Immigration Law

Costa Mesa Immigration Attorney

Advocacy for Immigrants in Irvine, CA

At the Law Offices of Joyce Komanapalli Jones, you can expect to work with a trustworthy and compassionate lawyer on your immigration case. Attorney Joyce Komanapalli Jones comes from a family of immigrants herself, so she understands the personal and legal side of immigration. Whether you have questions about adjusting your status from permanent resident to citizen, seek to sponsor a foreign family member for an immigrant visa, or have questions about applying for asylum, Attorney Jones can guide you through the legal process.

If you need help, we are here for you. Contact us online or call us at (949) 264-0323 today.

Citizens vs. Legal Permanent Residents

When it comes to immigration law, one of the most important distinctions is what citizenship status means and what lawful permanent resident (LPR) status means. Citizenship is granted to immigrants through the process of naturalization. A citizen can leave and reenter the U.S. at any time without being subject to inadmissibility or needing a reentry permit, and there are no restrictions on the number of days a citizen can remain outside the U.S. Citizens can also petition for relatives to immigrate to the country, and citizens cannot be deported (unless they committed fraud to obtain their citizenship).

On the other hand, a lawful permanent resident is someone who has been granted the right to live in the U.S. indefinitely. Permanent residents are given a “green card” that proves their status. Permanent residence allows individuals to work in the U.S. and to petition for close family members to receive permanent residence. Note that LPRs remain the citizen of another country, so they must have their green card to reenter the U.S. Additionally, LPRs who spend more than 1 year outside the U.S. may have their green card revoked, and LPRs are also subject to inadmissibility and deportability. However, after a certain period (usually 5 years) LPRs may seek naturalization to become citizens.

Bring your questions to the Law Offices of Joyce Komanapalli Jones in a free consultation. Call (949) 264-0323 or contact us online to get started.

Family Visas

In California, there are two types of family-based immigrant visas:

  • Immediate Relative – visas based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen, such as a spouse, child, or parent
  • Family Preference – visas for specific, more distant family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

An adult who is at least 21 years of age and is either a U.S. citizen or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) may sponsor a family member for an immigrant visa petition under one of the above categories. Note that U.S. citizens may file a petition for their spouse, child, parent, or sibling, but U.S. LPRs may only file for their spouse or unmarried children.

There are specific visa categories available to certain individuals based on their relationships, such as marriage visas and fiancé visas. Spousal visas allow foreigners married to U.S citizens or LPRs to live in the U.S. as legal permanent residents. Fiancé/fiancée visas, also called K-1 visas, will provide couples 90 days to get married after the foreigner comes to the U.S. After the legal wedding, the foreign fiancé(e) may adjust their status to a legal permanent resident.

Note that under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), individuals may be eligible to become LPRs if they have experienced battery or extreme cruelty committed by a:

  • U.S. citizen spouse or former spouse;
  • U.S. citizen parent;
  • U.S. citizen son or daughter;
  • lawful permanent resident spouse or former spouse; or
  • lawful permanent resident parent.

A person may self-petition under VAWA without their abusive family member’s knowledge or consent. Learn more about the different types of family visas on our Family Visas page.

Asylum in California

In other circumstances, individuals may seek asylum as a more immediate option if they are in danger in their home country. More specifically, foreigners may seek asylum to remain in the U.S. if they face persecution in their home country for their:

  • race,
  • religion,
  • nationality,
  • membership in a particular social group, and/or
  • political opinion.

Foreigners may seek asylum for themselves and their spouse and/or children who are unmarried and under 21 years old. Asylum applicants must apply within 1 year of arriving in the U.S. After a year in the U.S., asylees may apply to adjust their status to become legal permanent residents.

In most cases, asylees can remain in the country for as long as they need, though their asylee status may be revoked if they:

  • committed a deportable offense;
  • obtained protection from another nation;
  • committed fraud in order to receive asylum status; or
  • no longer has a well-founded fear of persecution.

Visit our page on Asylum to learn more about what asylee status permits and prohibits.

Contact Attorney Joyce Komanapalli Jones Today

If you have legal questions about immigration law and options for immigration, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced immigration law attorney in California. Attorney Joyce Komanapalli Jones has years of experience in immigration law and has worked with a diverse palette of clients in California on immigration matters.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Joyce Komanapalli Jones

  • Experienced

    Attorney Joyce Komanapalli Jones has over 15 years of experience. She is committed to promoting peace, stability, and freedom for individuals and families throughout California while guiding them through the complexities of the legal system.

  • Responsive

    Communication is a key differentiator in our practice. We want you to feel informed about the status of your case every step of the way. Our goal is to never leave you guessing on where we are at with your case.

  • Personal Attention

    We sit down with every client to give them the personal attention their case needs. We want to build a relationship with you and understand the importance of fostering a comfortable environment.

Awarded & Top Rated

  • AVVO Client's Choice
  • Top Rated Lawyer 2020
  • Top Rated Lawyer 2021

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