Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do I Need An Immigration Lawyer?

Can I handle my own immigration application?

Immigration law is extremely complex. Not only are they themselves very complex, but there are many other laws that may impact how the immigration laws are applied in any given case.


Both state and federal criminal law impacts what benefits can be obtained under 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 an immigration application.

An as you might expect from complex laws they often are contrary to common sense. Why are two shoplifting convictions grounds for deportation, where two DUIs may not? How can a misdemeanor under state law be an “Aggravated Felony” under the immigration laws?


Only a highly experienced immigration lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and suggest a clear path forward. Could you do it without an immigration lawyer, sure. Are you likely to succeed, defintely not!

I have an arrest. Now what?

Can I be deported if I get a criminal record?

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. They 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 terrible consequences for your immigration status. For example a shoplifting crime 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 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?

Which Visa is required to start a business?

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 can I be deported?

When a person is caught entering the United States illegally, rarely is that person deported back to their 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?

What Green Card options are there?

Green Cards, or Lawful Permanent Residence, can primarily be obtained by either a family, employment or investment.


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?

Marriage May Save You

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 your chances of being successful are greatly increased.

What is DACA?

What is DAPA?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).

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 which resulted in a 4:4 split in the Supreme Court, President Trump eventually cancelled DAPA in 2017.

What Immigration Paperwork Do I Need?

What documents do I need for my immigration application?

The short version - Everything that you have!


The more paperwork you have then the better your chances of success. The US immigration authorities have to satisfy themselves who you are and your circumstances for being in the USA. The more evidence you have then the more likely your case can be confirmed as being true.

*** The information you obtain from this website does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Driggs Immigration Law through this website will not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be treated as confidential.***

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