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.
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.