Moving Family Members to the U.S.
We have found that clients have a lot of questions about moving family members to the United States. At the Law Offices of Jan Joseph Bejar, A Professional Law Corporation, our lawyers make a concerted effort to educate our clients and answer their questions. Our San Diego law firm cares about our clients and the outcomes of the cases we handle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the most common way that people enter the United States?
- There are a number of ways that family members are able to enter the United States of America. Two of the main ways involve the family-based immigration process and employment-based immigration procedures.
Is there a waiting list to move family members to the United States?
- In most cases there is a waiting list for relatives to enter the U.S. The length of the wait varies depending on the country and degree of relationship with the U.S. citizen or resident relative. While it is not possible to speed up the waiting list, having an experienced attorney can ensure that you are placed in the category with the least wait. That is where having an experienced immigration attorney can be helpful.
Is it true that my petitioning relative must be employed in the United States?
- When an immigrant moves to the United States he or she must have a person in the United States who agrees to “anchor” him or her. If the immigrant is coming for a job, the employer is the anchor, and no affidavit of support is necessary. If the immigrant is coming to be with family, then the relative who sponsors the immigrant must agree, by filing an affidavit of support, that he or she will reimburse the government if the immigrant becomes a public charge. The sponsor must be able to show a certain level of income based on his or her tax returns. If the sponsor does not work he can meet the requirement if he has sufficient assets to meet a threshold mark established by the government’s annual poverty guidelines. If the petitioning family member does not have income or assets, then the income or assets of a co-sponsor can be used to meet the requirement. As with all matters related to immigrating relatives, consulting an experienced lawyer is essential.
What are some of the obstacles that immigrants encounter?
- There are several obstacles, but three of the most common obstacles to immigration include one or more illegal entries, unlawful presence in the U.S. or having committed a crime. When an alien has been illegally in the U.S. for a period in excess of six months he or she is subject to a punishment of three years without being able to enter the U.S. If the illegal presence is a year or more, then the punishment increases to 10 years. There are waivers or pardons available in some cases, and our attorneys can assist you in determining if that is possible. There are also serious punishments that come with illegal entry in the U.S. if one has been previously deported or has previously accumulated a year of unlawful presence. We can also assist in determining if this is a problem, and if there is a legitimate way around it. Our lawyers deal with these problems on a daily basis. When an immigrant commits a crime, a prosecutor may try to convince the immigrant to plead guilty to a lesser crime, which is called a plea bargain. While a plea bargain can be a good idea in some cases because it provides some measure of control regarding the type of crime the person is ultimately convicted of, the proposed plea deal may not be wise for an immigrant to accept because such a deal can have an enormous impact on your immigration status. What might seem like a very favorable plea agreement for a U.S. citizen could prove devastating to an alien, who might face deportation and potentially permanent banishment from the U.S. It is essential that you contact our attorneys to help you with either of these situations or others that might arise. One of the services that we provide is to consult with our clients’ criminal defense counsel in formulating their defense to try to lessen the impact of a conviction on the immigrant’s status in the United States.
What do I need to tell my attorney?
- Everything. You need to tell your attorney how and when you entered the country as well as how many times you entered the United States. Additionally, you must tell your attorney about any criminal arrests or convictions you have. If you have had prior encounters with immigration authorities this is important information as well. If your attorney knows the information it can be properly handled. If the attorney finds out the information after the fact it becomes even more problematic for your case.
Contact Us About Moving Family Members to the United States
If you have further questions about moving a family member to the United States and want to make a personal consultation with our attorneys, please contact our California law firm by email or call us at 619-291-1112.