Guiding You Through the Immigration Process
Grounded in Immigration Law for More than 40 Years
The immigration law firm of Brown Immigration Law is proud to represent clients in North Carolina, as well as across the United States and the world. Our firm has focused its practice on immigration alone for more than 40 years and can provide extensive insight and skilled counsel no matter what issue you may be facing. Robert Brown - the firm's founding attorney - has more than four decades of experience himself and spent much of his former practice as the INS district director in Cleveland, Ohio. He even assisted in developing the agency's I-9 compliance procedures. Attorneys Rishi Oza and Aleksandar Cuic are also highly qualified, having both been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ since 2010.
Consult with a North Carolina immigration attorney from Brown Immigration Law today if you are in need of the best immigration counsel and representation available. Our attorneys are seasoned in litigation and defense, but are also skilled in providing caring and comprehensive counsel. Call today to schedule your case evaluation to speak with a member of our team about your options. We handle all types of immigration issues and are prepared to provide the services you need.
Brown Immigration Law: Resources and Case Types
- Adjustment of Status - An adjustment of status allows a non-immigrant worker or visitor to change the status of their visa to that of a lawful permanent resident. This allows them to obtain a green card and remain in the United States permanently.
- Agencies - There are a large number of government agencies that may be involved in your immigration process, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICS), the Department of State (DOS), and the Department of Labor (DOL). Learn about these agencies and their duties by consulting with an immigration attorney as soon as possible.
- Bars to Returning to the U.S. - An immigrant can commit certain deeds that prevent them from returning to the United States. Common examples include unlawful presence, a prior removal, conviction of a crime, or fraud or misrepresentation when applying for their visa.
- Change of Status - A change of status allows an immigrant to switch from one non-immigrant visa to another. For example, a temporary immigrant worker may desire to become a student in the United States. They must therefore switch to an F-1 student visa.
- Citizenship - Immigrants can obtain citizenship through naturalization. Aside from that, all other forms of U.S. citizenship must be obtained through birth. This includes acquired citizenship and derivative citizenship. We can guide you through the naturalization process and help you better understand your eligibility and requirements.
- Consular Processing - In order to apply for a visa while not present in the United States, most foreign nationals must undergo consular processing at their local U.S. Consulate or embassy before being granted legal entry into and residence in the United States.
- Detention and Bonds - Oftentimes, an immigrant facing deportation proceedings will be detained by the federal government. If so, they may qualify for a bond and fight against their deportation outside of detention.
- Diversity - The United States government encourages diversity when it comes to immigration. To boost the number of immigrants from countries with lower immigration rates to the U.S., Congress began the U.S. Diversity Visa (DV) Program. Every year, a lottery selects a set number of applicants at random and awards them with a diversity visa. The fewer immigrants a country had to the U.S. the year before, the higher their applicants chances of winning will be.
- Documentary Requirements - The immigration process involves extensive applications, as well as provision of certain documents as proof of identification or authorization to work. Such documents include visas, passports, border crossing cards, reentry permits, and much more.
- Employment Authorization - Immigrant workers must first be granted an employment authorization document (EAD) before beginning their employment in the United States. A copy of this document must also be provided to their employer for verification at the time of hire.
- Employment-Based Non-Permanent Residents - Some work visas are only for temporary stays and therefore do not grant lawful permanent residency. These include business visas, student visas, seasonal worker visas, NAFTA visas, and much more.
- Employment-Based Permanent Residents - Immigrant workers can obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status or a green card by obtaining legal work in the United States. Types of immigrant work visas are split into five categories, some of which require the employer to obtain a PERM certification and require the employee to provide proof of authorization to work in the United States.
- Extensions - In some cases, an immigrant may desire to have their temporary visa extended, either to engage in further recreation or to allow themselves more time for a business venture or other employment-based issues.
- Family-Based Immigration - Many immigrants simply desire to join their loved one(s) in the U.S. Immediate relatives may apply for a visa and move into the country immediately upon approval as non-immigrants while their application for adjustment of status is pending. All other relatives, such as siblings or grown children, must wait for a visa number to become available before immigrating.
- Family-Sponsored Preferences - When it comes to family visas, there are four levels of preference ranging from unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens to brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. Immediate family is not required to wait for a visa number before moving to the U.S., while all other relatives must do so.
- Fiancé / Fiancée - Foreign nationals who are engaged to a U.S. citizen may apply for a K-1 or K-2 visa in order to join their loved one in the United States. They must be married within 90 days of their arrival, however, and must apply for lawful permanent resident status.
- Habeas Corpus - If an immigrant believes that they have been wrongfully imprisoned, a representative may file a writ of habeas corpus allowing the immigrant to be released and brought before a judge or into court. There must be a lack of sufficient evidence for lawful detention in order to do so.
- I-9 - Form I-9 is a means of verifying an employee's authorization to work in the United States. All employers must have every employee complete this form - and must complete a section, themselves - before an employee is allowed to begin work. Failure to comply with I-9 regulations could result in civil penalties against an employer and / or an employee.
- Immediate Relatives - Spouses, dependent children, and parents of U.S. citizens may apply for family visas and gain immediate entry into the country upon approval of their application. At first they will be considered a non-immigrant, but by applying for an adjustment of status, they can soon be granted green cards.
- Legalization - The legalization process allows individuals who have been unlawful residents since prior to January 1, 1982, as well as physically present since November 3, 1986, the ability to receive temporary resident status. They may then apply for permanent resident status.
- Naturalization - Lawful permanent residents who have held a green card for at least five years and been residents for at least seven years may apply for citizenship through naturalization. This process requires fingerprinting, an interview, English and civics tests, and taking the Oath of Allegiance.
- Notice to Appear - Immigrants who are unlawfully present in the country may be served a notice to appear by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This is the first step in the deportation and removal process.
- Order of Supervision - An order of supervision releases (under supervision) an immigrant from detention who is subject to removal, but cannot be removed for any number of reasons. One such reason would be that the individual's country of origin no longer exists and they therefore cannot be deported.
- Other Non-Immigrants - There are even more non-immigrant visas that are very unique and specialized. These include crewmember visas, vocational student visas, terrorism informant visas, children of students, and more.
- Persecution - Individuals facing persecution in their home country have several immigration options. If they are currently in their home country, they could visit their local U.S. embassy or consulate and request a refugee status. If they are in the States, they could request asylum and be protected from deportation until their temporary or permanent resident status is granted.
- Registry - The process of registry allows an immigrant who has resided in the U.S. for an extensive period of time to apply for lawful permanent resident status (a green card).
- Relief from Removal - A form of deportation defense, relief from removal allows removal proceedings to be cancelled or allows the unlawful resident to voluntarily leave the country. Asylum is also a form of relief from removal, as is a stay of removal.
- Removal (Deportation and Exclusion) - Immigrants who enter the country unlawfully will be removed from the country through deportation. Removal proceedings are generally handled by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and require excellent legal representation and defense in order to be cancelled or stayed.
- Stay of Removal - A stay of removal prevents the Department of Homeland Security from moving forward with deportation proceedings. This can provide the immigrant with an opportunity to obtain lawful residency or another form of relief.
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) - Some immigrants may find themselves unable to return to their home country due to war, conflict, or upheaval. In order to prevent removal proceedings due to overstay of their visa, they may be eligible for TPS if their country is on the list provided by the Department of Homeland Security.
- Unlawful Presence - Any immigrant who enters the United States without a valid visa is unlawfully present in the country. As such, they will be deported by the Department of Homeland Security upon discovery unless they obtain a lawful resident status.
- Waivers - There are various different waivers available to prevent deportation in the event that the removal would result in extreme hardship for the immigrant or their immediate family.
- Writs of Mandamus - A writ of mandamus can be filed to prompt government agencies to move forward with an immigration case. Although the process always takes time, agencies can take longer than necessary and should be required to remedy their wrongful behavior.
The sooner you retain a lawyer, the better, so contact Brown Immigration Law right away to get started on your case.