Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP is a full-service immigration law firm that provides comprehensive services to meet every client’s need. Our excellent attorneys offer expertise across the entire immigration landscape, and have national reputations for solving complex immigration and client issues.
Consular processing of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas at U.S. consular posts is a complex and highly specialized field of U.S. immigration law. A USCIS approval notice is only the first step of the process. Our office provides specialized consular assistance to visa applicants including:
- Thoroughly researching post policy
- Scheduling visa appointments and requesting expedites
- Reviewing an applicant’s immigration history and status
- Preparing on-line visa application forms and supporting documents
- Conducting consular interview preparation sessions
- Providing in-person attorney representation for visa interviews (where permitted or on the ground in-person assistance)
- Assisting with Third Country National (TCN) visa applications at U.S. consular posts in Canada and Mexico
- Resolving security clearance/administrative processing delays
- Challenging denials with requests for reconsideration or new revised visa applications
Processing of nonimmigrant applications for admission and waivers at U.S. ports of entry is a complex and highly specialized field of U.S. immigration law. Our office provides specialized border assistance to applicants including:
- Reviewing an applicant’s immigration history, status issues, and admissibility factors
- Preparing TN and L-1 applications for Canadian citizens
- Preparing non-immigrant waiver applications for Canadian Citizens
- Conducting preparation sessions prior to the border application
- Providing in-person attorney representation with CBP for border applications at a land port of entry
- Assisting with Port Parole/Humanitarian Parole Applications and Waivers of the Visa Requirements in Emergency Circumstances
- Resolving prior denials of applications for admission
Certain applicants for U.S. immigration benefits may be determined “inadmissible” to the United States based on prior legal violations or administrative decisions entered against them.
Grounds of inadmissibility to the U.S. include:
- Unlawful Presence
- Prior Removal/Deportation
- Other – such as lack of a proper U.S. visa or participation in alien smuggling, or a U.S. immigration officer’s belief that the applicant will not be able to support themselves financially in the United States, they have supported or are a member of a terrorist organization, they have participated in drug trafficking, or other reasons
Non-immigrant waivers are available for most grounds of inadmissibility. Our office assists with the following non-immigrant waiver services:
- For Canadian citizens – preparing and submitting non-immigrant waiver applications with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) at U.S. ports of entry (either a land port of entry or a pre-flight location)
- Providing in-person attorney representation with CBP at a land port of entry
- For non-Canadian citizens, preparing a waiver application for submission at a U.S. Consular Post along with a non-immigrant visa application.
Our firm also assists with immigrant waivers and provides the following services:
- Analyzing the ground of inadmissibility
- Challenging the ground of inadmissibility (if applicable)
- Preparing the waiver application (often through evidence that the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent would suffer “extreme hardship”) and submitting the application to USCIS
- Assistance with immigrant visa processing at a U.S. Consular Post or adjustment of status with USCIS
If you have been found inadmissible to the United States and need assistance with an evaluation of your waiver options, please contact our office for a fact-specific review of your case.
After the passage of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) in 1996, deportations of foreigners have increased exponentially. Since then deportation hearings are now referred to as “removal proceedings.” Because of the harsh provisions of the 1996 laws, even relatively small misdemeanors can place an individual in removal proceedings. Violations of one’s status in the U.S., such as staying beyond the period authorized or failing to abide by the conditions of one’s status, may also result in being placed in removal proceedings.
If you or a family member have been placed in removal proceedings, we can assist in providing individualized advice regarding the recommended legal strategy. Such strategies may include preparing and presenting applications for asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, or requests for voluntary departure, deferred action, and prosecutorial discretion. There may be other forms of relief that apply to particular cases. We can also assist in preparing an appropriate legal brief to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Federal Litigation for Government Delays
In some instances, individuals may feel compelled to seek judicial remedies in face of excessive delays with their immigration case. These instances usually involve cases where U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delays the adjudication of I-485 (Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), N-400 (Naturalization Applications), or I-589 (Applications for Asylum and Withholding of Removal) while criminal and national security background checks are conducted. We can assist with federal litigation of these matters in one of two ways:
Where appropriate, we can assist with the preparation and filing of a writ of mandamus in federal court compelling the government to take action on the long-standing application. A mandamus action may be relatively simple and quick remedy in situations where the government has failed to act when it has a duty to do so. It may be possible to compel the government to adjudicate naturalization applications, visa petitions and applications for adjustment of status. In some cases, however, it is important to note that the government is likely to oppose the individual’s claim and some courts may be reluctant to compel agency action. Depending on the facts of the case, we can advise regarding the most appropriate strategy.
Naturalization Delay Filing
In the case of delayed citizenship applications, immigration law provides for judicial review of a stalled naturalization petition if the application is pending for more than 120 days after the date on which the examination is conducted. In this regard, our firm can assist with the preparation and filing of a lawsuit under 8 U.S.C. Section 1447(b) for cases that meet this criteria.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Certain individuals who came to the U.S. as children and meet several requirements, may be eligible to request DACA for a period of two years, subject to renewal. DACA is a form of prosecutorial discretion that protects the individual from removal/deportation and makes them eligible to apply for work authorization. Individuals who have been granted DACA are eligible to request advance parole to travel outside the U.S. if traveling for humanitarian purposes, educational purposes, or employment purposes. The general requirements for DACA are:
- Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Came to the U.S. before turning 16 years old
- Continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 and up to the present time
- Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
- Are currently enrolled in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a general education certificate (GED), or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Immigrant Visa Petitions for Battered Spouses, Children & Parents (VAWA)
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provisions in the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) allow certain spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, to file an immigrant petition without the abuser’s knowledge. Abused spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are eligible to file may file an immigrant petition for themselves and any unmarried children who are under 21.
U Visa for Victims of Crime
U visas are available to individuals who are victims of certain types of criminal activity within the United States, such as domestic violence, felonious assault, rape, and sexual assault, among others. The victim must possess information concerning the criminal activity and have assisted in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The appropriate law enforcement or government official must certify that an investigation/prosecution would be harmed without the assistance of the individual, or in the case of a child, the child’s parent. Individuals who are granted U visas are eligible to adjust to legal permanent residence status three years after they are granted the U visa. Spouses, children, parents, or in some cases, siblings may be eligible for a U visa as a derivative of the principal applicant.
T Visa for Victims of Trafficking
T visas are available to individuals who are victims of “a severe form of trafficking in persons.” Severe forms of trafficking include sex trafficking of persons under 18 years of age, or recruiting or obtaining persons for labor or services through the use of force, fraud or coercion “for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.” Individuals who are granted T visas are eligible to adjust to legal permanent residence status three years after they are granted the T visa. Spouses, children or parents of may be eligible for a T visa as a derivative of the principal applicant.
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)
Certain children under the age of 21 who have been abused, abandoned or neglected and are unable to be reunited with one or both parents may be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa petition. A state court who has authority under state law to decide on the custody and care of children must declare the child a dependent of the court, find that it is not in the best interest of the child to return to their home country, and find that they cannot be reunited with one parent or both parents because of abuse, abandonment or neglect.
Individuals may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of their country of origin or their current immigration status. Asylum may be granted to individuals who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of their race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.