Temporary Work Visas
We assist local and international companies of all sizes and various industries in obtaining the appropriate visas necessary for U.S. workers, and we also help develop short-term and long-term objectives and goals for placement of foreign national workers. Those plans may include temporary visas (including H, O, L, E, TN, and other nonimmigrant category visas) as well as permanent residence through employment with the U.S. company.
Employment Based Green Cards
Armstrong Law represents businesses and individual foreign nationals in the complex permanent residency (“green card”) process. We provide personalized services to businesses and foreign national individuals during these complex immigration processes.
We can assist with required recruitment and filing of employers’ labor certifications and immigrant petitions for alien workers. We also assist employers with international operations with transferring key managers and executives on both temporary and permanent bases. We routinely represent health care organizations in filling their critical needs for doctors and other health care workers, including required J-1 waivers and compliance with the various waiver programs. Certain foreign nationals with special qualifications may also be eligible to apply in special categories without employer sponsorship, including those who qualify in the “extraordinary ability” or “National Interest Waiver” categories. In addition, we assist foreign nationals and their dependent family members in adjustment of status or consular processing as may be required to complete their permanent residency processing.
Special Options for University Faculty and Staff
Armstrong Law regularly represents academic institutions and their foreign national faculty and staff in obtaining employment-based temporary visas, permanent residency, and related immigration matters. We offer all of the following services;
1. Preparation and filing of H-1B, J-1, O-1 and TN Visas, and any necessary waivers, if applicable;
2. Preparation and filing of required applications and petitions for permanent residency, including the following key categories that may be available to university faculty or staff:
a. Employment-based first preference category EB1A – extraordinary ability (eligible for self-petition)
b. Employment-based first preference category EB1B – outstanding professor/researcher
c. Employment-based second preference category EB2 – national interest waiver (eligible for self-petition)
d. Employment-based second preference category EB2 – labor certification (special handling for faculty, teaching duties required)
e. Employment-based second preference category EB2 – labor certification (regular recruitment, non-teaching positions)
3. Applications for Adjustment of Status or consular processing, as appropriate, for family members; and
4. Consultations, legal advice, form preparation, applications and/or petitions, and representation for and on behalf of employees or faculty, before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of State, and other relevant state and federal agencies.
Marriage and Family-Based Green Cards
Special rules apply when a foreign national seeks permanent resident status (“green card”) based upon marriage to a U.S. citizen. These rules vary depending upon several factors, including whether the U.S. citizen seeks to have his fiancée enter the U.S. to marry here, whether the couple marries abroad, whether the couple marries in the U.S. while the foreign national is in the U.S. in another temporary status, or whether the foreign national entered the U.S. via other than legal means. We can advise and guide you through the option that satisfies your and your partner’s preferred processing.
Our full service representation includes:
- K-1 “fiancée” visa processing, including consular processing for the visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad;
- Immediate Relative visa processing at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad
- Provisional Waiver (I601A) or traditional Waiver (I601) processing for foreign nationals who face unlawful presence bars
- Marriage-based adjustment of status processing in the U.S., including preparation for and attendance at required USCIS office interviews
- Removal of Conditions for foreign nationals granted conditional permanent residency
We also assist with permanent residency processing based upon other family-based categories, including:
- Parents and minor children of U.S. citizens
- Spouses and children of lawful permanent residents
- Adult children of U.S. citizens
- Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens
“U” Visas for Crime Victims
“U” status is available for victims of certain types of crimes WHO REPORT THE CRIME AND COOPERATE WITH AUTHORITIES in the investigation and prosecution, if any. This special “U” status is available, even if the victim or his immediate family members (spouse and children) entered “illegally” or overstayed a valid visa. Certain types of criminal convictions may also be waived for immigration purposes for a “U” victim.
Our government recognizes that victims of crime may be fearful of reporting crimes because the victim may be afraid of risking deportation if law enforcement is involved. Victims should be aware that law enforcement is trained to assist victims, regardless of their legal status, and applicable federal laws prohibit law enforcement from asking a victim about his immigration status when he reports a crime. Reporting crimes and cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of the crimes helps make our communities safer because the criminals face consequences, including jail and prison time!
To qualify for “U” status, you must be a victim of a qualifying crime. Those crimes include felony assault (including armed robbery and armed burglary), sexual crimes, domestic violence, criminal restraint/kidnapping, murder/manslaughter, blackmail and extortion, perjury and obstruction of justice, and certain work-related crimes where an employer takes unfair advantage of a worker because of his unlawful immigration status. It doesn’t matter when the crime occurred, provided a law enforcement agency will certify the crime and the victim’s cooperation.
Even if you were not a direct victim, you may still qualify for “U” status if you qualify as an “indirect victim”. For example, if your minor child or spouse is a victim, you may qualify as an indirect victim if you reported the crime and cooperated in the investigation and prosecution on your child or spouse’s behalf. In some limited circumstances, you may even qualify if you were a bystander/witness to the crime if you suffered significant and unusual direct harm as a result of the crime.
If you qualify for “U” status, you may also include certain family members in your processing, even if they were not victims of the crime. For example, a victim under 21 can include his spouse, child, parent, and unmarried siblings under 18. A victim over 21 can include his spouse and children under 21. You may include these family members in your processing if they are living in the U.S. or if they are living abroad.
“U” status and related work authorization are valid for up to four years, but you may apply for permanent residency (“green card”) after completing three years of continuous presence of “U” status in the U.S. You may also be eligible to include certain family members in your permanent residency processing, even if they were not included with your original “U” visa processing.
We will work with you and your family members throughout the “U” process, including working with law enforcement agency officials to obtain required certifications for “U” processing. If you or a family member is detained by immigration authorities or is otherwise facing removal, we will work to stay deportation pending the “U” processing.
Removal Proceedings and Relief from Removal
Apprehension and detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) officers often results in the issuance of a Notice to Appear (“NTA”). A foreign national who receives an NTA often is placed in removal (deportation) proceedings and must appear before an Immigration Judge to face removal charges. Don’t face an Immigration Judge without representation by a competent immigration attorney! Orders of removal or grants of voluntary departure may permanently foreclose possible options that may allow you to remain in the U.S. We can assist you in evaluating your legal options for fighting removal from the U.S. and assist you with required filings and appearance in Immigration Courts.
Naturalization and Citizenship
We can also assist permanent residents in the final steps of the immigration process once they become eligible for naturalization. Requirements differ depending upon whether you are living in marital union with a U.S. citizen, or have filed a VAWA based permanent residency application, or have been a permanent resident for at least five years. You must meet continuous residency and good moral character requirements to apply, and most applicants must demonstrate English language competency and U.S. civics and history knowledge.
Some foreign nationals may also be entitled to U.S. citizenship that is derived from a U.S. parent, and we can assist with the necessary filings to obtain proof of such derived citizenship.
Other Special Categories
Children under 21 who have been abandoned, neglected, or abused by a parent and who obtain appropriate state court orders may be eligible to apply for permanent residency (“green card”) under the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. This process is available to these children either during removal proceedings or outside of removal proceedings. Strict guidelines must be met, so it is critical to seek immigration counsel before starting this process.
The DACA Program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) allows certain foreign nationals who arrived as children to apply for temporary protection from removal and employment authorization. To qualify for DACA, you must meet all of the following criteria – we can review these with you to determine your eligibility and assist you with your processing:
- Arrived in the US before age 16;
- Are now at least 15 years of age (Unless you are in removal proceedings);
- Were under 31 on June 15, 2012;
- Have been continuously present in the US since June 15, 2007;
- Had no lawful immigration status on June 15, 2007;
- Are currently in school, have graduated from High School or obtained a GED;
- Have not been convicted of a felony or a significant misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanors; and
- Are not otherwise an enforcement priority for ICE.
TPS, Asylum, and other Protection Categories
Foreign nationals from certain designated countries may qualify for Temporary Protected Status (“TS”) which allows a qualified applicant to remain in the US and obtain employment authorization. Special filing requirements must be met to qualify under each particular TPS program
Foreign nationals who have a credible fear of return to their home country as a result of persecution may qualify for asylum. Strict filing deadlines apply, and rules differ depending upon whether the foreign national is in removal proceedings or not. There are also severe penalties for filing a frivolous asylum application, so it is imperative to have an experienced attorney evaluate your asylum claim.