At Alonso, Perez & Santos, LLP having personally experienced the hardships of the United States immigration system, we know firsthand the value of an aggressive immigration attorney. We handle an array of immigration law issues, including asylum, naturalization, and visa extensions. We also deal with all types of family-based visas and employment-based visas.
United States immigration law is complex and can be very intimidating, and individuals, families, and businesses can be stuck navigating the system for years before receiving an answer. Immigration laws are always changing, and immigration courts and agencies do not always apply the laws consistently from case to case.
We can assist you with a variety of immigration issues, including but not limited to:
United States citizens and permanent residents can petition foreign relatives to immigrate to the United States for the purpose of family unity. The relationships that can serve as sponsors are as follows:
Immediate relatives: Spouse, mother, father and children under twenty-one years of age of a United States Citizen; (Visa is immediately available)
Family First Preference: Unmarried sons and daughters (over 21 years of age) of a United States Citizen (subject to quota);
Family Second Preference: Spouse and unmarried sons and daughters under 21 years of age of lawful permanent residents (green card holders) are classified as Family 2A, unmarried sons and daughters over 21 years of age are classified under Family 2B.(both are subject to quota);
Family Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (over 21 years of age) of United States Citizens (subject to quota);
Family Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of United States Citizens (subject to quotas).
Generally, you may apply for naturalization if you are 18 years old and you have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years. You can also apply if you became a lawful permanent resident through marriage and have had your permanent residence for at least 3 years; you are still married to and have been living with the same U.S. citizen spouse for the last 3 years. Also, if you became a lawful permanent resident through marriage to an abusive U.S. citizen spouse and have had your green card at least 3 years. You do not need to be residing with your abusive spouse if that was the basis of your obtaining residence.
You must also be a person of good moral character. You must have continuously resided within the United States for the statutory period (3 or 5 years) prior to filing form N-400, and you must be physically present in the United States for at least half of the 3 or 5 years statutory period.
If you have ever been arrested, convicted or even have a lot of speeding tickets you should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before you file for Naturalization. The Immigration officer will examine your entire file including how you got your permanent residence before you can become a citizen. Not only can your case be denied, you could end up in removal (deportation) as a result
Asylum is the process of seeking protection for an individual who is already in the U.S to stay in the U.S., for fear of persecution once they return home. This fear of persecution is generally due to:
• Political Opinion
• Membership of social groups
If the individual has felt persecuted or fears persecution, they can file an I-589 form, the Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal. In order to be granted asylum, there must be proof of persecution or risk of persecution upon returning to their home country. Application should be submitted no less than one year after entering the U.S. Spouses and children may be included in the application. If applying for children, they must be under 21 years old and unmarried. You may apply for a green card after one year of being granted asylum
Deportation proceedings start with receiving a Notice to Appear from the Department of Homeland Security. This document orders you to appear in front of an immigration judge. The document also informs you why you are being order to appear, what crimes you committed, the right for an attorney, and the consequences if you don’t show up.
There are several types of relief from deportation:
• Cancellation of removal
• Adjustment of status
Employment-based immigration allows foreign nationals who have skills and talents needed in the United States to obtain lawful permanent residence ("green card"). The employment based immigrant classifications are divided into five categories:
First Preference: Priority Workers – includes individuals with 'extraordinary ability', 'outstanding professors and researchers' and 'certain multinational executives and managers of multinational companies.'
Second Preference: Professionals holding advanced degrees or those persons with exceptional ability in arts, sciences or business are classified as aliens of extraordinary abilities.
Third Preference: Professionals, skilled and unskilled workers. Foreign nationals who are professional holding Bachelor's Degrees, skilled workers performing labor requiring at least two years training or experience and unskilled workers. Only 10,000 visas per year are available for the unskilled workers. A labor certification is required for all third preference immigrants.
Fourth Preference: Special Immigrants. Foreign nationals who are ministers, religious workers and certain other special immigrants.
Fifth Preference: Employment Creation. Foreign nationals who invest $1,000,000.00 ($500,000.00 in some locations) in a job-creating enterprise in the United States. No labor certification is required.
E-1 Visas, or Treaty Trader Visas, are issued for immigrants that wish to enter the United States to engage in a substantial trade between their home country and the U.S. This trade refers to an exchange of goods, services, money and/or technology.
E-2 Visas, or Treaty Investor Visas, allow immigrants to enter the U.S. in order to direct and develop a commercial enterprise or business they invested in, or are in the process of investing in. The U.S. must have a treaty of commerce with the home country of the immigrant, and the investment must be substantial. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of an E-2 Visa holder may enter and remain in the United States by applying for Employment Authorization utilizing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Spouses and children of E-2 Visa holders may also attend school in the United States. Immigrants from the following countries are eligible to qualify for an E-2 Visa in the U.S.:
Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Canada, Colombia, Congo, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Grenada, Georgia, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Korea (South), Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Zaire.
EB-5 Petitions, the employment-based fifth preference category, was created to attract foreign capital to the United States. In order to qualify under the EB-5 category, foreign investors must:
• Invest $1 million in either a new or existing U.S. business or commercial enterprise that will create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs.
• Invest $500,000 in a new or existing U.S. business or commercial enterprise that is in either a rural area, an area with a high unemployment rate, or by investing in a Regional Center.
• Invest in a U.S. government designated Regional Center.
• Prove that the investment will somehow benefit the U.S. economy.
L-1 Visa, or Intra Company Transfer Visas,are temporary visas for certain employees of foreign companies to obtain residency in the U.S. The L-1 Visa is a convenient way for transferring executives, managers and other specialized workers between affiliated companies. Typically, in order to qualify for an L-1 Visa, the petitioning foreign company must demonstrate that:
The Company and a U.S. entity have a qualified relationship. There are a number of ways to establish this relationship. The Company may open a branch office, incorporate a subsidiary or enter into a qualified joint venture in the U.S. The foreign Company must “control” the U.S. Company, which typically requires it to won at least 51% of the stock of the U.S. entity.
Within the three years preceding the petition, the prospective transferee must have worked continuously for the parent foreign employer for at least one year in either an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge employee capacity.
The employee intends to enter the U.S. to work for the affiliated U.S. Company in either an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity. This means that the person must manage or direct other employees within the company structure or have specialized knowledge as an employee, and the U.S. Company must be ready to hire such employees on its payroll.
The employee is qualified to assume the executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity position in the U.S.
The foreign company must continue to conduct business while the transferee is in the U.S. (at least until permanent residency is secured).
At Alonso, Perez & Santos we offer free consultations, if you are in need of an experienced and committed immigration lawyer and would like to arrange a free consultation, please contact Alonso, Perez & Santos today.