Immigration law in the United States is increasingly complex. From renewal of documentation to applications for new benefits, navigating the immigration system often requires the assistance of an experienced attorney.
The Immigration Court process starts when a person is served with a Notice to Appear. This document informs the person of the reasons why the Department of Homeland Security believes the person should be removed from the United States. Once a person has been served with a Notice to Appear, an Immigration Judge will determine whether the person may lawfully remain in the United States. Due to the complexity of U.S. immigration law and the uniqueness of the Immigration Court system, a thorough review of each person's case is necessary to determine whether the person has a legal basis for avoiding being removed from the United States.
Permanent Resident Status
There are many ways a foreign national can apply to become a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States. Most common is an application based on an immediate relative relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Depending on a person's circumstances, these applications are made from within the United States or from abroad.
Some individuals need to seek a waiver of a ground of inadmissibility in order to be granted permanent resident status. A waiver can be required for many reasons, including misrepresentations, a prior removal from the United States, arrests, and time spent out of status in the United States. A waiver application must be carefully prepared and tailored to each individual. Working with a knowledgeable immigration attorney can make a significant difference in the quality of a waiver application.
Naturalization is a desirable option for many permanent residents who have lived several years in the United States and want to fully contribute to U.S. society. However, people with complications in their past may find that an application for naturalization does not bring the desired result. The naturalization process should be entered into cautiously and with knowledge of potential consequences of past actions.
There are times when an appeal of an denial by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is advisable; at other times pursuing an appeal is not the best course of action. Consultation with a competent immigration attorney is necessary to assess the best option in an individual case.
Immigration Holds (Immigration Detainer)
Many individuals are detained by local officials to await possible transfer to immigration officers. Immigration attorneys have been involved in numerous cases in which individuals are detained longer than the law allows or without proper legal authority. Family members who are told that a loved one is on an “Immigration Hold” or awaiting a visit from immigration officers should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to be advised of the legal rights of the detained person.
Individuals who are detained may need to seek a bond determination from an Immigration Judge. Action must be taken quickly to avoid a lengthy incarceration.
Board of Immigration Appeals
Individuals can appeal a decision of an Immigration Judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals. As with all immigration matters, these appeals can be highly complicated and require the assistance of an experienced immigration law practitioner.
There are times when recourse to a federal court is required to obtain review of a decision of immigration authorities. Working with an experienced attorney is essential when seeking federal court review.
Common Immigration Areas
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