Our Immigration Lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their immigration needs.
From family based immigration, citizenship/naturalization, business immigration to deportation and removal proceedings we will guide you through the increasingly complex immigration process.
One of the basic tenants of US Immigration Laws is family reunification. US Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents can apply to bring close family members to lawfully reside with them in the US.
To initiate the family immigration process the petitioner (US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident) files an I-130 petition for the benefit of another person, the beneficiary.
Family Based Immigrant Visas – An immigrant visa is another name for a green card. You may qualify for a family based green card if you are the immediate relative of a US Citizen or fit into a family based preference group.
Immediate relatives - are the parents, spouses, and minor children of US Citizens. Once the I-130 is approved on behalf of the qualifying immediate relative there are no annual numerical limits on how many Immigrant Visas are issued to these immediate relatives.
Preference categories - preference immigrants are certain family members other than those defined as immediate relatives. The availability of immigrant visas for preference categories are subject to annual limits creating a waiting list which can be several years long depending on the category.
The priority date for your preference category is the date you filed your family petition and is located on the I-130 approval notice.
Conditional Residence – If you obtain an immigrant visa based upon a marriage that is less than 2 years old at the time the visa issues you become a conditional permanent resident. As a conditional permanent resident your green card is valid for 2 years. The conditions must be removed to obtain Legal Permanent Resident status. You and your spouse must begin this process by filing a joint petition form I-751, in the 90 days prior to the second anniversary of becoming a conditional permanent resident. If the marriage is no longer valid or your spouse refuses to assist with the joint petition form I-751 can be filed requesting a waiver of the joint filing requirement.
Derivative Beneficiaries – The unmarried children under 21 and spouse of the beneficiary under each preference category are entitled to the same benefit as the principal beneficiary.
A family based non immigration visa is a temporary visa granting status to live in the US for a specific period of time.
K-1 Fiance(e) Visa – US Citizens can petition to bring their fiance(e) to the US by completing Form I-129F. The beneficiary of the fiance(e) visa can bring their unmarried children under 21 with them in K-2 status. The beneficiary must marry the US Citizen petitioner within 90 days of entry.
K-3 Spouse Visa - Spouses of US Citizens married outside of the US awaiting approval of their I-130 petition may enter the US by receiving an approved I-129F. The beneficiary spouse can obtain work authorization while living in US in K status and their minor children under 21 may accompany them in K-4 status.
Adjustment of Status – process where certain beneficiaries of approved petitions are eligible to obtain lawful permanent residence while remaining in the United States by filing Form I-485. To qualify for adjustment of status as the beneficiary of an immediate relative petition the beneficiary must have entered the US with a visa or been paroled into the US. To qualify for adjustment of status as the beneficiary of a preference category petition the beneficiary must also have been in lawful nonimmigrant status at all times and never been employed without authorization to do so.
Consular Processing – The traditional way a beneficiary of an approved petition obtains lawful permanent residence. Consular processing takes place at a US embassy or consulate outside of the United States. Some beneficiaries present in the US will not be eligible to adjust status and as a result will have to travel outside the United States to undergo consular processing.
An applicant for naturalization must be a lawful permanent resident. An application is made on Form N-400 and an applicant must meet certain conditions:
The law provides exceptions to many of these requirements to naturalization.
A person may have acquired citizenship through birth or derived citizenship automatically through naturalization of parents.
A beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 may obtain an immigrant visa based upon employment in the United Stated. Most employment based categories do not have a backlog of applicants, for others the wait can be long to complete the process. Most cases require your employer prove that there are no qualified US workers immediately available to do the job by way of a Labor Certification.
First Preference/Extraordinary Ability – This category is reserved for aliens with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. Reserved for a small percentage of individuals who have risen to the top of a particular field, the first preference does not require a labor certification and these individuals may sponsor themselves for permanent residence without a job offer.
Second Preference/Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability – An advanced degree is any degree above a Bachelors degree and exceptional ability is a degree of expertise above the ordinary. Most times in this preference category labor certification and a job offer are required.
Third Preference/Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers – Requires a job offer and labor certification. This category includes entry level professionals with a baccalaureate degree, positions that require at least 2 years work experience or training and positions that require less than two years work experience or training.
An applicant wishing to enter the United States for a limited period of time, for a specific purpose and has the intent of returning to their native country, with limited exception, would be eligible for a non immigrant visa.
F-1 Student Visa – Requires full time study at an authorized school while maintaining lawful student status at all times. An applicant for an F-1 student visa must demonstrate they have no intent of immigrating to the US and will remain bona fide non immigrants.
B-1 Business Visitor Visa – Available for business visitors who wish to enter the United States to engage in business, but not for purposes of being employed. Business as defined by the Act refers to legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature.
H-1B Visa for Workers in Specialty Occupations – Allows foreign nationals to enter the US and work for a sponsoring employer in a specialty occupation. An H-1B visa differs with other non immigrant visas in that the applicant can enter the US with the intent to become a permanent resident.
B-2 Visitor Visa – This visa is appropriate if an applicant wishes to enter the US for purposes of tourism, visit family and friends, or obtain medical treatment.
Removal is an administrative process presided over by an Immigration Judge. Legal Permanent Residents are subject to removal proceedings no matter how long they have been in the US. Nonimmigrant visa holders in all categories are also subject to removal.
An individual can be placed in removal proceedings for many reasons. For example, overstaying on a nonimmigrant visa, engaging in activities that cause an individual to fall out of lawful status, or being convicted of certain crimes.
Immigration Bond Hearing – Many individuals in removal proceedings remain in the community while their case proceeds before the immigration court. Others are placed in removal after being taken into custody by ICE. A determination must be made if the person in removal, known as the respondent, is subject to mandatory detention. If the respondent is not subject to mandatory detention they are eligible to request an immigration bond hearing before the Immigration Judge.
Notice to Appear (NTA) – A respondent is referred to the immigration court by service of a charging document known as the notice to appear. The notice to appear details the government’s allegations of the respondents conduct and the corresponding section of law that makes the respondent removable from the US.
Master Calendar Hearing – The initial hearing in a removal proceeding is the master calendar hearing. At this hearing the respondent is expected to file pleadings which answer the government’s charges of removal and request grounds for relief or state a defense to these charges. In most instances the Judge will allow a continuance if the respondent is not represented by an immigration lawyer but needs time to retain one.
Individual Hearing – After the master calendar hearing the case will be scheduled for a hearing on the merits. An individual hearing is where the respondent is able to present applications for relief, testify on their own behalf, call witnesses to testify and present any other relevant documents the respondent may have or the court may require.
Board of Immigration Appeals – Either party may reserve the right to file an appeal from the Immigration Judge’s decision issued at the end of the Individual Hearing.
Our legal fees are set at a flat rate so there is no question how much legal representation will cost to handle your immigration case.
If you want to speak with Immigration Attorney regarding your immigration needs contact our office for a free case evaluation.
|Fitzpatrick and Associates
Attorneys at Law
980 Dorchester Avenue
Boston, MA 02125-1313
Toll Free: 866-999-3630
|Ask A Lawyer|
|Third Party Negligence|
|SSI vs. SSDI|
|Finding of Disability|
|Family Based Immigrant Visas|
|Family Based Non Immigration Visas|
|Adjustment of Status/Consular Processing|
|Non Immigrant Visas|
|Employment Based Visas|
|Resolve Back Taxes|
|Notice of Tax Lien|
|Notice of Levy|