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1.425.633.2004

Immigration

Ortiz & Gosalia, with its primary office in Redmond, Washington, represents clients in a variety of U.S. immigration law issues, with a wide focus in family and business-based immigration matters. We help clients from all over the world with immigrant and nonimmigrant visa issues. We also work to resolve immigration issues for businesses seeking to hire or transfer employees from other countries.

At Ortiz & Gosalia, we know that many of our clients have sacrificed a great deal to come to the United States and continue to make sacrifices to create a better life for their families.

U.S. immigration law is complex and constantly evolving; missteps can lead to delays or even denials of status. Ortiz & Gosalia understands how daunting the legal process can be for those attempting to immigrate to the United States, change or adjust their status, or pursue business opportunities. Our experienced, compassionate attorneys and staff are here to help.

Among the many types of immigration issues the firm handles are:

 
Green Cards

At Ortiz & Gosalia, PLLC, we help clients who are U.S. citizens, or permanent residents, sponsor close family members to become permanent residents.

Determining Eligibility

U.S. citizens may sponsor the following family members:

  • Spouse;
  • Unmarried children under 21 years of age;
  • Unmarried children that are 21 years of age and older;
  • Married children of any age;
  • Brothers or sisters, but must be at least 21 years old to be able to sponsor siblings; and
  • Mother and/or father, but must be at least 21 years old to be able to sponsor parents.

In addition, U.S. citizens that may wish to sponsor unmarried children under 21 years of age do not need to send separate petitions as these children are considered derivative beneficiaries.

As a lawful permanent resident (LPR), may sponsor:

  • Spouse;
  • Unmarried child under 21 years of age; and
  • Unmarried children who are 21 years of age or older.

In addition, LPR petitioners are not required to file separate petitions for the beneficiary’s unmarried children under 21 years of age, as they are considered derivative beneficiaries.

The Process

The process of sponsoring a close family member will vary on a number of factors. For instance, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers whether the sponsor is a U.S. citizen or an LPR. Other considerations include (1) who the sponsor is petitioning for, (2) the nationality of the beneficiary (e.g., your family member), (3) whether the beneficiary is in the United States or abroad, (4) the beneficiary’s eligibility to immigrate to the United States, etc.

U Visas for victims of crime

Immigrants that have been victims of a crime in the United States may be able to apply for a temporary visa, which could potentially allow the victim to apply for permanent U.S. residence. Furthermore, if you qualify for a U visa, you could also sponsor certain family members. At Ortiz & Gosalia we help victims navigate the complex U Visa petition process.

Determining Eligibility

Individuals may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if they:

  • Are victims of a qualifying criminal activity;
  • Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of such crime;
  • Have information about the criminal activity;
  • Were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime; and
  • Were victims of a crime that occurred in the United Sates or violated U.S. laws, including:

 

  • Abduction
  • Abusive Sexual Contact
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extortion
  • False Imprisonment
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Felonious Assault
  • Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
  • Hostage
  • Incest
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape

 

 

  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Slave Trade
  • Stalking
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Witness Tampering
  • Unlawful Criminal Restraint
  • Other Related Crimes*†

*Includes any similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially similar.

Also includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above and other related crimes.

 

The U Visa is a powerful tool for an immigrant to be able to legally remain in the United States; it allows the victim to request a waiver of inadmissibility, including a permanent bar of inadmissibility. If you believe you could be eligible, contact Ortiz & Gosalia.

K Fiancé(e) Visa

U.S. citizens that may wish to marry their foreign fiancé(e) in the U.S. may be eligible to apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. The K visa allows the foreign fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. to marry and immediately be eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status (a Green Card). Further, if your fiancé(e) has unmarried children under the age of 21, they may also be able to come to the United States.

The marriage must be performed within 90 days of entry. However, if the marriage is not performed within 90 days, the visa will no longer be valid and the beneficiary(ies) must depart the U.S.

Citizenship

Becoming a U.S. citizen has many benefits, such as: right to vote in Federal elections, faster sponsoring of immediate family members into the U.S., obtaining citizenship for children born abroad, traveling with a U.S., passport, becoming eligible for Federal jobs, becoming an elected official, and others.

There are two ways to become a U.S. citizen: by birth, or through naturalization.

A lot of people assume that their only option is to become a U.S. citizen through an application of naturalization, as they were not born in the United States. Citizenship by birth, however, may apply if a person is born outside the United Sates and have at least one biological or adoptive U.S. citizen parent.

If you are seeking U.S. citizenship, you should contact us to discuss with us the eligibility requirements and application process.

Naturalization

There are several paths to seek U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process. The timeline, process, and requirements vary, depending on the specific immigration and family situation, criminal history, physical presence in the U.S., selective service registration, and others. If you desire to explore the requirements for naturalization, you should contact us to discuss the specifics of your case.

Employment Authorization

Certain aliens who are temporarily in the United States may request employment authorization. Individuals that may be able to legally work in the United States include:

  • Asylee/Refugee
  • Citizen of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, or Palau
  • F-1 student seeking an “optional practical training” or “OPT”
  • F-1 student that has an off-campus job offer under the sponsorship of a qualifying international organization
  • F-1 student seeking off-campus employment due to severe economic hardship
  • J-2 spouse
  • Spouse or unmarried child or a principal beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition
  • K-1 nonimmigrant fiancé (e ) of U.S. citizen or K-2 dependent
  • Certain Visa recipients
  • Adjustment applicant

If you think you may be eligible for employment authorization, and would like to know the requirements, contact us.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

DACA is an executive immigration policy that allows some individuals who were brought to the United States by their parents to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from removal and become eligible for a work permit in the United States.

As of late 2017, only people who are already DACA beneficiaries can apply for renewal. Therefore, USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never been granted DACA.

DACA does not grant a status to its beneficiaries; it only protects the beneficiaries from removal. Therefore, it does not allow DACA recipients to adjust their status, even if they are married to U.S. citizens.

Because DACA does not grant status, nor it is clear the future of the policy, you should contact us to renew your DACA, and to talk about the specifics of your case, as you might be eligible for a different immigration process.

Adjustment of Status

U.S. immigrants that have a visa available may be eligible to become lawful permanent residents of the United States without having to go abroad to apply for an immigrant visa

Going through an adjustment of status has many benefits over a consular processing. For instance:

  • Remain in the United States with loved ones or keep working in the United States while waiting for the green card.
  • Adjustment of status may be faster than Consulate processing.
  • May concurrently apply for “Advance Parole” or travel permit, which may allow international travel while the adjustment of status is pending.
  • May be able to apply for employment authorization; this work permit arrives within 3 to 4 months after the application is submitted, which could be up to half of the total processing time.
  • The adjustment of status interview tends to be less stressful than an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

An adjustment of status is a complex procedure, and you might need a lawyer to assist you in determining your eligibility and the documentation required. Filing an adjustment of status, without being eligible, could have dire consequences for certain individuals. Furthermore, an incomplete petition could result in a “request for further evidence” (RFE) from USCIS, which will significantly delay your process.

Removal of Conditions

Marriage-based permanent residents may receive a 2-year conditional Green Card. Conditional Green Card holders must then petition to remove the conditions on the residence within 90 days of the expiration of the condition.

Not everyone is eligible to remove their conditions, and thus might have to leave the country before the expiration of their residence.

Conditional Green Card holders may be eligible to remove the conditions if they:

  • Are still married to the same U.S. citizen or permanent resident after 2 years. You may include your children in your application if they received their conditional-resident status either at the same time or within 90 days as you did;
  • Are a child and, for a valid reason, cannot be included in your parents’ application;
  • Are a widow or widower who entered into your marriage in good faith;
  • Entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended through divorce or annulment; or
  • Entered into a marriage in good faith, but either you or your child were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident spouse.

At Ortiz & Gosalia, our attorneys will be able to assist you on determining if you are eligible to remove the conditions on your residence, and on processing the removal.

Family Based Immigration Services

Our Spanish-speaking attorneys work with clients who are petitioning for spouses, fiancé(e)s, parents, children, and siblings. We assist clients in securing family-based immigrant visas, green cards, and citizenship for eligible family members.

The attorneys of Ortiz & Gosalia assist clients with a broad spectrum of family-based immigration issues, including:

  • Adjustment of status
  • Consular processing
  • Spousal petitions
  • Immediate relative petitions
  • Preference category petitions
  • Provisional and complex waivers of inadmissibility
  • Removal of conditions on an individual’s resident status
  • “U” Visas for immigrant victims of crime
  • “K” visas for fiance(e)s
  • Other resident visas (green cards)
  • Naturalization
  • Citizenship

The process of becoming a permanent resident in the United States is complex. One of the most common ways of achieving lawful permanent resident (LPR) status is through a family member who is either a U.S. citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR).

Immigrants seeking LPR status in the United States through a family member need a “petitioner,” or sponsor. A petitioner needs to be a close relative with enough income or assets to sponsor the immigrant. “Close relative” generally means a spouse, fiancé(e), parent, adult son or daughter, or brother or sister. “Immediate relatives,” meaning spouses, widows or widowers, unmarried children, or parents of adult U.S. citizen petitioners, do not need to observe a waiting period before immigrating.

If the petitioner is a lawful permanent resident of the United States rather than a citizen, or the beneficiary of the petition is not classified as an immediate relative, the beneficiary must wait in line. This process is known as the “family preference system,” for a certain period of time, as only a limited number of resident visas (“green cards”) are issued annually. The length of wait depends on what preference category the beneficiary falls into; this, in turn, depends on the nature of the beneficiary’s relationship to the petitioner.

Ortiz & Gosalia also assists foreign-born residents who are already in the United States and wish to legalize their status in the United States. This is known as “adjustment of status.” The steps taken in this case will depend on whether an immigrant is in this country legally, whether the petitioner for the immigrant is a citizen or an LPR, and the closeness of the familial relationship between the petitioner and the immigrant beneficiary.

Some individuals are deemed inadmissible to the United States, either because they entered the country illegally, or because of past criminal convictions or immigration violations. However, this inadmissibility may be waived via either a “provisional waiver,” or a “complex waiver” of inadmissibility, depending on the specific facts of the case.

We invite you to contact Ortiz & Gosalia for more information regarding our comprehensive family and business-based immigration services. Call us at (425) 633-2004, send an email to info@ortizgosalia.com, or use our online form.

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