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Immigration Law

To serve you better, our immigration services are provided in English and Farsi/Persian. 

WHY CHOOSE US


Immigration law is very complex and there are many aspects to a case that require professional assistance despite what you may read or see online. Some cases that we handle are refused applications or failed hearings and appeals from people without lawyers. Such cases are much harder to resolve and more costly. It is always better to get it right the first time!


Citizenship

We will even attend your naturalization interview with you to help ensure everything goes smoothly.

Green Card

Learn how to get a Green Card, become a permanent resident, or handle other residency issues.

Commuter Green Card

Find out how to live in Canada or Mexico and travel to U.S. for work every day.

Non-Immigration Visa

Travel to the U.S. for tourism, medical treatment, business, or study. 

I-9 Compliance and Worksite Enforcement

Both citizens and noncitizen nationals of the United States must complete Form I-9.

Consequences of Criminal Conviction

Our attorneys are in your corner—they’ll respond quickly, they’re empathetic, and they’ve successfully served many other people in your shoes.

Citizenship

Green Card holders are eligible to apply for US Citizenship five years after obtaining their permanent residence status or only three years if they are married to a US Citizen. The general requirements to qualify for US Citizenship are: 


  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of filing.
  • Be able to read, write and speak English (unless a waiver applies). 
  • Can apply three months before the three or five year anniversary.
  • Must be a person of "good moral character".
  • Must have resided in the U.S. for the entire three or five year period, as applicable.
  • Must not have spent 180 continuous days or more out of the US during the three or five year period.
  • Must have been physically present in the US for two and one half years out of the last five years, or one and one half years out of the last three years.
  • Must reside continuously in the US from the time of citizenship application until citizenship is granted.


Helpful resources to prepare for the naturalization exam:




I-9 Compliance and Worksite Enforcement

At Whitmer Law, we can assist employers in every industry with I-9 compliance. We can help to avoid the costly consequences of non-compliance by drafting compliance programs, discover and correct previous mistakes, identify areas of non-compliance, perform private audits of I-9 documents, train on how to use the Department of Homeland Security’s “E-Verify” program and the Social Security Administration’s Number Verification System.

 

Since November 5, 1986, all U.S. employers have been required to complete and keep on record Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form) for each employee hired, even if the employee is an American-born citizen. The purpose of this law is to ensure that all workers are authorized by USCIS to legally work in the U.S.

 

Hiring an employee who does not have authorization to legally work in the U.S. may lead to the following fines:

 

  • First offence: $375-$3,200 per unauthorized alien.
  • Second offence: $3,200-$6,500 per unauthorized alien.
  • Third offence: $4,300-$16,000 per unauthorized alien.

 

Additionally, if an employee fails to complete or maintain I-9 Forms for all employees hired after November 1986, may carry fines from $110-$1,100 per employee even if the employee is authorized to work in the U.S. This is referred to as “paperwork” violation.

Green Card

An immigrant visa (Green Card) allows an immigrant to lawfully reside and work in the U.S. With a green card, you are no longer required to work for a specific employer and can travel freely. Our attorneys can help you obtain a green card through one of the following methods:


1. Family Sponsorship

  • Green Card for an immediate relative: Spouse, unmarried child under 21, parent,

  • Green Card for a family member of a U.S. citizen: unmarried children over 21, married child of any age, siblings,

  • Green Card for a family membver of a U.S. permanent resident: Spouse, unmarried child.


2. Employment Sponsorship

  • EB-1 Extraordinary Workers 
  • EB-2 PERM Labor Certification or National Interest Waiver (NIW) 
  • EB-3 Skilled or Professional Workers 

  • EB-4 Religious workers/special immigrants 

  • EB-5 Immigrant Investors 


3. Diversity Lottery

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes 50,000 diversity visas available annually, drawn from random selection among entries of individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.


4. Asylum or Refugee

If you were admitted to the United States as a refugee or as a qualifying family member of an asylee, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence (a green card) 1 year after your entry into the United States. If you were granted asylum in the United States, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence 1 year after the grant of your asylum status.

Commuter Green Card (Canada and Mexico Only)

Do you live in Canada or Mexico but want to work in the US? Well, there’s a way you can have the best of both words.


A commuter green card allows a Canadian or Mexican to live in their home country but work in the US. You can travel to the US for work on a daily or frequent basis. Keep in mind that a commuter green card cannot be treated the same as a “regular” green card. There are several limitations to a commuter green card holder, such as:


  • Cannot file for US Citizenship until the Commuter Green Card is converted to a non-commuter Green Card, and then wait the 3 or 5 year time frame.
  • Must be extended every six months with a letter from the US employer.
  • May not be entitled to all the same protections as a regular Green Card holder.
  • Accepting international assignments may risk the loss of the Commuter Green Card.
  • Cannot sponsor family members for Green Card status unless you move to the US.

Non-Immigration Visas

A non-immigrant visa is issued to a person with permanent residence outside the United States, but wishes to be in the U.S. on a temporary basis for reasons such as: tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.

 

Note: There are more than 20 different categories of nonimmigrant visa classifications. At Whitmer Law, we have helped clients obtain the following non-immigrant visas:

 

  • F-1 Student Visa
  • K-1 Visa, commonly known as Fiancé Visa
  • TN Visa (Canada and Mexico Only)

  • Visitor Visa - Visitor visas are non-immigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2)

Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions

Facing a criminal conviction may have severe implications on your immigration status if you are a person who holds a green card or nonimmigrant visa. Other than criminal convictions, other acts, such as failing to pay child support may have you denied for U.S. citizenship.


It is imperative that you consult with an immigration attorney if you are facing any criminal or civil charges. On March 31, 2010, the United States Supreme Court issued its momentous Sixth Amendment right to counsel decision in Padilla v. Kentucky. The Court held that, in light of the severity of deportation and the reality that immigration consequences of criminal convictions are inextricably linked to the criminal proceedings, the Sixth Amendment requires defense counsel to provide affirmative, competent advice to a noncitizen defendant regarding the immigration consequences of a guilty plea.


Call us if you need advice on immigration consequences of your or your client's criminal convictions.