Immigration law covers a wide range of issues, including whether non-citizens may enter the United States for a limited purpose and duration; whether non-citizens may reside, work, and raise a family in the U.S.; and seeking asylum from persecution abroad. Immigration law also addresses removal (deportation) defense if you are facing the threat of removal due to a criminal conviction or unlawful presence in the U.S.

The Ventura Immigration Law firm of Herrera Clifton Hess is ready to assist you in all the above areas of U.S. and California immigration law. Typical cases we handle include:

  • Non-immigrant (temporary) employment visas (H-1B, TN, L-1, O/extraordinary ability)
  • Immigrant visas through employment (PERM, I-140, Adjustment of Status)
  • Family-based petitions and applications (I-130, Adjustment of Status, employment authorization/advance parole, waivers of inadmissibility)
  • Asylum
  • Removal defense

We can also assist you in cases where immigration and criminal law intersect, such as:

  • Detention and bond
  • Vacating California convictions under P.C. § 1473.7 (Motion to Vacate Judgment)
  • Negotiating immigration-safe plea bargains

Schedule a free initial consultation with an immigration lawyer in Ventura to discuss your legal options today. Serving clients from our Ventura and Santa Monica offices.

Types of California Work and Family Visas

There are several types of temporary work visas offered by the federal government. The type of visa you should obtain depends on the line of work you will be doing, your skill level, and your industry. Some common types of work visas are:

  • H-1B (“Person in Specialty Occupation”) – This visa requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Sponsored work includes research and development, software engineering, and modeling for those of “distinguished merit.”
  • L (“Intracompany Transferee”) – This visa is for working at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of your current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. You must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for 1 year within the past 3 years.
  • O (“Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement”) – This is for those with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or the motion picture and television fields, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.

We also help clients apply for family members to join them from abroad. The sponsoring relative must be at least 21 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). Citizens can file an immigrant visa petition for their spouse, child, parents, or siblings, while LPRs can only file a petition for their spouse or unmarried child.

There are two types of family-based immigrant visas that are available:

  • Immediate Relative – based on a close family relationship between an alien and a U.S. citizen, such as through a spousal, child, or parental relationship
  • Family Preference – for specific, more distant, family relationships between an alien and a U.S. citizen and some relationships between an alien and a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)
Deportable Criminal Offenses

Unfortunately, with immigration also comes the risk of potential deportation. All immigrants, even green-card holders, can be deported if they violate U.S. law. The most common reason someone might be placed into removal (deportation) proceedings is if they have been convicted of a crime. 

Two categories of crimes that could lead to deportation are:

  • Crimes of moral turpitude (CMT): crimes involving fraud, larceny, or an intent to “harm persons or things”; examples include theft, assault with the intent to rob or kill, aggravated DUI
  • Aggravated felonies: includes crimes like murder, rape, drug or firearms trafficking, sexual abuse of a minor, child pornography, money laundering, fraud or tax evasion, certain violent crimes

The Immigration and Nationality Act lists other specific crimes that may result in deportation, including drug crimes, illegal firearm possession, espionage, domestic violence, stalking, and child abuse.

The Ventura immigration attorneys at Herrera Clifton Hess can help you navigate all your legal concerns related to your immigration status, whether you are facing deportation due to a criminal accusation or seeking to reunite your family in the U.S. We will explore all the legal options available in your situation to help you obtain the outcome you are looking for. The immigration system can feel like an unfriendly place, but Herrera Clifton Hess is here to walk you through it, step by step.

Contact our immigration lawyers at Herrera Clifton Hess to get started on your case in a free consultation.