Christmann Legal represents many businesses and investor who need to move to the United States. Investors usually qualify for an E-2 investor visa or an EB-5 investor green card. For employees, their prospective or current employer or agent must file for them. The most common visa categories for employees are L-1 expat visas, H1B professional visas or EB-1, Eb-2 and EB-3 green cards. Christmann Legal attorneys will assist you in exploring the wide variety of employment- or investment-based immigration options available to you.
Family- and relative-based immigration constitutes one of the principal means of immigration to the United States. Family members can immigrate either as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or through the family preference system. Immediate relatives face no cap or quota on the number of visas available each year and can obtain immigrant visas fairly quickly by submitting the appropriate forms and evidence of the qualifying family relationship to the USCIS. Immediate relatives include: (i) spouses of US citizens, (ii) unmarried minor children of U.S. citizens, and (iii) parents of U.S. citizens over age 21. Under the family preference system the following persons may qualify for immigration: (i) adult children (unmarried and married) of U.S. citizens; (ii) brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens; (iii) spouses of LPRs; and (iv) unmarried children (both minor and adult) of LPRs. Nevertheless, under the U.S. quota system, there are only a limited number of visas available every year and intending immigrants may face lengthy delays before a visa becomes available. Christmann Legal attorneys will prepare and submit all necessary forms, including applying for accompanying benefits such as travel and work authorization.
The Department of State is responsible for administering the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) relating to the numerical limitations on immigrant visa issuances. Visa allotments are made only on the basis of the total applicants reported documentarily qualified each month. Demand for visa numbers can fluctuate from one month to another, with the inevitable impact on cut-off dates.
We represent our clients in all U.S. Immigration Courts!
Our attorneys also help clients be released from ICE Detention.
Many of our clients obtain relief by applying directly with the immigration judge in removal (deportation) proceedings. After the initial issue of “removability” is resolved (usually at the master calendar hearing, sometimes after a contested hearing), the court will determine if a respondent will be allowed to remain in the United States. Our immigration lawyers can advise you whether you qualify and are likely to obtain relief from removal.
The most common forms of relief are:
- Withholding of Removal
- Convention Against Torture
- Cancellation of Removal for Legal Permanent Residents
- Cancellation of Removal for Non-Legal Permanent Residents
- VAWA Cancellation of Removal
- Special Rule Cancellation/Suspension of Removal (NACARA)
- Adjustment of Status
- Termination/Administrative Closure
- Includes Prosecutorial Discretion
- Includes Motions to Suppress and Termination
- Termination may be sought to seek relief before USCIS (i.e. U-Visas, VAWA, Adjustment of Status etc…).
- B-1/B-2 Visitor's Visas: Available to visits coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B-1 business visitor visas are for a short duration and must not involve local employment.
Nationals of certain countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa.
- E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader and Investor Visas: Investors and traders and their employees may receive visas to carry on their businesses in the U.S. if their home country has a commercial treaty with the US conferring visa eligibility.
- F-1 and M-1 Student Visas: Persons seeking to pursue a full course of study at a school in the United States may be eligible for a visa for the course of their study plus, in some cases, a period for practical training in their field of study.
- H-1B Specialty Occupation (Professionals) Visas: Professional workers with at least a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent work experience) may be eligible for a non-immigrant visa if their employers can demonstrate that they are to be paid at least the prevailing wage for the position.
- J-1 and Q-1 Exchange Visitor Visas: Persons coming to the U.S. in an approved exchange program may be eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor's visa. J-1 programs often cover students, short-term scholars, business trainees, teachers, professors and research scholars, specialists, international visitors, government visitors, camp counselors and au pairs. In some cases, participation in a J-1 program will be coupled with the requirement that the beneficiary spend at least two years outside of the U.S. before being permitted to switch to a different non-immigrant visa or to permanent residency. ChristmannLegal attorneys will handle the application process for seeking a waiver to the home residency requirement that applies to many J-1 visa holders.
- K-1 Fiancee Visas: A Fiance(e) of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a non-immigrant visa conditioned on the conclusion of the marriage within 90 days.
- L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visas: L-1 visas are available to executives, managers and specialized knowledge employees transferring to their employer's U.S. affiliate. Executives and managers holding L-1 visas may be eligible for permanent residency without the need for a labor certification.
- O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas: The O-1 category is set aside for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. This includes entertainers, athletes, scientists, and businesspersons.
- P-1 Artists and Athletes Visas: This category covers athletes, artists and entertainers.
- R-1 Religious Worker Visas: Religious workers may be eligible for an R-1 visa.
- TN Status Under the North American Free Trade Agreement: A special category has been set up for nationals of Canada and Mexico under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRS) of the United States who have held such status for five years or three years (if married to a US citizen) are eligible to submit naturalization applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). LPRs must prove that they are persons of "good moral character," that they are not disqualified due to certain criminal convictions, that they have an understanding of U.S. history and the English language, and that they have met certain physical presence and residency requirements in order to obtain citizenship. Note: Some applicants for citizenship may be exempt from the English/Civics requirements if they are disabled, and/or meet certain age and residency requirements.
Visas for Victims of Qualifying Criminal Activity (U Visa), Visas for Victims of Human Trafficking (T Visa), Visas for persons who assist law enforcement in the investigation of crimes and terrorist activity
If you have been the victim of a particular crime, or if you have been trafficked in the United States, or have inside information about certain criminal activity, ChristmannLegal attorneys may be able to assist you with obtaining temporary lawful status which may eventually allow you to adjust to lawful permanent residency in the United States. These visas are often available to persons who entered illegally to the United States and have been residing here without status, as long as they can prove they have been or are likely to be helpful in the investigation and/or prosecution of qualifying criminal activity.
Foreign nationals may apply for asylum if they fear persecution on account of their religion, nationality, race, political, opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Their fear of persecution must be both objective and subjectively reasonable and the persecution must either be by the government or a group of persons that the government is unable or unwilling to control. Applicants may apply for asylum "affirmatively," or while they are not in removal proceedings, by submitting an application to their local USCIS asylum office. Alternatively, once an individual has been issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) and is in removal proceedings, they may submit an asylum application to the immigration judge in what is known as a "defensive" application. ChristmannLegal attorneys will guide you through the process.