NELSON | SMITH, LLP provides a full range of immigration services, including: Family-Based petitions and applications for Lawful Permanent Resident Status, Fiancee Visas, Naturalization, and Employment options, including: PERM, Treaty Traders and Investors, Healthcare Professionals, H-1B visas, Artists and Athletes, E, O and P visas.

Litigation and Immigration Court services include: Asylum, Deportation defense, Appeals and federal court Actions related to delayed or denied immigration matters.

Services Offered

We represent clients who would like to sponsor their relative to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. U.S. citizens may apply for their spouses, parents, and children, including married sons and daughters.  Lawful permanent residents may apply for their spouses and unmarried children.  For spouses, parents, and children under 21 of U.S. citizens (Immediate Relatives), there is an unlimited number of visas available.  However, for applicants in the other categories, the Department of State issues a limited number of visas each year and applicants may be waiting for several years before becoming a lawful permanent resident.

  • V Visas: The V Visa was created by the LIFE Act that President Clinton signed into law on December 21, 2000.  A V Visa is a non-immigrant visa that spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents may qualify for if their petition for alien relative (Form I-130) was filed with the CIS on or before December 21, 2000 and if they have been waiting for three or more years and have not yet been granted permanent residence status.  The V Visa allows the applicants to come to live and work while they are waiting for their immigration process.
  • K Visas: Another category of the K Visa was created by the LIFE Act.  A K Visa is a non-immigrant visa that spouses (K-3 Visa) and children under 21 (K-4 Visa) of U.S. citizens may qualify for to be able to come to the U.S. while waiting for their immigration process.

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We represent clients, both employers and prospective employees, applying for permanent residence status through their employment. There are several categories of persons who qualify for employment-based applications. Some of the categories require a labor certification application be filed with the Department of Labor before filing the application with the CIS.

  • EB1: Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in the field of expertise. Such applicants do not have to have a specific job offer so long as they are entering the U.S. to continue work in the field in which they have extraordinary ability. Such applicants can file their own petition with the CIS, rather than through an employer.Outstanding professors and researchers with at least three years experience in teaching or research, who are recognized internationally
    No labor certification is required for this classification, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with the CIS.Certain executives and managers who have been employed at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer
    The applicant must be coming to work in a managerial or executive capacity. No labor certification is required for this classification, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with the CIS.
  • EB2: Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees, or Persons of Exceptional Ability in the Arts, Sciences, or Business All Second Preference applicants must have a labor certification approved by the Department of Labor, or Schedule A designation, or establish that they qualify for one of the shortage occupations in the Labor Market Information Pilot Program. A job offer is required and the U.S. employer must file a petition on behalf of the applicant. Applicants may apply for exemption from the job offer and labor certification if the exemption would be in the national interest, in which case the applicant may file the petition, Form I-140, along with evidence of the national interest. There are two subgroups within this category:(1) Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession; and(2) Persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered within the field.
  • EB3: Skilled Workers, Professionals Holding Baccalaureate Degrees and Other WorkersAll Third Preference applicants require an approved I-140 petition filed by the prospective employer. All such workers require a labor certification, or Schedule A designation, or evidence that they qualify for one of the shortage occupations in the Labor Market Information Pilot Program. There are three subgroups within this category:(1) Skilled workers are persons capable of performing a job requiring at least two years of training or experience;(2) Professionals with a baccalaureate degree are members of a profession with at least a university bachelor’s degree; and(3) Other workers are those persons capable of filling positions requiring less than two years’ training or experience.
  • EB4: Special ImmigrantsApplicants must be the beneficiary of an approved I-360, Petition for Special Immigrant, except overseas employees of the U.S. Government. There are six subgroups:(1) Religious workers coming to carry on the vocation of a minister of religion, or to work in a professional capacity in a religious vocation, or to work for a tax-exempt organization affiliated with a religious denomination;(2) Certain overseas employees of the U.S. Government;(3) Former employees of the Panama Canal Company;(4) Retired employees of international organizations;(5) Certain dependents of international organization employees; and(6) Certain members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • EB5:Employment Creation Investors
    Applicants must invest between U.S. $500,000 and $1,000,000, depending on the employment rate in the geographical area, in a commercial enterprise in the United States which creates at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens, or other lawful immigrants, not including the investor and his or her family.Labor Certification Applications
    For those categories that require an approved labor certification application, the prospective employer must go through a recruitment process and prove to the Department of Labor that no U.S. workers were qualified for and willing to accept the job offered. 

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There are many types of non-immigrant visas available. Visas may be available to come to the U.S. to work, attend a university, or just to visit.

  • H-1B: Visas H-1B Visas are for those who wish to come to the U.S. temporarily to work in a specialty occupations or as a fashion model. Fashion models must show they are of distinguished merit and ability.
  • Student Visas : There are several types of non-immigrant student visas including the F, J, and M Visas.
  • F-1: Students may apply to come to study in the U.S. under the F-1 Visa category. Applicants must prove that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay and to pay for the school program. Students apply for the F-1 Visa to study a specified program at a specified school.
  • J-1 Waiver Applications: Some students who come to the U.S. on J-1 Visas are subject to a two-year home residency requirement after they complete their program. Some students may be able to apply for a waiver of that requirement if they wish to change or adjust their status in the U.S.
  • Artists and Athletes: The O Visa is available to those who wish to come to the U.S. temporarily who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. This ability must be demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim. The P Visa is available to athletes and group entertainers, artists or entertainers in a reciprocal exchange program, or artists or entertainers who are involved in a culturally unique program.

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We are proud to represent people who are seeking asylum in the U.S. because they are afraid to return to their country. We represent those applying for asylum with the CIS as well as those who are applying for asylum in Immigration Court.

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We represent clients who are in removal or deportation proceedings both in Immigration Court and, for appeals, with the Board of Immigration Appeals.

We also have experience representing clients with immigration-related matters in federal court, the U.S. District Court of Oregon and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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After being a lawful permanent resident for five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen), a permanent resident may apply to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S. Applicants must meet physical presence requirements in the U.S. and show good moral character. They must also be able to speak, read and write English and demonstrate their knowledge of the history and government of the U.S.

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The K-1 Visa is available to fiancées of U.S. citizens who are coming to the United States to get married within 90 days of arrival. The K-2 Visa is available to the children under 21 of the fiancée.

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The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act was passed in 1997. One section of this law allows for certain citizens/nationals of Guatemala, El Salvador, and some eastern European countries who entered the U.S. and filed asylum applications by a certain date and who have been continuously residing in the U.S. for at least seven years to apply for permanent residence in the U.S.

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Each year the Department of State holds a lottery and randomly selects applicants from the qualified entries who are then eligible to apply for permanent residence status in the U.S. The Diversity Visa Lottery Program is open to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. The Department of State usually accepts entries for the lottery during the month of October each year.

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The LIFE Act, or Legal Immigration Family Equity Act, became law on December 21, 2000. Its provisions include an extension of INA § 245(i), new V and K Visa categories, and some provisions to help late-amnesty applicants.

  • V Visas: The V Visa was created by the LIFE Act that President Clinton signed into law on December 21, 2000. A V Visa is a non-immigrant visa that spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents may qualify for if their petition for alien relative (Form I-130) was filed with the CIS on or before December 21, 2000 and if they have been waiting for three or more years and have not yet been granted permanent residence status. The V Visa allows the applicants to come to live and work while they are waiting for their immigration process.
  • Legalization: Persons who filed before October 1, 2000, for class membership in one of three “late amnesty” lawsuits (CSS v. Meese, LULAC v. CIS, and Zambrano v. CIS) and who are eligible under the LIFE Act’s amended legalization provisions may be able to apply to adjust their status.

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There are various waivers that applicants for permanent residence may need to apply for with the CIS or the Immigration Court. Waivers may be needed for criminal convictions, unlawful presence or for previous immigration violations.

Parents may apply for adopted children to become lawful permanent residents of the U.S. The process differs depending on whether the child adopted is classified as an orphan or not.

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Under the Violence Against Women Act, abused spouses and children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may be able to petition for themselves to become legal in the U.S. and not have to rely on the abusive spouse or parent to apply for them.

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Temporary Protected Status is available to citizens and nationals of countries that the U.S. government lists as countries whose residents may be temporarily unable to return to because of armed conflict, environmental disasters, or some other extraordinary condition. If granted TPS, the person will be allowed to live and work in the U.S. for the period designated by the U.S. government.

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We are happy to write opinion letters for clients analyzing the immigration consequences of a criminal arrest or conviction or for any other immigration-related legal issue.
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503.224.8600
208 SW First Avenue, Suite 360
Portland, Oregon 97204 USA
philip@visaoregon.com

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals 2017 Announcement

September 12th, 2017|Comments Off on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals 2017 Announcement

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals 2017 Announcement

On Sept. 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). […]

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