Law Office of William Shen is dedicated to the practice of U.S. immigration law. We provide full spectrum of immigration services, from non-employment-based visas to employment-based visas, from employment-based green cards to family-based green cards, and from citizenship to asylum petition. We handle immigration cases anywhere within and outside the U.S. by effectively representing our clients through email, phone, fax, mail and in-person meeting.
This Office provides the following visa services:
- H-1b – Specialty (Professional) Occupation
- H-2b – Temporary Worker
- L-1a – International Company Executive/Manager Transferee
- L-1b – International Company Specialized Knowledge Transferee
- TN Visa/Status – Mexican and Canadian Listed Professionals
- E-1 – Treaty Trader and Essential Worker of Treaty Trader
- E-2 – Treaty Investor and Essential Worker of Treaty Investor
- R-1 – Religious Worker
- B-1 – Temporary Business Visitor
- B-2 – Temporary Visitor
- F-1 – Student
- M-1 – Vocational Student
- K-1 – Fiancé of US Citizen
- K-3 – Spouse of US Citizen
- J-1 – Exchange Visitor
- VWP – Visa Waiver Program
If you or a loved one is attempting to obtain a green card in Austin, the lawyers at the Law Office of William Shen, understand the challenges that you may be facing, and we are dedicated to working hard on behalf of our clients to ensure that they have the resources and the support they need. Green cards may be issued to an individual for either business or personal/family reasons, and at the Law Office of William Shen, we are prepared to help individuals with any of the following immigration matters:
Employment-Based Green Cards
EB1 – First Preference Employment Based Immigration
EB2 – Second Preference Employment Based Immigration
EB3 – Third Preference Employment Based Immigration
EB4 – Fourth Preference Employment Based Immigration
EB5 – Fifth Preference Employment Based Immigration
Family-Based Green Cards
Immediate Relatives of US Citizens: family-based immigration
FB1 – First Preference: unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens
FB2 - Second Preference: spouses, children, unmarried sons and daughters (over 21) of Permanent Residents
FB3 – Third Preference: married sons and daughters of US citizens
FB4 – Fourth Preference: siblings of US citizens
Removal proceedings are begun when the government issues a Notice to Appear (NTA). The NTA is presented to an Immigration Judge who must decide whether to order you removed from the United States or allow you to remain. An NTA is a list of allegations that the government must prove about you. In addition, the NTA contains a charge of removability. Essentially, the government is stating that, if they can prove the following allegations, then an immigration judge must conclude that you are removable from the U.S. For example, if you are here on a student visa, an NTA may allege that you failed to attend school and are therefore removable for failing to maintain your student status. Or, if you are a permanent resident, the NTA may allege that you have been convicted of a crime which makes you removable. While the allegations that must be proven are distinct, the proceedings are pretty similar- the government must prove its allegations to establish that you are removable. If those allegations can not be proven, then the Immigration Judge should terminate removal proceedings.
The NTA may contain a hearing date when you have to appear in front of an immigration judge. If you do not show up on that date, you will be ordered removed in your absence. That initial hearing is called a master calendar hearing. A master calendar hearing is a very brief hearing in front of the judge that introduces the court to your case and your defense. Many people are scheduled at the same time and an individual will only be in front of the judge for a few minutes. At the first master hearing, the judge will ask you to reply to the allegations and charges on the NTA. You have the right to admit or deny the allegations and charges. Just like on TV or Law and Order. You can say that you admit or deny, which is like saying “guilty” or “not guilty.” How often does anyone on Law and Order say “guilty” at the first hearing? Almost never! Yet, immigrants and their attorneys do it every day. When the government must prove the allegations and charges, you only make it easier for the government to remove you if you admit the allegations and charges. If you deny the allegations, the government must produce evidence to prove their charges.If the government has the evidence to prove the charges or the immigrant (called “respondent”) admits the charges, removability will be established and the Judge can order the respondent removed. Yet, the respondent is able to apply for relief from removal. Just because someone is removable does not mean that they must be removed. Many people are eligible for relief from removal. In other words, they get the chance to convince the judge that there are good reasons why they should be allowed to stay in the U.S.
At the master hearing, the Judge may schedule another hearing to give the government a chance to prove its allegations and charges or, if the government proves it, will schedule a hearing to hear the respondent’s application for relief from removal. That type of hearing is called an individual or merits hearing. Before the individual hearing, the government and the respondent must submit evidence and arguments to the judge. For the respondent, the evidence may be an application for relief. The government may introduce evidence of convictions or other conduct. The individual hearing lasts much longer than the master calendar hearing and is for the judge to consider all the evidence, arguments and to hear testimony from the respondent or other witnesses. Generally, at the end of the hearing, the Judge will issue a decision and give her reasons for either granting relief from removal or ordering removal.
Both the government and the respondent have the opportunity to appeal the judge’s decision. If the judge has ordered removal, an appeal provides an automatic stay on the order of removal, meaning that the government can not remove an individual while the appeal is pending at the Board of Immigration Appeals. An appeal must be filed within thirty days of the judge’s decision.
We will take the time to explain this process to you and to advise you of your rights. We will understand your priorities and concerns. We will map out a comprehensive strategy to help you achieve your goals. Then, we will execute the tactics to implement our strategy and achieve your goals. Removal proceedings create anxiety. We cannot eliminate all of it, but we can take away the mystery, set your expectations and give you the best chance to succeed.
What Is Asylum?
Immigration status sought by a person either entering the U.S. or already physically in the U.S., who has a reasonable fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, if forced to return to their country of last residence.
Who Is Eligible for Asylum in the US?
Aliens who have remained in the U.S. for less than one year and are part of an eligible Asylum class (i.e. persecuted due to political party, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation group, social group, etc.)
What Is the Visa Duration?
The asylum status can be held indefinitely.
The asylum status does not need to be renewed. Although an asylee may apply for work authorization and this may be renewed on a yearly basis (they expire after one year) if desired, an Asylee is not required to posses a work authorization document as they are granted permission to work in the US as a matter of law.
Immediate family members may be eligible for asylum status with all its benefits such as work authorization, as long as they have been named in the alien's asylum application; even if any family members are not present in the U.S. at the time the application is filed.
What Documentation Do I Need for an Asylum Petition?
Applicant supporting documentation for Asylum Petition:
Alien's birth certificate or other form of identification
Marriage certificate (if applying with spouse)
Copy of passport and I-94 for all applicants (if alien already in the U.S.)
3 passport style photos on white background for each petitioner
Evidence of relationship if applying for children under 21 years of age (birth certificates of children, school records, etc.)
Affidavit from client stating the problems they have had in their country of origin and why they cannot return there
Third Party supporting documentation for Asylum Petition:
Newspaper articles supporting persecution of "asylum class",
Death certificates of family members and other "class members",
Medical records showing abuse of petitioners, family members and other "class members",
Police reports proving violence against petitioners, family members or other "class members",
U.S. Department of State Report on petitioner's country
Human Rights Reports supporting situation on petitioner's country
Proof of membership in "asylum class" in petitioner's country of origin, (i.e. if claiming political asylum-documents showing current membership in persecuted party; if claiming religious asylum-documents showing membership in persecuted religious group, etc.)
Any other documents that demonstrate persecution of petitioner's "asylum class" in their country of last residence.
What is the Asylum Process Like?
Gather Alien's information and all supporting documentation-time required depends on client's ability to obtain documents and his/her level of involvement.
Complete and file asylum application (I-589)-Approximately 15-20 days from the date in which all supporting documentation is obtained. A notice of receipt from the U.S. Immigration Service should be received approximately within 30-60 days.
The US Immigration Service will schedule and mail an interview date (this is generally scheduled for 30 to 900 days from the date recorded in the notice of receipt--the length of time depends on the particular schedule of the interviewing local U.S. Immigration Service office).
Prepare alien for the U.S. Immigration Service Interview and attend the U.S. Immigration Service interview-number of preparation sessions and time required depends on client's progress and comfort level.