San Antonio Immigration Lawyers
United States immigration law can be incredibly confusing – and for most people who want to immigrate to the U.S., it makes sense to work with a San Antonio immigration lawyer who understands the process and works with clients in situations like yours. Whether you’re interested in family immigration, a green card, citizenship or business immigration, or you need help with an immigration appeal or deportation defense, Nanthaveth & Associates can help.
Family Immigration: How a San Antonio Immigration Lawyer Can Help
Family immigration is a constantly evolving area of U.S. law, but United States citizens and lawful permanent residents can often bring family members from other countries into the U.S. Family immigration is generally available to spouses, children, parents and some siblings of citizens and permanent residents. The petitioner (the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) and the beneficiary (the person coming to the U.S.) must meet immigration criteria in order to enter the country.
The U.S. government has created several family based immigration categories. Spouses and children are usually given first priority when it comes to immigration, while other relatives are lower on the priority list. Because of the priority levels, and because some people must wait for a spot to open up for them, some people wait longer for permanent residency in the U.S. than others do. (Spouses and children do not have to wait for a spot to open up.) Usually, the best course of action is to talk to a San Antonio immigration lawyer before you even file a petition. Your attorney can answer your question, tell you which forms you need for your case and help you find the right supporting documentation – and he or she can fill out and file all your paperwork for you.
Getting a Green Card With Help From a San Antonio Immigration Lawyer
Adjusting your status as a visa holder can be difficult, which is why many people choose to work with a San Antonio immigration attorney. When you adjust your status and become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., you must meet all the eligibility requirements (such as having a fairly clean criminal record, not being at risk for becoming a “public charge” and fall into the right green card category. The green card categories include those based on:
- Family relationships
- Being a refugee or asylee
- Falling into a “special immigrant” category
- Being the victim of human trafficking, domestic abuse or another type of crime
Your attorney can help you determine what category you belong in, as well as what the eligibility requirements are. He or she can also fill out and file your petition for you, as well as help you come up with the appropriate supporting documentation.
Talking to a San Antonio Immigration Lawyer About Citizenship and Naturalization
Becoming a U.S. citizen requires you to live in lawful permanent resident status first. After you’ve been a lawful permanent resident, or LPR, for a certain period of time, you can apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization. Usually, the citizenship process looks like this from start to finish:
- Apply for and receive a visa to come to the U.S., and the visa you have signals your intent to gain citizenship in the U.S. (You can’t come to the U.S. on a tourist visa, for example, and then apply for lawful permanent residency.)
- Apply for lawful permanent residency.
- Remain an LPR for a certain period of time before applying for naturalization.
- File the appropriate paperwork to become a naturalized citizen.
- Attend an immigration interview.
- Take a citizenship test.
- Swear an oath of allegiance to the United States
The whole process can take several years, which means it’s best to work with an immigration attorney right from the start. If you intend to come to the U.S. with the goal of becoming a U.S. citizen, call us – we can help.
Business Immigration in San Antonio
Many companies need to hire foreign workers, but the legal red tape can be confusing – and prohibitive. For most companies, the best solution is to talk to a San Antonio immigration lawyer who can help find the right types of visas for your organization’s workforce.
Employers must meet very stringent requirements when it comes to staying in line with what the U.S. government wants. For example, companies must typically comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Program, which requires them to:
- Prove that the company needs to hire an alien worker instead of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to fill a specific job position
- Prove that the position meets the Department of Labor’s criteria
- Prove that the company will pay – and can pay – the worker at least the prevailing wage for that specific job
Because business immigration can be complex, it’s often best to work with an attorney whether your company is large or small.
How a San Antonio Immigration Attorney Can Help You File an Immigration Appeal
Sometimes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denies immigration applications, whether they’re for permanent residency or citizenship. In other cases, immigration judges order people to be deported through removal proceedings. If this happens to you, you may still have hope of remaining in the U.S. – and you may want to work with a San Antonio immigration lawyer.
An attorney can help you appeal an immigration decision you don’t agree with (provided you are eligible to appeal). Additionally, your attorney might be able to argue your case in front of an immigration judge who has ordered your removal from the country. Not everyone can appeal a USCIS decision or an immigration judge’s decision – it varies by case – but if you’re able to, your attorney can help.
While no two cases are alike, and there’s no way to predict how a judge will rule, it may be in your best interest to hire an aggressive and knowledgeable immigration lawyer who will fight hard for you.
Deportation Defense by a San Antonio Immigration Lawyer
Many people are deported from the United States every year, and it all starts with a notice of removal proceedings. If you are in danger of being removed from the U.S., you have the right to seek legal counsel and hire an attorney. Because removal proceedings are scary, particularly if your whole family is here in the United States, it may make sense for you to hire a deportation defense attorney. Your lawyer can represent you if you must appear before an immigration judge in immigration court.
Some of the most common reasons people face deportation involve unlawful activity, such as entering the country illegally or receiving a criminal conviction within the U.S. (even if the person entered the country in a lawful manner). Deportation often seems like an extreme response, but it’s one that many immigration courts use – even for seemingly minor offenses. It’s important to know that you don’t have to fight deportation alone. Your attorney can be there by your side every step of the way, answering your questions and providing you with the legal guidance you need to get the best possible outcome.