The Florida Immigration Guide was created by Victory Law Firm to help residents learn what they need to know about living the American dream. Call our lawyers for a legal consultation today.
If you need an immigration lawyer, you want someone who is going to have the most current information about the constantly changing state of immigration law. Our Florida immigration lawyers are here to help you if you are someone who needs individual assistance or you are an employee or employer looking for immigration assistance. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We want to hear from you today.
Help with Visas
When you are getting a visa, it’s basically just a way to gain entry into the US. You can think of it as a ticket into the states. Generally speaking, there are two categories of visas we can explore with you if you want to enter the US:
- You can obtain a non-immigrant visa if you want to come to the US and stay for a designated time frame for a specific purpose. These are especially helpful if you are coming here for schooling or a special work program. This would be a temporary visa for you.
- You can also try to get an immigrant visa which is for individuals who want to be able to live in the states legally and permanently. These can break down into the categories of fiancée visas or family-based visas.
Helping You Get a Green Card
If you want to get your green card, you should know that it is also currently referred to as a legal permanent residence. This is typically because of an adjustment of status in which you currently live here in the States and you want to be able to legally be allowed to continue to live here. This can happen either because of a job situation or for family-based reasons. We can work with you through either one.
Getting your green card can also happen through consular processing if you don’t currently reside here in the States. Again, this could be if you have a job or your family lives here. We can help you go through this process accurately and smoothly.
When you are trying to get an immigrant visa, it can be a difficult and complex scenario and having Florida immigrant lawyers by your side to help you through this can make sure that you get everything done in the timeframe required to get the best possible results in the end. We are waiting to hear from you as soon as you can possibly reach out to us.
Desire for Naturalization
If you would like to become a US citizen, you have to go through a process and meet certain qualifications if you’d like to file for naturalization. You also need to be able to pass a naturalization test. You should certainly check with us to determine if you are one of the applicants who might be able to qualify for citizenship based on when you were born or your parents. We want to help you through this from the very beginning all the way through to your ceremony of naturalization. This is a very exciting time and we would love to be there to help you make this a smooth process.
Worried About Deportation?
We understand the fear behind having to uproot your entire life when deportation is something that threatens your future. If you are up against this possibility and you need for legal representation regarding this matter, we hope that you reach out to us as soon as you possibly can. Our Florida immigration lawyers are here to fight to help you stay in this country with the life that you’ve worked so hard to build. If you are facing removal proceedings, we hope that you reach out immediately.
We work tirelessly and aggressively to make sure that you are getting the help that you need and you feel supported through this entire process. It can be very scary to have to go up against these proceedings and we want to be there for you every step of the way so you know that you being cared for and have someone here fighting for you to stay and continue to live the life that you desire to live. We know that this is a scary time but make calling us a priority for you so we can get started working for you right away.
We Help You Become an American Citizen
If you desire to become an American citizen, please understand that there are options for you. You can have an adjustment of status to become a legal permanent resident here in the United States. Further down the road, if you want to hold a green card or if you want to petition to go through the process of naturalization, we can help you.
This can be an uncertain but exciting time and our Florida immigration lawyers have been helping many people before you accomplish this dream of living in the States and doing so legally without the fear of deportation. Please let us help you today during this transformative time of your life.
Being Eligible for Naturalization
As mentioned before, we can help you with your process of naturalization if you’d like to become a citizen of the US. The following are the requirements that you need if you’d like to apply:
You have to have lawfully lived here in the states for five years. It can be reduced to three years of living here legally if you are married to a citizen of the United States. You can’t have absences of six months or longer of residing in the states. We have to be able to show good moral character and have knowledge of the constitution, government and history of the United States. You need to be able to understand English as well as be able to speak and write in English.
We can help you better understand what you need to prepare when you meet with us for a first consultation. We would like to know during this first meeting whether you have had legal troubles here in the States because it’s very important information for us to have beforehand so that we can prepare properly for you to enter the process of naturalization. Call our Florida immigration lawyers right away if you have any questions about that.
PERM Labor Certification
If you are looking at this process and need help with getting this expedited, you need to make sure that your lawyer is someone who is well-versed in this topic and knows what they’re doing. Anyone who is not well seasoned in this aspect of immigration law is likely not going to be able to represent you as well. It can make all the difference in the world to the outcome and the process in general.
We understand that finding someone who fits your company and is the perfect employee for you is a challenge and, when you find that perfect employee who does not live in the United States, you can feel intimidated because this ultimately becomes a much more complex process. When you want someone to come here to work for you, however, we can help with this process. PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management and this is the first part of the labor process for you.
Reach out to our Florida immigration lawyers right away if you are a business that has a potential worker who does not live in the United States and need help with this.
How Long is the Labor Certification Process?
This process can take quite a while but rest assured that our Florida immigration lawyers are going to push the process along for you to get it resolved sooner. Sometimes, it can take as little as six months if you can do everything online digitally or you could be waiting up to four years. It really just depends.
You might be glad to know that we can help you expedite these matters if they are being backlogged. We handle this kind of thing every day. It’s something we care deeply about doing correctly.
Undocumented Immigrant Arrest
Have you been arrested and found to be an undocumented immigrant? This can be a very terrifying time for you and we are so sorry that life as you know it is being threatened right now. We hope that you reach out to our Florida undocumented immigrant arrest lawyers right away so we can give you the legal attention that you need. Call today to set up a consultation.
What Do You Do?
Despite what you might think, you do have rights if you have been arrested by ICE. We understand that you might be terrified that you are going to be cast off and sent out of the country immediately; however, that’s not how this process works. We hope that you get in touch with us immediately after you’ve been arrested so that we can give you the answers that you so desperately need in this fearful and uncertain time. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our Florida undocumented immigrant arrest lawyers right away.
If ICE Has Arrested You
There are several reasons why you might have become custody of ICE. For instance, your workplace may have been raided and you may have been arrested in the process; or, you were at home when this arrest happened.
We want you to know that you have rights and if you have, for some reason, found this page before your biggest fear of being arrested has taken place, please know that you do not have to let any immigration officers into your house without them providing a warrant. It also has to be signed by a judge and if it is not signed by a judge you can make them leave. If you were to allow them into your home voluntarily regardless of whether or not they had a warrant then they lawfully can arrest you for being undocumented.
Sometimes an agent of ICE will stakeout your house if they believe that someone living with you or you yourself are undocumented immigrants. They typically use white vans that are unmarked to try to go under disguise. They will learn your schedule and sometimes pretend that they are police officers which might lead you to allow them into your home and encourage you to trust them more than he would an immigrant officer. Unfortunately, these tactics, which are deceitful, are perfectly legal most cases. We strongly suggest that you not open the door for anyone unless you know who it is.
You may also have been arrested in a different circumstance by an officer not associated with ICE. Any other law-enforcement agent can arrest you and it might be attached to something like a traffic violation or a criminal. Such as them alleging that you shoplifted somewhere and arrested you then later found out that you were undocumented.
There is something called the “border zone” and that is 100 miles within any US border. This is an area that has a lot of officers looking for undocumented immigrants. They can search you without a warrant to determine whether or not you have documents to prove you were here legally. They can also expedite your removal process which means you have to be deported without hearing.
Detained for 48 Hours
If you’ve been arrested by a law enforcement agent, they can decide whether or not to contact ICE. This often happens when they want you to be interviewed about your immigration status and this can put you onto a database shared with ICE.
You might have a detainer filed by the ICE which says that they won’t come to get you right away and that you will be held by the law enforcement agency for extra time that allows the ICE to schedule an interview with you or figure out whether or not you need to be placed in removal proceedings.
If you are afraid that the ICE is going to try to come get you, do not speak to the LEA. Everything that you can say voluntarily will end up being used against you in a potential removal proceeding. We want you to avoid telling blatant lies about your immigration status because this can cause heavy penalties.
ICE can have you be detained by the LEA for a maximum of 48 hours. If they do not come to take you into their custody within 48 hours legally you need to be released.
Please call our Florida undocumented immigrant arrest lawyers as soon as you possibly can. I understand that this is horrifying but we want to fight for you and provide you with the support you deserve.
The ICE officer is going to determine whether or not you are going to have to go through removal proceedings and also what your charges will be. Most often your charge is going to be unlawful entry into the US or overstaying your non-immigrant visa.
To initiate removal proceedings, your officer is going to serve a notice to yourself and the court of immigration an NTA, which stands for “Notice to Appear.” This has to be served to you within 72 hours and if this has not been done, we can challenge it.
On this NTA, you will see the charges against you related to immigration. At that point, you should know that you have a right to see the immigration judge. They are not associated with ICE. They work for the US Department of Justice. But if you do have a removal order that is outstanding, then, unfortunately, they could possibly deport you without the opportunity to stand in front of a judge.
We can fight these charges if we believe that they are wrong. Even if they are correct, we can still fight them and try to see if you were eligible for relief from this removal.
Despite what your nightmares might tell you this does not happen overnight. These can take years sometimes and it’s important that you have Florida undocumented immigrant arrest lawyers by your side who have the experience needed to have this resolved your way.
If you’ve been taken into custody by ICE, you will be held in immigration detention. Some places are directly associated with ICE and some are private facilities.
You do have one free phone call that you have a legal right to, if you’ve been detained by ICE. It’s important that, if you are preemptively searching for an immigrant lawyer, you memorize our Florida undocumented immigrant arrest lawyers phone number so that you will always be ready to make the call whether or not they allow you to search for the number or not.
ICE is not legally required to detain you in your home location and they can take you anywhere in the country. You don’t have to sign any documents if you’ve been placed into custody, so if you are presented with a document, we urge you not to sign it. You might be signing away your rights to a hearing.
You also are entitled to have an interpreter and to talk to a consulate in your country.
After you’ve been arrested and you are in immigrant custody, the first thing that will happen to you is the officer is going to determine whether or not they will allow you bail. This typically happens by 2 PM the day that you have arrived in custody. If you are given bail or bond, this can allow you to go home before your removal proceedings.
You might not be eligible for bond or bail. They will determine several things about you which will help them decide whether or not you will be granted bond.
They look to see if there’s a risk that you might miss your hearings. They will also determine whether or not you would be a danger to the community if you were to be released on bail. If you are convicted or have a conviction on your record of a particular crime, it will likely leave you ineligible for bail.
It is within your rights to ask a judge to reconsider the decision about whether or not you get bond. Also, if the bond is too high for someone to pay for you to get out you can ask the judge to give you a lower bond. Bond hearings are not the same as your deportation hearings so you should request a bond hearing as soon as you possibly can.
The bond set for you could be anywhere between $1,500 and $25,000, depending on your circumstances.
Frequently Asked Immigration Questions
After an Immigration Arrest, How Soon Will the Undocumented Immigrant Be Deported?
We’re often asked how long it takes if someone is arrested for a violation of immigration law would it take for them to be deported. If you’re arrested at the border, it’s a pretty fast procedure. They hold you for a week or two and then they send you back. That’s typically at the Southern border, where if they catch someone crossing, they’re able to send them back pretty quickly. Anywhere else, which technically applies to anything within 100 miles of any border, usually takes many, many months, sometimes years. You’ll be arrested. You’ll be put in detention. You’ll be allowed to possibly post bond, which will allow you to return to the community until you have your trial date. It can take years before you have a hearing, before you have a trial.
After the trial, there’s a possibility for appeal. It’s not a fast process. Most of the time most person can get out on bond. There are some people that may not depending on whether they’ve been caught before. There are many different criteria. If you’re out on bonds, you’ll be back in the community until you have a trial date. The trial date could be nine months, a year away. It’s not a quick process, and in the meantime, you can make other petitions and make other moves to try to show that you should eb allowed to remain in the United States. It’s important that you contact an attorney. This is a legal process. It’s basically like a criminal trial whether they’re going to convict you of violating immigration law. Contact an attorney that’s experienced in this field. If you have questions about this or any other subject, feel free to contact us.
Can You Come Back to the US after Being Deported?
We are asked many times whether if you are deported you can come back into the United States. You can but many times there are timed bars. It may be three years, five years, 20 years. It may be never. Depending on the type of deportation and what happened in your case, some people are barred from ever returning to the United States. Some people have to wait 20 years. Some people have to wait five years. It’s going to depend. However, it also depends on what happened in your case. Sometimes the judge won’t enter an order deporting you but will instead enter a voluntary deportation that you decided to deport yourself voluntarily. That changes the amount of time that you have to stay away.
It’s important that even though you’ve been deported, or a family member has been deported that you don’t just throw up your hands and say there’s nothing you can do. You hire an attorney. The attorney is going to investigate what happened when the deportation proceedings occurred, what order was actually entered, and based on that, we can tell you how long the time limit is that you have to wait, what exactly happened, and we can make a plan to try to get you back into the United States in a legal way to avoid that in the future. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
How Long Can an Illegal Immigrant Be Held?
Another question we get asked a lot is how long can an illegal immigrant that’s been detained be held. Typically, for most persons, you’re going to have a bond hearing. A bond hearing is they’re going to ask for some type of money as well as a sponsor to allow you to get out of jail while your case is ongoing because these cases for deportation can sometimes take years, over a year easily. Most people will qualify for that. Some people, unfortunately, cannot afford that amount in which case we can petition the judge again to reduce that amount so that we can get you out while your case is pending. In other circumstances, and it’s very rare, some persons, especially with a very long history or fear that if they are released, they won’t come back, they’ll disappear, they’ll move to another state, they’ll change their identity and they won’t come back to court.
In those circumstances, the judge can hold you without bond, in which case you may have to stay in detention the entire time until your case is heard, which could be a year or longer. It always depends. For the most part, that’s not something you really – most people will get bonds. Most people will have the opportunity to bond out and to come back to the community until their case is resolved. There is always the odd chance, depending on your history, that you may not, but like with everything with immigration, it’s very fact specific. It depends on each individual circumstance. For the most part, you’ll get bond. The bond hearing is usually within a month easily before you can get out. For the most part, you’ll be out relatively quickly but every circumstance is different. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss it with you.
I’m a Green Card Holder and Didn’t Serve Jail Time, So Why Am I Being Put into Removal Proceedings?
We had a client not too long ago ask us why he was being put into removal proceedings if he’s a green card holder. He did get arrested, but he hadn’t served any time, he hadn’t been convicted. Unfortunately, part of the requirements for you to have a green card is for you to be of good moral character and to maintain yourself free from any type of criminal activity. There are some cases or some types of crimes, particularly drug related, that even if you’re not convicted, the immigration, the United States feels that they show that you are not of good moral character and they can use that to deport you and cancel your green card and deport you out of the country. It’s important that any type of crime, whatever it is, even if you’re not convicted, that you talk to an attorney, not only a criminal attorney but an attorney that has experience in immigration law because what you do in your criminal case could affect what happens with your immigration case and with your green card.
Unfortunately, like we said, even if you’re not convicted, depending on what happens, they could use that arrest to try to deport you and remove you from the United States. It’s very important that you contact an attorney that specializes in both. Here at the Victory law firm, we have attorneys that handle criminal law cases as immigration law cases. Many times, when the two meet, you have a whole team to make sure that you do not do anything in your criminal case that will affect your status here in the United States. For this or any other questions related to any immigration questions, feel free to give us a call.
If Someone Tips ICE Off that I’m Illegally in the US, Will I Be Deported?
A lot of individuals are always concerned that if someone tips off or calls ICE and tells them that their neighbor or their coworker is here illegally, that they’re going to be deported. Technically, if you’re here illegally and there’s a call to ICE, there is risk that ICE could potentially come and remove you. However, the reality is that covering immigration issues is extremely difficult from a manpower perspective. It requires so many individuals to handle all of the illegal immigration in the United States that it’s really not feasible for them to handle every single complaint from every single person or every single tip or every single call that comes in.
Realistically, the chances are extremely low that if someone makes a complaint about just you and your family that ICE is actually going to send out a team to come get you and try to get you deported. That’s typically not how people that are here illegally end up in ICE custody. More realistically is that you commit some type of offense, whether it’s drugs or any type of a crime you’re arrested, then ICE would be informed that there’s an illegal, someone who’s an undocumented person here, and then they may put a hold on you. It’s a 48-hour hold. Then they may come and detain you afterwards. That’s more realistic than someone giving a tip to ICE to come get you. If that’s what you’re concerned with, the chances of them scrambling a team to come get you are extremely, extremely low. It’s really something that you probably shouldn’t even necessarily worry about.
That being said, you’re always going to be better off trying to resolve any immigration situation that you’re in. You’re better off coming in, talking to us, talking to an attorney that can lay out what your situation is, what you need to do to get yourself here legally, because that way, you don’t have to worry about that. You don’t have to have any sleepless nights. You don’t have to worry if you get pulled over, whether you’re going to be arrested or whether you’re going to be deported. Changing your status here to stay here legally is going to be the best.
After you do that, you’ll get the best sleep you’ve ever had. That’s always better than hoping that nothing happens. As to that specifically, whether someone has to worry about getting arrested because they tipped off the ICE agents, that’s not really realistic and it’d be very, very rare for that to happen. That’s not something you should worry about. Work on getting your situation here, work on changing your status so that you are here legally to avoid any kind of unpleasantness. For this or any other type of question, feel free to give us a call.
Sometimes clients call and tell us they were injured in an accident due to somebody else’s fault; either they forgot, they were in a hurry, or some people are just opposed to it still. What we tell those clients is you are able to receive compensation for injuries sustained in that car accident as long as the seat belt would not have prevented them. For example, if you’re struck from the side and you break your arm against the door, you have a valid claim for that injury. However, if by wearing a seat belt you would not have struck your head on the steering wheel, for example, then you are not protected. It’s called the seat belt defense. What would happen is, although we would claim all of the injuries that were caused by the accident, the defendants are allowed to assert as a defense that because you weren’t wearing a seat belt those injuries should be either precluded or diminished because of your failure to wear that device.
Can I Be Sponsored by a Stepparent?
We had an interesting question not too long ago if a stepson can sponsor you in an immigration proceeding here in Orlando, Florida. Typically, the stepson wouldn’t be the one that would do the sponsoring. You would go through your wife in a K application. On the reverse, you can petition for a stepson as long as it’s a bonified marriage. A stepson petitioning for you may or may not be proper. Obviously, it depends on the specific circumstances but typically it would be through your spouse. There’s always very different and unique family relationships and when someone’s trying to get into the United States, it’s important to talk to someone that’s experienced and who understands who in your family has a green card, who in your family is a permanent resident with a green card or a citizen so that we can appropriately guide you to see how the best way for you to obtain your permanent residency here will be. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
Can I File for an Adjustment of Status through Marriage of a US Citizen?
We have a client who arrived with her family maybe two weeks ago. She’s here under a student visa. She’s been here for about three years. She’s almost completing her studies. As happens many times with young people, she met someone, she fell in love, and they want to get married. She was asking what she could do. Do I have to return to my country after I finish my studies? Can I change status? She was wondering how she could proceed because of her impending marriage. Yes, that tends to happen a lot with the younger crowd. It could happen to anybody. Obviously, with the younger people, people that are here on student visas, they’re interacting with the locals and they end up falling in love.
You absolutely can change your status, petition the United States to change your status as you met someone, you can get a fiancé visa or you can petition to get a visa through marriage. It’s absolutely allowed and it’s very common. Obviously, you’re going to have to show the marriage part which it’s a real marriage that you live together requirements of a marriage to someone outside the United States, but it’s absolutely done and it’s very common so if this is your situation and you’re in a relationship and you’re here on some other status and you’re not sure what can happen, give us a call. We’d be happy to walk through it with you and explain to you how and what steps to take to modify your petition to adjust your petition to a marriage visa instead. If you have this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
Can I Include My Spouse and Children in a Green Card Application?
Many persons who are here wonder if they can bring their wife and children to the United States with a green card. The answer is yes. Green card holders in the United States can sponsor their wives and children to come to the United States for their green card. It’s important to know that if you are here, even though you’re not a US citizen, you’re still able to sponsor your immediate relatives to come be with you in the United States. Sometimes when you initially apply for a green card, you may want to apply separately, especially if it’s a married couple.
The reason is if one of you gets selected in a lottery, for example, then you can use that for both of you to come. It depends on the specific circumstances, but as a rule, yes, a green card holder, yes, can petition for their family to come in in the event you’re looking for a green card. It depends on your circumstances but depending on what you’re doing, you may want to petition separately, you may want to petition together. It’ll just depend on individual circumstances. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
Can I Lose my Green Card Conditions Based on Divorce?
We were asked not too long ago by a perspective client whether he could lose his green card as he’s getting divorced from his current spouse. Typically, if you’ve been married for less than two years, you could be at risk of losing your green card as a result of divorce. If you’ve been married after two years, it’s a little bit easier to stay. Obviously, you’re going to have to adjust your green card and you’re going to have to explain to the investigators that the marriage was a legitimate marriage, that it was entered into good faith, that there was no sort of domestic violence, and that the divorce was a natural consequence of people’s lives and it wasn’t a marriage that was based solely on someone coming to the United States.
Like we said, if you’ve been married for over two years, typically they won’t deport you immediately and cancel your visa and send you back because there’s more of an [01:10] that this marriage was a legitimate marriage, and like many other marriages in the United States, it didn’t work. There is risk. It’s important that you don’t wait, that you don’t do nothing. It’s important that you contact an attorney that understands the rules so that they can take action now to prevent any type of deportation procedure or anything from happening to your green card and your ability to stay, particularly if the marriage is one of those delicate marriages where there’s allegations back and forth from both sides. It’s important for you to discuss it with an attorney while the divorce or immediately after the divorce so that they can protect your status here in the United States. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
Can I Lose my Citizenship from Moving Abroad?
A lot of my clients here in Florida ask that if they travel, once they’ve obtained their citizenship, can they travel, can they live overseas for a little while, can they move here, can they do this. Basically, when you have citizenship, you’re a citizen of the United States. You are free from any type of immigration restriction whatsoever. The United States allows dual citizenship so you may have citizenship in your home country and in the United States and you’re able to travel, come and go as you please.
This is now your home country as well and you’re treated as if you were born here. Being a citizen has many advantages in that you can travel and live overseas, come back home, go back. You’re basically going to be free from any restrictions that you may not be free if you had a green card or if you were here on an asylum protection or many other situations may prevent you from traveling, but once you obtain citizenship, you’re free to basically do and live your life as you please. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call, we’d be happy to discuss them with you.
Can I Sponsor a Family Member if I Just Became a Citizen?
A client of ours asked, he just became a citizen of the United States, if he can start sponsoring his relatives. The answer is yes. Once you are a citizen of the United States, you have all rights and benefits that come with that citizenship, including the ability to petition someone, either another relative or a family member, to come into the United States. Also being a green card holder can sometimes allow you to petition or sponsor someone to come to the United States, a close family member. It’s important to discuss these or any other questions with a qualified attorney that understands immigration law. We’ll be able to explain to you what you need to do, when you need to do it, and the best way to go about getting all your family members into the United States. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
Can I Sponsor My Parents?
Common question we get asked is, if you’re a US citizen, if you can sponsor your parents to come in from another country as permanent residence. The answer is yes. You are allowed, as a US citizen, to sponsor someone to come into the United States, a relative. Parents qualify as close familiar relationship. You can petition for them to come in. It’s a time-consuming process and it takes time, but it’s certainly allowed and it’s certainly one of the better ways to get your family into the United States. If you have any questions regarding this or any other subject, feel free to give us a call.
Can I Work in the US While Waiting for My Green Card?
Many people that have applied for a green card while they’re waiting wonder if they can work. You can but you need permission from the government to work. You can file a petition for a work permit which will then allow you to work in the United States. It’s important that you do that because if you work without permission in the United States, that could be grounds for denial of green card and that’s violating the United States immigration law. It’s very important that you get a work permit that allows you to go to work and not work as many people are tempted to work under the table, to work under someone else’s Social Security number. No, talk to an attorney that’s experienced in immigration law so that they can assist you so that you do everything legally, so you don’t risk losing your ability to stay in the United States. For this question or any other questions, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss it with you.
Can Prior Arrests Prevent Citizenship?
We’ve been asked recently if prior arrests can prevent someone from becoming a US citizen. It depends. Some arrests can result in your green card being revoked and have you deported back to your country. One of the reasons or one of the requirements for you to become a United States citizen is you must show good moral characters. A lot of arrests that have to deal with drugs, drug use, selling drugs, gang activity, violent activity, those types of crimes, being convicted of those types of crimes, can many times cause you to get deported and may prevent you from obtaining a United States citizenship, even some arrests, even without a conviction, specifically, like we mentioned, for drugs, that may tend to show that you’re not a person or what they feel a person of good moral character is. Even the mere arrest can sometimes have a detrimental arrest to your continued stay in the United States. That part may cause you to be deported. Being arrested alone may also affect your ability to obtain citizenship because, like we said, one of the requirements is to show that you’re of good moral character. Anyone that’s here that’s trying to immigrate into the United States that’s here under a visa, it’s important that they try to avoid any type of entanglement with the law.
If they don’t, it’s important that you retain an attorney that’s not only experienced in criminal law but that has experience in immigration law as well so that they can make sure that what you do and what defenses and how you handle your criminal case doesn’t affect your immigration status and your immigration situation. Those two go hand in hand. We at the Victory law firm have attorneys that specialize in criminal law and we also have attorneys that specialize in immigration and we are able to navigate both to make sure that we don’t affect someone’s immigration status or ability to continue to stay or gain citizenship in the United States isn’t accepted by a mistake or a perceived mistake or by an unlawful detainment by a police officer. If this is your situation, we invite you to call us. We’ll give you a free consultation. We can discuss your particular case and at least give you guidance so that you know exactly what you need to look out for if this is your situation. Feel free to give us a call. If you have any other questions, call us as well. Thanks.
How Can we Get a Fiancé Visa?
We were asked by someone how they can obtain a fiancé visa. Typically, those are done, for a fiancé visa, usually the person that’s filing a petition does it at the consulate of their home country. These are sometimes called 90-day visas and there’s a TV show about the fiancé visa where the person is allowed to come here with the intent of being married within 90 days of coming to the United States. They’re usually done at home. You can do them while the person is here. You’d have to do an adjustment if they were here under some other type of visa to be allowed to change. Depending on the visa, they may have to go back and petition and then return. Yeah, it depends on your specific circumstances, but a fiancé visa is that. It’s to allow someone that intents to be married within the 90 days of coming into the United States. It allows them to come here, stay, prepare for the wedding, and get married, and then you transition to a marriage visa once you’ve been married. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call. We can certainly assist you with this visa or any type of other question.
How Do I Choose an Immigration Attorney?
Many people ask how to choose the right immigration attorney in Florida. That’s an important question. In Florida, we have this influx of paralegals which are acting as attorneys and offering their services to persons in their immigration cases, sometimes charging a lot less than an attorney may charge. However, these paralegals do not have the resources or experience to really handle an immigration case. All they really can do is assist you in filling out the initial forms. The first stage is important in that you’re actually selecting an attorney, even if it sounds like an attorney, you have to ask that question, are you an attorney licensed by the Florida bar. If they’re not, we would recommend against selecting them, even though it may seem easier, it may seem cheaper, you’re usually better off selecting an attorney.
Now, as far as attorneys, it’s important that you speak to your attorney. It’s important that you know that your attorney is the one that’s going to be handling the petition, that’s going to be handling the application, that they’re the ones that are going to be assisting and that they’re not going to dump it off on a paralegal. A lot of times, the paralegals are the ones doing most of the work while the attorney just signs his name. It’s important that you understand that and that you know who is actually handling your case.
The other thing is it’s important that you have an attorney that in your contract is going to go through all the way with you not only filling the application but assisting you in any interviews and in the event that this is a case that requires court appearance that they’re going to appear in court with you to assist you with your immigration situation. It’s always best, many times it’s important that your attorney speaks your language. All the attorneys here are bilingual. We all speak Spanish. We’re all fluent in Spanish so we can understand a person’s intricacies and their desires, and we can communicate more effectively. If you have any questions about this or anything else, feel free to give us a call.
How Long Do You Have to Wait for a Green Card?
Probably the number one question we get is how long does this process take. There’s no easy answer. Depending on the type of petition you’re making, it can take anywhere from six months, maybe a year. It depends on the type of petition that you’re making. It depends on how busy the homeland security is. It depends on many different factors on how long it takes. Basically, you’re looking easily about a year, depending on the type of petition before you get a response. It’s not a quick process, unfortunately, especially if you are doing it in a consulate overseas, the waiting can be very tedious. Those tend to be a little bit faster but easily you’re going to be looking six months to a year before you get a response to your request. If you have any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
How Long Does It Take for a Fiancé Visa to Be Approved?
We are also asked how long it takes to get approved for a fiancé visa. If it’s done at the consulate, usually it goes a little bit faster. It depends on which country we’re talking about how long it’s going to take. A good estimate would be four or five months or so before you get an approval. Those visas will require you to have an interview at the consulate. They’re going to want to know who you’re coming with, why they’re coming, all the normal types of questions, but typically, that’s what it’ll take. If you do it here in the US, it could take a little bit longer but we could petition for you to stay during that process so that you don’t have to leave the country and come back. You can stay and get married during the normal course of your life and it also is going to depend on what your status is and why you came to the United States originally and if you’re here illegally. If you entered illegally, that may not be the appropriate route. Everything is factual specific when it comes to immigration law because everybody’s situation is very different. We invite you to give us a call, that was we can learn your exact situation and give you advice that’ll help in your situation. Feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Is a I-601A Waiver Possible for Someone who Married an American Citizen?
We were asked not too long ago if a person that could get a 601 waiver if they were married to an American citizen. What that means is basically that the person entered the United States illegally and is now looking to stay and get their visa as they’re married to an American citizen. That’s technically how you should go about it. A 601A waiver is a request for the government not to have you go back to the state or the country that you’re from but to allow you to stay and forgive your entrance into the United States illegally and since you have a K petition for marriage, that would be a way for you to stay, ask for forgiveness for the government for your entering illegally originally, depending on your circumstances, and it always depends on your specific circumstances. You may or may not be allowed to stay in the United States while you petition for a marriage visa, as they call it, is approved. Once they approve, you would have your green card. It’s definitely allowed and it’s one of the ways that you can remain here while you’re doing your other immigration procedures, such as the K one with the marriage. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss it with you.
What Are Requirements to File for Citizenship?
We are always asked from people that have been here what they need to do to become a United States citizen when they’re living here in Orlando, Florida. The United States allows citizenship for people who are over 18 years of age. That’s the first requirement. You must have been living here three or five years depending on your circumstances continuously legally under a green card. You’re required to speak, write, and read English, the English language. There are certain couple of other requirements. You must show that you’re of good moral character, things of this nature. Then you must go through the naturalization process. That process is relatively simple. You do have to know and learn a little bit about the United States. You must demonstrate that you can read, speak, and write, and you must have been here and be a productive member of society.
It’s one of the most beautiful things you can do is to become a United States citizen. It’s a very happy moment for many people that have struggled, not only to leave their home country to come here but to create a life and to create a good life here in the United States and to finally reach that goal. It’s a beautiful thing and it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of. If this is your situation and you’ve been here and you think you want to, even if you haven’t been here but you think your ultimate goal is to become a United States citizen, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to explain to you the process, what you need to do, and how you can attain that ultimate goal. For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
What Are the Requirements to File an I-751 Petition?
In Florida, we’ve been asked several times here in Florida, some of my clients are asking about removing certain conditions. That’s done through an I-751 petition. It’s a removal of conditions. That’s pretty much the process and the petition that you file to remove any conditions that you may have for staying in the United States. There are several requirements and it depends exactly how or what you’re doing, what conditions are to be removed. That one’s a very factual specific situation which we would have to sit down with you and really discuss what your current immigration status is, what you’re looking to do, and why you’re looking to file that 751. Depending on that, we can give you a better gauge on whether that’s even what you want to do, and if it’s not, we want to adjust it in some other way. If you have a question about this or any other subject, feel free to give us a call.
What Is an I-601A Waiver?
We are often asked what an I-601A waiver is. There are certain waivers and certain codes that make immigration law a little bit tedious and a little bit difficult to understand. In Florida, that particular waiver involves requesting the government to forgive an unlawful entry into the United States. Typically, if you enter illegally into the United States, the United States asks you to leave and come back legally before you can make any type of petition to stay for any reason, except for maybe asylum claims if you enter illegally under an asylum claim, they may not necessarily ask you to leave because of the danger involved. Aside from that, a 601A is the way that you can petition the government to forgive you for entering the country illegally and then to allow you to stay here while you complete any other type of immigration situation that you may be involved in. Like we said, it’s tedious and it’s difficult to understand so it’s always important to discuss it with an attorney that specializes or that understands immigration law that can assist you with this. It’s also important because of the current flux of immigration law that happens very often. It’s important that you speak to someone that knows and is up to date with all the laws and immigration. For this or any other type of question, feel free to give us a call.
What Is the Status and Requirement for DACA?
Clients sometimes will ask what the status requirement is for DACA. DACA is Deferred Action for Children. These are for the so-called dreamers that have been in the United States or were brought to the United States as children and now want a path towards a residency and citizenship. The requirements are vast. There are many requirements. Mainly, you must be between 15 and 31 in order to qualify. You also have to have been in the United States since June 5th, 2012, but it’s a very specific set of requirements for you to be able to apply through the DACA program. You also must have been here uninterrupted. You must be going to school or going through the military. There’s a lot of different requirements necessary. It’s a very complex and very detailed discussion. There are certainly certain requirements and we’d be happy to discuss those or anything else with you. Feel free to give us a call.
Why Would a Green Card Application Be Denied?
People often wonder why a green card would be denied in Florida. It depends. There are many reasons that the US department of homeland security may deny a green card. There’s numerous. Sometimes it depends if you committed a crime specific type of crime such as crimes related to drugs can sometimes cause your green card application can be denied. One of the main ones is lying. If you are untrue in any part of your application for your green card and they discover that there was something untrue, that’s a grounds for them to deny your green card. It’s important that you are not only honest but you’re very clear and specific and you have the assistance of someone when they’re filling out any type of petition for any type of immigration. There are many different reasons why a petition may be denied but that doesn’t mean that you’re immediately deported. Even if you’re here stateside and your petition got denied for asylum, for example, you can also request that they still not send you over. It’s not a green card but it’s a deferred deportation which can allow you to remain for some time. With immigration, everything is very specific and very fact based. we have a hard time explaining anything general because everything is just so nuanced and so specific. If you have any questions, the best thing you can do is give us a call. We’d be happy to walk through with you and see how we can best help you in your situation.
Call Our Florida Immigration Lawyers Today
If you need help with your immigration matters, we hope that you reach out to our Florida immigration lawyers today to set up a consultation right away. We can help you get the results that you desire.