Immigration Law - Frequently Asked Questions | Los Angeles | The Law Offices of Omar Zambrano - Free Consultation 1-800-985-8650
1. What relatives might qualify for a green card through their relationship with U.S. citizen?
2. What relatives might qualify for a green card through their relationship with a lawful permanent resident?
3. I have immigration documents. Am I am eligible to file an orphan petition?
If you are married, one spouse must be a U.S. citizen. The other spouse does not need to be a U.S. citizen but must be living legally in the United States. If you are not married, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 25 years old.
4. Can I adopt a child from any country?
No. There are some countries which do not permit adoption. They allow legal custody as long as the custodial party resides in their country. If the child you want to adopt is from one of these countries, then the children do not qualify for immigrant status in the United States.
5. I am going to marry a person who lives in another country. I also want to sponsor my spouse for a green card. Does it matter where we get married?
If you want to get married in the United States, you will need to file a K-1 fiancé visa for your future spouse. If you want to marry in the home country of your fiancé, you will need to file an immigrant visa. There is another possibility. Your fiancé could enter the U.S. on a visitor (B-2) visa, and then you can marry here. In this case, your fiancé must return home after the marriage.
6. Which way is faster to allow us to live together in the United States – a fiancé visa or an immigrant visa?
There is no clear answer. The time it takes to process a fiancé visa is different from case-to-case, country-to-country. Yet, a fiancé visa is often quicker to process than an application for an immigrant visa. The government agency, USCIS, which processes immigration visas, has a heavy workload and sometimes takes longer to process the immigrant visa paperwork.
7. What are the qualifications for a fiancé or fiancée visa?
A fiancé of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a K-1 visa if he is:
8. After my fiancé arrives here, can we delay the marriage date?
No. Once your fiancé arrives, you have 90 days to get married. If this does not take place, your fiancé must return to his home country.
9. After we get married, does my spouse automatically become a citizen?
No. As a U.S. citizen, you cannot transfer your citizenship to your new spouse. But you can file documents seeking lawful permanent resident status for him or her.
10. A friend told me that if I file papers for my husband immediately after we get married, he will get a restricted permanent resident card. Is this true?
If your spouse is granted a green card and you have been married less than two years, the permanent resident status is issued “conditionally.” This means it expires after two years.
11. How does my spouse remove the conditions on his permanent resident card?
About 90 days before the two year period expires, you and your husband must file a joint petition to remove the conditional status of his green card. There are only a few limited circumstances which allow your husband to file the petition alone.
12. What happens if my application for lawful permanent residence is denied?
If your application for lawful permanent residence is denied, the government normally will refer your case to Immigration Court. The government will ask the judge to order your removal from the United States. Once the hearings start, you can revive your application for permanent residence and have the judge look at the evidence. You are entitled to submit new evidence to support your application. You will need an experienced immigration attorney to help you.
13. I have just been granted lawful permanent resident status. How long must I wait before I can apply to become a U.S. citizen?
Generally, if you have been a lawful permanent resident for five years, you can apply to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. But if you were granted a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, then you can apply after three years.
14. What happens if my application for U.S. citizenship is denied?
If your application for U.S. citizenship is denied, you have the right to request a hearing with a higher immigration officer. This request is often called an “administrative appeal” . Your request must be made within 30 days after your application is denied. You are entitled to submit new evidence to support your application. Instead of filing an appeal, you can simply re-apply, submitting a new application and paying the filing fees again.
15. If I was convicted a long time ago for a minor crime, and my record has been expunged, do I still need to list the conviction on my immigration applications?
Yes. It is very important to be honest on all immigration papers. Even if your record has been expunged and the crime was minor, list the conviction. When you take your fingerprints, your full record of arrest and convictions will probably be revealed anyway. You do not want government officials thinking you are trying to hide it from them. They might use this as the reason for denying your application.
16. My husband was taken into immigration custody. My sister’s husband told us to ask for cancellation of removal. What is this?
There are three different categories for cancellation of removal. This is part of deportation and removal defense.
The first is for lawful permanent residents. They must prove (a) they have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, (b) they have resided in the United States, after being admitted, for at least seven years, and (c) they have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
The second is for immigrants who are in living in the U.S. without legal documents. They must prove (a) they have lived here for ten years, (b) they have exhibited good moral character for the entire ten years, and (c) a spouse, child, or parent who is either a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident will suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual” hardship if the immigrant is removed from the United States.
A third category applies to an immigrant spouse or child who been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent. This is known as a VAWA application.
17. If my husband loses his case in Immigration Court, is there any way we can keep fighting?
Yes. Within 30 days of the Immigration Court decision, your husband has to file a notice of appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Such challenges are very technical and complicated. You cannot simply challenge the judge’s ruling on the basis that his discretionary evaluation of the hardship factors was incorrect.
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Law Offices of Omar Zambrano - Baldwin Park
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The Offices of Omar Zambrano Immigration Law represents immigrants throughout Southern California and Arizona.
Our Southern California immigration offices assist clients living in the following Southern California communities: Riverside County, San Diego County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, Imperial County, Orange County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County.
Omar Zambrano is an immigration trial attorney and immigration appeals attorney specializing in deportation defense cases. He handles immigration problems such as Deportation and Removal Defense, Immigration Court Hearings, Immigration Appeals, Green Cards, Lawful Permanent Residence, Citizenship, Naturalization, Asylum, Withholding, Violence Against Women Act, BIA Appeals, AAO Appeals, AAU Appeals, USCIS Appeals, Ninth Circuit Appeals, Family-Based Petitions, Fiancé Visas, Fiancée Visas, International Adoptions, Employment-Based Petitions, NACARA, TPS, Convention Against Torture, Registry, U Visas, T Visas – and hopefully in the near future, DREAM ACT cases.
We service all of the following communities, San Diego County, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, San os, San Ysidro, Santee, Solana Beach, Spring Valley, and Vista.
We service all of the following communities, Riverside County, Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, Hemet, Indian Wells, Idyllwild, Indio, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Mecca, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Norco, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Perris, Riverside, Rancho Mirage, Romoland, San Jacinto, Temecula, and Wildomar.
We service all of the following communities Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear Lake, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Joshua Tree, Loma Linda, Montclair, Needles, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, Twenty Nine Palms, Upland, Victorville, Yucaipa, and Yucca Valley.