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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
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IL immigration lawyerThe topic of immigration has been in the news a lot lately, especially with this administration’s proposed changes at the U.S./Mexico border. Regardless of any new legislation, the U.S. immigration process can be confusing and intimidating to people who wish to enter the United States. However, the procedures and regulations are necessary to make sure immigrants enter legally. If people from another country are in the United States illegally, they face removal (deportation) hearings. These cases could take months or even years to reach a resolution. That is why it is important to speak to an attorney who has experience in handling immigration court proceedings.

Court Proceedings

Removal or deportation proceedings begin when the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency issues a “Notice to Appear” (NTA). The NTA is a formal document against a person (respondent) because he or she entered or is present in the United States without authorization. The NTA lists the specific legal reasons why authorities believe that you are in the country unlawfully. It also serves as notification that you will be scheduled for immigration proceedings in the immigration court. Depending on how busy the court system is, the first hearing may not be for months. However, if someone has been detained by immigration officials, the hearing will take place as soon as possible.

Immigration proceedings occur in three stages:

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IL immigration lawyerMigrating to the United States for occupational-related purposes can attract the interest of working professionals from all around the world. Athletes, artists, individuals on business, and laborers in search of a new skill can all seek employment in our country. With that being said, there is a requirement of a visa in order to maintain employment in the United States. Depending on the needs of the future employee, he or she can apply for either a temporary or employment-based (EB) visa. Applying for these visas can be difficult, often leaving applicants confused and missing out on future opportunities. Retaining the help of a knowledgeable immigration lawyer could protect your chance at potential residency and employment.

Temporary Work Visa

When a person wants to enter the United States for employment on a fixed timeframe that is not considered indefinite, he or she would apply for a temporary work visa. A requirement of this category is reliant on the future employer to file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Information regarding your personal accomplishments as well as a background on the job you are seeking would help decipher which temporary visa category you would fit into:

  • H-1B: This type of visa is for a specialty occupation, typically held by a trained professional with a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent).
  • H-2A: Relates to individuals seeking agricultural work.
  • H-2B: Relates to individuals seeking non-agricultural work.
  • H-3: Provides the opportunity for training programs (non-medical or academic).
  • L: Applies to individuals working at a home offices affiliate location in a managerial capacity.
  • O: Employs applicants possessing outstanding academic, artistic, or athletic skills or achievements.

Additional stipulations in regard to category “O” are elaborated on further in sections P-1, P-2, P-3, and Q-1; these categories all relate to athletes, artists, and the educationally gifted.

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IL immigration lawyerU.S. immigration law defines a crime of moral turpitude (CIMT) as being a crime involving conduct that shocks the public conscience, and is “contrary to the rules of morality.” In immigration law, being convicted of a CIMT can render someone deportable. The only way to avoid deportation in such a situation is either to seek a waiver or to avail oneself of what is called the petty offense exception. The exception is not well understood, but it can be very helpful in some immigration cases.

CIMTs Are Subjective

The category of crimes of moral turpitude came into being only within recent memory, and there is no specific written definition of a CIMT within U.S. immigration law. It has been described in various cases as “being inherently base, vile, or depraved” and shocking the public conscience. A variety of crimes from murder to kidnapping to fraud have been classified as CIMTs, and given the vagueness of the law and the definition, it can be quite difficult at times to determine whether you have in fact committed a CIMT or not.

It is important that you not confuse a CIMT with an aggravated felony, as the two have different consequences. Any alien (aside from refugees and asylees) that has been convicted of an aggravated felony is immediately inadmissible to the U.S. and rendered deportable, regardless of immigration status. Aggravated felonies are much more specific (and actually enumerated in law), and there is very little relief to be gained if you are convicted of one. Many aggravated felonies have no waiver possible, which is not the case with crimes of moral turpitude.

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IL immigration lawyerPeople who enter the United States without inspection (EWI, which stands for Entry Without Inspection; also called undocumented) generally exist in a precarious state while in the country. Without documents that show legal presence, a person generally cannot work except at menial tasks and is not entitled to any federal benefits. However, for some, it is possible to adjust their status while still within the United States - to do so, a person must obtain what is called a provisional unlawful presence waiver. It is still possible to do this nowadays, though the process is not easy.

Entering EWI Makes You Removable

Since entering the U.S. without inspection is a direct violation of the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA), a person who does this is immediately removable from the country if found by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). This is a simple process, often resulting in expedited removal if someone is found within 100 miles of the U.S. border, which means that they do not even get to see a judge. Even if someone does get to appear before an immigration judge, they will usually simply be informed of the penalties for entering without inspection unless the person can make an asylum claim, citing credible fear of being returned to their home country.

The penalties for EWI are quite stiff, though the INA only lists civil penalties and fines. The Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 imposes a three-year bar (that is, a period of three years where someone cannot leave and lawfully re-enter the United States) on those who accrue more than 180 days but less than one year of unlawful presence in the country. If someone has more than one year of unlawful presence, they are barred from re-entry for 10 years.

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Posted on in Immigration

 IL immigration lawyerAnyone who has legitimate business in the United States may enter the country, on any number of valid immigrant visas. If they wish to remain in the country, they can do so, using a procedure called adjustment of status (AOS). However, they need to meet the criteria to do so, and not everyone will be able to. Understanding what the criteria are can save you money and trouble, as you can try to correct anything that needs correcting before you take the time to file.

Am I Eligible?

Before starting to file to adjust your status, you must determine whether or not you are eligible to do so from inside the country (in addition to knowing you are eligible for a green card, to begin with, meaning that you cannot have had any past immigration trouble, among other requirements). Some people can adjust status while still in the U.S., while others must leave and go through what the State Department calls consular processing in their home country.

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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

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