Immigration Lawyer in New Rochelle, NY. Immigration Lawyer in the Bronx.
Call for a free consultation. The Law Offices of Douglas Stone assists clients with immigration matters including:
Most people obtain legal permanent residence (green cards) because they are related to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Others get green cards because they have a needed job skill or ability. Call for a free consultation.
Family-Based Green Card
You may qualify for a family-based green card if you are the Immediate Relative of a U.S. citizen or are in a Family-Based Preference group. If you are an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen, you can get a Green Card as soon as your papers are processed. Under the Family-Based Preference categories you are subject to a quota. The wait to get a Green Card can be many years in some categories.
Immediate Relatives of U.S. citizens are: (1) spouses of U.S. citizens; (2) unmarried child under age 21 of U.S. citizen; (3) parent of U.S. citizen if U.S. citizen is 21 or older; and (4) spouse of deceased U.S. citizen if, at the time of the spouse’s death, the spouses were married at least two years and not legally separated.
If you are trying to get a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, you must prove that you married in good faith, not just to get a green card.
Conditional Residence: If you obtain an immigrant visa based on a marriage that is less than two years old at the time you became an immigrant, you are a conditional permanent resident and get a temporary green card which expires in two years. Within 90 days before the second anniversary of your becoming a conditional permanent resident, you and your spouse must file a petition to remove the conditions on residence. If you divorce before the USCIS removes the condition or your spouse refuses to sign the petition, you must apply for a waiver of the joint petition requirement. Either way, you must show that you married in good faith, not just to get a green card. If the USCIS denies your application to remove the condition from your residence, you may be placed in removal proceedings.
The Family-Based Preferences are:
First Family-Based Preference: adult unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 or older) of U.S. citizens
Second Family-Based Preference A: Spouse and unmarried children (under age 21) of permanent residents
Second Family-Based Preference B: Unmarried sons and daughters (of any age) of permanent residents
Third Family-Based Preference: Married children of U.S. citizens
Fourth Family-Based Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens if the U.S. citizen is 21 or older
Employment-Based Green Card
You may be able to get a green card if you have special skills, education or talent. How fast it takes to get an employment-based green card depends on your Employment-Based Preference category. If you get an employment-based immigrant visa, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 can qualify for immigrant visas as derivative beneficiaries so that they can come with you or later.
The Employment-Based Preferences are:
First Employment-Based Preference: workers with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives and managers
Second Employment-Based Preference: Professionals who have advanced degrees or workers of exceptional ability
Third Employment-Based Preference: skilled workers, professionals and other workers
Fourth Employment-Based Preference: some religious workers, former U.S. Government employees, and some foreign language broadcasters working for Radio Free Europe or Radio Free Asia.
Fifth Employment-Based Preference: investors who create employment
Bars to Permanent Residence
To get an immigrant visa, you must prove that you are not inadmissible or, if you are inadmissible, you must get a waiver of inadmissibility. The most common grounds of inadmissibility are: (1) being unlawfully present in the U.S.; (2) a likelihood that you will become a public charge (need public assistance); (3) criminal activity, such as crimes involving moral turpitude and drug crimes; (4) misrepresentation to the USCIS or to a U.S. consul; (5) political activity; and (6) medical conditions.
The U.S. may bar you from permanent residence for three years if you have been in the U.S. unlawfully for over 180 consecutive days and then leave the country. The bar is ten years if you have been in the U.S. unlawfully for 365 or more consecutive days. The U.S. may waive these bars if you are the spouse, son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and prove that your U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative will suffer extreme hardship if the USCIS or consular officer doesn’t grant permanent residence. The USCIS will not count time spent in the U.S. unlawfully while you were under 18 years old.
What is Unlawful Presence?
The USCIS will consider you unlawfully present if you: (1) overstay your visa; (2) enter the U.S. without its authorization; (3) enter with phony papers; or (4) a USCIS immigration judge finds that you violated your status.
If you are here in lawful non-immigrant status, violating conditions of your stay will not make you subject to the unlawful presence bars unless the USCIS or an immigration judge decide that you are out of status.
Non-immigrant visas are typically issued to tourists and temporary business visitors for a specific, designated period of time. While obtaining a visa may seem like a straightforward process, getting a visa is time-consuming and complicated.
Why Become an American Citizen?
(1) Vote and hold public office; (2) work in government jobs; (3) live outside the U.S. without losing permanent residence; (4) avoid the danger of being removed for events that occur after naturalization; (5) get a U.S. passport; and (6) have the right to public benefits.
Risks of Applying for Naturalization
When you apply for naturalization, you give the USCIS the opportunity to review your immigrant history. If you have committed an act that may make you removal, you should consult an immigration lawyer before applying.
Requirements for Naturalization
1. You must have resided in the U.S. as a permanent resident for five continuous
years; or after three continuous years if you were married to and living with the same U.S. citizen spouse for those three years.
2. You have been physically present in the U.S. for half of the five or three year
3. You have good moral character.
4. You have basic knowledge of U.S. government and history.
5. You can read, write and speak simple English (with exceptions for some older,
longtime permanent residents).
6. You are at least 18 years old.
7. You express allegiance the U.S. government.
If you are located in New Rochelle or its surrounding areas, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Rockland County, Long Island, Westchester, and Fairfield County, contact our office today to arrange a consultation with Mr. Stone.