Immigration & Citizenship Legal Advice

Immigration & Citizenship

When your right to live and work in this country is at stake, you should not take any chances by representing yourself with immigration officials. Let Ebrahimi Law and our team of skilled professionals guide you through the very complex immigration process and fight to defend you, your family and your interests. The firm represents individual foreign nationals, companies, and U.S. citizens. We strive to educate our clients on U.S. immigration law and procedure—and partner with government agencies to provide cutting-edge expertise on the law and its practical application.

Whether you need deportation defense during removal proceedings, if you require a cancellation of removal, if you are seeking political asylum or if you are in need of a business visa, investment visa family visa, or a student visa, we understand how much is at stake for your future, and will work diligently to achieve a favorable outcome. We have extensive familiarity with federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and know how to get results in the immigration legal system.

We offer comprehensive legal services for employers, as well as for individuals. An attorney from our firm can advise you on matters such as business immigration, labor certification and helping you obtain work visas for your employees, in addition to employment eligibility verification and any other issues which may pose a barrier to the operations of your company. We can help you apply for a family visa, fiancé visa or immigration visa, as well as guide you through the process of obtaining a green card for lawful permanent resident status.

If you have decided to pursue full citizenship, we will lead you through the necessary steps for naturalization. Our firm is focused on assisting immigrants with their unique legal concerns. We urge you to call us or visit our office today for a consultation, to learn more about your options and allow us to begin work on your case.

1. Employment-Based Immigration

We provide a wide variety of solutions for the movement of key international business personnel. These solutions include both nonimmigrant visas for temporary visitors and permanent residence for long-term assignments.  These visas are designed for persons seeking temporary residence in the U.S. for educational, professional, or vacation/travel purposes. Such persons include exchange students and teachers, college/university attendees, business visitors, media, journalists, religious workers, and physicians among many more. There are almost as many forms as there are types of non-immigrant visas, too, so take the necessary precautions when pursuing a nonimmigrant business visa. Have an immigration lawyer help you with the necessary steps and paperwork.

Immigrant Business Visas

There are five main types of immigrant business visas:

  • Employment First Preference (E1): Priority Workers
    • Persons with extraordinary ability
    • Outstanding professors and researchers
    • Multinational managers or executives
  • Employment Second Preference (E2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
  • Employment Third Preference (E3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers
  • Employment Fourth Preference (E4): Certain Special Immigrants
  • Employment Fifth Preference (E5): Immigrant Investors

To qualify for any of the above, you must have an employer who has obtained a labor certification approval for you from the Department of Labor, or in the case of an E1, you must file for your own approval. The paperwork for each is detailed and often confusing and you must also be sure that you do not accidentally apply for the incorrect visa. To be sure that no mistakes are made and that you obtain the visa you need in order to remain in the U.S., consult with an attorney at Ebrahimi Law today.

2. Family-Based Immigration

We provide assistance with temporary visas and permanent residence filings based on immediate family member relationships.  Each year, thousands of families go through the various legal processes of immigration in the United States. There are different ways in which families come to reside in the U.S.  Potential options for family based immigration include:

  • Employment Visas: If your spouse obtains an employment visa, you and your children may be able immigrate under a H4 dependent visa. This visa will allow your family to remain in the United States for the duration of your spouse’s visa.
  • Family Visas: A current United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident may be able to sponsor specific family members who meet eligibility requirements for immigration to the U.S.
  • Fiancé(e) Visas: A current United States citizen may be able to sponsor their fiancé(e) for immigration to the U.S. if they plan to marry within 90 days of their fiancé(e)’s entry into the country.
  • Asylum: Families who immigrate for protection from persecution in their home countries may be able receive legal immigrant status if their petitions for asylum are approved.

After your family members have gained legal immigration status, they may decide to apply for citizenship once they are eligible. United States citizenship can be gained through successful completion of the naturalization process.

3. Naturalization / Citizenship

When you have decided to apply to become a citizen of the United States of America, it is in your best interests to seek the help of an attorney at Ebrahimi Law to guide you through the process of naturalization.  Before you can apply to become a citizen, you must prove that you have lived in this country with a green card for at least five years. This is reduced to three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen. It is also possible to qualify by providing certain types of service in the United States military, as well as through supplying proof that your parent is a citizen. You must pass a test of your ability to read, write and speak English, as well as an examination of your knowledge of U.S. history and government. One of the most important aspects of your application is demonstrating that you are a person of good moral character, which may be influenced by any convictions you have on your criminal record.

4. Deportation / Removal / Immigration Litigation

This representation includes removal proceedings; detention, bond, and parole hearings; and federal court litigation.  Facing deportation can be an incredibly scary and difficult process.  If you have been served with a notice to appear before an Immigration Judge, Ebrahimi Law’s experienced immigration professionals can help you fight for the right to remain in the U.S.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Cancellation of Removal
  • Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and federal circuit courts
  • Motions to reopen a case
  • Applications for asylum and withholding of removal
  • Petitions for habeas corpus on behalf of detained aliens

If you are facing deportation it is very important that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible, even if you have been told by an immigration officer that you do not need an attorney.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that if you have been given a notice to appear before an Immigration Judge and you do not show up to court on your scheduled date, you most likely will be ordered deported by the Immigration Judge.  Therefore, it is very important that you consult a lawyer as soon as you are given a notice to appear in court.  If you must go to court by yourself, tell the judge that you would like extra time in order to find a lawyer to assist you.

5. Investor Visas E1 / E2

The E1 Treaty Trader:

Nationals of qualifying Treaty countries who undertake a significant amount of international trade with the United States my qualify for this type of visa. The volume of such trade must be sufficient to justify the trader or his/her employee(s) being in the United States to manage the trade, and must constitute the majority of the trader’s international trade (i.e. at least 50% of the Trader’s exports/imports must be to/from the USA). There is no set minimum level of trade which is considered sufficient, but obviously the lower the volume of trade the less likely one is to qualify as a Treaty Trader.

Nationals of qualifying countries may apply for an E1 visa in order to ‘Develop and Direct’ import/export trade (of goods or services) between their own country and the US. They may also apply for E1 visas for key managerial and specialist employees. Unlike the L1 visa, there is no requirement for such employees to have worked for the Trader for at least one year in the last three.

E1 visa registration applications center on the volume of trade between the USA and the Treaty country. The prospective Treaty Trader must demonstrate that:

  • There will be a substantial number of trade transactions between the U.S. and the treaty country.
  • There will be a substantial dollar value to the trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.
  • The majority of international (i.e. not including transactions within the Treaty country or within the US) trade transactions undertaken by the applicant (have been and) will be between the U.S. and the treaty country.
  • The majority of the dollar value of trade (has been and) will be between the U.S. and the treaty country.
  • The trader (or his/her employees seeking E1 visas) has sufficient business acumen and experience to develop and direct the trade.
  • The trader, and any other E1 staff, are able and willing to leave the U.S. upon termination of their E1 status.
  • The trader has a past history of conducting trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.

The E2 Treaty Investor

Nationals of qualifying Treaty countries who have made a significant investment in the United States may qualify for E2 Treaty Investor status. Like the E1 visa, there is no set minimum level of investment which may qualify for E2 status, but the lower the investment the less likely one is to qualify. Again, the level of investment must be sufficient to justify the treaty national (or his/her employees) presence in the United States. The investment must be in an operating business – i.e. simply buying property or stocks and bonds does not qualify. Also, a substantial part of the investment must have been made before applying for E2 status.

Investors from qualifying countries may apply for an E2 visa in order to ‘Direct and Develop’ their investment. They may also apply for E2 visas for key managerial and specialist employees.

E2 visa registration applications should demonstrate that:

  • There has been and will be a substantial capital investment in the US. There is no specific cash threshold defined, but $40,000 is probably an absolute minimum, and any investment below $100,000 would need a very strong case to support it.
  • Risk Capital has been Committed; the investment must entail some risk to the investor (it may not be all in the form of unguaranteed credit). At a minimum, there must be a long-term lease of an office in the US
  • The investor will control his/her investment. In this respect control is considered to entail owning over 50% of the U.S. enterprise.
  • The cash invested is not marginal when compared to the total investment. In general, unless it is common to the industry to have higher amounts of ‘leveraging’ (such as in the property industry), 51% of the investment should be in the form of cash equity. Where debt is secured against other assets of the investor, it is considered to be ‘at risk’, and may be considered as part of the equity invested.
  • The enterprise is (or will be) active. In order to be ‘Directing and Developing’ their investment, the investor will require an enterprise that involves active management.
  • US workers are (or will be) employed. The treaties envisage more than just creating a job for the principal investor, but there is no requirement to employ a particular number of U.S. citizens. Obviously, employment of large numbers of U.S. citizens would be viewed very favorably.
  • The enterprise, or its principal investor, has a past history of successful trading.
  • That the ‘investor’ has sufficient acumen to direct and develop the investment enterprise.
  • That the principal investor, and any other E2 staff, are able and willing to leave the U.S. upon termination of their E2 status.

6. Asylum / Humanitarian Relief

U.S. immigration laws provide relief for certain victims of persecution, torture, and unrest abroad; victims of certain criminal activities in the United States; and specially designated groups of protected-class immigrants. The U.S. accepts a specific number of legally qualified refugees to immigrate under asylum each year. In the years 2011, the refugee admissions ceiling was 80,000, as it has been for many successive fiscal years. This number is determined each year by the President and Congress and could change for any given year.

7. Waivers

U.S. immigration law contains a complex maze of restrictions placed on individuals barred from entry or subject to removal.  Fortunately, this is not a dead end for you, and you can be granted a waiver and still gain admission into the United States.  At Ebrahimi Law, we can help you with obtaining a waiver if you are eligible.

If you answer yes to any one of the questions below, you may be eligible for a waiver.  At Ebrahimi Law, we can help you file for a waiver to overcome a legal bar to your ability to stay and work in this country.

  • Are you a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) facing Removal?
  • Are you a Nonpermanent Resident facing Removal?
  • Have you made a misrepresentation or used fraud in any staged of the immigration process?
  • Have you been previously deported?
  • Have you ever been unlawfully present in the U.S.?
  • Have you been convicted of certain crimes?