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Immigration Attorney Elgin

Immigration Attorney Elgin

When Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents come knocking at your door, know there is an immigration attorney in Elgin ready to stand by you and deal with whatever the reason is the agents have come knocking. If you are an employer, there could be issues relating to work visas for your foreign workers. If you are an individual, it could be because you have overstayed your visa or are working without authorization. In whichever case, there is always an experienced immigration attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, PC, ready to help.

Understanding the U.S. Immigration Process

U.S. immigration law is broadly divided into two areas: employment-based immigration and family-based immigration. Besides these two broad areas, there are several lesser areas of modes of immigration, and these are generally temporary visas given to foreign nationals to come and visit, do business, or work before being required to return to their native countries.

Employment-Based Work Visas

For employment-based immigration, the process typically requires an employer who wishes to hire a foreign worker to first petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition asks USCIS to approve either a temporary or permanent (Green Card) visa for the prospective foreign employee. 

The qualifications and requirements for a temporary visa are different from those for a permanent visa. A temporary work visa is only for a fixed time, after which the foreign employee is required to return to their native country unless they get an extension or change the status to a different visa category that allows them to stay longer, such as a green card. 

If the temporary visa is extended, it is usually once, and after that, the foreign employee must return to their native country or find another way to remain and work in the United States legally.

A permanent work visa is generally more difficult to get approved. This is because immigration law requires that the employer seeking to obtain a permanent work visa for a non-citizen must typically first obtain what is known as “labor certification” from the United States Department of Labor.

Labor certification is verification by the agency that there are no available workers available to be hired in the position the employer has available and that the foreign worker will not displace an American worker.

Family-Based Immigration

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) are allowed to have certain relatives of theirs to be given their own green cards. However, how long it takes and who the relatives that qualify depends on whether one is a US citizen or a Green Card holder. Qualifying relatives of U.S. citizens get their paperwork processed much faster than those of Green Card holders.

For qualifying relatives of all other visa categories (non-immigrant visas), the law also usually allows spouses and children of those visa holders to also get visas to either accompany or join later their relatives who have been approved for a non-immigrant or temporary work visa.

If you are looking for an Elgin immigration lawyer, contact us today for a consultation.

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