2019 Immigration Law

Immigration Law


Although the deportation and removal process is similar to a criminal trial, it is not considered a criminal proceeding. However, Immigration Court rules can be very strict. Hearings cannot be missed and the judge’s directions must be followed to the letter. For this reason, it is extremely important that individuals in removal proceedings have effective representation.

The right to an attorney is one of the most important rights given to individuals in removal proceedings. However, the U.S. government is not required to provide an attorney free of charge.

Active Law Group Immigration Lawyers

The Active Law Group in Lake Forest welcomes you. Our immigration practice is a unique law firm committed exclusively to the areas of immigration and citizenship law. We have big firm expertise in these specialties, but strive to deliver personalized client services at a more economical cost. The practice is a multi-lingual firm and is able to serve clients in a variety of foreign languages: Spanish, Swedish, Mandarin, Danish, Hebrew, French and Russian.

We offer comprehensive immigration services and solutions including:

  • Family-based petitions and adjustment of status, K1 Fiance Visas; and Marriage Visas;
  • Employment-based nonimmigrant petitions including H-1B, L-1, Blanket L-1, TN, E-1(Treaty Trader), E-2 (Treaty Investor) and J program development;
  • Employment-based immigrant visas including Outstanding Researcher, Extraordinary Ability and others; adjustment of status or consular processing for Permanent Residence; PERM Labor certification applications; and National Interest Waivers;
  • Consular processing support at the US Consulate in Tijuana and other cities in Canada;
  • Applications for Naturalization and Citizenship;
  • Corporate policy and compliance support, including: I-9 program management, immigration policy development, and program outsourcing as well as other services for employers seeking to hire foreign talent;

When is a PERM labor certification required? 

Most employment-based immigration cases require the labor certification as a first step. Typically, foreign nationals seeking to immigrate in the second (unless the individual obtains a National Interest Waiver) or third employment based preference classifications are inadmissible unless the Department of Labor (DOL) has first issued a labor certification.

Are there any exemptions to the labor certification requirement

All family-based immigration cases do not require labor certifications. 

For employment based immigration, following individuals who fall under the first, second, fourth and fifth preference classifications also do not require labor certification:

  • extraordinary ability alien (EB-1a)
  • outstanding professors or researchers (EB-1b)
  • multinational executives or managers (EB-1c)
  • religious workers (EB-4)
  • aliens who have worked abroad for the U.S. government (EB-4)
  • alien investors in new commercial enterprises (EB-5)
  • aliens who qualify for a National Interest Waiver (EB-2 NIW)
  • physical therapists and registered nurses (Schedule A)

How is the Labor Certification process initiated?

Employers interested in initiating the Green Card process on behalf of a foreign national beneficiary should contact our office. Detailed information discussing the Green Card process and labor certification will be forwarded to the employer and the beneficiary. In addition, the beneficiary will be forwarded a questionnaire to complete and return to the firm. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire, attorney will arrange to discuss the process with the employer and the beneficiary and develop the best strategy for their case.

Who is the petitioner in a labor certification?

The employer is the petitioner in a labor certification and files the application on behalf of the foreign national


Working Visa

Work visas are given on a temporary basis. These visas are intended for individuals who would like to come to the United States for employment that is contracted for a specific period of time, and not for an indefinite duration. Each of these visas requires that a prospective employer file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), followed by the application for a work visa by the beneficiary. By contrast, the American employer sponsoring the beneficiary to work in the United States is asked to provide information regarding their company, its demographic, as well as the beneficiary’s detailed work experience and skill set to demonstrate that the foreign national is qualified for the sought-after position.

Tourist Visas

Tourist visas are also known as visitor visas. These types of visas are nonimmigrant visas for individuals who wish to gain access to the United States on a temporary basis for the purpose of tourism, business, visiting, or a combination of the aforementioned purposes. This is one of the most popular visas as it is essentially for those who wish to visit the US without a plan of remaining in the country for employment purposes.

Permanent Residency / Green Card

Permanent residency, also known as a Green Card, allows you to enter the United States and remain here permanently. There are generally two ways a foreign national can attain permanent residency: (a) either through a qualifying family relationship, in which case the qualifying family member (typically a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident) files an immigrant petition on behalf of the foreign national, or (b) through employment sponsorship. In the second case, the foreign national can attain permanent residency based on their employment with a United States company. In this type of situation, the sponsoring U.S. company/employer would file an immigrant petition on behalf of the foreign national. In addition, a foreign national who can demonstrate their extraordinary ability in the arts and sciences and show their contribution to the nation, can apply for permanent residency. There are also other special categories of immigrants that can apply for permanent residency such as battered spouses, asylees, refugees, individuals eligible for 245i, etc. Once you have resided in the United States for a certain period of time (three to five years, depending on your immigrant classification), you may be eligible to apply for naturalization/citizenship.

Family Visas

As an immigration attorney serving Lake Forest, the Active Law Group team receive many inquiries from individuals seeking a family visa. There are two types of family visas that are available, depending on your situation. The first would be an unlimited immediate family immigrant visa which is immediately available to the beneficiary and is thus not subject to numerical limitations, while the other would be a limited family preference immigrant visa, which is not immediately available and is thus subject to numerical limitations. The difference depends on your relationship to the petitioning relative (the American citizen or legal permanent resident currently in the United States). Foreign nationals who are eligible for an immediate family immigrant visa include: spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of American citizens over the age of 21. The limited family preference immigrant visa categories consist of brothers and sisters of American citizens, and other, more distant, familial relationships.

The only way to obtain one of these visas would be to have a qualifying relative in the country who is a United States citizen or legal permanent resident (a family member in the United States who is here on a visa will not be considered).


Citizenship is granted to those who were born on United States soil, were born to American-born parents overseas, or those who have gone through the process of naturalization. Our Active Law Group team can help you pursue citizenship.

Naturalization is the end result of a permanent visa/Green Card. After a certain number of years (depending on the visa) the individual can go through the process of naturalization where he or she would become a United States citizen.

Start-Up Immigration

This section is intended for entrepreneurs. There are five types of visas that an entrepreneur can apply for, depending on his or her position including the:

  • H-1B,
  • L-1,
  • E-2,
  • O-1,
  •  B-1.

What all of the visas have in common is that they require the applicant to have been a vital part of starting an organization or assisting in that organization’s growth. There is no specific start-up visa at this time.

In addition to entrepreneurs, those individuals who are extraordinary in their field and can prove that they are an expert in their industry may apply for an O-1 visa, that would allow them to work in the United States for a certain period of time, much like a work visa, without sponsorship.

The entire Active Law Group team, take their clients through the entire immigration process, from start to finish. We are confident in our abilities to handle all immigration matters and pride ourselves in being one of the top immigration law firms in Lake Forest. We take our clients and their life stories very seriously and will do everything in our power to make certain that their immigration dreams come true.