Immigration - An Overview
Immigration law covers the procedures for entering the United States, and specifically determines who is and who is not eligible to come to the United States. The Immigration Law Offices of Richard Hujber, P.A., helps clients understand the rules for obtaining visas, permanent residency, and citizenship in the United States. As a former Attorney-Advisor to the Miami Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals, the highest immigration court in the United States, Mr. Hujber and his staff guide clients through the various processes. For example, Mr. Hujber and our attorneys represent individuals placed in deportation/removal proceedings, persons who allegedly violate US immigration or other laws. We also assist foreign nationals seeking to come to the US to study, travel, conduct business and work. Our firm also helps employers complete the application and certification processes to employ foreign workers for permanent and temporary positions. If you have an immigration-related issue, please contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer.
Our law firm handles various legal matters for aliens and US citizens living both inside and outside of the US. Some of the types of issues someone may seek the assistance of an immigration attorney include:
Visas for Permanent and Temporary Stays
Our law firm can help foreign nationals with choosing the right visa, and the application process for that visa, as well as help them understand the type of documentation that will be necessary to obtain this visa. Having represented numerous businesses, families, and individuals in these processes, our law firm can explain the advantages and disadvantages of each visa, and explain any restrictions on a visa applicant’s ability to enter the US. The Immigration Law Offices of Richard Hujber, P.A. can also assist employers determine the correct type of visa to apply for in order to hire foreign nationals as temporary or permanent employees, and help them determine whether any special certifications are necessary from the Department of Labor.
Some of the most common types of visas include:
- Employment-based visas
- Family-based visas
- Temporary work visas
- Business visas
- Student visas
- Travel visas
- Exchange visitor visas
- Intracompany transferee visas
- Spouse and fiancé(e) visas
- Adopted child visas
Changing Immigrant Status
Our law firm makes it clear to all clients that when applying for a visa, it is very important that foreign nationals choose the correct type of visa that will allow them to accomplish their goals while in the US. Each visa category comes with special requirements and may include restrictions on the type of activity the visa holder may do during his or her stay. For example, an individual with a student visa is not permitted to work unless s/he has received special permission. In certain cases, it may be necessary for an alien to change his or her immigrant status to another category, like a student visa holder who has been offered permanent employment in the US.
Applying for Visa Extensions
Foreign nationals entering the US with temporary, or nonimmigrant visas, are only permitted to remain in the United States for a limited amount of time, depending on the type of visa they received. For example, seasonal agricultural workers are allowed to remain in the US for less than one year at a time before they have to return to their home countries. In some cases, the time allowed for the temporary visa may not be long enough for the foreign national to complete the purpose of his or her trip to the US. In these cases, the foreign national may apply for an extension to remain in the US longer. There are strict requirements and deadlines for applying for extensions, so it is important the foreign national not wait until the last moment to apply for one. Our law firm works together with our clients to make sure that a request for extension is timely submitted and presented in a strong manner, meeting all the necessary requirements under the Immigration laws and regulations.
Citizenship and Naturalization
Clients who live as legal permanent residents in the US for five years may be eligible to apply for US citizenship. In fact, these individuals can begin preparing for important process as much as six (6) months PRIOR to reaching five (5) years as a resident. This allows the clients and our law firm to address ALL possible pertinent issues, and have it ready to file with Immigration. Many individuals are not aware of the fact that a client may file for citizenship three (3) full months prior to reaching the 5 years as a permanent resident. This also applies to those citizenship applicants who are married to United States citizens. Rather than waiting the full 3 years typically required for this special situation – a client can file this important application 3 months (90 days) PRIOR to reaching the 3 year anniversary of their permanent residency. This applies even if the person has conditional residency, rather than permanent residency.
The citizenship process, known as naturalization, includes many important steps. The immigrant must be able to demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak English and must be able to pass a US history and civics exam. The immigrant also must be of "good moral character” for at LEAST the five (5) year period prior to applying for citizenship. Certain types of criminal offenses/convictions may make an immigrant ineligible for citizenship. It is very important to prepare carefully for the naturalization process and truthfully complete the application process. Any omissions of material facts or material misrepresentations during the process may result in the commencement of deportation/removal proceedings against the individual.
If an alien comes to the United States illegally, violates the terms of his or her status, or commits certain types of crimes, he or she may be deported by the US government back to his or her home country. Aliens who may be deported include those with legal resident status, those with nonimmigrant or temporary visas and those who have entered the country illegally. Some of the types of offenses an alien can be deported for include:
- Overstaying visas
- Conviction for certain crimes, such as drug crimes
- Using fraudulent or falsified documents or providing material misrepresentations to enter the US
- Entering marriage fraudulently to gain entry into the country or once in the US
- Assisting, encouraging, aiding or abetting others to enter the country illegally
- Engaging in any activity that endangers public safety or creates a national security risk
- Violating any other US immigration or other law
Those facing deportation proceedings are entitled to legal representation and should seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney. As a former Attorney-Advisor to the Immigration Courts of Miami, Orlando, Bradenton, Krome Detention Center, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mr. Hujber has extensive experience in deportation matters. Mr. Hujber worked closely with the Immigration Judges of each of these courts, and is intimately familiar with the manner in which to present a strong and effective case before an Immigration Judge. In his capacity with the court, Mr. Hujber drafted hundreds of final written decisions, decisions which direct affected the issue of whether an individual could remain in the United States These decisions are critical because aliens deported by the US may be ineligible to return for up to five years, and in some cases, may never be allowed to return to the country again.
Our attorneys also may answer questions concerning:
- Asylum and refugee status
- Derivative Citizenship
- Diversity lottery
- Dual citizenship
- Visa waiver program
- PERM process
To learn more about how an experienced immigration attorney can help you, contact our law firm today.