Experienced New York Immigration Lawyer
Navigating through the US immigration process and procedures is a complex and confusing process that requires professional assistance. Failure to follow one step in the process could be fatal to your attempt to obtain any form of legal citizenship in the United States. As a former prosecutor and seasoned immigration and deportation attorney, I am well versed in the ins and outs of this technical and confusing process. Please feel free to contact me for a low-cost consultation regarding your case. The information below is not meant to supplement personalized attention and vigorous defense of your case. Rather, it provides a basic overview of the immigration and deportation process and procedures generally to give you and your loved ones a basic understanding of these complex laws and regulations. We highly recommend contacting an experienced New York Immigration Lawyer to review your case.
Overview of Immigration in New York:
Immigration laws in the United States are changing, and they way the policies are being enforced is changing even faster. As a former government prosecutor and advocate of those with all kinds of immigration issues, I can help you to navigate through these complex laws. I assist those who entered the country illegally, without documentation, have overstayed their visas, or otherwise violated US immigration laws. Below I have provided a basic overview of some of the complex immigration laws so that you will have a general understanding of the law prior to discussing your own case with an attorney, such as myself, who has been well-trained in this complicated area of law.
Immigration is the act of entering a country with the intent of either temporarily or permanently living there. There are two types of immigration visas: temporary and permanent. A temporary visa (a.k.a. a non-immigrant visa) simply means that the person has the intent to return to his country of origin after a period of time in the U.S. Examples of temporary visas include Work Permit Visas (TN Visa, L Visa), for academic study (F-1 Visa), to start a business (E-2 Visa), and for tourism or business travel (B1 and B2 Visas). Temporary visas do not lead to a green card. One must leave the U.S. as soon as the temporary visa expires. To obtain a temporary visa one must show that you plan to return to your country of origin once the visa expires. This often requires you to show you have significant ties to your home country (example: you own a home there) and at times a letter stating you plan to return home is sufficient. It is imperative to speak to an attorney because applying for a temporary Visa can at times prevent you from later obtaining a green card (a permanent visa).
A permanent visa (a.k.a. an Immigrant Visa) is synonymous with having a green card. Green cards can lead to citizenship but take years to obtain. A permanent visa requires that you intend to remain in the country permanently. It is important to know that wait times are lengthy and depend, in part, on the country of origin. Each country has a quota of how many green cards may be issued over a period of time. In order to obtain a green card you must meet one of the following four types of permanent visas:
Employment Based- these have been set up to allow people to obtain green cards where they have a unique specialization and where they would not be taking a job away from an American. Often, one must prove through extensive searching that no American can fill said position. Alternatively, there is also what is called the “million dollar Visa.” This employment based Visa allows an investor willing to invest one million dollars to start or buy a country to obtain a Visa. The investor must create 10 jobs for US citizens.
Family Based- Is founded on the policy that the government wants to unify families and allow those with green cards to bring their families to live with them in the U.S. The closer the family member, the higher the chance that you will be able to bring that family member over. For example, a U.S. Citizen or green card holder can get their spouse a green card within a one year period. A brother or sister, however, would have to wait at least ten years before being eligible under the family based reasons to obtain a green card.
Visa Lottery- AKA the diversity lottery- This is a program that gives green cards to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Eligibility depends on your place of birth. Only 50,000 applicants will be selected each year.
Asylum/Refugee- Refugee or Asylum is a humanitarian immigration benefit that can be applied for by those who have experienced or who have a legitimate fear serious harm or persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a group if they return to their home country. This application must be submitted within one year of arriving in the United States.
Ineligibility for a Visa:
There are many complex reasons that may make you ineligible for any visa. Considerations such as health, criminal record, whether you currently reside in the United States, and other specific reasons all could trigger a person to be ineligible for a visa. An experienced attorney can assist you in circumventing these common reasons for ineligibility and increase the likelihood that you are granted a visa.
DEPORTATION AND REMOVAL
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services uses the terms Deportation and Removal. It means “the formal removal of an alien from the United States when the alien has been found removable for violating immigration laws.” Unlike criminal court, you are not entitled to be represented by legal counsel in Immigration Court. Studies have shown that one is five times more likely to be deported when they are not represented by an attorney. If you are in removal proceedings or believe you are facing deportation, contact deportation and immigration attorney Omar Almanzar-Paramio, Esq. for a low-cost consultation and to obtain representation in these complex and life altering hearings.
The agency that represents the government in removal proceedings is called the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). There are now two immigration Courts in New York City. In removal proceedings, a person is served with a document called a Notice to Appear (NTA). This notice charges the respondent (the alien) with being in the United States illegally. The NTA contains the factual allegations explaining why the respondent is being accused of being in the country illegally. The notice will also explain what provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act have been violated.
Next there will be two hearings: a master calendar hearing and an individual hearing. At the master calendar hearing a lawyer is able to respond to the allegations and charges listed in the notice to appear. At times, the basis for the allegations set out in the NTA can be challenged and the removal proceeding will be terminated. Unfortunately, this is rare. In most cases if the person is in the country illegally, they must admit to this fact. If you are found to be illegally in the country the Judge will find you to be removable and you must apply for relief from removal. If you are not eligible for relief from removal then the judge will order that you be deported.
Relief usually refers to a basis for the responded to stay in the US legally. Some forms of relief from removal include the following:
- Cancellation of removal
- Voluntary Departure
- Waivers of Inadmissibility pursuant to INA Sections 212(c) and 212(i)
- Adjustment of status
- Relief under the Convention Against Torture
- Special Immigration Juvenile Status
At the Master Calendar Hearing, one can apply for relief from removal, submit applications of relief, submit evidence supporting said applications, and schedule individual hearings to determine the outcome of said applications.
The second type of hearing is the individual hearing. The individual hearing is a merits hearing, which means the Court will focus on the facts and detailed arguments regarding your case. A person is allowed to call witnesses, introduce evidence, and expand on the requests for relief that were asked for at the calendar hearing. At the individual hearing, after all of the evidence has been submitted, a Judge will determine whether or not a person will be deported. It is imperative to have a seasoned immigration attorney with knowledge of criminal defense and the procedures and rules of both kinds of hearings to advocate for you to maximize your likelihood of prevailing over the deportation claims.