Immigration Attorneys in Upland CA
At the Law Offices of Phillip Myer, APC, we fully recognize that the immigration process can be painfully difficult and often overwhelming. We know that these particular cases deal with crucial factors such as safety, security, family and so much more. A large part of the stress usually associated with immigration cases can be relieved by having a skilled immigration attorney around Upland who completely understands the system itself and also just how important the outcomes of these cases are to the petitioners and beneficiaries.
Knowledgeable & Dedicated Immigration Lawyers near Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario
Whether you need help obtaining a green card, applying for citizenship, or defending against removal or deportation, our immigration lawyer nearby Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario is here to help. We handle a wide variety of immigration matters including:
- Citizenship Applications
We can help you successfully apply to become a United States citizen.
- Family-Based and Spousal Petitions
Many immigration cases involve a U.S. citizen or green card holder applying to bring a family member to live in the United States permanently. These applications are often used to reunite families or keep families together. They allow parents to apply for their children, children to apply for their parents, siblings to apply for each other and spouses and fiancés to apply for their significant other. There are even special processes for international adoptions. Even though these are the most common kinds of applications, no two cases are the same. This makes it important to understand how certain facts will impact your application. For example, it is important to know if your immigrant relative has ever entered the United States before as well as how they entered. Did they enter as a tourist and pass through inspection, or did they sneak across the border without inspection? It is also important to know if your immigrant relative has a criminal history. There are also medical and financial details that can have an impact on your application. For example, a medical exam is a necessary part of the process, and the petitioner has to meet a minimum income requirement. These are just some examples of relevant information that can impact an application’s success or failure.
- Employment-Based Petitions
There are visas available for highly skilled jobs as well as for unskilled labor. As examples, visas are issued for foreign company transfers to U.S. offices, performers, actors, artists and athletes.
- Investor Visas
Investor or entrepreneur visas can lead to obtaining a green card—not just for the investor, but for the whole family. This type of investor visa is called and EB-5 visa, and it requires at least a $500,000 investment in a U.S. business. Depending on the business, a larger investment may be required. There are other visas—E-1 and E-2 visas, that involve investment in, or creation of, a new business. The size of investment under these programs must be “substantial,” but what is substantial depends on the business itself.
- Temporary Education Visas
There are visas that allow an immigrant to enter the U.S. temporarily for the purpose of obtaining an education. Immigrants can apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa if they are enrolled full-time in a qualifying academic program at a school approved by the Student Exchange Visitors Program. There are also language and financial requirements which must be met. These visas are available to both academic students and vocational students.
- Deportation Defense
The other part of our immigration system is Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This is the part of the system that apprehends and deports immigrants. Just like with the criminal justice system, it is important to understand your rights in the event you are arrested or detained by immigration. For instance, you are not obligated to sign anything, and are often entitled to an attorney. Also, many immigrants are unaware of the fact that they are entitled to a hearing before a judge prior to removal or deportation. Most people assume they have no rights. That is not the case. It is also important to know that you aren’t out of options just because you have a notice to appear in immigration court. There are special forms of relief from removal—like cancellation and withholding of removal.
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Another form of relief from deportation is called deferred action. On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is commonly known as DACA or Deferred Action for Dreamers. Under that programs, individuals who entered the United States prior to their 16th birthday could obtain protection from deportation and authorization to obtain lawful employment for a period of two years. This program does not grant lawful status, but it does afford protection from removal based on unlawful presence.
On November 20, 2014, President Obama made an announcement extending the period of deferred action from two years to three, and broadening the programs so that more people were eligible. He did this by changing the length of required continuous physical presence and eliminating the maximum age requirement.
During the same announcement, President Obama announced a second program called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability. This new program has not taken effect yet, but it will allow parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred actions and employment authorization if they can meet the program requirements involving criminal background and continuous presence. If approved, applicants will receive deferred action and employment authorization for three years, and this deferred action will be renewable for additional time. This program will allow families to stay together, but it is important to note that it does not grant lawful status.
- U-visas, T-visas, and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitions
The immigration system has special visas, including ones for victims of specific crimes and human trafficking. One such visa, a U-visa, provides a pathway to citizenship for immigrants currently present in the United States that have been the victims of qualifying crimes (most commonly domestic violence), have cooperated in the investigation of that crime, and have suffered substantial harm as the result of the crime committed. Another application, under the Violence Against Women Act, is called a VAWA self-petition. VAWA self-petitions allow immigrant spouses of U.S citizens or green card holders to petition for themselves when they can show that their spouses have subjected them to extreme abuse or cruelty. This process allows immigrants who might otherwise feel trapped in an abusive marriage to get free from their abuser and obtain lawful status in the United States.
- Temporary Protected Status
Our system also includes temporary protections based on special circumstances, like natural disasters in your home country. Through these kind of requests, like temporary protected status, you are able to remain the United States and lawfully obtain employment for a temporary period of time. These programs are based on humanitarian reasons, and are for special circumstances. In essence, our government makes a decision that it is unsafe for immigrants to return to their home country based on a temporary circumstance, and allows them to stay in the country during that time.