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Belton TX Immigration Lawyer

Immigration Lawyer in Belton, TX

If Waco is the midway point between Austin and Dallas, then Belton is the midway point between Waco and Austin. Belton technically falls into the KilleenTemple Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which the Texas Demographic Center shows saw an overall immigration rate of 20.49 per 1,000 residents, the sixth highest rate in the state.

Belton is the county seat of Bell County, and the 2020 United States Census reported that the city had 23,845 residents. According to the Census, 69.7 percent of the Belton population is white, 29.2 percent is Hispanic or Latino, 8.7 percent is Black or African American, and 13.4 percent are two or more races.

Belton, Texas, United States - October 14, 2022: The old Central Avenue business district

Belton Immigration Attorney

When any person is struggling with an immigration-related issue in Belton, it will be important for them to be sure they have legal representation. J. Sparks Law, PLLC, has handled scores of immigration cases all over Texas and knows what needs to be done in these cases to help people get the types of benefits they are seeking.

Our firm is incredibly passionate about helping people from all over the world earn the right to live and work in the United States. Call (512) 877-7482 or contact us online to get a free consultation.

Common Immigration Concerns We Can Address

People in the Belton area could be dealing with a wide range of possible immigration issues, and J. Sparks Law, PLLC, assists clients with every single one of them. Some of the types of cases we handle most frequently include, but are not limited to:

  • Adjustment of Status — Any immigrant who is seeking a Green Card or lawful permanent resident status while in the United States will go through the adjustment of status process, and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rejects a significant number of these applications for basic errors. People will want to be sure they are working with an experienced lawyer because there can be significant delays in the handling of these cases depending on the current USCIS caseload. People will have to prepare for biometrics appointments and adjustment of status interviews. There are also as many as $1,225 in filing fees, but some refugees may get their filing fees waived. One major concern will be the required initial evidence, and people will want to be sure that they have an attorney who can ensure everything needed is included.
  • Removal of Conditions — People who marry United States citizens or lawful permanent residents get a conditional permanent resident status that is only valid for two years, and these people must submit a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, to seek removal of their conditions and get a Green Card that will be valid for ten years. A person can apply as long as they are still married to their United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident spouse, although there are exceptions provided for widows or widowers of marriages entered into in good faith, marriages entered into in good faith that ended in divorce or annulment, or marriages entered into in good faith but involved battery or extreme hardship by United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident spouses. 
  • Green Card Renewal — When a Green Card has already expired or is about to expire, then a person is going to want to seek a renewal. It is important to note that not all Green Cards have expiration dates. In general, many Green Cards will expire ten years from issuance. It is often recommended that people take renewal actions when their Green Cards will expire in six months. A person may be able to renew their Green Card in only a few months, but certain cases may take as much as one year, and people also have to pay a $455 filing fee and $85 biometrics fee. If a Green Card has already expired, then a person must contact the nearest United States consulate, international USCIS field office, or United States port of entry. It is, again, beneficial to work with an attorney in these cases in case USCIS has any issues requiring additional work.
  • Fiancé Visas — It is not uncommon for a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident to have a foreign fiancé(e) they want to marry, and people who have a foreign fiancé(e) will want to file Form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fiancé(e), to seek a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. The K-1 visa is also known as the fiancé(e) visa, and both parties will have to prove that they really intend to create a life together and that their marriage will not be some ploy to obtain immigration benefits.
  • U Visas and T Visas — The U visa and T visa are intended to help people who are victims of certain crimes gain a visa status. These visas are usually awarded to the people who help law enforcement or government officials investigate or prosecute certain types of criminal activity. The U visa requires greater cooperation with law enforcement, and eligibility is granted to people who are the victims of qualifying criminal activity that involves substantial physical or mental abuse. T nonimmigrant status relates to victims of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking. 
  • Citizenship — Applying for citizenship generally means that an applicant must have had a permanent resident card for at least five years (or at least three years if they are filing as the spouse of a United States citizen). A Green Card will expire in six months or has already expired, and the applicant is at least 18 years of age at the time they file their application, have continuous residence and physical presence in the United States, be able to read, write, and speak basic English, demonstrate good moral character, demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of United States history and government, demonstrate loyalty to the principles of the United States Constitution, and be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance. Filing for citizenship involves filing a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. People must pay a $640 filing fee and $85 biometrics fee, as well as submit a long list of required initial evidence. 
  • Advance Parole — While the name advance parole indicates some kind of criminal activity, the phrase really just relates to USCIS granting permission ahead of time for a person to re-enter the United States. Advance parole is a travel document issued by USCIS on Form I-512L allowing certain noncitizens inside the United States to depart and seek reentry to the country after temporary travel abroad. 
  • Employment Authorization — The employment authorization document (EAD) is a simple card containing an immigrant’s name, birthdate, sex, immigrant category, country of birth, photo, and immigrant registration number, among other information. People must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to obtain an EAD.
  • Waivers of Inadmissibility — When a person is deemed to be inadmissible to the United States, they could have the ability to apply for a waiver in these cases. It is important to understand that there are many different grounds for inadmissibility, so a person will want to work with an attorney who can make sure they have a basis for challenging the grounds of inadmissibility.
  • Waivers of Unlawful Presence — People who enter the United States on a visa and overstay the visa can begin accruing an unlawful presence, and longer terms of unlawful presence can lead to a person being inadmissible to the United States for several years. An unlawful presence waiver will allow a person to remain in the country.

Contact Our Experienced Immigration Lawyer in Belton, TX

Are you currently in the midst of some kind of immigration issue in Texas that is jeopardizing your ability to work and reside in the state? You will want to be sure you speak with J. Sparks Law, PLLC, as soon as possible because our firm will know how to get you the relief you need.

We have experience helping people who came to Texas from countries all over the world, so we understand the unique issues that can arise in many of these cases. You can call (512) 877-7482 or contact us online to set up an initial consultation with our Belton, TX immigration lawyer.

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Genuine advocate with service
oriented staff

Julie is an honest, trust worthy person and a lawyer, regardless of complex nature of my case, She is patient and receptive in understanding the situation, then researches in depth accompanied with her plethora of legal knowledge to articulate and form the arguments….


View all testimonials

Frequently Asked Questions

Over the years, we’ve found that there are a handful of very common, yet very important questions people have regarding immigration attorneys. Here are answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions.

When someone wants to directly help a family member gain legal status in the U.S., the first step is the filing of an I-130 petition.  Residency, which is the legal status that green card holders have, can only be considered and approved after an I-130 has been approved.

The approval of an I-130 petition means that the family relationship has been established and acknowledged by USCIS.  For example, if you have petitioned a child, an approval means that USCIS has acknowledged that the person you filed for qualifies as your child under the law.  The meaning of “child” can include not only biological children but sometimes stepchildren and adopted minors.

If you have petitioned your spouse, an approval of your I-130 petition indicates that USCIS has both acknowledged that your marriage is legal and that your relationship is genuine.

The person filing the petition must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (LPR).  U.S. citizens qualify to petition more types of relatives than permanent residents.

Permanent residents qualify to file I-130 petitions for:

  • Spouses
  • Children of any age, as long as the child is unmarried

U.S. citizens qualify to file I-130 petitions for:

  • Spouses
  • Children of any age, whether married or unmarried
  • Parents
  • Siblings

The immigrant being petitioned must apply on their own for residency in order to obtain a green card.  That residency application cannot be approved without presenting an approved I-130 petition filed by the immigrant’s LPR or U.S. citizen relative.   Once the I-130 is approved, the immigrant may be granted a green card by applying for an immigrant visa from a consulate outside the U.S. or by filing for adjustment of status in the U.S.

All immigrants must prove that they are “admissible.”  This means, for example, that those with certain types of criminal convictions in their past may not qualify or may need a waiver.  The same is true for those with past violations of immigration law.

It is important to know whether your family member will qualify to receive residency before filing an I-130 petition.  An experienced immigration attorney can advise you as to whether your loved one will ultimately be able to receive a benefit before you file the case.

The question is far more complex than many realize.  First, everyone must wait for USCIS to process the petition.  USCIS posts its current processing times on its website.  But in addition to that normal processing time, some people must wait years after filing their I-130 petition before they can actually ask for residency.  Others, who are considered “immediate relatives,” do not have to wait in a long line and their process typically moves much faster. “Immediate relatives” are spouses of U.S. citizens, unmarried children (who are under 21) of U.S. citizens, and parents of U.S. citizens age 21 or older.  Many immediate relatives already in the U.S. choose to file the I-130 petition and the residency application at the same time.

A qualified immigration attorney can help you predict how long the entire process could take and can advise you as to whether your immigrant family member can ask for residency immediately or whether they must wait until their date becomes current in the visa bulletin.  Another factor that affects the processing time is whether the immigrant will have their interview at a consulate outside the U.S. or whether they will be interviewed locally inside the U.S.  Only certain immigrants are eligible to use an approved I-130 petition to seek adjustment of status in the U.S.

A 245(i) family-based petition is simply an I-130 petition that was filed on or before April 30, 2001.  “245(i)” is simply the name of the section of law that allows certain immigrants who would not other qualify to still get their residency if they pay a $1,000 fee.

The most common examples relate to immigrants who last entered the U.S. illegally without inspection.  Most immigrants who enter without inspection do not qualify to attend their green card interview in the United States.  Instead, they must leave the U.S. and go back to their country for an interview at a U.S. consulate abroad.  But if someone has an I-130 petition that was filed on their behalf, on or before April 30, 2001, they may qualify to obtain residency and have a green card issued without ever having to leave the U.S.

Some immigrants can qualify under this law even though they weren’t directly petitioned.  For example, some immigrants were children when a U.S. citizen’s aunt or uncle petitioned their parents.  That immigrant child could also qualify for benefits under 245(i) through the petition filed by their aunt or uncle.  Immigrants may also qualify for 245(i) benefits if they were sponsored by an employer on or before April 30, 2001.

Typically, those who live in another country outside of the U.S. will have their residency interview in their country of citizenship.  For those immigrants already in the U.S., some qualify to apply for adjustment of status and have their green card interviews at their local USCIS office.  For others in the U.S., returning to their home country is the only option.