Five Benefits of Becoming a US Citizen

Coming to America is the dream of many people.  This is, after all, the land of dreams where opportunity overflows like a river of milk and honey.  If you are already here and are already satisfied with simply being able to work and earn dollars, then you shouldn’t. Being a legal immigrant is nice, but your dream should not stop here because becoming a US citizen offers a lot of advantages.

Advantages of Becoming a US Citizen

Becoming a US citizen can change your life in many ways. While becoming one entails that you go through a rigorous application process and carries responsibilities, the privileges given to citizens make them all worth it. Here are some of the advantages of becoming a US citizen:

  1. Freedom from renewing green card

Once you have become a US citizen with the help of your immigration lawyers, you no longer have to worry about having to renew your green card anymore. In fact, you don’t need it anymore because you are, by all intents and purposes, you already are a full-fledged citizen of one of the greatest countries in the world.

  1. Lower chance of being deported

You can remove the chance of deportation from your list of worries. If you are successful in your citizenship application, your home country is now America and you can no longer be deported to the country where you originally came from.

  1. You can petition more family members

Do you have family members you want to bring to the US? Once you are a US citizen you can. It is one of the rights of a naturalized citizen to petition your family members to come to US. It will be easier for them to be approved for green card, too.

  1. You can get a US passport

You have been dreaming all your life for this wallet-sized booklet. Once you become a naturalized US citizen, you can have it and proudly use it. Having a US passport is a dream for millions around the world. Once you have become a US citizen who holds this document legally, you will be enjoying the privileges that come with it.

  1. Vote and run for office

Once your US citizenship is approved, you will have a voice that you can use to tell American leaders your thoughts and ideas. The ability to vote is a very special privilege that is given to all US citizens.

Let an Immigration Lawyer Help You

If you are not a US citizen yet, contact an immigration lawyer to start right away.  Becoming a US citizen is a privilege to those who are courageous enough to go through the application process.  Having a great lawyer is important for as successful US citizenship application. If you are in San Diego, you can trust the lawyers of San Diego Immigration Center.

Voluntary Departure Explained, Tips from an Immigration Lawyer

If you are facing deportation (removal) from the United States, either prior to or during immigration court proceedings, your first course of action will be trying to obtain a cancellation of removal. If that fails, an alternate course of action is requesting voluntary departure – that is, leaving the country on your own, at your own expense, within a given time period. Unlike a removal order, voluntary departure does not bar you from legally returning at a later date.

The eligibility requirements for voluntary departure become stricter the longer you wait to request for it.

Eligibility Requirements During or Before Removal Hearing

You can request this status at the start of removal actions. Bear in mind that, by requesting voluntary departure at this point, you relinquish the right to apply for other forms of immigration release.

In case you haven’t already turned to an immigration lawyer, now would be a great time to do so. An experienced immigration lawyer can analyze your case and assess your chances of qualifying for either permanent or temporary right to stay in the US. Based on that, you can decide if you would like to go on with proceedings or appeal for voluntary departure.

In order to qualify for voluntary departure before the end of proceedings, you will have to provide convincing evidence that you intend to leave and have the financial ability to do so. The judge will also look at your criminal record to ensure you have no history of offenses or convictions and you are not a security risk.

If you have any criminal offenses on your record, consult with your immigration lawyer to establish whether such offenses can affect your voluntary departure request.

Eligibility Requirements at the End of a Removal Hearing

If you request voluntary departure at the end of proceedings, eligibility requirements will be stricter. You will have to produce character references and evidence that you

  • have had an uninterrupted stay of at least one year in the U.S.A. before being served the Notice to Appear
  • have not committed aggravated felonies or acts of terrorism
  • have not been refused voluntary departure on a prior occasion
  • have the financial resources to leave the U.S.A. at your own expense and commit to do so within the set period.

If these requirements are met, there is every chance your request will be granted. If that be the case, make sure you leave the country within the set term; otherwise, you might face serious consequences.

To sum up, if you cannot find an option that allows you to remain legally in the United States, requesting to depart voluntarily offers you a preferable alternative to a deportation order. However, given the high stakes, you should not seek voluntary departure without first consulting with a competent San Diego immigration attorney. Only after reviewing all available options should you agree to voluntarily depart.

How to Get the E2 Investor Visa with Help from an Immigration Lawyer

Are you considering starting a business in the United States? Make sure to gather all of the necessary information before proceeding. Getting a much-coveted investor visa is by no means an easy task.

If you come from one of the treaty nations, you will need to apply for an E2 investor visa.

Here is what you should know about the E2 investor visa.

Who can qualify?

In order to qualify for such a visa, you need to make a substantial investment, which will contribute to the economy of the United States. Ways to do so include investing in an existing business, purchasing a business already operating, or starting a business in the U.S.A. that will create at least ten jobs.

A substantial investment generally means at least $300,000. On occasion, smaller amounts may be allowed if the investor is considered to make a worthwhile contribution to the U.S. economy.

Generally the funds in the individual’s personal account or business are not sufficient to qualify for an E2 Visa. Bear in mind, a promissory note cannot be considered for investment capital unless the investor demonstrates the note to be secured by his/her assets.

Whichever investment path you choose, you will have to work your way through a fair amount of paperwork, which may be quite daunting at times. Therefore, it may be a good idea to turn to an immigration lawyer for assistance.

Why consult an immigration lawyer?

An experienced immigration attorney can assess the strength of your application and help you through the process, indicating which steps you should take to qualify for the visa.   Furthermore, an immigration attorney can make your life easier, helping you sift through the paperwork and determine what you need to submit and what you don’t.

If you plan to start a new business, you should submit evidence of the investment fund transfer and a document that certifies your capital was obtained in a lawful manner.

Any responsible entrepreneur keen to increase the success rate of his application should consult an immigration lawyer before starting the paperwork.

An immigration attorney may also provide assistance in coaching you for the interview at the embassy, one of the many steps that need to be completed in the process of getting a visa. Generally, you can expect to wait 30 to 90 days before getting a response. Therefore, it is wiser to make travel arrangements after you got the visa instead of before you apply. Most of the time, the State Department processes the application within 30 days, but on occasion it may take longer.

Once approved, the E2 visa needs to be renewed every year. This type of visa does not require that you remain in the U.S., but allows you the option of returning to your home country anytime or traveling back and forth. This will come in handy if your family decides not to come with you to the United States. On the other hand, if your family (spouse and dependent children) wants to accompany you, they too can get E2 visas.

What are Bond Hearings and How Can an Immigration Attorney Serve Your Best Interests in Court?

If you are dealing with legal problems and you are getting ready to be dragged to court by the prosecution, it is recommended to find out everything there is to know about the most important events occurring after your arrest. An immigration lawyer hired to help you handle various immigration issues in a rapid, hassle-free manner can also provide the expert guidance that you need in order to understand the mechanism of the legal system and predict a realistic outcome, in case you have been charged with a serious offence.

1)     What are bond hearings?

In this context, after you get arrested by a police officer, you have to prepare yourself for the bond hearing – an essential legal event during which a judge decides whether the defendant is granted bond or not, based on two main factors. First, the judge needs to decide whether the accused is considered a real threat to society or not; and previous arrests will always be taken into consideration in this phase. Second, the judge has to evaluate the “risk of flight.” A defendant considered an elevated “flight risk” (meaning that he will most likely leave the state or the country to avoid major legal consequences and jail time) will usually be denied bail. The amount of time spent in your community is an extremely relevant deciding factor that will be analyzed by the judge. A good immigration lawyer has the skills, the expertise and the knowledge to provide the best legal representation for you and support evidence indicating that

a) you should not be seen as a threat to society and
b) you are not tempted to run away, in an attempt to preserve your freedom and avoid prosecution.

2)     What happens if bond is denied in my case?

There are cases in which a judge denies bond during the first bond setting. However, if you are in this delicate position, you should know that you have two other opportunities to be granted bond. With help from a competent immigration attorney, you may solicit a Bond Modification during your Preliminary Hearing. Moreover, you also have the chance to file a motion for redetermination or reconsideration of bond in court, soliciting a redetermination/reconsideration hearing scheduled as soon as possible. An immigration lawyer should be able to bring and support new evidence, reflecting the fact that the defendant can be released from jail on bail. You should also know that bail is seldom granted to people charged with capital crimes and other heinous offences.

3)     Why is it important to count on a skilled immigration lawyer?

Defendants who are not U.S. citizens should rely on professional services ensured by a skilled immigration lawyer as soon as possible. Furthermore, poor legal representation can get the accused into a lot of trouble, potentially triggering his/her deportation process. This is one of the reasons why people with a criminal case opened against them should contact a competent, trustworthy immigration attorney in record time to avoid life-changing consequences.




The CIR Bill: Understanding the Main Elements that Could Change the Lives of Immigrants

At the end of June 2013, the Senate gave the green light to The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744), with 68 votes in favor. Despite the fact that the comprehensive immigration reform failed to gather 70 votes – an ambitious target set by the so-called Gang of 8, the senators who had elaborated the bill – it still benefitted from the support of a powerful majority. This change has been received with great enthusiasm by various categories of CIR advocates, including immigration lawyers, members of different religious groups, and immigrants. In fact, this bill is expected to reform the American immigration system, eliminate its major drawbacks, and restore the hope of approximately 11 million “shadows” (undocumented immigrants currently living on American territory). Some voices argue that the bill requires a long list of improvements in order to generate positive results in the long term; however, it clearly represents a huge step toward an improved immigration system and much more effective cross-party cooperation.

  • What changes could the CIR Bill bring?

The CIR Bill is expected to favor beneficial changes related to border security, immigrant visas, interior enforcement, and new visa programs for nonimmigrants.

  • Border security improvements

The main objective is to attain and preserve a higher level of control over the Mexico border, with a desirable apprehension rate of up to 90%. This change promoted by the CIR will demand significant investment required to back this project (fencing, appropriate technology, an increased number of patrol officers, infrastructure, and so on).

  • Immigrant visas

A significant number of immigrants currently living illegally in the US might be offered the chance to profit from a fresh, clean start. In order to become eligible for the RPI status (Registered Provisional Immigrant), candidates must meet certain conditions:

  • They must have zero felony convictions and less than 3 misdemeanors
  • They must prove the fact that they pay their taxes
  • They must have lived on American territory since 12/31/2011
  • They must pay penalty charges
  • They must be able to pass a routine background check

An RPI status could be renewed every 6 years. Moreover, a highly effective point system would be beneficial for immigrants with excellent skills, superior education, and/or excellent employment records, increasing their likelihood of obtaining one of the 250,000 visas that might become available for this category on an annual basis. If you need more information on this subject, call an immigration attorney and get the most accurate details.

  • Interior enforcement

All US-based employers would be required to rely on E-Verify (the new employment verification system introduced by the CIR Bill). The main objective is to discourage employers from hiring undocumented workers. Companies and individuals who were to disobey this important rule would expose themselves to increased penalties. If you are worried about the impact of this potential change on your welfare and economic situation, contact an immigration attorney and get the most accurate answers to your questions.

  • Non-immigrant visa programs

The number of visas allocated for foreign workers with superior skills (H-1B) could be considerably increased from 65,000 to any number below 180,000, based on different factors, like, for instance, the unemployment rate or workforce demand. Workers with inferior skills would still be allowed to apply for W Visas, which would basically allow them to live in the U.S. for a predetermined period of time and accept non-agricultural jobs. From 20,000 to 200,000 W Visas could become available on an annual basis, depending on the same two factors influencing the number of H-1B visas provided by the U.S. government every single year. At the same time, investors who want to open and develop a business on American territory might become eligible for an X Visa. The U.S. might have a cap of 10,000 investor visas for every single fiscal year.

It goes without saying that the CIR Bill could easily puzzle immigrants and make them worry about their fate. If you are currently in this situation, start getting the answers that you deserve today. Count on a skilled immigration lawyer to discuss all of the particularities of your case, and rest assured knowing that your future is in good hands.

What Can a San Diego Immigration Attorney Do for You?

Over the past few years, the U.S. government has been intensifying scrutiny toward immigrants into the United States. If you are an immigrant in the process of acquiring citizenship, being aware of your own rights is of vital importance. A reliable San Diego immigration attorney will help you understand them. They can also assist you with filing the paperwork and taking all precautions required to keep you safe from any possible problems.

It is never safe to assume that you can just learn the U.S. immigration laws on your own, because even if you try, you will never be able to properly represent yourself in court when a legal problem arises. Saving money on this particular endeavor is never a good idea. There are virtually hundreds of laws that can apply to a special situation, and many changes and updates that can occur to these laws. If your visa application is denied, you will never be able to have success on an appeal without help from a professional immigration lawyer.

Are you asking yourself what a good, reliable San Diego immigration lawyer can do for you? Here are just a few tips:

  • A good immigration lawyer will help you know your rights

In many cases, as an immigrant into the United States, you are not entirely aware of what you are allowed to do and what you are not, especially in cases where your legitimacy as a citizen is placed under scrutiny. Being fully aware of your rights will enforce your position and can protect you from any mistreatment at your place of work or in personal situations. An experienced attorney can help you understand when and if your legal rights have been violated and they can provide valuable information about how to proceed in such cases.

  • An experienced attorney will make sure your papers are in order

You will be surprised to find out that 40% of deportation cases have improperly filled paperwork as their main cause. There are many technicalities that can cause you a lot of trouble throughout your visa application process. A good San Diego immigration attorney can make everything official for you and can make sure all of your papers are in order.

  • You will get proper court representation

Although it may seem obvious, many people fail to realize how important a professional attorney can be when representation in court is required. If you are ever placed in a position where the authorities are questioning your citizenship status, solid representation is vital. Not all immigration lawyers have enough experience in a courtroom, so make sure you find a good attorney who has a proven track record.

Many people dream of becoming a U.S. citizen at some point in their lives. If you have this opportunity, you shouldn’t take it lightly. Highly professional legal representation is a must to help get you through the entire immigration and visa obtaining process. Although the costs of hiring a reliable San Diego immigration lawyer may seem high to you, the long-term benefits are far more important, so do yourself a service and start looking for good legal representation now.

Frequently Asked Questions about Immigrating to the United States

Each year many people make the journey to the United States. Whether you emigrate from Mexico, Canada or an overseas country, there are rules and regulations that are put in place to help ensure that your move is as easy as possible. Each person who immigrates must file paperwork and wait for approval of a VISA or green card before they come to the country. The paperwork is very detailed and many people find that they are unable to complete it on their own. In cases like this, having an immigration attorney is beneficial. In addition, many immigrants also have questions they need help with and a skilled immigration attorney is the best person to answer these questions.

Is it Necessary to Have an Immigration Attorney?

In most cases, having an immigration attorney on your side will work well in your favor. The regulations that are established for immigrants tend to be very complex and detailed, like most laws. A skilled immigration attorney can decipher the laws and inform you of the conditions you must meet in order to be granted the Visa that you are apply for. If you submit the paperwork incorrectly, or even miss a single field, you will be denied entry and have to redo the paperwork. An attorney can make sure the information is complete the first time and prevent any further delays.

What Happens if I am Facing Deportation?

In case where you or a loved one is facing deportation, you will want to contact an attorney as soon as you can. The sooner you acquire an attorney, the better in most cases. An attorney will be able to help you complete all paperwork and stand before the judge explaining why you should be allowed to remain in the US. If you try to fight the case alone, you will not have the advantage of a skilled attorney fighting on your behalf.

Are there Different Kinds of Visas I can apply for?

Absolutely. There are several different types of Visas that an immigrant can apply for – a work Visa, student Visa or even an investment Visa. Each type of Visa has stringent requirements, so be sure to contact an immigration attorney to ensure you meet the conditions prior to applying for the paperwork. You can also apply for a Fiancé Visa or a Marriage Visa if you are engaged to or married to a natural born US Citizen or one who has obtained their green card.

Applying for the different types of Visas can be challenging which is why it is best to choose an attorney who is well versed in the different types of paperwork and the requirements that must be met. They can also help you put together the required documents with your application to be presented to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

What Do I need to Bring to my Meeting?

If you are meeting with a San Diego immigration attorney, whether on the phone or in person, you need to provide all of your necessary documentation. This includes your ID, birth certificate and other documents that you will need to fill out your paperwork. If you are unsure what you need to bring or send, ask your attorney for clarification.

To speak with a San Diego Immigration Attorney, contact us at 619-827-8777 or visit us online at