We understand that immigration can be an intimidating, complicated, and difficult process. We stand by our clients all the way through the immigration process and help make the process as smooth as possible.
These are some of the services we provide. If you have questions, call us at 1 (816) 221-2277.
- Citizenship and naturalization
- Family petitions
- Green card applications
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Initial and Renewals)
- Refugee Adjustment of Status
- Temporary Protected Status applications
- Renewal of employment authorization
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- Deportation Defense
Consultation - $25 per visit
Meet with an attorney to explore what options you and your family have regarding immigration matters.
Naturalization is a term that describes the process of becoming a United States citizen. This process can be confusing and intimidating to an individual who is not familiar with the U.S. legal system. Once USCIS accepts the citizenship application, you will need to take an English test (dependent on your age) and a civics test. A sample test and study materials are available online. Our firm can help you make a plan to prepare for the exam.
Family members of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents may become lawful permanent residents through the immigration process. The relationship between the person coming to the United States and the person already here determines how long the immigration process will take. These different processes and wait times are described further below.
Spouses and Parents of U.S. Citizens
The fastest immigration process involves a U.S. citizen's spouse or parents. If the spouse or parents are in the U.S., they may be eligible for a one-step process to become a permanent resident (green card holder). All of the paperwork is submitted at once, and about nine months later, the family goes for an interview with the immigration office. The spouse or parent is eligible for a work permit while the paperwork is being processed.
If the spouse or parents are outside of the U.S. or if they are not eligible for the one-step process, it is a two-step process. Once the initial paperwork is submitted, the first step lasts about six months. When that step is approved, it takes about another six months to submit the paperwork and get an appointment at the Consulate abroad. They will have a short interview at the U.S. consulate in the country they live in and a few weeks later the spouse or parents are able to enter the United States. Once the spouse or parents enter the United States, they automatically become lawful permanent residents.
If the spouses have been married less than two years, the spouse is given a Conditional Permanent Resident Card that expires in two years. After that point, the couple will need to demonstrate that they are still living together as a married couple. The spouse will then have the conditional status removed and be given a ten year card.
After becoming a permanent resident, parents may become citizens in five years. A spouse may become a citizen in as little as three years depending upon certain circumstances which should be discussed when you meet with the attorney.
Helping You Finalize Your Green Card Status
If you have obtained a green card on the basis of your marriage to a U.S. citizen, your status may be conditional, and you may be required to file for removal of conditions in order to be allowed to remain in the country permanently. If you got married to aU.S. citizen less than two years before entering the U.S. on an immigrant visa or obtaining a green card based on that marriage, you may be required to file for removal of conditions. Generally, immigrants must file for removal of conditions within two years of becoming conditional permanent residents. Those who fail to file could face consequences up to and including deportation.
Most of the time, immigrants who remain married file jointly with their spouses for removal of conditions. However, it may still be possible to get your conditions removed if one of the following is the case:
- Your spouse has died.
- You have recently been divorced or received an annulment.
- Your spouse has battered you or subjected you to extreme hardship.
Usually, it will be necessary to demonstrate that you entered the marriage in good faith and not entered into for the purpose of procuring admission as an immigrant. We can help you determine what documentation will best serve as evidence in support of the removal of your conditions.
In very general terms, the process takes approximately one year. Once the process is commenced in the United States, the fiancee will be required to submit documents to the embassy or consulate in his or her home country. The next step is an interview for the fiancee at the embassy or consulate. If the interview is successful then the fiancee is given a visa. Once the fiancée enters the United States the couple needs to get married and then apply for a Lawful Permanent Resident Card (often referred to as a Green Card).
The fiancée is given a Conditional Permanent Resident Card that expires in two years. After that point, the couple will need to demonstrate that they are sti ll living together as a married couple. The fiancée will then have the conditional status removed and be given a ten year card. The fiancée will be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship three years from the date of the conditional card.
Other Family Members
Family members other than spouses and parents of U.S. citizens may also become lawful permanent residents. U.S. Citizens may also apply for their siblings and adult children - both married and unmarried. Legal Permanent Residents may apply for their spouses, minor children, and adult unmarried children. Once an application for a relative is approved , the relative must wait until a visa number becomes available. It can take many years for the visa to become available. Once the visa number is available, the family member may enter the United States. The Department of State categorizes family members into four groups. The monthly visa bulletin shows current visa number assignments are according to where a family member lives.
Many immigrants are eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) while their applications for permanent status are pending or after their applications for temporary status have been approved. An EAD authorizes an immigrant to obtain employment, thereby increasing his or her ability to support themselves while they are in the United States.
*Note: The fees quoted in the fee schedule are subject to change without notice and additional hourly fees of $100 per hour may apply in certain cases depending on the complexities of the case. The fees above do not include the cost of filing fees that must be paid to the government or the cost of any waivers that may be necessary.