Who can sponsor relatives for U.S. immigrant visas for permanent entry?

A U.S. citizen may sponsor a spouse, parent, sibling, minor child or adult child (regardless of marital status), or fiancé for an immigrant visa (more commonly called a green card). However, a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) may only sponsor a spouse, minor child or unmarried adult child. Both citizens and permanent residents must agree to financially support their sponsored family members and meet a certain level of earnings.

What is involved in a consultation?

An initial consultation is an important first step and it allows for the attorney to determine the proper course of action for your case. Your background, criminal/arrest record, ancestry, date of entry into the U.S., marriage, and other key areas of importance could all be discussed during the consultation before any substantive legal advice or direction is given. A seemingly simple question you have could actually be a lot more complicated and, in some cases, further research and investigation may be required to thoroughly examine the details of your case. At our office, all consultation fees will go toward the overall attorney fees if or when you decide to retain the office for completion of your case.

What are deportable offenses?

Using fraudulent documents, misrepresenting evidence to receive a visa (such as marriage fraud), committing crimes that fall under certain categories (drug crimes, aggravated felonies, domestic violence, child abuse, firearm offenses, and others), posing a threat to national security or public safety, helping others enter the country illegally, overstaying a visa, and voting illegally are the most common examples of deportable offenses. A qualified attorney should be contacted immediately in order to formulate a defense for removal proceedings.

How can a foreign national gain Lawful Permanent Residence?

There are two primary ways a foreign national can become a lawful permanent resident: he or she is either sponsored by a family member whom already lives in the United States as a citizen or lawful permanent resident, or he or she is sponsored by an employer for a U.S. job that falls under a particular category. In some less common cases, foreign nationals may be eligible to register for the diversity lottery or may qualify as refugees/asylees for fear of persecution in their home country.

Do I need an immigration attorney or can I do this myself?

Many choose to navigate through the immigration process alone or with limited guidance from online sources. This method is not advised, however, as mistakes can often be made and immigration law is more complex than one may think. Depending on your background and personal situation, there are important deadlines and filing procedures that need to be followed precisely or there could be severe consequences and/or delays. Furthermore, you may or may not qualify for certain immigration benefits or statuses after considering the details of your case.