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Immigration Lawyers in Inland Empire

Providing Legal Guidance for Clients Dealing with Immigration Issues

Many foreign citizens dream of living and working in the United States and taking part in the “American dream.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of immigrants to the United States has hit its highest numbers since 2001. In 2023, the U.S. population grew by 1.6 million people, with more than two-thirds of this growth being generated by international migration. Immigrants are said to be the main source of growth for the nation in the future.

While immigration plays a key role in propelling both population and economic growth, many foreign nationals still struggle to attain legal permanent residence status and have difficulty navigating the ever-changing U.S. immigration laws. If you have the goal of becoming a lawful permanent resident in the United States or are an undocumented foreign citizen wishing to obtain legal status, speaking to an immigration attorney should be your first step. The immigration lawyers at Espinoza Law Group provide answers to common questions about immigration laws in the United States and explain how an immigration attorney can help. For questions about your specific situation, contact the Espinoza Law Group at 213-667-0701.

How Can a Foreign Citizen Live and Work in the United States Permanently?

There are many different routes for a foreign citizen to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the United States. The most common path is family-based immigration, which allows a person who is already a citizen or permanent resident in the United States to petition for their family members to obtain a green card. Some may also obtain a green card by obtaining a K visa and getting married to a U.S. citizen.

Another possible path to permanent residency is to obtain an employment-based green card. For example, people with extraordinary abilities or professionals who have achieved the top of their field may be able to obtain a first-preference employment-based green card (EB-1). Business professionals and those with the means of making a significant business investment may also be eligible to apply for an investment green card (EB-5).

Finally, some immigrants may be able to obtain a green card by applying for asylum in the United States if they can prove that they are at risk of persecution by returning to their home country. Whether you are applying for asylum or wish to obtain an employment-based green card, it is important to know that each visa category has extensive requirements and eligibility rules. If you wish to apply for a green card to live and work in the United States, it is crucial to consult an immigration attorney in order to determine the best course of action for your situation.

What Are the Differences Between an Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa?

Immigrant visas and nonimmigrant visas are two types of visas that allow individuals to enter and stay in the United States for various purposes. Immigrant visas are designed to allow foreign nationals to immigrate to the United States and become permanent residents. They are typically issued to those who are seeking employment, investment, family reunification, or other long-term opportunities.

An immigrant visa typically allows a foreign national to obtain a permanent resident card, informally known as a green card. A green card allows an individual to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. It is granted to individuals who have met specific eligibility criteria, such as having a family member who is a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident or qualifying for a green card through the green card lottery.

On the other hand, nonimmigrant visas are designed to provide temporary access to the United States for a specific purpose or duration of time. Unlike immigrant visas, they are not intended to facilitate permanent residency. Examples of common types of nonimmigrant visas include student visas and tourist visas.

Student visas (F-1) are granted to individuals who want to study in the United States. They allow international students to attend educational institutions in the country and permit them to remain temporarily while they are enrolled. Tourist visas (B-1 or B-2) are granted to individuals who plan to visit the United States for leisure or tourism purposes. They allow travelers to stay for a specific duration of time and engage in activities such as sightseeing, shopping, and visiting tourist attractions. Student visa holders may obtain employment in the United States as long as they comply with certain restrictions, while B-1 and B-2 visa holders may not do business or obtain employment in the United States.

There are also a few different categories of temporary worker visas, such as H-1B visas or O visas. These visas can be issued to individuals who fit all eligibility requirements and wish to work in the United States temporarily. These visas allow foreign nationals to enter the country for a specific job or project and are usually sponsored by employers. It is possible for some individuals with nonimmigrant visas to request an adjustment of status and become permanent residents, but there are additional requirements to be met in this case. Consult with an immigration attorney to determine the right type of visa for your situation.

What Is Naturalization, and What Are the Requirements for It?

Naturalization is the process by which foreign nationals become citizens of the United States. To be eligible for naturalization, applicants must meet certain requirements. The requirements to obtain U.S. citizenship include being at least 18 years old, having lawful permanent residency for at least five years (or three years for spouses of U.S. citizens), and demonstrating good moral character. Good moral character means not having any serious criminal issues or being arrested for a crime within the past five years and fulfilling your legal obligations to society.

In addition to these requirements, an applicant must also be prepared to pass an English and civics test and take an oath of allegiance. Once these criteria are met, individuals can apply for naturalization and, if approved, gain all the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship, such as voting during elections and petitioning for their family members (parents, siblings, and other relatives) to immigrate to the United States.

What Should I Do if I Am at Risk of Being Deported?

In general, those who entered the United States unlawfully (without a visa), have entered with a temporary visa, have overstayed their visa, or have failed to leave the country after their temporary work visa has expired are typically at risk of deportation. In addition, any foreigner who is not a U.S. Citizen and has committed a serious felony crime (such as murder or another type of aggravated felony) may also be facing deportation, even if they are a green card holder.

If you are at risk of being deported, speak to an immigration attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you qualify for a deportation bond hearing to avoid being detained and can also build a defense strategy to stop the removal proceedings. In some cases, an attorney may also assist the client through the process of applying for asylum or protection under the CAT (Convention Against Torture) if they are at risk of persecution by returning to their home country. Every deportation case is unique and requires a customized strategy, so the best way to determine the right approach for your case is to contact an experienced immigration lawyer such as the ones at the Espinoza Law Group.

 Why Should I Hire an Immigration Attorney for My Case?

Whether you are confused about which tourist visa you should apply for or need help navigating a complicated immigration issue such as deportation or asylum application, the legal team at the Espinoza Law Group is here to help you. We have successfully represented countless foreign citizens through their process of becoming lawful permanent residents of the United States and have assisted many others with a wide variety of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa matters.

We realize that immigration law and the requirements to obtain both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to the United States are extremely complex and constantly changing. Our law firm can assist you with every aspect of your immigration case – from selecting the right visa category and filling out all required forms to appearing at immigration appeals and providing you with deportation defense. No matter how simple or complex your immigration matters may be, the Espinoza Law Group has the right combination of knowledge, skills, and experience to help you reach a favorable outcome for your case. Contact us today at 213-667-0701 to learn more.