What To Ask An Immigration Lawyer?
A good immigration lawyer will make the immigration process easier by clearly explaining each step. An immigration attorney will guide you through the immigration laws and make the process easier to understand. Choosing the right attorney can mean the difference between the success or the failure of your immigration case.
Here are some questions you can ask your immigration attorney before your you begin working on your case:
- What types of immigration cases do you and your law firm handle?
Immigration attorneys handle a multitude of cases that each have different processes and specific requirements. Immigration cases can include work visas, green cards, investment visas just to name a few. Having an immigration lawyer who has a firm grasp on immigration law and specifically your case can benefit you and your case’s outcome.
- What is your experience with immigration cases similar to mine?
Because there are a variety of types of immigration cases covered by immigration law, each case involves a unique process with specific requirements and different issues can arise. Having an immigration attorney who has experience in cases similar to yours is extremely important to increase the possibilities of a successful outcome.
- What do you need from me?
Figuring out what your immigration lawyer will need from you for your initial meeting will insure that you get the most out of your consultation. Be sure to ask your immigration attorney what forms and other important paperwork they need from you to help aid the process.
- Why are you the best immigration lawyer for me?
After learning about your immigration attorney’s experience with other immigration cases and cases similar to yours, this question is an opportunity for your attorney to give you final confirmation on how they will handle your case as well as to explain why you should hire that attorney specifically.
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Temporary Protected Status; INA §244
TPS established a safe haven in the U.S. for nationals of foreign state (or if stateless of person habitually resided in the foreign state) if the AG, after consultation with appropriate government agencies, determines with respect to that foreign state that:
- there is an ongoing armed conflict within the state posing a serious threat to the personal safety of the country’s national if retuned there
- there has been an earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic or other environmental disaster resulting in a substantial disruption of living condition in the area affected; the foreign state is unable temporarily to handle the return of its nationals and the foreign state has affirmatively requested designation
- there exists extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals from returning safely.
Humanitarian Parole, INA §212(d)(5)(A)
Humanitarian parole is an extraordinary measure, sparingly used to bring an otherwise inadmissible alien into the United States for a temporary period of time due to a very compelling emergency.
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may temporarily parole any alien applying for entry into the United States based on urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. Humanitarian parole is granted on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the Secretary of DHS.
Humanitarian Reinstatement, INA §213A(f)(5)
After the death of a petitioner a visa filed on your behalf in the past may still be valid. The petition is automatically revoked pursuant to federal regulations when the petitioner in a family based petition passes away. However, pursuant to the same federal regulations, the Attorney General may in his discretion reinstate the approval of a family based visa. The Attorney General may exercise favorable discretion where “for humanitarian reasons revocation would be inappropriate.” 8 C.F.R. Sec. 205.1(a)(3)(i)(C). Such an exercise of discretion is not automatic; it requires the beneficiary to affirmatively request and document why such humanitarian relief should be granted. Such a request is known as “humanitarian reinstatement.”
U Visas; INA §101(a)(15)(U)
The U Visa is available to certain victims of crimes. The U Visa allows temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for up to four years. The U Visa is a non immigrant visa available to 10,000 people per year.
An applicant must show:
- She or he has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of qualifying criminal activity
- Possesses credible and reliable in that he or she has knowledge of the details concerning the qualifying criminal activity upon which his or her petition is based
- Has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a certifying agency in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity; and
- The qualifying criminal activity occurred in the U.S., in U.S. territories or possessions, or violated a U.S. federal law that provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction
Qualifying Criminal Activity (one or more of the following or any similar activities in violation of federal, state, or local criminal laws:
- Domestic violence
- False imprisonment
- Felonious assault
- Female genital mutilation
- Involuntary servitude
- Obstruction of justice
- Rape sexual assault
- Sexual contact
- Sexual exploitation
- Slave trade
- Unlawful criminal restraint
- Witness tampering
- Attempt, Conspiracy or solicitation
T Visas; INA § 101(a)(15)(T)
T Visa allows certain victims of human trafficking to remain in the United States if they agree to assist law enforcement in testifying against the perpetrators. A total of 500 T visas are available per year.
T Visas are available to persons who:
- who have been subject to severe trafficking (the use of force, fraud, or coercion for sex trafficking or involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery)
- who are physically present in the U.S.
- who are physically present in the U.S.
- who the Attorney General and the Secretary of DHS agree have complied with a reasonable request by Federal, State or Local law enforcement authorities to assist in the investigation or persecution of such trafficking or in the investigation of crimes where acts of trafficking are at least one central reason for the crime; and
- who would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal
Laws that Enacted Provisions for Victims of Domestic Violence
- Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
- Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000
- Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act of 2003
- Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003
- Violence against Women and DOJ Reauthorization Act of 2005
Non-immigrants enter the U.S. for a temporary period of time and are restricted to the activity consistent with their visas. These type of visas are less restricted and more readily available.
Visas for Temporary Visitors (B1/B2)
- B-1 Visitor for Business
- B-2 Visitors for Pleasure
Visas for Students and Trainees (F, M, J, H-3)
- Academic Students (F Visa)
- Vocational Students (M Visa)
- Exchange Visitor (J Visa)
- H-3 Visa – Temporary worker invited by an individual or an organization for purposes of receiving instruction and training other than medical in nature.
Visas for Business Personnel (H, L, E, I, O, P Q, and R Visas)
- H-1B Professional Workers
- H-2 Temporary Workers
- L-1 Executives / Managers
- E Australian Special Occupation Visa
- I Representatives of the Media
- O-1 Extraordinary Ability
- P-1 Athletes & Entertainers
- Q-1 Cultural Exchange
- R-1 Religious Workers
Family-Related Visas for Fiancees, Spouses, and Children of U.S. Citizens and LPRS
- K-1 Fiancee
- K-3 Spouse of USC
- V Visa (Spouse/Child of LPR)
Diplomatic and International Organization Aliens
- TN trade under NAFTA
- A and G visas
- Extension of Stay
- Change of Status
- Transit, crewmen
- Law Enforcement Visas