Immigration Law FAQs
If I am not in the US can you still help me with my case?
Yes. We offer telephone consultations to immigrants currently in their native country.
Will I be meeting with an attorney or with a legal assistant/paralegal?
You will initially meet an attorney but your casefile will be completed by a contracted paralegal and reviewed by an attorney prior to filing.
What is a Consultation?
A consultation is a confidential meeting with an attorney. We will discuss your case and offer strategies. The consultation is your chance to get your specific questions answered. If you decide to hire our office you will be required to sign a retainer agreement and make a deposit.
How far in advance do I need to call for an appointment?
You will meet with an attorney within 7 days from the date you fill out an Inquiry Form through our website or by contacting our office at (602) 284-4318.
Why do I need a lawyer to help me with my application?
Many immigrants do not use a lawyer and succeed in their naturalization applications. However, if your case is not handled correctly you can experience delays or even a denial of your application.
What am I required to bring to the Initial Consultation?
Bring any documents related to your case.
What is one of the most important objectives after I hire you as my attorney?
Once you hire our office, we will begin working on assembling the documentation needed, and prepare your immigration petition.
What is an Adjustment of Status?
An adjustment of status refers to the process used by eligible individuals who are physically present in the United States to obtain permanent resident status without having to leave the U.S. A licensed immigration attorney can walk you through the steps required to obtain an adjustment of status, including filing the required paperwork, confirming eligibility and helping you prepare for your interview, if applicable.
How can I permanently live in the United States?
If you are an immigrant looking to live permanently in the US, you will need to seek status as a permanent resident. Those who are granted this permission are given what is commonly referred to as a “green card.” To obtain this status you can either seek a green card through your relatives, through a job, through status as a refugee or one of the other qualifying ways.
Can I sponsor a family member to receive their green card?
If you currently are a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent resident, you may be eligible to sponsor a relative for immigration. The relatives that you can sponsor include your spouse, unmarried offspring under 21 years of age, and married offspring, as well as a sibling or a parent if you are over 21 years of age.
What is a DAPA?
This is President Obama’s new program called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). To qualify for this Executive Action, you must have been an undocumented/illegal immigrant residing in this country for more than five years, have a qualifying child or children who is either a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, and pass a criminal background check. You are considered undocumented or illegal if you: Have been ordered deported but are still physically present in this country; Came into this country illegally without being inspected at the border; Came to this country legally but have overstayed your visa-allowed staying time; Currently are on deportation proceedings (in the process of being deported from this country). If you are qualified for this program, you will be able obtain a social security number, and work authorization, and you will be able to travel if you petition for traveling documents.
What is DACA?
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. You may request DACA if you were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
What supporting documents do I need to gather to show physical presence for my DAPA or DACA application?
It is important for applicants to gather supporting documents to show their physical presence on the required dates. Such documents can include, but is not limited to, the following: credit card bills, utility bills, lease agreements, taxes, pay stubs, school and medical records, etc.
Is an exam necessary in order to become a naturalized citizen?
Yes. The citizenship exam will test whether the applicant can speak, read, and write English, as well as if he or she can answer civics questions related to the history and government of the United States.
How long must I be a Permanent Resident in the US before I Apply for Citizenship?
In most instances, a person must be a lawful permanent resident for five years before becoming a citizenship. However, spouses of U.S. Citizens can become a U.S. citizen after three years of being a lawful permanent resident. One may apply up to 90 days before you become eligible for citizenship.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
Temporary protected status is for those foreign nationals who are already in the US on nonimmigrant visas, but who are unable to return to their home countries for a temporary period of time due to war or other conflict, an environmental disaster or some other extraordinary circumstances that are temporary in nature. Currently, residents of the following countries are eligible to receive temporary protected status: Burundi, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia, and Sudan.
Must I Report Address Changes?
Aliens in any status in the U.S. have always been required to report address changes to INS (now BCIS). Regulations (8 C.F.R. Sec. 265) were changed which makes the requirement much more serious. There are civil monetary penalties for willful failures to report. Even unintentional failure to file a change of address may put the alien at risk of being placed in removal proceedings and ordered removed in absentia under (Immigration Act ) section 240(b)(5) of the Act if the alien fails to appear at a scheduled hearing.
What countries do we serve?
Iraq, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Haiti, Pakistan, Turkey, Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia, Venezuela, Syria, Colombia, Honduras, Albania, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Guatemala, Burma, China, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Africa. Our office is willing to service any remaining countries in Latin America, North America and Africa.