Immigration Law

+Family-Sponsored Immigrants
The Immediate relatives of U.S citizens are not counted under the Family-Sponsored preference category. The immediate family members include spouses, children, and parents.

The law establishes four preferences for persons who are eligible for permanent immigrant visas to the U.S. based upon family relationships. The total numbers of visas under this category is 480,000 visas.

First Preference

Unmarried sons and daughter of U.S. Citizens
The first preference comprises persons who are the unmarried sons and daughter of U.S. Citizens. This preference is allotted 23,000 visas annually and includes adult, divorced sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens.

Second Preference

Spouse and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent resident aliens
This preference is allotted a minimum total of 114,200. If a permanent resident alien of the U.S. marries a foreign person, the U.S. residents’ foreign spouse does not receive permanent resident status until his or her priority date is current.

Third Preference

Married sons and daughters of United States Citizens
This preference provides for a total of 23,400 visas, plus any visas that have not been used by the first two family-sponsored preference groups.

Fourth Preference

Brothers and sisters of United States citizens
The fourth preference provides for a total of 65,000 visas or twenty-four percent of the worldwide annual quota plus any visas that have not been utilized by the first three family-sponsored preference groups and benefits qualified persons who are the siblings of United States Citizens.

+Family of Refugees & Asylees

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Spouse
  2. Child (unmarried and under 21 when you first applied for asylum or refugee status)
  3. As the Petitioner, you must be a principal refugee or asylee. This means that you were granted refugee or asylee status directly and did not obtain it through a relative.
  4. You entered the United States as a refugee within the past two years or were granted asylum within the past two years.
  5. You remain in refugee or asylee status or have become a permanent resident
  6. The family relationship to exist before you came to the United States as a refugee or were granted asylum.
+Six Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility
  1. Conviction or admission of a crime of moral turpitude or a crime involving a drug offense. This designation refers to those crimes that are indicative of bad moral character, such as crimes of theft, assault and battery, murder, rape and the like.
  2. Conviction of two or more crimes if the combined custodial sentence imposed is for five years or longer regardless of whether or not the crime arose form a single stream of events or whether or not the crimes were of moral turpitude.
  3. When the consular or immigration officer knows or has reason to believe that the alien is or was a drug trafficker or was a person who aided, abetted, or conspired in drug trafficking.
  4. Any alien who was involved in prostitution or is coming to the United States to engage in any other unlawful commercialized vice.
  5. Aliens involved in serious criminal activity who have asserted immunity from prosecution and departed.
  6. Aliens who have been convicted of aggravated felonies as that term is defined by law.
+Sponsor’s Financial Requirements

The sponsor must have net assets 125% over the poverty line. A person holding a green card cannot apply for government welfare for five years after getting their green card. The Sponsor will have to fill out a Form I-864 Affidavit of Support with their package.

+Two Year Testing Period For New Marriages

You must be married for two years to obtain a permanent green card. If you apply soon then you will receive a conditional card, good for two years.

+Documents needed to receive a green card

Form I -130

Documents to accompany Form I-130

  • Your marriage certificate
  • Proof of the U.S. Citizen status of your petition spouse, such as birth certificate, passport, certificate of naturalization
  • Proof of termination of all previous marriages
  • One color photo of you
  • One color photo of your spouse
  • Fees

Form G-325A for the Immigrant

Form G-325A for the U.S Citizen

10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What are some factors that are considered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in granting an individual immigration status?

A:     Factors considered b y the USCIS include:

  • Whether the applicant has an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • Whether the applicant has a permanent employment opportunity in the U.S., and whether that employment fits under one of the five eligible employment categories;
  • Whether the applicant is making a capital investment in the U.S. that meets certain dollar thresholds, and that either creates or saves a specified number of jobs; and
  • Whether the applicant qualifies for refugee status as an individual who suffers or fears persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political view, or membership in a certain group in his or her country of origin.

Q2: What is the purpose of the Diversity (DV) Lottery Program?

A:    The purpose of the DV Lottery Program is to annually award immigrant visas to applicants whose country of origin has low immigration rates to the U.S. (not more than 50,000 in the last five years). The program is called a lottery because there are more applicants than available visas, and the visas are granted randomly among qualified applicants.

Q3: What is the basis for being deported? What are the consequences of deportation?

A:    Deportation (or removal) occurs when an alien is found to have violated certain immigration or criminal laws, consequences being that the alien forfeits his or her right to remain in the U.S., and is usually barred from returning.

Q4:   How is the deportation process initiated?

A:     The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement issues a Notice to Appear (NTA) stating the reason why the alien should be deported or removed. The NTA is served to the alien and is filed with the immigration court. A hearing is scheduled, at which an immigration judge will determine if the information in the NTA is correct. If it is, removal of the alien will be ordered.

Q5: Can a deportation or removal order be appealed?

A: Yes. The alien has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration (BIA). If the BIA decides against the alien, the matter can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Finally, if the Court of Appeals also finds against the alien, the matter can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Q6: Under what circumstance will a foreign spouse’s permanent resident status in the U.S. be conditional?

A: A spouse’s permanent resident status will be conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than two years old from the day the permanent resident status was granted. To remove the conditions, the spouse must establish that the purpose of the marriage was not to evade the U.S. immigration laws.

Q7: Under what circumstance will a foreign fiancé (e), who has been admitted into the U.S. for the purpose of getting married, be required to leave the U.S.

A: If the marriage to the U.S. citizen who filed the petition to permit the fiancé(e) into the U.S. does not take place within 90 days of entering the U.S., the fiancé(e) will be required to leave the country.

Q8: Can a U.S citizen file an application to adopt a foreign-born child before the citizen has identified a child to adopt?

A: Yes. A married U.S. citizen, or an unmarried citizen who is at least 24 years of age and will be at least 25 when the petition is actually filed, may file a Form I-600A Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, to speed up the adoption process.

Q9: What is the basic law that governs immigration?

A: The federal Immigration and Nationality Act provides the basis for U.S. immigration law.

Q10: Can a fee for immigration related services be waived?

A: Yes. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bureau has discretion to waive a filing fee if the applicant can establish that he or she is unable to pay. In order to have the USCIS consider waiving a fee, the applicant must follow specific instructions, including completion of a form for review by the USCIS.


Attorney James Hentz

“I am results and solutions driven, that is my value and benefit and what sets me apart from the rest.  For anyone with an overstayed visa, I will get you your green card in approximately 6 months or less, if you are marrying a spouse overseas, I  will get you  your green card in approximately one year.”

The Three and Ten Year Bars

Three Years: If you spent more than 180 continuous days in the United States unlawfully, you could be barred from coming back for three years.

Ten Years: If you spent more than one continuous year in the United States unlawfully, you could be barred from coming back for ten years.