I represent individuals who are in “Removal Proceedings,” formerly known as Deportation Proceedings. If you have been issued a document called a “Notice to Appear” or if you have received a notice scheduling you for a hearing in the Immigration Court, please contact me as soon as possible. Depending on your case, you may be eligible for relief from removal, which if granted would allow you to remain in the United States and/or to avoid being deported. These forms of relief include asylum, adjustment of status, cancellation of removal, relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and voluntary departure.
I represent individuals in both administrative and court appeals. Some appeals are filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, Virginia, such as those appealing a denial of relief from removal and an order of removal issued by an Immigration Judge. Certain immigration removal cases can also be appealed to a higher court—a United States Court of Appeals. I am an attorney admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers removal hearings held in Oregon and other western states. In addition, I also handle appeals concerning denials of certain forms and applications filed with USCIS. These are appealed to USCIS’ Administrative Appeals Unit [AAU].
I represent people who are afraid to return to their countries because they fear persecution on account of their race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group. Someone who has suffered harm in the past or fears it in the future for one of these reasons, should consider filing an application for asylum in the United States. Asylum has other restrictions and difficulties. For example, with limited exceptions, an asylum application must be filed within one year of entering the U.S. Also, the persecution the individual fears must be from the government of the country or from a group the government cannot or will not control. It is also important to understand that persecution is not the same as harassment or discrimination. Asylum applications are filed with USCIS or with the Immigration Court, if the applicant is in removal proceedings.
I help U.S. citizens and their family members in obtaining lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. A U.S. citizen can petition for certain family members such as a spouse, child, parent or sibling to obtain permanent residence. The paperwork and timeframe for processing these applications differs, depending on whether the relative is in the U.S., or is living abroad. Various personal documents such as birth, marriage, and divorce documents are needed, along with the individual U.S. tax return of the U.S. citizen for the most recent year. I also handle fiancé visas, which are available to foreign fiancés and fiancées of U.S. citizens only.
As mentioned above, some family members of U.S. citizens live abroad. These individuals must file for and be granted an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country. This process begins with the U.S. citizen filing an I-130 immigrant visa petition on behalf of the relative. I help with this process, as well as with the “consular processing” which involves the completion of various forms and the submission of various documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Waivers are an “immigration pardon.” Certain individuals may not be eligible to become permanent residents without being granted a waiver by USCIS. For example, certain criminal convictions—even misdemeanors—may make one ineligible for permanent residence. Other sorts of problems requiring a waiver include more than one year’s “unlawful presence” in the U.S. or a lie or misrepresentation made in the past to a U.S. government official such as a consular officer or border or airport inspector to obtain a visa or entry to the U.S. Most waivers require a showing of “extreme hardship” to the qualifying U.S. citizen relative, usually a spouse and sometimes also a child. Waivers should be carefully prepared with specific and personal documentation about the hardship factors that apply in your personal circumstances.
I represent permanent residents who wish to become U.S. citizens. This process is known as “naturalization.” In general, in order to naturalize, one must have at least five years as a permanent resident without leaving the U.S. for trips of six months or longer, at least 30 months of “physical presence” in the U.S., a knowledge of English language and U.S. history and civics, and five years’ “good moral character.” If you have spent a lot of time abroad since becoming a permanent resident, if you have ever been arrested by the police, or if you have had a problem with the immigration authorities in the past, you should seek a lawyer's advice before deciding whether to file for naturalization.