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Frequently Asked Questions About Immigration

North Carolina Immigration Attorneys

At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, our skilled lawyers handle a wide variety of immigration matters. We understand the immigration laws in the United States can be incredibly complex and confusing. However, we also realize that any oversight or mistake in a visa application or petition for a green card can cause many months or more of unnecessary delays. With this in mind, we offer guidance on some of the most common questions we hear in our practice.

Q. What is a visa?

A. In the realm of immigration, a U.S. visa is a document that allows a foreign national to request legal entry into the United States. There are many different kinds of visas, but they are generally divided into two main categories: non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas allow a foreign national to live and/or work in the U.S. temporarily, while immigrant visas are for those who intend to remain in the United States permanently.

Q. What type of visa do I need?

A. The type of visa you need will depend on your reasons for coming to the United States. For example, if you wish to come to the U.S. for school, a student visa is likely to be appropriate while a tourist visa would be suitable if you wish to vacation in the United States. Visas are also available for work-related purposes, as well as to family members of current U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. A qualified immigration lawyer can help you determine the right visa for your situation.

Q. How do I become a lawful permanent resident?

A. This question could also be stated as, "How do I get my green card?" A foreign national who has obtained an immigrant visa is generally eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status. Obtaining this status is commonly known as "getting a green card." Non-immigrant visa holders can apply for a green card through an Adjustment of Status. A lawful permanent resident is allowed to live and work permanently in the United States. However, many green card holders eventually take steps toward becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization.

Q. I have a green card. Can I become a U.S. citizen?

A. There are a number of requirements that must be met in order to become a U.S. citizen. The specific requirements will depend on the situation, but if you are a lawful permanent resident, you are generally eligible to apply for citizenship through naturalization. You will need to have lived in the U.S. for five years, in most cases, and "physical presence" criteria may apply. You must also be proficient in English, as well as American government and history. Finally, you must be of good moral character. If you have questions about becoming a U.S. citizen, our attorneys can help you find the answers.

Q. What if my visa application is denied?

A. If you applied for a visa and your application was denied, the first thing you should do is contact one of our skilled lawyers. We will help you determine why you received a denial and what can be done about it. In some cases, filing an appeal or a reconsideration request is the best course of action. In others, you may be better off filing an entirely new application.

Q. Am I in danger of being deported?

A. If you are in the United States legally, and you have not broken any laws or violated any immigration rules, you are not in any real danger of being deported. However, if you came to the U.S. illegally, overstayed your expired visa, or committed a crime here, you could be facing deportation. Depending on your circumstances, our attorneys may be able to help you stop deportation proceedings—also known as removal proceedings—and allow you to remain in the United States legally.

Contact a Qualified Immigration Attorney

If you have more specific questions about the immigration process or the immigration laws of the United States, contact our office to get the answers. Call 1-844-YO-PELEO or 919-989-3000 for a free confidential consultation and case review. Our attorneys serve clients in Raleigh, Charlotte, Smithfield, Johnston County, Mecklenburg County, Wake County, and the surrounding areas. Hablamos Espanol.

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