Services

ASYLUM

Asylum

If you have experienced harm in your home country or fear that you will be hurt if you return to your country of origin, you may be eligible to seek asylum in the United States. Attorneys at Aust Schmiechen are experts in asylum law and represent a large number of asylum seekers in Minnesota and throughout the country. We represent asylum seekers in front of both the Asylum Office and the Immigration Court.

Our asylum legal services include:

  • Preparing or supplementing the I-589 application, including supporting documents,
  • Working with clients to write a statement about who they are, what happened to them in the past and what they fear will occur in the future should they return to their country,
  • Identifying documents or witnesses that will help prove your asylum claim,
  • Preparing for and attending the interview at the asylum office,
  • Preparing for and presenting your asylum claim before the Immigration Court,
  • Nunc Pro Tunc asylum applications,
  • Defending against asylum termination by the Asylum Office, and
  • Preparing and filing work authorization application (initial and renewals).

Most importantly, we understand that seeking asylum in the United States can be stressful. Knowing that, we try to provide care and support to each of our clients throughout this difficult process.

CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship and Naturalization

Once a person has been a Lawful Permanent Resident for 5 years (3 years if married to and living with a U.S. Citizen), they can apply for naturalization (citizenship). The attorneys at Aust Schmiechen can assist in preparing the necessary forms and paperwork as well as prepare you for and attend your interview.

Also, citizenship for minor children can be acquired automatically once the parent becomes a U.S. Citizen. The attorneys of Aust Schmiechen can assist in applying for a child’s Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Report of Birth Abroad.

DETENTION/DEPORTATION

Immigration Custody

If you have a family member in ICE custody we can assist with bond hearings, custody reviews and communicate with ICE regarding medical conditions in the detention facilities and other custody related matters.

Removal (Deportation) Defense

If you or a family member is in removal (deportation) proceedings before the Immigration Court we can perhaps find a defense for you to remain in the United States whether through your family, asylum or other immigration laws that you may qualify for. Attorneys at Aust Schmiechen practice regularly in front of the Immigration Courts and have working relationships with the U.S. government attorneys.

FAMILY-BASED IMMIGRATION

Adjustment of Status

A large part of Aust Schmiechen’s practice is representing individuals who apply for Adjustment of Status to be a Lawful Permanent Resident (“Green Card” holder). There are many ways a person can apply for a Green Card. It could be based on:

  • Marriage to a U.S. Citizen
  • Through employment if a Labor Certification has been filed by an employer
  • If you have a close family member (parent, child or brother/sister) who filed a family petition for you
  • If you entered the United States with a K-1 or K-2 fiancé(e) and you or your parent married within 90 days of entry
  • If you came to the United States as a refugee
  • If you were granted asylum

Aust Schmiechen can assist in all these aspects of Lawful Permanent Resident applications, from preparing and filing the necessary forms and documentation to preparing for and attending the interview at the USCIS office.

Consular Processing

Not all immigration cases occur in the United States. In cases where a person is overseas, the law requires a person apply for a visa (immigrant or nonimmigrant) at a U.S. Consulate. The attorneys of Aust Schmiechen assist in making sure applicants for visas at overseas Consulates have all of the required paperwork and are prepared to be interviewed by a consular officer when applying for a visa.

Family Immigration (Marriage, fiancé(e), parents, children, brother/sister)

Currently, immigration law provides that U.S. Citizens can file petitions for the following family members – husband/wife, fiancé(e), child, adult son or daughter (single or married), mother, father, brother sister.

Lawful Permanent Residents can file petitions for the following family members – husband/wife, child, adult son or daughter (unmarried).

Spouses, parents and minor children of U.S. Citizens are considered “immediate relatives” and can apply for adjustment of status (“Green Card”) or an immigrant visa right away. All other categories are subject to an established annual quota of immigrant visas. The wait times vary by category from a couple to more than 20 years – see The Visa Bulletin. The attorneys at Aust Schmiechen can help you immigrate your family members either in the U.S. or at a U.S. Consulate.

GLBTQ Matters

As a result of the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Windsor v. United States USCIS and the State Department have stated unequivocally that their agencies will recognize any marriage, including between same-sex spouses. This means that a U.S. Citizen can file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (if already married) or an I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (if not yet married) for their same-sex spouse or fiancé(e). Additionally, same-sex spouses can derive benefits in permanent or non-immigrant employment-based visa cases or if granted asylum. Attorneys at Aust Schmiechen are strong allies with the GLBTQ community and are dedicated to providing legal services to its members.

Notice of Intent to Deny/Revoke

Did you receive a letter from USCIS telling you it is planning to deny your immigration application or take away your immigrant petition? We can help you identify and address USCIS’s concerns and write a persuasive legal memo urging the United States government to approve your case.

Removal of Conditions on Residency

If the spouse or child of a U.S. Citizen is granted Permanent Resident Status (“Green Card”) less than 2 years after the marriage, the Permanent Resident Card is “conditional.” The initial card is granted for two years at which point the spouse and/or child must file an I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence with USCIS. The attorneys at Aust Schmiechen are experienced in preparing and filing I-751’s with USCIS in both joint and waiver cases (not being filed jointly by the couple).

Waivers

Certain individuals are not eligible to apply for Lawful Permanent Residency. The specific reasons for ineligibility are many, but generally fall into the following categories – health related grounds, criminal grounds and immigration violations. If a person is determined by USCIS or a U.S. Consulate overseas to be ineligible for a visa, then U.S. immigration law offers the possibility in some cases to apply for waiver of that particular ground of ineligibility. The attorneys of Aust Schmiechen are experienced in the intricacies of waivers and can assist in the waiver process.

DACA, TPS, U VISA

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Currently, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is only accepting renewal applications for DACA applicants. The attorneys at Aust Schmiechen can assist you in preparing and filing the forms and supporting documents for your DACA renewal.

Special Immigrant Juvenile, U and VAWA

United States immigration law provides special protection for children who have been abandoned, for domestic violence victims and for crime victims. If you are such a person, you may be eligible for a special visa. We can carefully guide you through any one of these humanitarian processes so you can be safe.

Temporary Protected Status

When natural or human made disasters befall certain countries, the President has the authority grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to people in the United States. A person who is granted TPS is given a work permit and is allowed to remain in the United States. Current designations of TPS are available on the USCIS website (include link to USCIS TPS website here).

EMPLOYMENT IMMIGRATION

H-1B

People with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher and a job offer can have an employer petition for them to live and work in the United States. The most common visa for temporary work is the H-1B visa, where an employer seeks to hire a foreign born person for a “specialty occupation” (defined as a position that requires a college Bachelor’s degree or higher). There are currently 85,000 visas available per year (20,000 are set aside for persons with U.S. acquired Master’s degrees). The attorneys at Aust Schmiechen can assist your employer with filing a new H-1B petition, renewing your current petition, or transferring from one employer to another.

Labor Certification

The “Labor Certification” employment based system for permanent immigration to the United States is complex and the wait can take many years. This process involves the filing of a form with the Department of Labor showing that an employer has tested the labor market for a particular job but is unable to find qualified U.S. workers. If approved, the employer then files a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If that petition is then approved, the foreign worker can then apply for Adjustment of Status (“green card”).

Some higher tier categories of workers (researchers, professors, executives/managers and individuals of extraordinary or outstanding ability) do not require a Labor Certification. However, they are required to submit extensive proof of their background to demonstrate qualification in these upper tiers. The attorneys of Aust Schmiechen are experienced in employment based immigration and can assist in finding a category that suits your needs and abilities.