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Are you in the United States unlawfully? Did you overstay your visa? Have you received a notice to appear? If so, you are at risk of being permanently removed from the United States. Read more about deportation & removal proceedings below and contact a Lynchburg, Virginia Immigration lawyer today!
Are you looking to permanently stay in the United States? Would you like to take advantage of the benefits of becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) by obtaining your "Green Card"? Read more about becoming a LPR below, and contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration layer today.
Do you want to work in the United States? Do you want to study in the United States? Do you want to travel in the United States? If so, you may need a visa to do so. Read more about obtaining a visa below, and contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today to see if you qualify to receive one.
Did you obtain a visa and would now like to remain in the U.S. permanently. Are you a Lawful Permanent Resident who desires to become a U.S. citizen? If so, you will need to become "naturalized". Read more about naturalization below, and contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today.
DEPORTATION & REMOVAL DEFENSE
Individuals without documentation to stay in the U.S. are at a heightened risk for removal, also known as deportation. Even lawful permanent residents with proper documentation can be vulnerable to the threat of removal. Are you concerned about being sent back to your native country? Have you received a NTA (Notice to Appear)? Looking for someone to help you navigate this complicated process? Removal or deportation can be scary and overwhelming. It’s important to know your rights and to understand what is expected of you. The grounds for removal, or deportation, are vast and touch many different areas. The following are examples of conduct that may initiate removal or deportation proceedings:
• Inadmissibility at time of entry or AOS (Adjustment of Status)
• Status Violations (e.g.- failure to maintain nonimmigrant status; termination of conditional permanent residency; marriage fraud; aiding or encouraging any other alien to enter U.S.)
• Economic Reasons (public charge or institutionalized persons)
• Security/Political Related Grounds (e.g.- terrorist activities; severe violation of religious freedom; recruitment of child soldiers)
• Failure to Register or the Falsification of Documents
• Unlawful Voting
• Criminal Grounds (e.g.- crimes of moral turpitude; drug-related offenses; firearms violations; sex traffickers; other miscellaneous crimes)
• Aggravated Felonies (e.g.- murder, rape or sexual abuse of minor; trafficking in controlled substance; trafficking in firearms, destructive devise; crimes of violence; forging or counterfeiting passport; attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the aforementioned crimes)
These examples are not a complete list of causes for removal or deportation. You have a right to representation by competent counsel under the protection of due process. To assist with removal proceedings and making your defense to stay in the U.S., contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today!
FAMILY AND MARRIAGE-BASED GREEN CARDS
There are several stages an individual must complete before being issued a green card. The first is filing a petition. Below are listed various petitions that may be filed for someone seeking to obtain a green card in the U.S.:
• Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen- If you are the spouse, parent or a child under age 21 of a U.S. citizen, that individual may file a petition to grant you access into the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident.
• Other Relative of a U.S. Citizen or LPR (lawful permanent resident)- Are you related to a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.? They may also petition for your entry into the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident.
• Fiancé(e)- if you are engaged to, or your fiancé/fiancée is, a U.S. citizen, after meeting certain financial and relationship requirements, they may be able to petition for your lawful permanent residency in the U.S. You may qualify for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
• Child of a Fiancée of a U.S. Citizen- Are you engaged to a U.S. citizen and have a child that you would like to bring into the U.S.? Your child may qualify for the K-2 nonimmigrant visa.
• Widow(er) of a U.S. citizen- if you were married to a U.S. citizen that is now deceased, and you were still married at the time of their death, you may qualify for a green card.
• Abused spouse, child or parent (VAWA)- Are you the spouse of a U.S. citizen or LPR that was abused? Are you a child, unmarried and under 21 years old, of a U.S. citizen or LPR that was abused? Are you the parent of a U.S. citizen that was abused by your child? We may be able to help guide you through the process of obtaining a green card.
Obtaining a green card or lawful permanent residency through an immediate family member can be an exciting yet complicated process. To determine if a petition or visa applies to you or your family member, contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today!
EMPLOYMENT-BASED GREEN CARDS
Petitions from family-members are not the only methods available to an individual attempting to obtain a green card. There are also options available to individuals through employment. Below is a list of some examples:
• First, Second or Third Preference Immigrant Worker- Do you have extraordinary skills in the arts, education, business or athletics? Are you an outstanding professor or researcher? Are you a skilled worker or professional with special training or degrees? Give us a call today to find out if you could qualify as a first, second or third preference immigrant worker and receive a green card.
• Physician National Interest Waiver- A physician looking to serve in underprivileged areas of the U.S. in a full time clinical practice for a specified amount of time may qualify for this national interest waiver and obtain a green card.
• Immigrant Investor- Are you interested in investing $500,000 in a specific employment area in the U.S.? Maybe you’re looking to invest $1 million or more in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. which will create new jobs. If so, contact us today to see if the classification of an immigrant investor could be right for you and help in granting you a green card.
Certain immigrant workers or individuals of varying statuses may qualify for a green card. If you work for a religious organization or a broadcaster traveling to the U.S. for work, you may qualify for special immigrant status under one of these categories:
• Religious Worker- A member of a religious denomination that is seeking to come to the U.S. to work for a nonprofit religious organization may qualify for a green card.
• Special Immigrant Juvenile- if you are or know of a child who has been abused, neglected or even abandoned by his or her parent(s), the child is under the age of 21 on the filing date of Form I-360 and is unmarried, he or she may qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile status
• Afghanistan or Iraq National- Did you work for the U.S. government as an Afghan or Iraqi translator? Did the U.S. government employ you on or after March 20, 2003 for one year or more in Iraq? Are you an Afghan that has been employed by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)? You may qualify for a green card as a special immigrant.
• International Broadcaster- If you are traveling to the U.S. to work as a member of the media for broadcasting, then you may qualify for a green card.
There are many eligibility requirements and limitations on potential special immigrant applicants for green cards. To determine if you may qualify and for assistance in applying, please contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today!
VICTIMS OF CRIMES
The U.S. Congress has passed certain legislation to allot protection for individuals that have been the subjects of human trafficking or various other crimes. With the help of these individuals, U.S. law enforcement and government officials seek to prosecute such criminal activities and grant protection to these victims. Below are two avenues for victims of these crimes seeking to obtain a green card:
• T Nonimmigrant Status (T Visa)- The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA) was passed in 2000 creating the T visa for victims of human trafficking. If you or someone you know is willing to assist in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking, was the victim of such trafficking, and returning home proves to be dangerous, the T visa may be a way out.
• U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa)- If you or someone you know was the victim of a crime which resulted in severe mental or physical abuse, he or she may be eligible to apply for a green card under a U visa. The victim must be willing to assist with ongoing investigations and the prosecution of such crimes. A non-exhaustive list of qualifying crimes are as follows: abduction, incest, extortion, involuntary servitude, torture, trafficking and unlawful criminal restraint. Contact us today to discuss eligibility and the application process.
Dealing with the aftermath of criminal activity or being the victim of trafficking can be a sensitive and overwhelming process. Contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today and us help you explore options for starting a new chapter and determine whether you may qualify for a green card in the U.S.
REFUGEE & ASSYLUM BASED GREEN CARDS
VICTIMS OF ABUSE
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants certain protections to victims of violence, abuse and extreme cruelty. Some victims may be eligible for a green card as a result of such abuse. Below is a non-exhaustive list of potential green card applicants based on the following eligible categories:
• An Abused Spouse, Child or Parent (VAWA)- A spouse or child that has been battered or subject to extreme cruelty may file Form I-360 to petition for a green card.
• Special Immigrant Juvenile- See Special Immigrant for more information.
• An Abused Spouse or Child Under the Cuban Adjustment Act- if you are the spouse or child of a Cuban native or citizen, then you may eligible for a U.S. green card.
• An Abused Spouse or Child Under the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA)- if you have been abused by your spouse or parent that is a LPR (lawful permanent resident) of the U.S. that received his or her green card through the HRIFA, you may qualify for a green card.
As a victim of abuse or violence, individuals suffer hardship and fear of no escape. Contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today and let us help you navigate this difficult process. We may be able to help you find a gateway to freedom and a fresh start in the U.S.
The U.S. grants limited access across the U.S. border to enter, leave, work and travel throughout the country to qualified individuals through various visas. Below are some examples of different visas the U.S. issues to individuals and some examples of ways that you may be able to qualify. Once you have established which visa you may be eligible for, the application or petitioning process can be complex and lengthy. Contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today to ensure the process is done lawfully, accurately and as timely as possible!
Marriage can be an exciting time; however, being from two different countries can make things difficult. Looking to get married in the near future? Are you or your significant other a non-U.S. citizen? The U.S. government provides visas to the fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen to enter the country 90 days prior to the wedding.
After meeting certain criteria, fulfilling sponsorship requirements and completing the application process, the I-129F visa may be issued. This can be a timely process and any discrepancies in the application may extend the time prior to the visa being granted. Additionally, this is only a temporary visa and does not grant permanent residency to the recipient. Action must be taken shortly after the recipient receives conditional permanent residency to lift the conditional status and ensure that he or she is able to remain in the U.S. Contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer to help navigate the process and assist with
bringing you or your significant other into the U.S.
(See also Family or Marriage-Based Green Cards)
Would you like to visit the U.S. on a temporary basis? Interested in entering the U.S. for temporary business or educational purposes? Then you may qualify for a nonimmigrant visa! Entrance into the U.S. may be permitted through the issuance of a nonimmigrant visa (NIV). In order to qualify, the applicant’s intent must be evaluated. Some NIVs require the applicant to have an intent to depart from the U.S.; others allow for a dual intent. For A, B, or F NIVs, recipients are not capable of establishing their domicile in the U.S. and are required to have an intent NOT to abandon their foreign residence. Among various other requirements, NIVs must:
• Have a valid passport;
• Have a valid NIV or border crossing card;
• Obtain the visa at a U.S. consulate unless he or she qualifies for visa exemption;
• Obtain photos and fingerprint scans; and
• Submit Form DS-160 electronically or DS-156 in writing.
Below are some examples of NIVs and each visa’s requirements. To understand what visas you may qualify for, contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today!
If you’re interested in a temporary entry into the U.S. you may need to consider a nonimmigrant visitor’s visa. To qualify, an applicant must have an alien residence in a foreign country that is an “actual dwelling place”, have NO intent of abandoning that foreign residence, and be visiting for a temporary business purpose or for pleasure. Such visas are not intended to be a “catch all” for any person intending to visit the U.S. for any purpose, so it is important to be sure you know which visas you do and do not qualify for before applying. Below are two options for temporary visitor visas:
• B-1 Visitors for Business- Visitors that are engaging in commercial transactions which are NOT involving “gainful employment” may qualify for a B-1 visa and may be granted temporary entrance into the U.S. Individuals participating in volunteering programs serving U.S. local communities, professional athletes, entertainers, artists, musicians, trainers, and tour bus operators may also qualify. This is not an exhaustive list of individuals which may be able to receive a B-1 Visa.
• B-2 Visitors for Pleasure- Visitors may qualify for the B-2 Visa if they are tourists, visiting friends or relatives socially, coming to the U.S. for medical or health-related purposes, participating in conventions for social organizations, participating in non-professional music, sports or similar events without payment or are coming for short courses of study.
To find out if you must obtain a temporary visitor visa and to determine which one(s) you may qualify for, contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer for assistance today!
STUDENTS & TRAINEES
The U.S. provides numerous opportunities for citizens and non-citizens to get an education. Are you interested in taking advantage of one of these educational avenues? Would you like to attend college, graduate school or even obtain a professional degree from a school in the U.S.? Thousands of students each year enter the U.S. to study. Contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer to find out what options are available to students of all ages today! Below are some options for student and trainee visas:
• F Visas, Academic Students- Applicants must have a foreign residence, with no intent to abandon such residence, be a student qualified to pursue a full course of study, seeking to enter the U.S. on a temporary basis and for the sole purpose of studying at an established institution. They must also establish sufficient financial support, an intent to leave the U.S. and adequate academic credentials. This is not a complete list of requirements to qualify for any student F visas. For more information or to see if you can apply, contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today!
• M Visas, Vocational Students- The M Visas are similar to F Visas except the applicant is required to qualify for a vocational or nonacademic institution. Online or distance courses are not permitted unless such programs require the individual to be in-person for class. Other restrictions and limitations apply so contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today to see if an M Visa could be the right fit for you!
J Visas, Exchange Visitors- If you are a professor or research scholar, college or university student, teacher, foreign physician, international visitor, government visitor, camp counselor or summer student in a travel or work program, then you may qualify for an M Visa as an exchange visitor. The applicant must have sufficient funds, be fluent in English, maintain adequate medical insurance and have a residence abroad. This is not a complete list, so for more information on the requirements and availability of a J Visa contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today!
H-3 Visas, Trainees- Have you been invited by an organization to receive training in the U.S. in a particular field? Then you may qualify for an H-3 Trainee Visa. You must have a foreign residence and must return to that residence upon completion of your training. To learn about the H-3 Visa requirements and to determine if you could benefit from applying, contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today!
Student Work Visa- As a student, you may be interested in a visa that not only allows you to study in the U.S., but also work. Certain student visas allow for practical training and other employment opportunities for students with visas. Whether it is on-campus employment, curricular practical training or optional practical training, there are several options available. Each option, however, has its own restrictions on location, work hours and time of participation.
To learn more about what work options may be available to you while on a student visa, contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today!
For some, obtaining a visa to stay in the U.S. is only a temporary solution. Would you like to remain in the U.S. permanently? Do you have a desire to become a U.S. citizen? If so, then you may want to pursue the naturalization process. Some of the benefits of naturalization include obtaining the right to vote, bring family members into the U.S., travel with a U.S. passport, become eligible for federal jobs or become an elected official. The following are certain requirements of individuals seeking naturalization:
• Must be a LPR (lawful permanent resident): lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a LPR; may be eligible even if conditional residency has not been lifted
• Must be at least 18 years of age or older
• Must continuously reside for at least five years in the U.S. following LPR status
• Must have resided in the state where the application is filed for at least three months
• Must meet requirements for good moral character prior to and leading up to the time of naturalization
• Must be attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States
• Must be willing to bear arms, perform noncombatant service or work of national importance
• Must demonstrate knowledge of the English language
This is not a complete list of requirements and each one has its own limitations or exceptions. All applicants are responsible for taking and passing a naturalization exam covering English and civics. All applicants are also required to take the Oath of Allegiance renouncing all former allegiance to any prior nation or sovereignty. Please contact a Lynchburg, Virginia immigration lawyer today to learn more about how to become a U.S. citizen!
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