IMMIGRATION

Immigration

Immigration Lawyer

We serve Santa Clara & San Mateo counties. 

Permanent Residence (Green Card)

If you want to be able to make your permanent home in the United States, you'll need what is called permanent residence or a green card. Green card holders can live and work in the United States and travel in and out, with very few restrictions. Family members of U.S. citizens make up the largest number of green cards issued each year. Others are issued to investors and workers who have been petitioned by U.S. employers or have special skills. Still, other categories have a humanitarian basis, such as refugee or asylum status (which can lead to a green card), for people who are fleeing persecution.
Temporary (Non-immigrant) Visa
People who want to come to the United States for a limited time need what is called a non-immigrant visa. This lets them participate in specified activities (such as studying, visiting, or working) until their visa runs out. Students and businesspeople make up the largest groups of non-immigrant visa holders. Non-immigrant visas are also issued for tourists, exchange visitors, and workers with some kind of specialty that is lacking in the U.S. workforce.
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Exception: Visa Waiver Program
A visa is not necessary for short-term visitors from one of the visa waiver program countries listed at http://travel.state.gov. You can come to the United States for up to 90 days for business or pleasure purposes if you're from one of these countries. You will, however, need to present a passport.

To enter on a visa waiver, simply present yourself, your passport, and your ticket home to the officers you'll meet upon your U.S. arrival. If you come by land through Canada or Mexico, you'll also be asked for proof of sufficient funds to pay for your stay.
Applying for Immigration Rights
After figuring out what type of visa or green card you're eligible for, you'll need to figure out how to get it. Most people (with the occasional exception of Mexicans and Canadians or those traveling with a visa waiver) must obtain a visa at a U.S. consulate before departing for the United States. If you're already in the United States legally, you may be able to apply to adjust your status to permanent resident or change your status to another type of visa.
Types of Visas:
The many types of visas include:
- K-1 visa for fiancés
- B-1 and B-2 business and tourist visas
- EB-5 Immigrant Investor
- H-1B, H-2B, and H-3 visas for temporary specialty or agricultural workers
- L-1 visa for intracompany transferees
- E-1 and E-2 visas for treaty traders and investors
- F-1 and M-1 visas for students
- J-1 visa for exchange visitors and scholars
- O, P, or R visas for temporary workers
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
DACA is an immigration policy which allows certain illegal immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. It does not confer legal immigration status or provide a path to citizenship.

To qualify for DACA, applicants must meet the following major requirements, although meeting them does not guarantee approval: Came to the United States before 16th birthday; Have lived continuously in the United States since 15 July 2007; Were under age 31 on 15 June 2012; Have completed high school or a GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or are enrolled in school; Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanors.
DACA Renewal
If your initial two-year grant of DACA is expiring, you may request a renewal. You may request a renewal if you met the initial DACA guidelines and you: Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012 without advance parole; Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

You should submit your renewal request about 120 days (4 months) before your current period of deferred action will expire. If you submit your request more than 150 days (5 months) before your current period expires, USCIS may reject it and return it to you with instructions to resubmit it closer to the expiration date.
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