Immigration Lawyer Alexandria, VA
As a seasoned immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA knows, the immigration system is full of complexities, and takes years for many people to complete. Because immigration law covers a vast number of topics and scenarios, hiring a lawyer significantly improves your chances of successfully immigrating. Without a lawyer to guide you, your immigration journey can take longer and be more costly. If you are specifically interested in applying for visas, schedule a consultation with a top immigration lawyer like one from Mughal Law Firm PLLC for legal advice.
Immigration Lawyer in Alexandria, VA
Providing clients quality legal services since 2013, the skilled legal team at Mughal Law Firm PLLC understands that the quality of legal representation can mean all the difference if you are looking for the best result possible. We believe in giving the best service for our clients, and we want to be your fiercest advocate.
When it comes to immigration, you want to make sure you have a dependable and experienced lawyer you can rely on to assist you through every step. The U.S. immigration system is highly complex and the process differs depending on the path you choose to take. Hiring a lawyer can ease your stress and help you complete every requirement for a smooth and successful immigration journey.
Types of Visas
Visas allow foreigners to temporarily stay in a country for a specific purpose and period of time. For tourists, business travelers, students and other foreigners looking to visit the United States, there are several visas that you can apply for if you meet the eligibility requirements. As an immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA can explain, there are many different types of visas, so it’s important to know what you should be applying for. Each of the requirements must be filled otherwise your visa application will not be approved. Some of the most common types of visas are:
- B-1 Business visa. For employees staying in the U.S. for up to 180 days.
- B-2 Tourist visa. Allows tourists to temporarily stay in the U.S. for up to 180 days.
- F-1 Student visa. Required to enroll and study in an American college.
- H-1B work visa (specialty occupation). For professionals with special skills or an academic degree.
Difficulties That Arise When Obtaining Your Visa
Immigrating to another country can be a challenging endeavor as you might have difficulty learning the language, finding employment, adapting to the culture, etc. In addition to these factors, obtaining a visa can take years to accomplish and can have unforeseen complications or roadblocks that may vary for each visa. Some common problems immigrants face when trying to obtain their visa include:
- Finding employment: When it comes to applying for an H-1B work visa you’ll need a job offer from an employer or organization before you can apply. Finding a suitable connection then can be extremely difficult even if you have a very specialized skill(s) or a highly sought-after academic degree.
- Country relationships and/or prejudice and/or other conditions: It’s no surprise that certain nations have better relationships than other nations and better country relationships can make the process smoother when it comes to applying for a visa. Additionally, many immigrants face discrimination which can be reflected in job-hunting. Lastly, temporary conditions such as a pandemic can result in countries being banned from entering the U.S. even as a visitor for a period of time.
- Health reasons: Certain health conditions such as not having proper vaccinations (or being unable to show proof) against diseases such as measles, mumps, influenza type B, hepatitis B, pertussis, etc. can prevent entry as well as any physical or mental disorder that may pose a threat to a foreign national or other citizens.
- A criminal history: This can range from violating previous immigration laws either in or outside the U.S., committing a crime that involves moral turpitude, conducting federal crimes such as trafficking illegal substances or humans, money laundering, domestic abuse, arson, rape, murder, etc. While some crimes are next to impossible to file a waiver against, less serious offenses can be challenged with the help of a good immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA.
5 Reasons a Student Visa Might Be Denied
Foreign students may obtain an endorsement on their passport that allows them to enroll in qualified educational institutions and study outside of their home country. Some visas are never approved. There are several common reasons for denial, but with the Mughal Law Firm, you have an immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA that can help with your application.
1. Country of Nationality
Some students may have their applications denied simply based on where they live. Students applying from third-world or less developed countries have higher odds of being denied than some of their counterparts applying from politically and economically stable countries.
2. Parental and Family Histories
Consuls look at the family history and occupations of the parents when considering a young student’s application. Those living in rural locations with tenuous financial situations may be considered an immigration risk. Other negative influences could include living a sheltered life or lack-of-travel exposure to other countries. Age, job history and educational pursuits in the home country can also contribute to a negative opinion and lead to denial. If a student is connected to a family that has ties to unfavorable political or militant agendas, a denial may be likely.
Those wishing to apply for a student visa through the help of an immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA must show financial responsibility for first-year tuition and expenses. Without proof of adequate finance or without sound financial stability from family members or sponsors, an application may be denied. Consuls look very carefully for signs of financial fraud, and the attorneys at Mughal Law Firm can advise you on the proper documentation.
4. Prior Denial
If a student has already received a previous visa denial for the United States, it puts a black mark on the applicant. It does not mean the application is automatically denied, but there will be more inquiry and information required before a consul makes a determination.
5. Documentation Problems
A student visa applicant must show enrollment status when applying for a visa, and failing to provide the right paperwork can lead to a denial. The consul will look for forged academic credentials or bank statements that have been doctored. Failing to provide testing results or scholarship award certifications could also to the application being denied.
There are dozens of reasons why a student visa could be denied, and without the help of an immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA, an applicant may get stuck in a loop of paperwork without results. The process is complicated and requires a lot of documents.
8 Hurtful Myths About Immigrants in America
Immigrants Are Taking Jobs From Native U.S. Citizens
This claim has been made throughout the years, but it simply isn’t true. Most immigrants are more likely to compete with other immigrants in the job market as opposed to native citizens, and many of these immigrants are highly skilled in their fields.
Immigrants Are Causing Spikes in Crime
Crime rates in the United States fluctuate all the time, and studies have shown that native citizens are more likely to commit major crimes than immigrants. There have been periods in U.S. history where immigration rates nearly tripled while crime rates dropped by almost 50%.
Undocumented Immigrants Receive Ample Public Benefits
Rumors constantly circulate about undocumented immigrants receiving food stamps, welfare, Medicaid and other public aid while native citizens struggle to receive any assistance. The reality is that undocumented immigrants don’t qualify for any of these benefits, even with the help of an immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA.
Immigrants Aren’t Learning English
Any immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA, will tell you that English is one of the most common languages in the world. Most immigrants go to great lengths to learn the language, and children in immigrant families are often raised to speak it alongside their family’s native language.
Immigrants Aren’t Paying Taxes
Mughal Law Firm is happy to debunk this myth. In 2018, immigrant households contributed over $300 billion in federal taxes and around $150 billion in local taxes. Undocumented immigrants contributed to a combined $32 billion in taxes as well.
Undocumented Immigrants Aren’t Trying Hard Enough to Earn Their Citizenship
There are countless limits and regulations in place that make it very difficult for immigrants to receive a visa right away. Once they’re in the country, it can be nearly impossible for an undocumented immigrant to legally correct their status!
Immigrants Are a Bad Influence on Schools
Some people may argue that immigrants are overcrowding schools and harming overall educational statistics; in truth, children from immigrant families only make up around 14% of the entire student body in most schools, and many of these children are highly intelligent and boast excellent grades. The fact that these students are often multilingual makes them very employable in the American workplace.
Immigration Stereotypes Are True and Warranted
Stereotypes like the aforementioned aren’t just false; they’re extremely hurtful and reinforce the negative outlook of immigrants around the world. Fortunately, Mughal Law Firm and nearly every other immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA, are here to help.
Grounds for Deportation
Even when in the U.S. under a lawful visa there are some offenses that can result in deportation. While minor crimes might not result in deportation, serious offenses such as federal crimes can. Unfortunately, sometimes what accounts for a crime that violates your visa, green card, status, etc. may not always be concrete. For example–while rare–even a small oversight such as overstaying your visa can technically result in deportation.
If you find yourself at risk of facing deportation then enlisting the help of a lawyer can mitigate the situation. A lawyer can help arrange reduced charges and plea deals for their clients while also shortening jail time. Since deportation can result in you not being able to visit the U.S. for several years (and maybe even permanently) it’s crucial to have legal counsel that can help you through the process even if it’s the result of a minor oversight such as accidentally inputting the wrong information into an immigration application.
How To File an Asylum Claim
1. Decide If You Are Eligible
There are many laws surrounding immigration in the United States. To file an asylum claim, there are some eligibility criteria. First, you must be at a port of entry to the US or already be in the US for less than one year. If you have previously applied for asylum and were denied, you cannot apply again unless your circumstances have changed. There are a number of exceptions that an immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA can help you to understand.
2. Choose the Type of Asylum
You must also understand that there are two types of asylum claims: affirmative and defensive. If you are not already in removal proceedings, you can apply for affirmative asylum by completing Form I-589. If you are in removal proceedings, you must apply for defensive asylum. Associates at Mughal Law Firm can help you decide which is the best option for your situation.
3. Complete Your Paperwork
If you are applying for affirmative asylum, you must first complete Form I-589 and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The form must be completed in English and it is strongly recommended that you include written statements and documents that support your asylum claim. An immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA can help you complete this form.
4. Respond to All Requests
Once you submit your application, you must wait for a response. The first response will be a notice that states that your form was received. After that, you will receive a notice that you must appear for fingerprinting. You may also be required to present for an interview. It is important to complete all of these tasks in your asylum case. An immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA can explain why each of these steps is necessary.
5. Wait Patiently
After your initial application is submitted, a decision should be made within approximately 180 days. If you are applying with special circumstances, it is likely to take longer. If you had to leave some information blank on your application, and had the form returned to be completed and resubmitted, it will take longer. A case officer will review your application, and your fingerprints, personal history, and background checks will all be completed and reviewed to determine if you are eligible for asylum. Once you receive the results of your asylum case, an immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA can help you review the results and plan for the next steps in your case.
Changing Your Visa Status
Visa holders may decide that they want to change their visa status, especially if their visa is about to expire. To change your visa status, there is another process that you have to understand and follow. Certain visa holders may be required to pay a fee depending on their immigrant status. You must also know what documents you are required to submit along with your application. For legal help, talk to a lawyer and they will be able to answer your questions.
Learn More About Immigration Requirements
Understanding visa requirements and the larger immigration system can be a challenge. Do not wait until the last minute to deal with your situation, especially if it’s an issue regarding immigration. If you are in need of legal advice for your immigration matter, discuss your situation with an immigration lawyer who serves the Alexandria, VA community.
When to Hire an Immigration Lawyer
An Alexandria, VA, immigration lawyer is needed in situations that involve complicated application processes, or when you want to have more reassurance that your straightforward application process will satisfy all the requirements. Mughal Law Firm has given many clients that reassurance. Whether you yourself are an immigrant seeking U.S. citizenship, or if you are an employer looking to hire an immigrated employee, we are able to offer experienced legal services that may help to accomplish your goals.
If you have been notified by the U.S. government that you will be deported, you will want to hire an immigration lawyer as soon as possible! If you have already been deported and are wanting to return to The States, an immigration lawyer may be able to help make that possible for you and your family. If you are planning to become a U.S. citizen, or if you are seeking employment in the country, having a lawyer walk you through the process of how to accomplish either or both of those endeavors can often help significantly. If you are seeking asylum, hiring an immigration lawyer is most definitely advised. When you do meet with your lawyer, be sure to bring any documents that pertain to your immigration, citizenship, or employment status. Remember to be candid about any past citizenship or green card applications that haven been denied, along with any time you have already spent in The States, as well as any crimes for which you are seeking asylum. An immigration lawyer Alexandria, VA, can offer you professional services that may prove to be invaluable to your case.
How Much Does an Immigration Lawyer Cost?
In Virginia, the price of an immigration lawyer may vary depending upon the services you need. If you’re needing help and legal assistance with filling out basic immigration forms then you may only be looking at between $200 to $800. On the other hand, Green Card assistance can cost anywhere from $800 to $5,000 plus the USCIS fees which are between $460 to $700.
Typically, you can expect to pay $150 to $300 per hour plus a possible consultation fee. Having an experienced attorney on your side, however, will ensure that you properly file all your paperwork and they will help mitigate any issues that arise.
What to Look for In An Immigration Lawyer
When considering hiring an immigration lawyer there are a few factors that you should consider before making your choice. Some of these factors include:
- A person who speaks and understands your language: While you may already be fluent in English, it doesn’t hurt to have an immigration lawyer that can speak your native tongue. Unfortunately, sometimes legal documents can be bogged down by complex language and while most attorneys will be able to translate complex language into simpler terms, sometimes explaining in your own language can be quicker. There’s also the possibility of hiring a third party to translate. However, hiring a professional translator or mediator can be costly which is why it’s recommended to work directly with the lawyer.
- An experienced immigration lawyer: You will want an immigration lawyer with plenty of experience under their belt. Additionally, it’s smart to choose a lawyer that has worked on other cases similar to yours. For example, while a lawyer may have worked on a dozen Green Card cases before, they may not have worked on a deportation case.
- A proven track record: You want an immigration attorney who has a proven track record. This involves a lawyer who has consistently won cases, who has satisfied clients, and who hasn’t faced any issues such as having to attend a disciplinary meeting. If possible, getting a referral for an experienced immigration lawyer may be your best bet.
- A lawyer that communicates and works well with you: Different people have different styles of communication which is why you should choose a lawyer that you’re comfortable with and who you can easily talk to. Additionally, you want to ensure that they know precisely the objectives you want to accomplish and that they’re confident in their ability to help you.
- A lawyer with your budget and availability: Lastly, you will want a lawyer who is upfront about their cost and availability and determine if it fits within your own budget and availability. Be sure to ask straightforward questions such as how much they charge, how much availability they have to work on your case, and an estimated timeline for how long your case will take to resolve.
Becoming a U.S. citizen can be a very long and, often, complicated process. Another difficulty you might face during the process is finding a good job. It is important to work for an employer that provides a safe working environment and competitive wages. If you experience discrimination at work due to your immigration status, or if you get treated unfairly by your employer because of any citizenship status, or if you do not receive the proper training and resources to properly perform your job duties, we recommend you find an immigration lawyer to advocate on your behalf. Many individuals who are new to the country do not yet know of all the rights granted both in the U.S. Constitution and through administrative laws that regulate employers and other influential organizations. Because of this, immigrants are often taken advantage of, and there are few ways for them to represent themselves. If you can relate, let us help!
Find Your Representative
Finding an immigration lawyer may feel like a daunting and potentially expensive task, but it has been well worth the time, money, and energy for many individuals who have been in a similar situation to the one you now face. To begin the process, contact a lawyer in your area that has accumulated years of experience in immigration law. For an immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA, you can contact Mughal Law Firm.
Applying for a Fiancé Visa
It is not uncommon – especially in this world of social media and online communications – for a United States citizen to fall in love with someone from another country. It is also not uncommon for that couple to want to get married and spend the rest of their lives together. However, unlike marrying another U.S. citizen, marrying someone from a foreign country can be a very complex and difficult process. The process involves applying for a fiancé visa so your future spouse can come to this country and maintain permanent U.S. residency after you are married. If this is something you are considering, you will definitely need an immigration lawyer Alexandria, VA for legal help.
What Is a Fiancé VISA?
In order for a U.S. citizen to apply for a K-1 fiancé visa so their intended spouse from another country can come to the U.S. to live, they are required to file for a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Form I-129F) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once this nonimmigrant visa is issued, the intended spouse can come to the U.S. The couple then has 90 days to get married.
If the couple does not get married within the required 90-day window, the intended spouse must leave and return to their country.
If the couple do get married within the 90 days, the next step is for the immigrant spouse to apply for an adjustment of status. As long as the adjustment of status is approved, the spouse will then receive their conditional Green Card. This Green Card is valid for two years. Before that two years is up, the spouse must apply to have the conditions on their permanent residency removed. Once approved, they will receive a permanent Green Card.
It is critical to apply for that permanent Green Card before the conditional one has expired. If it does expire, the spouse is automatically deemed to be illegally living in the U.S. If a person remains living in the U.S. on an expired conditional Green Card for six months or longer, there is a three-year no-entry ban placed on them. After one year, that ban can be put in place for up to 10 years.
Call Our Office
If you plan on bringing your fiancé(e) who is from another country to the United States in order for the two of you to wed, it is critical that you both file all of the correct documentation and form, as well as meet all of the requirements put in place by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Any errors or omissions made during this process can result in a denial of entry or deportation for your fiancé(e).
To avoid any of these types of issues, it is crucial to have a seasoned Alexandria, VA immigration lawyer advocating for you and your loved one. Call Mughal Law Firm for details and legal assistance.