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Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions About Immigration

At Guirguis Law, P.A., in Raleigh, we know and understand that if you are navigating a legal issue with the U.S. immigration laws, you probably have a lot of questions. The immigration laws in the United States are complicated and often have very specific requirements.

Here, our experienced immigration lawyers answer some of the more commonly asked questions. However, every case is different and every set of circumstances is unique. For answers to your specific questions, our attorneys offer a no-obligation, initial consultation.

What immigration applications, bonds or defenses do I qualify for?

To fully answer this question, you need to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney. The attorney will likely have you fill out an intake form and provide information such as:

  • The date(s) and manner of your entry into the United States
  • Information about your immediate relative(s) and their immigration status(es)
  • Details regarding any criminal history or serious medical issues in your family
  • Information about any prior immigration proceedings or applications

Once an attorney has gathered details and other personal information, they will be able to advise you on your potential immigration options.

What if I already met with an immigration attorney?

You are always welcome to get a second opinion from another attorney. If you have already met with an attorney prior to contacting our office, and you are scheduling an initial consultation, it is always helpful to bring documents related to your case for the attorney to review when providing a recommendation.

How can I request my immigration file?

Guirguis Law can submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on your behalf to collect your immigration records from different government agencies. We offer a FOIA appointment and can provide legal representation for these purposes.

My child, who is a citizen, just turned 21. Can I get legal residency status through my child?

There are several factors to consider when determining your possible options for legal residency status. When petitioning for a green card, or lawful permanent residency through an adult child, it will depend upon whether the applicant is currently living in the United States and whether they entered the United States with a visa or otherwise. It will also depend on other possible immigration violations or criminal history.

What if I am married to a citizen or LPR, can I apply for an immigration remedy?

There is no guarantee that someone who is married to a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or United States Citizen (USC) will qualify for an immigration application. However, an experienced attorney will be able to advise you of your options after discussing your specific immigration background, your history of entrance into the United States, and which waiver processes may be available for certain manners of entry into the United States.

People with one entry without inspection may be eligible to have their spouse file a petition on their behalf, and then file for a waiver to pardon their entry without inspection and time spent in the U.S. For this type of waiver to be approved, the applicant would need to show that if they were refused admission to the U.S., that their qualifying relative(s) would experience extreme hardship. Extreme hardship can be shown through financial, medical, educational, emotional and other practical hardships through evidence such as affidavits, financial records, medical records, transcripts, receipts, civil documents and other types of evidence specific to your case. The applicant would then need to go through consular processing and attend an interview outside of the United States, then be readmitted into the country.

I arrived in the United States as a child with my parents. Do I qualify for any immigration relief?

Currently, people who have had DACA approved before can file to renew their applications. At this time, USCIS is not accepting initial DACA applications, despite the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2020 and subsequent federal court order, but there may be other immigration applications and defenses available.

Certain applicants under 18 years of age may qualify as Special Immigrant Juveniles if reunification with one or both of their parents is not viable due to abandonment, abuse, or neglect. A custody order would need to be completed before the applicant’s 18th birthday, and the applicant would need to be declared dependent upon a juvenile court in the United States. Then the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status application would need to be filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the applicant turns 21 years old.

Do I qualify for asylum?

Applicants for asylum must apply for asylum within one year of entering the United States, or they must show that exceptional circumstances exist to pardon the one-year deadline. Asylum is a status of protection in the United States for applicants who have suffered or are likely to suffer persecution in their country of citizenship on account of – or motivated by – the applicant’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

How is my criminal case going to affect my immigration case?

Criminal convictions can cause serious immigration consequences, and some may not be waivable. Pleading guilty or being found guilty in court may cause applicants to become ineligible for certain immigration applications and defenses to deportation. A guilty plea may also jeopardize your current status, whether you have DACA, TPS, Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status, or other types of parole or nonimmigrant statuses.

Our immigration lawyers are also experienced criminal defense attorneys and understand the overlapping issues between criminal law and immigration law. We can provide experienced counsel and advice with respect to your criminal matter and how it may affect your immigration status. We also provide deportation defense during a removal proceeding.

What if I already pled guilty?

Some guilty pleas entered into after 2010 may be able to be reopened if the criminal defense attorney did not specifically advise the client about the immigration consequences of pleading guilty before the court accepted the plea. After speaking with an immigration attorney about the nature of the criminal case, and the advice that was discussed from the prior criminal defense attorney regarding any immigration consequences, they can advise you if there are options for reopening your criminal case.

Do You Still Have Questions? Contact An Immigration Lawyer.

Our immigration lawyers are available by appointment. To schedule a no-obligation initial consultation, which will give you an opportunity to ask all of your questions, contact us by calling 919-874-1445 or by sending us an email.