Immigration Law

Immigration

Are you looking to become a citizen? Are you worried that your current immigration status could mean that you’re ripped away from your family? Do you need to help a friend or family member enter or remain in the United States? If so, we’re here to help in all areas of immigration law including the following.

Petitions

The law gives preference to immigrants who already have ties to this country. Employers can help their workers become permanent residents, and relatives can help their family members do so as well. This process is completed via an immigration petition where you must show your relationship to the potential immigrant. You may also need to demonstrate that they will have the ability to support themselves or that you will support them. This is a technical process and only a limited number of spots are available each year. Our firm can help you select the right type of petition and complete it in a way that maximizes your chances of approval on your first attempt.

Consular Processing

Consular processing is when someone who wishes to immigrate to the United States goes to a consulate near them to complete their paperwork and be interviewed. As with other steps in the process, you may wish to have us help you prepare your documents to help you to avoid errors. We can also prepare you for your interview.

Those who have entered or remained in the United States unlawfully have a difficult choice to make. If you go for consular processing, you may be barred from the country for illegal entry. We can help you to evaluate the risks that this may happen as well as what your options may be for avoiding being barred from entry and obtaining legal status.

Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status allows you to change your immigration status without leaving the United States for consular processing. This route is generally available to those with a legal, but temporary, status such as an employment visa. You would still need to meet the eligibility requirements and complete the necessary paperwork.

In some cases, adjustment of status may be available even if you haven’t 100 percent complied with immigration law. There is a long and complicated list of things that disqualify you and exceptions that leave you eligible. To ensure that you make the right decision and are able to complete the process, it’s likely in your interests to work with an experienced attorney who can help you to evaluate your situation and guide you through the process.

Waivers

Waivers are essentially a pardon for offenses that may block you from entering the United States or becoming a permanent resident. This includes both immigration offenses as well as certain other crimes. Some waivers are automatic, while others are at the discretion of an immigration official or judge.

Our firm can help you navigate the complex web of waivers that’s scattered across multiple sections of law and administrative code. We will work to find a waiver that applies to your situation, to help you to obtain it, and to protect you from other possible legal action while you’re waiting for your waiver.

Naturalization

Naturalization is the process by which a foreign citizen becomes a citizen of a new country. In the United States, this usually includes obtaining a green card first. This is a long and rigorous process during which you must undergo extensive checks. This includes your medical and financial history, employment status, criminal record, and past immigration violations. Even people with completely clean records often find it useful to have an attorney guide them through the process and paperwork.

If you have concerns about your status, it could be very important to work with an attorney. Not all immigration requirements are black and white. It may also be possible to remove something that would disqualify you from your record. While we can’t make guarantees, we can use our experience to help you optimize your chances of becoming a citizen.

Citizenship

The United States grants citizenship by birth to those born in the United States and to those born to citizens of the United States. This may sound simple, but there may be circumstances in which it’s difficult to prove your status such as when you were born abroad or moved abroad as a small child. If you are a U.S. citizen by birth, our firm can work to help you prove your status as well as in obtaining a citizenship certificate to prove that you are a citizen. This does not mean that you need to go through the immigration process or apply. You are already a citizen and only need to prove it.

DACA

DACA provides temporary relief from removal or other immigration proceedings for those who unlawfully entered the country as children. It’s important to remember that this is not a permanent status or a path to a permanent status. While you may currently have certain rights under the law, this law could be changed at any time. Our firm is committed to helping you maintain your DACA status and protecting your due process rights. However, we also recommend that you talk to us about your options to protect your right to remain in the country over the long term regardless of what happens to DACA.

FOIA

The Freedom of Information Act provides broad access to public records including immigration records. This might include information about your application or information about other immigration decisions that could be useful to you. If you’ve struggled to obtain the information that you need, you may be able to use FOIA to force immigration officials to give it to you. Our firm can help you navigate this process and take further action if needed to ensure that you receive the information that you’re entitled to.

Deportation Defense

If you’re facing deportation, you should contact an attorney immediately. Even though you may not have the full rights of a U.S. citizen, you still have a due process right to contest your removal. Your rights and the process vary depending on whether the removal is for an immigration violation, crime, or other cause. In some cases, you may wish to make a challenge in immigration proceedings. In others, it’s best to take proactive action. For example, for crimes, you may wish to try to defeat the charge in criminal court.

Our firm will help you explore your options and determine the best way to fight your deportation. This includes using your right to appeal if you aren’t successful in your first attempt.

Contact Us

To get help with these or other immigration matters, turn to the experienced immigration attorneys at Rodriguez & Flores-Szeto. Our smaller office allows us to to provide personalized attention to every client while delivering compassionate, efficient, and thorough service. We will always keep an open line of communication and guide you through the process step by step. Contact our Chicago, Illinois, office now to schedule a consultation.