Houston , TX Immigration Lawyers
Coming to the United States to live, work or study is a big undertaking – and it requires you to follow U.S. immigration law to a T. For many people, the best course of action is to work with a Houston immigration lawyer who understands current laws, how they’ll affect your situation, and what you can do to get the best possible outcome. Our law firm is happy to help people with family immigration, business immigration, visas for temporary stays, deportation defense, and immigration appeals for unfavorable decisions.
Citizenship and Naturalization With the Help of a Houston Immigration Lawyer
Becoming a citizen of the United States through naturalization can be a long, complicated process. Many people choose to work with a Houston immigration lawyer to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Here’s a quick breakdown of what the process looks like:
- You must get a visa to come to the United States – and the visa must be one that signals your intention to gain citizenship
- You must apply for lawful permanent residency while you have a valid visa
- You must remain a lawful permanent resident, or LPR, for a certain period of time before you can apply for naturalization
- You must file the appropriate paperwork to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S.
- You must attend an immigration interview
- You must take a citizenship test
- You must swear an oath of allegiance to the United States
The process of becoming a naturalized citizen typically takes several years, so for most people, it makes sense to work with a Houston immigration attorney.
Family Immigration: How a Houston Immigration Lawyer Can Help
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have green cards are often able to bring family members from other countries to the United States. Family immigration is available to spouses, children, parents, and sometimes even siblings of citizens and lawful permanent residents – as long as the petitioner (the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) and the beneficiary (the person you want to bring to the United States) meet immigration criteria that make them admissible to the U.S.
There are several family-based immigration categories. Some people have a higher priority than others do. For example, spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are higher on the government’s priority list than siblings are. Working with a Houston immigration lawyer means you’ll get answers to all your questions and you’ll know which family members you can petition for (and which ones you cannot). Your attorney can also identify which forms you’ll need to petition for your family member, and he or she can file them for you as well.
Business Immigration Through a Houston Immigration Lawyer
Business immigration is notoriously complex. While many U.S. companies are allowed to bring foreign workers into the United States, any company that applies must meet strict criteria – and so must the workers the company wants to bring.
Whether you’re a worker who wants a spot at a U.S. company or you run a company that needs to hire talent from abroad, working with a Houston immigration lawyer may be a smart choice. Your attorney will help you understand which types of visas are available, who can petition for them and what criteria your company needs to meet.
What About Employer Compliance With Immigration Compliance?
Companies that want to hire workers from abroad must meet very stringent requirements. For example, all companies that are hiring foreign talent must comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Program. Some of the requirements of that program include:
- Proving the need to hire an alien worker rather than an American worker to fill a specific job position
- Show that the position meets the criteria that the Department of Labor has outlined
- Prove that the company will pay the new hire at least the prevailing wage for that job
Your attorney can help ensure that your company is compliant with the Department of Labor’s requirements and that you (and your employees) meet all the necessary criteria for obtaining work certification in the United States.
Working With a Houston Immigration Lawyer to Get Temporary Visas
Many people choose to visit the U.S. for tourism, medical treatment and other purposes. Still others come to work here temporarily. One thing that all these people have in common is that they must apply for – and be approved for – a visa granted by the U.S. government. Visas are not permanent; they’re temporary permits to remain in the United States for a very specific period of time. You can renew some visas and extend your period of stay, provided that you apply for an extension before your current visa expires.
These temporary permits to visit and stay in the U.S. are all very different from each other. With some visas, you can come to the U.S. to work on a temporary or seasonal basis. With others, you can come to study at an educational institution – and with others, you’re not permitted to work or study in the U.S. at all. Working with a Houston immigration lawyer can help ensure that you’re applying for the right type of visa for your specific situation, and many people find this incredibly important because if you violate the conditions of your visa, you can be thrown out of the United States. For example, if you come to the U.S. on a tourist visa and take a job while you’re visiting, you’re violating the conditions of your visa – and you can be removed from the country before your visa expires. You may also face other consequences, and it may be difficult for you to get another type of visa in the future.
Help With Deportation Defense From a Houston Immigration Lawyer
When the U.S. government notifies someone that they’re entering removal proceedings, it means that person is in danger of being deported from the United States. Removal proceedings can be scary – and not knowing whether you can stay or you must go can be very stressful. It’s also stressful to go through removal proceedings without a knowledgeable attorney by your side throughout the process. You have the right to legal counsel if you’re placed in removal proceedings and in danger of being deported, and our team of Houston immigration lawyers can fight hard on your behalf.
Working With a Houston Immigration Lawyer to Appeal an Immigration Decision
Immigration judges sometimes make adverse immigration decisions, such as denying a person lawful permanent residency or ordering someone to be removed from the country. When a judge makes a decision you disagree with, you may be entitled to an appeal. For most people, the best choice is to work with a Houston immigration appeals attorney who knows the law – and who’s willing to fight in court to get the best possible outcome.
Do You Need a Houston Immigration Lawyer?
Whether you’re trying to move to the United States to be with your family or you want to visit temporarily for work, school or tourism, we may be able to help you. Call our Houston immigration lawyers now for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and give you the legal guidance you need.