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Frequently Asked Questions about Immigration
Q: Which family members may sponsor someone for a US visa?
A: A US citizen may sponsor a spouse, parent, sibling, minor child or adult child (regardless of marital status) for an immigrant visa. Additionally, aliens with legal permanent resident status (or a "green card") may sponsor a spouse or unmarried child.
Q: How can a foreign national gain legal permanent resident (LPR) status?
A: The two main ways a foreign national can gain LPR status is to be sponsored by 1) family member already living in the US as a citizen or legal permanent resident; or 2) an employer for a permanent, full-time employment position in the US. Foreign nationals also may be eligible to register for the diversity lottery and refugees may be able to resettle in the US or apply for asylum.
An individual who is at risk of being deported faces the possibility that he or she will have to leave the life they have established in the U.S. and have to start over again in another country. Family relationships and friendships are threatened and employment opportunities may be lost. If you, or someone you know, is at risk of being deported, contact an immigration law attorney to ensure that everything possible will be done to preserve your rights.
At Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LPA, our immigration lawyers have the experience and skill to help people across the country with visas, deportation proceedings, and more. Our main immigration page has more information about our practice; this page is meant to provide more general information.
Immigration - An Overview
Immigration law covers the procedures for entering the US, determines who is and is not eligible for entry, sets the rules for obtaining citizenship and deporting foreign nationals who violate US immigration or other laws. Immigration attorneys assist foreign nationals seeking to come to the US to study, travel, conduct business and work. They also help employers complete the application and certification processes to employ foreign workers for permanent and temporary positions. If you have an immigration-related issue, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer.
Basic Immigration Laws
Since the first immigration act was passed in the 1950s, immigration law in the US has undergone many important changes and revisions. Changes in immigration law affect employers, visitors, students, business travelers and others seeking to live, work or travel to the US.
Government Agencies and Their Duties
More than one US government agency is involved with implementing and enforcing US immigration law and policy. Given the complexity of US immigration law, it is important to understand which federal agencies are involved with which types of immigration matters.
Those wishing to relocate permanently to the US and those desiring to visit the US for a temporary amount of time must apply and be approved for a visa prior to traveling to the country. There are many types of visas, and it is essential that the foreign national applies for the correct class of visa.
Removal occurs when the federal government formally removes an alien from the country for violation of US immigration or other laws. Once deported, an alien may lose the right to return to the United States, even as a visitor.
Immigration Resource Links
Visa Services: US Department of State
This State Department Web site provides information for acquiring permanent resident status in the US, including information on the different types of visas and how to acquire a family-based or employment-based visa.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services
Main US agency responsible for implementing and enforcing US immigration laws. The Web site provides information and links to forms for applying for visas, acquiring citizenship, sponsoring employees and family members, green cards and more.
Legal Information about Immigration
This set of resources maintained by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University provides an overview of immigration law.
Admission into the US
Web site provided by the US Customs and Border Patrol, offering information to international visitors on the US admissions process. Provides links to the electronic system for travel authorization, application for advance permission to enter as a nonimmigrant and other important information for those entering the US permanently or as temporary workers, visitors or students.
Forms and Fees
This resource, maintained by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provides on-line access to immigration forms, including filing fee information.
At Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LPA, our attorneys help people with all kinds of immigration matters, from employment visas to asylum, throughout the United States. With law offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, MI, and New York City many of our clients come from Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Dayton, OH, as well as locations throughout Michigan and New York.