Immigration Attorney in Las Cruces
We are highly experienced with managing removal cases, which are commonly called “deportation” cases. Our team will help you navigate this complex process with the professional advice and guidance you need to make the best choices for you and your family. Your loved ones’ deserve the best defense possible.
If relevant evidence or personal testimony was overlooked by immigration officials or if the process was unfair in your case, our team can help you file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. This will delay your date of deportation until your appeal is considered. Let us help you achieve justice from the court system.
If you are a lawful resident or citizen in the United States, we will help you file an immigration petition on behalf of your family member. This route will allow your loved ones to immigrate legally; claims are considered valid if you can prove your relational status to the individual. Our team of reliable attorneys is ready to help you start this process today.
We have the experience you can trust to help you navigate the complicated fiancé visa application process, so you make the best decisions for your family. To be eligible, the applicant must be a legal resident of the United States, the applicant and fiancé must have met in person within the past two years, both are free to marry and both must intend to marry within 90 days of the fiancé’s arrival.
Citizenship by Naturalization
Naturalization is the process by which a person from another country can become a U.S. Citizen under the rules in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Law of Office W. Shane Jennings is experienced with immigration and can help guide you through your naturalization process.
You must be eligible to get your citizenship through naturalization.
I Am Eligible to Naturalize?
Generally you must:
- Be age 18 or older; and
- Be a permanent resident for a certain amount of time (usually five years or three years, depending on how you obtained status); and
- Be a person of good moral character; and
- Have a basic knowledge of U.S. government (this, too, can be excepted due to permanent physical or mental impairment); and
- Have a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States; and
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. There are exceptions to this rule for someone who at the time of filing:
- Is 55 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 15 years; or
- Is 50 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 20 years; or
- Has a permanent physical or mental impairment that makes the individual unable to fulfill these requirements.
Can an Immigration Lawyer Help Me If I Have a Criminal Record or Felonies?
Yes. You should visit an immigration lawyer if you have ever been arrested. Talk to an experienced immigration lawyer before you begin naturalization. Don’t go this one alone. A typical immigration lawyer may not be able to answer the complex questions of state criminal law and immigration. You need an immigration lawyer with a strong criminal defense history. This immigration law firm's immigration lawyer and criminal defense lawyer will need to look at a few things to decide if you should apply:
- The statutory period
- Good moral character
- Criminal records that might keep you from having good moral character
- Criminal offenses outside the statutory period
- Character rehabilitation
The Statutory Period
This is a period between three and five years before you begin naturalization.
The three-to-five-year statutory period is basic eligibility. If you have a criminal record during the statutory period, then you will need to bring your entire criminal record into the immigration lawyer, especially if your criminal record includes felonies or aggravated charges. Your case is different from every other case. If you committed a crime, come in for a free consultation.
Good Moral Character
What is good moral character?
You must prove good moral character during the statutory period. Good moral character begins with being honest. You have to be honest with your immigration lawyer about your criminal record. You must tell your attorney everything. Then your attorney will tell immigration at United States Customs and Immigration everything. It all depends on you. If you do not tell the truth, then you will be denied.
You will also need to have the complete criminal record. This is another reason you want to use a criminal defense attorney who is an immigration lawyer. Collecting the right criminal record is an important step. We want to appear honest and get the right criminal record to USCIS. Then we want to present it the right way. Having your immigration lawyer with you at your interview is important.
What Criminal Record Might Keep You From Having Good Moral Character
A person convicted of an aggravated felony offense is permanently barred from establishing good moral character. An exception applies to this and depends on the facts. Each case is different.
A firearms offense does not prevent a person from naturalization because it is not moral character. Aggravated felonies always apply. If it is a firearms conviction and an aggravated felony, then it is a bar. Also, when the application is made, it is possible that USCIS will issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) and begin removal proceedings and possibly mandatory detention. How long ago the conviction happened does not matter.
Money laundering is not a crime of moral turpitude for naturalization purposes most of the time. If it was an aggravated felony, then USCIS may have DHS send an NTA letter and begin removal proceedings. This type of crime is subject to mandatory detention while waiting for the court.
Domestic Violence Conviction
Domestic violence crimes may be considered crimes of moral turpitude and be a question of good moral character. Crimes related to this may or may not be good moral character problems. Some of the crimes related to domestic violence are a violation of a restraining order and battery. This type of criminal record could make a lawful permanent resident temporarily ineligible for naturalization.
Controlled Substance Conviction
Convictions for a controlled substance offense means you are inadmissible. Even if you admit or there is “reason to believe” you are involved in drug trafficking, then that may be enough. That means you may be denied naturalization. There is an exception for personal use of small amounts of marijuana.