The professionals at Lamb & Turner PLLC offer legal services for many areas of family immigration. If you’re in search of a remedy for new permanent residency status, trying to renew a Green Card, or you’re pursuing an Adjustment of Status of removal of conditions on your green card, our experienced attorneys and legal service professionals can help.

Our process positions clients as partners – we work together to build the most effective legal strategy to establish a favorable resolution to your immigration matters.

Permanent Residency

Green Card & Permanent Residents

A green card is the official document used to prove you are a lawful permanent resident in the United States. Permanent Residency allows an individual to live and work in the United States indefinitely. If you obtain a green card, it may be valid for ten years and may be renewable thereafter if you fulfill all the requirements.

There are several different ways of obtaining a green card. Each method involves various factors and complications, so it is important that you work with one of our knowledgeable attorneys to find out which method best suits your specific case.

Depending on your eligibility, green cards fall under one of the following categories:

  • Family Based
  • Employment Based
  • Special Classes of Immigrants
  • Humanitarian Programs
Green Cards through Family Members

Family members are either classified as immediate relatives or preference relatives. Immediate relatives include spouses of US Citizens, unmarried children of US Citizens under the age of 21, and parents of US Citizen children over the age of 21. Immediate relative visas are not controlled by annual quotas and are immediately available.

Under our current law, visas are also available for “non-immediate” family members. These visa types are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen, but there are also some available for specific family relationships of permanent residents.  It is important to note that there are numerical limitations on these types of visas and it can often take many years before the visa becomes available.

To see which visa category is best for you and your family members, contact one of our attorneys today to schedule your consultation. Contact us today!

I-130 Petition for Alien Relative

This petition establishes that a valid family relationship exists between a U.S. citizen or green card holder and a person seeking a green card.

Filing the I-130 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is the first step in the family-based immigration process.

In the context of a marriage visa, the I-130 petition is filed to prove that your marriage is legally valid in the state or country in which the marriage took place. This is also the phase of the marriage-based green card process in which you submit documents (for example, joint bank account statements, joint insurance documents, and photos together) to prove that your marriage is “authentic”, rather than solely for immigration purposes.

Adjustment of Status

What if my relative is in the United States?

Adjustment of status is the process used to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when you are present in the United States. This means that you may get a Green Card without having to return to your home country to complete visa processing.

There are two big questions to answer before submitting an adjustment of status application to apply for permanent residency:

  • Is a visa available yet?
  • Is the immigrant allowed to file for adjustment of status as the application method?

It is important to understand that only people who are “immediate relatives” (spouses, parents, or minor children of U.S. citizens) or those who have had an immigrant visa become current in the family or employment immigration category are able to proceed with the adjustment of status process.

Special rules apply to those applicants who entered without permission and those who may or may not require a waiver.

If you or a family member has questions about how to become a permanent resident by applying for adjustment of status or consular processing, our office can help.  Contact us today!

Green Card Renewals

Today’s green cards expire after a period of ten years. If you fail to renew your green card before the expiration date, you may not be able to prove that you are lawfully living and working in the United States. The same can be said if your green card is lost or stolen. It is to your benefit to renew your green card at least six months before its expiration to avoid any potential legal difficulties.

If your green card has already expired, or if you have had complications arise since the last time you renewed your green card, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney prior to filing your renewal. Contact us today!

I-751 Petition

An I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence is used to remove the conditions placed on your green card. If you are married to a United States Citizen for less than 2 years on the day you receive your green card, then the green card that you receive is issued on a “conditional” base. In order to make your green card a permanent green card you must remove the conditions placed upon it.

When should the I-751 be filed?

To avoid complications, the I-751 should be filed 90 days or less before the conditional residence expires. Once the application is received by USCIS, permanent residence is extended in 1-year increments until a decision has been made on the request.

What does being a “conditional permanent resident” mean?

As a conditional permanent resident, you have the same rights and responsibilities as a permanent resident without conditions. The “conditional” part of your status refers to the fact that at the end of two years as a green card holder, you are required to file an application to remove the conditions on your residency so that you can become a permanent green card holder. The I-751 is one of the requirements for permanent residency in the USA.

Why does USCIS issue two-year green cards for some spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents?

USCIS is suspicious of relatively new marriages when people use them as the basis for obtaining permanent resident status. As a way of double checking the validity of these new marriages, U.S. immigration law requires individuals to prove at the end of the two-year green card’s validity that they are still married, and that the marriage is legitimate.

What happens if I am no longer married to my Spouse/Petitioner?

Sometimes, things just don’t work out. When this situation arises, it is important to understand the circumstances of the separation and/or divorce. If you divorce your spouse before the two years on your conditional residence have passed and you want to continue to live in the United States, you still must submit Form I-751, but you will need to request a “waiver” of the joint filing requirement. These waivers are based on:

  • divorce after a good-faith marriage;
  • abuse or battery by your US citizen or Permanent Resident spouse in a good-faith marriage; and/or
  • extreme hardship to you, the immigrant, if you are returned to your country of origin.

If you have questions about how to apply for permanent residency by removing the conditions on your green card, or if you have questions about what evidence you might need to submit, schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss the application process. Contact us today!

Family Visa & Immigration Services

Consular Processing

What if my relative is NOT in the United States?

If the intending immigrant is outside the United States, the process of obtaining an immigrant visa is commonly referred to as Consular Processing.

To obtain an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate in a foreign country, the applicant must have an approved immigration petition for their relative (either from an approved I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative from a family member, or an approved I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers from an employer) and a visa number must be available.

After the immigrant application has been approved by USCIS, the approved petition is sent to the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC). NVC then communicates with the U.S. consulate in the immigrant’s home country to process the immigrant visa. Once the immigrant visa is issued, the immigrant may be able to enter the United States as a permanent resident.


K-1 Visa

The K-1 fiancé(e) visa is a nonimmigrant visa that is designed for the foreign-born fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens. It gives those foreign fiancé(e)s the opportunity to come to the U.S. with the intention of marrying their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)s who are petitioning for them.

The K-1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The foreign-citizen will then apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident (LPR) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Because a fiancé(e) visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen shortly after arrival in the United States, the fiancé(e) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa. Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants receive K-2 visas.

If you would like more information about petitioning for a foreign-born family member or employee, please do not hesitate to contact our office today!

Lawyers for Immigration Waivers


Waivers are applications required by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for certain individuals who are considered inadmissible or deportable.

Who is Inadmissible?

Individuals who are “inadmissible” are not permitted by law to enter or remain in the United States. There are several categories which render a person inadmissible, such as past violations of U.S. immigration law, criminal grounds, health-related grounds, economic grounds, fraud or willful misrepresentation, moral grounds, false claim of U.S. citizenship and security related grounds.

Who is Deportable?

A “deportable” alien, on the other hand, is one who has been admitted into the United States but could be removed based on certain grounds specified in the U.S. immigration laws. This includes any alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, regardless of whether the alien entered the country by fraud or misrepresentation, or entered legally but subsequently lost legal status.

Waivers for Fraud or Misrepresentation

For certain grounds of inadmissibility and deportability, it may be possible to apply for a “waiver”, or, in certain circumstances, you may be exempt from the waiver requirement.

Waivers for Fraud or Misrepresentation

An applicant inadmissible for fraud or willful misrepresentation may be eligible for a waiver under current immigration law. To be eligible for this type of waiver, the applicant must show:

  • that denial of admission to, or removal from, the United States would result in extreme hardship to his or her qualifying relative, or if the applicant is a VAWA self-petitioner, to himself or herself; and
  • that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted.

For cases other than VAWA self-petitioners, the applicant must have a qualifying relative who is either the applicant’s:

  • S. citizen parent or spouse;
  • Lawful permanent resident (LPR) parent or spouse; or
  • S. citizen fiancé(e) petitioner (for K-1 or K-2 visa applicants only).

It is important to note U.S. citizen or permanent resident children are not qualifying relatives for the immigration waiver process.

In deciding whether the waiver warrants a favorable decision, it is important to include evidence that shows the positive factors of the case outweigh the negative factors.

If you or a family member has been found inadmissible or deportable, contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to see what options you may have. Contact us today!

The Three-year and Ten-year Bars

In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which imposes penalties on those who remain in the U.S. unlawfully, meaning without proper documentation. Depending up on how long you remain in the United States, in such status you could be barred from returning to the U.S. for either three or ten years.

In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which imposes penalties on those who remain in the U.S. unlawfully, meaning without proper documentation. Depending up on how long you remain in the United States, in such status you could be barred from returning to the U.S. for either three or ten years.


If you remain in the United States after your authorized stay has expired for more than 180 days, but less than one year, you will be barred from returning to the country for three years after your last departure.


If you remain in the country after your authorized stay has expired for more than 365 continuous days, you will be barred from returning to the U.S. for ten years after your last departure.

The new rule, which was published July 29, 2016, and took effect August 29, 2016, expands eligibility for a provisional waiver to anyone who would be eligible to apply for a waiver under the INA. In other words, anyone coming through the employment-based immigration system, the diversity visa lottery, the family-based immigration system, or any other immigrant classification may be eligible for a provisional waiver as long as they can demonstrate “extreme hardship” to a U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or parent. The 2016 rule also expands eligibility to certain individuals with final orders of removal, deportation, or exclusion, and clarifies that individuals who are “subject to” reinstatement of removal, but have not yet received notice, may apply for a provisional waiver.

A waiver of the “unlawful presence” is available if the visa applicant is the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen, or if the visa applicant is the spouse or child of a permanent resident. Most importantly, the visa applicant must be able to prove that the three or ten year bar would result in “extreme hardship” to the applicant’s citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent. Hardship to the immigrant is not a factor, and hardship to the immigrant’s children is not a factor (even if the children are U.S. citizens).

Thus, if it can be demonstrated that the United States citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent of the immigrant would suffer extreme hardship if their loved one were to be deported, a waiver could be granted allowing the immigrant to remain in the United States.

In order to apply for the provisional unlawful presence waiver, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Is present in the United States at the time of filing the I-601A and at the time of biometric processing;
  • Is a minimum of 17 years old at the time of filing;
  • Upon departure to the foreign country, the applicant would only be inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act Sect 212(a)(b)(i) at the time of the immigrant’s visa interview.
  • Has received an approved I-130 or I-140 petition from USCIS which has been transferred to the Department of State or the applicant has an approved diversity visa petition;
  • The applicant must be able to show their case meets the extreme hardship standard.

If you believe you or a loved one is eligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to see what options you may have. Contact us today!