If you have been harmed in your country or your think you would be harmed in your country, you may be able to apply for asylum in the United States. To be eligible for asylum, you will have to establish that you were or would be harmed either by your country’s government or a group that your government cannot control. You have to establish that you were or would be harmed because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or social group.
In order to become a U.S. citizen, also known as “naturalization,” a person must meet certain requirements.
“Consular processing” or “visa processing” means applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad in order to come to the United States and receive a permanent resident card (green card).
If you are not a U.S. citizen, arrests and criminal convictions – even for things that happened a long time ago or things that seem very minor – can have a major impact on your immigration status. The intersection of criminal and immigration laws is extremely complicated, and the rules change frequently.
The attorneys at Green and Gardner have extensive experience analyzing the immigration consequences of criminal charges and advising criminal defense attorneys and non-citizens about these consequences.
Deferred Action (DACA and DAPA)
On November 20, 2014, the government announced a new DACA policy. Under the new policy, childhood arrivals to the United States could be eligible for deferred action if they meet certain requirements.
Due to a federal court order, the DAPA program is currently suspended until further notice. Contact Lisa Green & Associates for updates on the availability of the DAPA program.
Work Permits, or “Employment Authorization Documents (EADs),” are available to people who have filed certain applications and those applications are pending. The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific requirements to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. on a temporary agricultural visa to fill seasonal agricultural jobs. H-1B visas are non-immigrant employment-based visas for people in “specialty occupations.”
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (a green card holder) may apply for certain family members to obtain lawful permanent resident status (a green card) in the United States. A U.S. citizen may also file a K-1 visa for a fiancé (e) abroad.
Removal Proceedings/Deportation Defense
“Removal” is another word for deportation. “Removal proceedings” refers to the process of appearing before the Immigration Judge in Immigration Court to answer to charges that a person is removable, or deportable from the United States.
Victims of Crime
The Violence Against Women Act, or “VAWA,” offers relief to spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have suffered abuse.
If you are seeking to apply for a nonimmigrant visa — such as a tourist visa, or an L, H, E, O, or P visa — but you are inadmissible, you may be eligible to apply for a nonimmigrant waiver.
If you have a criminal conviction or have broken the immigration laws in the past, you may be “inadmissible” to the United States – in other words, ineligible for a visa or green card. If you are inadmissible and you are seeking to come to the U.S. permanently with a green card, whether you are applying for the green card based on a family relationship or through employment, you will need an immigrant waiver.