The U.S. immigration system is complex and immigration regulations and policies are constantly changing. The entire immigration process can be frustrating and time consuming. Our personal and professional experience has given us the expertise to fully understand your immigration needs on a personal level. We serve as immigration counsel to employers, businesses and non-profit organizations in employment based immigration, corporate compliance issues, I-9 and E-verify related matters. We represent private individuals in family and marriage based immigration and naturalization matters. As immigration law is Federal Law, this enables us to successfully represent clients all over the United States before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Department of State, Department of Labor and Board of Immigration Appeals in immigration cases.
We consider our client’s goals to be our own, which helps us to provide the highest level of service and commitment to our clients and cultivate long-term partnerships. Our emphasis is on personal attention, responsiveness, and accessibility and we offer our clients continuous follow-up, ongoing status information and frequent communication. We aim to serve our clients with professional and experienced advocacy, integrity and diligence.
Everyone physically in the US is either a citizen, a national, or an alien.
All citizens are alike: native born and naturalized. Native born citizens are either born on US soil or abroad of one or two US citizen parents. Naturalized citizens are people who were born aliens; immigrated to the U.S. and lived here for a prescribed number of years; they were then eligible for and chose U.S. citizenship and acquired it by passing through the naturalization process.
A National of the U.S. is a person born in one of the outlying possession of the U.S., which now encompasses only American Samoa and Swains Island. Nationals are not citizens, but they can enter and leave the U.S. freely, probably work in the U.S. without further documentation, and their alien spouses can become permanent residents as second preference immigrants. The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Code says they "owe permanent allegiance to the U.S." Aliens are legally or illegally present. Of those legally present, some are permanent residents, others are "nonimmigrants" and others are refugees, asylees, persons involved in deportation proceedings or awaiting a decision on an application.
Permanent Residents are aliens who have green cards. Their time in this status counts towards eligibility for naturalization. (but they do not have to be naturalized upon eligibility; they can remain permanent residents).
Though permanent residents can live in the U.S. permanently, they are not citizens. They continue to be citizens of their original countries, carrying the passport of that country. It follows that they cannot vote. If they live abroad for too long, they may lose the right to return to the U.S.
Nonimmigrants have a letter visa, which indicates their specific reason for admission to the U.S. They have a temporary rights to remain in the U.S. and usually have a specific time by which they must depart. The most common examples are "B" visitors, who are admitted for limited periods like 3 months or 6 months; "F" students, who are full time students, usually at a university; "H" temporary workers, who are here on temporary work assignments, "J" exchange visitors, "L" intracompany transferees, "E" traders and investors. The other letter visas are less common but illustrate the temporary nature and narrow, specific purpose of a nonimmigrant status: "A" diplomats, "I" media representatives, "D" crewmen and so on.