We represent businesses, law firms, educational institutions, and individuals in the U.S. and abroad in all areas of immigration law.
We represent employers seeking temporary and permanent visas for key employees and managers; entrepreneurs and investors seeking visas to manage their investments; multinational companies seeking to transfer key employees and managers to the U.S.; and companies seeking to avoid employer sanctions. We also represent individuals seeking temporary and permanent status in the U.S. for themselves and their families; seeking naturalization as U.S. citizens; and seeking defense in removal (deportation) proceedings.
Our firmís practice in this area includes:
- Employment and investment-based temporary visas (E, H, J, L, O, P)
- Employment and investment-based permanent visas (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-5)
- Labor certification (PERM)
- Family-based permanent visas
Consular processing of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas
- Adjustment of status
- Administrative appeals
- Federal court litigation
- Removal (deportation) defense
In matters of immigration law, time is often critical. We have the experience and knowledge to act quickly and effectively in immigration and visa matters.
To speak with an attorney regarding your situation, call 312-380-6376 or contact us online.
IMMIGRANT VISAS AND PERMANENT RESIDENCE: Persons seeking to reside in the United States on a permanent basis will seek to get either an immigrant visa from a US consulate outside the United States, or by applying for permanent residence through the Immigration Service in the United States. Both the immigrant visa and permanent residence through adjustment of status in the United States provide the same benefit: the right to reside on a permanent basis in this country, and in both cases the individual receives an alien residence card, also known as a green card.
Immigrating to the United States can be a time consuming process requiring the successful completion of numerous steps. The last step following approval of the immigrant visa petition requires the alien to file an application for Permanent Resident ("green card") status. A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. Individuals who maintain Permanent Residency for five years (three years for the spouses of U.S. citizens) may be eligible to apply for Naturalization.
GENERAL OVERVIEW: The issuance of immigrant visas or permanent residence is governed by the Immigration & Nationality Act, which was passed by the Congress of the United States in 1952, and which has been amended or changed repeatedly since, most recently in 1996. Now all aliens who wish to live permanently in the United States can be put into one of two categories, either non-quota or quota immigrants. There is no limit on non-quota immigrants who can enter the United States each year. Non-quota immigrants are the immediate relatives of United States citizens, which means the spouses, and unmarried children (under the age of 21), of US citizens, as well as parents of US citizens, as long asthe child petitioning for the parent is at least 21 years of age.
Other aliens coming to live in the United States permanently are known as quota immigrants, and there is a limit on these persons who can become residents each year. Quota immigrants are divided into categories known as preferences. There are family-based preferences and employment-based preferences.
Aliens seeking to enter the United States for a temporary period of time are classified as nonimmigrants. Because there is generally no limit as to the number of nonimmigrants who may enter the United States during any year, it is usually much easier and quicker to obtain a nonimmigrant visa than an immigrant or permanent resident visa. While there are literally dozens of nonimmigrant visa categories, many of these are very specific and not widely used, or can be obtained without much difficulty directly from a US consulate abroad. In many instances, some of these visas can later be converted to permanent residence status.
On September 8, 2003 Service Center Operations confirmed that "Bureau" has been dropped from what were formerly BCIS, BICE and BCBP, which now are known as USCIS, ICE and CBP. On March 1, 2003 the INS ceased to exist. All of the agency’s immigration functions were divided and transferred into three bureaus within the Department of Homeland Security. The three bureaus (Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are now responsible for all the immigration services and enforcement functions.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS): This bureau is responsible for immigration services and benefits including: the adjudication of family- and employment-based petitions; issuance of employment authorization documents; asylum and refugee processing; naturalization; and implementation of special status programs such as Temporary Protected Status. At least during the transition phase, the bureau’s structure and functions will remain fairly similar to the old INS. The former INS District Offices (newly titled local CIS offices), Application Support Centers (ASC), Service Centers and Asylum offices will remain open and in the same locations for this transition period.
This bureau will continue to process pending applications previously filed with the INS, and will maintain the validity of documentation issued by the former INS, such as: green cards, certificates of citizenship, employment authorization documents, travel and advance parole documents, Form I-94 Arrival and Departure Records, and others. The former INS customer service functions also will remain functional under CIS. CIS will be comprised of 15,000 employees nationwide and will be headed by a Director who reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): ICE handles the investigative and interior enforcement functions of the former INS, U.S. Customs Service, and the Federal Protective Services. The bureau is responsible for the detention and removal of criminal aliens, dismantling smuggling operations or trafficking of aliens, building partnerships to solve local problems, minimizing immigration benefit and document fraud, and conducting INS raids. The bureau consists of approximately 14,000 employees, and is headed by an Assistant Secretary, who reports directly to the Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP): CBP is responsible for the Border Patrol, immigration investigations, and the inspections process at the borders. Prior to March 1, the ports of entry were supervised by several distinct chains of command and inspections personnel for the U.S. Customs, INS and other federal agencies. As of March 1, CBP became the sole governmental presence along the border and at the ports of entry. The new bureau fused the old agencies’ chains of command at each port of entry into one common chain and put all inspectors under a single port director. The bureau also put the former INS enforcement personnel at the border in a supervisory position above former INS investigators. This is the first time that the immigration investigations functions are subordinate to enforcement. However, it still remains unclear how this change will affect admissions to the U.S. The bureau consists of 30,000 employees and the Commissioner reports directly to the Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security.
33 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
1098 S. Milwaukee Avenue
Wheeling, Illinois 60090
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