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Immigration FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about U.S. Immigration Law

Answers from experienced New York City attorneys

News outlets often discuss immigration issues, but much of what you hear or read is misleading or focused on political interests. To get the information you need to make important decisions wisely, you need an attorney with a deep understanding of key issues and the ability to analyze your specific situation. For more than six decades, Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP has provided exceptional representation and service to clients in New York City and the surrounding area. Our knowledgeable immigration lawyers answer questions such as:

Our firm is committed to supporting clients regardless of what immigration issue they face. For more detailed answers to these and other questions, contact us to set up an initial consultation.

Contact an experienced New York immigration lawyer for a consultation

Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP advises clients on a full range of immigration-related matters, including green card applications, naturalization and deportation defense. To schedule an appointment at our Manhattan, Brooklyn or Peekskill office, please call 212-203-4795 or contact us online 


Who is eligible to obtain a green card?

Family members of U.S. citizens and individuals who already have green cards can seek lawful permanent residence status. How a case will be handled depends on the specific relationship involved, with top priority going to spouses and children of citizens. Employment-based green cards are also available to immigrant workers who are classified into various preference categories. Refugees, individuals seeking asylum and crime victims are also eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence status.

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What programs allow employers to obtain visas for workers who are foreign nationals?

Employment-related visas are available for aspiring immigrants as well as people who are entering the United States to work on a temporary basis. Individuals who are seeking lawful permanent resident status linked to their employment are divided into five groups. Top priority goes to persons with extraordinary ability, outstanding educators and multinational executives. Nonimmigrant work visas help businesses meet seasonal needs and hire workers from other countries who have special skills.

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Will DACA recipients be able to stay in the United States?

People who were brought into the United States as children but do not have legal status (often referred to as Dreamers) can apply to stop deportation proceedings for two years under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by President Obama. DACA recipients are able to obtain work permits and renew their protected status when it expires. Under President Trump, the Department of Homeland Security has tried to end the DACA program in court, with a Supreme Court decision expected in the 2019-2020 term. Some members of Congress are also seeking a legislative solution. The situation could change at any time, so it’s important to discuss your particular situation with a qualified immigration law attorney.

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If a green-card holder is arrested, is it possible to avoid deportation?

Even if a conviction is not obtained, someone who has lawful permanent resident status in the United States (indicated by a green card) could be deported. If you have been arrested and are not a citizen, it’s important to get sound advice on the potential immigration consequences regardless of whether you’ve received a Notice to Appear at a removal proceeding. The specific type of offense involved and the resolution of the criminal case could be crucial to whether you can remain in this country.

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What steps must be followed in order to become a naturalized U.S. citizen?

U.S. citizenship gives men and women born in other lands the chance to take full advantage of everything this country has to offer. Accordingly, the naturalization process is extensive and governed by strict rules. Individuals who have been lawful permanent residents for at least five years (three years for spouses of U.S. citizens) are eligible to pursue citizenship, which starts with the filing of Form N-400. From there, the applicant must go through a background check, pass a U.S. civics test, complete an interview and demonstrate the ability to communicate in English.

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Is there a way to protect undocumented crime victims from removal proceedings?

The sad reality is that undocumented individuals might be afraid to turn to the police if they’ve been victimized by a crime. Fear of being deported not only prevents victims from getting justice but puts others at risk. This is especially true in crimes related to undocumented immigration. Fortunately, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 created the U Visa, which allows crime victims to pursue an adjustment in status if they’ve been harmed because allowing them to stay in the country is in the public interest.

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Does the “green card lottery” still exist?

Though the phrase is often used in the media, what is known as the “green card lottery” is not a process by which people from around the world are selected at random to receive lawful permanent residence in the United States. The actual name for the program is the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. It gives people from countries that have been underrepresented the chance to come to this country. While the program is still in place, the Trump administration has stated its opposition to it, and the number of people who qualify annually has been cut back.

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