Immigration

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FAMILY BASED APPLICATIONS FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE


U.S. Citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents and Refugees admitted as a refugee within the past 2 years, or an asylee who was granted asylum within the past 2 years might be able to sponsor certain family members for an immigrant visa, which can result in a Legal Permanent Resident Status (“Green Card”). Your status determines which relatives (or future relatives) may be eligible to received immigration benefits. To be eligible to sponsor a family member, the U.S. petitioner must establish they have a qualifying relationship with the foreign national relative, and sufficient financial means to support there sponsored relative(s). A U.S. Citizen may petition their spouse, unmarried sons and daughters, married sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters for an immigrant visa. Lawful Permanent Residents may sponsor their spouses and children, and unmarried sons and daughters. Most family based applications consist of two steps: 1) the I-130, Immigrant Visa Petition, and then 2) either an adjustment of status application or consular processing for an Immigrant Visa. The differences and eligibility can be very complicated and are greatly benefited from attorney assistance. Central Law Group, PLLC can assist you in determining your eligibility, preparation and representation at USCIS offices and respective consulates.




FIANCÉ(E) VISAS


The fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa is for a foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. Citizen. The K-1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. Citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The foreign-citizen will then need to apply for adjustment of status to a Legal Permanent Resident Status (“Green Card”). Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants can receive K-2 visas. To qualify for the fiancé(e) visa, the U.S. Citizen petitioner and their foreign national fiancé(e) must establish, that they intend to marry within 90 days of the foreign national fiancé(e) entering the U.S., that they are lawfully able to marry in the intended jurisdiction in the U.S., and that the two have met in person within the last 2 years (unless they can demonstrate that meeting in person would create extreme hardship or violate strong and long-established customs.). Central Law Group, PLLC can assist you in determining your eligibility, preparation and representation before USCIS offices and respective consulates.




B-2 VISITOR ENTRY VISAS


Individuals entering the U.S. for a limited time to visit (typically 90 days or less, but up to 1 year). These individuals must prove to consular and border officials that they are entering the U.S. temporarily for the purpose of visiting the U.S. (i.e. for a vacation, to visit friends and family, etc.). For visa issuance, the traveler will need to demonstrate that they maintain strong ties to their home country, sufficient funds available to pay for their trip, and will return to their home country at the conclusion of their visit. The B-2 visa holder is not allowed to engage in employment nor may they perform work as a freelancer or independent contractor. As an exception to the need for a visa, the Visa Waiver Program permits visitors from many countries who have qualifying passports to stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a U.S. entry visa. Canadian nationals are visa exempt. Talk to the attorneys at Central Law Group, PLLC to determine your eligibility and help with preparation.




U.S. NATURALIZATION APPLICATIONS


Individuals holding lawful permanent residence (“Green Card”) may apply to become a Naturalized U.S. Citizen after a period of three or five years. To qualify for U.S. citizenship, a permanent resident must be at least 18 years old and demonstrate that they are eligible for U.S. Citizenship. The applicant must also meet the permanent residence duration requirement, are able to communicate in the English language, and have knowledge of U.S. civics. The U.S. government does allow individuals to hold dual-citizenship with their home country, however many other countries do not have the same allowance. Thus, individuals who do not wish to give up their home country citizenship should check with their home country prior to applying for U.S. citizenship to determine whether they will be allowed to hold dual citizenship. Understanding the process of becoming a U.S. Citizen, and determining the qualifications can be very complicated depending on the individual, allow the Central Law Group, PLLC to help you through the process and represent you before the USCIS.




DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVAL APPLICATIONS


Some foreign nationals who arrived in the U.S. as children and do not have a lawful status may be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (“DACA”) for a period of two years, subject to renewal. Individuals who qualify under DACA may also be eligible for employment authorization. Deferred action is available to individuals who: 1) were under the age of 31 as on June 15, 2012; 2) arrived in the U.S. prior to reaching the age of 16; 3) have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 to present; 4) were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time of request for deferred action; 5) entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or whose lawful status expired as of June 15, 2012; 6) are currently enrolled in school, or have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or a GED, or are honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces; and 7) have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors or otherwise pose a national security or public safety threat. Allow the attorneys at Central Law Group, PLLC to help you through the complexities and determining with eligibility as well as the preparation of your DACA applications.




EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION DOCUMENT APPLICATIONS


Certain individuals who are in the U.S. in nonimmigrant status may apply for an Employment Authorization Document to allow them to work in the U.S. Individuals eligible for an EAD document include (but are not limited to), spouses of L-1s, E-1/E-2/E-3s, and J-1s; individuals in F-1 status who meet certain requirements; beneficiaries of DACA applications, Temporary Protected Status holders; certain refugees and asylees; VAWA beneficiaries; eligible U and T status holders as well as many other categories. The complexities of eligibility vary greatly depending on the respective status. Let the Central Law Group, PLLC navigate the complexities with you and assist you in obtaining an employment authorization card.




F-1 AND J-1 STUDENT AND EXCHANGE VISITOR APPLICATIONS


Individuals seeking entry to the U.S. to attend school or participate in one of several J-1 exchange visitor programs. Individuals may obtain an F-1 visa or J-1 student visa to attend school in the U.S., provided acceptance by a U.S. institution, demonstrated ability to pay for education costs and living costs, and an intent to return to one’s home country following completion of the program. There are several J-1 categories in addition to the student classification that allow individuals to enter the U.S. to engage in designated programs and cultural exchange. Other J-1 categories include: Au Pair, Trainee/Intern, Physician, Professor and Research Scholar, Summer Work Travel, Government Visitor, and Camp Counselor. The Central Law Group, PLLC can help you though this process and explain the nuances and eligibility.




WAIVER AND ADMISSIBILITY ISSUES


It is common for individuals to have admissibility issues that need to be resolved to allow them to obtain a desired visa or status in the U.S. Often times this requires individuals to obtain a waiver. Central Law Group, PLLC has prepared numerous waivers addressing a variety of admissibility issues including the I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver; the I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility; the I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal; and the I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant. The application and use of waivers is very complex. While many waivers look at extreme hardship to a qualifying relative, others do not and use standards such as national or public interest or other qualifications. While all waivers are complicated the Central Law Group, PLLC is here to help you through the process and will work diligently with through your case.




TPS AND HUMANITARIAN VISAS


Since 1990, the United States has granted a form of humanitarian relief called Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) to nationals of certain countries that have become embroiled in violent conflict or suffered a natural disaster. The countries which have been granted TPS and are current change every so often. It is important to talk to an attorney and discuss eligibility as applications are required to be submitted within a specified time period and require continuous physical presence and residence within the United States. Let the Central Law Group, PLLC help you through the process and assist you in the preparation of your applications.




TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND ADVANCE PAROLE


Those within the United States under various statuses as well is those with certain pending statuses may be able to obtain travel documents or advance parole. These documents can allow travel outside the United States, when allowed, under the persons current or pending status. It is of extreme importance that a person desiring to travel outside the United States with a travel document or advance parole, talk to an attorney to evaluate potential issues. The departure from the United States can have serious negative ramifications to the individual and result in the triggering of various admissibility issues. Talk to the attorneys at Central Law Group, PLLC to assist you in the evaluation to prevent future issues regarding your immigration status.




SPECIAL IMMIGRANT JUVENILE STATUS


Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”) is an immigration benefit and potential path to a green card for children who are found to be abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents. Created by Congress in 1990, and revisited many times since its creation, this type of immigration relief helps certain vulnerable children for whom it may not be in their best interest to return to their home country. Children with SIJS may apply for legal permanent residency, i.e., a green card, before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) if not in removal proceedings, or before the Immigration Court if in removal proceedings. Vulnerable children deserve the proper care representation, let the attorneys of Central Law Group, PLLC help you with determining your eligibility and representation throughout the process.




VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT


The requirements for an immigration case under the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) vary based on the facts of the case. In certain circumstances, VAWA can apply to parents or children who have been abused or battered by a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. VAWA can also be used by abused spouses and children of Cuban Adjustment, HRIFA, and NACARA beneficiaries. VAWA is not only available to women can also apply to me in males. To win your VAWA case, you need to show that you were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by your spouse. USCIS takes into consideration a variety of domestic violence, which is not limited to physical abuse. Often people mistakenly believe that a successful Violence Against Women Act application must be supported with a police report. But this is not true. U.S. immigration laws provide a flexible legal standard, which allows VAWA self-petitioners to submit “any credible evidence.” VAWA are complex and often difficult, the attorneys at Central Law Group, PLLC can guide you through the process and assist you with your case.




U NONIMMIGRANT VISA


Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa (“U-Visa”) with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The goal of the program was to help strengthen the ability for law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute crimes by helping undocumented people to feel comfortable from coming out of the shadows and report when they are the victims of criminal activity. To be eligible for a U-Visa the individual must be a victim of qualifying criminal activity who is within the United States or its territories. The individual must also have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse and have been helpful or will likely be helpful in the investigation and prosecution of the crime. The process for obtaining eligibility to file a U-Visa as well as the proper submission of a U-Visa application is complicated and should always be done with the guidance of an attorney or accredited representative. Let the attorneys of the Central Law Group, PLLC help you through this process and evaluate your case.




IMMIGRATION COURT AND BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS


The Executive Office of Immigration Review (“EOIR”) adjudicates immigration cases of detained individuals, criminal aliens, those in removal proceedings amongst others. The EOIR was created internally through the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and is separate from the United States Department of Homeland Security which contains both USCIS and the Office of Chief Counsel (“OCC”). The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) is the appellate body of the EOIR and is also within the DOJ. The vast majority of those in proceedings before the EOIR are those found within the borders of the United States or entering its borders with no legal status. While others may have legal status, but are placed in proceedings based on a variety of criminal charges. Regardless of the reason, time is often of the essence and communicating with an attorney promptly can often make a significant difference in the case. Central Law Group, PLLC can assist those before the EOIR and BIA with the appropriate legal relief from removal or cancelation depending on the circumstances. Allow us to provide you a consultation to determine what relief may be available.





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