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Immigration Law: Top Frequently Asked Questions

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Some of the most common questions we hear from our clients are addressed here. If yours is not, don't hesitate to call or e-mail us.

I am a U.S. Citizen. Can my spouse get a green card without leaving the U.S.?

Whether or not your husband or wife can gain permanent residence in the U.S. depends on various factors, principally how he or she entered the U.S. If your spouse entered with certain types of visa, he or she may be eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status. If your husband or wife entered the U.S. without inspection, for example by crossing the border, he or she may be eligible to adjust status if "grand-fathered in" under Section 245 (i).

Under certain circumstances, your husband or wife may be able to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. if he or she is in removal proceedings and eligible for Cancellation of Removal. Alternatively, your spouse may need to undergo Consular Processing. Even under the seemingly most straightforward cases we encourage you to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney. Often applications that are filled out incorrectly could lead to fraud or inadmissibility findings by UCIS. Your spouse could be placed in removal proceedings or detained by ICE due to an order of deportation or warrant of arrest that perhaps you were not even aware of. If your spouse must go abroad to obtain an immigrant visa, he or she should apply for an I-601A prior to planning travel in order to avoid a potential separation of up to ten years." Our office has successfully handled thousands of family-based immigration petitions and applications. We can help keep your family united.

Can I gain permanent residence if I have been in the country for ten years?

Whether you are eligible for Cancellation of Removal requires a very individualized evaluation of your case. You may be eligible to obtain permanent residence if you are in removal proceedings and can demonstrate that you have been physically present in the United States for at least ten years, have good moral character and can meet the hardship requirements to a qualifying relative which could be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident husband, wife, child or parent.

Our attorneys can assess if you are eligible and are very experienced in preparing and supplementing these highly sensitive applications. We encourage you to make an appointment to discuss whether you meet the physical presence, good moral character and hardship requirements for this type of relief. It is important that you disclose any former detentions by immigration officials or any arrests. You should also let us know if your U.S. or legal permanent residence spouse, child or parent has a health condition, special education need or any other particular reason why he or she needs to remain in the United States.

Can I get a work permit?

Whether you are eligible to apply for employment authorization depends on whether you are eligible for an application which grants this privilege. Our attorneys can evaluate your case and advise you if you can obtain a work permit.

Am I eligible for the DREAM ACT?

If you came to the U.S. when you were under 16, you may be eligible to obtain deferred action and employment authorization under DACA ("Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals"). While the Dream Act itself has not yet been enacted into law, DACA has helped young undocumented immigrants obtain an employment authorization document with which they can procure a social security number, driver's license and under some circumstances a travel permit. If you are in removal proceedings, the immigration judge may decide to administratively close your case if you apply for DACA. Our professionals can help you obtain a valuable work permit under DACA and keep you informed as to prospective developments with the DREAM Act or newer KIDS ACT legislation which if passed might help immigrants that came to the U.S. as children obtain permanent residence.

I met my fiancé online, how can I bring him or her to the United States?

Increasingly, couples are meeting online and establishing relationships which often lead to engagements. Similarly in this global world, more and more couples meet during travel whether it be on vacation or business travel. Also, as the U.S. becomes more diverse, arranged engagements are more common. If you are a U.S. citizen, you may file a Fiancé Petition in order to have your future spouse join you as quickly as possible. USCIS requires that you provide proof that you have personally met with your fiancé within the last two years.

USCIS is mindful of cultural differences in courtships but it is important that you explain the particular circumstances of your engagement in order to meet your burden in proving that the relationship is bona fide. Our attorneys can help you prepare your petition properly to help ensure that you will be united with your loved one as soon as possible. We will also advise you as to the strict marriage and filing requirements that you must follow as soon as your fiancé arrives in the U.S. so that he or she may obtain employment authorization and permanent residence.