Our US offices provide services for people already in the United States or living abroad.

Our newly opened Italian branch provides immigration services on site for people residing in Italy or other European countries. 

Immigration law is divided into two main categories: immigrant and non-immigrant visas. In short, immigrant visas – commonly known as Green Cards or Permanent Residence – allow a foreign citizen (alien) the means to immigrate to the USA and therefore live and work here. Non-immigrant visas grant the right to stay temporarily in the USA for a specific purpose – such as work, study, training, or travel – and are usually valid for a period of weeks or months up to seven years or more.

Immigration also involves deportation (removal) proceedings and The law of Nationality deals with Citizenship and Naturalization.

An alien can immigrate on the basis of the following:


  • Spouse, parent or child (single and under 21) of a US citizen
  • Married child (any age) of a US citizen
  • Spouse, child (single, any age) of a Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Sibling of a US citizen

One should know that Petitioning a relative can take years, depending on the Preference Category and the Country of Chargeability. Immediate Relatives (spouse, parent or child) of a US citizen are given the most priority and are not subject to visa quotas. Note that adopted children and orphans also qualify if certain requirements are met. The exact process and duration varies depending on whether the alien is in the USA and how the alien entered. When an alien enters the USA without inspection, that alien often has to return to hi/her home country to file what is known as a hardship waiver. These are becoming far more commonplace and therefore user friendly, but should only be handled by an expert in the area..


  • Labor Certification – requires job offer from a viable company for unskilled workers, skilled workers, or professionals
  • Multinational Executive / Managers
  • Outstanding Researchers or Professors
  • Aliens of Extraordinary or Exceptional Ability in the Arts, Sciences, or Athletics
  • Aliens who can demonstrate their work is in the National Interest
  • Special Immigrants (Religious Workers, Battered Spouses, Panama Canal Workers, etc)

Processing times vary based on whether visas are available for the specific Preference Category from no wait to5 years or more, depending on the alien’s country of birth. In certain circumstances, the employee must receive a prevailing wage for the job being offered and/or the American labor market must be tested to determine if any American workers are qualified, available and ready to perform the job.


An alien is eligible for Conditional Permanent Residence if he/she is the qualifying owner of a business and can demonstrate he/she has invested one million dollars in the American economy and employs at least 10 American workers. If the business is located in a rural area with a population less than 10,000, the amount need only be $500,000. Note that the alien will receive only “Conditional” Residence for two years, which will become permanent if the business is still active and eligible.


If an alien is outside his/her home country and qualifies as a refugee, he/she may be granted asylee status in the USA and later obtain Permanent Residence and petition family members to come to the USA to live. This is an area of immigration law requiring extensive legal knowledge, as asylum applications usually end up in front of an Immigration Judge where evidence must be submitted, witnesses must testify, and arguments must be proferred. To qualify for asylum or similar forms of relief (such as Withholding of Removal and Convention Against Torture), an alien must demonstrate he/she has been or has a genuine fear of being persecuted in his/her home country on account of one of five reasons: race; religion; nationality; political opinion; or membership in a particular social group (such as homosexuals). But the alien must beware of disqualifying circumstances such as the reasonableness of relocating to another part of his/her country, having resettled or the option of a safe haven in a third country.


The most bizarre way of obtaining Permanent Residence is by being selected in a lottery held each year, with a certain number of visas allocated to aliens from countries who are under-represented in this country (good example being Irish or British). Typically, no immigration attorney is required for this process unless actually selected, although consulting one prior to applying might avoid wasted time and expectations.


Non-immigrant visas are assigned by letters of the alphabet and consist of the following:

  • A/G  Certain Diplomats
  • B – Visitors for pleasure or business
  • C/D – Crewman Visas on board vessels
  • E – Treaty Investors or Traders
  • F – Student Visas
  • H-1B(TN, E-3) – Professional Visas
  • H-2B – Temporary Workers for seasonal, peakload, one time need, or intermittent needs
  • H-2C – Certain Nurses working in underserved areas
  • H-3 – Trainee
  • I – Certain Journalists
  • J – Exchange Students / Trainees
  • K – Fiancee or Spouse of US citizens
  • L – Certain Multi-national Intra-company Transferee
  • M – Technical Student of vocational school
  • O – Alien demonstrating Extraordinary Ability in the Arts or Sciences
  • P – Certain Athletes or Performers
  • Q – Participants in certain Cultural Exchange Programs
  • R – Religious Workers
  • S – Aliens who act as Informants for Law Enforcement Agencies
  • T – Victims of “severe forms of trafficking in persons”
  • U – Victims of certain crimes if sponsored by a government agency
  • V – Victims of human traffickers


The United States grants citizenship to all persons born here (except the offspring of certain diplomats) and to most children of US citizens if certain physical presence and other requirements are met. Citizenship may also be obtained through the process of Naturalizing, which is possible for certain Permanent Residents. To Naturalize, the applicant must show a continuous physical presence of 5 years (3 years if married to a US citizen or for certain employees of US government or military), no extended absences abroad, and a good moral character. The law of Citizenship and Nationality is complex. In the hands of the right attorney, the application process can be minimized and painless.


If an alien is issued a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court, the hiring of an experienced immigration attorney is essential. The alien must appear in front of an Immigration Judge, plead to the charges, and request a form of relief – which consists of Cancellation of Removal, Re-adjustment of status, Asylum or Withholding of Removal, Voluntary Asylum, or some other base. For detained aliens, a bond is sometimes available and would allow the alien to be freed from custody until the conclusion of the Removal Proceedings.


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