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imadoofus

Recommendation for a immigration lawyer in the D.C. area?

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Hello community,

I am eligible for natz application as of 6 months ago.
 I have extended travel outside the country over the last 5 years (longest being 5 months),  an address in Canada during this period for 3 months, and sections where I was not earning an income in US while I was working on my own and waiting for higher studies. My initial GC was from an employment based petition.

3 questions that I am hoping to get some help from the community

(1) Is this complicated enough to warrant a look from an attorney?

(2) any recommended Immigration attorneys in the washington DC region? Typically, how much does a case cost?

(3) I will be getting married early next year and will want to have my partner get employment status through me. Typically how long between my natz application approval to a legal working status for my partner? Is there a way to speed up the process?

Please let me know if I have not provided enough information to clearly answer any of the above questions.


Thanks

R

 

 

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(1) If the only concern is extended and several absences throughout the 5 years, then you can just check the N-400 instructions for citizenship to see if you pass the eligibility test. Basically, you should not be out more than 6 months on any one visit outside U.S and need to be present more than half the time in the last 5 years in the U.S.

If you are eligible, and no other issues that complicate your case (e.g. criminal record), then you do not need an attorney to help you for citizenship application. It is a very, very simple process: You'll just mail in your N-400 application form (download from online), 4 photographs, cheque for $595 and copies of GC, DL. You'll then get a fingerprint notice in a month and an interview notice in 4 months. The interview is very straightforward. They'll just just ask you to read a sentence, write a sentence, 6 simple questions about american history, laws etc. (booklet with 100 questions will be mailed to you along with your interview notice) and ask you if you have never committed a crime, if you'll always respect U.S constitution in future etc. They'll then tell you a date for the oath ceremony that you'll have to attend and that's it. You are a U.S citizen.

So if you don't have any major issues except the absences, don't waste money on an attorney. Mind you also that if you call an attorney to enquire, they'll likely scare you a bit that you'll be in trouble if you don't hire them for this simple process.

(2) If you do plan to hire someone, they usually charge a maximum of $800. If someone asks you more than that, just find another lawyer. 

(3) Once you become a U.S citizen, you can sponsor your spouse a GC. She just has to be married to you at least for three months (I think). The GC will also arrive pretty fast to her, but she can start working in the mean time by asking for a temporary employment authorization card (EAD) along with the GC application.

Hope this helps.

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21 hours ago, SoNearCitizen said:

(3) Once you become a U.S citizen, you can sponsor your spouse a GC. She just has to be married to you at least for three months (I think). The GC will also arrive pretty fast to her, but she can start working in the mean time by asking for a temporary employment authorization card (EAD) along with the GC application.

Thank you so much for the answers. It is appreciated and very helpful. I have a couple of clarifying questions.

(1) As for timing, is it wise to get married while the NATZ application is processing? Assuming I apply in November and marry in January, does that complicate my application that is being processed?

Or can I continue on my 'single' status through the processing/interview etc and file the I130 after citizenship? I want to make sure she has legal working status by Aug 2017.

(2) Does a legal name change along with the NATZ application delay the timeline?

 

 

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4 hours ago, imadoofus said:

 

Thank you so much for the answers. It is appreciated and very helpful. I have a couple of clarifying questions.

(1) As for timing, is it wise to get married while the NATZ application is processing? Assuming I apply in November and marry in January, does that complicate my application that is being processed?

No it doesn't. You just have to explain it in your application that you are not married. If you get married before your interview, you should state the same during your interview. If you are married after your interview and before your oath ceremony, you should mention it that time (there is a check list to check and sign on the back of your oath ceremony notification letter issued to you after the interview).

 

Or can I continue on my 'single' status through the processing/interview etc and file the I130 after citizenship? I want to make sure she has legal working status by Aug 2017.

Well it takes 6-10 months to get citizenship. So it is best if you apply for citizenship rightaway for you to have any chance of obtaining a work permit for your spouse by Aug 2017.

(2) Does a legal name change along with the NATZ application delay the timeline?

Yes it does. If there is no name change, they schedule the oath ceremony anywhere between 3 days to 3 weeks. If there is a name change, they'll have to conduct the swearing in front of a judge in a court house. The dates for that are few so it'll take 2-3 months to schedule. Name changes can always be requested later through court by regular means, so if your timeline is tight, it is advisable not to go for name change during citizenship.

 

 

 

 

4 hours ago, imadoofus said:

 

 

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Immigration is federal and hence there is no bar to using the firm of Murthy should you choose? If you are confident enough to post in their forum, you should be confident enough so as to retain them.

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2 hours ago, SoNearCitizen said:

Well to post on the forum is free. To hire them costs $$$  :-)

Every lawyer costs money. Good lawyers may cost a bit more...

That's how life works ;)

And cheap lawyers can cost you way more in the end, if they screw up and a good lawyer has to fix it...

Edited by JoeF

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You would rather go by the word of idiots as any body can post in a forum as opposed to legal representation in a matter which is important to you?. The OP has been reminded that should he choose a Lawyer, it does not have to be from DC.

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Relax ponte. Its just a tongue-in-the-cheek comment ;-) 

Murthy lawyers are wonderful I am sure. If OP has decided to hire a lawyer, I agree Murthy are one of the best to do the job.

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Thanks for the advice. My friend is also searching for the lawyer to solve his immigration issue. He visited many article sources to shortlist few lawyers and take their help.

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