Navigating U.S. immigration law involves several documents and appeals, making it a complicated process. If you seek immigration to the United States, your best interest lies in contacting an experienced immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer can help establish your eligibility and work with you through the immigration process.
At Henson, Pachuta, and Kammerman, PLCC, we dedicate ourselves to assisting immigrants in this fast-paced field of law. If you require the services of a competent immigration services attorney, we should be your first choice!
U.S. federal law defines four primary types of immigration legal status.
- U.S. citizen: As long as you were born in the U.S. or one of your parents was a U.S. citizen when you were born, you are a U.S. citizen. U.S. citizens are entitled to vote, seek employment, and apply for state and federal social benefits. The government cannot force a citizen to leave the county.
- Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR): An LPR refers to an immigrant with permission to reside in the country indefinitely. LPRs can apply for housing and employment and may apply for some social benefits. However, LPRs cannot vote, and the government can deport an LPR if they violate immigration law or commit certain crimes.
- Temporary visitor: Temporary visitors, those who have “visas,” can live in the country for a specific length of time. Generally, those with temporary visas are students, workers, or those visiting family. If your visa expires, then you are no longer a legal resident of the United States.
- Undocumented immigrant: Undocumented immigrants are immigrants who do not have a green card or a visa. Undocumented immigrants cannot work and face the risk of deportation. Keep in mind that even undocumented immigrants have some rights and legal protections under U.S. law.
The United States offers several different pathways for immigrants to achieve either temporary or permanent residence. Family or employment offers the main ways to apply for a visa or green card.
Immediate family members of U.S. citizens have eligibility for either a green card or visa application. Immigration law defines “immediate family” as:
Under the family route, only a limited number of visas become available every year. The total number changes each year based on how many people received visas the previous year, but, generally, this number ranges from more than 226,000 to less than 480,000.
Immigrants can also seek a visa or green card to work in the country. The most common type of classification under this route includes temporary visas. The U.S. has over 20 different visas for temporary workers, including visas for athletes, skilled professionals, entertainers, and religious workers, among others.
As far as permanent employment immigration, the U.S. government has a total limit of 140,000 permanent visas per year. Eligible immigrants must receive sponsorship from their employers. In some cases, foreign nationals may file a petition on their own.
The exact immigration process differs depending on the immigration path. These paths require different documents, and each has a different time frame. An immigration attorney in Fairfax, VA, can help you navigate these immigration options and prepare documents for your application.
U.S. immigration law is highly complex, and several statutes remain open to interpretation. Further, the U.S. immigration system suffers from systemic problems, resulting in a large backlog of immigrants seeking visas or green cards.
Due to this complexity, many foreign nationals decide to hire an immigration attorney instead of handling the system on their own. Among other duties, an immigration attorney can help you:
- Understand your eligibility for permanent residency, temporary residency, or U.S. citizenship.
- Prepare necessary paperwork to submit to courts
- Find and complete the correct documents and applications
- Navigate delays or complications during the process
- Represent your case in immigration court
- Appeal or challenge immigration decisions
Further, an experienced immigration attorney in Fairfax, Virginia, will be familiar with any local laws or statutes surrounding immigration. An attorney also understands the legal mechanisms in the immigration process and can help you navigate legal technicalities or delays.
Immigration law proves a difficult web to navigate. As such, we recommend hiring an experienced immigration attorney. At Henson, Pachuta & Kammerman, PLLC, we can provide immigration services for all types of immigration cases.
If you require a compassionate and knowledgeable immigration attorney in Fairfax, VA, contact us, or call us at (703) 822-4701 today to schedule a case evaluation.