Hollywood Immigration Attorney
Honest, Accepting, and Confident Immigration Lawyer
When it comes to topics as serious and sensitive as immigration, you may feel anxiety or uncertainty about asking for legal help. However, you can rest assured that our immigration lawyer at Magilligan Law is a non-judgmental and accepting advocate who will treat you with care and commitment as they walk you through your legal concerns as a citizen or non-citizen in Hollywood.
One serious concern for immigrants or non-citizens are the possibility of deportation. A non-citizen may face deportation if they have been convicted of certain serious crimes, also called “removable crimes.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may deport a person regardless of how long they have lived in the United States or how well-established their life is here if they commit:
- a crime of moral turpitude;
- an aggravated felony;
- a controlled substance (drug) offense;
- a firearms offense; or
- a crime of violence.
Some examples of crimes of moral turpitude include crimes identified by the Florida laws, such as:
- obstruction of justice
- assault with a deadly weapon;
- fleeing and eluding a police officer;
- sale of a controlled substance and;
- dealing with stolen property
Aggravated felonies addressed under criminal immigration law are:
- sexual abuse of a minor;
- drug trafficking;
- illicit trafficking in firearms;
- theft crimes for which the sentence is more than 1 year in prison;
- alien smuggling;
- kidnapping and
- fraud and money laundering involving more than $10,000.
Be aware that all non-citizens are subject to such rules whether they are legal permanent residents (“green card” holders), visa holders (e.g., student visas, work visas), or asylum refugees.
Family-Based Green Card Sponsorship
Another important immigration matter in Florida is green card sponsorship, which may lead to citizenship. One type of green card sponsorship is a family-based petition, which is based on certain preference categories depending on which family member is petitioning for their non-citizen relative.
The preference categories are:
- immediate relatives – citizens petitioning for their spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents;
- first preference – citizens petitioning for their unmarried adult children over the age of 21;
- second preference (2A) – legal permanent residents applying for their spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21;
- second preference (2B) – legal permanent residents applying for their unmarried adult children over the age of 21;
- third preference – citizens applying for their married children of any age;
- fourth preference – citizens over the age of 21 applying for their brothers and sisters.
The case will likely begin with the filing of Form I-130, which must be filed by a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Note that if the person seeking citizenship is in the United States, they may be able to file for permanent residence in conjunction with the Form I-130 and be entitled to employment authorization and permission to travel while the applications are being processed.
Seeking Asylum in Florida
In addition to green card sponsorship, individuals may also seek legal residence in the United States as asylees. Asylum status allows a person to remain in the US because they could experience harm or persecution in their country of origin. If the government grants asylum status, the individual can legally live and work in the US as well as travel to a different country and re-enter the US. The government also allows asylees to apply for a green card 1 year after they receive asylum status.
To be eligible for asylum, the person must be in the US or in a port of entry to the US. Note that individuals who are overseas should apply for refugee status rather than asylum.
If the following is true, a person can apply for asylum in the US:
- they experienced or fear persecution in their home country;
- the government or an uncontrolled group threatens their safety;
- they fear persecution based on their race, religion, political view, nationality, or membership to a particular social group.
Individuals seeking asylum need to file their application within 1 year of the last time they entered the US. To file for asylum, they must apply to an immigration judge or to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An asylum case could last a long time. An experienced immigration lawyer can better help streamline the legal process.
Speak with an Experienced Immigration Attorney
If you have legal questions or concerns about immigration laws in Florida, consult an experienced immigration lawyer for support. Whether you are a citizen seeking to sponsor a relative or are a non-citizen looking to naturalize, our immigration lawyer at Magilligan Law can guide you through the immigration process in Florida.