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Tampa Visa Attorney: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Immigration

For those who are unfamiliar with immigration law, immigration can be a complex and highly confusing subject. There are specific laws which dictate which visas are available, the qualifications for obtaining those visas, and the process which must be followed to be granted a visa. Knowing which of the multiple visas available would best suit your needs, understanding the difference between an immigrant visa and a non-immigrant visa, and correctly filling out the application can mean the difference in your visa application being approved or denied.

In order to assist you, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions our attorneys have received. If you have additional questions about immigration or need to apply for a visa, contact a Tampa immigration lawyer at our firm right away.

  • What types of visas are available if I want to come to the U.S. for a visit or temporary stay? – If you wish to visit the United States temporarily or be granted entry for a very specific period of time, you will need a non-immigrant visa. Some of the most common types of non-immigrant visas are a student visa (should you be looking to further your education and skills), business investor visas (if you are planning on coming to the U.S. to invest in a business), or a travel visa (if you wish to do some traveling in the U.S.).
  • What type of visa should I get if I want to become a permanent U.S. resident? – Depending on your current immigration status or situation, there are a number of visas available to foreign nationals wishing to permanently immigrate to the United States. There is a fiancée visa (if you are a foreign national engaged to a U.S. citizen), family visas (if you have or are the relative of a U.S. citizen and wish to immigrate to the U.S.), a work visa (if you have unique skills or requirements which make you a hot commodity in a particular field or industry), and more.
  • How long will my green card remain valid? – Permanent residency, obtained through a green card, allows a foreign national to live in work in the United States on a potentially indefinite basis. When a green card is first issued it is often a temporary green card and is valid for two years. After the first two years, providing you have not been convicted of any criminal activity and have maintained your eligibility status, you can apply for a permanent residence visa which is valid for ten years.
  • Once I obtain a green card, what do I need in order to obtain citizenship through naturalization ? – Once an individual has been granted a green card, and if they wish to obtain U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process, there are certain requirements which must be met. You must have been physical present in the U.S., as a green card holder, for at least 50% of the time. You must not be away from the U.S. for any more than one year, and ideally less than six months prior to your citizenship application. You must not have committed a serious crime of moral turpitude. You must be able to write and speak English and more. Consult with one of our attorneys in order to get a complete list of the qualifications and requirements.
  • My visa has expired, what can I do? – If your visa has expired, the first thing you need to do is contact an immigration attorney from our firm. We will sit down with you, review your current status and situation, and then help you determine the best course of action to pursue. Time is of the essence when it comes to expired visas, so we advise you do no delay.
  • I am in the United States on a temporary visit and wish to obtain a permanent visa, what can I do? – Changing immigration status while in the United States, can be difficult, and there is no guarantee it can be done. If it is possible, and what you will be required to do, vary from person to person. That is why this kind of question can only be answered after consulting with an experienced immigration attorney. Our attorneys will take the time to review your status and case, analyze the situation at hand, and help you map out the course of action best geared to accomplish your immigration objectives.
  • I have received a deportation order, is there anything I can do to avoid being deported? – If you receive a deportation order or notification, the first thing you must do is contact a knowledgeable immigration attorney at our firm, who will work with you closely to build your deportation defense. You need an attorney who understands and is skilled in all aspects of immigration law. Our attorneys are committed to providing you with the honest, aggressive representation you need.

Immigration Lawyer serving Tampa, Florida

Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. is a full-service law firm and we have been in practice for over 40 years. We currently have six offices in five cities and our firm is dedicated to providing our clients with excellent quality service. As a sign of our professional nature, legal excellence and ethics standards, our firm has received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. These ratings are done based on peer reviews and an AV rating is the highest rating a law firm can receive.

Tampa Immigration Lawyer

Do I really need a lawyer or can I just fill out the forms myself?

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service reports that 67% of all applications and petitions filed without legal counsel are DENIED. Why does this happen? It happens because immigration law is one of the most complex areas of law in the United States. Here is what our courts have said about the complexity:

“The statutory scheme defining and delimiting the rights of aliens is exceedingly complex. Courts and commentators have stated that the Immigration and Nationality Act resembles ‘King Mino’s labyrinth in ancient Crete,’ and is ‘second only to the Internal Revenue Code in complexity.'” Chan v. Reno, 1997 U.S. Dist. Lexis 3016, *5 (S.D.N.Y. 1997).

Preparing your immigration case involves much more than completing the proper forms. Our experienced immigration attorneys review the specific facts of your case, determine the appropriate legal remedies, determine potential pitfalls or liabilities associated with the application, and guide your case through the appropriate federal agencies. Much of the attorneys work is associated with anticipating legal issues, solving legal and pragmatic problems, avoiding delay, and resolving legal complications.

When you hire an immigration lawyer, you benefit from the years of experience, legal training, continuing education, and personal and professional relationships of that attorney with the government officers. Chances are good that the people, plans, and future opportunities that are depending on the outcome of your immigration case deserve good legal representation. Limiting yourself to odds of success of “one in three” is not acceptable.

Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer?

Immigration law can be incredibly complicated without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. Over the last few years, immigration law has become very strict. This overly protective attitude can be especially frustrating for individuals wanting to gain access to the United States and the advantages that come with being a citizen of this country. Legal immigration into the United States requires an immense amount of dedication and focus. Though with so many laws, processes, and paperwork standing in the way, it can often be difficult to understand what exactly where and what you should focus on. A Tampa immigration attorney can help you through the immigration process by minimizing the confusion and cutting through red tape and excessive paperwork.

The United States controls and regulates the amount of people flowing into this country through a number of classifications and procedures to determine an individual’s eligibility for certain privileges. In order to accomplish this goal, visas exist to provide individuals with the specific rights and privileges he or she needs for the time he or she will spend here. There are a number of different types of visas for certain situations. These visas can be either non-immigrant visas or immigrant visas depending on whether an individual desires to stay in this country after relocating. Each visa requires its own set of qualifications and requirements. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney will be able to successfully guide you through the application process so that you will get the specific visa you need to live in this country.

Immigration Attorney in Tampa

At Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience handling all aspects of immigration law. This immense amount of experience focusing primarily on immigration law has instilled in our firm a mastery of the laws and circumstances governing immigration and the legal issues associated with the immigration process. These issues can directly affect the course of your future. Do not entrust your future to lesser legal counsel. Call our firm today.