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The Role of an Immigration Lawyer: When to Seek Legal Help | CK Law Firm By Erggul Celiksoy, Immigration Attorney at CK Law Firm

By Ergul Celiksoy, Immigration Attorney at CK Law Firm

Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be a daunting and complex journey. From filling out forms to attending interviews, the process involves numerous legal intricacies that can be overwhelming for individuals. This is where an immigration lawyer comes in. As an experienced immigration attorney, I have seen firsthand the significant benefits of legal assistance. This blog will explain the role of an immigration lawyer and highlight situations where seeking legal help is crucial.

Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer?

1. Expertise in Immigration Law

  • Immigration laws are constantly evolving. An immigration lawyer stays updated on the latest changes and understands the nuances of the law, ensuring that your case is handled with the most current knowledge.

2. Personalized Legal Strategy

  • Each immigration case is unique. An immigration lawyer can develop a personalized strategy tailored to your specific circumstances, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.

3. Avoiding Mistakes

  • Errors in your application can lead to delays or denials. An immigration lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes by ensuring that all forms are correctly completed and all required documentation is submitted.

4. Advocacy and Representation

  • An immigration lawyer can represent you in interactions with immigration authorities, advocating on your behalf during interviews, hearings, and appeals.

Situations Where Legal Assistance is Crucial

1. Complex Cases

  • Example: Maria, a client from Venezuela, faced persecution in her home country. Her asylum application involved detailed documentation and personal statements. As her attorney, I helped gather evidence, prepared her for the interview, and represented her in court, ultimately leading to a successful outcome.

2. Denial of Previous Applications

  • If your previous immigration application was denied, an immigration lawyer can help you understand the reasons for the denial and assist in filing an appeal or reapplying.

Example: Ahmed’s family-based green card application was denied due to incomplete information. We reviewed his case, gathered the missing documents, and successfully refiled his application.

3. Deportation or Removal Proceedings

  • Facing deportation or removal from the U.S. is a serious situation that requires immediate legal assistance. An immigration lawyer can help you explore all possible defenses and represent you in immigration court.

Example: Fatima received a notice to appear for removal proceedings. We built a strong defense, demonstrating her eligibility for cancellation of removal, and she was allowed to remain in the U.S.

4. Employment-Based Immigration

  • Employers and employees dealing with employment-based visas (such as H-1B, L-1, or EB-2) can benefit from legal assistance to navigate the complex requirements and ensure compliance with immigration laws.

Example: John, a skilled worker, received an H-1B visa through his employer. I assisted the company in preparing the necessary documentation and ensuring adherence to visa regulations.

5. Family-Based Immigration

  • Reuniting families through immigration can involve various challenges. An immigration lawyer can help you understand the eligibility criteria and guide you through the process of sponsoring family members.

Example: Sara, a U.S. citizen, wanted to bring her parents to the U.S. We assisted her in filing the necessary petitions and provided ongoing support throughout the process.

6. Naturalization and Citizenship

  • Applying for U.S. citizenship involves rigorous requirements and a thorough understanding of the process. An immigration lawyer can help you prepare for the naturalization interview and test, ensuring that you meet all criteria.

Example: David, a permanent resident, was nervous about the citizenship test. We provided study materials, conducted mock interviews, and ensured he was well-prepared, leading to his successful naturalization.

7. Special Immigration Programs

  • Programs such as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), TPS (Temporary Protected Status), and U visas for crime victims require specific eligibility and documentation. Legal assistance can help navigate these specialized programs.

Example: Maria, a DACA recipient, needed to renew her status. We ensured timely submission of her renewal application and provided ongoing support for her immigration needs.

Conclusion

Hiring an immigration lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. From avoiding mistakes to receiving personalized legal advice, the benefits of legal assistance are invaluable. At CK Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing expert legal support tailored to your unique situation. Contact us today to discuss your immigration needs and explore how we can help you achieve your goals.

By Asim Kilinc, Immigration Attorney at CK Law Firm

Seeking asylum or refugee status in the United States is a complex but critical process for individuals fleeing persecution and danger in their home countries. As an experienced immigration attorney, I’ve helped many clients navigate these challenging pathways to safety and freedom. This detailed guide will provide an overview of the asylum and refugee application processes, including eligibility criteria and the rights afforded to those granted protection.

What is Asylum and Refugee Status?

Asylum and refugee status are forms of protection granted to individuals who have been persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

  • Asylum: Granted to individuals already in the U.S. or arriving at a U.S. port of entry.
  • Refugee Status: Granted to individuals outside the U.S. who are referred to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a U.S. embassy, or a designated non-governmental organization.

Eligibility Criteria

1. Well-Founded Fear of Persecution

  • You must demonstrate a credible fear of persecution in your home country based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

2. Presence in the U.S. (Asylum)

  • You must be physically present in the U.S. or at a port of entry to apply for asylum.

3. Application Deadline (Asylum)

  • You must apply for asylum within one year of your arrival in the U.S. unless you can show changed circumstances that affect your eligibility or extraordinary circumstances that prevented you from applying on time.

4. No Protection from Another Country

  • You must not have been firmly resettled in another country before coming to the U.S.

Application Processes

Applying for Asylum

Step 1: File Form I-589

  • Form I-589: Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. No fee is required.
  • Supporting Documents: Provide evidence to support your claim, including personal statements, affidavits, and documentation of persecution.

Step 2: Biometrics Appointment

  • Biometrics: You will receive a notice to attend a biometrics appointment where your fingerprints and photograph will be taken.

Step 3: Asylum Interview

  • Interview: You will be scheduled for an interview with a USCIS asylum officer. Be prepared to discuss your case in detail and provide any additional evidence.

Step 4: Decision

  • Outcome: The asylum officer will make a decision on your case. If granted, you will receive asylum status. If not, your case may be referred to an immigration judge for further review.

Example: My client, Sara, fled her home country due to religious persecution. We carefully prepared her Form I-589, gathering detailed statements and evidence. During her asylum interview, she was able to clearly explain her fears and experiences, leading to a successful outcome.

Applying for Refugee Status

Step 1: Referral to USRAP

  • Referral: You must be referred to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) by the UNHCR, a U.S. embassy, or a designated NGO.

Step 2: Refugee Interview

  • Interview: You will be interviewed by a USCIS officer to determine your eligibility for refugee status.

Step 3: Medical Examination

  • Medical Check: Undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet health requirements.

Step 4: Approval and Resettlement

  • Resettlement: If approved, you will be resettled in the U.S. with the help of resettlement agencies that assist with housing, employment, and other integration services.

Example: Ahmed, a political activist, was referred to USRAP by the UNHCR after fleeing persecution. His detailed interview with the USCIS officer and medical clearance led to his successful resettlement in the U.S., where he now lives safely.

Rights and Benefits of Asylum and Refugee Status

1. Protection from Return

  • Asylees and refugees are protected from being returned to a country where they face persecution.

2. Work Authorization

  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD): Asylees and refugees are eligible to apply for an EAD, allowing them to work in the U.S.

3. Access to Social Services

  • Benefits: Asylees and refugees may be eligible for certain social services, including health care, housing assistance, and education programs.

4. Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship

  • Green Card: After one year, asylees and refugees can apply for a Green Card (permanent residency).
  • Citizenship: After five years as a Green Card holder, they can apply for U.S. citizenship.

Example: Maria, granted asylum, received her EAD and accessed healthcare services through local programs. After a year, we helped her apply for her Green Card, and she is now on her way to becoming a U.S. citizen.

Challenges and Tips for Success

1. Gathering Evidence

  • Tip: Collect as much documentation as possible to support your claim, including witness statements, news articles, and medical records.

2. Legal Assistance

  • Tip: Seek the help of an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and represent you in interviews or hearings.

3. Consistency in Testimony

  • Tip: Ensure that your statements and documentation are consistent and truthful. Inconsistencies can harm your credibility.

Example: Hassan, a client facing persecution, faced difficulties in gathering evidence. We worked together to obtain statements from family and community members, ultimately strengthening his case and leading to a successful asylum application.

Conclusion

Understanding and navigating the asylum and refugee application processes can be daunting, but with the right preparation and support, you can successfully achieve protection in the United States. At CK Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping you through every step of this journey. Contact us today for expert legal advice and personalized assistance.

By Asim Kilinc, Immigration Attorney at CK Law Firm

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a significant milestone for many immigrants. The process, however, can be complex and time-consuming. As an immigration attorney, I have guided many clients through this journey. In this detailed guide, I will provide step-by-step instructions for applying for U.S. citizenship, including preparation tips for the citizenship test.

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before applying for U.S. citizenship, you must ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Permanent Resident Status: You must have been a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) for at least 5 years, or 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen.
  • Physical Presence: You must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the last 5 years, or 18 months out of the last 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen.
  • Continuous Residence: You must have lived in the U.S. continuously for the specified period.
  • Good Moral Character: You must demonstrate good moral character, which generally means having no serious criminal record.
  • English and Civics Knowledge: You must have a basic understanding of English and U.S. government and history.

Step 2: Complete Form N-400

The next step is to complete Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Here’s how:

  • Download Form N-400: Visit the USCIS website to download the form and instructions.
  • Fill Out the Form: Provide accurate and complete information. Common sections include personal information, residence and employment history, travel history, and criminal background.
  • Sign and Date: Ensure that you sign and date the form before submission.

Example: I once had a client, John, who was unsure about how to fill out the travel history section. We carefully reviewed his travel dates to ensure accuracy, avoiding potential delays.

Step 3: Gather Supporting Documents

Along with Form N-400, you will need to submit several supporting documents:

  • Photocopy of Your Green Card: Both sides.
  • Proof of Marriage: If applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen.
  • Proof of Termination of Prior Marriages: If applicable.
  • Two Passport-Style Photos: If residing outside the U.S.
  • Additional Documents: Depending on your specific situation, such as evidence of military service or tax records.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Submit your completed Form N-400, supporting documents, and the application fee to USCIS. You can file online or by mail. The current fee is $725, which includes the $640 application fee and the $85 biometric services fee.

Example: Sarah, another client, opted to file her application online, which streamlined the process and allowed her to track the status of her application easily.

Step 5: Attend the Biometrics Appointment

After submitting your application, you will receive a notice for a biometrics appointment. During this appointment, USCIS will take your fingerprints, photograph, and signature for background checks.

  • Prepare for the Appointment: Bring your appointment notice, Green Card, and another form of ID (e.g., passport or driver’s license).
  • Appointment Day: Arrive early and follow the instructions provided by the USCIS officer.

Step 6: Prepare for the Citizenship Interview and Test

The citizenship interview and test are crucial components of the naturalization process. Here’s how to prepare:

1. Study for the Civics Test

  • Study Materials: Use the official USCIS study materials.
  • Topics: U.S. history, government, symbols, and holidays.
  • Practice Tests: Take practice tests to gauge your readiness.

2. Improve Your English Skills

  • Reading and Writing: Practice reading and writing simple sentences in English.
  • Speaking and Listening: Engage in conversations with English speakers to improve your listening and speaking skills.

Example: David, a client who struggled with English, enrolled in ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and used USCIS flashcards to study for the civics test. This preparation helped him pass both the language and civics tests confidently.

Step 7: Attend Your Citizenship Interview

You will receive an appointment notice for your citizenship interview. Here’s what to expect and how to prepare:

  • Review Your Application: Familiarize yourself with the information you provided in Form N-400.
  • Bring Required Documents: Appointment notice, Green Card, passport, state ID, and any additional documents requested by USCIS.
  • Interview Day: Dress professionally, arrive early, and be polite and honest during the interview.

Common Questions: The USCIS officer will ask questions about your application, background, and your understanding of U.S. civics. They will also assess your English proficiency.

Step 8: Receive a Decision

After your interview, USCIS will notify you of their decision:

  • Granted: If approved, you will receive a notice for the Oath of Allegiance ceremony.
  • Continued: If additional information is needed, USCIS will provide instructions.
  • Denied: If denied, USCIS will provide reasons and information on how to appeal.

Step 9: Attend the Oath of Allegiance Ceremony

If your application is approved, you will be scheduled for an Oath of Allegiance ceremony. This is the final step in the naturalization process:

  • What to Bring: Your appointment notice, Green Card, and any other required documents.
  • Ceremony Day: You will take the Oath of Allegiance, receive your Certificate of Naturalization, and officially become a U.S. citizen.

Example: Maria, a client from Mexico, described her Oath of Allegiance ceremony as one of the proudest moments of her life. She was joined by her family and friends, making it a memorable celebration.

Conclusion

Applying for U.S. citizenship is a significant and rewarding journey. By following these step-by-step instructions and preparing thoroughly for each stage, you can navigate the process with confidence. At CK Law Firm, we are committed to supporting you every step of the way. Contact us today for expert legal advice and personalized assistance.

By Ergul Celiksoy, Immigration Attorney at CK Law Firm

The United States offers a variety of work visas for individuals seeking employment opportunities. Navigating these options can be complex due to the different requirements, application processes, and benefits associated with each visa type. This comprehensive guide will explore the most common work visas available in the U.S., including the H-1B, L-1, and O-1 visas, providing detailed information to help you determine the best option for your specific situation.

H-1B Visa: Specialty Occupations

Overview The H-1B visa is designed for foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in fields such as IT, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Job Offer: Must have a job offer from a U.S. employer for a specialty occupation.
  • Educational Qualifications: Must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent.
  • Employer Sponsorship: The U.S. employer must sponsor the visa and demonstrate that they are paying the prevailing wage for the position.

Application Process

  1. Labor Condition Application (LCA): The employer must file an LCA with the Department of Labor (DOL).
  2. Form I-129: The employer files Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker, with USCIS.
  3. USCIS Decision: USCIS reviews the petition and makes a decision. If approved, the applicant can apply for an H-1B visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy.

Validity and Extensions

  • Initial Period: Up to three years.
  • Extensions: Can be extended for up to six years, with some exceptions for longer durations under certain circumstances.

Example: John, an IT professional, received an H-1B visa sponsored by a leading tech company. His employer filed the LCA and Form I-129, and after USCIS approval, John obtained his visa and started working in the U.S.

L-1 Visa: Intra-Company Transferees

Overview The L-1 visa is for employees of international companies who are being transferred to a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the same company in the U.S. It is divided into two categories: L-1A for managers and executives, and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Employment: Must have been employed by the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the three years preceding the application.
  • Position: Must be transferring to a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge position in the U.S.

Application Process

  1. Form I-129: The U.S. employer files Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker, with USCIS.
  2. Supporting Documents: Include proof of the qualifying relationship between the U.S. and foreign entities and evidence of the applicant’s employment and qualifications.

Validity and Extensions

  • L-1A Visa: Valid for up to three years, with extensions available for a maximum of seven years.
  • L-1B Visa: Valid for up to three years, with extensions available for a maximum of five years.

Example: Maria, an executive at a multinational corporation, was transferred to the company’s U.S. branch on an L-1A visa. The company filed Form I-129 along with supporting documents, and after USCIS approval, Maria began her role in the U.S.

O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

Overview The O-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industry.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Extraordinary Ability: Demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and recognized achievements.
  • Evidence: Must provide extensive documentation of their extraordinary ability, such as awards, publications, and high salary.

Application Process

  1. Form I-129: The employer or agent files Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker, with USCIS.
  2. Consultation: A written advisory opinion from a peer group, labor organization, or management organization in the applicant’s field of expertise.
  3. Supporting Documents: Include evidence of extraordinary ability and the job offer or itinerary in the U.S.

Validity and Extensions

  • Initial Period: Up to three years.
  • Extensions: Can be extended in one-year increments based on the time required to complete the initial event or activity.

Example: Ahmed, a world-renowned scientist, was offered a research position at a prestigious U.S. university. The university filed Form I-129, along with extensive evidence of Ahmed’s achievements and a peer advisory opinion. After USCIS approval, Ahmed obtained his O-1 visa and began his research in the U.S.

Additional Work Visa Options

1. E-1/E-2 Visa: Treaty Traders and Investors

  • E-1 Visa: For individuals engaged in substantial trade between the U.S. and their treaty country.
  • E-2 Visa: For individuals investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.

2. TN Visa: NAFTA Professionals

  • Available to Canadian and Mexican citizens in certain professional occupations as specified under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

3. H-2A/H-2B Visa: Temporary Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Workers

  • H-2A Visa: For temporary agricultural workers.
  • H-2B Visa: For temporary non-agricultural workers in seasonal or peak-load positions.

Conclusion

Exploring the various work visa options in the U.S. can open doors to numerous professional opportunities. Understanding the requirements and application processes for each visa type is crucial for a successful application. At CK Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing expert legal support tailored to your unique situation. Contact us today to discuss your immigration needs and explore how we can help you achieve your professional goals in the United States.

By Asim Kilinc, Immigration Attorney at CK Law Firm

Whether you’ve arrived in the U.S. on an immigrant visa, a non-immigrant visa, or have entered through other means, navigating the immigration process can be daunting. There are many legal terms and concepts that can be confusing. To help you better understand these terms and ease your journey, we at CK Law Firm have created this comprehensive immigration law glossary. Our goal is to provide clear explanations to help you make informed decisions about your immigration status.

Immigration Law Glossary

A

  • Adjustment of Status (AOS): The process of changing from a non-immigrant visa status to permanent resident status (Green Card) while staying in the U.S.
  • Admissibility: Conditions determining whether a person is allowed to enter the U.S. or adjust their status.
  • Affidavit of Support: A document an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually required for family-based immigration.
  • Alien: A non-citizen or foreign-born individual in the U.S.
  • Appeal: A request for a higher authority to review a decision.

B

  • B Visa: A non-immigrant visa for visitors entering the U.S. temporarily for business (B-1) or pleasure (B-2).
  • Biometrics: Biological data, such as fingerprints and photographs, collected for background checks.
  • Border Crossing Card: A document allowing Mexican citizens to cross into the U.S. for short visits.

C

  • Cancellation of Removal: A form of relief allowing certain immigrants in removal proceedings to apply for a Green Card.
  • Conditional Resident: A person granted permanent residence on a conditional basis, typically for two years, often through marriage.
  • Consular Processing: Applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U.S.

D

  • Deportation: The formal removal of an alien from the U.S. when they have been found removable for violating immigration laws.
  • Diversity Visa Lottery: A program providing a limited number of visas annually to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
  • DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): A program allowing certain individuals who came to the U.S. as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit.

E

  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD): A document allowing non-citizens to work in the U.S.
  • EB Visa: Employment-based immigration visas, categorized into five preference levels (EB-1 through EB-5).
  • Expedited Removal: The quick removal of certain inadmissible aliens without a hearing.

F

  • F Visa: Non-immigrant student visas (F-1 for academic students, F-2 for dependents, and F-3 for border commuters).
  • Form I-485: The application form for Adjustment of Status to become a permanent resident.

G

  • Green Card: Informal term for a Permanent Resident Card, which allows an individual to live and work permanently in the U.S.
  • Grounds of Inadmissibility: Reasons an individual can be denied entry to the U.S. or adjustment of status.

H

  • H Visa: Temporary work visas (e.g., H-1B for specialty occupations, H-2A for agricultural workers, H-2B for non-agricultural workers).

I

  • Immigrant Visa: A visa allowing a person to live permanently in the U.S.
  • I-94 Form: A form issued to visitors at the time of entry, indicating their visa status and authorized period of stay.
  • Illegal Immigrant: A person who has entered the U.S. without proper documentation or has overstayed their visa.
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): The federal agency responsible for enforcing immigration laws and investigating illegal immigration activities.

J

  • J Visa: Exchange visitor visas for individuals approved to participate in exchange programs (e.g., for study, research, or teaching).

K

  • K Visa: Non-immigrant visas for fiancés (K-1) and spouses (K-3) of U.S. citizens.
  • K-2/K-4 Visa: Non-immigrant visas for children of K-1/K-3 visa holders.

L

  • L Visa: Intra-company transferee visas for employees of international companies being transferred to the U.S.
  • Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR): An individual who has been granted the right to live permanently in the U.S.

M

  • M Visa: Non-immigrant visas for vocational students.
  • Migrant: A person who moves from one country to another, typically for work or better living conditions.

N

  • Naturalization: The process by which a foreign citizen becomes a U.S. citizen.
  • Non-immigrant Visa: A visa for a temporary stay in the U.S. for purposes such as tourism, business, or education.

O

  • O Visa: Non-immigrant visas for individuals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
  • Overstay: Staying in the U.S. longer than the authorized period of stay.

P

  • Parole: Temporary permission to enter or remain in the U.S. granted by immigration authorities.
  • Petition: A formal request to USCIS for a visa or change of status.
  • Priority Date: The date an immigrant petition is filed, used to determine visa availability.

Q

  • Quota: A limit on the number of visas issued each year in certain categories.
  • Qualifying Relative: A family member whose relationship to the immigrant is the basis for an immigration benefit.

R

  • Refugee: A person who has been forced to flee their country due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution.
  • Removal Proceedings: The legal process to determine whether an individual should be removed (deported) from the U.S.

S

  • Sponsor: A person who takes responsibility for another individual’s application for an immigration benefit.
  • Status: The visa category or immigration classification that defines a person’s rights and responsibilities in the U.S.

T

  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS): A temporary immigration status for nationals of certain countries experiencing problems that make it unsafe to return.
  • Travel Document: A document allowing travel outside the U.S. and re-entry, such as a re-entry permit or refugee travel document.

U

  • U Visa: Non-immigrant visas for victims of certain crimes who assist law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting those crimes.
  • USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the U.S.

V

  • Visa: A document allowing a person to apply for entry to the U.S.
  • Visa Waiver Program (VWP): A program allowing citizens of certain countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa for stays of 90 days or less.

W

  • Waiver: An official document granting forgiveness for certain immigration violations or grounds of inadmissibility.

Y

  • Youth: Special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) for certain undocumented minors who are unable to reunite with one or both parents due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

Z

  • Zero Tolerance Policy: A policy that refers to the enforcement of all immigration laws without exception.

Conclusion

Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be challenging, but understanding these key terms can make the process easier. If you need personalized assistance with your immigration journey, CK Law Firm is here to help. Contact us today for expert legal advice and support.

By Asim Kilinc, Immigration Attorney at CK Law Firm

Receiving a denial on your immigration application can be disheartening and stressful. However, it is not the end of the road. There are steps you can take to address the denial and possibly reverse the decision. This guide will provide advice on what to do if your immigration application is denied and explain the appeals process in detail.

Understanding Immigration Denials

Immigration applications can be denied for various reasons, including:

  • Incomplete or Incorrect Information: Missing or inaccurate information on your application.
  • Ineligibility: Not meeting the eligibility criteria for the visa or immigration benefit you applied for.
  • Lack of Evidence: Insufficient documentation to support your application.
  • Criminal Background: Issues related to criminal history or security concerns.
  • Failure to Attend Appointments: Missing biometrics, interviews, or other required appointments.

Immediate Steps After a Denial

1. Review the Denial Notice

  • Carefully read the denial notice to understand the specific reasons for the denial. The notice will include important information on why your application was rejected and any options for appeal or reconsideration.

2. Consult with an Immigration Attorney

  • Seek advice from an experienced immigration attorney to assess your case and determine the best course of action. An attorney can help you understand your options and guide you through the appeals process.

Example: Sarah received a denial notice for her H-1B visa application due to insufficient evidence of her educational qualifications. We reviewed the notice and helped her gather additional documentation to support her case.

The Appeals Process

If you believe the denial was in error, you may have the option to appeal the decision. Here’s how to navigate the appeals process:

1. File a Motion to Reopen or Reconsider

  • Motion to Reopen: Request to have your case reopened with new evidence or facts that were not available at the time of the original decision.
  • Motion to Reconsider: Request to have your case reconsidered based on the argument that the original decision was incorrect due to a misapplication of the law.

Form I-290B

  • Use Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, to file either motion. This form must be filed within 30 days of receiving the denial notice (33 days if the notice was mailed).

Supporting Documents

  • Include any new evidence or arguments to support your motion. Clearly explain why the original decision should be reconsidered or reopened.

Example: Ahmed’s asylum application was denied. We filed a Motion to Reopen with new evidence of persecution in his home country, which was not available at the time of his original application.

2. File an Appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO)

  • If your motion is denied or if you choose to appeal directly, you can file an appeal with the AAO.

Form I-290B

  • File Form I-290B to appeal the decision. Ensure the form is complete and includes all necessary supporting documents.

AAO Review Process

  • The AAO will review your appeal and make a decision. This process can take several months, depending on the complexity of the case.

Example: John’s employment-based green card application was denied. We filed an appeal with the AAO, providing detailed legal arguments and additional evidence to support his eligibility.

3. Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)

  • For certain immigration decisions, you may appeal to the BIA. This is typically used for cases involving removal or deportation.

Notice of Appeal

  • File a Notice of Appeal with the BIA within 30 days of the immigration judge’s decision.

Supporting Documents

  • Include a brief explaining the reasons for the appeal and any supporting evidence.

Example: Maria faced removal proceedings and received an unfavorable decision from the immigration judge. We filed an appeal with the BIA, presenting strong legal arguments to support her case.

Tips for a Successful Appeal

1. Act Quickly

  • Time is critical when filing motions or appeals. Ensure you meet all deadlines to avoid missing your opportunity for reconsideration.

2. Gather Strong Evidence

  • Collect comprehensive and convincing evidence to support your case. This can include additional documentation, expert testimony, or new facts that were not previously considered.

3. Prepare a Detailed Legal Argument

  • Clearly explain why the denial was incorrect, referencing specific laws and regulations. An experienced immigration attorney can help craft a compelling legal argument.

4. Maintain Consistency

  • Ensure that all information provided in your appeal is consistent with your original application and any previous submissions.

Example: David’s visa application was denied due to inconsistencies in his travel history. We carefully reviewed all documents, corrected the inconsistencies, and provided a detailed explanation in his appeal.

Alternative Options

If an appeal is not feasible or successful, consider alternative options:

1. Reapply

  • You may choose to reapply for the same visa or immigration benefit, addressing the issues that led to the denial.

Example: Jane’s student visa was denied due to missing financial documents. We gathered the required documents and successfully reapplied for her visa.

2. Explore Other Visa Options

  • If your circumstances have changed, you may be eligible for a different type of visa or immigration benefit.

Example: Alex’s work visa application was denied. We explored other options and determined that he was eligible for an investor visa, which he successfully obtained.

Conclusion

Handling immigration denials and appeals requires a thorough understanding of the process and careful preparation. By taking immediate action, seeking legal assistance, and presenting strong evidence, you can improve your chances of a successful outcome. At CK Law Firm, we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of immigration law and achieve your goals. Contact us today for expert legal advice and support.

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