Immigration Law FAQ
Answers from the Law Offices of Juliana G. Lamardo
U.S. immigration law is undoubtedly complex. Without formal training and extensive experience, it can be extremely difficult to navigate an immigration case or visa petition.
At the Law Offices of Juliana G. Lamardo, we want to clear the air and help you better understand your rights, your options, and the possible outcomes in your case. Read our FAQ below as a starting point for your case.
Be sure to call us at (305) 444-0099 if you have further questions.
Do I need an immigration lawyer, or can I handle the case on my own?
The simple answer is no. You do not need an attorney; however, an attorney is highly recommended as the immigration laws are constantly changing. An immigration attorney facilitates the process from start to finish. Working with an immigration attorney allows for a more stress-free process.
What is the benefit of getting a green card?
When you have a green card, you enjoy benefits that non-immigrants do not receive.
As a green card holder, you:
- File a Petition on behalf of family members
- Pay less for college tuition
- Only have to renew your green card every 10 years
- Can travel more easily in and out of the U.S.
- Can receive Social Security benefits if you work in the U.S. for at least 10 years
- Can apply for Citizenship (through naturalization) after five years, in some circumstances three years
When can I apply for naturalization?
Citizenship is also known as Naturalization. Once you have been a green card holder for five years, you may seek naturalization. There are a few circumstances in which you can apply for Citizenship before the five-year requirement, such as people who have held a green card and been married to a U.S. Citizen for three years. You can also apply for derivative Citizenship if either one or both of your parents are U.S. Citizens, in limited circumstances.
Do I have to disclose my criminal record on an immigration application?
Yes. It is vital that any criminal history is reported accurately and fully. Any convictions, arrests, or charges should be reported, whether committed inside or outside of the United States. Also you must disclose any arrests/convictions obtained using a false name/alias.
Will criminal charges affect my immigration status?
Not all arrests or criminal charges can affect your immigration status. However, some criminal convictions can and will affect your immigration status.
My application was denied on grounds of inadmissibility. What can I do?
If USCIS has deemed you inadmissible, you may be able to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility. Essentially, an approved waiver of inadmissibility means the government is willing forgive your ground of inadmissibility. It usually takes outweighing the inadmissibility issue for the government to grant a waiver of inadmissibility.
Can I appeal a removal/deportation order?
Yes. If you are facing removal proceedings, we can help you file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals.
What can I do to protect myself if I am in removal/deportation proceedings?
Possible forms of relief include:
- Cancellation of removal for certain permanent residents (EOIR 42A)
- Cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents (EOIR 42B)
- Adjustment of status / Residency
- Waiver for crimes of inadmissibility – 212(h)
- Waiver for crimes before 1997 - 212(c)
- Waiver for fraud – 212(i)
- Special waiver for fraud under 237(a)(1)(H)
- Petitions to remove conditions on residence (I-751)
- Motions to Terminate
- Voluntary departure
- Prosecutorial discretion
Attorney Juliana G. Lamardo can assess your case and determine which form of relief may be best suited for your situation.
How long will I have to wait to get my visa?
Visa processing times vary across the board. Wait times often depend on the type of visa for which you petitioned. Applications are processed in the order they are received based on their priority date. Depending on the type of visa you are seeking, and depending on the consulate you are using, it could take anywhere from a few months to several years. When working on your case, we can advise you as to how long yours might take.
What is a bond? What happens at a bond hearing?
A bond is a sum of money that must be paid to release a detainee from custody. Immigration Bonds must be paid by a U.S. Citizen, a lawful permanent resident or a bond company. Payment of a bond allows a detainee to return home until his or her hearing. Not all detainees are eligible for a bond – some are only eligible for parole.
You may request a bond hearing if you have been denied a bond or if the bond amount is too high. We recommend retaining qualified legal counsel to represent you at your bond hearing.
My family member is being held at Krome Detention Center. What can I do?
ICE holds hundreds of detainees at Krome Detention Center. If you have a loved one being held at this facility or any other facility, the Law Offices of Juliana G. Lamardo can help. Whether they were detained for failing to attend an immigration hearing, for overstaying their visa , for being accused of a crime, we can find a solution to protect their rights. We can fight for a bond hearing or request a parole and fight any charges or removal/deportation.