Immigration law in the U.S. is constantly shifting and is, by its international nature, very complex. The three basic categories of immigration law -- visas, citizenship, and deportation -- are best handled with the help of a skilled immigration lawyer.
Visas are government-issued documents that provide an individual from a foreign country with permission enter the United States and to engage in certain activities. Visas come in two basic types:
- Immigrant visas are granted to qualified applicants who desire to remain in the United States permanently.
- Nonimmigrant visas are granted to those intending to return to their country of origin. These include diplomatic personnel, business persons, tourists, students, and temporary workers.
A visa lawyer can guide you through the visa process, avoiding common visa pitfalls, and ensuring that you recieve the visa you need.
Citizenship is currently hotly debated issue in Immigration Law. There are three bases for United States Citizenship: birth citizenship, blood citizenship, and naturalization. Children born in the U.S. recieve citizenship by jus soli (right of birthplace). If a child is born to at least one United States citizen, anywhere in the world, that child is a U.S. citizen by jus sanguinis (right of blood).
The process of naturalization is more complex, and involves acquiring citizenship (also known as a green card) by legal means. Naturalization calls for an age requirement, a knowledge of English, a knowledge of U.S. history and government, and several more concerning residency and character. A naturalization immigration lawyer can guide an immigrant through the process of becoming a naturalized citizen. Experienced green card immigration attorneys will be able to help aliens achieve citizenship through this legal means.
Deportation, also referred to as removal, is the forced expulsion of a foreigner (alien) from the United States by means of an official government action following the order of an immigration judge. Deportation is is done if the alien has been found in violation of immigration law or criminal laws. Hpwever, there are several possible reliefs from removal. The Immigration and Nationality Act provides eight primary types of relief from deportation. They include: 1) Waivers of excludability and deportability, 2) Cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents, 3) Cancellation of removal for permanent residents, 4) Adjustment of status to permanent residence, 5) Suspension of deportation, 6) Asylum and withholding of deportation, 7) Legalization and registry, and 8) Voluntary departure. An alien has legal rights throughout removal proceedings, including the right to contest the removal itself. A deportation immigration lawyer can aid an immigrant throughout the process, seeking either relief from removal or to contest the validity of the Deportation.