California Immigration Lawyer
The Margarian Law Firm handles various immigration matters, including but not limited to applications for different types of visas. Listed below are important details and distinctions in immigration laws for informational purposes only. As each case is unique, we invite you to contact our office at (818) 553-1000 for a consultation with an experienced attorney.
Nonimmigrant Visa Categories
These visas are needed for entry into the United States on a temporary basis for various purposes of travel and other related activities. The general requirements for a visa application are the same for all types of applications; however, several visa categories require special expertise and treatment, as well as application materials, all of which can be diligently and competently handled by our attorneys.
You can find the list of all general nonimmigrant visa categories below. The left column refers to the primary purpose of the travel and the right column shows the corresponding visa category for that purpose. Please note that most of the purposes of travel are exclusive; for example, an applicant of a B-2 category visa as a visitor will be denied any kind of employment in the US, as this purpose falls under a separate visa category.
|Purpose of Travel||
Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only)
|Au pair (exchange visitor)||J|
|Australian professional specialty||E-3|
|Border Crossing Card: Mexico||BCC|
|CNMI-only transitional worker||CW-1|
|Diplomat or foreign government official||A|
|Domestic employee or Nanny – must be accompanying a foreign national employer||B-1|
|Employee of a designated international organization or NATO||G1-G5, NATO|
|Foreign military personnel stationed in the United States||A-2
|Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics||O|
|Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional: Chile, Singapore||
H-1B1 – Chile
H-1B1 – Singapore
|International cultural exchange visitor||Q|
|Medical treatment, visitor for||B-2|
|NAFTA professional worker: Mexico, Canada||TN/TD|
|Performing athlete, artist, entertainer||P|
|Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)||J|
|Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge||H-1B|
|Student: academic, vocational||F,M|
|Temporary agricultural worker||H-2A|
|Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature.||H-2B|
|Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor||B-2|
|Training in a program not primarily for employment||H-3|
|Treaty trader/treaty investor||E|
|Transiting the United States||C|
|Victim of Criminal Activity||U|
|Victim of Human Trafficking||T|
|Nonimmigrant (V) Visa for Spouse and Children of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)||V|
Immigration Visa Categories
These types of visas are needed for immigrating to the United States. One can apply for these visas either from outside the country or while staying in the U.S. on a lawful basis. Since immigration visas generally have special requirements and involve a complex application process, it is important to have an attorney handling an immigrant visa application.
Quotas and Preferences
To qualify for admission into the US, a noncitizen must fit within one of the various admission categories established by Congress. Most of these categories are subject to annual numerical limits, called “Quotas.” These categories are limited by the number of immigrants from any particular country. This is known as the “Preference System.”*
- There are exemptions from the numerical limitations, such as immediate relatives of United States Citizens, certain special immigrants, people fleeing persecution, and those who fall under special laws passed by Congress, among other categories.
- *Per Country Limits: Apart from the worldwide ceilings, these categories are also subject to per country limits. An immigrant is normally “charged” to the country or colony in which he or she was born, with some exceptions.
Listed below are the categories of generally applied immigration visas. These visas, with a few exceptions, require either immediate relative, family or employer sponsorship as categorized below. The right column of the chart lists the sponsorship type, while the left column lists its corresponding visa category.
|Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored||
|Spouse of a U.S. Citizen||
|Spouse of a U.S. Citizen awaiting approval of an I-130 immigrant petition||
|Fiancé(e) to marry U.S. Citizen & live in U.S.||
|Intercountry Adoption of Orphan Children by U.S. Citizens||
IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4
|Certain Family Members of U.S. Citizens||
IR2, CR2, IR5, F1, F3, F4
|Certain Family Members of Lawful Permanent Residents||
|Employer Sponsored – Employment|
|Employment-Based Immigrants, including (preference group):
C5, T5, R5, I5
S (many sub-categories)
|Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters||
|Iraqis Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government||
|Afghans Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government||
|Diversity Immigrant Visa||
*K Visas – Listed with immigrant visas because they are for immigration-related purposes.
People who are already inside the United States can be removed (deported) if they fall into any of the following categories:
- Inadmissible at the Time of Entry or Violated Status
- Inadmissible aliens: Includes all grounds of inadmissibility, including criminal grounds, misrepresentation, documentation requirements.
- Present in Violation of Law: Includes those who fail to maintain the status in which they were admitted or to comply with the conditions of such status; or those who violate the conditions of their entry.
- Termination of Conditional Permanent Residence.
- Marriage Fraud
- Criminal Offenses (Crimes involving moral turpitude, multiple criminal convictions, aggravated felonies, high speed flight from checkpoint, failure to register as a sex offender, controlled substance convictions/drug abusers, certain firearm offenses, miscellaneous crimes including document fraud, domestic violence, stalking, crimes against children, violators of protection orders, trafficking, sex offenders.)
- Security and Related Grounds (Espionage, sabotage; unlawful export of goods, technology or sensitive information; a criminal activity which endangers public safety or national security; any activity relating to the opposition of the government by unlawful means; terrorist activities; participation in persecution or severe violations of religious freedom.)
This list is not meant to be exhaustive; additional grounds for removal exist in the Immigration law. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney regarding your rights and defenses to deportation proceedings. Call The Margarian Law Firm at (818) 553-1000 today.
REINSTATEMENT of REMOVAL
- Subject to certain very specific exemptions, if the Attorney General finds that an alien has reentered the United States illegally after having been removed or having departed voluntarily, under an order of removal, the prior order of removal is reinstated from its original date and is not subject to being reopened or reviewed, the alien is not eligible and may not apply for any relief, and the alien shall be removed under the prior order at any time after reentry. The orders may be executed within hours or days, and there is no requirement for a hearing.
Affirmative Defenses to Deportation
- Motions to Terminate
- Cancellation of Removal A & B;
- Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents;
- Section 212(c) applications;
- Cancellation of Removal for Certain Non-Permanent Residents;
- Suspension of Deportation
- Legalization or Late Amnesty
- Adjustment of Status
- Deferred Action/Parole;
- Voluntary Departure
- Section 212(c): Other Waiver applications;
- Asylum & Withholding of Removal
- Protection under the Convention against Torture
- Good Moral Character (GMC) Requirement
- Exceptional and Extremely Unusual Hardship Standard
- “Offshore Refugees” (Oversees Refugees) vs. “Onshore Refugees” (Asylum Seekers)
- “The Attorney General may grant asylum to an alien who has applied for asylum in accordance with the requirements and procedures established by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General under this section if the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General determines that such alien is a refugee within the meaning of section 101(a)(42)(A) .”
- Convention Against Torture
- Persecution on Account of Race, Religion, Nationality, Membership in Particular Social Group or Political Opinion
- Expedited Removal
- REAL ID Act
Given the various types of visas and diverse immigration laws, along with the very particular and stringent requirements of each category, it is crucial to have your case handled by a competent attorney representing your best interests. With a matter as important and sensitive as the residency of yourself or a loved one, there is a lot at stake, and proper care must be taken in all steps of the process. Are you wondering how can a California attorney help you with your immigration? Call The Margarian Law Firm at (818) 553-1000 today to schedule your consultation.