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Immigration Lawyer DC
When an individual enters this country, they are required to do so at an inspections point, such as those found at airports or other transportation locations. If the person enters this country at a location without inspection, this is referred to as coming over the border illegally and that person is considered to have entered the country illegally, also referred to as entering without inspection (EWI).
At The Federal Practice Group, we have extensive experience assisting clients with all types of immigration issues. If you or a family member is facing charges of EWI or other legal problems regarding immigration, contact our firm to find out how a DC immigration lawyer can help.
When a person comes into the U.S. as EWI, their presence is considered unlawful. This means that should they be discovered by immigration and/or law enforcement, they would be deemed inadmissible. This classification is different from an individual who legally entered this country but overstayed their visa or committed a crime while here. In these situations, the individual is deemed removable.
When an individual is deemed as inadmissible, they are barred from entering the U.S. in the future. The length of time they are forbidden to do so depends on the length of time they were here illegally before being discovered. If they were in the U.S. illegally from 180 days to one year, then they will not be able to apply to enter legally for three years. If they were here for longer than one year illegally, then they will be barred from applying to enter legally for 10 years.
There are circumstances under which the bar may be lifted.
A DC immigration attorney can evaluate your situation to see if you qualify for this lifting of the ban. One of the main circumstances where the ban may be reconsidered is when the individual is married to or is the child of a United States citizen or a person has legal permanent resident status and it can be shown that failure to allow the individual into the country will pose an extreme hardship to parent or spouse if they are not allowed to enter the U.S.
The process may be a long one, however, it is possible to begin the process while the individual is still in the U.S. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the no matter where individual is located when they begin the process, they will likely be required to leave the U.S. in order to be interviewed at a U.S. consulate in their country of origin.
Is it Really Worth Getting an Immigration Attorney?
In today’s society, it is so simple to get all of the forms you need and all the information at the touch of a fingertip. Many websites have 24/7 online legal help for any burning questions you may have, and when it comes to your immigration paperwork, it may seem as simple as downloading your forms, filling out the paperwork, and submitting it online. If this is the case, do you need to get an immigration attorney? The truth is, even though the government fees and payments you make when filling out paperwork digitally may be much less than an immigration attorney, it might make more sense to have someone with the legal knowledge on your side if your case turns out to be larger than you can handle. While there are certain immigration cases that you can handle without legal representation, many immigration cases are, unfortunately, not so simple.
Do all immigration attorneys have the same fees?
This is hard to determine because every practice will evaluate fees differently and it’s important to speak with your immigration attorney upfront when you are discussing what fees are possible for you to pay and what is simply too much money. Many attorneys will charge less if they are helping you with a routine work permit, while a deportation defense attorney can cost you well over $10,000. Again, it is important to know exactly what you are hiring them for and be honest about what you can afford.
So, when will I need an immigration attorney?
When you get started on anything related to immigration you should ask yourself at the beginning of the process if it would be best for you to get the help of an immigration attorney. A few reasons you might need one are:
Detaining/deportation of immigrants is growing.
The application process for visas and green cards is complex and the government may delay your paperwork without telling you.
You have minor crimes on your record and want re-entry into the U.S. or do not want the government to deport you.
While it may seem like you would not need an immigration attorney when you are simply filling out applications, they can help save you time by filling it out correctly the first time. Not only does this save you time but it also saves you money if your application is rejected the first time around and you need to submit a second one. Additionally, when you have your interview at USCIS, your attorney can not only streamline this interview process but ensure that you understand what the process is and advise you on the best way to answer questions.
You are Here Unlawfully
If you are here as an undocumented immigrant and would like to change your status to a documented immigrant, an immigration attorney can go over the facts of your case and determine what the best avenues are for pursuing a lawful status.
If you have any more questions regarding why you might need an immigration attorney, or if you would like to set up an appointment with one, please call The Federal Practice Group today.
Contact a Seasoned DC Immigration Attorney
If you or a relative entered the country without obtaining inspection, the penalties for this illegal entry can be fire. It is critical that you contact an immigration attorney DC clients turn to from The Federal Practice Group so we can begin to rectify your case before immigration officials become involved and you or your loved one is charged with EWI. The government may look more favorably on your case if you begin the legal process to stay on your own and not because you are being detained or have been deported.
A DC Immigration Lawyer Explains What Can Happen When an Immigrant Faces Criminal Charges
Anyone who is facing criminal charges knows that it can be a very stressful, if not frightening, situation. But if the person who is facing these charges is a non-citizen of this country, that fear can be immense. Not only is the person facing the possibility of a prison sentence (depending on the nature of the crime), but they are also facing deportation by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is why it is imperative for any immigrant who is facing criminal charges to consult with a skilled immigration lawyer in DC who is also skilled in criminal defense.
There are two types of crimes that a non-citizen could be charged with that can result in deportation or removal from the United States. The first type is referred to as crimes of moral turpitude (CIMT). The majority of crimes that the USCIS investigates for deportation are crimes of moral turpitude. There is an extensive list of what crimes fall under this category, but states do not use this category when they are actually charging an individual. Your immigration attorney will be able to determine if the crime you are facing is a CIMT. If an individual is convicted of one CIMT within two years of being admitted into this country, or more than one CIMT in a criminal scheme within five years of being admitted into this country, the USCIS will use that conviction to deport the person.
The second type of crime that a conviction will result in deportation is referred to as aggravated felonies. However, despite being referred to as a felony, these crimes may not be classified that way in the state’s charges. For example, a non-citizen could be convicted of a misdemeanor in a state, county, or district court and the USCIS could consider that misdemeanor crime an aggravated felony under their rules and could use that conviction for deportation. When the aggravated felony category was created 30 years ago, there were only a few crimes, including sexual assault and murder. Since its inception, there have been multiple crimes added to the aggravated felony category.
Because of the dire threat of deportation if convicted, it is critical that a non-citizen who is accused of a crime reconsider any offer of a plea bargain from the prosecutor and should certainly never consider any offer without having a DC immigration lawyer representing them. A plea bargain is considered a conviction and therefore will result in deportation. A regular criminal defense attorney with no immigration law experience may not be aware that plea bargains will result in their client being removed from the country.
Contact a DC Immigration Attorney for Assistance
If you or a family member are non-citizens and are facing criminal charges, contact The Federal Practice Group to find out how an immigration lawyer DC clients recommend may be able to help. Because of the time it takes to build a solid defense, it is important to contact our office right away.
Obtaining an Adjustment of Immigration Status
Our DC immigration lawyer team represents those who wish to legally obtain permanent residency or U.S. citizenship. Our DC immigration lawyer team has assisted families and individuals reach their goals of being formally recognized as members of the Washington D.C. community and legally allowed to live as well as work in America. If you would like to gain a green card, contact our office to discuss your case with our immigration lawyer and learn more about your legal options, regardless of whether you’re living in the U.S. currently without documentation or are still living in a foreign country.
After an eligible U.S. visa petition has been approved, the individual’s green card application can be processed, or adjudicated after visa-specific criteria have been met. The process of obtaining a green card after one’s visa petition has been approved and other criteria have been met is usually called an adjustment of status. You may also seek an adjustment of status if you simply wish to change the type of visa you’re maintaining, whether or not that visa represents a path to legal permanent resident status. Our DC immigration lawyer team can clarify what kinds of status adjustments you may be eligible for if you’re currently a visa status holder.
Eligibility for Adjustment of Status
After the unique circumstances of your case are reviewed by a DC immigration lawyer, you may have a clearer understanding of your eligibility for an adjustment of status. To qualify for a status change, you generally must have a visa petition that was approved or else a visa petition that was filed by an immigration lawyer and it is still pending approval. However, if you are inadmissible to the U.S. for any reason under the law (such as having a criminal record), you may need to request a waiver in conjunction with your petition for a status adjustment. Our immigration lawyer team can provide you with more information about this.
Family Based Permanent Residency Categories
Our immigration lawyer team can also review your case and determine which family based permanent residency category may be most appropriate for your circumstances. Our firm can also provide you with the current approximate processing time at the time of your application. You may be eligible under one or more of these six family based permanent residency categories:
- Spouse or minor child (under the age of 21) as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen.
- Unmarried daughter or son (over the age of 21) of a U.S. citizen. This is referred to as Second Preference.
- Spouse or unmarried child (under the age of 21) of a lawful permanent resident. This is referred to as Second Preference 2A.
- Unmarried daughter or son (over the age of 21) of a lawful permanent resident. This is referred to as Second Preference 2B.
- Married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen. You must be over the age of 21. This is referred to as third preference.
- Brother or sister of a U.S. citizen. This is referred to as fourth preference.
To learn more about your legal options for obtaining U.S. permanent residency or citizenship, contact us without delay. We look forward to learning about your situation and about how we may be of assistance to you.