How an Immigration Attorney Can Help the Process of Achieving US Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants
The United States requires approval to enter the country. These visas and other approvals come with strict time limits and terms for all approved stays. If you have found yourself in a situation where your visa has been revoked or it has expired, there are only a few legal options to gain permanent residency and legal status. You will want to hire an experienced immigration attorney to determine if there is a path to legal residency or a green card.
Marry a US Citizen
You become an immediate relative under US immigration laws when you enter into a valid marriage with a United States citizen. In some cases, you will be able to get access to a green card as soon as the application process is completed, even if you entered the country legally and simply overstayed your visa or approved visit. The adjustment of status procedure only provides this preferential treatment to those that entered legally.
If you did not enter the country legally or stop at a border checkpoint on your way into the country, you will be unlikely to receive an adjustment of status. There are some exceptions to this rule and our firm is able to help you explore these options. Some people can get waivers if they have been in the country for more than six months, but this waiver is unlikely. There are many cases where you may receive a time bank restriction before you will be able to come back to the United States.
Receive a Cancellation of Removal
Undocumented immigrants that have been arrested and face deportation can seek a cancellation of removal. In most cases, you will need to prove that you’ve been in the United States for 10 years, that you’ve not committed any crimes and shown good character during that time, and that your removal would represent a significant hardship for your spouse, children, or parent.
At Margaret Wong & Associates, we have extensive experience with the cancellation of removal process. We have successfully represented clients through the process to help them care for their family here in the United States.
Honorable Service in the Military
There is a direct path to U.S. citizenship for those individuals who have served honorably in the Armed Forces in most of the major wars or conflicts of the previous 100 years, which starts with World War I and spans to Operation Enduring Freedom. You do not need to apply for a green card first, but you must enlist while on U.S. territory or a U.S. military ship.
Any person in the United States that has faced persecution in their home country or has valid fears they will face persecution if they return home can seek asylum. Persecution in the U.S. is well-defined as any discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, connection to a social group and affiliation with a political group. You must already be present in the United States to seek asylum and must be unwilling or unable to return to your home country.
Our firm can help you determine your eligibility for asylum and will guide you through the process if you are a good candidate. The Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal will require that we gather evidence to support the claim. For those applicants that meet the requirements, there will be a screening interview to determine final approval for asylum. Our firm has vigorously pursued our client’s right to asylum throughout the country.
Get Temporary Protected Status
Undocumented immigrants that had to flee from a disaster or war zone and do not have the ability to return back home safely can apply for Temporary Protected Status. This is not the same as a green card, but it will allow you to stay in the country for up to 18 months and apply for a work permit.
The Department of Homeland Security maintains a list of countries where their citizens are eligible for this special status. Our firm can also help you figure out if your circumstances would present an opportunity to pursue Temporary Protected Status.