General Immigration Questions

What are the requirements for Natualization?

To apply for naturalization, you must: 1) be over 18 years old; 2) have had permanent resident status (“green card”) for at least five years (three years if you got permanent residence through marriage to a U.S. citizen, and you are still married to and living with that U.S. citizen; military service may also shorten your wait); 3) have been physically present in the United States for at least 2 1/2 years of the five years immediately before you file your application for naturalization. You must also have lived in the state where you file the application for at least three months before you file the application; 4) be functionally fluent in spoken and written English, and be able to pass a test showing you understand the basics of U.S. history and the U.S. system of government. (There are limited exceptions to this rule for some people, because of disability, or age and length of residency); 5) have “good moral character;” and 6) be willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States. The oath includes being willing to bear arms on behalf of the U.S. if the law were to require it; 7) pass the civics exam.

Family Immigration

I have applied for a Family-Based Immigration Visa in August 2006. How can I check the status of my application Online?

Immigrant Visa processing is comprised of three separate stages. Family-based petition (Form I-130) is first filed at the USCIS. After Form I-130 is approved (see USCIS Case Status Online) and the priority date in the visa category you are seeking is current (see Current Visa Bulletin), you will receive a visa packet form the DOS National Visa Center. Once your visa packet is processed, your file will be transferred to the US Consulate in your country or origin and a visa interview scheduled shortly thereafter. You can check the processing dates of applications at these government agencies by logging on to https://www.rootlaw.com/links/us-immigration-website-links.html If you have case specific questions or encounter processing delays with your case, it is always advisable to speak with an experienced immigration attorney.

Mr. James E. Root is the principal immigration attorney at ROOT LAW GROUP, an Exclusive Immigration Law Firm with offices in L.A., Orange, San Bernardino and San Fernando counties. For a free in-office consultation contact (888) ROOT-LAW or visit them at www.RootLaw.com

Immigration Court & Appeals

I am a “green card” holder and I have been convicted of a criminal offense. Will I be removed from the United States?

Not necessarily. Certain criminal cases are older or less serious than others. Some have no effect on a person’s case while others can render a person removable. An Immigration Attorney can evaluate whether a certain conviction will render you removal or not. An good attorney, in certain cases, can try to remove old convictions so they will have no effect on a person’s immigration case. Also, there might be certain avenues available for you to remain in the United States if the Immigration Service does place you in removal proceedings


I am a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States. How much time must I wait to apply for citizenship?

If you received your Resident status from your spouse and she is a United States Citizen then you can apply within 90 days of your 3 year anniversary of becoming a Resident. For all others you can apply within 90 days of your 5 year anniversary of becoming a Resident.

Non Immigrant Visas

I’m an actress in the UK and I want to move to Hollywood to pursue my acting there. I have been in many plays in England in the last 10 years and I have been on a few TV shows in small roles. How will I know if I will qualify for the “O” visa for performers? How can I prove “outstanding ability”? what are the requirements?

The O-1 Process is very complex and will require the services of an immigration attorney because of the mandated steps and documentary requirements. You can look at the USCIS internet site for nonimmigrant visas, look up the O-1 and it will show you the requirements. You can also visit www.rootlaw.com and look under nonimmigrant visa section for O-1 visas.

Experienced Attorneys Supporting Immigration Services

If you’re looking for a way to connect with a law firm, scheduling a call may be the best option for you. You can talk to a representative about your specific legal needs, and you can get an idea of what the process of hiring a lawyer might look like. Plus, by scheduling a call, you can avoid any potential surprises or delays in the process.