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Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000


Illinois immigration attorneysComing to the United States on an H-1B visa can be challenging. Even if a person meets the qualifications based on their education and specialized knowledge and skills, approval of the visa may still be delayed as a result of the annual cap on H-1B visas that is enforced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, some H-1B applicants qualify for exemptions that can expedite the process. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you understand whether one of these exemptions may apply in your case and ensure that you take the necessary steps to benefit from it.

Who is Exempt From the H-1B Cap?

As of 2021, the annual cap on H-1B visas is 65,000, meaning that if applications are filed on behalf of more than 65,000 people within a fiscal year, many of those applications may be denied, or at least delayed to the following year. However, there is an exemption available if the beneficiary of the application has an advanced degree, meaning a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution in a field relevant to the qualifications for the position in which the beneficiary would be working. An additional 20,000 visas are available for people who qualify for this advanced degree exemption, raising the total amount of annual H-1B visas that may be approved to 85,000.

Additionally, certain kinds of employers are exempt from the cap entirely, meaning that their applications may be approved regardless of how many H-1B visas have already been granted in the year the application is filed. These employers include institutions of higher learning, like colleges and universities, as well as nonprofit and government research organizations.

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Illinois immigration lawyersImmigrating to the U.S. and achieving lawful permanent resident status or citizenship is a significant accomplishment, but if you have family members who still live outside of the U.S., it may be important for you to help them legally immigrate as well so that you can be together. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a process that makes family immigration possible, and an attorney can help you navigate this process so that you can reunite with your loved ones.

Which Family Members Have Immigration Priority?

The process of petitioning for lawful permanent residency is easier for some family members than others. If you are a born or naturalized U.S. citizen, you can petition for immediate family members without them having to join a waiting list. This includes your spouse, your children who are unmarried and under the age of 21, and your parents. You can also petition for your unmarried adult children, married children, and siblings, but keep in mind that visas for these categories are limited and there may be a significant waiting period before the application is approved. Additionally, you can petition for a K-1 visa for your fiancé or fiancée, which may lead to lawful permanent residency after you get married.

You can also petition for your family’s immigration if you are a lawful permanent resident, but in this case, qualifying relatives are limited to your spouse and your unmarried children. Visas for these family members are also limited, and they are processed at a lower priority than some family members of citizens.

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Illinois immigration attorneysIn the United States, many immigrants who are lawful permanent residents (LPRs) eventually have the opportunity to complete the naturalization process and become U.S. citizens. Citizenship comes with many benefits, including the right to vote, the ability to travel with a United States passport and obtain permanent residency for your family, and protection from deportation. However, obtaining citizenship can be a challenging process that requires extensive preparation.

Important Steps in the Naturalization Process

In order to become a U.S. citizen, there are several steps you will need to follow. Your attorney can help with many aspects of the process.

  1. Become a lawful permanent resident. If you are not yet an LPR, for example, if you have entered the U.S. on a temporary visa, you will first need to file for an adjustment of status to obtain your green card.
  2. Reside in the U.S. for at least five years. Once you have become a lawful permanent resident, you will need to establish continuous residence in the United States for five years, usually without an interruption of more than six months. In some cases, immigrants who are married to a U.S. citizen only need three years of residence.
  3. Complete and file an Application for Naturalization. After you are eligible for naturalization, you will need to fill out Form N-400 and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), indicating that you are applying for naturalization.
  4. Prepare for your interview and naturalization test. After you file your form, USCIS will ask that you attend an interview at which you will be asked questions related to your moral character, your immigration and criminal history, and your willingness to support the U.S. Constitution. In most cases, you will also be asked to complete a naturalization test to gauge your understanding of American history and government and the English language. Before your interview, your attorney can help you prepare any important documents, and you should also study for the test and prepare responses to likely interview questions.
  5. Swear an Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. If your application is granted and you pass the interview and test, the last step in becoming a citizen is to take your Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. at your naturalization ceremony.

Contact an Illinois Immigration Attorney

If you have questions about naturalization or concerns about how your history may impact your eligibility, the attorneys at the Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help, and we are committed to advising you throughout the process. Contact an Illinois immigration lawyer today at 630-473-9685 for a free initial consultation.

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Illinois immigration attorneysLegally immigrating to the United States can be challenging under any circumstances, but a criminal record can significantly increase the obstacles to immigration. It can also affect your ability to obtain a green card or citizenship, and it may result in your deportation. If you have been charged with a crime in the past, or if you are currently facing criminal charges, an immigration attorney can help to protect your rights and avoid excessive consequences.

What Kinds of Crimes Can Affect My Status?

There are several different categories of crimes that can affect your immigration status in some form. Two of the most notable categories are:

  • Crimes of moral turpitude - This category is not clearly defined, but is typically considered to include crimes involving malicious intent and immoral behavior, such as fraud, abuse, or violence.
  • Aggravated felonies - U.S. immigration law includes a specific list of aggravated felonies, including but not limited to murder, rape, some other violent crimes, drug and firearm trafficking, and some forms of theft, crimes against children, tax evasion, and money laundering.

The Effects of Criminal Charges on Immigration

A criminal record can affect various aspects of the immigration process, including:

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Illinois immigration attorneysThe fear of an arrest by ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is something that many immigrants must live with on a daily basis. In part, this is a fear of the possible consequences, but it is also often a fear of the unknown, as you may be unsure of what will happen and how you should react. While it may not fully alleviate your fears, knowing your rights if you are detained can at least remove some of the uncertainty and help you avoid making a scary situation worse.

What Should I Do If I Am Arrested? 

Regardless of your immigration status, you have certain rights if you are stopped, questioned, or detained by an ICE agent. These include:

  • The right to remain silent. You are not required to answer an agent’s questions about your immigration status, your criminal record, or any other subject. Doing so, whether truthfully or untruthfully, can provide information that may be used against you in an immigration hearing. If you wish to invoke your right to remain silent, it is usually best to state this clearly to the agent.
  • The right to refuse to consent to a search. Whether an agent stops you on the street, pulls you over in your car, or comes to your home, the agent cannot search your person or property without a warrant or probable cause. You have the right to ask to see a warrant before allowing a search, or to refuse an agent’s request to perform a search without a warrant.
  • The right to consult with an attorney. You have the right to speak with an attorney before answering any questions or signing any papers, and to request that your attorney be present for any further questioning and immigration hearings. If you are detained, you have the right to a phone call, which you can use to contact your attorney.

Depending on the circumstances, you may also be eligible for bond. Your attorney can help you determine whether this is the case, and can help you prepare for a bond hearing. If you are able to pay the bond, you may be released from detention until your hearing, giving you time to further consult with your attorney and your family to plan for your next steps.

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