Important Immigration Issues:
Completing the Visa Petition (Form I-130) is the initial step for a U.S. citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident (“LPR”) wanting to immigrate to the United States. The petitioner must prove eligibility of the person wanting to immigrate. The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. can help clients accurately complete Form I-130 (and other required forms where applicable) and gather the necessary supporting documents for the petition to be approved in a timely manner.
The immigration laws have expedited the process for those who desire to immigrate to the USA and meet the definition of an immediate relative. However, family based preference categories also provide additional possibilities for a person to immigrate to the USA. A potential immigrant may qualify for one of four preference categories to become an LPR. The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. will evaluate whether you meet the criteria and how soon a family member can immigrate to the USA.
Once Form I-130 has been submitted and the immigrant is notified by the National Visa Center, the complex process of submitting Form DS-230 and all of the required information and documents begins. Affidavits of support often need to be submitted. Petitioners must act in a timely manner or some rights may be waived. In certain situations, individuals may be required to interview at the consulate office of their home country. In other situations, applicants might be able to file an adjustment of status (Form I-485) which allows them to remain in the USA while their application is being processed. However, during both processes, they can be denied an immigrant visa based on numerous inadmissibility grounds. The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. will assist clients during each step of this complex and lengthy process and will evaluate the possibility of obtaining a waiver if grounds for admissibility are present.
There are many laws undocumented persons need to know about that prevent them from being denied legal admission to the United States in the future. Many come to this country seeking employment and/or to be united with family members. The harsh reality is undocumented persons may find themselves in the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). Thus, they need to understand their legal rights and options. For example a 3 year, 10 year, 20 year, and even a permanent bar on admissibility can be imposed depending on several factors. Some of the factors include (1) the length of time the undocumented person has been living in the USA, (2) whether the person has ever voluntarily left the country, (3) whether the person has ever been deported, and (4) whether the person has ever re-entered the USA without inspection. Fortunately, there are opportunities for undocumented persons to remain in the USA such as applying for the Registry, obtaining a T or U visa, meeting the criteria under § 245(i) of INA, applying for Deferred Action, self petitioning under the Violence Against Woman Act (“VAWA”), or obtaining Temporary Protected Status. The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. can assist undocumented persons on these and other important issues.
Legal Permanent Residents and undocumented persons are often placed in custody after being charged with a crime in state or federal court. Depending on the crime or offence charged, the person may be subject to mandatory detention. Afterwards, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) may seek to deport the person. Deportation can impact the spouse and children as well. However, not all crimes or offenses merit deportation and mandatory detention. The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. knows the grounds for deportation and the possible defenses that can be raised in removal proceedings. The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. will also explore options with clients who are subject to a “Notice to Appear” in Immigration Court including obtaining a reduced bond and the possibility of voluntary departure orders in lieu of deportation. If an order has been entered to a deport a client, The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. will evaluate whether the deportation order can be waived, canceled, or stayed, which may give additional time for assisting family members that remain.
When an engagement occurs with a foreigner, some will marry outside the United States. Others will seek to have their perspective spouse obtain a non-immigrant visa and marry after entering the USA. The ramifications of these two options could have a long term impact. Also, the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) may challenge the legitimacy of the marriage and deem the person inadmissible for entry into the country. Many clients also have questions on what happens if a person enters the USA on a K-1 fiancée visa but the marriage never takes place, a divorce occurs, or the spouse dies. The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. can provide legal assistance on these issues. It will also provide aggressive representation if CIS challenges the legitimacy of the marriage.
Once a person becomes a Legal Permanent Resident (“LPR”), the important next step is to obtain citizenship. Without becoming a citizen, an LPR could be denied re-entry into the USA after visiting family in a foreign county under certain situations. Also, LPRs, unlike U.S. citizens, are subject to the jurisdiction of immigration courts and can be deported if grounds exist. Immigration courts generally have no jurisdiction over U.S. citizens. However, there are complex requirements for achieving citizenship. Applicants can be denied citizenship for several reasons such as leaving the USA for an extended period, failing to pass the English test, failing to reside in the USA for the required time period, or having committed an aggravated felony. The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. can evaluate these issues and the potential for obtaining waivers and help prepare you for your interview to become a U.S. citizen.
The United States has history of providing protection to who have been persecuted in the past or have a well-founded fear of future persecution because of political opinions, social issues, race, nationality, or religion. However, the laws are complex and competent legal counsel is necessary. Claims for asylum are often raised upon inspection at the border, after entry into the USA, or after a deportation order has been entered. However, there are strict deadlines and procedures that must be followed. The Kugler Law Firm, P.C. can assist clients file their asylum applications to maximize their chances of it being granted.