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Carol L. Edward: Immigration Lawyer Seattle, United States Citizen, H-1B Visa, Legal Immigrant

FAQ Session with Seattle Immigration Attorney
Carol L. Edward

The following information includes frequently asked questions about current immigration law. It is critical that you receive a consultation based on the specific circumstances of your immigration case and current immigration law. Our firm has seen the Department of Homeland Security try to deport immigrants due to misfiled cases. Do not allow this to happen to you.

When you contact the Seattle Immigration Attorneys, you will be scheduled to meet with one of our qualified attorneys who will thoroughly discuss your case, examine all options and file the appropriate paperwork to eliminate future complications. Because of the research required for your consultation, we do charge a fee of $250.00; contact us to discuss your options further.

Immigration Resources

Citizenship & Naturalization FAQs

  1. How can I become a United States citizen?
  2. What are the requirements of citizenship by birth?
  3. How can I become a citizen through the naturalization process?
  4. What are the requirements for naturalization?
  5. When does my time as a Permanent Resident begin?

Employment FAQs

  1. What kind of profession requires an H-1B visa?
  2. What is a specialty occupation?
  3. As an H-IB alien, who can I work for?
  4. If I am an H-1B alien how can I immigrate permanently to the U.S.?
  5. Who is eligible for employment-based immigration?

Family Member FAQs

  1. How can my spouse become a legal immigrant?
  2. Can my spouse live in the U.S. while his or her visa petition is still pending?
  3. How will my child emigrate to the U.S. from a foreign country?
  4. Can I help my married son or daughter emigrate to the U.S.?

Citizenship & Naturalization FAQs

How can I become a United States citizen?
Individuals who are not born as a U.S. citizen can receive citizenship through a process known as naturalization.

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What are the requirements of citizenship by birth?
Generally, people are U.S. citizens at birth if they are born in the United States or if they are the biological child of two U.S. citizens:

By being born in the United States

If you were born in the United States (including, in most cases, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), you are an American citizen at birth (unless you were born to a foreign diplomat). Your birth certificate is proof of your citizenship. Through birth abroad to TWO United States citizens

In most cases, you are a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true:

  • Both your parents were U.S. citizens when you were born; and at least one of your parents lived in the United States for a specified period of time. Through birth abroad to ONE United States citizen

In most cases, you are a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true:

  • One of your parents was a U.S. citizen when you were born;
  • Your citizen parent lived at least 5 years in the United States before you were born; and
  • At least 2 of these 5 years in the United States were after your citizen parent's 14th birthday. These rules vary depending on the year of your birth.

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How can I become a citizen through the naturalization process?
If you are not a U.S. citizen by birth or did not acquire U.S. citizenship derivatively through your parents, you may still be eligible to become a citizen through the naturalization process. People who are lawful permanent residents, age 18 years and older may file the "Application for Naturalization" (Form N-400) to apply to become naturalized so long as they are otherwise eligible.

Persons who acquired citizenship from parent(s) while less than 18 years of age can file an "Application for a Certificate of Citizenship" (Form N-600) to document their naturalization. Adopted children who acquired citizenship from parent(s) should file an "Application for a Certificate of Citizenship on Behalf of an Adopted Child" (Form N-643) to document their naturalization.

The Seattle Immigration Attorneys can review these applications to make sure you are filing the correct forms with accurate information. Improper filing of documentation can result in loss of filing fees, and even worse, arrest and deportation. For further questions on the current immigration law, contact Carol L. Edwards & Associates at (866) 522-6222.

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What are the requirements for naturalization?

  • Lawful Permanent Residency Status
  • A period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States; Residence in a particular USCIS district prior to filing;
  • An ability to read, write, and speak English;
  • Knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
  • Good moral character;
  • Attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,
  • Favorable disposition toward the United States.

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When does my time as a Permanent Resident begin?
Your time as a Permanent Resident begins on the date you were granted permanent resident status. This date is on your Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as Alien Registration Card).

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Employment FAQs

What kind of profession requires an H-1B visa?
The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation or profession.

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What is a specialty occupation?
A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts are specialty occupations.

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As an H-IB alien, who can I work for?
H-1B aliens may only work for the petitioning U.S. employer and only in the H-1B activities described in the petition. The petitioning U.S. employer may place the H-1B worker on the worksite of another employer if all applicable rules (e.g., Department of Labor rules) are followed. H-1B aliens may work for more than one U.S. employer, but must have a Form I-129 petition approved by each employer.

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If I am an H-1B alien how can I immigrate permanently to the U.S.?
An H-1B alien can be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition, apply for adjustment of status, or take other steps toward Lawful Permanent Resident status without affecting H-1B status. This is known as "dual intent" and has been recognized in the immigration law since passage of the Immigration Act of 1990. During the time that the application for LPR status is pending, an alien may travel on his or her H-1B visa rather than obtaining advance parole or requesting other advance permission from Immigration to return to the U.S.

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Who is eligible for employment-based immigration?
Obtaining employment based visas is a three step process. The first step is determining whether or not labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor is required. The second step involves filing for an employment based visa with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Third Step is filing for the actual visa through adjustment of status (within the U.S.) or through Consular Processing at the U.S. Embassy in your home country.

There are five categories of employment based immigration:

  • EB-1 priority workers: aliens with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.
  • EB-2 workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability: aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent and aliens who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States.
  • EB-3 professionals, skilled workers, and other workers:aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers, professionals with a baccalaureate degree, and others with less than two years experience, such as an unskilled worker who can perform labor for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.
  • EB-4 special workers such as those in a religious occupation or vocation: aliens who, for at least two years before applying for admission to the United States, have been a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the United States, and who will be working in a religious vocation or occupation at the request of the religious organization.
  • EB-5 Employment Creation: You may be granted immigrant status in the United States for the purpose of engaging in a new commercial enterprise.

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Family Member FAQs  

How can my spouse become a legal immigrant?
There is a three-step process for your spouse to become a legal immigrant:

  • The USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition that you file for your spouse.

  • The State Department visa bulletin must show that a spouse immigrant visa is available to your spouse, based on the date you filed the immigrant visa application.

  • If your spouse is outside the United States when your visa petition is approved and when an immigrant visa number (if required) becomes available, your spouse will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa. If your spouse is legally inside the U.S. when your visa petition is approved and when an immigrant visa number (if required) becomes available, he or she may use a Form I-485 to apply to adjust his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the filing of the visa and the application for adjustment may be done simultaneously.

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Can my spouse live in the U.S. while his or her visa petition is still pending?
There are special temporary visas (K-3) available for spouses of U.S. Citizens who live abroad and wish to avoid the sometimes lengthy waiting period for the processing of the immigrant visa. This is only available after the I-130 is filed. If your spouse is eligible for the simultaneous filing of the immigrant visa and adjustment of status application, your spouse will be allowed to stay in the United States and work awaiting the processing of the adjustment application.

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How will my child emigrate to the U.S. from a foreign country?
A United States citizen may petition their child, regardless of whether or not the child is married, and regardless of the age of the child. If you are a legal immigrant (or “lawful permanent resident”) you may petition for an unmarried child.

There is a three-step process for your child or son or daughter to become a legal immigrant. First you must file and obtain USCIS approval of an immigrant visa petition that you file for your child, son or daughter. The State Department must then give your son or daughter an immigrant visa number, even if he or she is already in the United States. If you are a U.S. citizen and the child is both under 21 years of age and unmarried, a visa number is not required. If your child or son or daughter is outside the United States, he or she will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa when one becomes available. If your child or son or daughter is legally in the U.S. when an immigrant visa number becomes available (or if one is not required), he or she may apply to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident using Form I-485.

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Can I help my married son or daughter emigrate to the U.S.?
No. A lawful, permanent resident may not petition for a married son or daughter. A lawful permanent resident may petition for a divorced son or daughter.

If you had children before you became a permanent resident and you did not immigrate as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, your unmarried, minor children may be eligible to receive following-to-join benefits. A lawful permanent resident may petition for:

  • A child (unmarried and under 21 years of age)
  • An unmarried son or daughter (21 years of age and older)

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If you or someone you know needs the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer, contact Attorney Eric Lin, Attorney Leta Sanchez Attorney Diana F Chamberlain, or Attorney Carol Edward of Carol L. Edward & Associates P.S., at (866) 522-6222, or complete the contact form on this site to begin your Paid consultation.

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