Boston Immigration Attorneys
At O’Neil and Hauser, our firm’s roots extend back several decades. We have represented large numbers of immigrants who have resettled and worked in the Greater Boston Area. As the years have passed, the face of America’s immigrants has transformed, but our firm has kept pace, evolving to meet the needs of all of our clients, whether they require aggressive representation in removal proceedings or need us to complete visa applications. We represent immigrants from nations throughout the world, as well as people and businesses in the U.S. that are seeking to bring a foreign national to this country.
The immigration system in the United States is complex. A number of different government agencies and judicial systems resolve immigration matters. The Immigration and Nationality Act is one of the primary immigration laws that can affect your situation. There are several different grounds for immigration, including family-based and employment-based immigration. There are also categories of legal admission available to people who are fleeing persecution or who are not able to go back to their homeland because of extraordinary or life-threatening conditions. In addition to completing the necessary paperwork, the immigration attorneys at our Boston firm can represent you in connection with proceedings before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, a United States District Court, and a United States Court of Appeals.Non-Immigrant Visas
Foreign nationals who want to come into the country on a temporary basis for business, tourism, medical treatment, or some kinds of temporary work may be eligible to obtain a non-immigrant visa. Non-immigrant visas include the H-1B, B-1, L-1, O-1, J-1, E-1, E-2, E-3, and P-1 visas. The appropriate kind of non-immigrant visa will depend on the nature and purpose of your travel. For example, with an H-1B visa, businesses can temporarily hire people from other countries to fill their employment needs in specialty occupations like programming, science, and engineering. Usually, you can apply directly to a U.S. embassy in your home country for a tourist or business non-immigrant visa. When study or work is involved, it may be necessary to acquire specific authorization and documentation.
Immigrant visas are issued to foreign nationals who plan to live and work permanently or indefinitely in the U.S. There are different kinds of immigrant visas, and they can be family-based or employment-based. When the visa is employment-based, our Boston immigration attorneys can help a foreign national file the required application with USCIS. Applicants who have extraordinary abilities or who are investors can file their own petitions. There are five employment-based visa categories: EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5. The immigrant visa must be presented at a port of entry before it expires.Green Cards
Immigrants and their families who come to the U.S. to become citizens must go through the procedure of obtaining permanent residency with a green card. You may be eligible for a green card through family if you are married to a U.S. citizen, you are a parent of a citizen who is at least 21, or you are an unmarried child (under age 21) of a citizen. Green card holders have certain rights and obligations. These include the right to live permanently in the country as long as you do not commit an action that would make you removable under immigration laws, the right to pursue work of your choosing, and the right to be protected by the laws of the U.S. and your state and local jurisdictions. You are also required to obey applicable laws, file your income tax returns, and support a democratic form of government.Citizenship and Naturalization
Our Boston immigration lawyers can help you achieve U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process. You need to fulfill certain requirements set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act to be naturalized. If you have been a permanent resident for at least five years, you may be eligible for naturalization if you meet certain conditions, such as being at least 18, being able to read, write, and speak English, having an understanding of U.S. history and government, being physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately before the application is filed, and living continuously within the U.S. from the application date up to the time of naturalization. Spouses must meet other requirements in order to be naturalized. If a parent is a U.S. citizen, their child may qualify for naturalization.Removal Defense
If you are not a citizen, you could face deportation in a variety of circumstances, including being arrested under a suspicion of criminal activity, coming into the U.S. without the appropriate documentation, or even just driving without a license. The immigration lawyers at our Boston firm pursue every remedy available to our clients in the interests of avoiding deportation and separation from their families. A non-citizen facing removal can pursue relief from removal through adjustment of status, a conditional residence petition, temporary protected status, or cancellation of removal. Each procedure requires different steps. For example, adjustment of status permits eligible applicants to become lawful permanent residents without needing to go abroad to apply for an immigrant visa. Our firm can negotiate with attorneys from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).Asylum
You may be granted political asylum if you are already in the U.S., and you are unable to go back to your home country because of persecution or a reasonable fear of persecution based on your race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a specific social group. You may be eligible for asylum if you request political asylum at a port of entry or apply for political asylum within a year of coming into the country. Generally, you are not eligible for asylum if you have been in the country for more than a year, unless you qualify for an exception, such as by proving that extraordinary circumstances or changed circumstances materially affect your asylum eligibility. The reasonableness of an applicant’s fear is analyzed by looking at the totality of the circumstances, including both an objective look at the situation in their home country and an evaluation of the applicant’s subjective fear.Family Law
In addition to immigration cases, we also handle family law matters. Massachusetts is a no-fault divorce state. This means that whichever spouse is filing for a divorce needs only to establish that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage. However, there are also fault grounds for divorce available, such as adultery or a conviction of a crime resulting in a sentence of at least five years. In order to file for a divorce in the state, certain residency requirements need to be met, including that the spouses must have lived together in the state. A divorce can turn acrimonious in connection with issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, and property distribution. It is important to work with an attorney who understands these issues.Consult a Dedicated Immigration Attorney in Boston
Our attorneys have decades of combined experience, and we provide translation services in many languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Italian, French, and Arabic. We are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Call our Boston office at 617-426-8100 or complete our online form to set up an appointment.