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Elgin Immigration Lawyer

Immigration Lawyer in Elgin, TX

In this current political climate, many immigrants are uncertain about their ability to move to or remain in the United States legally. Throughout its history, America has offered a safe haven for many individuals who wish to join family members, escape an oppressive governmental regime, or simply better their life in some way. In many instances, a knowledgeable immigration lawyer can provide these individuals an opportunity to remain in – or enter – the United States legally. 

The experienced and compassionate Elgin immigration attorneys at J. Sparks Law, PLLC, offer numerous immigration services to clients throughout the region. First, if the government has threatened you with deportation from the United States, we can help you assert a proper legal defense. We also assist clients with handling green cards and asylum. 

Moreover, if the government issues an adverse decision in your case, we could help you appeal that decision in a timely manner. Our skilled legal team has the knowledge, compassion, and experience to help you achieve your desired result and pursue the American dream.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Elgin immigration attorney, please call us today at 512-877-7482 or contact us online for more information. 

Fighting Against Deportation

The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for determining if you should be deported from the United States. If they determine that you are subject to deportation, they must first issue you a Notice to Appear (NTA). This notice will detail the immigration law(s) which you allegedly violated. 

At your immigration hearing, a judge will ask you to admit or deny these allegations. You will also need to present testimony and evidence at your hearing that will help you avoid deportation. Your attorney can present documents on your behalf in court and call witnesses to testify in support of your position.

The immigration judge handling the proceedings will then decide if you must be deported – or if you are eligible to remain in the country legally, given your circumstances. 

If the hearing judge determines that you are subject to deportation, you could apply for various types of relief. Some of the most common types include:

  • Order of cancellation for green card holders – where the individual has been a lawful permanent resident in the United States for a minimum period of five years, has not been subject to any criminal convictions, resided in the country for at least the past seven years, and not received a previous removal order.
  • Adjustment of status – where the individual who is subject to a deportation order is the child, widow, parent, or spouse of a United States citizen
  • Deportation suspension – where an immigrant subject to deportation applies for permanent resident status if they are of good moral character – and if they have physically resided in the United States for a seven-year minimum 
  • Order of cancellation for non-permanent residents or VAWA cancellation – where the individual who is subject to deportation proves that they are of good moral character, lacks prior criminal convictions, has a spouse or parent who is a lawful permanent resident or United States citizen, and has physically resided in the country for at least the past ten years.
  • Waiver – where deported individuals formally request that the United States government consents to allow them to apply for readmission
  • Legalization – where the USCIS finds that you are eligible for legalization, giving you the legal right to stay in the country
  • Voluntary departure – where an individual agrees to leave the United States for the period of time that the immigration judge requires – and where no other type of relief is available 

The experienced Elgin attorneys at Sparks Law, PLLC, can answer all of your legal questions and determine if you are eligible to raise one or more of these deportation defenses at your hearing. We can then represent you at all of your legal proceedings and help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

Moreover, if you receive a denial from the immigration court, you may be eligible to file an appeal within 30 days. Depending upon your circumstances, we may be able to help you file a timely appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals

Family-based Adjustment of Status

Family-based adjustment of status essentially involves applying for a green card to remain in the United States legally. Once an individual obtains a green card, they will achieve lawful status as a permanent resident. A person can apply for a green card while they are legally present in the country – and without needing to return to their home country for any period of time. 

United States immigration laws also allow for foreign nationals who are family members of United States citizens or permanent residents to obtain a green card and remain in the country legally. Family relationships that allow for foreign nationals to obtain green cards include the parents, stepchildren, spouses, and minor children of green card holders or naturalized United States citizens. These family relationships are deemed “close relationships,” and an unlimited number of visas are available on that basis. 

Visa categories also exist for distant relatives. However, these visas are both limited in number and extremely specific. It is also important to keep in mind that an in-law, cousin, uncle, or aunt may not sponsor a relative for immigration purposes. 

It can sometimes be difficult to tell whether you or a close family member qualify for a green card. However, that is where an experienced immigration attorney may come in handy. The experienced Elgin immigration lawyers at J. Sparks Law, PLLC, can help you determine your eligibility for a green card. If you are eligible, we can help you take the necessary steps to obtain your green card and remain in the United States legally. 


In some instances, individuals come to the United States out of fear – or to escape a violent or oppressive political regime that exists in their home country. These individuals may also fear persecution in their home country, in which case they may be eligible for asylum in the U.S

Persecution essentially means that an individual’s home government – or a violent group that the home government cannot or will not control – seeks to inflict (or actually inflicts) economic, psychological, or physical harm on the individual. For an individual to qualify for asylum in the United States, the alleged persecution must relate to one or more of the following:

  • Political opinion
  • Nationality
  • Race
  • Religious faith
  • Social group membership

To qualify for asylum, an individual must typically apply within a year after they first arrive in the U.S. However, certain exceptions do apply in some circumstances. If one of these exceptions does not apply under your circumstances, you may be able to apply for a withholding of your removal, which does not have a time deadline. Likewise, you could submit an application for asylum even if you are an undocumented immigrant who resides in the United States.

The skilled and compassionate Elgin immigration lawyers at J. Sparks Law, PLLC, can answer all of your legal questions about asylum. We can also help you determine whether petitioning for asylum is in your best interests, given your current situation. If it is, we could help you file the appropriate paperwork for asylum – or for withholding of removal from the U.S. 

Pursuing United States Citizenship

There are numerous benefits associated with attaining United States citizenship, including the ability to work permanently and live in the country, hold various governmental positions, and legally vote in general elections. However, to validly apply for U.S. citizenship, you will need to do much more than file a Form N-400.

If you were born in another country, you might be eligible to attain U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process. To be eligible to apply for naturalization, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be a legal permanent resident of the United States for a minimum of five years – or three years if you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be able to write, read, and speak the English language
  • Be of good moral character
  • Pass a written test on basic United States history and government
  • Be physically present in the United States for at least 2.5 of the past five years
  • Take an oath of loyalty and allegiance to the U.S.
  • Maintain continuous and lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.

If you are eligible for naturalization, the knowledgeable Elgin immigration attorneys at J. Sparks Law, PLLC, can help you file the necessary application materials and pursue full citizenship status. 

Contact a Compassionate Elgin Immigration Lawyer Today

United States immigration laws oftentimes appear confusing and convoluted. Consequently, it is essential that you retain experienced legal counsel to represent you during all of your immigration proceedings. The compassionate legal team at J. Sparks Law, PLLC can meet with you to discuss your unique situation and explain all of your legal options to you in clear terms. We can then help you decide on the best course of action to attain the result you need. 

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Elgin immigration attorney, please call us today at 512-877-7482 or contact us online for more information. 

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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….


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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 parent.  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.