Practice Areas

Consular Processing

Consular processing refers to the process of obtaining a visa to come to the United States through an American consulate abroad. Joyce & Associates has helped foreign nationals obtain visas at U.S. consulates all over the world, from Guangzhou, China to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. We can help you obtain either an immigrant visa – for foreign nationals who want to obtain a green card in the United States, or a non-immigrant visa – for foreign nationals who want to visit the United States for a temporary period (e.g. on a student visa, or tourist visa).

For many people seeking to come to, or remain in the United States, consular processing is the best or only option. Many foreign nationals can benefit from consular processing. For example, many people who entered the United States without a visa and later married U.S. citizens will be required to return to their home countries before reentering as permanent residents. Also, anyone already outside the United States who wishes to come to the U.S., whether temporarily or permanently, will first need to apply for a visa at a consulate.

Many people who are already in the United States, have traveled to the United States previously, or even applied to come to the U.S. before, will be required to apply for “waivers” together with their consular process. Many types of immigration issues or past criminal problems can lead to the need for a waiver in conjunction with your consular process. Joyce & Associates has a very high degree of success in obtaining inadmissibility waivers for our clients. Visit our waivers page to learn more.

Consular processing, like any immigration process, can be confusing and is full of pitfalls. We strongly recommend that you consult with one of our attorneys to discuss the process and whether it is a good option for you, your employee, or your loved one. The attorneys at Joyce & Associates have extensive experience with consular processing and will work with you throughout the entire process to ensure you know your options and have the best possible chance of success.

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Family-based Immigration

Joyce & Associates specializes in family-based immigration processes, which is one of the more common ways for immigrants to obtain lawful status in the United States. If you are a United States citizen or permanent resident, Joyce & Associates can assist you in petitioning for permanent residency (green card status) for your qualifying family members (form I-130). U.S. citizens can petition for their children, parents, spouses, and siblings. Lawful permanent residents can petition for their unmarried children, and spouses.

The immigration law breaks family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents into different categories to prioritize their immigration. These categories are based on whether the petitioner is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident, whether the foreign national is married, unmarried, or under 21, and other factors. There are often long waits for family-based immigration visas because of numerical limitations for the different categories. It’s best to have strong legal representation to help you navigate this complicated system, especially because time is often of the essence in these cases.

Our expertise also extends to fiancé visas (form I-129F) and removing conditions on a permanent resident spouse’s conditional greencard (form I-751). These processes have very strict deadlines associated with them, which is yet another reason to have excellent representation.

We strongly advise that you seek legal counsel for help with family-based immigration processes. The system can be very complex, and is best navigated with an outstanding lawyer. The attorneys at Joyce & Associates have extensive experience handling all types of family-based immigration processes. Contact us to schedule a consultation today

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Waivers

Waivers of inadmissibility, often known as “pardons,” are commonly needed for foreign nationals who want to obtain their green card, but have a problem in their immigration or criminal history standing in their way. Waivers cure grounds of “inadmissibility” (legal barriers) to re-entering the United States on a visa or obtaining a green card in the United States. Many waivers require that we show that the foreign national has a qualifying relative who would suffer “extreme hardship” if the foreign national is not permitted to immigrate to the United States.

A wide range of immigration issues, personal issues, or criminal issues can lead to the need for a waiver. Prior deportation orders, periods of unlawful presence in the United States, and past criminal convictions for “crimes involving moral turpitude” are examples of reasons that you may need a waiver in your immigration process.

In March of 2013, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) announced the Provisional Waiver (I-601A) program. This program helps foreign nationals who are the spouse or parent of United States citizens (or parents of U.S. citizens who are over 21), who must consular process in order to obtain their residency in the United States (likely individuals who entered the United States without a visa), and whose only inadmissibility issue is unlawful presence (being in the United States for more than 6 months without permission). If those conditions are met, the foreign national may apply for an I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver before leaving the United States to process through a consulate abroad. The applicant must demonstrate that they have a United States citizen qualifying relative (spouse or parent) who will suffer extreme hardship if they are found inadmissible. This program was designed to help minimize the wait time and uncertainty that many foreign nationals face when consular processing with waivers.

In July of 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced plans to expand the provisional waiver program to additional categories of foreign nationals. Stay tuned to the Joyce & Associates news page for announcements about this potential expansion of the provisional waiver program.

Joyce & Associates has handled hundreds of waiver cases successfully. We specialize in working with your family to develop a waiver strategy that is unique and compelling. Schedule a consultation today to learn whether you are eligible to seek a waiver to cure an inadmissibility issue in your case.

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Business Immigration

Joyce & Associates can assist foreign nationals who wish to come to the United States to work, either temporarily as a “non-immigrant,” or permanently through employment-based permanent residency processes. We represent companies who wish to petition for their employees, as well as individuals who are seeking employment-based immigration solutions.

For temporary stays in the United States, we can help you with:

  • E-1 – Treaty trader, spouse, and children
  • E-2 – Treaty investor, spouse, and children
  • H-1B visas – Specialist/professional, Department of Defense worker, and fashion model
  • H-2B visas – Temporary worker
  • J-1 visas – Exchange visitor
  • L-1A – Multinational organization executive or manager
  • L-1B visas – Multinational organization specialized knowledge worker
  • O-1 visas – Person of extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
  • R-1 visas – Religious worker
  • TN visas – Canadian and Mexican professionals

For permanent residency, we can assist you with:

  • First employment-based preference (EB-1) – For persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain executives and managers of international organizations
  • Second employment-based preference (EB-2) – For foreign nationals with advanced degrees and foreign nationals of exceptional ability whose work is in the national interest
  • Third employment-based preference (EB-3) – For skilled workers, professionals, and other workers
  • Fourth employment-based preference (EB-4) – For religious workers
  • Fifth employment-based preference (EB-5) – For investors

We also prepare F-1 student petitions and B-2 business traveler petitions.

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EB-5

Joyce & Associates is experienced in representing immigrant investors in Direct Investment EB-5s, Regional Center EB-5s, and complicated cases involving Troubled Business Qualifications. If you are a foreign national and have invested in, or are planning an investment in an American company of at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area, or $1,000,000 in a non-targeted employment area, contact us today to schedule a meeting to discuss your options for filing an EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa.

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Deportation Defense

Joyce & Associates has represented countless foreign nationals in removal proceedings, commonly known as immigration court or deportation proceedings. If you have received a Notice to Appear or a hearing notice to appear in immigration court, we strongly advise that you schedule a consultation to meet with one of our attorneys to discuss your case. All of our attorneys have experience handling complex cases before the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and Circuit Courts.

Removal proceedings are the process that the American government goes through to determine whether a foreign national should be permitted to legally remain in the United States. We know that this is a scary process for our clients and their families, and we are very experienced at helping our clients avoid deportation through outstanding defense in immigration court.

If you are in immigration court proceedings, there are many options that may be available to you, including: Cancellation of Removal (commonly known as “The Ten Year Law”), Adjustment of Status, Prosecutorial Discretion, Waivers of Inadmissibility, Asylum, or Withholding of Removal.

If you are afraid that you have received a removal order (“deportation letter” or “deportation order”) in the past, we can help you find out whether that is the case, and advise you on whether there are means available to seek that your court process be reopened.

Outstanding legal representation is the best investment you can make if you or your loved one is facing removal proceedings. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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Naturalization

Naturalization is the process of becoming a United States citizen. Naturalization is the final step to permanently immigrating to the United States, and we are proud to have seen many of our clients all the way through their immigration process, culminating in citizenship.

Joyce & Associates assists lawful permanent residents (green card holders) in becoming United States citizens. For those lawful permanent residents who are married to and residing with their U.S. citizen spouse, they will become eligible for naturalization three years after obtaining their resident status. For all other lawful permanent residents, they will become eligible for naturalization five years after obtaining their resident status.

In addition to the requirement that you have your green card for a specific period of time, there are other requirements in order to be eligible to apply for naturalization. These requirements are based upon age, residence and physical presence, criminal history, English language skills, and United States government and history knowledge.

At Joyce & Associates, we can help you determine whether you qualify to apply for naturalization. If you are eligible, we will assist in preparing the N-400 Application for Naturalization as well as prepare you for your naturalization interview.

Naturalization can be a complicated process, but we have helped many clients naturalize, even in complex cases. Contact us today to see if you are eligible to proceed with naturalization.

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Asylum Processing

Joyce & Associates is proud to represent vulnerable individuals in need of protection in the United States. We have represented countless survivors of persecution, abuse, and domestic violence in humanitarian forms of immigration relief before USCIS, the immigration courts, and appellate courts.

Asylum:

Asylum is a form of humanitarian protection given to individuals who fear persecution in their home country because of a specific, protected reason. An individual may also be eligible for withholding of removal or relief under the Convention Against Torture if asylum is unavailable. Time is of the essence in asylum cases, as applicants must file within one year of arriving in the United States, or seek an exception to that rule.

We have represented clients from all over the world and all walks of life in their asylum cases. The key to success in these cases is preparing a detailed and thorough application through extensive work with our clients and knowledge of conditions in the client’s home country. Contact us to schedule a consultation if you or someone you know fears persecution in their country.

Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”):

Relief under the Violence Against Women Act is available to foreign nationals who were abused by their citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses. If you were the victim of domestic violence or are currently in an abusive relationship, schedule a consultation today to discuss your options.

U-visas:

U-visas are available to some foreign nationals who have been the victims of certain crimes in the United States, and cooperated with law enforcement in prosecuting the crime. U-visas can be a path to a green-card in the United States. If you were the victim of a violent crime and cooperated with law enforcement in prosecuting that crime, contact us to schedule a consultation.

Special Immigrant Juveniles (“SIJS”):

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a process available to some immigrant children in the United States who were the victims of abuse, abandonment, or neglect by one or both of their parents. SIJS status is a two-step process requiring representation in probate and family court, followed by an I-360 application for Special Immigrant Juvenile status with USCIS. If the I-360 is approved, these children will be able to file for their green card in the United States.

Joyce & Associates has experience representing children both in probate court and before USCIS and the immigration court in SIJS cases. If you know a child who may be eligible to pursue this process, contact us to schedule a consultation.

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Family Law

Joyce & Associates specializes in family law issues involving immigrants and represents foreign nationals and their family members in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts. We have represented clients in divorce, proxy divorce and marriage affirmation, and guardianship actions for Special Immigrant Juveniles. There is often a direct correlation between immigration and family law issues. Joyce & Associates is well versed in the law for all of these issues and can provide both legal advice and assistance involving these types of matters.

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Criminal Immigration Representation

Joyce & Associates helps foreign nationals with criminal convictions and those with pending criminal charges. Criminal issues can have drastic consequences on the immigration status of foreign nationals, even those who already have their green-cards. Often, what appears to be a simple resolution of an offense in criminal court has unexpected, and harsh immigration consequences. Certain convictions can result in a foreign national’s ineligibility for naturalization, and his or her inadmissibility or removal (deportation) from the United States.

We evaluate a foreign national’s open criminal charges and his or her criminal history for any negative immigration consequences. We represent foreign nationals in defending against open criminal charges that could impact their current immigration status and/or eligibility for immigration relief. Our litigation team also specializes in post-conviction relief in the event that an unfair plea impacts a foreign national’s eligibility for citizenship or other immigrant benefits. Our Team is has represented non-citizens in District and Superior Court with the following criminal court matters:

  • Drug and Narcotics Violations
  • Larceny Charges
  • Domestic Violence Charges
  • Assault & Battery Charges
  • Driving under the influence
  • RMV Violations
  • Firearms violations
  • 51A- Related Charges
  • Arraignments
  • Bail Hearings

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