Immigration issues are often incredibly complex and can be particularly stress-inducing, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the many rules and regulations that make up the area of immigration law. However, a qualified immigration attorney can aid you in addressing these issues, as they are experienced in handling various immigration petitions. Immigration lawyers also handle religious visas, naturalization and citizenship proceedings, visa waivers, deportation, removal hearings, and Immigration Court proceedings. Because immigration issues are frequently time-sensitive, we recommend that you contact us as soon as you receive notice or otherwise become aware of a potential problem.
If you’re facing deportation or removal, you’ll need an immigration lawyer who’s familiar with the system to advocate on your behalf. The most common reasons for facing deportation are that you have either 1) been convicted of a crime, or 2) are present in the U.S. on an unauthorized basis. A conviction resulting from the committal of a crime of moral turpitude (conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals) can be grounds for removal. Examples of crimes of moral turpitude include fraud, larceny, arson, murder, bigamy, and kidnapping. An experienced immigration lawyer is familiar with which crimes fall into this category and can properly challenge removal on the grounds that the crime you’ve been convicted of either doesn’t fall under one of those categories or fits under one of the exceptions (e.g., aggravated vs. non-aggravated). Removal might also be based on an unauthorized presence in the U.S., such as those arising from the following situations: – Expired student, employment, or tourist visas – Failure to apply for a visa – Unlawful entry/re-entry – Violation of terms of admission or working without permission – Denial of an asylum application
The federal authorities have the option of exercising prosecutorial discretion in the cancellation of removal proceedings for otherwise removable or deportable aliens. For example, they may decline to arrest immigrants for minor infractions because those immigrants do not meet the federal government’s enforcement priorities, or they may decline to oppose an application for relief that would allow an immigrant to remain in the country. An alternative form of prosecutorial discretion is known as “administrative closure,” which occurs when a removal proceeding is indefinitely removed from the docket of an Immigration Judge until one or both parties asks for it to be recalendered. Immigrants whose cases are administratively closed don’t receive any lawful immigration status and may not be granted employment authorization documents (EADs) unless otherwise eligible. Administrative closure is only available to aliens who are currently in removal proceedings but have not yet received a final order of removal.
DACA is another form of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy that allows some undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before their 16 th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. There are certain guidelines that DACA applicants must meet in order to qualify, and Cooper Law Firm can help determine if you meet those criteria.
Cooper Law Firm has expertise in handling a wide range of visa applications. Some of the most common include: – U visa: The U visa is a nonimmigrant visa that is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. The legislation that established the U visa was meant to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, while also protecting the victims of said crimes. Only certain criminal activities qualify an individual for a U visa, and the crime must have occurred in the U.S. or otherwise have violated U.S. law. For this reason, you’ll need an attorney who’s familiar with the legislation and can guide you through it; at Cooper Law Firm, our lawyers are familiar with the requirements for a U visa and can help process your application if you’ve been a victim of a qualifying crime. – Family-based: U.S. immigration law provides for two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories, including immediate relatives and family preference categories. Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas: These visas are based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen, described as an Immediate Relative (IR). There are an unlimited number of immigrants allowed in this category each year. IR visa types include: IR-1: Opposite or same sex spouse of a U.S. citizen IR-2: Unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen IR-5: Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old – Family Preference Immigrant Visas: These visas are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). There are a limited number of immigrants allowed in this category each year. Family preference categories include: Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any (limited to 23,400) Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs (limited to 114,200) Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters U.S. citizens, and their spouse and minor children (limited to 23,400) Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age (limited to 65,000) – Fiancée: Certain eligibility requirements must be shown to be met in a petition for a fiancée visa. Once issued, your fiancée is allowed to enter the U.S. for ninety (90) days so that your wedding can take place. This visa automatically expires after 90 days and cannot be extended.
Asylum can be granted to individuals on the grounds of real or potential persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. In order to be eligible for asylum, an individual must normally apply within one year of their arrival in this country. An applicant can include their spouse and unmarried children under age 21 on their application for asylum. The asylum process is extremely complicated, and it’s absolutely necessary that you retain counsel in order to ensure that your rights and interests are protected during this process.