Immigration

Immigration Lawyer Serving Los Angeles and Glendale, CA

Stepanyan Law Firm,

Founded by an Immigrant.

Our Immigration Lawyer's Services

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United States is a country of immigrants. The U.S. has more immigrants than any other country on Earth. To regulate immigration, the U.S. has enacted one of the best immigration systems. Although its current immigration system is as complex and confusing as it gets, a top immigration lawyer can help you navigate the path to the U.S. citizenship with less bumps and stop signs.

Family Based Immigration

Green Cards & Visas Through Family

A couple signing a marriage immigration petition.

Green Card Through Marriage

Marriage based immigration allows U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) to petition for their spouse (husband or wife) to immigrate and become United States green card holders. Our immigration attorney is experienced in both marriage based immigration and fiancé(e) visas.

Spouses of U.S. Citizens

A spouse of a U.S. citizen is considered an immediate relative. This means that there are no quotas on the number of green cards that spouses of U.S. citizens can receive. Hence, the process is immediate and there is no artificial wait time.

U.S. citizens can petition their spouses that are whether inside or outside the United States. If the beneficiary spouse is outside the U.S., once the petition is approved, they can apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or a consulate abroad. If the beneficiary spouse is inside the U.S., most of the time they can change their status without leaving the U.S.

The process takes approximately 6 to 8 months, if there are no delays in the processing.

Spouses of Green Card Holders

Green card holders can also petition for their spouse to become a permanent resident. Spouses of green card holders, however, fall under the Second Preference (2A) category of immigrants. This means, that there are limitations on the amount of available green cards per year.

Green card holders can petition for their spouses whether they are inside the U.S. or outside. For adjustment of status inside the U.S., the beneficiary spouse need to have a legal nonimmigrant status until at least the date of formal receipt of form I-485 by USCIS. Under conditions must be fulfilled as well. 

As of March 2018 there is an approximate wait time of 2 years for beneficiaries from all countries except China, Mexico, India and Philippines. The USCIS publishes visa bulletins that contain the information about the approximate wait times as of each month. A link to the visa bulletins, including the most recent one, can be found at the bottom of this page, under useful resources.

Fiancée Visas

Fiancé(e) visas allow U.S. citizens that are not yet married to bring their loved ones to the United States for the purpose of getting married and immigrating to the United States. These visas are not available to green card holders.

To be able to apply for a fiancee visa, the U.S. citizen petitioner and the beneficiary should be able to document and prove that they have met at least once within the past 2 years. This requirement can be waived in certain religious cases.

Further, within 90 days of entering the U.S., the beneficiary is required to get married to the U.S. citizen petitioner and to apply for a green card. If the petitioner and the beneficiary are not married, the beneficiary is required to leave by end of the 90 day period.

Upon entering the U.S. using a fiancee visa, the only way the beneficiary can adjust his or her status to a permanent resident status is through a marriage to the person who petitioned for the fiancee visa. 

Immigration

Green Cards Through Family

Definition: Children (unmarried and under 21) are defined to include children of a genetic mother or a non-genetic legal gestational mother, genetic father,  step-parents, and the adoptive parents.

Family of U.S. Citizens

United States immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for their brothers and sisters, children, married and unmarried sons and daughters, as well as their parents to become green card holders.

Children and Parents of U.S. Citizens

Children (Unmarried and under 21) and the parents of U.S. citizens are considered immediate relatives by U.S. immigration law. This means that there are no yearly quotas on the number of green cards available to children and the parents of U.S. citizens.

U.S. citizens can petition their children and parents that are whether inside or outside the United States. If the beneficiary child or parent is outside the U.S., once the petition is approved, they can apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or a consulate abroad. If the beneficiary child or parent is inside the U.S., most of the time they can change their status without leaving the U.S.

The process takes approximately 6 to 8 months, if there are no delays in the processing.

Sons and Daughters, Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens

U.S. Citizens can also petition for their sons and daughters (21 and older, married or unmarried), and brothers and sisters to become a permanent resident. Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens fall under the First Preference category. Married sons and daughters fall into the Third Preference category. Brothers and sisters fall into the Fourth Preference category. This means, that there are limitations on the amount of available green cards per year for these categories of green cards.

U.S. citizens can petition for their sons, daughters, brothers and sisters whether they are inside the U.S. or outside. For adjustment of status inside the U.S., the beneficiary family member needs to have a legal nonimmigrant status until at least the date of formal receipt of form I-485 by USCIS. Other conditions must be fulfilled as well. 

As of March 2018 there is an approximate wait time of 7 years for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, 12 years for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and 14 years for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. The noted wait times apply to beneficiary family members from all countries except China, Mexico, India and Philippines. The USCIS publishes visa bulletins that contain the information about the approximate wait times as of each month. A link to the visa bulletins, including the most recent one, can be found at the bottom of this page, under useful resources.

Family of Green Card Holders

Permanent residents (green card holders) can only petition their unmarried children and unmarried sons and daughters to receive green cards.

Children of permanent residents (Unmarried and under 21) fall under the (2A) Second Preference category of immigrants. Unmarried sons and daughters (21 and older) of green card holders fall under the (2B) Second Preference category of immigrants. This means, that there are limitations on the amount of available green cards per year.

Green card holders can petition for their children and unmarried sons and daughters whether they are inside the U.S. or outside. For adjustment of status inside the U.S., the beneficiary children, sons, and daughters need to have a legal nonimmigrant status until at least the date of formal receipt of form I-485 by USCIS. Under conditions must be fulfilled as well. 

As of March 2018 there is an approximate wait time of 2 years for children beneficiaries, and a wait time of 7 years for unmarried son and daughter beneficiaries from all countries except China, Mexico, India and Philippines. The USCIS publishes visa bulletins that contain the information about the approximate wait times as of each month. A link to the visa bulletins, including the most recent one, can be found at the bottom of this page, under useful resources.

Our Immigration Lawyer Can Help

Call For a Free Consultation*

(747) 777-2977

*A free consultation is provided to prospective clients for an eligibility determination. Limited to 20 minutes.

Our attorney speaks Armenian, Russian, and French.

Մենք խոսում ենք հայերեն | On parle francais | Мы говорим по-русски

Employment Based Immigration

Green Cards & Visas Through Employment

Employment Based Immigration Attorney

EB-2, EB-3 PERM & NIW

Employment based immigration is one of the most complex areas of U.S. immigration law. It allows companies doing business in the United States to petition for their current or prospective employees to become permanent residents. PERM is a very complex and lengthy procedure that requires a skilled immigration attorney. Call us for a free consultation.

EB-1

The U.S. Immigration law allows for a special treatment of certain individuals with  extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.

These individuals can petition for themselves to obtain United States permanent residence. This process can be the fastest way to obtain a green card. It is, however, the hardest way to get one, and very few will qualify.

It is very important to hire an experienced immigration attorney for any employment based immigration matters.

H1-B Visas

H-1B visas allow companies with U.S. locations to petition foreign employees to come work at their U.S. location. The worker should have an occupation that requires highly specialized knowledge. Our immigration attorney will help you navigate through the H1-B process and help you avoid common pitfalls when hiring a foreign employee.

O-1 Visas

O-1 visas allow U.S. companies to employ individuals that have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or individuals who have a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry. O-1 visas have very specific requirements. Our immigration attorney will help you present your O-1 case to USCIS.

Meet Our Immigration Lawyer

Call For a Free Consultation*

(747) 777-2977

*A free consultation is provided to prospective clients for an eligibility determination. Limited to 20 minutes.

How Our Immigration Lawyer Handles Your Matter

Step 1. 

Our immigration attorney will make initial inquiries about your matter. We will then give you a brief outline on how your matter will proceed, what the governmental fees are and what our fees are.

Step 2. 

We provide you with a list of documents that we need to prepare your petition. You begin gathering any documents that are not yet in your possession. All documents need to be accompanied with English translations. 

Step 3. 

We will give you an easy to use blank questionnaire to fill out your personal information. The number and the nature of questions depends on the specific immigration benefit you are seeking.

Step 4. 

We receive all documents and data from you. Our immigration attorney then prepares your application. We take care of any special requirements needed for your petition. We will contact you once all documents are ready for signature.

Step 5. 

You and any people involved in your petition sign the relevant petitions, applications and any supporting forms and documents. 

Step 6. 

Your petition is sent out to the corresponding USCIS office. If your petition requires a fingerprinting appointment or an interview, we will notify you once one is scheduled. We will also help you prepare for your interview. You will be notified once a decision is made.

Speak to an Immigration Lawyer

(747) 777-2977

Useful Resources