Immigration & Citizenship Law


We provide a wide range of Immigration services that cater not only to individuals and families but to businesses as well. We handle employment-based petitions, family-based petitions, business immigration, citizenship, and waivers. We also represent clients in Immigration Court and help them obtain relief from removal.

Our services include:

Immigrant (“Green Card”) Petitions
  • Employment-Based Petitions

There are five employment-based visa categories available to aliens who are seeking to immigrate based on their job skills.
These categories are as follows:

Employment First Preference (EB-1): Priority Workers
a. Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Extraordinary ability is defined as a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor
b. Outstanding professors and researchers with demonstrated international recognition for his or her outstanding achievements in a particular academic field
c. Multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer. The applicant’s employment outside of the U.S. must have been in a managerial or executive capacity, and the applicant must be coming to work in a managerial or executive capacity.

Employment Second Preference (EB-2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
a. Professionals holding an advanced degree who have attained a U.S. academic or professional degree or a foreign equivalent degree above that of a baccalaureate, or a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree followed by at least five years progressive experience in the specialty.
b. Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business

Employment Third Preference (EB-3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)
a. Skilled workers are persons capable of filling positions that require a minimum of two years training or work experience and which are not temporary or seasonal in nature.
b. Professionals are members of the professions who hold at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or a foreign equivalent degree. To qualify for this classification, the U.S. employer must show that the minimum of a baccalaureate degree is required for entry into the proffered job.
c. Unskilled workers (Other workers) are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience and which are not temporary or seasonal in nature. Possession of the required training or experience must be evidenced by training or employment certificates describing the training received or experience of the alien.

Employment Fourth Preference (EB-4): Certain Special Immigrants
a. Broadcasters in the U.S. employed by the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors or a grantee of such organization
b. Ministers of Religion
c. Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad
d. Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government
e. Certain Former Employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone
f. Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government on April 1, 1979
g. Iraqi and Afghan interpreters/translators who have worked directly with the United States armed forces or under Chief of Mission authority as a translator/interpreter for a period of at least 12 months and meet requirements. This classification has an annual numeric limitation of 50 visas.
h. Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have provided faithful and valuable service while employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for not less than one year after March 20th, 2003 or in Afghanistan for not less than one year after October 7th, 2001, and have experienced an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of that employment.
i. Certain Foreign Medical Graduates (Adjustments Only)
j. Certain Retired International Organization Employees
k. Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of International Organization Employees
l. Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased International Organization Employees
m. Special Immigrant Juveniles (no family member derivatives; Adjustments Only)
n. Persons Recruited Outside of the United States Who Have Served or are Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
o. Certain retired NATO-6 civilians
p. Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of NATO-6 civilians
q. Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased NATO-6 civilian employees
r. Persons who are beneficiaries of petitions or labor certification applications filed prior to September 11, 2001, if the petition or application was rendered void due to a terrorist act on September 11, 2001
s. Certain Religious Workers

  • Family-Based Petitions

A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident may petition for any of the following relatives to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States by obtaining what is often referred to as a “green card:”

(1) A U.S. citizen may petition for the following relatives:
  a. Spouse
  b. Unmarried child below 21 years of age
  c. Unmarried son or daughter 21 years of age or older
  d. Married son or daughter
  e. Parent
  f. Sibling

In the case of parents and siblings, the U.S. citizen petitioner must be at least 21 years of age. Petitions for spouses, unmarried children below 21 years old, and parents fall under the Immediate Relative category, which is not subject to any visa numerical limitation.

(2) A lawful permanent resident may petition for the following relatives:
 a. Spouse
 b. Unmarried child below 21 years of age
 c. Unmarried son or daughter 21 years of age or older

The process starts with the filing of Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) office having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the petitioner. The purpose of this form is to establish the relationship between the petitioner and the alien beneficiary. In general, the alien beneficiary should wait outside the United States to immigrate legally. However, if the alien beneficiary is already in the United States after having entered legally, they can apply to adjust their status to permanent resident upon availability of visa and provided he or she meets the requirements for adjustment of status in the United States.

Fiance(e) Petitions

A U.S. citizen may bring his/her fiancé(e) in the United States to get married and become a legal permanent resident. The process starts with the filing of the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e), with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The purpose of this form is to establish that the U.S. citizen and the alien fiancé(e) are legally free to get married and that they have an ongoing relationship. Generally, the couple must have met in person within 2 years before filing of the petition, unless there is a showing of extreme hardship on the part of the U.S. citizen to personally meet the fiancé(e), or cultural restrictions to having them meet in person before marriage.

Once the I-129F petition is approved, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), which forwards it to the U.S. embassy/ consulate nearest the fiancé(e)’s foreign place of residence. The U.S. embassy/consulate then sends the fiancé(e) information on how to apply for the K-1 visa, including the schedule of medical examination and visa interview. Unmarried children below 21 years old of the K-1 applicant may be included in the I-129F petition and may be eligible to receive the K-2 visa.

The alien fiancé(e) enters the United States as a nonimmigrant. The U.S. citizen and his fiancé(e) have 90 days from the time of the fiancé(e)’s entry to the United States to get married. The marriage must then be reported to the USCIS for the alien fiancé(e) (now spouse) to adjust status as a conditional permanent resident.

Removal of Conditions on Residence

An alien spouse who was granted conditional resident status upon marriage to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Generally, the petition is filed jointly by the alien spouse and the US citizen spouse during the 90-day period immediately before the second anniversary of the date the alien spouse was granted conditional resident status. If Form I-751 is filed on time, the alien spouse’s conditional resident status is extended until a decision is made on the application. If the petition is not filed within the 90-day period, the alien spouse automatically loses permanent residence status as of that second anniversary date and the USCIS may begin removal proceedings against him/her.

Dependent children who acquired conditional residence concurrently with the alien spouse and who entered the United States within 90 days of the alien spouse’s arrival may petition to remove conditions in the same Form I-751. However, if dependent children acquired their conditional resident status after 90 days from the date of alien spouse’s adjustment of status, or if the conditional resident parent is deceased, the dependent children must file their own Form I-751.

Citizenship

A person may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth, subject to certain requirements.

To become a citizen at birth, a person must have been born in the United States or certain territories or outlying possessions of the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; or had a parent or parents who were citizens at the time of his or her birth (if born abroad) and meet other requirements. A person may acquire citizenship after birth through U.S. citizen parents or through naturalization.

We provide the following services relating to citizenship:

  • Naturalization

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by the law. To qualify for naturalization, you must meet the following requirements:

You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years (or 3 years if claiming eligibility as a spouse of a U.S. citizen) and meet all other eligibility requirements.
You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements.
Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met.

To apply for naturalization, you must file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Most naturalization applicants are required to take a test on English and U.S. history and government.

  • Application for Certificate of Citizenship

You may request for certificate of citizenship if you claim to be a U.S. citizen based on your birth abroad to a U.S. citizen(s). You must be the biological child of your U.S. citizen parent. To determine if you were born to a U.S. citizen for purposes of claiming U.S. citizenship, USCIS will look at the law that was in effect at the time of your birth.

If you are claiming U.S. citizenship after birth but before you reached the age of 18, you must be under the age of 18 on February 27, 2001 AND you must meet all the following conditions before you turn 18 years of age:

(1) Your parent must be a U.S. citizen;
(2) You must be the biological child of that U.S. citizen parent;
(3) You must be lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence; and
(4) You must be living in the United States in the legal and physical custody of your U.S. citizen parent

The form to request for a Certification of Citizenship is Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship.

  • Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under INA Section 322

You may acquire U.S. citizenship if you meet ALL of the following criteria to be eligible for citizenship under Section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA):

(1) You are not married;
(2) USCIS must administer the Oath of Allegiance to you before you reach 18 years of age;
(3) You regularly reside outside the United States;
(4) You are in the legal and physical custody of your U.S. citizen parent;
(5) Your U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States for a period or periods totaling at least 5 years, at least 2 of which were after 14 years of age. If your U.S. citizen parent does not meet this requirement, your U.S. citizen parent’s own U.S. citizen parent (your grandparent) has to have been physically present in the United States for a period or periods totaling 5 years, at least 2 of which were after 14 years of age; AND
(6) You must be temporarily present in the United States at the time of interview in lawful status pursuant to a lawful admission.

An adopted child may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 322 only if he or she satisfies the specific provisions of the U.S. immigration laws relating to adopted children. Certain requirements also apply to children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

To apply for citizenship and issuance of certificate under Section 322 of the INA, you must file Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322.

  • Consular Report of Birth

A U.S. citizen parent may apply for FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, of his U.S. citizen child under the age of 18 years old who was born abroad and acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. The application is made in person by filing DS-2029, Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States, with a U.S. consular officer or consular agent, usually at the consulate nearest the child’s place of birth. The purpose of this form is to establish the child’s U.S. citizen parentage and acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth.

The FS-240 is proof of U.S. citizenship and can be used to prove citizenship in the same manner as a certificate of naturalization or certificate of citizenship. For instance, the FS-240 can be used as proof of citizenship in applying for a U.S. passport.

Nonimmigrant Classifications

The nonimmigrant visa classification covers a broad range of visas that people may use to enter the United States for work, pleasure, or study. As opposed to immigrants coming to live permanently in the United States, nonimmigrants are admitted for a specific temporary period of time and for a specific purpose. It is important to understand the specific terms and conditions of each nonimmigrant visa category, as any violations thereof may affect the nonimmigrant’s ability to be admitted into or maintain lawful status in the United States, apply for change of status, or adjust to lawful permanent resident status.

There are two ways to apply for a nonimmigrant visa. An individual can apply at a U.S. consulate abroad. Depending on the type of nonimmigrant visa, a previously approved nonimmigrant petition filed with the USCIS may be required. If the individual is already in the United States and maintaining a valid nonimmigrant status, he or she may apply to USCIS for extension or change of status without need of departing from the United States during the pendency and beyond the expiration of his or her current status up until the extension or change of status application is adjudicated. Application through a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad is called “consular processing” while application made while in the United States is called “extension of stay” or “change of status,” as the case may be.

  • Types of Nonimmigrant Visa

Visa Type Purpose
A Diplomats and foreign government officials
B-1 Athletes, amateur and professional (to compete for prize money only), business visitors, domestic employees or nanny accompanying a foreign national employer
B-2 Visitors for medical treatment, tourism, vacation, or pleasure
C Transiting the United States
D Crewmembers
E-1 Treaty traders
E-2 Treaty investors
E-3 Australian professional specialty
F-1 Academic students
G1-G5, NATO Employees of a designated international organization, and NATO
H-1B Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge
H-1B1 – Chile, H-1B1 Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professionals: Chile, Singapore
H-2A Temporary agricultural workers
H-2B Temporary workers performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature
H-3 Training in a program not primarily for employment
I Media, journalists
J Exchange visitors (trainees, Au pairs, physicians, professors, scholars, and teachers
K-1 Fiance(e) of a U.S. citizen
L Intra-company transferees
M Vocational students
N Certain parents and children of special immigrants
O Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics
P Performing athletes, artists, entertainers
Q International cultural exchange visitors
R Religious workers
S Criminal and terrorist informants
T Victims of human trafficking
TN/TD NAFTA professional workers: Mexico, Canada
U Victims of certain crimes
V Spouses and minor children of a lawful permanent resident

  • Consular Processing

The first step to apply for a nonimmigrant visa is to fill out the DS-160, a web-based form that consolidates all the information previously collected on the DS-156, DS-157, and DS-158 for appropriate applicants, and the DS-3052. This electronic form is available on the Department of State website. The information entered on the DS-160 combined with the personal interview and supporting documentation form the basis for determining an applicant’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa.
After completing the DS-160 application online, the applicant must pay the required visa application fee. The applicant must also schedule an interview with the U.S. embassy or consulate at which he or she wishes to be interviewed. At the interview, the applicant must be prepared to present supporting documentation depending on the type of visa applied for.
Different consular posts may have different rules on how to schedule an interview and pay the visa fee. Applicants for nonimmigrant visas must visit the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where they intend to apply for additional country-specific instructions.
Each family member, even infants, accompanying a visa applicant must submit a separate nonimmigrant visa application, with supporting documentation.

  • Change or Extension of Status

A foreign individual, after being admitted to and while staying in the United States on a nonimmigrant status, may be required by business, personal or other reasons to remain in the United States beyond his or her current authorized stay. Depending on the circumstances, the individual may extend his or her stay in the same nonimmigrant classification or change his or her status to another nonimmigrant classification.

The term “extension of stay” is defined as the process of extending the length of time a visa holder is authorized to stay in the United States, when approved by USCIS. While basically seeking the same purpose of prolonging authorized stay in the United States, “change of status” differs from “extension of stay” in that the former entails changing from one nonimmigrant visa to another nonimmigrant visa while in the United States.

The procedure and requirements for extension of stay/change of status vary depending on the nonimmigrant category. The application must be filed with USCIS on the appropriate USCIS form. In general, the application must be filed before the applicant’s authorized status expires, which is the date on the Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record.

If the nonimmigrant is holding B visitor visa and wishes to extend his or her stay as a visitor, he or she must use Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. The application must be supported by documentation justifying the additional period of stay requested. Documents to establish continuing intent to stay only for a temporary period of time, strong ties to the home country, and financial support must also be submitted.

If the nonimmigrant visa holder wishes to change status to another nonimmigrant status, the application must be filed on Form I-539 if the new nonimmigrant category sought is any of the following: A, F, G, I, J, M, and N. If the nonimmigrant is seeking to work in the United States in a temporary employment under E, H, L, O, P, Q, R, and TN classification, the application must be filed on Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The Form I-129 petition is filed by the U.S. employer, but the nonimmigrant beneficiary may also do the change of status application in the same form even if only the petitioner is signing the form.

To extend authorized stay under any nonimmigrant category, the same form used to apply for the previous extension or change of status must be used.

Business Immigration Package

This package is offered to entrepreneurs who want to set up businesses in the United States that will temporarily or permanently employ foreign nationals to fill executive, managerial or supervisory positions, or those with special qualifications essential to the development and/or operations of the business. This package encompasses the various legal services that the entrepreneur will need from business set-up to filing petitions for foreign national employees. The consolidation of all these services in one professional team ensures that the important requirements of the immigration aspect are addressed as early as the business planning stage and at the same time the various organizational options are weighed in the context of the entity’s immigration needs.

The package includes the following:

Stage 1- Planning

We will assist you explore and evaluate your business and personal goals and formulate a feasible business plan that will help you reach these goals. At this stage, we will advise you on the various immigration options and help you identify the entity form that will meet both your business and immigration requirements. We will also advise you on capital structuring and proper documentation of investment in accordance with the requirements of the applicable visa category or categories.

Stage 2 – Registration and Post-registration

At this stage, we will perform the following services:

  • Drafting of organizational documents (depending on the entity type)
  • Establishment of the entity
  • Application for basic business licenses and permits (special permits and licenses required by industry- or profession-specific regulations may be subject to additional fees)
  • Application for Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Filing of Notice of Exempt Transaction, if applicable
  • Preparation of other post-registration organizational documents, such as stock transfer ledger, certificate of shares, minutes of organizational meeting, as may be applicable

Stage 3 – Immigration

After the entity has been established and the documentation requirements have been prepared, the processing of immigration petition(s) may already commence. In most cases, a petition approved by the USCIS is required before a foreign national can apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. This requirement does not apply to E-1 or E-2, except in cases where the foreign national to be petitioned is already in the United States on a valid nonimmigrant visa and will seek to change or extend status while in the country. In any case, our services will include the preparation and filing of the petition and the individual employees’ application for a visa through change or extension of status or consular processing.

The following are some of the visa options that may be used by the entity to petition foreign nationals for employment in the United States:

Temporary (Nonimmigrant)
 (1) E-1 (Treaty Trader) / E-2 (Treaty Investor)
 (2) H-1B (Specialty Occupation)
 (3) L-1 (Intra-company Transferee)

Permanent (Immigrant)
 (1) EB-1 (Extraordinary Ability or Managers and Executives of Multinational Entities)
 (2) EB-2 (Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business)
 (3) EB-3 (Skilled or Professional Workers)
 (4) EB-5 (Investor’s Visa)

Waivers

In simple terms, a waiver is an application to waive or forgive certain grounds of inadmissibility that makes an alien ineligible to receive certain immigration benefits. The Immigration and Nationality Act contains various provisions establishing grounds of inadmissibility and applicable waivers for each, if any.

The following are the most common forms of waiver:

  • Form I-601 Waiver

The Form I-601 waiver is an application seeking to waive the grounds of inadmissibility of an alien who is ineligible to be admitted into the United States as an immigrant or adjust status in the United States, or certain nonimmigrant applicants who are inadmissible, based on any of the following grounds:

(1) Health-related grounds;
(2) Certain criminal grounds;
(3) Immigrant Membership in Totalitarian Party;
(4) Immigration fraud or misrepresentation (except for a false claim to be U.S. citizen made on or after September 30, 1996);
(5) Smuggling and being subject of civil penalty;
(6) The 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence in the United States;
(7) Certain grounds of inadmissibility, if filed by an applicant for Temporary Protected Status;
(8) INA section 212(a)(9)(A) (Aliens Previously Removed) and INA section 212(a)(9)(C) (Unlawfully Present After Previous Immigration Violations), if filed by a NACARA or HRIFA adjustment applicant;
(9) INA section 212(a)(9)(C) (Unlawfully Present After Previous Immigration Violations), if filed by a VAWA self-petitioner;
(10) Certain grounds of inadmissibility, if filed by a T nonimmigrant visa status holder applying for adjustment of status.

Different eligibility requirements apply to different types of grounds of inadmissibility. Certain waiver provisions require the establishment of extreme hardship for certain qualifying family relationships. In all cases, the applicant must show that the approval of the application is warranted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in the case. For extreme hardship waivers, the following factors are generally considered: health, financial considerations, education, personal consideration, and special factors such as cultural, language, religious, and ethnic obstacles, valid fears of persecution, physical harm, social ostracism or stigma, access or lack of access to social institutions or structures for support, guidance or protection.

  • Form I-601A Provisional Waiver

The Form I-601A waiver is used by immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to request a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility under INA section 212(a)(9)(B), prior to departing the United States to appear at a U.S. embassy or consulate for an immigrant visa interview. This is available to those who are statutorily ineligible to apply for adjustment of status in the United States. Before this waiver became available, aliens ineligible to apply for adjustment of status in the United States must depart first and file their waiver application at the U.S. embassy or consulate where they will be interviewed. This provisional waiver eliminates this requirement by allowing the alien to file the waiver application in the United States, wait for approval of the application, and once the waiver is approved, leave the United States only for the purpose of attending the visa interview.

To qualify, the applicant must be:

(1) Physically present in the United States;
(2) At least 17 years of age at the time of filing;
(3) The beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition classifying the applicant as an Immediate Relative of a U.S. citizen (i.e., spouse, unmarried child under 21 years old, parent);
(4) Have an immigrant visa application pending with the Department of State (National Visa Center) related to the approved immigrant petition for which the visa fee has been paid; and
(5) Only inadmissible under INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) (3-year Unlawful Presence Bar) or INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) (10-year Unlawful Presence Bar).

The provisional waiver only waives the 3-year or 10-year unlawful presence bar and does not apply to other grounds of inadmissibility. It should also be noted that the qualifying relationship for extreme hardship differs from that required for regular Form I-601 waiver. The applicant must have a U.S. citizen spouse or parent who would experience extreme hardship if he or she would be refused admission to the United States. An applicant with lawful permanent resident spouse or parent will not meet the qualifying relationship requirement.

  • Form I-212 Waiver

The Form I-212 waiver is an application seeking to waive the grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(9)(A) or (C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as follows:

(1) Inadmissible under INA Section 212(a)(9)(A)(i)

  • - Removed from the United States as an inadmissible alien through expedited removal proceedings under INA section 235(b)(1) that are initiated upon arrival at a port of entry; or
  • - Removed from the United States as an inadmissible, arriving alien under INA section 240 (i.e., removal proceedings were initiated upon arrival at a port of entry in the United States.

  An alien inadmissible under this section may not seek admission to the United States within the following specified period, without first obtaining a Form I-212 waiver:

  • - 5 years, if the alien was only removed once;
  • - 20 years, if the alien was removed twice or more;
  • - Forever, if the alien was removed as an arriving alien and if the alien has been convicted of an aggravated felony.

(2) Inadmissible under INA Section 212(a)(9)(A)(ii)

  • - Removed from the United States as a deportable alien under INA section 240;
  • - Ordered removed under any other provision of U.S. law; or
  • - Departed the United States on his/her own while an order of removal was outstanding.

An alien inadmissible under this section may not seek admission to the United States within the following specified period, without first obtaining a Form I-212 waiver:

  • - 10 years, if the alien was only removed once;
  • - 20 years, if the alien was removed twice or more;
  • - Forever if the alien was convicted on an aggravated felony and if the alien was removed under INA section 240 or any other provision of law.

(3) Inadmissible under INA Section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)

(An alien is permanently inadmissible under INA Section 212(a)(9)(C)(i) if he or she, on or after April 1, 1997, entered or attempted to reenter the United States without being admitted after: (1) being unlawfully present in the United States after April 1, 1997 for an aggregate period of more than 1 year; or (2) being removed under any provision of the INA or any other provision of law before, on, or after April 1, 1997. An alien inadmissible under this section is barred from applying for a waiver until he or she has been physically outside the United States for 10 years since the most recent departure from the United States after becoming inadmissible.

An individual who is inadmissible under INA section 212(a)(9)(A) or (C) must file Form I-212 waiver to obtain the “consent to reapply for admission” before he or she could lawfully return to the United States (whether as an immigrant or nonimmigrant) or be granted adjustment of status in the United States. Returning to the United States without first obtaining consent to reapply may have serious consequences, including reinstatement of removal order, prosecution in criminal court, being permanently barred from admission to the United States, or incurring a new 10-year bar under INA Section 212(a)(9)(C).

To qualify for this waiver, the alien must submit evidence that shows why he or she is worthy of favorable exercise of discretion because of the favorable factors that outweigh the unfavorable factors. Some of the favorable factors that may be shown are:

  • Close family ties in the United States
  • Unusual hardship to your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relatives, yourself, or your employer in the United States
  • Evidence of reformation and rehabilitation
  • Length of lawful presence in the United States, and status held during that presence
  • Evidence of respect for law and order, good moral character, and family responsibilities or intent to hold family responsibilities
  • Absence of significant undesirable or negative factors
  • Eligibility for a waiver of other inadmissibility grounds
  • Likelihood that you will become a lawful permanent resident in the near future

The following are considered negative factors:

  • Evidence of moral depravity, including criminal tendencies reflected by an outgoing unlawful activity or continuing police record
  • Repeated violations of immigration laws, willful disregard for other laws
  • Likelihood of becoming a public charge
  • Poor physical or mental condition (however, a need for treatment in the United States for such condition would be a favorable factor)
  • Absence of close family ties or hardships
  • Spurious marriage to a U.S. citizen for purpose of gaining an immigration benefit
  • Unauthorized employment in the United States
  • Lack of skill for which labor certification could be issued

Removal Proceedings

Removal proceedings are administrative proceedings to determine the admissibility or deportability of an individual under United States immigration law. An individual under removal proceedings may be eligible for some forms of relief from removal, including but not limited to: voluntary departure, cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, asylum, withholding of removal, protection under CAT, certain waivers of removability or inadmissibility, deferred action, and other forms of prosecutorial discretion. We represent clients in Immigration Court and help them obtain relief from removal.


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