FAQs

Why do I need an immigration lawyer?
The immigration laws are extremely complex. Not only are they themselves very complex, but there are many other law that may impact how the immigration laws are applied in any given case. Obviously, the criminal laws, both state and federal, impact what benefits can be obtained under the immigration laws. But the federal labor and employment law also may impact a case, as well as state family law. Even international criminal convictions can affect whether a person can be successful in his or her immigration petition or application.
Furthermore, these laws often are contrary to common sense. Why are two shoplifting convictions grounds for deportation, where two DUIs are not? How can a misdemeanor under state law be an “Aggravated Felony” under the immigration laws?
Only a well experienced and conscientious immigration lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and suggest a clear path forward. You NEED a good immigration attorney!

I have an arrest. Now what?
Almost nothing can affect an immigration case more than a person’s criminal history. The best time to speak with an immigration attorney is just after you are arrested. He can suggest a good criminal lawyer and more importantly, work with that criminal defense lawyer to make sure that at the end of your criminal case, that your immigration status is not jeopardized.
Even the most seemingly unimportant arrest may have grave consequences for your immigration status or your immigration case. For example, even a petit larceny or a shoplifting is known in the immigration law as a “Crime Involving Moral Turpitude” or CIMT. These can have very harsh consequences.
Make sure that you contact Driggs Immigration Law whenever you have a criminal arrest, and make sure that you are completely honest about all contact with law enforcement. Do not assume that because you paid a fine and your criminal case is closed—that it will not affect your immigration process. It will.

Can I start a business in the United States?
Foreign persons may own a business in the United States, but can only work in that business under certain circumstances. To be able to work in the United States legally, a foreign national must either have work authorization or a special visa to start a company.
Examples of visas that will enable a foreign national to start a business include a Treaty Trader E-1 Visa, a Treaty Investor E-2 Visa, and an L-1 Intra-company Transferee visa. There are very specific requirements

I was caught at the border. Do I have a deportation?
When a person is caught entering the United States illegally, it is very rare for that person to be deported back to his home country. More likely, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) will just take a person’s fingerprints and take them back across the border. This does not count as a deportation and does not bar the person from re-entering the country. Multiple entries into the United States, especially if a significant period of time is spent inside the United States, can cause problems. It is very important that a qualified Immigration Attorney reviews your history prior to taking any action.
The only time a person may receive what is called “Expedited Removal” at the border is when they appear at a Port of Entry with a false document or commit some other type of fraud. When this is detected, the person may be given Expedited Removal, which is a type of Deportation and prohibits the person from entering or attempting to enter the United States for five years.

How can I get my Green Card?
Green Cards, or Lawful Permanent Residence, can primarily be obtained by either a Family Petition or an Employer Petition. There are a few other ways, having to do with Battered Spouses, Victims of Serious Crimes and the Diversity Lottery, but to receive a Green Card, normally you must be petitioned by a qualifying family member or employer.
Besides being petitioned, the Immigrant Visa must be available in order to apply for your Green Card, or “Adjust Status.” There are also issues that might make you inadmissible, so it is very important to discuss your entire history with your Immigration Attorney.

Can my spouse petition me if I entered the USA illegally?
Actually your spouse can petition you no matter what. But that is not the whole story or even the whole question! A family petition is just that, a petition and it does not grant legal status. What grants legal status is an application for Lawful Permanent Residence or an Application for an Immigrant Visa at a United States Consulate overseas.
If a beneficiary of a spousal petition last entered the United States illegally, and has remained in the United States for more than six months, he or she must leave the country to apply for an Immigrant Visa at a Consulate overseas. There are some exceptions to this rule (of course—this is the immigration law!!). In most cases, the Beneficiary must also apply for a Waiver of Inadmissibility for his or her Unlawful Presence in the United States.
Driggs Immigration Law has a lot of experience getting these types of waivers approved. Call us at the beginning of the process to make sure you are successful.

What is DACA and DAPA?
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and DAPA stands for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability. DACA was announced on June 15, 2012, and allowed young people between the ages of 16 and 30 on that date to apply and receive work documentation and a promise that they would not be removed from the United States. Travel Authorization to leave the United States could also be applied for after the DACA is approved.
The rules regarding DACA are complicated and it is important that we carefully analyze your history here inside the United States.
DAPA was proposed by President Obama in 2014 and would permit Deferred Action for parents of United States Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. Before the program was started, a lawsuit was filed by several States seeking to stop it. The United States Supreme Court is now deciding whether the Federal Government can go ahead with this program.