Immigration Frequently Asked Questions

Can An Immigration Lawyer Help Answer Questions About Immigration?

Immigration laws are complex and change frequently. For this reason, it is vital to seek out a trusted immigration lawyer who will be able to help you navigate the nuances of immigration law. Markhoff & Mittman, P.C. is a New York law firm that represents clients from all over the world. We have an experienced and dedicated team of attorneys who will help you understand the immigration process and provide the best possible legal advice and representation.

Whether you are a U.S. Citizen, a Permanent Resident, or a Visa holder, it is important to speak with a qualified immigration attorney to ensure that you are making the right decisions.

At Markhoff & Mittman, P.C., our New York immigration legal team is well-versed in all aspects of immigration law and will assist you with every step of the immigration process. Our law firm is ready to help you, regardless of your immigration status. Call for a free consultation, and our legal staff can answer any questions you may have to help you on your journey to temporary or permanent residency in the U.S.

FAQ – Immigration

What is USCIS?

  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a government agency responsible for approving immigration benefits, including green cards, naturalization, work permits, travel permits, and student visas.

What is a green card?

  • This document proves lawful permanent resident status, which allows a foreign national to live and work anywhere in the U.S.

How do I check the status of my case?

  • Check your case on the official USCIS website using your receipt number.
  • Contact the USCIS Contact Center.

Do I have to pay taxes as an undocumented immigrant?

  • Yes, you must report your earnings and pay your taxes.

How do I get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

  • Fill out and submit the W-7 form.

What is the Visa Bulletin?

  • This monthly document provides information for those seeking a family petition or a work permit.

Where can I find the Visa Bulletin?

  • The most current Visa Bulletin can be found at, along with older versions.

FAQ – Family Immigration

What is the easiest way to get a green card?

  • If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
  • If you are an unmarried child under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen.
  • If you are the parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old.

What is a marriage green card?

  • U.S. citizens and U.S. green card holders can often sponsor their spouses for a green card.

Is there a difference between a fiancé visa and a marriage visa?

  • A fiancé visa, or K-1, is a temporary visa available to fiancés of U.S. citizens living outside of the U.S. with the intention of being married within 90 days of arriving in the U.S.
  • A marriage visa can be issued to the spouses of either U.S. citizens or U.S. green card holders and can either be living in the U.S. or abroad.

Can my U.S. citizen child petition for me?

  • A U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old may petition for their parents or siblings.

How can I check if my priority date is current?

  • By checking the Visa Bulletin.

What do I do if the consular officer denies my case?

  • Find out the reason for the denial and file a new application. An immigration lawyer can help those denied.

How can I apply for DACA?

  • Unfortunately, new applications for DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, are not being accepted.

FAQ – Abuse Victim Immigration

Why does it take so long for a U Visa to be approved?

  • The USCIS issues only 10,000 U Visas each year.
  • It can take approximately five years.

What is the difference between a U Visa and a VAWA?

  • To be eligible for a VAWA, the applicant must have been a victim of abuse by a family member that is a U.S. citizen.
  • U Visas can be awarded even if the abuser is not a relative, regardless of their immigration status.

FAQ – US Citizenship

What are the benefits of becoming a US citizen?

  • to help bring other family members into the country
  • to have the right to vote
  • to avoid deportation or removal
  • to travel in and out of the US as you like
  • to have greater access to education and job opportunities

How can I become a US citizen?

  1. Apply online
  2. Take the exam
  3. Study English
  4. Meet all requirements
  5. Wait for approval and receive the certificate

What documents do I need as an immigrant?

  • Prove your identity
    • Birth certificate
    • Driver’s license
    • Passport
  • Prove you have lived in the US
    • Payment invoices
    • Job records or paycheck stubs
    • Lease or deeds to a house
    • School records (i.e., transcripts, report cards)
  • Prove moral conduct
    • Evidence of acts of charity
    • Letters of recommendations
    • Volunteer paperwork
  • Medical
    • Proof of doctor visits
    • Medical records

What questions are on the citizenship test?

  • Show your ability to read and write in English.
  • Answer up to 10 questions regarding American civics and history.

Do I have to know English to become a US citizen?

  • It is necessary to know English to take the citizenship test.

What happens if I fail the citizenship test?

  • You may retake the test at a new interview.
  • If you fail the retake, you will have to start the whole process over.

What if I miss my immigration interview?

  • Consult with a knowledgeable immigration law attorney so they can advise you on the best course of action.

FAQ – US Visas

Do I have to report my social media networks to apply for a US visa?

  • The policy requires that all applicants disclose any social media accounts used within the last five years.
    • What networks are included:
      • Facebook
      • TikTok
      • Twitter
      • Instagram
      • more

How can I legally work in the US?

  • Apply for a temporary work visa
  • Other temporary visas, such as tourist visas, do not permit employment in the US.
  • Students with student visas may only work on campus unless authorized.

How do I know if I qualify for a temporary work visa?

  • Come from one of the qualifying countries.
  • Applicant must have the academic level to qualify (bachelor’s degree) or equivalent experience for the position.

What is a work permit, and how long does it take to get one?

  • A work permit is a document allowing certain immigrants to work legally in the US.
  • Applicants must qualify to apply for the permit, including those who:
    • have applied for residency
    • have pending asylum cases
    • have Visa U or VAWA

How long can I stay in the US with an immigrant visa?

  • An immigrant visa grants the applicant can live permanently in the country.

How long can I stay in the US with a nonimmigrant visa?

  • Each nonimmigrant visa varies:
    • Work visa – up to 3 years
    • Investor visa – up to 2 years
    • Tourist visa – up to 6 months
    • Student visa – up to 5 years

Common Immigration Forms

Affidavit of Support (I-864)

  • The majority of green card applicants are required to have a U.S. sponsor who will assume financial responsibility for them once they enter the country. A financial sponsor and the U.S. government enter into an “Affidavit of Support” (Form I-864), which serves as proof that the financial sponsor meets the government’s income standards.

Medical Exam (I-693)

  • The results of the mandatory medical examination for a spouse (or other family members) applying for a green card are documented in Form I-693. For those making an application from within the country, the physical examination is carried out by a physician authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who also produces a Form I-693 that has been duly signed. A doctor who has been approved by the State Department conducts the medical examination for applicants who are from outside.

Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (I-485)

  • This application, also referred to as a green card application, is for foreign nationals seeking to live permanently in the U.S.

Application for Naturalization (N-400)

  • An immigrant who wishes to apply for citizenship in the United States must complete this application for citizenship form.

Change of Address (AR-11)

  • When you submit Form AR-11 online, you can update your address for all pending requests, petitions, or applications.

Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal (I-589)

  • Use this application to request withholding of deportation or removal and asylum in the U.S.

Application for Temporary Protected Status (I-821)

  • Use this form to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if you feel you are a qualified national of a selected country or a non-citizen who last lived there regularly. You can also obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) while submitting Form I-821, the first TPS application, or when re-registering for TPS by including a filled-out Form I-765, Request for Employment Authorization.

Immigration Lawyers Can Answer Any Questions Regarding NY Immigration

If you do not see the answer to your question, call the immigration lawyers near you. Our NY immigration team can help you understand the laws and how they pertain to your specific needs. Call today for a free consultation.