Foreigners need a "sponsor" in order to get an immigrant visa. There are two types of sponsors:
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Family members who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, and
Employers based in the U.S.
For example, a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident may "sponsor" his/her foreign spouse to come to America on a spousal visa. Note that spousal visas are available to foreigners in either same-sex or opposite-sex marriages.
Employment-based immigrant visas are divided into five categories:
EB-1 visa: For renowned researchers or professors.
EB-2 visa: For professionals with advanced degrees (or their equivalent) and individuals desired by the U.S. for their extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, or business that will greatly benefit the U.S.'s economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare.
EB-3 visa: For skilled workers, professionals, and some unskilled workers.
EB-4 visa: For religious workers, broadcasters, military members, Afghan and Iraqi translators, and others.
Nonimmigrant Visas in Los Angeles, California
There are several categories of non-immigrant visas. Two common ones are family-based visas and education-based visas:
Family nonimmigrant visas:
Spousal visas sometimes take a long time to process. While the application is pending, U.S. citizens may be able to sponsor their non-citizen spouses on a K-3 visa. And the non-citizen's children may be able to come to the U.S. as well on a K-4 visa.
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There are visas for uniting engaged couples as well as spouses. U.S. citizens may sponsor their non-citizen fiancé(e)s to come to the U.S. on a K-1 visa. The foreigner's children may also be able to come to the U.S. on K-2 visa.
School nonimmigrant visas:
Foreigners seeking to attend an academic institution in the U.S. may be able to travel on an F-1 visa. And foreigners seeking to attend a vocational school in the U.S. may be able to travel on an M-1 visa.
Employment nonimmigrant visas:
U.S. employers may sponsor foreign employees with specialized occupations on an H-1B visa. U.S. employers may also sponsor foreign laborers for temporary, non-agricultural work through H-2B visas. Executives and people with specialized knowledge may work in the U.S. on an L-1 visa (their families can come on L-2 visas ). And people with "extraordinary abilities" may be able to get an O-1 visa.
Victims of domestic violence, rape, or other abuse may be able to get temporary legal status with U visas.
Green Card Services in Los Angeles, California
Once foreigners are living in the U.S. on an immigrant visa, they eventually may be able to " adjust status " to legal permanent residents. (Legal permanent resident is another word for green card-holder.)
Note that applying for a green card while living outside the U.S. is a separate procedure called “consular processing.”
Citizenship Services in Los Angeles, California
Green card-holders can usually naturalize to become U.S. citizens after being a legal permanent resident for five (5) years. The waiting period is lowered to three (3) years for green card holding-spouses of U.S. citizens. The naturalization process requires that the person take a citizenship test and an oath.
Emergency Immigration Services in Los Angeles, Nevada
There are various paths to immigration for people who face danger in their country of origin. Persecuted foreigners who are overseas may be able to secure refugee status. And foreigners who made it to the U.S. but cannot go back home for fear of persecution may apply for asylum status or temporary protected status.
Criminal Defense of Immigrants in Los Angeles, California
So it is extremely important for foreigners who get arrested in the U.S. to seek legal counsel as quickly as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys may be able to get the charges dismissed or reduced to non-deportable offenses. Learn more about our criminal defense of immigrants in California.
Post-conviction relief in Los Angeles, California
Convictions are very difficult to overturn. But it may still be possible for non-citizens to avoid removal even if they get convicted of a deportable offense.
For example, we may be able to file a Padilla motion requesting the court to withdraw the immigrant's guilty plea. If the court agrees, then the immigrant will have a chance to take a better plea with no deportation consequences. Learn more about post-conviction relief in California.
Note that some foreigners may be removed from the U.S. for having committed inadmissible crimes in another country. Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to stop deportation proceedings in these cases as well.
Halting Removal and other Immigration services in Los Angeles, California
ICE officials wield prosecutorial discretion over what aliens to apprehend. Our Los Angeles immigration attorneys represent non-citizens in cancellation of removal proceedings in California. In some cases, non-citizens may opt for voluntary departure from the U.S. instead of risking deportation.
Call our California immigration lawyers…
Our Los Angeles immigration law attorneys help our clients through every stage of the immigration process. We not only help fill out all the paperwork...
We accompany our clients to visa interviews. We fight ICE in immigration court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. And if our clients get arrested, we will do everything to get the get the charge dropped or lessened to a non-removable offense.
If you or a loved one dreams of coming to America, call our Los Angeles California immigration attorneys at (855) LAWFIRM for a FREE meeting.
We represent foreign nationals from all over the world throughout Europe, Russia, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa, and Australia.