There are many important legal issues that fall under the umbrella of immigration law. An experienced immigration lawyer in Daytona Beach could assist with everything from applying for a Green Card to fighting against deportation and removal.
When it comes to the immigration process, the sooner you seek out legal counsel, the more help you will have in seeking a favorable outcome. Our firm relies on proven strategies and a deep understanding of immigration law in order to best serve those who need our help.
The Pursuit of a Green Card
A Green Card is the informal term used to describe lawful permanent residency in the United States. Once you have obtained permanent resident status, you have the right to work and live within the country.
Eligibility for a Green Card
There are multiple categories available for individuals seeking permanent residency in the United States. Each of these categories has different eligibility requirements. Some of these categories require a specific relationship with a spouse or family member. Others stem from specific employment or even status as a victim of domestic violence.
The most common categories to pursue Green Cards include:
- Family relationships. You could pursue a Green Card based on your relationship with U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. These relationships could include spouses, siblings, parents, or children, depending on the circumstances.
- Employment. There are a few employment-based Green Card options. The United States offers foreign investors the ability to secure a Green Card if they invest in U.S. businesses. Alternatively, employees that provide extraordinary abilities could also earn a Green Card.
- Crime victims. The victims of trafficking or other crimes could also gain special access to the Green Card process. This type of Green Card could be available to abandoned or abused children as well as victims of domestic violence.
The Green Card Process
The process of securing a Green Card is overseen by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are two different processes for seeking a Green Card, with the appropriate approach depending on where the applicant is physically located.
For individuals residing outside of the United States, applying for a Green Card involves a process known as consular processing. This process requires the applicant to file a petition for a Green Card and remain outside of the United States until the petition is approved.
For citizens already inside the United States, the process for obtaining a Green Card is known as adjustment of status.
Qualifying for Citizenship
The ultimate goal for many permanent residents is U.S. citizenship. The process of securing citizenship is known as naturalization. There are multiple grounds for a person to seek out citizenship, including:
- Lawful permanent resident. A person that has had lawful permanent resident status for at least five years and meets certain other requirements could qualify for citizenship.
- Military service. Anyone that has served in the United States military for at least one year could be eligible for naturalization.
- Family relations. A person that is the child or spouse of a United States citizen could also qualify for naturalization.
The process for applying for citizenship has multiple steps. In addition to the paperwork, an applicant must also complete an in-person interview and potentially provide biometric samples. If accepted, an applicant must take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States in order to complete the process.
Applying for Asylum
Refugees from a foreign country could seek asylum in cases where it would be unsafe for them to return to their home country. The asylum process is a form of lawful immigration and applicants may seek asylum even if they have already entered the United States illegally.
Unlike other immigration processes, asylum is intended to be relatively free of delay. According to the law, a refugee seeking asylum in the United States should get an answer regarding their application within 180 days unless there is some form of exceptional circumstances that renders that timeline impossible.
Defense Against Removal Proceedings
As an immigrant, few circumstances are more stressful than the potential for deportation and removal proceedings. There are numerous grounds the federal government could rely on when pursuing removal:
- Employment violations. Removal is a possibility for anyone that has secured employment in the country unlawfully. This is true even if they are otherwise allowed to reside in the United States. The most common example involves a person on a tourist visa seeking work.
- Criminal convictions. Certain criminal convictions can trigger deportation proceedings. Most felonies and certain misdemeanors could result in deportation.
- Fraud. There are strict consequences for anyone that commits fraud during the immigration process. This could involve lying on an application, hiding a criminal record, or otherwise using false information in an effort to tilt the scales in an immigration case.
- Failure to depart. Most deportation and removal proceedings involve individuals that originally came to the United States legally. A common reason for deportation is that an immigrant has remained in the United States after their visa has expired.
- Asylum denial. While an individual is seeking asylum, they are entitled to remain in the United States throughout the process. However, anyone that remains in the country after the asylum request is denied could face removal.
The good news is that it is possible to fight removal. This is especially true for DREAMers who came to the United States at a very young age. The right attorney could fight back against the deportation process and either slow down or halt removal entirely.
Our Attorneys Could Help with Your Immigration Issues
Whether you are facing the threat of deportation or are seeking permanent resident status after being sponsored by a loved one, the guidance of an attorney could be invaluable.
Let the team at Bogin, Bogin & Munns serve as your advocate throughout the entirety of the immigration process. If you are ready to get started, reach out to us by calling as soon as possible. A Daytona Beach immigration lawyer from our firm is ready to help.