Other Immigration Options

Immigration Attorney in Charlotte

If you need to appeal a decision made by an Immigration Judge in Immigration Court, it is in your best interest to seek professional legal assistance from a qualified attorney. If you reside in Charlotte, North Carolina, or in the surrounding areas, it is highly recommended that you contact the Charlotte immigration lawyer at Kelli Y. Allen Immigration Law as soon as possible for a legal consultation about your case. Ms. Allen devotes her practice exclusively to immigration cases and can provide knowledgeable and skilled legal assistance with your appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals or with any other immigration issue.

Board of Immigration Appeals

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the highest administrative agency in regards to decisions made by Immigration Judges and other matters pertaining to federal immigration law. The BIA hears appeals of decisions by both Immigration Judges and certain Department of Homeland Security decisions. When the BIA hears an appeal, it has the authority to dismiss or sustain an appeal, send the case back to the Immigration Judge who made the original decision, or refer the case to the Attorney General for a determination.

A filing deadline exists in making an appeal; the appeal must be received within 30 days of the date that the Immigration Judge made his or her decision. A decision by the BIA is the final administrative decision in any case. After this decision, the case can only be further appealed in the U. S. Court of Appeals. Most BIA appeals are decided solely based upon the immigration court record and a written legal brief. This means that usually, neither you nor your attorney will have the opportunity to appear before the BIA to make an oral argument. Therefore, it is crucial that your immigration attorney has the skills to make a persuasive written argument. Ms. Allen possesses exceptional legal research and writing skills and will work to ensure that all cognizable legal arguments are professionally and effectively presented.

If the decision you received concerning asylum, deportation or removal, or some other matter concerning immigration law is an adverse one which you wish to appeal, the Charlotte immigration attorney at the firm can advise you on all of the legal aspects of your case and on how to make an effective appeal to the BIA. Not all cases have a cognizable legal issue on which to base an appeal. Kelli Allen will thoroughly analyze your case and offer you a realistic assessment of your chances for a successful appeal.

Contact the Charlotte Immigration Lawyer at the firm today if you wish to appeal the decision of Immigration Court regarding your case.


Applications for asylum are either affirmative or defensive. An affirmative application is filed with USCIS before the alien is in removal proceedings. A defensive asylum application is one which is filed with the immigration court during removal proceedings. If you are granted asylum, other family members may be eligible for asylum status as derivative beneficiaries, even if they did not experience the persecution. After holding asylum status for one year, the alien is eligible to apply for a green card.

To qualify for asylum, you must be able to prove that you suffered persecution or have a fear of future persecution if you are returned to your country of origin. Additionally, your country's government must have inflicted the injury upon you, or alternatively, failed to prevent the persecution. The reason for the persecution must be primarily because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Except under rare circumstances, you must apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the United States.

The case law for asylum, especially those based on membership in a particular social group, is constantly evolving. A strong asylum application usually requires documentation of your confinement or injuries, affidavits from witnesses or others aware of your adverse treatment, medical documentation, Human Rights Reports from your country, and a well-written legal brief outlining the law as it applies to your case.

Contact the Charlotte Immigration Attorney at the firm today if you would like to discuss your eligibility for asylum in the United States.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

DACA allows eligible individuals without lawful immigration status to apply for authorization to live and work in the United States. If approved, the individual receives an employment authorization card valid for two years. So long as the program remains in existence, this authorization is renewable every two years.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Initial entry into the United States prior to obtaining the age of 16. Departure from the United States and re-entry after the age of 15 does not make you ineligible, so long as each of the other requirements is met. HOWEVER, any departure from the U.S. after August 15, 2012 makes an applicant ineligible.
  • Continuous physical presence in the United States since June 15, 2007 (brief absences prior to August 15, 2012 are allowed but are evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
  • Physical presence in the United States on June 15, 2012
  • Current enrollment in school, high school diploma, or GED – NOTE: Current enrollment in a GED program fulfills the education requirement. Upon application for renewal, applicant must show completion of program.
  • Under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012 – Note: Initial applications and renewals after the age of 31 are allowed, so long as the individual was under 31 on June 15, 2012.
  • Acceptable criminal record – NOTE: All felony and some misdemeanor convictions (including DWI) render an applicant ineligible.
  • Must be at least 15 years old – Exception: This requirement does not apply to anyone in removal proceedings or who has a final order of removal

Important Information for Applicants

  • This is not just a simple registration process.
  • Extensive documentation of each eligibility requirement is required.
  • Deferred Action is a discretionary decision. Therefore, even if all eligibility requirements are met, the application can still be denied.
  • Any negative factors (including working without authorization, traffic violations, failure to pay taxes, use of false social security number) should be offset with positive factors showing why the applicant deserves a positive exercise of discretion.

Athlete and Entertainer Visas (O & P Visas)

  • O Visas - O visas are available to aliens with extraordinary ability in art, science, business, athletics, or education who wish to enter the United States to pursue the area of extraordinary ability. These visas are granted for the period of time necessary to perform the work for which the alien was admitted, up to a maximum of three years
  • /Immigration/Other-Applications-Options/O-P-Visas.aspxP Visas - P visas are available to aliens who seek to enter the United States to participate as part of an athletic team or performance group, or who are internationally recognized artists or entertainers.