San Diego Immigration Lawyer Practice Areas by Law Offices of Hasbini
Law Offices of Hasbini San Diego Immigration Lawyer Practice Areas by Law Offices of Hasbini
A green card, also known as a permanent resident card, is
an identification card issued by the federal government to
permanent United States residents. A person can obtain a green
card through numerous channels, including marriage, employment,
lottery or investment. After five years, three years in the
case of marriage to a U.S. citizen, or four years in the case
of asylum-based residency, Green Card holders can apply for
cards present great opportunities, but they do have certain
limitations. As a green card holder, you are subject to travel
limitations, criminal provisions and civil limitations such
as the inability to vote, obtain a government job or hold
Helping Clients Obtain And Protect Their Green Cards
advises and represents clients seeking permanent resident
status, as well as clients facing problems related to existing
green cards. We offer a high level of personal service and
a focus on results. Our Firm can help you or a family member:
Determine your eligibility for Green Card and Obtain a Green
• Deal with immigration implications of being in an
abusive relationship or problematic marriage-based Green Card
• Explore your options if your visa has been canceled;
• Benefit from an exemption or voluntary departure if
has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in resolving
important immigration and Green Card issues. Contact us for
a free consultation to see if you qualify to apply for a Green
June 2013, same-sex couples, just like opposite-sex couples,
may petition for Green Card.
DOMA has been struck, a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
in a same-sex marriage may sponsor foreign national spouse
for Green Card. Your eligibility to petition for your spouse,
and your spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant at the
immigration visa application or adjustment of status stage
will be determined like any other green card petition filed
by opposite-sex couples.
has successfully represented same-sex couples in their adjustment
of status and Green Card Petitions. Should you have any question
regarding your Green Card process, our firm can assist you
and answer any questions you might have. We offer a free consultation.
Thousands of youth
and young adults in California live in fear of deportation
from the United States. Though many of these young people
have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives, they are essentially
victims of their parents’ undocumented status.
What does dream act do?
The Dream Act (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals –
“DACA”) is an important piece of federal legislation
that can help young people who came to the United States as
children. Important benefits of the DREAM Act, which gives
children of undocumented immigrants the ability to live normal
lives in the United States, include two years of deferred
action (delay of removal proceedings), the ability to go to
school and obtain a work permit, and the ability to obtain
a driver’s license.
Dream Act Eligibility Requirements
1. Applicant must have entered the United States before the
age of 16;
2. Applicant must have resided continuously in the United
States for at least the last five years;
3. Applicant must have graduated from high school, earned
a GED or be enrolled in high school;
4. Applicant is 30 years of age or younger at the time of
5. No felonies or serious misdemeanors.
Our firm has successfully
assisted hundreds of clients in applying for Deferred Action.
Our firm offers a free consultation. Feel free to give us
a call to find out if you are eligible for Deferred Action.
qualify for a B-2 visa, applicant must show the following:
• The purpose
of the trip is to enter the U.S. for pleasure, or medical
• Applicant plans to remain for a specific time period;
• Applicant maintains a foreign residence that he or
she has no intention of abandoning;
• Applicant is not engaged in work and will engage solely
in legitimate activities relating to pleasure.
following are considered when applying for a tourist visa:
funds to cover the expenses for the trip including his or
her stay or affidavit of support.
• Applicant has specific and realistic plans for the
visit for the entire period of the contemplated visit;
• Applicant has made plans to return to his/her home
country; reservation for one-way plane ticket suffices;
• Applicant has a residence outside the U.S. as well
as other binding ties, which will insure his or her return
abroad at the end of the visit.
• Normally, an applicant’s chances for getting
a visa will be improved if the planned trip is short, the
itinerary is clearly listed, the alien can prove that he or
she has enough of funds to cover the expenses of his entire
trip and has a job, family, and other ties at his or her home
You may be eligible
for a B-1 visa if you will be participating in business activities
of a commercial or professional nature in the United States,
including, but not limited to:
with business associates;
• Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional
or business convention, or a conference on specific dates;
• Settling an estate;
• Negotiating a contract;
• Participating in short-term training;
• Transiting through the United States;
You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible
to obtain a B-1 visa:
• The purpose
of your trip is to enter the United States for business of
a legitimate nature;
• You plan to remain for a specific limited period of
• You have the funds to cover the expenses of the trip
and your stay in the United States;
• You have a residence outside the United States in
which you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other
binding ties which will ensure your return abroad at the end
of the visit;
• You are otherwise admissible to the United States.
are in the United States in another valid nonimmigrant status,
you may be eligible to change to B-1 status. You also be eligible
to extend your B-1 status. To change to or extend your B-1
status, you should file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change
would like to study as a full-time student in the United States,
you will need a student visa. There are two nonimmigrant visa
categories for persons wishing to study in the United States.
These visas are commonly known as the F and M visas.
may enter in the F-1 or M-1 visa category provided you meet
the following criteria:
must be enrolled in an "academic" educational program,
a language-training program, or a vocational program;
• School must be approved by the Student and Exchange
Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement;
• Applicant must be enrolled as a full-time student
at the institution;
• Applicant must be proficient in English or be enrolled
in courses leading to English proficiency;
• Applicant must have sufficient funds available for
self-support during the entire proposed course of study; and
• Applicant must maintain a residence abroad which he/she
has no intention of giving up.
The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows you to enter the United
States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university,
seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school,
or other academic institution or in a language training program.
You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that
culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school
must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international
The M-1 visa (Vocational Student) category includes students
in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language
F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic
year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain
conditions and restrictions. There are various programs available
for F-1 students to seek off-campus employment, after the
first academic year. F-1 students may engage in three types
of off-campus employment, after they have been studying for
one academic year. These three types of employment are:
Practical Training (CPT)
• Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion
• Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
(STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)
• M-1 students may engage in practical training only
after they have completed their studies.
For both F-1 and
M-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to
their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting
any work by the Designated School Official.
Non-Immigrant Visa for Fiancé/Spouse of US Citizen
United States Citizens may bring their fiancé to the
United States by applying for the K-1 visa. In order to qualify
for the K-1 visa, the applicant must present evidence of a
bona fide relationship and that they have seen in each other
(in person) within two years of filing the application. Upon
entering the U.S., the K-1 visa holder must get married to
the United States citizen and submit a green card petition
for the K-1 visa holder. Dependents of K-1 visa holders may
enter with K-2 visas.
Visa for Fiancé/Fiancée
If you wish to bring your fiancée into the United States
to marry, you must file with the USCIS Form I-129F, Petition
for Alien fiancé for their lawful entry into the U.S.
Visa Eligibility and Requirements
You must be a U.S. citizen to file. Your fiancée or
fiancé must be a citizen of another country and physically
outside the U.S. at the time of application. An individual
can be issued a K-1 visa only after a petition is filed in
the U.S. and has been approved, based on satisfactory evidence
of the following:
• That the
couple previously met within the two (2) years of the date
of filing the petition, unless a waiver is granted;
• That the couple has a bona fide intention to marry;
• The couple is legally able and actually willing to
conclude a valid marriage in the United States within 90 days
after the fiancé’s arrival.
must take place within 90 days of your fiancée/fiancé
entering the U.S. After getting married, you may file for
the Green Card. Please note that it is important that you
marry your fiancé within 90 days of your fiancé
entering the U.S.
Extend Your Stay
If you want to
extend your stay in the United States, you must file a request
with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on
Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
before your authorized stay expires. You may apply to extend
your stay if:
• You were
lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant
• Your nonimmigrant visa status remains valid;
• You have not committed any crimes that make you ineligible
for a visa;
• You have not violated the conditions of your admission;
• Your passport is valid and will remain valid for the
duration of your stay; and
• You otherwise meet the requirements of your requested
You may not apply
to extend your stay if you were admitted to the United States
in the following categories:
• Visa Waiver
• Crew member (D nonimmigrant visa);
• In transit through the United States (C nonimmigrant
• In transit through the United States without a visa
• Fiancé of a U.S. citizen or dependent of a
fiancé (K nonimmigrant visa);
• Informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or
organized crime (S nonimmigrant visa).
and Investment Visas
The United States
has entered into treaties with several countries and established
the E-1 visa to help citizens of those countries engage in
international trading activities.
is a businessperson from one of the listed countries, and
plans to either engage in substantial trade with the U.S.
or work for an enterprise that does, then an E-1 visa may
be appropriate. In fact, it may serve the visa holder well
for a number of years, as there is no limit on the number
of E-1 visas issued every year, and the E-1 can be renewed
Features of E-1 Visa
• The visa holder can work legally in the U.S. for a
U.S. company if more than 50% of its business is with the
person’s home country, and the home country has entered
a treaty with the United States.
• While in the U.S., the person is restricted to working
only for the U.S. employer or self-owned business that acted
as the visa sponsor.
• Initial visas may last for up to five years, with
unlimited extensions. The length of the visa depends upon
the visa "reciprocity" agreement between the U.S.
and the foreign country and upon the viability of the business.
• Each time E visa holders (workers or family members)
enter the U.S., they receive a period of stay of up to two
years. They also may extend their stay while remaining in
Visas are available for an accompanying spouse and minor,
unmarried children. The spouse, but not children, may apply
for a work permit once physically present in the U.S.
What Are the Eligibility Criteria for an E-1 Visa?
qualify for a visa in category E-1, the person must:
• be from a qualifying country;
• work for a qualifying business;
• be either a 50% (or greater) owner or key employee
of that business, and
• be able to show that most of the company’s trade
is with the United States.
This type of Visa
allows certain foreign national investors and their employees
to obtain immigration status in the United States. The status
is valid for two years, and can be extended indefinitely.
The E-2 Visa holder’s spouse and children under the
age of 21 are eligible to receive derivative E-2 visa status.
Are the Requirements for a company and individual to be eligible
for an E-2 visa?
• A qualifying
treaty must exist between the United States and the applicant’s
• Majority ownership or control of the investing company
must be held by nationals of a qualifying Country; and
• Each employee or principal of the company who seeks
E status must possess citizenship in a qualifying country.
are the E-2 Visa Qualifying Countries?
Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Bulgaria Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica,
The Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland,
France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland,
Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia,
Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Moldovia, Mongolia,
Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines,
Poland, Romania, Senegal, The Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri
Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad
and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and
Uzbekistan. This list is subject to change.
Can Obtain the E-2 Visa?
A qualifying company
can obtain E-2 visa status for certain investors and employees.
Qualifying investors must be coming to the U.S. to direct
or develop the business. Additionally, the investor must demonstrate
either owning 50% of the business, or having another means
of operational control over the business.
Employees of the company are also eligible for E-2 status
if the employee is coming to act in an executive or supervisory
position, or has essential skills to the company. All E-2
visa applicants must have the same nationality as the qualifying
the Family of an E-2 Visa Holder Receive a Visa?
The E-2 investor
can provide immigration status to his or her spouse and unmarried
children under the age of 21. The spouse of the E-2 visa holder
is eligible to obtain work authorization, but cannot work
until he or she receives work authorization from USCIS. The
Unmarried children are not eligible to work, but can attend
are the E-2 Visa Investment Requirements?
must be made in bona fide commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking.
The investment must be in an enterprise that produces a service
or commodity for profit and must be “doing business”
in the United States.
must be substantial. There is no set monetary floor as to
how much capital must be invested. Instead, the investment
must be enough to ensure to a reasonable extent that the business
invested in is not speculative, but is, or soon will be, a
successful enterprise as a result of sound business and financial
judgment. This is perhaps the most important concept for small
intra-company transferee classification applies to qualified
executives and managers within multinational companies. These
individuals can be transferred from their foreign employer
to work for up to seven years in the United States for an
appropriately affiliated U.S. company. The company must continue
to operate as a multinational company for the duration of
the employee’s L1A status.
as executive or managerial is appropriate for employees who
are primarily responsible for directing management or managing
an organization, department, subdivision, or component of
the company. It is also possible to qualify by demonstrating
that the employee has supervisory responsibilities over professional
or managerial employees or manages an essential function within
the organization. This classification is not appropriate for
There are no annual
limitations on the number of L1As that can be approved, and
there are no specific wage requirements for L1A employees.
Are The Requirements for L-1A Visa?
• Transferred employee must have been employed by foreign
affiliate for at least one continuous year within the three
years prior to coming to the U.S.;
• The prior employment must have been either in an executive,
managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity;
• Within the L1A category, employee must not be low-level
manger. Employee may qualify by demonstrating employment level
within the company structure, and establishing higher level
supervisory or managerial responsibilities.)
• Employers must obtain approved petition from the USCIS
for each desired employee, unless the employer has a blanket
L-1 petition approval.
H-1B Work Visas
The H-1B visa is
a nonimmigrant work visa used by aliens who will be employed
temporarily in a specialty occupation. The H-1 visa may be
used to bring a worker to the United States if the employee
will work in a professional position. Specialty occupation
is defined as an occupation that requires highly specialized
knowledge and at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a related
field. In certain cases, work experience may be accepted in
lieu of a Bachelor’s Degree.
includes accounting, architecture, business specialties, engineering,
education, information technology, law, mathematics, medicine
and health, physical sciences, social sciences, theology,
and arts. Other professions may also qualify as specialty
The H1B work visa
requires a sponsoring US employer. The sponsor must file a
labor condition application with the Department of Labor attesting
to several items, including payment of prevailing wages for
the position, and the working conditions offered. The H1B
employer must then file an I-129 petition with USCIS. Based
on the USCIS petition approval, the alien may apply for an
H1B visa stamp at an American Embassy. An H1B visa stamp allows
an alien holding that status to travel abroad and reenter
the US during the validity period of the visa and approved
may be admitted into the US in H1B work visa status initially
for up to three years with possible extension for three more
years. After six years in H1B status, an alien must remain
outside the United States for one year before another H1B
petition can be approved. H1B aliens may only work for the
petitioning US employer and only in the H1B activities described
in the petition.
An H1B alien can
be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition, apply for
adjustment of status, or take other steps toward Lawful Permanent
Resident (LPR) status without affecting the H1B status.
An alien previously granted H-1B status may transfer to a
new H1-B job provided that the alien has not accrued unlawful
presence in the US. The alien could begin working for the
new H-1B employer as soon as the H-1B transfer is filed with
USCIS. H-1B transfers are not subject to the annual quota.
TN Visa (Trade
NAFTA) is a special non-immigration status unique to citizens
of Canada and Mexico. TN visas are granted for a period up
to three (3) years. Spouse and dependent children of a TN
professional can be admitted into the United States in the
and TN status does not include the doctrine of dual intent.
Should Canadians or Mexicans on TN status desire to pursue
the green card they could switch to the H-1B visa before applying
for the Green Card.
Canadian citizens applying for the TN-1 Visa must provide
the following information at a U.S. port of entry:
• An official request for TN status;
• Copies of all relevant college degrees and employment
records. This data should prove the applicant is sufficiently
qualified for the proposed position;
• An offer of employment letter from the sponsoring
employer detailing employment for not more than three years;
Renewing or Extending TN status/TN visa
Once TN status is granted, it is good for up to a period of
three (3) years but only for the specific employer for which
it was originally requested.
If employment with a single employer is desired for more than
three years, it may be renewed by returning to the border
and, in effect, presenting a new application. Changing employers
will require the Canadian to return to the
border and start from scratch with a new application.
The procedures for Mexican citizens applying for TN status
are a bit more complex than for Canadians. A Mexican citizen
must first obtain a TN-2 visa at a US consulate in Mexico.
Once the visa stamp is obtained in the Mexican citizen’s
passport, they may enter the US in TN status and are admitted
into the US in the TN-2 status.
J-1 Visas (Exchange Visitors)
The J1 visa for
exchange visitors is designed to promote the interchange of
persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of arts, business,
education, and sciences. Participants include trainees obtaining
on-the-job training with businesses, institutions, and agencies;
professional trainees in the medical and allied fields; students
at all academic levels; teachers of primary, secondary, and
specialized schools; professors coming to teach or do research
at institutions of higher learning; research scholars; and
international visitors coming for the purpose of travel, observation,
consultation, research, training, sharing, or demonstrating
specialized knowledge or skills, or participating in organized
J1 visa applicants
must demonstrate to the consular officer that they have binding
ties to a residence in a foreign country which they have no
intention of abandoning, and that they are coming to the United
States for a temporary period.
in J1 exchange visitor status depends upon the terms of the
program. Participants in programs which provide for on-the-job
training, teaching, research, or other activities, which involve
paid employment may accept such employment. Participants in
programs which do not involve work may not accept outside
Waiver/Foreign Residency Requirement
Certain J1 exchange
visitors who participate in programs which are financed by
an agency of the U.S. Government or by the exchange visitor’s
government, or who are nationals or residents of a country
which has been designated by the Exchange Visitor Program
as requiring the skills of the exchange visitor, must return
to their country of nationality or last residence after completing
their program in the United States, and reside there physically
for two years before they may become eligible to apply for
an immigrant or temporary worker visa.
may apply for a waiver of the two-year foreign residency requirement.
There are five statutory bases to apply for a J1 waiver:
• A no objection
statement from your host government;
• A request from an interested U.S. Government agency
on your behalf;
• A claim that you will be persecuted if you return
to your country of residence;
• A claim of exceptional hardship to a U.S. citizen
or permanent resident spouse or child if you are required
to return to your country of residence; or
• A request by a designated State health agency or its
The spouse and
minor children of participants in exchange programs may apply
for derivative J2 dependent visas to accompany or follow to
join the principal alien. Dependents may apply to USCIS for
authorization to accept employment in the U.S.
People across the
world enter the United States in order to escape unstable
or dangerous situations. Asylum is a means for people who
face prosecution in other countries to remain in the United
States. An application for asylum must meet a number of specific
requirements. If you have entered the United States in order
to leave a dangerous environment, the outcome of your asylum
application matters a great deal.
to obtain asylum, you must show that you have a “well-founded
fear of persecution” or have suffered persecution in
the past. This persecution must be based on any of the following
grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in particular
social group or political opinion.
firm has successfully obtained political asylum for many applicants.
You must file for asylum within one year of entering the United
States. Asylum is ultimately at the discretion of the immigration
judge. Our attorneys are adept at gathering evidence, preparing
testimonies and making persuasive cases for people seeking
If your application
is granted, you will receive a grant of asylum and then, after
one year in asylum status, you may apply for green card. Even
if your application for asylum is denied, you may still have
potential remedies, including withholding of removal.
to give us a call to find out if you are eligible for Political
Asylum. Our immigration attorneys will offer you a free consultation
to determine if you meet the requirements of political asylum.
Deportation and Removal
Being placed in
deportation or removal proceedings is an extremely stressful
and worrisome experience, not just for the immigrant but also
for his/her family.
critical to have an experienced attorney evaluate the case
against you and determine whether you have a successful challenge
to the proceedings. In some instances, it may be possible
to challenge the basis for starting the removal proceedings.
In other instances, even when the government has a legitimate
case against you, it may be possible to cancel removal proceedings.
In other instances, voluntary departure is the best option;
however, that decision must be made intelligently after reviewing
A foreign national who is placed in deportation or removal
proceedings must be well prepared and knowledgeable about
the consequences of deportation or removal in order to preserve
his or her ability to potentially return to the U.S. lawfully
in the future.
Our firm has successfully
cancelled removal proceedings for our clients. Prior to your
court date(s), we will go over what you can expect to occur.
We will review your situation and give you an honest, direct
assessment of your chances of challenging the commencement
of the proceedings, and your chances of cancelling the removal.
We can establish a set of long-term goals for your case and
work tirelessly toward meeting those goals.
nationals facing deportation or removal proceedings may not
realize that they have certain forms of relief available to
them. Some forms of relief that we have been successful in
obtaining for our clients include Cancellation of Removal.
Cancellation of Removal is a discretionary benefit adjusting
an alien’s status from that of deportable alien to one
lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Application for
cancellation of removal is made during the course of a hearing
before an immigration judge.
Two forms of cancellation
of removal exist. The first benefits lawful permanent residents
(LPRs) if the lawful permanent resident: has been an LPR for
5 years, has resided in the U.S. continuously for 7 years
after having been admitted in any status, and has not been
convicted of any aggravated felonies.
form of cancellation benefits Non-lawful permanent residents
(Non-LPRs) if the Non-LPR has been physically present in the
U.S. for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately
preceding the date of such application for cancellation of
removal, has been a person of good moral character for 10
years, and has not been convicted of an offense under INA
§§ 212(a), 237(a)(2) or 237(a)(3), and establishes
that removal would result in exception and extremely unusual
hardship to his or her USC or LPR spouse, parent or child.
Voluntary departure is the departure of an alien from the
United States without an order of removal. The departure may
or may not have been preceded by a hearing before an immigration
judge. An alien allowed to voluntarily depart concedes removability
but does not have a bar to seeking admission at a port-of-entry
at any time. Failure to depart within the time granted results
in a fine and a ten-year bar to several forms of relief from
At outset of the
removal hearing respondent may receive up to 120 days to voluntarily
depart if respondent requests voluntary departure prior to
or at the master calendar hearing, does not request any other
form of relief, concedes removability, waives appeal, and
has not been convicted of an aggravated felony, and is not
deportable under security and related provisions of INA §
conclusion of the removal hearing respondent may receive up
to only 60 days to voluntarily depart if respondent has been
physically present for at least one year prior to service
of the NTA, has been a person of good moral character for
at least the 5 years preceding the application for voluntary
departure, is not deportable as an aggravated felon or terrorist,
has not been previously granted voluntary departure, and establishes
by clear and convincing evidence that they have the ability
to leave at his or her own expense and that they intend to
If you are placed in deportation or removal proceedings, contact
our experienced immigration attorneys for a free consultation.
We will help you identify any sort of relief available to
you and work with you to obtain the best possible outcome
for your case.
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