Phoenix Immigration Attorney
The United States has a complex immigration system, however, it is the land of the free for a reason, thus it welcomes individuals from other countries to seek the opportunity to live and thrive here. Of course, for these individuals, it may take years for their status to become approved for full citizenship.
If you or a loved one is facing difficulties with your immigration or have any questions regarding how federal immigration laws may affect you or your family, our Phoenix immigration attorneys at Phillips Law Group are here to offer legal help you can trust.
An initial consultation is 100 percent free and completely confidential. There is no risk in contacting us to learn more about your rights and no obligation to retain our services after meeting with our firm.
Free Case Review 24/7. Call: 1-800-706-3000
Why People Immigrate to the United States
Individuals all over the world may choose to leave their country and move to the United States for a variety of different reasons. These reasons may include:
- Basic freedom
- Career opportunities
- Economic opportunity and social equality
- Escape persecution from their countries
- Freedom of choice
- Freedom of religion
- Rejoin family members
- To live in peace
However, these individuals must meet some specific immigration requirements to become United States citizens.
How Our Lawyers May Be Able to Help You
Our Phoenix immigration lawyers are available to assist and represent individuals in all immigration matters. We are ready to help ensure the immigration process goes as smooth and quick as possible for anyone immigrating to the U.S. permanently, temporarily, or for family, employment or other reasons.
Immigration matters we are prepared to help with include:
- Obtaining all types of visas, including fiancé, student, tourist and work visas
- Obtaining permanent resident green cards for marriage or work
- Handling registration issues
- Issues regarding re-entry after time outside the U.S.
- Adjusting status issues
- Asylum applications
- Citizenship proceedings
- Naturalization proceedings
- Deportation proceedings
- Refugee status applications
... just to name a few
Phillips Law Group is ready to handle your immigration case and maintain an open line of communication with you throughout the process. If you need help with an immigration-related issue, please give us a call today. We look forward to hearing from you and learning about the special situation you need assistance with.
Talk to a licensed attorney today: 1-800-706-3000
Basic Visa Requirements
Most visas are tailored to the specific needs of an individual. An important part of applying for a visa is gathering and submitting the required documents. There are certain documents that applicants must have no matter what kind of visa they wish to obtain.
Some required documentation for a visa may include:
- Original birth certificate
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Credible character references
- High school or college diploma (if graduated)
- Pass a background check
- Pass a physical and medical exam
- Immunization and medical records
- Valid passport
- Proof you are living in America
- Proof of ability to work
- Two passport size photographs of yourself
- Utility bills, cell phone bills, etc.
Preparing an immigration application can be stressful and time-consuming, but it does not have to be. An attorney can help you put together an accurate and compelling application by making sure all the necessary documents are included and any requirements are met within the designated deadlines.
Should you have an interview with an immigration official, having an attorney by your side can be especially important. Our firm has detailed knowledge of U.S. immigration laws and is prepared to guide you through every step of the process. We are here to answer any questions you may have.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Visa?
Visa processing times vary widely depending on the type of visa you are seeking. Some visas may be processed in a few weeks or even months. The average U.S. visa application is processed within three to five weeks.
After completing your application and embassy interview, you should hear back on whether your visa was approved or denied. If approved, the visa can take up to two workdays for delivery.
If your application is denied, it may enter additional processing. This can take around 60 days from the date of the visa interview to be processed. In certain cases, processing may take more than six months.
Different Types of Visas
For instance, the type of visa you will require is based on the purpose of your travel to the U.S. and will generally fall into one of two categories:
- Immigrant visa – This visa is issued to anyone wishing to live permanently in the United States. A green card is eventually issued to most immigrants granted an immigrant visa.
- K-Type Visas (Fiancé or Spouse of U.S. Citizen): K-1, K-3
- IR-Type Visas (Immediate Relatives): IR-1, IR-2, IR-3, IR-4, IR-5
- E-Type Visas (Employment Based): E-1, E-2, E-3
- Nonimmigrant visa – This visa is issued to anyone who wants to visit the United States for a variety of reasons, such as for business or leisure. Examples include:
- A Type Diplomatic/Foreign Government Official Visa
- B-Type Business/Tourism Visitor Visas: B-1, B-2
- F-Type Foreign Student Visa: F-1
- H-Type Work Visas: H-1B, H-2B
At Phillips Law Group, we are well-versed in how the U.S. immigration system works and are prepared to work hard to resolve any conflict on your behalf because we understand how imperative immigration issues can be.
Furthermore, our attorneys also speak a variety of different languages, so no matter what language you speak, we can assist you with your immigration law needs.
We are ready to keep you informed throughout the process while ensuring your rights are protected. Learn more about your options and how our experienced legal team may be able to help today.
Phillips Law Group. Licensed. Lawyers. Ph: 1-800-706-3000
How Can I Immigrate with My Family?
Family unification is important. This is especially true when moving across borders to other countries. We are ready to do everything possible to keep your family together throughout the immigration process.
If you are looking to bring a spouse, children, or parents over from their current country of residence to the U.S., then it is important to know more about family petitioners in immigration. An attorney can answer your questions and help you gain sponsorship and residency for your loved ones.
Legal immigrants living in the U.S. may be eligible to file a petition for their spouse, children or parents to join them here in the states. However, the path for an immigration petition will vary based on whether the petitioner or person looking to become a citizen is already in the U.S. or not.
For example, individuals already in the U.S. on a visa may be able to legally extend their stay here, rather than having to initiate a new petition to gain legal entrance into the U.S. from their home country.
There are two types of family-based immigration visas that can be granted:
Immediate Relative Visa
These visas are given to immigration applicants most closely related to the person sponsoring their move to the U.S. This is generally a spouse, child or parent. There is no limit to how many immediate relatives you can bring over in a fiscal year. The U.S. allows this, providing the relationship can be established and proved.
Family Preference Visa
These visas are used for those with a more distant family relationship. The person must have some sort of relationship with the U.S. citizen, such as being a spouse or unmarried son or daughter.
Some people who have a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status (i.e. a Green Card) can even have someone they have intimate relations with apply for a family preference visa.
It is important to mention that this type of visa can only be sought for a petitioner’s spouse, or his or her unmarried son or daughter. If a petitioner’s adult child is married, neither the married adult child or his or her spouse will be eligible to obtain a family preference visa. That said, it is important to speak to a qualified immigration lawyer to learn which visa applies to your situation.
Applying for a Family-Based Visa
For either family-based visa, you will need to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form is the first step in helping an eligible family member to obtain a green card for U.S. citizenship. Filing this form and receiving approval does not, however, guarantee or grant citizenship status to the applicant.
The processing time for immediate relative visas from filing the form to when petitioners receive a notice of approval is about 15 to 20 months. The time frame to receive approval for a family preference visa ranges from 13.5 months to 20 months or more. Therefore, it is important to begin the process sooner than later.
To help facilitate an approval, you will need to show proof of your relationship with the individual seeking a visa. This can be done through birth records or marriage records.
The next step in the process depends on where the person is living when they apply for green card residency with the United States:
Inside the United States
Those who are already inside the United States can fill out Form I-485. This can be done as soon as there is a visa available.
Outside the United States
Those outside the United States cannot fill out the same form as above. They would have to visit the local U.S. Department of State in their own country or apply through an Embassy or Consulate that can provide the necessary forms and paperwork that is needed.
Our Phoenix immigration attorneys are ready to help to obtain the necessary paperwork and ensure that it is completed and submitted in a timely manner.
How Hard is it to Get a Fiancé Visa?
Fiancé visas work differently than family-based visas and are typically the right option if you are a U.S. citizen and want to marry someone who is not. To bring your fiancé into this country so that you can marry and reside in the U.S., you can complete and file a fiancé visa petition on his or her behalf.
Fiancé visas can be a little tricky and are sometimes contested, depending on how long you have been together. You will have to answer questions and do a test to prove that you both intend to get married.
Additionally, there is specific documentation and paperwork you need to provide and complete to ensure your application has the best chance of getting approved. You may benefit from hiring legal representation to ensure your rights are protected and your application is error-free.
Petitioning for Your Fiancé
Applying for the correct visa is important. You will need to file Form I-129, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). You and your fiancé must intend to marry within 90 days from the day your fiancé enters the country.
This application is the first step required in obtaining a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, otherwise known as a fiancé visa. It is important because you want to be shown as a nonimmigrant who is awaiting your permanent citizenship status. Achieving this status first will gain you access to many different services you would not otherwise have without it.
Your fiancée will not be eligible for this visa under the following conditions:
- You and your fiancée have already married
- You plan to marry outside of the country
- Your fiancée is residing legally in the U.S.
You and your fiancé must be able to establish that your relationship is genuine, you are both committed to being together and that this is not just for citizenship.
The processing time for a fiancé visa can take about eight to 10 months. An immigration attorney in Phoenix is ready to help you fill out the necessary forms to ensure all legal requirements are handled accurately.
Meeting the 90-Day Requirement
If you are married within 90 days, your fiancé may be able to apply for lawful permanent resident status, or green card, in the U.S. This process is the only way for an individual to help their non-citizen fiancé become a legal citizen of the United States.
If your application does not meet all the stated requirements, or any required paperwork or documentation is missing, your visa will either be denied or delayed. Your chances for approval are much higher if your application is accurate, fully completed and includes all requested documentation.
In any marriage-based application for a green card, the immigration authorities will carefully examine whether the marriage is genuine. For this reason, an individual who married a U.S. citizen will initially be granted conditional residency for the first two years of marriage. Once those two years are up, you can file additional paperwork to have the conditional residency status removed and your spouse can then be granted permanent residency status.
To achieve permanent residency status, you must submit a joint petition (Form I-751) to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form must be filed within the 90-day period before your conditional residence ends.
A lawyer at our firm is ready to help you with this petition. You will be required to submit supporting documentation, such as copies of joint leases, bank accounts and more to provide evidence that your marriage is real. Birth certificates of any children born into the marriage may also be required.
A conditional residency will not be necessary, meaning your spouse can immediately seek permanent residency, if he or she arrives in the U.S. and:
- You have already been married for two years
- He or she has obtained an immigrant visa or has received approval for a spousal green card
What About Employment-Based Visas?
Many people want to come to the United States to work. Some individuals may get a job temporarily in the states as a nonimmigrant if their prospective employer files a petition on their behalf. Other people, with certain skills, education and/or work experience, may be able to work and live permanently in the U.S.
Individuals that may be eligible for an employment-based visa include:
- Anyone who receives a job offer for a permanent position in the country
- Investors or entrepreneurs helping to create new U.S. jobs
- Anyone whose job falls into the special job category (i.e. a doctor or religious worker)
In some instances, an individual may be able to petition for a visa on his or her own behalf.
There are five different preference categories the U.S. uses for employment-based visas. They are based on an applicant’s experience, skills and abilities. Each green card is specific and based on an individual’s potential to obtain gainful employment in the states:
- EB-1 visa – These visas are top-priority and reserved for individuals with extraordinary work backgrounds, such as accomplished professors, researchers or multinational executives. You do not have to already be offered employment in the United States to obtain this visa.
- EB-2 visa – Second-priority visas are reserved for individuals who have advanced degrees, or something equivalent in another foreign country, and are exceptional in their field.
- EB-3 visa – These visas are for skilled workers with at least two years of experience, which may include professionals with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and other workers (unskilled labor).
- EB-4 visa – Fourth-priority visas allow special types of workers, such as doctors, religious workers and employees of world organizations the chance to become a permanent resident.
- EB-5 visa – These visas are granted to foreign investors that are investing between half a million to a million dollars in creating at least 10 jobs for U.S. citizens.
Phillips Law Group is ready to review your unique situation in a free consultation to determine the employment-based visa that applies to you. We are available anytime, night or day, to take your call.
Need Legal Help? Call 1-800-706-3000.
How Do I Qualify for U.S. Citizenship?
If you were born outside of the country, it may be possible for you to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization.
To qualify for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, you must first gain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. This means that you must have had a green card for at least five years – or three years if you obtained one because your spouse is a U.S. citizen.
Applicants for U.S. citizenship have certain requirements. These include, but are not limited to:
- Being at least 18 years of age
- Demonstrating continuous residency
- Demonstrating good moral character
- Supporting the principles of the U.S. Constitution
- Being able to read, write and speak basic English
- Passing U.S. history and government exams
- Willing to take the Oath of Allegiance
What Application Do You Need?
To apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, you must fully complete and submit Form N-400.
After the USCIS receives this form, you will be issued a receipt confirming your application was received, a notice to appear for an interview (if applicable) and the decision of your application.
There are both written and oral tests and interviews that you must pass to become a U.S. citizen. Our legal team can help you through this process, which can take between six months to a year. Citizenship is a lengthy process and one that comes with multiple steps.
If you pass the citizenship test, you will be given an interview. Everyone seeking citizenship must pass all three requirements and meet other specific stipulations.
Acing the Citizenship Interview
The testing phase may seem simple enough, but the outcome of an interview is equally important and should not be taken lightly.
Be sure to dress neatly and arrive at the designated date and time you were given. The immigration officer will ask you a lot of different questions about the application you submitted, as well as your background, history, and other questions he or she may deem relevant. You will also be given an English and civics test unless you qualify to have these waived.
Our firm is ready to help you prepare for the interview to make sure you ace it. Trying to establish citizenship in the United States is not easy. If you are unsure about your eligibility and need help discussing your options, reach out to our immigration lawyers in Phoenix for legal help.
Immigration Relief Available
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has provided immigration relief since 2012 to young people who came to the United States unlawfully as children and who meet certain requirements.
DACA is available to those who are in removal proceedings or have received final removal orders, as well as those who have never been in removal proceedings. If you are considering applying for DACA relief, the licensed Phoenix immigration lawyers at Phillips Law Group are prepared to help.
The program does not grant these young people official legal status or a pathway to citizenship, but it does allow them to apply for the following:
- A driver’ license
- Social Security Number
- Work permit
For instance, someone under the age of 18 who has maintained good moral character since being unlawfully brought to the U.S. may be able to be granted a work permit through DACA.
To be eligible for DACA, you must have been:
- Less than 16 years old when you came to the U.S.
- Were under 31 years as of June 5, 2012
- Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June of 2007
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
- Are currently enrolled in school, graduated high school, obtained your GED or were honorably discharged from the armed forces
- Have never been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor
DACA gives young undocumented immigrants protection from deportation, as well as a work permit that allows them to find employment while staying in the country. This protection is essential to help individuals who may have been trafficked to the U.S. against their will, or for any other reason.
Many young people in this situation may not remember where they are from, have any place to return to, or remember other details about their former country. This protection can help young people in this situation find a great place to live and start over after the trauma of being forced here without their consent.
Studies show that DACA has helped to increase labor force numbers and wage amounts because of the participation by legal immigrants who have been in the U.S. from a young age. Statistically, these numbers make a difference not only to the communities where these individuals live and work, but to the country.
The DACA protection program expires after two years but may be renewed, depending on an applicant’s unique situation. It is important to mention that not all youth in this situation will be eligible for DACA protection.
Call Phillips Law Group today to learn whether you or a loved one may be eligible for protection under DACA. An initial consultation is completely confidential, and there is no cost or obligation to you.
Get Answers to Your Legal Questions. Ph: 1-800-706-3000
Are You or a Loved One Facing Deportation?
If you or a loved one are an immigrant possibly facing removal from the United States, you will likely have to appear in immigration court before an immigration judge. If you find that you are in removal proceedings, then you want to make sure you find an experienced attorney who may be able to help.
Our immigration attorneys in Phoenix are prepared to represent and advocate for immigrants facing deportation. We know what it takes to defend individuals in this situation, and we will fight hard to obtain the help they need in court.
Those at risk of facing deportation include individuals who:
- Entered the U.S. illegally
- Have an expired visa that was not renewed
- Moved without providing a new address to USCIS
- Have been convicted of a crime
- Violated immigration laws (i.e. fraudulent marriage for a green card)
You will receive a Notice to Appear (NTA) if immigration officials wish to start deportation hearings against you. These proceedings are a civil matter. Our firm is ready to help you face these challenges.
Generally, if you are not doing something that is illegal, but you are found to be here without the proper paperwork, then you may be deported back to your home country without any charges.
There are many ways to stop removal or deportation from happening. If you are a resident of the United States, we are ready to help establish evidence of your residency and provide other criteria, as needed, to immigration officials.
For instance, a Cancellation of Removal and 212(C) waivers can be used to stop the court proceedings and thus deportations from happening. These waivers are the only way to prevent a person from being deported from a courtroom after a removal or deportation decision has been reached.
Other relief from removal and/or deportation assistance may include:
- Voluntary departure, which still requires departure but with an opportunity to return to the U.S. in the future with a clean immigration record.
- Asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture
- Adjustment of status (Form I-485) to apply for lawful permanent resident status
Learn how we may be able to help you with your immigration and residency concerns today. There is no cost to talk to a lawyer.
Contact Our Phoenix Immigration Attorneys Today
At Phillips Law Group, we understand the many reasons people choose to come to the United States. Our attorneys are here to help you and your family throughout the immigration process. We understand the importance of establishing your legal residency status.
Our knowledgeable attorneys are well-versed in immigration law. Although our main office is located in Phoenix, Arizona, we are ready to assist immigrants throughout the entire state and beyond. Visit our reviews page to see what our clients have to say about the services we provided.
You can learn more about your rights and legal options at no cost or risk to you. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have during a free and confidential consultation. There is no obligation to move forward after this meeting.
Available 24/7 to take your call: 1-800-706-3000