It is much easier to buy illicit drugs or purchase a gun than it is to immigrate to the United States. Foreigners desiring to live in the United States are burdened with time consuming applications, intimidating interviews, and expensive fees.
Many non-citizens who are qualified to immigrate are rejected because they make innocent mistakes on their paperwork. Sometimes the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) are the ones that make the mistakes which causes potential immigrants to be rejected. Immigration laws and procedures are changing under the current administration. So foreigners are understandably unsure about how to proceed with their immigration.
That is why an experienced attorney is crucial. Their experience in these matters gives you the best chance of getting your immigration applications right on the first try.
Our South Florida immigration attorneys help foreigners apply for visas, which is the first step to entering the U.S. There are two kinds of visas:
- immigrant visas, for non-citizens wishing to live in the U.S. permanently, and
- non-immigrant visas, for non-citizens wishing to reside in the U.S. for a specified period of time (or while waiting for an immigrant visa)
Foreigners need a “sponsor” in order to get an immigrant visa. There are two types of sponsors:
- Family members who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, and
- Employers based in the U.S.
For example, a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident may “sponsor” his/her foreign spouse to come to America on a spousal visa. Note that spousal visas are available to foreigners in either same-sex or opposite-sex marriages.
Employment-based immigrant visas are divided into five categories:
- EB-1 Visa: For renowned researchers or professors.
- EB-2 Visa: For professionals with advanced degrees that will greatly benefit the U.S.’s economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare.
- EB-3 Visa: For skilled workers, professionals, and some unskilled workers.
- EB-4 Visa: For religious workers, broadcasters, military members, Afghan and Iraqi translators, and others.
- EB-5 Visa: For entrepreneurs and investors.
There are many categories of non-immigrant visas. Two common categories are family-based visas and education-based visas:
Family non-immigrant visas:
Spousal visas sometimes take a long time to process. While the application is pending, U.S. citizens may be able to sponsor their non-citizen spouses on a K-3 Visa. And the non-citizen’s children may be able to come to the U.S. as well on a K-4 Visa.
There are visas for uniting engaged couples as well as spouses. U.S. citizens may sponsor their non-citizen fiancé(e)s to come to the U.S. on a K-1 Visa. The foreigner’s children may also be able to come to the U.S. on a K-2 Visa.
Education non-immigrant visas:
Foreigners seeking to attend an accredited academic institution in the United States may be able to travel on an F-1 Visa. Foreigners seeking to attend a vocational school in the U.S. may be able to travel on an M-1 Visa.
Employment non-immigrant visas:
U.S. employers may sponsor foreign employees with specialized skills on an H-1B Visa. American employers may also sponsor foreign laborers for temporary, non-agricultural work through H-2B Visas. Executives and people with specialized knowledge may work in the United States on an L-1 Visa. (their families can come on L-2 Visas). Foreigners who have “extraordinary abilities” may be able to get an O-1 Visa.
Victims of domestic violence, rape, or other abuse may be able to get temporary legal status with U-Visas.
Green Card and Naturalization
Permanent Resident Card gives you official immigration status in the United States. It is required if you wish to naturalize as a U.S. Citizen. Read more about our services.
Emergency Immigration Services
There are many paths to immigration for people who face imminent danger in their country. Persecuted foreigners who are overseas may be able to secure refugee status. Foreigners who made it to the U.S. but cannot go back home for fear of persecution may apply for asylum.
Criminal Defense of Immigrants
Foreigners who are convicted of deportation offenses face removal from the U.S. Read more about our criminal defense services of immigrants in South Florida.
Our Immigration attorneys will guide you every step of the way
In South Florida we accompany our clients to visa interviews. We fight ICE in immigration court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. And if our clients get arrested, we will do everything to get the get the charge dropped or lessened to a non-removable offense.
We represent foreign nationals from all over the world. At Szabo Law Group we understand the complexities and stress associated with dealing with immigration matters. We will take the time to understand your particular circumstance, outline the best available options, and walk you through your immigration matter.