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FAMILY IMMIGRATION

Lawful Permanent Residence Through Marriage

We have represented thousands of clients who have obtained lawful permanent residence through marriage. It is extremely important to handle these cases with care and attention to detail. Generally, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for lawful permanent residence for their spouses.

Obtaining the benefits in many cases can be a tricky process involving bureaucratic red tape. Complicating the matter more is the fact that in most cases, the applicant must attend an interview before an immigration officer, either at a local USCIS office within the United States or in a foreign consulate. We have seen many unrepresented clients commit disastrous mistakes that have led to their spouses being deported from the United States or denied return from a consulate interview.

With the help of our firm, you can avoid potential mistakes and the consequences of those mistakes. We are very experienced in navigating marriage-based immigration cases within the United States as well as with foreign consulates, experience we are ready to apply to your case.

Residence Through the Family

The preservation of the family is one of the important principles upon which our firm was built. The current immigration system allows for family-based immigration that takes into account the status of the petitioner and the relationship to the beneficiary. A citizen of the United States always has an immigrant visa available for the benefit of parents and unmarried children under the age of 21.

Additionally, the immigration laws have created immigrant visa preference categories that allow lawful permanent residents to petition for their spouses and unmarried children and for U.S.citizens to petition for their married and unmarried children over the age of 21 and for their brothers or sisters.

A family-based petition that falls within the preference category generally requires careful navigation to ensure that issues such as waiting times, eligibility and whether the case can be heard locally or at a foreign consulate are taken into account. We can help you with that navigation, ensuring that everything is done correctly and that your chances for success are maximized.

Victims of Crimes and Abuse

We understand the level of fear and anxiety often associated with coming forward and speaking about tough issues such as being the victim of a crime. At the Law Offices of Garcia and Ramirez, P.C., we make every effort to deal with situations of abuse or violence delicately and confidentially. The immigration laws offer protection for individuals who have been the victims of crimes or abuse. Two benefits that have become very beneficial to victims have been the Violence Against Women Act and the U visa.

VAWA is designed for spouses, ex-spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who have been the victims of domestic violence. This benefit grants lawful permanent residence to the applicant if it is approved. Additionally, the U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

If you are in a situation where one of these benefits would be applicable, our attorneys can represent you through the application process.

Citizenship by Naturalization

In immigration law, becoming a U.S. citizen is the ultimate benefit. Once granted, it gives the citizen peace of mind, the right to vote, and the right to petition for relatives who cannot be petitioned for by lawful permanent residents. Generally, a person can apply for naturalization by being a lawful permanent resident for five years, living continuously in the United States for those five years (three years for spouses of U.S. citizens), and being a person of good moral character. The application process generally consists of submitting an application with USCIS and attending an interview, where the applicant will be assessed for eligibility and given an exam on U.S. history and civics. The interview is generally conducted in English.

We have been representing clients applying for naturalization for more than 14 years. We understand that many clients have concerns as to eligibility and ability to endure the interview and testing process. We screen all of our naturalization clients for eligibility. We assist you in the preparation of the forms and provide a thorough preparation for and representation at the interview.

Automatic Citizenship

If your parent or parents are citizens and lived in the United States before you were born, you may already be a citizen without knowing it. The immigration laws allow for the transmission of citizenship from parents to children and even grandparents to grandchildren in very specific situations. Also, if you were a lawful permanent resident and your parents or parent became citizens before you turned 18, you may also be a citizen.

Special Temporary Programs

The government has several programs that grant successful applicants the right to live and work in the United States. Examples of such programs are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Temporary Protected Status, and classic Deferred Action. Theses programs allow a person to work and live in the United States and, in certain situations, to apply for a work permit. In many situations, these programs are available even if a person has a previous order of removal or is ineligible for lawful permanent residency.

We Are Here to Help You Obtain Permanent Residency or Citizenship

The process of obtaining permanent residency or citizenship can be complicated and confusing, and the risks of failure are often very high, for both you and your loved ones. Let our immigration attorneys help you walk this path, ensuring that everything that needs to be done is done — and that it is all done correctly. We will do everything we can to ensure that you achieve the best outcome possible.
To discuss any Texas petition for spouse and children in a free initial consultation with one of our San Antonio family visa attorneys, call 210-265-6297 or e-mail the firm.