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If you are an individual who is seeking legal entry to the United States or are already in the United States and need to clarify your legal status, there are several options available. The reasons for your entry into the US, combined with other factors, can determine what types of legal status are available to you.
There are a number of qualifying circumstances that may provide a route towards legal status:
- VAWA: Under the Violence Against Women Act, noncitizen victims of child abuse, domestic violence or elder abuse can file a Self-Petition for Lawful Permanent Resident. The petitioner needs to prepare the petition by using Form I-360, freely available from the USCIS website. However, we caution anyone considering this as an option to take the time and discuss your situation with a qualified lawyer.
- DACA: The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status was introduced in 2012 to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children and have honored the law and stayed in school or enlisted in the military. DACA allows individuals to seek relief from removal for a time period and apply for temporary work permits. There are significant eligibility requirements in order to obtain this status, and we are happy to discuss those details with you should you believe that you qualify.
- Diversity visa: Citizens of several countries certain questions as selected by the State Department can apply for a diversity visa in order to secure entry into the US. To enter the diversity visa lottery, you need to submit an application, have a high-school education, or at least two years of recent work experience. If chosen for the diversity visa, you should immediately hire an immigration attorney to help you fill the forms, gather the necessary documents and prepare for the interview.
- TPS: A TPS visa is a temporary immigration status that is intended for foreign nationals who are visiting the United States and cannot return to their native country due to natural disaster, a state of emergency, or political turmoil. This option can protect those who are facing a difficult situation in their home country, and the list of what nations qualify for TPS is constantly changing.
- Marriage based AOS: If you are a foreign individual married to a US citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, and you are living in the US, you can qualify for US lawful permanent residence by applying for adjustment of status. To adjust status, you must fill out USCIS Form I-485, along with supporting forms and documents.
- Student Visa: If you are interested in pursuing higher education in the US, you need to apply for a student visa. There are two types of student visas, the F1 student visa, and the M1 visa. You need to choose depending on the nature of the school and the course selected. Please consult the Students section of our website to learn more about this.
No matter what your situation is, or what kind of circumstances you are dealing with, there are options available. The process for pursuing those options can be difficult to make sense of; that’s why we urge anyone with a serious immigration-related question to come talk to the experienced attorneys in Dallas at Rijal Law. Our training and expertise in dealing with immigration matters can make all the difference.