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orange county immigration lawyerWhen applying for a visa, Green Card, or citizenship in the United States, criminal convictions can play a significant role in a person's case. It is important to be aware of the potential consequences of a criminal conviction. While the laws surrounding immigration in the U.S. can be complicated, a skilled attorney can provide guidance on how to address issues related to criminal convictions. They can help an immigrant determine whether certain convictions may make them inadmissible or deportable, and they can also assist with applying for waivers of inadmissibility or other forms of relief.

Background Checks by U.S. Immigration Officials

When an individual applies for any type of immigration status in the United States—including a visa, Green Card, or citizenship—it is standard practice for U.S. immigration officials to conduct a background check on the applicant. This background check will include an examination of the applicant’s criminal history, if applicable. Depending on the severity of the offense and other factors, such as whether a crime was committed within a certain time frame, a conviction could lead to the denial of an application based on grounds of inadmissibility for entry into the United States, deportability, or ineligibility for adjustment of status.

When Can a Conviction Make Me Ineligible for a Visa, Green Card, or Citizenship?

The most common scenarios in which a criminal conviction would make an immigrant ineligible for admission into the United States or cause them to lose their legal status include:


Orange County immigration lawyerMany people who are not citizens of the United States want to come to the country to work. Better work conditions, higher salaries, and a more predictable job outlook are all great reasons to come, but people seeking employment in the U.S. for many other reasons as well. If you are living out of the country and are interested in seeking an employment visa, or are already in the United States and need help maintaining permission to work, a Florida immigration attorney can help. 

Temporary Work Visas

For people who are interested in working in the United States for a short time but are not necessarily intending to immigrate here, temporary work visas may offer a helpful option. These include: 

  • E Visas - An E visa may be available to help foreign business investors and traders do business inside the United States.


orange county immigration lawyerIn response to a significant uptick in apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Biden Administration has announced a new set of policies aimed at reducing the number of people entering the United States illegally while opening the possibility of entry to many people who are trying to enter legally. If you or one of your loved ones are considering entering the United States, including as an asylum seeker, it is important to understand these changes and to have the help of a Florida immigration attorney. 

“Do Not Just Show Up at the Border”

People from Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, and Nicaragua who are seeking asylum in the United States will be denied the chance to apply for asylum if they come over the Mexican border illegally rather than at an official port of entry. Those who are apprehended crossing between ports of entry will be sent back to Mexico immediately. 

Warning those who would try to enter, “Do not just show up at the border,” President Biden instead is allowing up to 30,000 applicants every month from the previous four countries to come to the U.S. legally. However, there are specific requirements that must be met, including passing a background check and having a sponsor. 


Abogado de Inmigración del Condado de Orange

La violencia doméstica es un delito grave que deja a sus víctimas con muy pocas opciones de alivio, especialmente si la víctima tiene un estatus migratorio incierto, está en los EE. UU. sin autorización o no habla bien inglés. Los inmigrantes pueden ser particularmente vulnerables al abuso porque los abusadores pueden aprovecharse de su estatus migratorio para evitar que denuncien el abuso. Afortunadamente, el gobierno reconoce la gravedad de este problema y ofrece a las víctimas de violencia doméstica soluciones que les permitan escapar del abuso.

¿Qué puedo hacer si soy un inmigrante que sufre de violencia doméstica?

La primera opción que puede tener disponible es la eliminación de las condiciones de residencia. Si está casado con un ciudadano estadounidense, se le otorgará una tarjeta verde condicional por al menos dos años y tendrá que presentar una petición con su cónyuge para que se eliminen las condiciones de residencia. Sin embargo, si su cónyuge está abusando de usted en el hogar, usted mismo puede solicitar que se eliminen las condiciones de residencia. Tenga en cuenta que existen varios tipos de abuso que pueden calificarlo para la eliminación de las condiciones de residencia. Si su cónyuge amenaza con quitarle su residencia, no lo ayudará a solicitar la eliminación de las condiciones, abusa emocionalmente de usted o abusa físicamente de usted, todos estos pueden calificar para permitirle presentar una solicitud por su cuenta.


orange county immigration lawyerRecent reporting has highlighted the fact that immigrant naturalizations are currently higher in the U.S. than they have been in a decade. In 2022 alone, over 900,000 naturalizations have occurred. While the Covid-19 pandemic temporarily slowed down the speed of naturalization and immigration in general, immigrants from nearly every country except China have seen a rebound in the rates of naturalization. Because of the many benefits that immigrants bring to American society, this is great news for both the naturalized immigrants and for Americans in general. 

In addition to increasing naturalizations, immigrants are getting more green cards, student visas, and tourist visas than ever. While it is true that the immigration process in America can be complex and difficult to navigate, you do not have to do it alone. Millions before you have done it, and you can do it, too. 

Student Immigrants Contribute Greatly to the American Economy

Immigrants who start off as students in American universities and who eventually naturalize and become American citizens are often among the most productive members of American society. A huge number of engineers, economists, statisticians, mathematicians, and scientists come from immigrant student populations, and international students often account for the majority of graduate students in these fields. 


orlando immigration lawyerAlthough getting United States citizenship through marriage is supposed to be one of the easiest ways to get citizenship, it is still a very long and difficult process. Because couples applying for an I-130 petition (adjustment of status) or an I-751 petition (removal of Green Card conditions) are under such strict scrutiny by immigration authorities, small mistakes in an application can result in either petition being denied. If your petition has already been denied, it is important to seek help from a Florida immigration attorney right away so the immigrant spouse does not face deportation proceedings. 

Why Are I-130 Adjustments of Status Petitions Denied? 

When a couple gets married in the United States and one partner is in the country legally but is not a U.S. citizen, the couple must complete an adjustment of status petition so the immigration spouse can get a Green Card. 

I-130 petitions could be denied for many reasons, but they are often denied because parts of the application are missing or because the couple does not provide enough evidence proving their relationship is legitimate. If your I-130 spouse petition is denied, you will need to submit a new petition and include better evidence. This can include:


orlando immigration lawyerDomestic violence is a serious crime that leaves its victims with very few options for relief, especially if the victim has an uncertain immigration status, is in the U.S. without authorization, or does not speak English well. Immigrants may be particularly vulnerable to abuse because abusers may prey on their immigration status to keep them from reporting the abuse. Fortunately, the government recognizes the seriousness of this problem and offers victims of domestic violence solutions that may allow them to escape the abuse. 

What Can I Do if I Am an Immigrant Suffering From Domestic Violence? 

The first option you may have available to you is the removal of conditions of residency. If you are married to an American citizen, you will be granted a conditional Green Card for at least two years, and you will have to petition with your spouse to get the residency conditions removed. If your spouse is domestically abusing you, however, you can apply to have the residency conditions removed by yourself. Note that there are several kinds of abuse that may qualify you for removal of conditions of residency. If your spouse threatens to take away your residency, will not help you petition for removal of conditions, emotionally abuses you, or physically abuses you, these may all qualify to allow you to self-petition on your own. 

If you are a woman, you may also be eligible under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This allows immigrants who are related to an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident but who do not have a Green Card to file for one without the help of the abusive individual. You will have to meet the following conditions: 


florida immigration lawyerU.S. citizens often travel to foreign countries and establish relationships with residents of these countries, although the internet has also allowed many people to meet others and build relationships without leaving their homes. When a couple in a romantic relationship wishes to get married, international borders can seem like a barrier that will prevent them from doing so. However, the immigration laws in the United States provide U.S. citizens with the ability to bring a romantic partner to live with them, get married, and take steps to establish permanent residence.

The K-1 fiancé visa is a United States immigration visa available to the fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen. Couples in these situations who are planning to get married will need to understand the requirements they must meet to receive a K-1 visa, as well as the steps they will need to follow after getting married.

K-1 Visa Eligibility

To receive a K-1 visa, a U.S. citizen and their intended spouse must meet all of the following requirements:


raleigh immigration lawyerIf an immigrant to the United States receives a visa to come to the U.S. to get married or stay in the U.S. because of marriage, he or she may ask the government for permission to bring his or her children into the county. This is an essential service that helps bring and keep families together, often after many years of painful separation. Unfortunately, the family visa process can be long and complicated, often requiring the help of an experienced North Carolina immigration lawyer. At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we are here to offer that help, so you can streamline the application process and give your family the best chance of joining you here in the United States. 

Options for Family Immigration Visas

Families around the world are in many different situations and the visa that would suit one family is not necessarily right for the next. Before a noncitizen spouse can apply to bring their children into the U.S., he or she must first be approved for a visa of his or her own. The possible visa options for spouses and children of noncitizen spouses, and the circumstances in which they may be available, include: 

  • K-1 Fiancé Visa - K-1 Visas are available to engaged partners of U.S. citizens who plan on getting married. A K-1 visa allows the noncitizen partner to come to the U.S. while wedding plans are ongoing, although the wedding must take place within 90 days of the noncitizen’s arrival. After the wedding, the K-1 visa holder must apply for an adjustment of status to permanent resident. 
  • K-2 Visa - If the noncitizen fiancé in the above scenario has unmarried children under age 21, a K-2 visa allows the children to come into the U.S. and apply for permanent residency after the couple’s wedding takes place. If a K-1 visa holder does not abide by all the terms of their visa, they may be deported and their children will have to be deported as well. 
  • K-3 Visa - If an American citizen has already married a noncitizen, the couple can apply for a K-3 visa to allow the noncitizen spouse to stay in the U.S. while their petition for permanent residence is ongoing. Applying for citizenship through marriage, while not easy, is one of the easier pathways to citizenship, and immigration services are wary of fraudulent applications; therefore, the conditions of residence are temporary and a couple will need to apply to get those conditions removed after two years. 
  • K-4 Visa - If a recipient of a K-3 visa has unmarried children under age 21, they can apply for a K-4 visa to bring their children into the United States. The K-4 visa is conditional on the K-3 visa recipient’s marriage being legitimate. 

Meet with a Raleigh, North Carolina Immigration Lawyer

The type of family visa you apply for will depend on your circumstances and your family’s situation. At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we pay careful attention to every case and treat our clients with the seriousness and sensitivity that cases involving loved family members require. Call our office today at 919-533-7000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Wake County immigrant attorneys. Se habla Español


Abogado de inmigración de Orlando

Los inmigrantes que planean venir a los Estados Unidos o que ya están en el país pueden enfrentar varios problemas que pueden afectar su estatus legal. Al solicitar una visa o tarjeta verde, se puede determinar que una persona no es admisible debido a factores como la presencia ilegal en los Estados Unidos, condenas penales o problemas de salud. Sin embargo, las exenciones de inadmisibilidad pueden estar disponibles en ciertas situaciones, y un factor considerado al decidir si otorgar estas exenciones involucra “dificultades extremas” para uno o más miembros de la familia de una persona. Es importante comprender lo que se considera una dificultad extrema, y los inmigrantes pueden trabajar con un abogado para proporcionar la información requerida que demuestre que cumplen con este estándar.

Factores Considerados Al Evaluar Las Dificultades

Los funcionarios de inmigración generalmente buscarán proteger los intereses de las personas que están autorizadas a vivir en los Estados Unidos, incluidos los ciudadanos estadounidenses o los residentes permanentes legales. Si una persona puede demostrar que su deportación o la negativa a admitirla en los Estados Unidos causaría dificultades a un pariente calificado (su cónyuge, hijo o padre) que sea ciudadano o titular de la tarjeta verde, puede calificar para una exención de inadmisibilidad.


Orlando immigration lawyerImmigrants planning to come to the United States or who are already in the country may face various issues that may affect their legal status. When applying for a visa or Green Card, a person may be determined to be inadmissible due to factors such as unlawful presence in the United States, criminal convictions, or health concerns. However, waivers of inadmissibility may be available in certain situations, and one factor considered when deciding whether to grant these waivers involves “extreme hardship” for one or more of a person’s family members. It is important to understand what is considered to be extreme hardship, and immigrants can work with an attorney to provide the required information showing that they meet this standard.

Factors Considered When Evaluating Hardship

Immigration officials will generally be looking to protect the interests of people who are authorized to live in the United States, including U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. If a person can show that their deportation or the refusal to admit them to the United States would cause hardship for a qualifying relative (their spouse, child, or parent) who is a citizen or Green Card holder, they may qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility.

There are multiple factors that immigration officials will consider when addressing hardship. These factors may be considered both individually and cumulatively to determine whether they rise to the level of extreme hardship. Applicable factors include:


Abogado de inmigración de orlando

Existen múltiples problemas que pueden afectar un caso de inmigración, incluidos los que involucran solicitudes de visa o tarjeta verde. Una cuestión clave que puede surgir en estas situaciones tiene que ver con la admisibilidad de una persona en los Estados Unidos. Existen múltiples razones por las que una persona puede ser considerada inadmisible, y estos problemas pueden llevar a los funcionarios de inmigración a denegar una solicitud de visa o negarse a otorgarle a una persona el estatus de residente permanente legal. Sin embargo, aquellos que son inadmisibles pueden solicitar perdones de inadmisibilidad. Al comprender los requisitos que una persona deberá cumplir para recibir una exención, los inmigrantes y sus familiares pueden tomar las medidas correctas para completar el proceso de inmigración con éxito.

Exenciones basadas en motivos de inadmisibilidad

La elegibilidad para las exenciones dependerá de las razones específicas por las que una persona se considere inadmisible. Al solicitar una exención, una persona deberá demostrar que cumple con ciertos requisitos. Los requisitos para las dispensas por diferentes causales de inadmisibilidad incluyen:


orlando immigration lawyerThere are multiple issues that can affect immigration cases, including those involving visa or Green Card petitions. One key issue that can arise in these situations involves a person’s admissibility to the United States. There are multiple reasons that a person may be considered to be inadmissible, and these issues may lead immigration officials to deny a visa application or refuse to grant a person lawful permanent resident status. However, those who are inadmissible may be able to apply for waivers of inadmissibility. By understanding the qualifications a person will need to meet to receive a waiver, immigrants and their family members can take the correct steps to complete the immigration process successfully.

Waivers Based on Grounds of Inadmissibility

Eligibility for waivers will depend on the specific reasons a person is considered to be inadmissible. When applying for a waiver, a person will need to show that they meet certain requirements. The requirements for waivers for different grounds of inadmissibility include:

  • Infectious diseases - A person may be inadmissible due to a diagnosis of a communicable disease such as tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis, or gonorrhea. In these cases, a person who is the spouse or unmarried child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident or the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen may receive a waiver.
  • Vaccinations - A person may qualify for a waiver of the vaccination requirements that apply to immigrants if they can demonstrate that they are opposed to receiving vaccinations based on sincere religious or moral beliefs.
  • Mental health disorders - A person who has been diagnosed with a condition that has previously posed a risk to the safety of themselves or others or may pose a risk in the future may be found to be inadmissible. However, they may qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility based on documentation of their diagnosis, findings about the likelihood of harmful behavior in the future, and recommendations regarding the treatment available in the U.S. that will reduce the chances of behavior that may cause harm to themselves or others in the future.
  • Criminal grounds - Immigrants who have been deemed inadmissible because they have committed crimes involving moral turpitude, possession of 30 grams of marijuana or less, prostitution, or certain other offenses may be eligible for a waiver. These waivers may be available in situations where a person was convicted of prostitution and can show that they have been rehabilitated, where at least 15 years have elapsed since the crimes were committed and a person is not a threat to public safety or national security, or where denial of admission would cause extreme hardship to a family member who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Immigration fraud - A person who is inadmissible because they had provided false information on immigration forms or applications may receive a waiver based on extreme hardship to a family member who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • Unlawful presence - A person who is barred from entry to the U.S. for three or 10 years due to being unlawfully present in the United States may receive a waiver based on extreme hardship affecting an immediate family member who has a Green Card or U.S. citizenship.

Contact Our Orlando Waivers of Inadmissibility Lawyer

While waivers may be available in the situations described above, there are certain other grounds of inadmissibility that may also need to be addressed. Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC provides legal help and representation for immigrants and their family members, and we work to ensure that they can address any issues that will affect the immigration process. Contact our Orange County immigration waiver attorney at 407-955-5000 to discuss your concerns in a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you resolve any immigration-related issues you may face.


orange county immigration lawyerImmigrants living in the United States may have an uncertain legal status. Even those who have lived in the U.S. for many years may be concerned about the possibility of deportation, which could cause them to be separated from their family members, uprooted from their communities, and forced to return to a potentially dangerous situation. Those who have been detained by immigration officials or who may potentially face deportation will need to understand their options and the steps they can take to show that they should be able to continue to live in the United States. Some immigrants may qualify for a form of relief known as cancellation of removal, and they may be able to avoid deportation and become a permanent resident of the U.S. if they do not already have a Green Card.

Eligibility Requirements for Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of removal is a form of relief that is meant to help prevent hardship for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. If immigration officials begin deportation proceedings, an immigrant may submit a cancellation of removal application, and if relief is granted, they will be allowed to remain in the United States. Those who may be eligible for cancellation of removal include:

  • Lawful permanent residents - A Green Card holder may be able to avoid deportation if they can show that they were lawfully admitted to the United States and have maintained permanent resident status for five years or more, that they have continuously resided in the country for seven years, and that they do not have any aggravated felony convictions.


wake county immigration lawyerAs a nation of immigrants, the United States welcomed 855,000 new citizens in 2021. Whether it be for education, employment opportunities, or family reunification, foreign nationals continue to relocate to the U.S. on both a temporary and permanent basis. Petitioning for a visa can be complex and time-consuming. The process can be even more confusing as there are so many different kinds of visas, each with its own distinct regulatory paperwork. 

An immigration lawyer can help guide you through the visa application process. If you need a student visa or a visa that will begin your path toward citizenship, an immigration lawyer can determine the suitable visa for your needs.

Difference between Non-immigrant and Immigrant Visas

Non-immigrant visas – These include but are not limited to student, tourist, and employment visas, which foreign citizens obtain to enter and temporarily reside in or travel throughout the U.S.  


FL immigration lawyerFor over 20 years, Congress has attempted to pass different forms of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would provide benefits for immigrants who came to the United States as children. Many of these children were brought to the U.S. at an early age, grew up in the country, consider themselves to be Americans, and wish to continue playing an important role in society. Unfortunately, because of their uncertain immigration status, many of these “Dreamers” struggle to do so. While the DREAM Act has yet to be passed, some programs have provided Dreamers with options, and lawmakers continue to push reforms to immigration laws that will address these issues.

Relief for Undocumented Immigrants Through the DACA Program

Many children who do not have the legal documentation allowing them to live and work in the United States have struggled to address immigration issues. Some immigrants have received relief through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was created when President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2012. This program provided relief for people who came to the U.S. as children and met other requirements, ensuring that they would not face deportation and providing them with authorization to work.

DACA was meant to be a temporary solution to benefit certain immigrants until more permanent laws could be put in place. Unfortunately, this has not happened, and the DACA program recently reached its 10-year anniversary. The program has faced legal challenges, and in 2021, a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional. While immigration officials currently cannot accept new DACA applications, those who had previously received DACA protections may apply for extensions to ensure that they will be able to continue living in the U.S.


FL immigration lawyerDue to ongoing political turmoil in Haiti, many of the country’s citizens have attempted to come to the United States, where they will have a better opportunity of living in a safe environment and earning an income to support themselves and their families. Unfortunately, U.S. officials have responded to this wave of migration harshly and forced many people to return to Haiti. This has left a large number of migrants with few options, but those who are facing expulsion or deportation can take steps to protect their rights by working with an immigration attorney.

Reasons for Additional Expulsions of Immigrants From Haiti

In 2020, the administration of President Donald Trump put a rule in place that allowed for the expulsion of immigrants entering the United States. This rule, known as Title 42, made it easier for immigration officials to force people to leave the country, since it did not require them to follow many of the standard procedures, and in many cases, immigrants have been prevented from applying for asylum or being recognized as refugees.

Title 42 was supposedly put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Trump administration stated that it was meant to help prevent infections from being spread by immigrants. While health officials have stated that this rule is no longer necessary, and the administration of President Joe Biden has announced that it intends to lift the rule, a recent ruling by a federal judge in Louisiana has kept the rule in place.


FL immigration lawyerPeople living in the United States may be able to sponsor their family members for immigration. While multiple types of family-based visas are available, the fastest and easiest way to sponsor a family member is usually through an immediate relative visa. In these situations, U.S. citizens can provide sponsorship for immediate family members, including their spouses, children, or parents. When applying for an immediate relative visa, family members will need to understand the information that must be provided.

Information Required With a Visa Petition

A person can apply for an immediate relative visa by filing Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). They will also need to provide the following supporting documents:

  • Evidence of their U.S. citizenship - This may include a copy of their birth certificate showing that they were born in the United States, a valid U.S. passport that is not expired, or a copy of their naturalization certificate.
  • Evidence of family relationships - When sponsoring a spouse, a person will need to provide proof of their marriage, including a marriage certificate and, if they had been married before, evidence of the termination of that marriage. They will also need to provide evidence that the marriage is bona fide, such as a lease agreement showing that the couple resides together, documentation of jointly-owned property, birth certificates of children they have together, bank records showing that they have joint accounts, or sworn affidavits from third parties stating that their marriage is valid. When sponsoring a child, a parent can submit a copy of the child’s birth certificate, and when sponsoring a parent, a person can submit a copy of their own birth certificate.
  • Two passport photos.

Information Required When Applying for Adjustment of Status

If an immigrant is eligible for an immediate relative visa, they will also usually qualify for a Green Card. They can apply to become a lawful permanent resident by filing Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). The following information will also need to be provided:


north carolina immigration lawyersAs a nation of immigrants, the United States has long offered sanctuary, harboring foreign persons from across the globe that are persecuted or fear persecution from their native country. More than 3.1 million refugees have been admitted to the United States since the Refugee Act of 1980. Petitioning for asylum, permanent residency, and citizenship can be complex, timely, and worrisome; however, it is attainable. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States welcomed 625,400 new citizens in 2020. Adept immigration lawyers can guide undocumented residents to citizenship without fear of deportation or retribution.

Differences between Refugees and Asylum Seekers, and What is a DED?

The only difference between refugees and asylum seekers is the legal definition of residency. Refugees are unable to return to the native countries that they have escaped due to famine, war, or political, personal, or religious persecution. They have yet to enter the United States. To attain legal entry, refugees must apply for refugee status. Asylum seekers, known as asylees, have also fled their countries of nationality and meet the definition of refugee but are residing in the United States.

In recent years, Venezuelans have suffered alarming human rights violations due to a tumultuous political regime. The Bolivarian Revolution, led by Hugo Chávez and now by Nicolás Maduro, has created a refugee crisis. Effective January 20, 2021, President Trump issued a Deferred Enforce Departure (DED) program that protects Venezuelans residing in the United States from deportation. These undocumented residents are eligible for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). An EAD qualifies them to receive public benefits and legal employment. Although the DED is temporary, an immigration lawyer can help extend or establish permanent residency. 


FL immigration lawyerIf you married a U.S. citizen and currently hold a conditional two-year Green Card, you and your spouse must file a joint petition for removal of conditions during the 90 days before your current status expires. If your petition is approved, you will be granted a 10-year Green Card. But what happens if you get divorced before the conditions are removed? You may still be able to get an unconditional 10-year Green Card if you meet certain qualifications.

Who Gets a Conditional Two-Year Green Card?

The main paths that lead to a two-year green card include:

You marry a U.S. citizen abroad and, while still living abroad, apply for an IR-1 immediate relative/spouse immigration. If your marriage is less than two years old when your visa is granted, you will receive a CR-1 conditional two-year visa. If your two-year wedding anniversary has passed by the time your visa is granted, you will receive an IR-1 visa good for 10 years.

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