Nevada Immigration Lawyer
Immigration lawyers help foreign nationals enter, live and work in the United States to be with family, study, work in an important field, entertain, provide culture, seek asylum or refugee status and invest in U.S. businesses.
The most common way to immigrate to the U.S. is with a family visa, so that you can live with your family members. Your U.S. family member must file a petition on your behalf; if approved, you may enter the U.S., get married if marriage is the basis for your visa, and apply for a green card (i.e. “Alien Registration Receipt Card.”)
A green card signifies that you are a permanent resident and that you have the right to work and live in the U.S. You also have the right to reenter the U.S. after a relatively short absence; however, a green card holder is not a citizen and, therefore, does not have the right to vote.
Though green cards are permanent and must only be renewed every ten years, many green card holders wish to become U.S. citizens. Becoming a citizen is called “naturalization.” To become a U.S. citizen, you must file appropriate documents and take the naturalization test.
Federal law and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) regulate all immigration matters. The USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
What are the requirements to become a U.S. citizen?
To become a U.S. citizen, you must be at least 18 years of age and have been a green card holder (i.e. permanent resident) for a minimum of 5 years.
You must be able to speak, read, and write English and have a basic understanding of American civics (i.e. U.S. history and government.)
In addition, you must have lived within the state or USCIS district which has jurisdiction over your place of residence for at least 3 months; and, have been in the U.S. for a minimum of 30 months out of the last 5 years before you file your application.
You must demonstrate both good moral character and an attachment to the ideals and principles of the U.S. Constitution.
Can I lose my green card?
Under most circumstances, your green card is permanent, though you do need to renew it every 10 years. There are only two circumstances that may cause you to lose your green card and they are both within your control.
First, the U.S. must remain your place of permanent residence. If you leave the U.S. and live in another country, you will lose your green card. Second, if you are convicted of certain crimes, you will lose your green card.
If I come to the U.S. on a work (H-1B) visa, may my family come with me?
Yes, if you are granted an H-1B visa, also known as a “work visa,” you may bring your spouse and unmarried children, under the age of 21, with you. They must apply for and be granted an H-4 visa; and, can study, but not work without their own H-1B visas.
The U.S. government may waive its right to exclude someone from the U.S. or its right to deport or remove someone from the U.S. The voluntary and intentional giving up of a right is called a “waiver.”
A “non-immigrant” visa is granted to those who wish to enter the U.S. for a specific period of time. There must be ties to another country of residence and there must be no intent to remain in the U.S. indefinitely. Examples are those who enter the U.S. to perform the ballet, participate in an athletic event, display their art, invest in a U.S. business, visit the Great Salt Lakes, visit relatives or friends and study.
A “refugee” is someone who seeks to enter, live and work in the U.S. because he or she will be persecuted or there is a well-founded fear of persecution in his or her own country. Persecution must be based upon the foreign national’s race, religion, social group, political opinion, or nationality.