Immigration law is a highly complex area of law and it is changing every day. This leads to many people having specific questions about the proceeding of their cases or their best path to citizenship. Because each case is highly unique, the best way to ensure you are getting the proper guidance is to speak one-on-one with an immigration attorney.
At Zohar law, we offer immigration law services to help make the process more simple and easier to understand. Our immigration services range from help obtaining visas and green cards to assistance during a deportation hearing, and everything in between.
Below, we wanted to offer some answers to a few high-level questions about immigration law. Keep in mind that the information below is meant to be general and, because immigration law is constantly changing, some of these answers may not be applicable to all situations. The information may also be outdated as changes are made to the law. Therefore, you should consult our New York immigration attorney to discuss your specific case and how we might be able to help you achieve your immigration goals.
Immigration Law FAQ
Who is considered a natural-born United States citizen?
A natural-born citizen of the United States is anyone who is considered a citizen at birth without going through naturalization proceedings. This includes anyone born in the US or one of its territories, or being born to US citizens. If you are not a natural-born citizen and wish to become a citizen of the United States, you will need to go through certain immigration proceedings to do so. This most often includes naturalization if you wish to become a permanent resident.
What is a naturalized citizen?
Naturalization is the legal process of becoming a permanent US citizen, as opposed to a temporary citizen with a work or tourist visa. To be eligible for naturalization, you must be at least 18 years old, be a lawful resident of the United States for at least five years (usually with a green card), be physically present in the United States for a portion of those five years, be able to read, write, and speak English, and be of “good moral character.”
If you meet these requirements, you can complete your N-400 form, which is the naturalization application. An experienced immigration lawyer can assist you in preparing for the naturalization test and interviews, as well as help you accurately fill out your application and gather the appropriate documents.
Can I become a United States citizen?
Possibly. Before you complete the naturalization process to become a permanent US citizen, you must obtain a permanent residency visa, also called a green card. A green card allows you to permanently reside in the United States while a non-citizen. As we mentioned above, in most cases you will need to have a green card for five years before being eligible for naturalization.
What type of visa do I need to become a permanent resident?
The United States offers both temporary (nonimmigrant) and permanent (immigrant) visas. Temporary visas may include tourist visas, student visas, business visas, temporary worker visas, and others.
Permanent visas allow for a longer stay in the United States but must be renewed according to the terms of the visa. The most common permanent visas are fiancé visas, family visas, and work visas. A fiancé visa allows you to enter the United States to marry your partner within 90 days, at which point you will be able to apply for a green card. Family visas allow children and spouses of citizens to become permanent residents. Work visas allow employers to bring over skilled employees (and their families) to the United States to work on a long-term basis.
If you are unsure of what type of visa you need to legally reside within the United States, reach out to our immigration attorney.
What is a “green card”?
A green card, as we mentioned above, is a permanent residency visa that allows you to stay in the United States indefinitely so long as you are not breaking any rules or regulations surrounding the visa. Green cards can be awarded for a number of circumstances that include, but are not limited to, having an immediate relative who is a US citizen (spouse, parent, child, etc), being a preferred employee or worker, being chosen in the green card lottery, seeking asylum, or being a long-time resident of the United States.
Can I be deported?
Immigrants, whether they hold the proper visa or not, can be deported for violating immigration laws. The most common reason for deportation is being convicted of a crime. Deportation is also a possibility if you fail to alert the USCIS of changes in status, address, name, or other quantifiers.
If deportation proceedings have been brought against you or if you worry that you may be deported, call an immigration attorney as soon as possible. They can use their expertise to advocate for you during your case.
What do I do if my visa has expired?
All visas eventually need to be renewed. If your visa expires, don’t panic. The best thing to do is reapply for your visa, or apply for an extension or a change of status with the USCIS before your visa expires. If your application is in and there are delays with the proceedings, it can be incredibly frustrating but it is not uncommon. If your application expires before the decision is made whether or not to renew it, you are likely to be allowed to stay in the United States until the decision is made. However, you may not be able to reenter if you leave the country. You may also have to stop working if you are here on a work visa.
If your visa has expired and you are having trouble moving forward, contact Zohar Law for assistance.
Can I travel outside of the US while my case is being processed?
Building off of the previous question, if your visa expires and you have not received a new one, but you have already started the renewal process, you may, in certain situations, be able to travel outside of the United States and reenter. However, this requires special permission from the USCIS. If you find yourself needing to travel while your application is pending, be sure to work with an immigration lawyer to ensure all of your paperwork and permission is official to reduce the risk of issues during reentry.
Can I make the USCIS process my case faster?
The USCIS is known for delays and slow proceedings which can be frustrating when you need your visa renewed in a timely manner. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to make the proceedings move faster. You do have the ability to file a complaint for delayed proceedings against the USCIS. However, this is not always advised. When in this situation, the best option is to work with an attorney who can advocate for you and help you navigate this difficult process.
What immigration law services does Zohar Law offer?
Zohar Law offers a number of immigration law services in New York City. Our ultimate mission is to fight for the rights of immigrants and their families and we focus on government policies, visas, the right to work, and deportation. We want to help you feel confident when walking down the street, knowing that you have all of your paperwork in order and you have a legal right to be here. We want to assist you through the complicated immigration proceedings in the hope for the best outcome. If you are facing deportation, we want to aid you in your case.
As an immigration attorney, we will advocate for you throughout the immigration and naturalization process. We work with a number of common visas including fiancé visas, work visas, spouse visas, family-based green cards, VAWA green cards, and more. If you have any questions about our services, please call us. We speak English, Spanish, Arabic, and Hebrew and would love to have a consultation about your immigration needs.
Contact Zohar Law For Your Immigration Needs
Our immigration law firm in New York City is here to help you on your journey toward citizenship or assist you with visa proceedings, green cards, deportation cases, or other immigration needs. If you are confused about your status, having trouble getting your spouse or children to the United States, have an unusual circumstance, or are facing deportation, or if you simply have questions about the immigration process, we can help.
Zohar Law is committed to finding solutions for various immigration scenarios. From complex to simple cases, our immigration attorney has handled a wide range of situations, including family matters, real estate transactions, and more.
Reach out to Zohar Law today to schedule a free consultation.