The following questions and answers are for informational purposes only. Please contact us at 206-774-8758 or email info@globallawadvocates.com for a consultation to determine your eligibility for any of the following types of immigration benefits, or if you have any questions.

You should contact an immigration attorney as soon as possible. Bring all the information you have about your family member’s detention, and also their immigration and criminal history. An attorney will be able to tell you if there are options for preventing their deportation.

It is very important to consult with an attorney before you submit any kind of immigration application if you have ever been arrested for a DUI or any type of crime. It may or may not make you ineligible, and you may put yourself at risk for being arrested by ICE if you have committed certain crimes and submit an application to immigration.

First, you must become a legal permanent resident. There are several paths towards lawful residence, such as through a family member’s petition, an approved asylum application, an employer’s petition, and as a crime victim who cooperated with law enforcement, among other paths. Once you obtain residency, you must wait the required length of time by law to apply. For example, you only have to wait three years if you became a resident based on a petition your husband or wife submitted. If not, then you must wait five years. Under current law, you can begin the naturalization or citizenship process by filing a petition with the US Immigration Service, going through an interview, passing a test on your English language abilities, and passing an examination on US history and government. Remember to be careful! Becoming a resident or a citizen can be a complicated process, and it’s best to consult with an attorney before you apply.

There are a number of ways to obtain permission to work legally in the U.S., although many undocumented immigrants have no way to qualify for a work permit. Certain types of status, like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), allow you to obtain a work permit. If you become a legal permanent resident, you have the right to work, and you do not need a separate work permit. Your ability to get a work permit depends on many things, including your immigration and criminal history, status of family members, length of time living in the U.S., and age, among many others. You should consult with an immigration attorney to determine your eligibility.

It’s possible. U.S. citizens who are at least age 21 can apply for their parents to get legal status in the U.S. if their parents entered the US with inspection (such as a valid visa), or their parents are the beneficiaries of an immigration petition filed before April 30, 2001. US Citizens who are active duty military or military veterans may petition for their parents’ residence in certain situations even if the parents entered without inspection. US citizens can also apply for their spouses, children, and siblings. However, there are many more specific requirements for this process. Many people require a waiver for undocumented presence or for other issues that may bar them from being admissible to the United States. Consult with an attorney to determine if you fulfill the requirements to be able to apply for residence.

You may be able to petition for your spouse and children.  To petition for your parents or brother or sister, you must first become a US citizen.

If you were the victim of domestic violence including psychological or physical abuse by your US citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or child, you may be able to become a resident through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). If you have been the victim of any type of crime, reported the crime, and assisted the police or prosecutor, you may be eligible to apply for a U Visa.

If you obtained permanent residency based on marriage to a US citizen and were not married to the US citizen for more than two years when you obtained your status, you are a Conditional Permanent Resident. In order to remain a Permanent Resident, you and your US citizen spouse are required to jointly file a Form I-751 to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status within 90 days before the expiration date.  This will require you both to file a petition showing that you continue to be married, and that you both request that the conditions on your green card should be removed.  The condition must be removed or you will lose your permanent resident status.

As a Permanent Resident, you have some of the rights of a United States Citizen, with a few exceptions.  You have the right to be employed, to live permanently in the United States provided you do not do anything that would make you removable (deportable) under the immigration law, and you are protected by all of the laws of the United States, your state of residence and local jurisdictions.

Yes. You can travel freely outside of the US, but should always check to see if a visa or other travel document is required for the country of destination and any country that you will traveling through. To reenter the United States, you would normally need to show your green card and your passport. Remember, if you plan to be out of the US for more than six months at a time, you should request a re-entry permit before you leave. Otherwise, an absence of more than six months at a time might subject you to a finding that you abandoned your residence.

You are required to obey all of the laws of the United States, the states, and localities. You are required to file your income tax returns and report your income to the US Internal Revenue Service and State IRS. You are expected to support the democratic form of government and cannot attempt to change the government through illegal means. If you are a male, age 18 through 25, you are required to register with the Selective Service. You may not vote in an election that is available only to US citizens.