Currently browsing: Immigration

Becoming a U.S. Citizen in Spokane

Becoming a U.S. citizen in Spokane is a crucial step toward security and independence — and is a good idea for every immigrant, depending on eligibility.
Citizenship can be a wonderful thing. It confers a long list of rights on its holder, including the right not to be deported. Green-card holders don’t have that security. If you’re convicted of a crime in the U.S. but you’re not a citizen, you could find yourself on a plane headed back to your country of origin — with a one-way ticket.
If you’ve been in this country for at least three to five years and you’re not a citizen, then isn’t it time to do so? If you plan to remain here, give yourself some peace of mind and become an American. A good attorney may smooth the process, and advocate for you when and where. The Quiroga Law Office focuses in immigration law and naturalization, and will be there with you every step of the way.
Don’t wait a minute longer to claim your rights: Call the Quiroga Law Office, PLLC today at (509) 927-3840 and take the first step toward U.S. citizenship. You will be glad you did.

Read more

Visa Petitions for Family Members: The In’s and Out’s

If you want to bring family members from another country to Spokane, you’ll need to file visa petitions for them.
Before doing so, though, you must decide what kind of visa works best in their case: immigrant visas, for those coming to the U.S. to stay, or non-immigrant visas, for tourists or those coming for a limited visit.
Adding to the complexity of this formula is the government’s wish to regulate the numbers of immigrants coming in from any particular nation. Those wishing for U.S. immigrant visas for family members from China, Mexico, India and the Philippines will face longer waiting periods than those from other countries whose residents apply less frequently.
One glance at the latest Visa Bulletin and its confusing language and charts may make the process of petitioning for family visas seem daunting — but don’t be discouraged.

Read more

Undocumented? A Waiver for Unlawful Presence Can Save Your Family

If you marry an undocumented immigrant in Spokane, your spouse will need to obtain a waiver for unlawful presence from the U.S. government if he or she wants to remain in our country. Don’t panic, though: Getting this waiver is often easier than you might think.
Federal agencies would prefer, of course, that everyone living in the U.S. had followed all the rules in coming to our country and remaining here.
Now, though, the Provisional Waiver for Unlawful Presence allows the petitioner to remain in the country while awaiting forgiveness and a visa. The only catch is this: for the visa to be valid, the petitioner must leave the country, head to the nearest embassy, and submit to an inspection before getting a U.S. passport and visa. The time spent away from home and family could be a month or more.
Does not getting a waiver for unlawful presence mean a couple must remain apart? Not necessarily. Those who are denied simply must leave the U.S., wait a year or two, then apply for clemency and a visa.
One thing you should not do, however, is attempt to apply for a waiver for unlawful presence on your own. In Spokane, Quiroga Law Office practices immigration law, and is here to help. If you’re in Spokane County and need an I-601A Provisional Waiver for Unlawful Presence, call us today at (509) 927-3840.

Read more

Immigration Implications of Crimes | Spokane and Kootenai County Bar Associations

The following is a presentation that I did in conjunction with Greg Cunningham from Catholic Charities of Spokane, Refugee and Immigration Services. The purpose of this presentation was to give a primer to criminal defense attorneys on the immigration consequences of crimes committed by non-US citizens. We explain the implications of INA section 212 and 237 for certain crimes. Some crimes render an immigrant deportable and some inadmissible. We look at both circumstances and what defenses maybe available to the defendant to preserve an immigration case or at least preserve the possibility of acquiring a waiver.
In this post, you will find a video of the presentation recorded at my office. I have also included pictures taken of the presentation when we were giving the talk at the Spokane County Bar Association. The same presentation was given to the Idaho Kootenai County Bar Association on March 3, 2014.

Read more
Fiance Petitions

Fiance and Spousal Petitions in Spokane County

Fiance and spousal petitions in Spokane County are not as easy to acquire as they once were. We do have a local USCIS office downtown at the Federal Courthouse, where the required interviews for this type of petition can be held. However, as the saying goes, love can be complicated. That’s especially true when it involves marriage between a U.S. citizen and a non-citizen.
If you meet someone who isn’t an American citizen and you want to marry them, you’ll need to think carefully before you act. If you’re a foreign citizen hoping to marry and live in the U.S., you should exercise caution, as well. In either case, a good lawyer is invaluable for navigating fairly tricky terrain.
To bring a foreign-born fiance or spouse to the U.S. to live, the American citizen will need to file a fiance and spousal petitions in Spokane with the federal government (a visa petition will be sent to adequately request – a fiance visa for those who have not married yet, and a spousal visa for those that have already marry). But a “yes” answer isn’t automatic. The person wishing to come to America will have to meet certain criteria:
You must have met each other at least once. This may seem like a no-brainer. The fact is, marriages made strictly for the sake of immigration do occur, as do “mail-order” spouses. To try to prevent them, the feds require evidence that you and your would-be spouse have met in person.
A few photos of the two of you together is often all the evidence you will need. If you don’t have one, however, you’ll need something else: an airline ticket may suffice, or emails between the two of you talking about meeting may be sufficient. An attorney can help you find evidence that the government will accept. You must both be eligible to marry.

Read more