Palm Beach County Immigration Attorney
Immigration Lawyer Aaron R. Coven, serving clients throughout Florida
If you have concerns regarding immigration law and are in Greater Palm Beach County, Attorney Aaron R. Coven can help. Although it is not required that you utilize the services of an attorney when you find yourself in a legal immigration situation, it is often preferred in order to achieve the best results.
In the State of Florida, many of those who have issues related to immigration discover that a lawyer can help them navigate the system. Often those in Florida who have questions and concerns about immigration have come from Haiti or Cuba. Those who enter the United States from these countries can find themselves in complex legal situations, which can be extremely difficult.
The Policy of Wet Foot/Dry Foot
One issue that specifically pertains to those who seek asylum in Florida is known as the wet foot/dry foot law. This has been in effect since 1995 after economic conditions worsened in Cuba due to the withdrawal of aid by Russia. The declining economic conditions caused an influx of immigrants from Cuba to Florida.
Under the wet foot/dry foot law, if someone is caught coming to the U.S. when still at sea, he or she will be sent back. One the other hand, once he or she is on dry land, then he or she may eventually apply for a visa. Each year, there are 20,000 such visas available to those from Cuba. However, there are thousands of more applicants who desire a visa. It’s essential to properly fill out and submit all required paperwork to apply for a visa. Attorney Coven can aid you in your application process.
Lawful Amnesty & Guest Worker Programs
Attorney Coven can also help you investigate amnesty and guest worker programs that may directly apply to your situation. Programs such as the one focusing on the Z visa are the result of recent congressional legislation designed to allow illegal aliens, who are also known as undocumented workers, to apply for a visa that gives one probationary immigration status. Such a status, which is granted by a Z visa, is renewable for four years. Undocumented workers who have come to the United States prior to January 2007 and have not had any criminal charges against them while living in the country may apply for such a visa.
Green Card Status
Although known by most as a green card, this term refers specifically to permanent visas, which are granted by the United States for specific reasons. Applying for a permanent visa involves a long process, which involves governmental investigative efforts. In the State of Florida, permanent visas can be granted for individuals and, also, for families that are dealing difficult situations, such as domestic abuse. Permanent visas are also given in Florida for employment based immigration situations. These involve filing specific paperwork with various government office.
Specifics Regarding Z Visas
If one is granted a Z visa, then they may apply for permanent status. The fee for filing such an application is $500. Undocumented workers under the age of 30 who have been in the United States since they were minors may apply for permanent status after they have held a Z visa for three years. Undocumented farm workers can apply for permanent citizenship if they can prove that they have worked a minimum of 150 hours or three years in farming. Green cards for those who possess a Z visa take from eight to twelve years to process due to the huge backlog of applicants.
Applying for a Temporary Visa
Within the State of Florida and throughout the United States there are a total of nine types of temporary visas for those seeking such status. These are for those who are entering or have entered the country legally. Often, it is best to file and receive temporary status first.Then, an immigrant can start the citizenship and naturalization process.
Temporary visas categories include:
- L-1 for intra-company employee transfers
- H-1B for professional occupations considered to be specialties
- B-1/B-2 for business and pleasure travel to the U.S.
- E-1/E-2 visas for authorized investors and treaty traders
- K-3/K-4 visas for family reunification
- R-1 for religious workers and missionaries
- O-1 for accomplished professionals in the arts and sciences
- K-1 visa for a fiancée of U.S. citizens.
Immigration is in Flux
As we’ve seen recently, immigration laws can change. The President offered undocumented workers living in this country a new amnesty program. However, many criticized his announcement, and although it is now in effect, there are questions as to what will happen to the program when a new president is elected.
These types of situations can certainly cause anxiety, concern, and uncertainty for undocumented workers in the United States. If you have questions regarding this latest change in U.S. immigration policy, or any of the other programs available to immigrants, contact Attorney Aaron R. Coven in Lake Worth, Florida, by calling 561-540-3636 or by filling out the short contact form on this page. He will meet with you for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss the details of your immigration situation and provide you with information concerning possible actions that might benefit you.