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Rockville, MD Immigration Attorney

Comprehensive Legal Support for Immigration Matters in Rockville, MD

Navigating the complexities of U.S. immigration law can be a daunting task, but the experienced attorneys at The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC are here to provide expert guidance and support for immigrants in Rockville, Maryland. We can help address a wide variety of immigration issues, including helping people apply for visas and Green Cards, defending against deportation, and assisting with the naturalization process.

Benefits of Green Cards and Lawful Permanent Resident Status

A Green Card will be issued to an immigrant when they receive lawful permanent resident status. Permanent residence provides numerous benefits, including the ability to live and work in the United States, travel abroad with fewer restrictions, and apply for U.S. citizenship after meeting certain requirements.

Immigrants will usually follow one of two primary pathways to obtain a Green Card: adjustment of status and consular processing. Through Adjustment of Status, certain immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. can apply for Green Cards. For those who are outside the United States, consular processing may be used to apply for a Green Card at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The steps followed when applying for a Green Card include:

  1. Determine eligibility: An applicant must first determine if they fall under an eligible category, such as family sponsorship or employment-based sponsorship.
  2. File a petition: A qualifying family member or employer must file an immigrant petition on behalf of the applicant. When a petition is approved, it will be submitted to the National Visa Center.
  3. Visa approval: Once a visa is approved and available, a person in the U.S. can file Form I-485 and seek to adjust their status. A person outside the U.S. can proceed with consular processing through a U.S. consulate or embassy.
  4. Attend an interview: In cases involving adjustment of status, a person may interviewed by a USCIS officer. In consular processing cases, an interview will be scheduled at a consular office.
  5. Receive decision: After reviewing the application and supporting documents, USCIS will make a decision. If adjustment of status is granted, a person will receive a Green Card. If an immigrant visa is granted through consular processing, an immigrant will be given approval to immigrate to the United States, and they will receive a Green Card after entering the country.

Requirements for Family and Employer Sponsorship

To sponsor a family member for immigration, a person must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. They will file Form I-130 on behalf of their family member. The sponsored family member must meet the requirements to be eligible for the specific visa they are seeking. Immediate Relative visas will usually be available for spouses, parents, or minor children of U.S. citizens. Family Preference visas may be available for immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or some extended relatives of U.S. citizens, but since a limited number of these visas are available each year, waiting periods will typically be necessary. Fiancé visas may also be available in situations where U.S. citizens plan to marry non-citizens who are living in other countries. The sponsor must demonstrate the financial ability to support the family member who will be immigrating to the U.S.

Employers can sponsor foreign workers for Green Cards or for temporary permission to live and work in the U.S. through several different employment-based visa categories. Temporary visas for professional workers fall into several different categories, including H-1B visas for employees in certain specialty occupations, as well as treaty trader and investor visas (E-1 and E-2) and visas for employees being transferred within international companies (L-1). Certain immigrants may be eligible for employment-based Green Cards, with immigrant visas (EB-1 through EB-5) being issued according to an order of preference. The employer will usually be required to obtain a certification from the Department of Labor, demonstrating that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position. They can then file a visa application on behalf of the immigrant employee.

Deportation Defense Options

Being detained by immigration officials can be an overwhelming experience, but there are several deportation defense options available, including:

  • Cancellation of Removal: This form of relief is available to certain permanent residents and non-permanent residents who have been in the U.S. for a specific period, have good moral character, and meet other eligibility criteria.
  • Asylum: People who have been persecuted based on protected factors such as political opinions, religion, or race or who credibly fear that they will face this type of persecution may be allowed to remain in the U.S. and become permanent residents.

Additional Immigration Matters

Our attorneys can assist with other legal issues related to immigration, including:

  • Waivers of Inadmissibility: People who have been deemed inadmissible to the U.S. may apply for waivers under certain conditions, such as having a qualifying relative who is at risk of suffering extreme hardship.
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): DACA provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to eligible undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. While USCIS is no longer processing new DACA applications, our firm can assist with DACA renewals.
  • VAWA self-petitions and U visas: Abused spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents may apply for immigration relief, or victims of certain crimes may receive visas if they are willing to assist law enforcement.
  • Citizenship/naturalization: We can help Green Card holders who meet all eligibility requirements take steps to become U.S. citizens.

Contact Our Rockville, MD Immigration Attorneys

At The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive, compassionate legal services in immigration cases. Whether you are seeking a Green Card, defending against deportation, or navigating any other immigration matter, our experienced attorneys are here to help. Contact us at 571-441-2233 to set up a complimentary consultation and take the first step towards achieving your immigration goals.

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