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Leesburg, VA Immigration Attorney

Guidance Through the Immigration Process in Leesburg, VA

Immigrating to the United States is a complex process that involves navigating many different laws, regulations, and procedures. For many, the journey to obtaining a visa, Green Card, or U.S. citizenship can be overwhelming. In Leesburg, Virginia, The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC offers comprehensive legal services to guide immigrants and their families through these challenging processes. We work with our clients to ensure that all paperwork is correctly filled out and submitted, and we provide representation in immigration courts if necessary. We focus on delivering compassionate representation while ensuring that every client's case is thoroughly prepared and presented. With our extensive knowledge of immigration law, our attorneys can help clients navigate the complex legal landscape, increasing their chances of a successful outcome.

Applying for Visas and Green Cards

Visas are official documents that allow immigrants to enter the United States for specific purposes and stay for specific durations. Nonimmigrant visas will allow for temporary stays, while immigrant visas will allow people to obtain Green Cards and live in the U.S. as permanent residents. The application process can vary depending on the type of visa a person is seeking, but this process will generally involve the following steps:

  1. Determine the appropriate visa: It is important to identify the visa category that matches a person's situation. In most cases, a person will receive sponsorship for a visa through a family member or employer in the United States.
  2. Complete the necessary forms: Applicants and sponsors must fill out and submit various applications and other forms. They will need to provide detailed personal information, documentation of financial support, and other pertinent details.
  3. Submit supporting documentation: Evidence supporting the visa application, such as employment letters, proof of family relationships, or financial statements, must be compiled and submitted.
  4. Attend an interview: Most visa applicants will need to attend an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy. People who are already in the United States may attend interviews with immigration officials at government facilities. This step is crucial, as it allows the consular officer to verify the applicant's information and intentions.
  5. Await decision: After the interview and the submission of all required documents, a person must wait for a decision on their visa application. Once a visa application is approved and a visa becomes available, a person will be able to enter the United States. If they receive an immigrant visa, they will be able to apply for a Green Card.

Types of Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas

  • Immediate Relative visas: These are available to spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens.
  • Family Preference visas: Certain relatives of U.S. citizens and Green Card holders may be eligible for these visas. Because a limited number of visas is available each year, waiting times will typically apply before a visa application will be approved.
  • Fiancé visas (K-1): This option may be available in situations where a U.S. citizen intends to marry a foreign fiancé(e). The couple must get married during the 90-day window after the foreign fiancé(e) arrives in the United States.
  • Temporary work visas: There are several categories of employment-based visas for professionals. These include H-1B visas (specialty occupation workers), L-1 visas (intra-company transferees), and O-1 visas (people with extraordinary abilities or international recognition in fields such as athletics, entertainment, science, or business).
  • Employment-based immigrant visas: These visas provide a pathway to permanent residence for people who have a job offer in the U.S. and fall into one of the applicable preference categories, such as EB-1 visas (professionals with extraordinary abilities) and EB-2 visas (professionals with advanced degrees and several years of work experience).

Defending Against Deportation

Facing deportation can be a terrifying experience, but an immigration attorney can provide critical support and representation. The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC works to help our clients determine the deportation defense strategies that may be available, including:

  • Applying for asylum: People who have been persecuted or fear persecution may receive protection against deportation.
  • Seeking waivers of inadmissibility: In certain cases, immigrants who have been deemed inadmissible to the U.S. can apply for waivers based on extreme hardship for their family members in the United States.
  • Requesting protection through U visas or VAWA: U visas may be available for victims of certain crimes, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows immigrants who have suffered domestic to file for immigration relief.
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile status: This status is for children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. It allows them to apply for a Green Card.

Path to U.S. Citizenship Through Naturalization

Naturalization is the process by which lawful permanent residents can become U.S. citizens. The steps involved include:

  1. Meeting eligibility requirements: An applicant must be at least 18 years old, have been a Green Card holder for at least five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen), and maintain continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S. for a minimum amount of time.
  2. Filing Form N-400: The application for naturalization, along with the necessary documents and fees, must be submitted.
  3. Biometrics appointment: An applicant will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, photographs, and signatures.
  4. Interview and tests: An interview with a USCIS officer will be conducted, during which an applicant must pass English and civics tests.
  5. Oath of Allegiance: Successful applicants will attend a naturalization ceremony, completing the process.

Contact Our Leesburg Immigration Lawyers

The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC is committed to assisting clients through every step of their immigration journey. For compassionate legal support and effective representation, contact us at 571-441-2233 and arrange a free consultation. With our help, you can take the proper steps to secure your future in the United States.

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