Immigration Lawyer in Newark Helping Clients Navigate the U.S. Immigration Process
It is estimated that over 1 million immigrants arrived in the United States between 2021 and 2022, with the majority coming from countries such as Mexico, China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. In addition, over 25,000 people were admitted as refugees and sought asylum in the U.S. during the fiscal year of 2022. While these numbers seem high, there are countless others who have had their immigrant visa applications denied or who remain in the U.S. without a visa. Navigating the American immigration process is a challenge for most people, but regardless of your situation, getting help from a seasoned immigration lawyer can make a positive impact on your case.
What Is the Difference Between an Immigrant and a Nonimmigrant Visa?
There are several types of visas available for individuals entering the U.S., and the type of visa depends on the purpose of the visit. Nonimmigrant visas allow foreigners to enter the country for a determined amount of time in order to do certain activities such as vacationing, visiting friends, attending a conference, taking an exchange course, studying, or seeking employment. Each visa type comes with its own rules and requirements – for example, a person who enters the U.S. with a B-2 visa is not allowed to seek employment or carry out business deals and may remain in the country for not more than six months. There are more than 20 different types of nonimmigrant visas available in the U.S.
On the other hand, an immigrant visa allows a foreign person to live in the United States on a permanent basis and may also enable this person to seek employment and enroll in educational institutions. There are several different types of immigrant visas divided into categories such as Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored or Employment. It is very important to determine the correct visa type for your situation and be aware of the requirements associated with it.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for an Immigrant Visa in the U.S.?
For many people, applying to receive a nonimmigrant visa to the United States is a complex task on its own, and the complexity level is multiplied when someone wishes to obtain an immigrant visa. There are countless forms, requirements, documentation, fees, and often in-person interviews that one must comply with in order to obtain permanent residency status and receive the so-called Green Card. Mistakes, lack of documents, or missing information can mean your case may be delayed or your petition denied.
For these and many other reasons, working with an immigration lawyer may be in your best interest. Although having a lawyer is not a requirement for the process of obtaining an immigrant visa, it may be wise to choose the attorney route. By working with an immigration attorney, you can leverage your attorney’s experience and knowledge of the American immigration process to avoid these common mistakes, moving your case along more smoothly and increasing your chances of having your petition approved.
What Happens if I Am Required to Go to Immigration Court?
Immigration Court is an administrative court within the Department of Justice (DOJ). The role of the Immigration Court is to adjudicate immigration cases, including asylum requests, deportation proceedings, and requests for permanent residency. Immigration Court carries out a variety of proceedings to determine whether a foreign person should be allowed to remain in the United States or not.
If you receive a document called NTA (Notice to Appear) or a Notice of Hearing in Removal Proceedings, it means you should appear for a hearing before the Immigration Court. During this hearing, the immigration authorities may present evidence and arguments showing that you are not a U.S. Citizen and are believed to have violated certain immigration laws. The judge may give you a chance to explain why you think you should be allowed to stay and what application you plan to submit. You may be asked to appear at an individual hearing, during which a decision is usually made, and your application is either approved or denied.
Can I Appeal a Decision Made by the Immigration Court?
If at the end of your hearing, the judge comes to a decision that you do not agree with, you have the right to an appeal. An appeal means you would be requesting the Board of Immigration Appeals to review the judge’s decisions to determine if a mistake was made. Once you receive a decision for your hearing either in person or by mail, you have up to 30 days to initiate an appeal request. The government may not deport you while your case is in the appeal stage.
During your individual hearing, the judge will communicate their decision and ask you if you wish to reserve your right to appeal. By telling the judge you wish to reserve your right to appeal (rather than giving up your rights and making all decisions final), you may begin the process of having your case reviewed. You will need to make sure that all the required forms are received by the Board of Immigration Appeals within 30 days of your decision being issued. It is recommended to get the help of an immigration attorney at this stage if you don’t already have one, as filling out the appeal forms correctly and in a timely manner is crucial for your case. Once your appeal forms are received, the Board will review your case and mail you a decision.
Can I Enter the U.S.? On a Nonimmigrant Visa and Then Request a Permanent Resident Visa?
A common question many prospective immigrants to the U.S. may ask is whether they may enter the U.S. on a tourist visa or another category of nonimmigrant visa and then apply for a Green Card during their stay. In order to request an Adjustment of Status and remain in the country as a permanent resident, the applicant must meet a series of requirements.
Some of these requirements include having entered through a U.S. port of entry after being inspected and admitted by an Officer, being physically present in the country, being eligible to receive an immigrant visa (due to having a qualified family member who is a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident or having an employer who has offered to sponsor you for a job, for example) and filing a complete adjustment of status application.
It is extremely important to verify that you meet all criteria before filing for an adjustment of status, and entering the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa with the purpose of requesting a permanent resident visa during your stay is not recommended. It is a good idea to speak to an New Jersey immigration lawyer before initiating an adjustment of status application in order to verify your eligibility and get help with the application process.
What Can an Immigration Lawyer Do for Me?
Understanding and navigating the immigration process in the U.S. is a daunting task for most people. Even something as simple as requesting a tourist visa takes time, effort, and a lot of paperwork. Things only get more complicated if you are dealing with permanent residency visa applications or have been told the government is planning to initiate deportation proceedings against you.
If you make a mistake or send in incomplete information on your visa forms, your case may be stopped while the USCIS requests further information from you, or your application may be denied altogether. Rather than wasting your time and hundreds of dollars in application fees, it is best to rely on the knowledge and skills of an immigration attorney. An attorney has in-depth knowledge of immigration law and can apply their experience dealing with previous similar cases to ensure your case goes smoothly and increase the probability that your application may be approved.
At the Law Office Of Elsy Segovia, P.C., our immigration lawyers based in Newark, New Jersey, assist clients with a variety of immigration cases – from family-based petitions for parents, children, and other relatives to deportation defense cases and more. If you need assistance navigating a difficult immigration matter or just want to have the peace of mind that your application is being done in the most accurate and complete manner possible, reach out to the Law Office of Elsy Segovia, P.C. by calling 973-313-5794 and requesting an initial consultation to discuss your case and see how we can help you.