Green card

Category • Immigration Law Blog

Types of Visas Available to Immigrants in Los Angeles

There are many different types of visa available to individuals who are considering emigrating to the United States. If you are considering making this move, it is important that you apply for the correct visa for your circumstance. Otherwise, you can face problems entering and remaining in the United States.

Determining the correct type of visa for you can be difficult and confusing. Make it easier for yourself by consulting with an experienced immigration attorney about which type of visa is right for you. By working with a lawyer who has experience handling the various legal difficulties that new immigrants to the United States can face, you can avoid many of these problems yourself and have an easier time overcoming them if you do find yourself facing one.

There are two types of visas that foreigners can use to gain entry to the United States: immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas allow individuals to reside in the country temporarily to vacation, attend school, and work. Below are the types of visas available to immigrants entering the United States to live permanently.

I-129F Fiance Visa and Related Visas

This visa is used to bring one’s fiance and the fiance’s children to the United States so the individual and the fiance can marry. It can also be used to bring a spouse and the spouse’s children into the country. A fiance must use a K-1 visa to enter the United States, a spouse must use a K-3, and the fiance/spouse’s children must enter using K-4 visas.

Visas that start with the letter K are meant for spouses and children of United States citizens. When an individual who is not yet a United States citizen but instead a lawful permanent resident wants to bring his or her loved ones into the country to reside, his or her loved ones must use visas that begin with the letter V. A V-1 visa is for the spouse of a lawful permanent resident and a V-2 visa is for his or her child.

H-1B Visa

This type of visa is a visa for professionals in specialty professions who come to the United States to do work for up to three years. Although this is not an immigrant visa per se, an employer may opt to sponsor an employee who is in the country on an H-1B visa for a green card if it feels the individual should continue to reside in the United States permanently.

T-1 Visa

This type of visa is a temporary visa for individuals who are victims of human trafficking. As long as the holder complies with law enforcement in prosecuting the suspects charged with trafficking him or her, the holder may remain and work in the United States. The holder may also apply to become a lawful permanent resident and eventually complete the naturalization process to become a citizen. Children, spouses, parents, and minor siblings of a T-1 holder may also apply for other types of T visa.

Other Visa Types

The other types of visa that are available to immigrants entering the United States are divided into multiple categories. The type an individual may obtain depends on his or her relation to a United States citizen or reason for entering the country. For example, visas numbered IR-1 through IR-5 are for immediate family members of United States citizens, such as their parents and children. SB-1 visas are for permanent resident aliens who left the country and failed to return while their green cards remained viable for reasons they could not control. Certain types of visa are only for individuals coming from certain countries, such as visas numbered F-21 through F-25, those numbered B-21 through B-25, and those numbered FX-1 through FX-3 and BX-1 through BX-3. There are 185 types of visas available to individuals seeking entry to the United States, many of which are only for individuals coming to the country for temporary reasons.

Work with an Experienced Immigration Attorney

You might not know which type of visa you need or how you can obtain it to take the next step toward becoming an American citizen. Determine what you need to do by seeking guidance from an experienced visa lawyer. At The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., we are dedicated to working with recent immigrants and can help make the visa procurement and immigration processes easier for you. Contact our firm today to set up your initial legal consultation with Mr. Goldstein to learn more about the right type of visa for you.

Court Upholds Arizona’s Controversial Immigration Law

In 2010, the state of Arizona passed S.B. 1070, a controversial piece of legislation that requires police officers to determine a person’s immigration status at the time of arrest or detainment if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is an undocumented illegal immigrant. The legislation has colloquially been referred to as the ‘papers please’ law, as it requires detained individuals to show proof of identity and legal resident status. Since the bill’s passing, there have been a number of questions raised about the constitutionality of the law, based on the argument that it encourages racial profiling. On September 4, 2015, a federal judge in Arizona upheld the legality of the law.

Continue reading “Court Upholds Arizona’s Controversial Immigration Law”

Boston Rallies for Obama to take Immigration Action

President Obama promised to take his executive action on green card law before summer’s end, then postponed his actions until after the upcoming election. In late September, activists for immigration reform held a National Week of Action, to gather and rally support for the families that are being divided by the different immigration laws governing children and adults. Continue reading “Boston Rallies for Obama to take Immigration Action”

Obama Considering Ways to Increase Green Cards

President Barack Obama has been trying to mitigate the immigration issues facing Americans today, including many immigrants, both legal and illegal. He is trying to find a way to increase the number of annual green cards from 366,000 to nearly double that amount, drastically shortening wait times.

The president is looking to decrease the number of illegal immigrants by making it legal for more immigrants to come to America, with skilled workers and their families in the forefront. Continue reading “Obama Considering Ways to Increase Green Cards”

How to get Italian citizenship and other immigration questions that I have no idea how to answer

I consider myself to be an effective immigration lawyer. Want a green card? I can show you the options and assess your chances. Have some complicated legal issues but still interested in applying for naturalization to be a U.S. citizen? Or do you need an attorney to represent you in Immigration Court? I can help.

But, as I’m an immigration lawyer in Boston, sometimes I get downright stumped. Here are some frequently asked questions that I have no idea how to answer:

My grandparents/great grandparents/great great grandparents were born in Italy/Ireland. How do I, as a U.S. citizen, obtain Irish/Italian citizenship? The answer is . . . I don’t know! I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer but don’t know about the laws of foreign countries.

Where can I find a lawyer who can advise me about how U.S. citizens can obtain Irish/Italian citizenship? Again, I don’t know the answer. But to find legal advice on issues of Italian or Irish law, I’d look for a lawyer based in Dublin, Milan, etc.

Would it be possible for me to leave the U.S., enter Canada and apply for immigration status there? I love Canada–everyone does. I just don’t know anything about Canadian law. For advice on Canadian immigration law, look for a lawyer in Toronto, Montreal, etc.

At the airport, I was refused entry into the U.K. This was unfair. Can you help me do something about it? Again, as a U.S. lawyer, I can’t advise you on issues of U.K. law.

The common thread, of course, as that I can only answers questions about U.S. immigration law. Few, if any, lawyers based in the U.S. are licensed to practice in and experts on immigration laws in foreign countries.

So I welcome your questions on topics within my area of expertise–green card, work permits, citizenship and Immigration Court. Just make sure your questions relate to U.S. immigration law.

If you use an immigration lawyer, will USCIS suspect that something is wrong with your immigration case?

Green Card Lawyer Boston

At a meeting in my immigration law office in Boston, a potential client recently asked me this question:

I’m interested in hiring an immigration lawyer to prepare my green card case. But is it risky to use an immigration lawyer? I’m concerned that if USCIS sees that I have an immigration lawyer, the immigration officer might get suspicious. By using an immigration lawyer, perhaps the officer will presume that my case has some problem or issue.

The notion that an immigration officer will suspect that your case has some problem simply because you have hired an immigration lawyer is utter nonsense–a complete myth. Everyone has the legal right to be represented by an immigration lawyer of their own choosing. In my experience, using an immigration lawyer never generates suspicion that your case has a problem.

Anyone can fill in your name and address on an immigration form. But only an experienced, effective immigration attorney can spot issues before they crop up. If you decide to prepare your immigration case on your own, without an immigration lawyer, you do so at your own peril. You may think that you don’t need an immigration lawyer because you assume that your case is easy. But without an immigration lawyer, you can’t be sure that you’ve seen all the relevant issues. You might need a complicated immigration waiver and not even know it!

So, you now know that if you need help with an immigration issue, you can feel free to hire me or consult with me without fear of reprisal!

How to Get a Green Card in 27 days. A Boston Immigration Lawyer explains

Green Card Lawyer Boston, Massachusetts

If I had a dollar for every time a client has told me that their friend got their green card is four weeks, I’d have been able to retire long ago. But the reality is that, right now, if everything goes perfectly, when someone living in the Boston, Massachusetts area seeks a green card through adjustment of status (I-485) based on a concurrently-filed visa petition (I-130) filed by through U.S. citizen spouse, the entire process takes about 5 months, give or take a month or so.

Contrary to my normal experience, yesterday, I witnessed a miracle. My client got a green card in just 27 days. That’s right–27 days!  So how was he able to blast through the entire immigration process in such a short period of time?

Here’s the background on this happened. My client was a research scientist at a famous university in Boston, Massachusetts. In late-October, he was selected to receive a prestigious award, which carried with it $1 million in research funding. But there was one small problem. To qualify for the award, he needed to become either a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen by the first week of December. I told him that it was unlikely that he would be able to get his green card in such a short time frame. But since he intended to apply for a green card anyway, I saw no harm in trying.

Under time pressure, my office prepared all the immigration forms in a single day. Don’t ask me how but the client managed to walk away with a completed medical exam in one day. Next, we filed his green card case with USCIS and got immigration receipt notices back in one week.

Then, I enlisted the help of Ines Goncalves-Drolet, a miracle worker who handles constituent services for Congressman Barney Frank. At the request of Ines and Congressman Frank, USCIS Boston District Office agreed to request the file and expedite my client’s I-485. USCIS National Benefits Center sent his green card file to USCIS Boston District Office via overnight courier and an adjustment of status interview was scheduled within a few days time.

For helping my client expedite his green card, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Congressman Barney Frank, Ines Goncalves-Drolet as well as USCIS Field Director Karen-Anne Haydon, District Director Denis Riordan and the officers and staff at USCIS Boston District Office. Without crucial help from these people and others, my client would likely still be waiting for his green card and one million dollars in research funding might have been lost.

If you want to get your green card approved in an expedited fashion, it’s easy!  All you need is an immigration case with impeccable merits, a compelling national interest, the sympathetic ear of a congressional representative, the favorable discretion of your local USCIS field office director . . .  and a good measure of luck.

If you need help with your green card, citizenship or other immigration case, call my Boston immigration law office at 617-722-0005. I’d be happy to help you.




“My brother filed a visa petition for me. Is there a way to speed up the process of obtain a green card?” A Boston immigration lawyer responds

Boston deportation defense lawyer

In a recent immigration consultation, I faced the following situation:

A young man entered the United States on a visitor visa and then fell out of status after overstaying. His brother gained U.S. citizenship and then filed an immigrant visa petition, Form I-130, on his behalf. The young man suffered from serious health issues, which were covered by MassHealth. So, with these facts, the family asked me whether there was some way to expedite the process of getting a green card for the young man.

In my view, this young man will face at least three major issues when seeking a green card.

First, according to the Department of State’s most recent Visa Bulletin, an immigration petition filed on behalf a brother or sister is not likely to become current for a long time–10 years or more! And in the meantime, this young man, as the beneficiary of this petition, couldn’t obtain a work permit or social security card. Since he is out of status, he could be put in deportation proceedings. An Immigration Judge could order him to be deported and his pending visa petition wouldn’t protect him from being deported. And, regardless of this person’s medical condition or other compelling equities, I’m not aware of any way to expedite this sort of case. The time frame is what it is. You are bound by the cruel reality of the visa bulletin. In immigration law, as in many other areas of life, no short cuts exist.

Second, since this person is out of status, he has accrued unlawful presence. Therefore, even if he were properly admitted and inspected into the U.S., he would be inadmissible and, thus, wouldn’t be able to obtain a green card within the U.S. One exception to this ground of inadmissibility would be for what is called 245(i) cases. But 245(i) requires that the visa petition be filed on or before April 30, 2001.

Third, once the priority date for this visa petition becomes current, since this person can’t obtain a green card through adjustment of status, he would have to consular process, i.e, seek an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. But if he were to leave the U.S., his unlawful presence would render him inadmissible and, therefore, result in the denial of his immigrant visa application. To cure the inadmissibility, he would need an immigration waiver, Form I-601. To qualify, he would have to have a U.S. citizen anchor relative and show that his U.S. citizen immediate relative would suffer “extreme hardship” if he weren’t allowed to return back to the U.S.  Of course, successful waivers are challenging to prepare.

For more information about how to get a green card through a family member or if you need advice or guidance on other immigration issues, call me and set up a time to meet.

Boston Immigration Lawyer News: immigration applications filing fees are going up

Thinking about filing for a green card, citizenship or other immigration benefits? If so, keep in mind that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is raising filing fees on November 23, 2010.  This increase will generally be about 10% on most applications.  Interestingly, if you want to gain U.S. citizenship, the price for the application for naturalization, N-400, will remain unchanged.