The two main methods for obtaining legal, permanent residency in the U.S. are adjustment of status (residency application is processed in the U.S.) and consular processing (residency application is processed in the U.S. consulate in applicant’s home country). While it is always preferable to keep a case in United States, most people do not qualify to interview in the U.S. and must return to their home country for their residency interview. The applicant’s process will ultimately depend upon the applicant’s individual circumstances.
Adjustment of Status
Because the applicant is not required to travel to their home country for their visa interview, adjustment of status is generally the preferable method of processing a residency application. Adjustment of status may be available for certain individuals with visa petitions filed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, child, parent or sibling. Applicants who entered the U.S. legally or who have a previously filed residency application will likely qualify for this process.
Most individuals seeking permanent residency through a family petition will likely do so under this process. The applicant will have to return to their home country for their residency interview before a U.S. Consul who will examine eligibility and admissibility. Most consular processing cases require a waiver of inadmissibility that must be approved before permanent resident status is granted. Consular processing is a complex process that requires substantial preparation before the applicant departs for their consular interview.
K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa
A US Citizen, who wishes to marry their non-citizen fiancé(e) in the United States may file a K-1 fiancé(e) visa petition on behalf of his/her fiancé(e). Once the petition is approved, the fiancé(e) will be able to enter the U.S. The marriage must take place within 90 days of the fiancé(e)’s arrival to the United States. Once the marriage takes place, the fiancé(e) (now the spouse) will be eligible to apply for permanent resident status in the U.S. If you are looking to petition for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, contact to Law Office of Claudia Perez to discuss your situation and determine if this is the right option for you.
Deportation Defense in Court
Deportation is a unique and complex type of legal proceeding. Undocumented individuals, temporary visa holders and even permanent residents living in the U.S. can potentially be subject to deportation proceedings in immigration court. Proceedings can be triggered due to several reasons, including minor criminal convictions such as a DUI or driving without a license.
Facing deportation from the United States can be a frightening and stressful experience. If deportation proceedings have been initiated against you, you are entitled to have a hearing before a judge and to be represented by a lawyer. If you or a loved one have been targeted for deportation or are currently being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), you need to talk to an immigration lawyer right away. There are several ways to fight a deportation and remain in the United States. Contact the Law Office of Claudia Perez to set up a consultation to evaluate your case and discuss your defense options.
Becoming a United States Citizen is an important decision that can greatly benefit your life. A U. S. citizens has the right to vote, can live anywhere in the world without losing status, and, unlike a lawful permanent resident, a U.S. citizen will not face removal from the United States. However, the path to citizenship can be complex. Individuals applying for citizenship should be aware of the specific application guidelines as errors may result in delays and complications, which can be costly to correct and, in some cases, could trigger deportation proceedings. Attorney Perez can review your case and identify any potential issues that may complicate your process.
Additionally, citizenship applicants must demonstrate an ability to communicate, read, and write in English. Applicants must also pass an exam based on U.S. history, government and other American principles. This portion of the process may be very difficult for those individuals who are not properly prepared for the examination. Some individuals may qualify to take the citizenship exam in their native language if they meet certain requirements. The Law Office of Claudia Perez Can an assist you in preparing your application and preparing you for the citizenship exam. Make an appointment to arrange a free evaluation of your case.
Visas for Victims of Crime
U visas are available to immigrants who are victims of certain crimes and who step forward with information related to the crime. The U visa allows victims of crime and their family to remain in the United States, obtain employment authorization, and apply for permanent resident status.
People who wish to obtain a U visa must provide sufficient evidence to prove they meet all the requirements of this visa. In addition, the investigating authorities must provide a certification indicating the person helped in the investigation of the crime. If you or a loved one is a noncitizen and was a victim of a crime, it is important to explore your rights with a qualified immigration lawyer. At the Law Office of Claudia Perez, we can review you situation and determine whether we can pursue this immigration option. We handle every step of the application process, including the certification requirement from the appropriate law enforcement agency.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law with special immigration provisions to protect those who are the victims of domestic violence at the hands of U.S. citizens or residents. The immigration benefits of VAWA provide some key means for applicants to leave their abusive relationship and establish an independent life in the U.S. Under VAWA, a victim can petition for permanent residency without the assistance or knowledge of their abuser.
Individuals who can apply for VAWA include:
- The abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Children abused by U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Men abused by their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse
There are a number of procedural and evidentiary requirements for obtaining the benefits of VAWA. If you or a non-citizen family member needs a competent attorney to handle a VAWA matter, contact the Law Office of Claudia Perez. Attorney Perez can discuss your particular situation and determine whether VAWA is the best option. We handle every step of the application process while remaining sensitive to the special needs and concerns of each applicant.
Individuals who fear persecution in their home country on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political persuasion, and/or membership in a particular social group may qualify for political asylum in the United States. Those who are granted asylum are given permission to remain in the U.S. and may bring their spouses and children as well. Applications for permanent residency may be filed just one year after asylum is granted.
In political asylum cases, the applicant has the burden of proof and applicants get only one chance to get the petition right. If you believe you qualify for asylum in the United States, the Law Office of Claudia Perez can help you submit the most persuasive and compelling asylum petition and give you the best chance of success.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
President Obama announced the deferred action initiative on June 15, 2012. DACA provides some important benefits for those who qualify. If you were brought to the United States before the age of 16 you may be eligible to avoid deportation and work legally in the U.S. To qualify:
- You entered the U.S. before the age of 16;
- You have lived in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007;
- You were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012
- You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- You entered the U.S. illegally or your legal status expired before June 15, 2012;
- You are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have received your GED certification or have been honorably discharged from the military;
- You have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and you do not pose a threat by remaining in the U.S.
If you believe you meet the requirements for DACA, or you have questions about whether you may qualify, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation. We can determine whether you qualify and can offer you assistance in preparing and presenting the application.
If you are not a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., you must obtain permission to work legally in the United States. We can help you renew or obtain a work permit. These permits are known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Tourist Visas B-1/B-2
Most Individuals who wish to visit United States temporarily for business, for pleasure, or for medical treatment need to obtain a “visitor” visa. Acceptable activities under the B-1/B-2 visas include certain business activity, tourism, visits with relatives, medical treatment, participation in certain sport, musical, and talent activity.
In order to obtain a B Visa, you must file an application at the U.S. Consulate and prove that the trip is indeed planned for a limited amount of time. Many factors may be considered such as family, business, and property ties in the applicant’s home country. You must also prove that you are financially capable of covering the expenses of the trip.
At the Law Office of Claudia Perez we understand that when you are seeking to visit the United States, you are likely on a deadline and are in need of legal assistance to help finalize the plans for your trip as soon as possible. We are here to help.