Frequently Asked Questions
Answers from Our Sarasota Immigration Attorney
When you are thinking about immigrating to the United State, you and your
family probably have many questions. Immigration can be a difficult and
complicate process, and it is important that you have a legal advocate
on your side to avoid additional stress.
Read some answers to frequently asked questions below or call the law firm
of Anthony Olson, P.A. at (941) 877-6587
to schedule your
case consultation today. We help clients from multiple countries around the world.
What is naturalization?
Naturalization is the process in which a green card holder obtains
U.S. citizenship. This process requires permanent resident status for at least five years,
as well as the ability to read, write, and speak English fluently. You
will be tested on your reading comprehension as well as your understanding
of U.S. history. You must also be at least 18 years of age and have “good
moral character” which means you should not have a conviction for
a serious crime on your record.
Can I apply for a visa to work in the U.S.?
The short answer is yes. There are many different types of
work visas, including visa given under NAFTA, visa for “extraordinary ability,” visas sponsored by a company because you are a specialist in your
field, and longer term
employment green cards that can jumpstart your path to citizenship.
Each of these visas comes with their own rules and time limits, and each
has different qualifications for applicants. To discuss your immigration
status, contact an immigration lawyer in Sarasota or North Fort Myers.
Can I bring my family to live in the United States?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you may be able to file a petition for an
immediate family member or other relative to enter the country. The waiting period depends on how close the individual’s
relationship is to you. For example, immediate relatives such as spouses
and biological minor children, are not subject to waiting periods and
quotas, if they have entered the country legally, but adult children,
a first preference category, is only allotted a little over 23,000 green
cards per year and are subject to a waiting period of about five years.
I’m an immigrant spouse that has been abused. Can I stay in the country?
The U.S. offers protection for
abused spouses and their children. If you were legally married to a U.S. citizen and have suffered abuse
or cruelty, you may be eligible to self-petition for immigration benefits.
To be qualified, you must have entered the marriage in good faith and
be of a good moral character.
Can I come to the U.S. to attend college or university?
Many states allow immigrants to come to the U.S. to study, but they may
not allow for in-state tuition rates, even if you are a legal citizen.
In Florida, for example, tuition costs are determined by the resident
status of the parents.