Immigrating to the United States can be an extremely intimidating and complicated process. There are a number of statutes, regulations, and local procedures that one has to not only understand, but carefully navigate in order to protect one’s status or attain status. This is where an experienced lawyer comes in. A New Jersey immigration attorney can assist with a wide variety of issues including but not limited to the following types of cases:
- Obtaining a green card: an attorney can help you evaluate what is the most viable path to helping you attain permanent residence in the United States. A lawyer can explore which avenue is the most realistic (ie., family, employment, investment, etc.) and help you through the process.
- Filing for citizenship: If you are a legal permanent resident and are ready to take the next step towards becoming a citizen, an immigration attorney can help you assess eligibility for naturalization, prepare and file the necessary application, and represent you during the examination.
- Defense against deportation: If you are in removal proceedings facing expulsion from the United States, an immigration attorney can defend you in court and help you stay in the country.
- Work visas: If you are an international worker looking to work in the United States, an immigration attorney can help you determine which is the most appropriate visa for you given your skills, education, and background. Typical working visas include H-1Bs, L-1s, O, P, as well as H-2Bs.
- Family-based immigration: An immigration attorney can help you determine whether you qualify to immigrate based on a family relationship. You may qualify for a green card if you have a US Citizen spouse, parent, child, or sibling; or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse or parent.
- Asylum: if you are seeking refuge within the United States due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, you may qualify for asylum. An immigration lawyer can help you to file such an application and attend the interview with you.
- Waivers: If you are deemed inadmissible to the United States due to certain grounds, an attorney can help you overcome this ground. Typical grounds of inadmissibility involve criminal, fraud, as well as unlawful presence issues and waivers usually necessitate demonstrating extreme hardship that would be suffered by a US citizen or green card holder family member in the US.
- Humanitarian visas: there are a number of humanitarian based programs that extend protection to individuals without legal status in the US. These programs include Deferred Acton for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); TPS; VAWA (Violence Against Women Act); and many more.
While it is certainly not mandatory or required to have an immigration attorney file an application for you, there are a number of benefits that may justify spending the extra money. Immigration attorneys are licensed and legally trained to research, interpret, and apply the law to your circumstances. They can help you determine whether you qualify for status, what your prospects are, file the application, and represent your interests during the interview or examination process—taking the uncertainty out of the process and making your life potentially less stressful.
The above is general information only. It is not specific legal advice nor intended to create an attorney client relationship. If you need advice, please consult with an attorney.