Frequently Asked Questions
Charlotte Immigration Attorney
What are some of the factors that the United States Citizen and Immigration
Services use for allowing immigration?
The main factors which are considered in immigration are if you have an
immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, if you
have been given an employment opportunity under the rules of employment-sponsored
immigration, if you are making a capital investment in this country, or
whether you qualify as a refugee who has suffered or fears persecution
based on race, religion, nationality, political views, or membership in
a certain group in your home country. All immigrants must meet the statutory
requirements for admission to the United States. An immigration application
may be denied if you have committed certain crimes, attempted to obtain
immigration benefits by fraud, or are considered a danger to the United States.
What is the Diversity Lottery?
The Diversity Lottery Program each year grants immigrant visas to people
who have applied who come from countries which have low immigration rates.
There are more applicants than visas that are available so the visas are
awarded randomly among those applicants who qualify.
How does the deportation process work?
A Notice to Appear is issued by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
to those aliens who are suspected of being in violation of immigration
law. The Notice states the reason why the alien should be removed from
the U.S. and is sent to the alien and filed with the immigration court.
After this, a hearing is held during which an immigration judge will decide
if the individual should be deported and, if so, an order for removal
will be issued.
I have been issued a notice to appear in immigration court. What happens
if I do not show up for court?
You must attend your court hearing as scheduled. If you fail to do so,
you may be ordered removed in absentia. Once ordered removed, there is
no guarantee that the order can be stricken, even if you appear at a later date.
If I appear in immigration court, will I be forced to leave the United States?
Not necessarily. First, depending on the charges, you may not be found
to be removable. If you are, there are many forms of relief from removal.
An immigration attorney can assess your case and advise you of your options.
As long as you appear for your court hearing, it is very unlikely that
you will be ordered removed at your first hearing since you will be given
time to prepare your case.
My family member was charged with a criminal offense and now has an immigration
or ICE hold. What does that mean?
An immigration hold is a notation placed with state or local law enforcement
agencies indicating that even if bail is posted on the criminal case,
the individual will not be released from confinement, but rather, will
be turned over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In order
to be released from ICE custody, you must pay an immigration bond.
How do I get an immigration bond?
An immigration bond is a sum of money paid to ensure your appearance in
immigration court. This is separate from any bond that may have been set
in a criminal case. Once you are in ICE custody, your attorney can petition
the immigration court for a bond hearing. At that time the court will
hear information about you, your background, your pending criminal case,
and your family situation. The immigration judge will then set the bond amount.
I am afraid to return to my country. Can I stay in the United States?
Possibly. You may be able to apply for
withholding depending on the specifics of your situation.
Can a deportation order be appealed?
The person who has been ordered to be deported has 30 days to file an appeal
with the Board of Immigration Appeals. If unsuccessful, the case can then
be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
When can I apply for citizenship after being granted a green card?
Most individuals can apply for citizenship 5 years after being granted
a green card. You can apply 3 years or less if your spouse is a U.S. citizen
or you obtained your green card through marriage.
Can I file more than one immigration visa (green card) petition if I have
more than one family member who can sponsor me?
Yes. If, for example, you have a parent and a brother who can both file
a petition on your behalf, apply through both of them. This gives you
more than one option if a petition is denied, lost or ignored, of if one
of your family members dies.
What should I bring to the first consultation with my immigration attorney?
Please bring all documentation you have received from USCIS, ICE, or the
immigration court. If you have previously filed any applications, bring
a copy of each. If you have been convicted of any criminal charges, it
is helpful if you bring copies of the judgments. If you do not speak English,
please bring a trusted friend or family member to interpret for you.
For further information about immigrant and non-immigrant visas and other
matters pertaining to immigration law,
contact the Charlotte Immigration
at the firm today.