Immigration Lawyers Overview

Contact Central Pennsylvania Immigration Attorneys at Kelly, Parker & Cohen today for your FREE CONSULTATION.

The federal immigration laws decide whether you are a citizen of the United States or an alien. The laws also enumerate the rights, obligations and duties that are associated with being an alien in the United States, and set forth how an alien might obtain citizenship or residence in the United States. The Central Pennsylvania Immigration Attorneys at Kelly, Parker & Cohen offer a wide range of visa and immigration legal services. Our attorneys can represent you if you are seeking citizenship or residency in the United States, employment visas, or relief from removal or detention proceedings.

There are many ways to obtain permanent resident status in the United States. Often, the way to do so is through a job, family relationships, or as a refugee or asylee. Federal immigration law is complex and changes frequently. Let a Central Pennsylvania Immigration Attorney help you navigate the complexities. A skilled immigration attorney can guide you through the process of obtaining permanent resident status or help you with your other immigration needs. At Kelly, Parker & Cohen, we provide the following services:

Employment Visas

Whether you are granted a temporary or permanent employment visa depends on a number of factors, including your credentials, your occupation and whether an employer sponsors you. There are more than 20 different types of visas for temporary non-immigrant workers, including visas for athletes, entertainers and diplomatic employees. Permanent employment-based immigration is divided into five preferences, and there is a set number of visas allowed each year. Immigrating based on a job ordinarily requires compliance with the labor certification requirement outlined in the immigration laws. Some priority workers do not require these labor certifications.

Immigration Based on Family Relationships

If you want to gain permanent resident status based through a family member who is already a United States citizen, there are limitations as to who that family member can sponsor. However, overall, family unification is a key principle of immigration policy. A United States citizen who is at least 21 years old can sponsor a spouse, sister, brother, son, daughter, fiance or even a parent. Relationships such as an uncle, aunt, cousin or grandparent do not qualify. Of course, whether the sponsorship is allowed or successful depends on the availability of visas and the circumstances of your case.

Refugee or Asylee

To obtain permanent resident status as a refugee or asylee, you must qualify for this status for one year. Usually, this status is made available you are fleeing persecution in your home country or you are unable to return home due to extraordinary or life-threatening conditions. Status as a refugee is only obtainable if you are outside of the Unites States, while asylee status is available if you are inside the United States. However, both statuses require a determination that you are a refugee, and you must meet other qualifications established by law.

Citizenship and Naturalization

To qualify for United States citizenship through naturalization, you must have legal permanent resident status, or a green card, for at least five years. However, if you obtained your permanent resident status through a United States citizen spouse, you need only have the status for three years. To apply for United States citizenship, you must meet certain requirements including certification that you are at least 18 years old, demonstration of good moral character, demonstration of continuous residency, ability to pass English and United States civics and history exams, and you must also pay an application fee.

Deportation and Removal Defense, Criminal Penalties, and Other Immigration Issues

We can also help you with cancellations of removal, waivers of inadmissibility and deportability, withholding of removal, asylum, immigration appeals, non-immigrant visas and other matters. Also, if you have been charged with a crime, and you are not a citizen of the United States, the experienced immigration and criminal defense team at Kelly, Parker & Cohen can provide thorough legal advice regarding how to proceed with your case in the best manner to avoid deportation or removal. If you or a loved one faces the possibility of deportation or detention, contact the knowledgeable Central Pennsylvania Immigration Attorneys at Kelly, Parker & Cohen today.

If you one or more of our immigration law services, contact the Central Pennsylvania Immigration Attorneys or by calling (717) 208-2622 or contact us online today for your free and confidential consultation.

Immigration Law Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I am a U.S. citizen. Can my spouse and children get a Green Card?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you may help your spouse and unmarried children under age 21 get a Green Card. You must sponsor them and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support them when they come to the U.S. The first step is to fill out a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relatives. Kelly, Parker & Cohen can assist you with family-based immigration matters.

How do I get a Green Card through employment?

To be eligible for a Green Card through employment, you generally must have a job offer in the United States and an employer must sponsor your petition for permanent resident status. U.S. immigration law classifies jobs into three employment-based preference categories, which take into account what type of work you do. Broadly speaking, the categories are divided into priority workers with “extraordinary ability,” members of professions holding advanced degrees or who have exceptional ability, and skilled workers, professionals or other workers. The application process will vary depending upon which category you fall under. Kelly, Parker & Cohen assists both employers and employees with employment-based immigration matters.

Will I be deported if I am convicted of a crime and am not a U.S. citizen?

Some criminal convictions can lead to deportation. Broadly, they include: aggravated felonies, drug crimes, crimes of moral turpitude, firearms crimes, domestic violence, espionage, treason, terrorism, and others. At Kelly, Parker and Cohen, our criminal law and immigration law attorneys counsel clients facing criminal charges regarding how to proceed in the manner best to avoid deportation.

What is an adjustment of status?

An adjustment of status is the process by which you can change your immigration status while living in the United States from temporary non-immigrant (such as a student) to permanent resident, where you will receive a Green Card. If you wish to adjust your status, the immigration law attorneys at Kelly, Parker and Cohen can help you through the process.

Am I eligible for asylum in the U.S.?

Generally, to be eligible for asylum protection in the U.S. you must have suffered persecution in your home country or fear that you will suffer persecution due to your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. You may apply for asylum regardless of your immigration status within one year of your arrival to the U.S. If you wish to seek asylum in the U.S., the immigration law attorneys at Kelly, Parker & Cohen can help you through the process.

How do I apply to become a U.S. citizen?

The process by which an alien not born in the U.S. becomes a U.S. citizen is called naturalization. Generally, you must be a lawful permanent resident for at least five years to apply (or three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen) as well as meet other eligibility requirements, including requirements pertaining to your age, continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S., and good moral character. You must also be able to demonstrate various proficiencies, including in the English language and civics, among others. You will need to submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Kelly, Parker & Cohen can assist you with becoming a U.S. citizen.