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Houston Immigration Attorney
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Foreign citizens who are seeking citizenship in the United States are subject to complicated laws that are constantly changing. The application process is arduous and subject to the interpretation and judgment of those who review your case. To ensure the best chances of success, it is recommended that applicants get the assistance of an experienced, successful immigration attorney. Houston Attorney Craig L. Pena has more than 30 years of experience providing representation to his clients in areas of immigration and criminal defense, including in the following areas:
complimentary consultation with houston immigration and criminal attorney craig l. pena
Attorney Craig L. Pena is a respected member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Houston Bar Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has devoted his life to helping individuals in both immigration and criminal defense law. He is committed to helping others live a life in the U.S. where freedom prevails and opportunities abound. Attorney Pena offers a free case review, available by contacting the Houston Law Office of Craig L. Pena at 832-833-6595.
With a Green Card, a foreign national can permanently reside and work in the United States. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are four main categories of obtaining a Green Card:
- Green Card through family
- Green Card though job
- Green Card through refugee or asylum Status
- Other methods
The visa is a legal document that, together with the passport, allows a foreign national to legally enter the United States and travel throughout the country. There are two main categories of Visas:
- Nonimmigrant visa – temporary travel in the U.S.
- mmigrant visa – to travel and permanently live in the U.S.
When a foreign citizen applies for but is not granted citizenship, they may appeal their case. The applicant must appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals in a timely manner or they will lose their right to appeal. Numerous documents must be filed with the Appeal. Additionally, the Appeal must be in English or translated into English. There are many intricate details that must be properly complied with for a successful Appeal.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can potentially deport (remove) any foreign national, even if they have a Green Card. Deportation often occurs for the following reasons:
- Expired visa
- Fraudulent documentation
- Conviction of a criminal offense
- Drug or alcohol addiction
Citizenship and Naturalization
The process of obtaining citizenship and naturalization is complicated and ever-changing. The applicant must be of good moral character and must not have been convicted of a felony or serious offense. The applicant’s background will be thoroughly examined.
Foreign nationals may apply to the United States for asylum when they face persecution in their home country. Persecution may vary:
- Political beliefs
- Religious beliefs
Deferred action allows children who grew up in the United States without citizenship to apply for legal status. The applicant must qualify to apply for deferred action. Some of the qualifications that may apply:
- Entered the U.S. before the age of 16
- Must be younger than 31, prior to June 15, 2012
- Resided in the U.S. for five years, prior to June 15, 2012
- Must pass background check
EMPLOYER & BUSINESS BASED IMMIGRATION
Foreign nationals may obtain legal status in the U.S. when they are successfully sponsored by an American employer. There are various temporary and permanent based immigration visas. Some of the areas include:
- Mexican and Canadian nationals
- Academics, professors, specialists
- Teachers of religion and spirituality
- Treaty trader, treaty investor
- Business, arts, science, athletes
- Business investors
When an applicant is denied a visa, in appropriate cases they may apply for a waiver. A successful waiver will allow the applicant to remain in the United States.
Family Based Immigration
U.S. citizens may sponsor Immediate Relatives for citizenship. This may include:
- Unmarried child (younger than 21) of U.S. citizen
- Spouse of U.S. citizen
- Orphan to be adopted by U.S. citizen
- Parent of U.S. citizen
- Many other categories – ask your attorney
New Immigration Reform
New immigration laws are currently being reviewed. If passed, more than 11 million illegal aliens may be able to apply for and obtain citizenship in the United States. To find out about new immigration laws that may affect you, ask Attorney Pena.