If you received a Notice to Appear before an Immigration judge, or you are visited from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or you are arrested because you become subject to a criminal investigation, or you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or crime. In any of these situations, you have the following options to fight for staying in the United States:
- ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS (GREEN CARD) UNDER IMMIGRATION LAW OF SECTION 245 OR 245(I).
By filing application, you may change from nonimmigrant to immigrant status in order to get legal status in the United States. Usually (among other requirements) you have to have entered the U.S. legally to qualify for adjustment, in which case, you usually have a I-94 card and you meet other requirements such as good moral character, health condition and financial support. But there are some exceptions to lawful entry requirement such as 245(i) and cancelation of removal. Attorney has successfully helped many clients to obtain their green cards from the USCIS or before the Immigration Court based on the marriage, employment immigration, 245(i) and other forms.
If you fled from your native country because you were persecuted or you have a well-founded fear of future persecution, you may apply for asylum. You usually have to apply for asylum within one year after your arrival unless exceptions apply. If you entered into the U.S. legally, you may submit your application to the USCIS. If you are placed in removal proceeding, you may request for asylum before the Immigration judge. You may also apply for a work permit, bring your spouse and minor children into the United State and eventually receive a green card. The process is complicated and time consumed, an experienced attorney will make the case much easier. We successfully applied asylum applications for many clients before the Asylum Office and the Immigration Courts throughout the country. Some clients won their cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals and others won before the Court of Appeals.
- WITHHOLDING OF REMOVAL AND PROTECTION UNDER THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE (CAT)
It is similar to asylum in many ways and it can be applied with the application for asylum. However, it has a higher standard and is more difficult to obtain, because you have to show that it is “more likely than not” that you would be persecuted in your home country upon return. However, as a beneficiary, you are usually ineligible to apply for permanent residence or travel outside of the United States or bring your family into the United states. However, a person who gets withholding can stay in the U.S. and can get work authorization. There are also exceptions and other ways to adjust status. For example, our client entered intot he U.S as a B1 visa. 4 years later, the client hired us to apply for asylum and withholding. The client finally was granted for withholding. Later the client married to a U.S. citizen and hired us to apply for green card. Finally the case was reopened and the Immigration Judge granted the green card to the client.
You may also apply for Protection under CAT if you can prove that it is “more likely than not” that the government of your home country or some person or group your home government cannot control will torture you if you were returned to your home country. But it would be enough that it is likely that you would be tortured, rather than why you would be tortured. Similar to withholding, if your application is granted, you cannot ever get green card or travel internationally. But you usually can remain and work in the United States.
- CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL FOR A NONE LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT
You may apply for a green card by cancelation of removal if you arer plcased in removal proceeding by the Government or voluntarily. You have to prove 1) 10 years’ physical presence in the U.S., 2) your being removed would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to your “qualifying relative” such as your spouse, parent, or child who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. However, the standard is very high and has many other restrictions. Attorney June Zhou has won cancellation of removal cases before the Immigration Court.
- CANCELLATION UNDER THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (VAWA).
You can apply for VAWA cancellation before the USCIS or the Immigration Court if you are placed in removal proceedings if you can show that you have been “battered or subjected to extreme cruelty” by a “qualifying relative” and meet other requirements, including three years of physical presence in the U.S. and good moral character. Attorney June Zhou has successfully handled these types of cases before the USCIS and before the Immigration Court.
- NACARA SPECIAL RULE CANCELLATION
This relief has very specific requirements, including being from one of a list of particular countries. Some also have to show that they applied for asylum before a certain date or that they are eligible to apply to reopen past removal proceedings under the “LIFE Act.”
- VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE
If everything else fails, you may apply for Voluntary Departure, which allows you to leave the United States within a given time period on your own instead of under a removal order. You can request a voluntary departure either from Deportation Officer or before the Immigration Judge (IJ), either at the beginning or end of removal proceedings. However, it is a discretionary relief and requires some qualifications such as noncriminal records. One of its benefits is that it does not lead to a period of inadmissibility because of an order of deportation unless you have stayed in the U.S. for one year or more unlawfully, in which case you’re subject to a separate ground of inadmissibility, which bars your return to the U.S. for 10 years. For a Chinese national or an Asian, this is usually an unpractical solution and occurred very rarely, partially because the distances between your native country and the U.S. and the financial debts you have endured to entered the U.S. We usually not recommend this type of relief unless you really intend to leave the U.S. in giving time period. Otherwise you would be bared for 10 years to apply for immigration benefits unless you meet exceptions.
- DEFERRED ACTION
You may make an agreement with the the u.s. government to put your case on hold (neither give you legal status nor deport you). It is applied on a case-by-case, except that procedures have been formalized for certain young illegal immigrants, as described below:
“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” (DACA). DACA allows immigrants who entered to the United States as children and who meet certain other requirements to apply for two years’ protection from deportation (removal) and a work permit. President Obama announced changes to the DACA program that go into effect in early 2015, eliminating the age limit and extending the protected period to three years. Under 2015 DACA program, you may apply for DAVA if you:
- were under age 16 when you came to the U.S.;
- have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2010 up to the time you apply excluding any brief, casual, and innocent departures;
- were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time you apply for DACA;
- either entered the U.S. without inspection (EWI) before June 15, 2012, or if you entered with inspection, your lawful immigration status such as B1/2, F1, TPS had expired as on June 15, 2012;
- are either in school now (unless absent for emergency reasons), have graduated or earned a certificate of completion from an accredited high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States, and
- have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; and no threat to U.S. national security or public safety (such as by being a member of a gang).
- PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION
The government agency may exercise a discretion to stop trying to deport you if you have no criminal record. If you receive prosecutorial discretion, you may apply for work permit. But you may probably NOT be eligible for other benefits such as the right to travel. However, there are no strict rules about who can receive this form of relief. Attorney June Zhou has successfully obtained this benefit for some clients who had a bad case or who was too envious to testify before the Court.
- PRIVATE BILLS
This law was passed by the U.S. Congress to help an immigrant receive relief from deportation. Private bills is an option only if no other forms of relief are available and occurs very rarely and only under a hoghly sympathetic facts.
- ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS THROUGH “REGISTRY” UNDER I.N.A. SECTION 249
This is a way of getting a green card if you entered the U.S. before January 1, 1972 and meet residency and other requirements such as “admissibility,” and “good moral character.”
Attorney Zhou appeared more than 10 Immigration Courts throughout the United States, had successfully reversed cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and argued before 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeals. If you are in removal proceedings, do not panic, call us at (954) 482-0274 or (561) 573-7577.