is available to both documented and undocumented individuals in removal (deportation) proceedings. Those who are undocumented must prove to the Immigration Judge they have been in the United States for 10 years, have “good moral character” and must prove that certain close family members will suffer if they are ordered removed (deported).
Individuals who have previously been ordered deported but remain in the United States are at risk of being arrested, detained and deported, even if the deportation was ordered many years ago. Our office can assist in filing a “stay of removal” to request that the government allow the person to remain in the United States because of various positive factors in their case, such as needing to care for their U.S. citizen children. An individual with an approved “stay” may apply for employment authorization.
Family visa petitions/Adjustment of status (applying for lawful permanent residence inside the United States):
Some individuals are eligible to apply for adjustment of status (“a green card”) inside the United States if they either entered the United States legally or if they are a beneficiary of a visa petition filed before April 30, 2001. Our office represents clients throughout this application and interview process.
Many individuals must apply for lawful permanent residence abroad at a U.S. consulate. Our office assists clients in navigating this process both with the National Visa Center and the U.S. Department of State.
An individual’s criminal or immigration history may require a waiver in order to apply for lawful status. Our attorney has successfully handled both routine and complicated waivers for unlawful presence in the United States, criminal convictions and previous removal (deportation) orders.
Lawful permanent residents who obtain their status through a marriage that occurred within two years at the time of approval are granted “conditional residence.” After two years with conditional resident status, the individual must apply to “remove the conditions” from their lawful permanent resident status. Our firm handles these petitions, including when the underlying marriage has ended.
Various paths to lawful immigration status exist for victims of violent crimes and for abused spouses and children of lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens.
Individuals with TPS must reregister every eighteen months and must apply for special permission called “advance parole” in order to travel. The rules for TPS are specific and detailed, and individuals who have been arrested since their last re-registration should seek legal advice to ensure their application will be approved.
Deferred action is available for certain young people who can prove various requirements, including entry into the United States before age 16 and continuous physical presence since June 15, 2007. The individual must also have a diploma, GED, or be enrolled in an accredited diploma/GED program.
Generally, lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply for naturalization ninety days before the five year anniversary, or three-year anniversary if married to a U.S. citizen, of becoming a lawful permanent resident. Individuals with any criminal history, even misdemeanors, should consult with an attorney prior to filing an application even if the conviction is from many years ago.
This law allows certain individuals from Guatemala and El Salvador to apply for lawful permanent residence depending on their history in the United States. Some spouses and children may also be eligible to apply as derivatives.